Cast ~ only before the combat damage step.

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Blood Frenzy
Berserk

It's certainly possible to have more than one combat damage step in a turn.
eg. World at War

Shouldn't the following rider be added?
... of the current combat phase.

It does limit it to being cast during a combat phase, but is that really a bad thing?

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DJ Vortex

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Shouldn't the following rider be added?
... of the current combat phase.

It does limit it to being cast during a combat phase, but is that really a bad thing?


Blood Frenzy is already limited to a combat phase (by virtue of its legal targets), but that would be a significant functional change for Berserk. Berserk + Fling in a pre-combat main phase is something that I've seen happen, and I would say that removing that functionality is not a good thing, if not decidedly a bad thing.

I do agree that the current wording is troublesome, however, for the following reasons:

1) As you explained, the quality of being "before the combat damage step" is not exclusive to the quality of being "after the combat damage step" if more than one combat phase occurs during a turn.

2) It could be argued that every single priority point after the first combat damage step of each game occurs after the combat step, and the spells are therefore essentially unplayable, and conversely that every priority point occurs before the combat damage step of the next turn, and the spells are always playable.

3) If no attackers are declared in a combat phase, there is no combat damage step in that combat phase. What does that mean for this restriction? Do Berserks cast in the precombat main phase retroactively become illegal since they were not cast "before the combat damage step"? Or are we accepting the absurd proposition that one event can occur before some other event which never happens?
3) If no attackers are declared in a combat phase, there is no combat damage step in that combat phase. What does that mean for this restriction? Do Berserks cast in the precombat main phase retroactively become illegal since they were not cast "before the combat damage step"? Or are we accepting the absurd proposition that one event can occur before some other event which never happens?



That is covered by the following rule:

506.6e If a spell states that it may be cast "only before [a particular point in the combat phase]," but the stated point doesn't exist within the relevant combat phase because the declare blockers step and the combat damage step are skipped (see rule 508.6), then the spell may be cast only before the declare attackers step ends. If the stated point doesn't exist because the relevant combat phase has been skipped, then the spell may be cast only before the precombat main phase ends.

but that would be a significant functional change for Berserk. Berserk + Fling in a pre-combat main phase is something that I've seen happen, and I would say that removing that functionality is not a good thing, if not decidedly a bad thing.

is there any significant semantic difference if it was done in the Beginning of Combat Step instead of the Pre-Combat Main Phase?

DCI Certified Judge & Goth/Industrial/EBM/Indie/Alternative/80's-Wave DJ
DJ Vortex

DCI Certified Judge since July 13, 2013
DCI #5209514320


My Wife's Makeup Artist Page <-- cool stuff - check it out

 

Taking offers on my set of unopened limited edition full art judge foil basic lands, message me if interested.
 

but that would be a significant functional change for Berserk. Berserk + Fling in a pre-combat main phase is something that I've seen happen, and I would say that removing that functionality is not a good thing, if not decidedly a bad thing.

is there any significant semantic difference if it was done in the Beginning of Combat Step instead of the Pre-Combat Main Phase?


In a vacuum? No.

In the context of a game? Quite possibly.

Simple fix:
Change
"...only before the combat damage step."
to
"...only before a combat damage step."