How can a guy kill me with an instant when he should have died as soon as his upkeep began?

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Playing 2HG we got them down to 4 life (we had 2 life) and on their turn a sulfuric vortex should have killed them of there last four life. But he pressed square and killed us with an instant. He couldn't cast the spell on our turn because he was tapped out.

But if his mana untaps I assume his upkeep begins and he should be dead before he can cast an instant?

I call BS on that.

They'll untap and go into the upkeep step, but they still have time to respond if they have the spell in hand as the upkeep triggers are put onto the stack. "Last in, first out" means their spell will resolve first killing your team.
They can cast a spell in response to the triggered ability on the stack, it resolves before Sulfuric Vortex.
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They'll untap and go into the upkeep step, but they still have time to respond if they have the spell in hand as the upkeep triggers are put onto the stack. "Last in, first out" means their spell will resolve first killing your team.



That sucks. The language is too ambiguous then. So "Enchantments" go into a stack like sorcery or instant spells? It seems to me by the wording of the card he should be dead. His upkeep began so he should have died plain and simple via the enchantment. I mean, you can't play a card with no mana if your upkeep has not begun and if your mana untaps then your upkeep clearly began and he should be dead.
That sucks. The language is too ambiguous then. So "Enchantments" go into a stack like sorcery or instant spells? It seems to me by the wording of the card he should be dead. His upkeep began so he should have died plain and simple via the enchantment. I mean, you can't play a card with no mana if your upkeep has not begun and if your mana untaps then your upkeep clearly began and he should be dead.



You have an untap step before your upkeep.
> Cards untap during untap step, move on to upkeep.
> Enchantment triggers at start of upkeep.
> Opponent responds to enchanment trigger with instant.
> Cards resolve in reverse order to which they were put on stack.
> The End.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

They'll untap and go into the upkeep step, but they still have time to respond if they have the spell in hand as the upkeep triggers are put onto the stack. "Last in, first out" means their spell will resolve first killing your team.



That sucks. The language is too ambiguous then. So "Enchantments" go into a stack like sorcery or instant spells? It seems to me by the wording of the card he should be dead. His upkeep began so he should have died plain and simple via the enchantment. I mean, you can't play a card with no mana if your upkeep has not begun and if your mana untaps then your upkeep clearly began and he should be dead.


Every played card, activated and triggered abilities uses the stack. You can respond to it in the same way you can respond to Prodigal Pyromancer's tapping. The untap step happens before the upkeep phase, they are separate phases even if DOTP doesn't really show them.
Every played card, activated and triggered abilities uses the stack. You can respond to it in the same way you can respond to Prodigal Pyromancer's tapping. The untap step happens before the upkeep phase, they are separate phases even if DOTP doesn't really show them.



This.  EVERY ability uses the stack except for a few selected abilities - mana abilities, "costs," state-based effects and replacement effects.  The only non-mana cost I can think of in this game is natural order.  Natural order explicitly states that sacrificing a creature is a cost - so you can't target the creature sacrificed in response to make the spell fizzle. 

State based effects are when a player has 0 life or when a creature is 0/0.  There may be a few other examples but none come to mind.  If a card outright said "whenever you have 40 life you win the game" I think that would be considered a state-based effect, although I haven't seen any cards with similar text.

Replacement effects can interact with state-based effects.  An example of a replacement effect is phyrexian unlife.  So lets take two example cards - the maniac and an instant-based life gain ability such as healing salve.  Lets say for some reason you are at 1 life and decide to use necropotence.  Even if you have a healing salve in hand, once you have paid the life, you can't cast healing salve in response - you die as a state-based effect.  But with phyrexian unlife, you can pay the life - the state of having 0 life or less is no longer relevant in the game.  This illustrates how both state-based effects and replacement effects avoid the stack.

Also, Killab I realize it is highly unlikely you will heed this advice, but if you think someone is cheating I highly recommend you post in the "should it work this way" thread mentioned above.  I have seen you call someone a cheat in another thread, when you are really the one who does not understand the rules.  The rules are 95% accurate in Duels '13.
Killab, if you go buy yourself a starter deck from any set it will have a rulebook with the phases of each turn.  It might help you understand the untap/upkeep distinction.  Plus, you get cards.  Shiny.

