udying vs infect

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704.7. If a state-based action results in a permanent leaving the battlefield at the same time other state-based actions were performed, that permanent’s last known information is derived from the game state before any of those state-based actions were performed.
Example: You control Young Wolf, a 1/1 creature with undying, and it has a +1/+1 counter on it. A spell puts three -1/-1 counters on Young Wolf. Before state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf has one +1/+1 counter and three -1/-1 counters on it. After state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf is in the graveyard. When it was last on the battlefield, it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.

 When I first read about undying, I thought it was the counter to the infect/wither abilities, but after reading the example I see this is not true because leathal infect damage would be treated the same way [when I informed the players I know, most had issue with this as well]. I bring this up because there in no good reason not to run an infect deck [Con: can't cause loss of life; Pros: can kill creatures with regenerate, modular, persist, totem armor, undying, and indestructible as if they never had it; if given first strike can reduce leathal power of a creature before it can deal damage to the infect creature; can win game by damage in half the time; can null some game loss prevention effects due to posion counters not being removed; and can lower huge creatures (ex. 6/6) down to manageable strength (ex. 3/3 or lower)]. I personaly love infect, however, I belive for every powerful combo or ability there should be something to worry about. If this rule is ommited, it will allow undying creatures to block infect creatures fearlessly. [ex. Blight Mamba attacks (1/1 infect), I have no posion counters and he has low mana avaible so I don't block, he then cast 3 Mutagenic Growth (+2/+2 instant) paying 6 life and 1 Titanic Growth (+4/+4 instant) using the same mana producers as when he cast Blight Mamba the turn before. The end result being I gain 11 posion counters and lose as early as turn 3. This has happened several times and usualy I have a 1/1 on the field, however, if that 1/1 had undying I would have blocked no matter what I thought he had planed because my creature would just be returned to the field.]
My recomendation on how the rules should be changed is by placeing an order on the state-based actions in the same manner as makeing sure attacks/blocks are legal. Here is the order I would place the state-based actions: 704.5 a-c, t-v, e, p-q, s, r, w, f-n, d. 

After posting this in the wrong forum I got this reply in reguards to my sugestion:  "...I can tell you that the reason state-based actions are applied simultaneously and not via some "order" is to make the process as clean as possible.  Remembering an order for state-based actions would likely create a series of dramatic and difficult to understand changes in various cases (such as triggered abilities that refer to a creature's last-known information), or even abilities that look for certain events to occur.  This is especially important for handling leaves-the-battlefield triggers, which look at the game state prior to the zone change to determine if those trigger. Remember a simple "before" and "after" to processing state-based actions makes for a far cleaner interaction, even at the expense of some things that "feel" wrong."

My question now is: Can someone think of a better way to allow undying creatres to return after leathal damage has been dealt without the use of other cards (a rule change prefered), or is the only option to boost the toughness of the creature so it remains on the battlefield after the combat damage is dealt?

On a side note, why not condense the posion counter rules to "if you have posion counters equal to or greater than half your starting life total, you lose the game"?


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If state-based effects had an order to apply (and I think they should) and the +1/+1 -1/-1 counter thing was before creatures die for 0 toughness, this would be the case.

When they implemented undying, however, they thought it was intuitive enough and saw no need to change it.
The change to the poison counter kill rule would make sense.  Two-headed Giant already does that.  Commander probably wouldn't like it, though, as it makes poison essentially the same as commander damage, and Unspellable, the Blight Dragon would have pretty much no purpose.

With your wolf example, it already had a +1 counter on it when the Three -1s were added, droping it to 0.  

Now as far as i know and understand, if the Wolf did not have its +1 counter on it, it would be more like this.


Player A) I has Wolf 1/1 Undying, fresh no +1's

Player B) I cast Spell giving 3x -1/1's on the Wolf


Player A's Wolf would get 3 Tokens, be sent to the graveyard, Wherein the Undying checks if there is a +1 counter on it.

Since there was not a +1 counter on it the Wolf Hits the graveyard, loses the -1's and comes back into play with a +1 counter.

