DCI Level 2 Judge
Sean Stackhouse Level Two Judge (Yay!) Maine
It is. Searching an empty library is not an impossible action, finding a card may be but that doesn't matter. You are free to use the search option for any card draws, and as of such you won't lose the game.
701.15c If a player is searching a hidden zone simply for a quantity of cards, such as “a card” or “three cards,” that player must find that many cards (or as many as possible, if the zone doesn’t contain enough cards).this makes it sound as though it is possible to search an empty library for a card
120.6a An effect that replaces a card draw is applied even if no cards could be drawn because there are no cards in the affected player‘s library.
608.2d If an effect of a spell or ability offers any choices other than choices already made as part of casting the spell, activating the ability, or otherwise putting the spell or ability on the stack, the player announces these while applying the effect. The player can't choose an option that's illegal or impossible, with the exception that having an empty library doesn't make drawing a card an impossible action (see rule 120.3). If an effect divides or distributes something, such as damage or counters, as a player chooses among any number of untargeted players and/or objects, the player chooses the amount and division such that at least one player or object is chosen if able, and each chosen player or object receives at least one of whatever is being divided. (Note that if an effect divides or distributes something, such as damage or counters, as a player chooses among some number of target objects and/or players, the amount and division were determined as the spell or ability was put onto the stack rather than at this time; see rule 601.2d.)
neither drawing from an empty library nor searching an empty library is impossibleI quoted both rules that cover that.usually drawing from an empty library results in a game loss, but it is not impossible.
701.14c If a player is searching a hidden zone simply for a quantity of cards, such as "a card" or "three cards," that player must find that many cards (or as many as possible, if the zone doesn't contain enough cards).
"That card" refers to the card that you will find. If you do not find a card, you cannot put it into your hand, so you just ignore that part.You do not need to look into the future to determine if later actions might be impossible if you fail to find a card.
so what happens when you fail to find a land with Terramorphic Expanse ?since you cannot put it onto the battlefield tapped can you not use the card at all since you are allowed to fail to find it for any reason?
Firstly, actions are done in the order they are written. We're not looking into the future at all here. We're just following a set of instructions in the order they are written.So let's do that. Search for a card. We can do that with a library of zero cards as the rules very specifically say we can. No problem there. Now we can't actually FIND a card as there are no cards to find. Again, because the rules say we can, that's not impossible either. However, we get to the part of about putting that card into your hand. This is impossible as you yourself say with the bolded text above. Since part of the replacement effect is impossible to do, we cannot choose it as an option (as the rules which were given in prior posts state).
If you are at the point where you realize that you cannot put a card into your hand, because you have searched your library and failed to find a card, then you have already made your choice and performed the action. You cannot go back and undo it.
What about this:101.3. Any part of an instruction that’s impossible to perform is ignored. (In many cases the card will specify consequences for this; if it doesn’t, there’s no effect.)614.6. If an event is replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. Note that the modified event may contain instructions that can’t be carried out, in which case the impossible instruction is simply ignored.
Uhm, not to be dense, but I'm not certain how either of these apply here. 101.3 isn't relavent because one cannot choose an impossible action as part of a choice.
614.6 doesn't seem to apply to this either. Why is it that you think it would?
Parallel ThoughtsI found a more extreme answer to prove that you can indeed do what we've been stating. Look at the second ruling for parallel thoughts, it's a very similar situation, but instead you are replacing the cards with cards exiled. It states that even after all the cards you put asside in exile are gone you can still choose that option and in essence skip your draw. It's the same with the ascension, your searching a zone, whether you find anything or not doesn't matter. What matters is that you are able to search the zone, since that's not impossible the draw is replaced.
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I agree. But one chooses a possible action: searching the library. Putting a non-existent card into player's hand is impossible so it is skipped due to 101.3
The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!
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If that is how its interpretated then with a card that read "Lose 10 life or pay 2 life and sacrifice 2 creatures", you'd be able to choose the second option even if you didn't have two creatures to sacrifice. You could pay two life and then "fail to carry out the rest of the instructions".The way I read it, the enitre choice must be legal, not just the first part of it. Obviously there are some rulings that go against what I'm saying, but if we're to infer that only the first part must be carried out then cards like the one above would play very very different than they currently do.As the rules stand now, I'd still say you can't choose such an action. Either these rulings need to fall in line with the current comp rules or the comp rules need to be adjusted slightly to allow for exceptions. The current situation illustrates that the rule applies in some situations but not others.
But here with Archmage Ascension there is no cost involved. You choose between drawing a card and replacing that draw with something else. It's true that you can't choose to perform an impossible action. However, replacing a draw is always possible as long as the draw itself is possible, which is the case even if the library is empty. So instead of drawing in an empty libray, you will search you library for a card, fail to find it, fail to put it into your hand, and shuffle your library (shuffling an empty library is possible, see rule 701.16f).Only abilities such as Maralen of the mornsong's first ability break Archmage Ascension...
But here with Archmage Ascension there is no cost involved. You choose between drawing a card and replacing that draw with something else. It's true that you can't choose to perform an impossible action. However, replacing a draw is always possible as long as the draw itself is possible, which is the case even if the library is empty. So instead of drawing in an empty libray, you will search you library for a card, fail to find it, fail to put it into your hand, and shuffle your library (shuffling an empty library is possible, see rule 701.16f).
Does the game count the cards in your library to make sure that you have enough to put into your hand? If Archmage Ascension read "search your library for 15 cards," would you have to count to verify that there were actually 15 before choosing to replace the draw?
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I think the rule that we're hung up on is 608.2d, which deals with making choices for resolving abilities.
with the exception that having an empty library doesn't make drawing a card an impossible action
120.6a An effect that replaces a card draw is applied even if no cards could be drawn because there are no cards in the affected player’s library.
For example, if an ability read "If you would draw a card, you may instead sacrifice a creature,"