Of course, Duels doesn't do the best job of supplying this information, so your ignorance is not really to blame.
untap (when i put time warp in panoptic mirror)
upkeep----what exactly is this phase for?
main phase -- where I do stuff...
combat
second main.

Actually, you do nothing during untap, because nothing can be done during untap except untapping all permanents that aren't prevented from doing so. Upkeep is when you use the Mirror. Also, good players do almost all their stuff in second main. ;)

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

Lol .... Magic never bores me !!! Players learn something new everyday !! Game on !!
Actually, you do nothing during untap, because nothing can be done during untap except untapping all permanents that aren't prevented from doing so. Upkeep is when you use the Mirror. Also, good players do almost all their stuff in second main. ;)



That brings me back to my poin then. sulfuric vortex CLEARLY states at the beginning of a players upkeep he loses two life.

If a player can't do anything until his upkeep begins then clearly he should be dead as his upkeep began and the effect of the card should apply.
Beginning Phase

Untap Step
- Tapped permanents controlled by the active player are untapped. Players do not get priority.

Upkeep Step
- Used exclusively for abilities that are triggered at the start of a player's upkeep. These abilities are put on the stack, then players are given priority and may cast spells or activate abilities.
Priority is given while these abilities are still on the stack, and players can cast spells in response to those abilities.

Draw Step
- The active player draws a card. Players are given priority.


Precombat Main Phase

The active player has priority and may play a land and use Sorcery-speed spells or abilities.


Combat Phase

Beginning of Combat Step
- In multiplayer formats where only one player can be attacked at a time, the attacking player declares which player they wish to attack. Abilities that are triggered at the start of a player's combat phase are put on the stack, then players are given priority.

Declare Attackers Step
- The attacking player declares which creatures they wish to attack with. Players are given priority.

Declare Blockers Step - The defending player(s) declare which creatures they wish to block with. Then, in the case of multiple blockers blocking a single attacker, the attacking player declares the order in which they will assign damage to those blockers. In the case of multiple attackers being blocked by a single blocker, the defending player declares the order in which they will assign damage to those attackers. Players are given priority.

Combat Damage Step - Combat damage is dealt. State-based actions are checked to see if any creatures are destroyed as a result of that damage. Players receive priority. If one or more attacking or blocking creatures has First Strike or Double Strike, an additional Combat Damage Step occurs.

End of Combat Step - End-of-combat triggered abilities are put on the stack. Players recieve priority.


Postcombat Main Phase

Same as Precombat Main Phase.


End Phase

End of Turn Step - End-of-turn triggered abilities are put on the stack. Players recieve priority.

Cleanup Step - The active player discards down to maximum hand size if necessary, any damage marked on creatures is removed. If any effects are supposed to wear off at the end of the turn, they are put on the stack as a delayed-trigger ability. Players receive priority only if such an ability was put on the stack.
Its pretty straight forward in duels. When you see a circle of magical pixie dust around a card it means it's just been placed on the stack and you have a chance to pause and respond. Sulfuric vortex ability works exactly the same way as panoptic mirror.
Actually, you do nothing during untap, because nothing can be done during untap except untapping all permanents that aren't prevented from doing so. Upkeep is when you use the Mirror. Also, good players do almost all their stuff in second main. ;)



That brings me back to my poin then. sulfuric vortex CLEARLY states at the beginning of a players upkeep he loses two life.

If a player can't do anything until his upkeep begins then clearly he should be dead as his upkeep began and the effect of the card should apply.



Sulfuric Vortex has a triggered ability.  Like the card says, at the beginning of his upkeep, its ability triggered.  It went on the stack.  When it resolves, it will deal 2 damage to the player.

However, since it went on the stack, it can be responded to.  His response ended the game, so the triggered ability of Sulfuric Vortex never resolved.

Working as intended.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
untap (when i put time warp in panoptic mirror)
upkeep----what exactly is this phase for?
main phase -- where I do stuff...
combat
second main.