    

Player A's Wolf would get 3 Tokens counters, be sent to the graveyard, Wherein the Undying checks if there is a +1 counter on it.

Since there was not a +1 counter on it the Wolf Hits the graveyard, loses the -1's and comes back into play with a +1 counter.

The Wolf will not return because it did have a +1/+1 counter on it as it died and therefore its undying leaves-the-field ability won't trigger.
603.6d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger.

702.91a Undying is a triggered ability. "Undying" means "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control with a +1/+1 counter on it."

704.5f If a creature has toughness 0 or less, it’s put into its owner’s graveyard. Regeneration can’t replace this event.

704.5r If a permanent has both a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter on it, N +1/+1 and N -1/-1 counters are removed from it, where N is the smaller of the number of +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it.

704.7. If a state-based action results in a permanent leaving the battlefield at the same time other state-based actions were performed, that permanent’s last known information is derived from the game state before any of those state-based actions were performed.
Example: You control Young Wolf, a 1/1 creature with undying, and it has a +1/+1 counter on it. A spell puts three -1/-1 counters on Young Wolf. Before state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf has one +1/+1 counter and three -1/-1 counters on it. After state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf is in the graveyard. When it was last on the battlefield, it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.

As to the OP's concern, the ability was designed to function that way.
Development playtests the ability in the environment way before the players even know about the cards.
It seems you have no faith in the fact that they balanced the mechanic for the environment.
A creature with undying that dies with a +1/+1 counter on it isn't supposed to return.
Why would WotC want to change the rules to make something function different than the way they designed and developed it?

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Player A's Wolf would get 3 Tokens counters, be sent to the graveyard, Wherein the Undying checks if there is a +1 counter on it.

Since there was not a +1 counter on it the Wolf Hits the graveyard, loses the -1's and comes back into play with a +1 counter.

The Wolf will not return because it did have a +1/+1 counter on it as it died and therefore its undying leaves-the-field ability won't trigger.
603.6d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger.

702.91a Undying is a triggered ability. "Undying" means "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control with a +1/+1 counter on it."

704.5f If a creature has toughness 0 or less, it’s put into its owner’s graveyard. Regeneration can’t replace this event.

704.5r If a permanent has both a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter on it, N +1/+1 and N -1/-1 counters are removed from it, where N is the smaller of the number of +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it.

704.7. If a state-based action results in a permanent leaving the battlefield at the same time other state-based actions were performed, that permanent’s last known information is derived from the game state before any of those state-based actions were performed.
Example: You control Young Wolf, a 1/1 creature with undying, and it has a +1/+1 counter on it. A spell puts three -1/-1 counters on Young Wolf. Before state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf has one +1/+1 counter and three -1/-1 counters on it. After state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf is in the graveyard. When it was last on the battlefield, it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.

As to the OP's concern, the ability was designed to function that way.
Development playtests the ability in the environment way before the players even know about the cards.
It seems you have no faith in the fact that they balanced the mechanic for the environment.
A creature with undying that dies with a +1/+1 counter on it isn't supposed to return.
Why would WotC want to change the rules to make something function different than the way they designed and developed it?

i think you may have misread my post 2goth,
in my example the wolf had no counters on it untill the spell was cast.



However reading 704.5r with a -1/-1 counter generator you could potentially have an undying critter....
i think you may have misread my post 2goth,
in my example the wolf had no counters on it untill the spell was cast.

ah yes, quite correct, my mistake, apologies "I has Wolf 1/1 Undying, fresh no +1's"

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what if my opponent has a lone wolf with a +1 +1 counter on it and i black suns zenith for anything over 2
Then undying would see the wolf die with a +1/+1 counter on it and not trigger.
back to the example of young wolf with a +1/+1 counter on it. If you use scar in responce to 2 or more -1/-1 counters being added then the wolf will return because the first set of counters would be removed before the the wolf would die.
Rules Advisor I am Blue/WhiteI am Blue/WhiteTake The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.