Parallax Wave

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I have Parallax Wave in play with 5 fading counters on it.

I activate its ability 5 times, targeting creatures on my opponent's board, and then after those abilities are on the stack, I bounce it back to my hand with an instant or creature ability before the abilities resolve.

What happens to the creatures I targeted with Parallax Wave's ability?
They will be exiled, with no way to come back.


When someone has an imaginary friend, we call it mental sickness. When a bunch of people have the same imaginary friend, we call it a religion.

Wow, cheesey combo is cheesey.
Addendum:

If Parallax Wave leaves play somehow normally, do all the cards it exiled with this silly loophole trick come back?  Or just the ones that have left play in its recent incarnation?


Also; help me out here.  As the player controlling [C]Parallax Wave[/c] in the following scenario, what would you do for the best outcome?

You control Parallax Wave with 5 fading counters on it.
You control two Opalescence, as well as two Ghostly Prisons.
You also have Vedalken Mastermind and an Angelic Arbiter.

It's your main phase, and I cast Fracturing Gust.

What do you do for the best outcome? Is there a way to "save" your enchantments? Can you prevent me from gaining life?

Thanks in advance, as always.




Addendum:

If Parallax Wave leaves play somehow normally, do all the cards it exiled with this silly loophole trick come back?  Or just the ones that have left play in its recent incarnation?


Also; help me out here.  As the player controlling [C]Parallax Wave[/c] in the following scenario, what would you do for the best outcome?

You control Parallax Wave with 5 fading counters on it.
You control two Opalescence, as well as two Ghostly Prisons.
You also have Vedalken Mastermind and an Angelic Arbiter.

It's your main phase, and I cast Fracturing Gust.

What do you do for the best outcome? Is there a way to "save" your enchantments? Can you prevent me from gaining life?

Thanks in advance, as always.







Each time a cards changes zones, it forgets all about its previous existance. If you use the bounce trick to permanently exile 5 creatures, then cast and use the Wave as "normal", only the creatures exiled during the card's second stay on the battlefield will be returned.

As for your situation... I might try asking in the Cards and Combos forum. You may get an answer in this thread if you stick around (I'm bored enough I'll probably take a crack at it), but it's certainly not a rules question, and it'll probably take a while to figure out an answer.
Rules Nut Advisor
Actually, that isn't so hard to figure out, although I might not have all the lines of play. Essentially, you can either save the Parallax Wave or you can save any number of the other enchantments:


  1. You use the Mastermind to bounce the Wave back to your hand. You could exile any number of your other enchantments with the Wave, but they will be returned to the battlefield before the Gust resolves, so they will all be destroyed no matter what you do.

  2. You use the Wave to exile all of your other enchantments and let the Gust destroy it. Your other encahntments will be returned unharmed. If you bounce or self-exile the Wave, it will return everything to the battlefield and they will be destroyed.

  3. If your primary goal is preventing lifegain, you can use the bounce trick in conjunction with #1 to permanently exile all your other enchantments by bouncing the Wave in response. This might be a better play overall if you have no way to get the cards back from your graveyard.

Rules Nut Advisor
Addendum:

If Parallax Wave leaves play somehow normally, do all the cards it exiled with this silly loophole trick come back?  Or just the ones that have left play in its recent incarnation?

What matters is the relative order that the Parallax Wave and the creatures it targeted left the battlefield, not how they left. If the Wave leaves the battlefield for any reason prior to the resolution of the triggers, the exiled creatures are exiled forever.

Also; help me out here.  As the player controlling [C]Parallax Wave[/c] in the following scenario, what would you do for the best outcome?

You control Parallax Wave with 5 fading counters on it.
You control two Opalescence, as well as two Ghostly Prisons.
You also have Vedalken Mastermind and an Angelic Arbiter.

It's your main phase, and I cast Fracturing Gust.

What do you do for the best outcome? Is there a way to "save" your enchantments? Can you prevent me from gaining life?

Thanks in advance, as always.

The best thing for me might be to allow my enchantments to be destroyed. Lifegain isn't that important.

However, let's assume that I don't have Replenish in my deck (let alone in hand) and take as my goal the minimising of your lifegain.

I'm fairly sure I can get it down to two life, but not zero. You won't like how though, as you seem to think that the basic combo is cheesy.

I'm going to assume you do nothing else.

The proper technique here is to activate Parallax Wave twice, the first activation targeting one creature you wish to permanently exile and the second Parallax Wave.