Maybe the purpose of Upkeep step is to restrict sorcery-level spells to be done only in Main phase or gives justification why instant-level spells are more valuable. The End step can be also considered as the 2nd upkeep step. Just my opinion though
Yep, and it also designates certain resources get used or effects get resolved before the main phases.  This was particularly useful during the old Ice Age (and later) cumulative upkeep effects.
The important thing here is that the words on Magic cards do not always literally mean what they say in English. A lot of them have rules meanings. This is the case for the wordings used for triggered abilities.

If you have an ability that reads, "Whenever/When [condition] [effect]" or "At the beginning of [part of a turn] [effect]" then this actually means it is a triggered ability. It means once the condition or the part of the turn is met, the ability triggers. It doesn't do anything at this point, it just floats around waiting for the chance to go on the stack. This is usually pretty soon afterwards; just before anyone would get to act (priority), it's then put on the stack. It still doesn't actually do anything yet. Now all players get the chance to respond to the ability with abilities/instants, which will end up resolving first because of last in/first out. Only once all this happened and you finally get to resolving the triggered ability does it actually do its thing. Look out for those key words, "Whenever/when/at..." and you know you have a triggered ability. 

All of this is not obvious unless you are familiar with "Magic-ese", a sort of special language which gives words and phrases these special meanings. A lot of this is covered in the basic rulebook, but for some things you have to read the comprehensive rules (or get advice from someone who knows it well). Check out the rules page. You just have to accept that in Magic you cannot literally translate everything you read, it must go through this filter first.

The point of the upkeep is to give you a place to pay "upkeep costs", the extra costs you have to pay to keep certain powerful things on the battlefield. But it also gives you the chance to use instants/abilities before the active player has even drawn his card, and way before he gets on to casting creatures etc. Duels does not regularly allow you to do this though, unlike full Magic, probably to speed the game up.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
Yeah magic is a very complex game with a rulebook size of the Mount Rushmoor. It's so funny to argue with those who's first touch to magic is the dotp series. Example: in one game this guy had a Worship out and I killed him with the Exsanguinate. After that we had an fifteen minute argument should he had died from that Exsanguinate.
Hehe yeah, oh dear. It's not really much of an argument, it's just a fact (that life loss is not damage), but some people won't accept facts even if you give them direct rules quotes.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
The important thing here is that the words on Magic cards do not always literally mean what they say in English. A lot of them have rules meanings. This is the case for the wordings used for triggered abilities.




Thanks, that helps and the rest of your post. I was just going by the logical meaning of the cards in the english language.

I was thinking something along the lines of

If p then q and since p  clearly occured q must follow.

If you upkeep (p) you lose two life (q).

P occurs therefore Q.

But I guess a lot of these words have specialized and nuanced meanings it seems.
Anytime Yeah, reading a Magic card is more like reading a legal document.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
Anytime Yeah, reading a Magic card is more like reading a legal document.



haha yea like this card xDD 
Actually, you do nothing during untap, because nothing can be done during untap except untapping all permanents that aren't prevented from doing so. Upkeep is when you use the Mirror. Also, good players do almost all their stuff in second main. ;)



That brings me back to my poin then. sulfuric vortex CLEARLY states at the beginning of a players upkeep he loses two life.

If a player can't do anything until his upkeep begins then clearly he should be dead as his upkeep began and the effect of the card should apply.



I think the point you're missing is that whenever a card says "X happens when Y happens" X doesn't actually happen.  The effect of X goes on the stack and if someone can cast an instant, they can respond to X with the instant which goes on top of the stack.  Which means it will resolve before X. 

Think of it like this.  Since he played his instant at the beginning of his upkeep, his card also read "At the beginning of your upkeep"  And since he played his last, his card resolved first.


Think of it like this.  Since he played his instant at the beginning of his upkeep, his card also read "At the beginning of your upkeep"  And since he played his last, his card resolved first.



I understand it now the way Rob explained it. The way you explain it is still logically bankrupt.

He played a card at the beginning of his upkeep. Since his upkeep began, he is dead via the sulfuric vortex.

The point is the card does not mean what it says in the english language because it generates a logical inconsistenty. The card makes a VERY clear proposition. At the beginning of his upkeep he loses two life. Logically, if he can't play a card until his upkeep begins, which everyone agrees to, he cannot survive.  I understand you want to defend the game but Rob simply explained it best:

"The important thing here is that the words on Magic cards do not always literally mean what they say in English. A lot of them have rules meanings. This is the case for the wordings used for triggered abilities."