Allow the activations to resolve. First Wave disappears to exile, triggering its LTB ability. That will resolve, bringing back the Wave with a fresh set of five counters. Then the first activation resolves, exiling the targeted creature.

Repeat this cycle until there are no more creatures on your side of the board; at least, none I can target with the Wave.

Now repeat the cycle again, permanently exiling the two Ghostly Prisons, then one of the Opalescences. This will cause the other Opalescence to lose the creature type. Finally, activate the Plotter, targeting either the Parallax Wave or Opalescence on the battlefield, unsummoning it. Result; Fracturing Gust destroys the remaining enchantment, and you gain two life.

However, all that is moot, because if I ever build a deck round having Opalescence and Parallax Wave, there will be four Replenish in the deck. Count on it.
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When an object changes zones, it becomes a completely new object with no relation to its former existence. A Paralax Wave that leaves the battlefield will only return the cards that it exiled while it was on the field (from the time it entered the battlefied until it left). Other cards that were exiled by some other PW (even if that one was represented by the same card) will not be returned.

As for the scenario:
There is no way to save all your enchantments. So it depends on which ones you want to save the most.

- if it's Paralax Wave, then you have to return it to your hand with the Mastermind in response to the Gust. But no matter how you go about it, Opalescence and the two Ghostly Prisons will either end up in exile forever (exile all three by targeting Opalescence first, then the Prisons in response to that; activate the Mastermind in response to the last PW activation) or in your graveyard. If you send them all to exile, the controller of Fracturing Gust will not gain any life.

- if not, then you can save all other enchantments by exiling them with PW (Opalescence has to go last, so exile the Prisons first). The controller of FG then gains 2 life for the destroyed PW and your other enchantments return.
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I really wish WotC would address stuff like this - it's really frustrating to see rules holes abused in such an overpowered way.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I really wish WotC would address stuff like this - it's really frustrating to see rules holes abused in such an overpowered way.

They did. Parallax Wavereceived errata before the Nemesis prerelease.

Over the years, the emphasis R&D places on various criteria in deciding what errata should do changed, and the result is that the errata were reversed some years ago.

The basic trick, exiling something permanently by removing the source of an ability, is something that R&D is just fine with.
Still blessed by Julia of Hillsdown. M:tG Rules Adviser You are Red/Blue!
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I really wish WotC would address stuff like this - it's really frustrating to see rules holes abused in such an overpowered way.



I wouldn't worry about it being too powerful: the combo still requires TWO cards and AT LEAST four manas.
Besides, P-Wave is not alone: the «Oubliette» look-alikes have existed for quite a while:

Diabolic Servitude
Faceless Butcher
Faceless Devourer
Fiend Hunter
Gravegouger [c]Hypnox
Icy Prison
Journey to Nowhere
Leonin Relic-Warder
Mesmeric Fiend
Oblivion Ring
Oubliette
Parallax Wave
Petradon
Petravark
Realm Razer
Saprazzan Bailiff
Slithery Stalker
Tidehollow Sculler



And I'm sure I forgot some!

When someone has an imaginary friend, we call it mental sickness. When a bunch of people have the same imaginary friend, we call it a religion.

That's really stupid. Not you guys - you guys are awesome - but R&D at WotC being ok with rules and stack abuse like this? Stupid.

It would probably be ok if it made some kind of conceptual or intuitive sense, but it doesn't, at all. Like, a fireball be counterspelled, can be plausibly accepted. A creature becoming blocked, and then the blocking creature getting sacced for something while still leaving the attacking creature blocked; ok, sure.

Combos like this one, though, are the reason I have a little disclaimer to go through when meeting new magic players - "We play for fun, and if you play decks that are stupid or have ridiculous infinite combos, we just won't play with you." They don't make any intuitive sense at all, and it's one of the hardest things to teach new players. "Yes, I know it doesn't make sense, but the rules can be abused like that legally so you lose all of your 7 CMC creatures and the auras on them as well as any enchantments you have in play, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, because your opponent has control of parallax wave. Yeah, good game."

Seriously. Exiling permanents forever at instant speed should be restricted to the power / cost balance and be clearly labeled instead of done through rules abuse. [C]Unmake[/c], Brittle Effigy are both totally fine. But in an infinite combo? Yeah. Stupid.

Anyway, thanks for all your help guys. Your input is valued, as always.
Seriously. Exiling permanents forever at instant speed should be restricted to the power / cost balance and be clearly labeled instead of done through rules abuse.