The card doesn't mean what it says. It means something different because the game of magic defines rules differently.

What the card really means is "When the opponent takes his turn the sulfuric vortex is the first card on the stack". Its language is CLEARLY broken because using actual english definitions and principals of logic, we end up with a logical problem like the Grandfather paradox.

I just need to learn the rules.
Did you not read my first paragraph are you just dead set on arguing about how you don't understand how Magic works?
Did you not read my first paragraph are you just dead set on arguing about how you don't understand how Magic works?



Yes, your first paragraph reiterated what Rob said but your last part (the thought analogy, parable/aphorism or whatever you want to call it) just falls back into the grandfather paradox. The "think of it like this" you touted doesn't work because it leads to logical inconsistency and paradox.

Do you not see the problem here:

Card 1 in Play: at the beginning of X's upkeep X loses 2 life.

X "played his instant at the beginning of his upkeep, his card also read "At the beginning of your upkeep"  And since he played his last, his card resolved first."

The card doesn't mean what it says. Plain and simple. Otherwise X is dead since he can't play a card until his upkeep begins.

I understand the stacks rule now and I got the nuanced/specialized/rule meaning/broken (however you want to describe it) down. So I am good to go.


What you need to realise is, that apart from mana, tap and sacrifice abilities that really do happen instantly and can't be interrupted, anything else goes on the stack.

When you cast a spell, the stack is easily understandable, but when the ability comes from a permanent, it is harder to visualise, even though it's essentially the same, due to there being no card floating in the middle of the screen.

Basically, imagine the Vortex is casting an invisible card that states "you lose two life" and is casting it at the start of your upkeep, and then it becomes a lot simpler to get. All the wording does is state that the card will be casting a spell that does the life loss, and at what point the spell will be cast. It can still be interrupted like anything else.



I got it now.  The stacks thing is easy to understand. You need to know the specialized rules and terminology otherwise you will be confused by the card not doing "what its supposed" to under a literal translation. You need to use magic rules and definitions.


Killab, if you go buy yourself a starter deck from any set it will have a rulebook with the phases of each turn.  It might help you understand the untap/upkeep distinction.  Plus, you get cards.  Shiny.

Of course, Duels doesn't do the best job of supplying this information, so your ignorance is not really to blame.



For the record, I did go out and waste $100 on cards. I have like 4 of those foldout poster/rulebooks I am not going to bother reading.

I also have about 500 mana cards. Want some? I'll snail mail them to you.
I have like 4 of those foldout poster/rulebooks I am not going to bother reading.

Oh boy, the best kind of ignorance is willing, self inflicted ignorance. But no, keep making threads about things you don't understand, blaming others, and arguing with people who clearly know what they're talking about. Stay classy.
Close your eyes. Fly away. In the land where dreams, all are true. IMAGE(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/distilledpoizn/StupidJefferson.jpg)
I have like 4 of those foldout poster/rulebooks I am not going to bother reading.

Oh boy, the best kind of ignorance is willing, self inflicted ignorance. But no, keep making threads about things you don't understand, blaming others, and arguing with people who clearly know what they're talking about. Stay classy.



You are like my personal pet troll following me around the forums. Its cute and psychotic at the same time.

Stay thirsty my friend
Way to avoid the point.
Close your eyes. Fly away. In the land where dreams, all are true. IMAGE(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/distilledpoizn/StupidJefferson.jpg)
Way to avoid the point.



That is the point.

I'm putting a counter on you each time you respond to me in here. Let's see how many +1/1s I get.... :p


Uhm...Killa, you really need to stop asking for help and then biting every hand that feeds you. DP is a smart bloke. I already gave up on helping you directly because you kept biting me. DP's gone to just flat-out mocking you, and Stevo, one of the nicest guys on the board, is only putting in about half as much effort into helping you as he does others.

You're running out of people willing to put up with you. Quit being a douchebag. 

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

The logical failure here is assuming that you can interpret card text outside the context of the MTG rules.  If that were the case, there would be no need for the huge 100 page (or however big it is) rulebook.