If the parallax cards with their newish wording become a problem, WotC will ban them. However, the parallax cards have not shown themselves to be a problem in the few formats in which they are legal (Legacy and Vintage are to fast for this kind of combo to be effective). And since it's highly unlikely they'll ever reprint the parallax cards, we should never have to deal with it in slower formats like Standard.
Thanks for the link to the news post.

Any idea what the erratta was before the change back?  What did they do to "fix" it? 
I have Parallax Wave in play with 5 fading counters on it. I activate its ability 5 times, targeting creatures on my opponent's board, and then after those abilities are on the stack, I bounce it back to my hand with an instant or creature ability before the abilities resolve. What happens to the creatures I targeted with Parallax Wave's ability?



I'm not so sure about the consensus this thread is having about this.

Since Parallax Wave's last ability is triggered when it leaves play, I think even bouncing it back to your hand constitutes leaving play, therefore resolving the last ability and returning the creatures from exile.
56735468 wrote:
Residual energetic and psychic emenations from the spark of planewalkers going in and out of the blind eternities like it was a windmill eventually coalesced into beings named eldrazi who by their very nature could not consume mundane sources of nourishment to sustain their existence.
Georg: What creatures is it returning from exile?

There aren't any in exile if the last ability resolves before the first. If you can find creatures in exile that have been exiled by Parallax Wave, return them to play. 
Rules Advisor - 10/24/2010
I have Parallax Wave in play with 5 fading counters on it. I activate its ability 5 times, targeting creatures on my opponent's board, and then after those abilities are on the stack, I bounce it back to my hand with an instant or creature ability before the abilities resolve. What happens to the creatures I targeted with Parallax Wave's ability?



I'm not so sure about the consensus this thread is having about this.

Since Parallax Wave's last ability is triggered when it leaves play, I think even bouncing it back to your hand constitutes leaving play, therefore resolving the last ability and returning the creatures from exile.



Right, except if you bounce the enchantment while the activated abilities are still on the stack then the "leaves the battlfeild" trigger ressoves first, and then the exile.

It's the same thing as with O-ring.
… and then, the squirrels came.
@Georg51: bouncing it back to your hand does constitute leaving play, and does cause the leaves-play ability of Parallax Wave to trigger.  The idea is that the exile target creature abilities have yet to resolve at this time and the leaves-play ability of Parallax Wave will resolve first.  It will try to return cards from exile, but there are none.  Having resolved that, we move down the stack and resolve the abilities that exile creatures.

I'm also curious to know what the old errata was.
@Georg51: bouncing it back to your hand does constitute leaving play, and does cause the leaves-play ability of Parallax Wave to trigger.  The idea is that the exile target creature abilities have yet to resolve at this time and the leaves-play ability of Parallax Wave will resolve first.  It will try to return cards from exile, but there are none.  Having resolved that, we move down the stack and resolve the abilities that exile creatures.

I'm also curious to know what the old errata was.



Thanks for clearing that up!
56735468 wrote:
Residual energetic and psychic emenations from the spark of planewalkers going in and out of the blind eternities like it was a windmill eventually coalesced into beings named eldrazi who by their very nature could not consume mundane sources of nourishment to sustain their existence.
Any idea what the erratta was before the change back?  What did they do to "fix" it? 

From the time of the Nemesis Prerelease until the update bulletin i linked, it had the following wording (or something very similar to it):

Parallax Wave
Enchantment
Fading 5
Remove a fade counter from Parallax Wave: Exile target creature if parallax wave is on the battlefield.
When Parallax Wave leaves the battlefield, each player returns to the battlefield all cards he or she owns exiled with Parallax Wave.
Seriously. Exiling permanents forever at instant speed should be restricted to the power / cost balance and be clearly labeled instead of done through rules abuse. [C]Unmake[/c], Brittle Effigy are both totally fine. But in an infinite combo? Yeah. Stupid. Anyway, thanks for all your help guys. Your input is valued, as always.


It is restricted to only 5 creatures, and under normal circumstances it's only temporary removal.  It takes a 2-card, 6+ mana combo to exile 5 creatures for good, I would say that's a fair cost.  It's not in any way infinite unless you pair it with both infinite mana and infinite bounce effects. 
It is restricted to only 5 creatures, and under normal circumstances it's only temporary removal.  It takes a 2-card, 6+ mana combo to exile 5 creatures for good, I would say that's a fair cost.  It's not in any way infinite unless you pair it with both infinite mana and infinite bounce effects. 

It's not restricted in the slightest. Parallax Wave and Opalescence is a two-permanent combo that acts like a standing Plague Wind that won't go away.
Still blessed by Julia of Hillsdown. M:tG Rules Adviser You are Red/Blue!
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Can you just stop talking bout this. It's no more broken (actually, less so) than Animate Dead Worldgorger Dragon in a reanimator. There are plenty of easier 2 card combos out there that are just as or more degenerate than this. As much as it is stupid for a rules thread, can we get a lock, please. I'm tired of seeing this thread every time I come on... 
56965458 wrote:
As long as it's random, I really can't see where's the problem. Anyway, there's already a few standard ways for doing this. We listed them in this thread. If someone does the bogey-bogey, eats the cards, waits until they come out, look out the approximate order, place replacements in the same order, calls the president to ask him to give him a string of numbers, puts the card in the given order, then pick the cards in the order given by taking the date of birth of his opponent, reversed, and taking only every other number, then a judge can clearly declare that he's random enough.
56874518 wrote:
The beauty of sarcasm is that when the person using it is totally incorrect, you can just remove the sarcasm and end up with a post that is actually correct.
Actually, LunaStik...

If I'm reading those cards right Animate Dead targeting a Worldgorger Dragon just makes an infinite loop of permanents and the dragon appearing and disappearing.

Do I have that wrong?

If I'm reading those cards right Animate Dead targeting a Worldgorger Dragon just makes an infinite loop of permanents and the dragon appearing and disappearing.

Do I have that wrong?


Each time through the loop, lands are untapped, so the loop allows you to get infinite mana. Or, if you have Bazaar of Baghdad, you can draw and discard your entire deck, and then break the infinite loop by choosing to reanimate a game-winning creature instead of worldgorger dragon.
Actually, LunaStik...

If I'm reading those cards right Animate Dead targeting a Worldgorger Dragon just makes an infinite loop of permanents and the dragon appearing and disappearing.

Do I have that wrong?


If there's another potential target for Animate Dead, then you can, and indeed must, eventually choose something else to put it on. If the Worldgorger is the only possible thing to put Animate Dead on, though, then this is an infinite loop that ends the game in a draw.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011

Each time through the loop, lands are untapped, so the loop allows you to get infinite mana. Or, if you have Bazaar of Baghdad, you can draw and discard your entire deck, and then break the infinite loop by choosing to reanimate a game-winning creature instead of worldgorger dragon.



Ah.  That makes more sense.

I'm still not convinced that's nearly as bad as Parallax Wave (or Parallax Tide) and Opalescence.  Infinite mana is just infinite mana - permanently exiling any number of targetable creatures at instant speed with cards that are $1.50 a piece is far worse in my opinion.

I'm not arguing that other broken game combos don't exist - only that having them be this accessible and having WotC support it by backing out the eratta is just stupid.  Why would they do that?  You'd think they'd be trying to remove counterintuitive rules abuse like that.

At least stuff like Stuffy Doll and Guilty Conscience is funny and intuitive.  Stack and rules abuse isn't.
Infinite mana is just infinite mana

Never thought i'd hear that, especially for a combo which only requires you to cast one spell, and can often be set off on turn one or two.
I'm not arguing that other broken game combos don't exist - only that having them be this accessible and having WotC support it by backing out the eratta is just stupid.  Why would they do that?

Because their current errata policy places an emphasis on the wording that the card had at the time it was printed (though this can be trumped by other considerations). If a modern-day player picked up a parallax wave, they would assume it does what it says it does. Unless you know the history of this 12-year-old card, which most people don't, you would never assume "ah, i bet they added 'if Parallax Wave is on the battlefield' to it's rule text".
Because their current errata policy places an emphasis on the wording that the card had at the time it was printed (though this can be trumped by other considerations). If a modern-day player picked up a parallax wave, they would assume it does what it says it does. Unless you know the history of this 12-year-old card, which most people don't, you would never assume "ah, i bet they added 'if Parallax Wave is on the battlefield' to it's rule text".



Yeah.

I understand and even respect that, it's just that I consider this particular instance enough to be "trumped by other considerations".  Clearly, the intent of the card was not to be able to do what it does in combination with the Opalescence.

The erratta they added was absolutely appropriate in my mind - a new magic player that picked it up would use it without ever really considering what happens if it manages to leave the battlefield before the other effects resolve.  I ran Parallax Tide in a silly blue deck for a while and never even thought about the implications - I just used the card like they intended, maybe proliferated the counters every once in awhile.



Anyway, I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about this by now.  It just upsets me that WotC supports this kind of thing.  It seems disingenuous.
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