You are correct that the card text itself doesn't fully describe the situation, but you need rules knowledge to play any other card in the game, so why would you be so stuck on interpreting this one literally? 
Uhm...Killa, you really need to stop asking for help and then biting every hand that feeds you. DP is a smart bloke. I already gave up on helping you directly because you kept biting me. DP's gone to just flat-out mocking you, and Stevo, one of the nicest guys on the board, is only putting in about half as much effort into helping you as he does others.

You're running out of people willing to put up with you. Quit being a douchebag. 



Hey, thanks man!

Yeah, I do agree with this though. GoA and DP are extremely helpful, rational and good natured posters in my experience. Some of the best on the board, yet Killa - you've managed to alienate both. I find myself shying away from posting in your topics as much as I would otherwise I don't want to feel like I'm supporting some of your behaviour.

At the end of the day, you're a new player. We get that, nobody judges you for that. But at the same time, you can't make topics asking for advice then railing on people who give it to you, and attacking the rules while admitting you never bother to read the rules inserts provided, which just makes people think you're wasting their time helping you when you're just being lazy.

Take a breath and try to just be a bit more humble. The majority of people here are happy to help and know a lot more than you do. Being as ass towards them just makes people attack you at worst, ignore you at best. Believe it or not, they have your best interests at heart and are not actively trying to condescend you - it's just you largely have the knowledge of a new player (but admittedly are learning fast) but put on the swagger of a veteran, and that's going to annoy some people when you make statements with authority you simply can't back up.
But yeah, if you keep getting in people's faces for no reason, then i'm going to end up ignoring you too.



You've been nice and extremely hepful. DP has been a useless and lousy troll since I got here. I could care less about him or anything he says because its always vitriol, or a fatuous and puerile response. GoA has also been very helpful after a rocky start. DP is trolling trash as far a I am concerned. A complete waste of bandwidth. I could care less if you or anyone agrees with this sentiment. It is what it is and I honestly don't care. I find trolls amusing and feel bad for them. Their life must suck if they feel the need to harass people on an online forum.

Secondly, all that nonsense about reading the rules is rubbish. If text doesn't mean what it plainly states, I take no responsibility for that. I have degrees in math, physics, earth science and education. I excelled in writing, english and language arts in college, and graduated magma **** luade. Its not my fault the text of these cards leads to logical contradiction and the majorithy of the magic communituy is too inept to realize that.

Besides, DP has offered NOTHING helpful in this thread. Feel free to DEMONSTRATE otherwise. Your anecdotal sentiments mean nothing when a guy has followed me around and trolled me in about 6+ threads.
I'm also extremely drunk right now so
I'd like to believe a man with four degrees who graduated magna **** laude could understand the concept of the stack and that other things can happen at "beginning of upkeep" as well, not just his own enchantment's effect. That, of course the rules of the game are going to supercede his literal interpretation of the English language. A man could simply take the time to learn the rules instead of raging about it on a message board.

But it appears a man couldn't care less about reading the rules. His word is law.
I'd like to believe a man with four degrees who graduated magna **** laude could understand the concept of the stack and that other things can happen at "beginning of upkeep" as well, not just his own enchantment's effect. That, of course the rules of the game are going to supercede his literal interpretation of the English language. A man could simply take the time to learn the rules instead of raging about it on a message board.

But it appears a man couldn't care less about reading the rules. His word is law.



I understand the rules fine now. Magic rules = Logic be damned.

ALso you write nonsense:

"and that other things can happen at "beginning of upkeep" as well, not just his own enchantment's effect."

Um, if a player cannot cast anything until his upkeep begins, then logically, he is dead according to the card. Sorry you are incapable of grapsing such a simple logical contradiction.

But we already clarified the card DOES NOT MEAN WHAT IT SAYS. 

You want me to apologize for that?

"Well officer, the speed limit was 45 on the sign. I didn't know that only applied on Sundays when it was cloudy and the temperature was beteen 64 and 82 degrees F. Its totally my fault I was going faster than 35, which is the real speed limit even though the sign says 45."

Okay buddy. Get over yourself.



TL;DR
I don't comprehend the rules properly and that fills me with angst so I willfully antagonize the people trying to help me. Also I'm make the excuse that I'm drunk to have liscense to act like an ass.