Can I gain control of my own creature

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Can I cast a spell like Act of Treason and target a creature I already control?

If so, is there a specific rule that says so? I couldn't find one but I did find rule 712.9 that says a player can gain control of himself, which leads me to believe I can "gain control" of a creature I already control

Thanks in advance for any clarification.  
The only limit on the choice of target is that it must be a "creature", so yes you can. If it said "target creature you don't control", then you couldn't.

It will untap the creature if it's tapped, and it will suppress the symptoms of summoning sickness until end of turn if applicable.
If an effect tries to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible. In the case of Act of Treason, you target any creature, even if you control it. You will not gain control of it (although you will have an extra control effect on it), but everything else the spell does will happen as stated above.

If they ever print a card with a "whenever you gain control of a creature" trigger, it might matter that you already control it.

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If an effect tries to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible. In the case of Act of Treason, you target any creature, even if you control it. You will not gain control of it (although you will have an extra control effect on it), but everything else the spell does will happen as stated above.

If they ever print a card with a "whenever you gain control of a creature" trigger, it might matter that you already control it.



That's a perfect resolution to my delima. Thanks. Now, before I go muddling through the rules for proof, does anyone know where the rules say if some effects of a card are impossible others are still valid? I have a friend who I know will dispute that. 

If an effect tries to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible. In the case of Act of Treason, you target any creature, even if you control it. You will not gain control of it (although you will have an extra control effect on it), but everything else the spell does will happen as stated above.

If they ever print a card with a "whenever you gain control of a creature" trigger, it might matter that you already control it.



That's a perfect resolution to my delima. Thanks. Now, before I go muddling through the rules for proof, does anyone know where the rules say if some effects of a card are impossible others are still valid? I have a friend who I know will dispute that. 





609.3. If an effect attempts to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible.
 

If an effect tries to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible.


609.3. If an effect attempts to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible.


One-word away from verbatim

Rules Advisor

Please autocard: [c]Shard Phoenix[/c] = Shard Phoenix.

If an effect tries to do something impossible

I specifically did not mention that rule because it doesn't apply. There's nothing impossible here. You do gain control of it, which is to say it does create a continuous affects that gives you control. This does matter (e.g. if something else giving control expires first).

Yes but within the game it makes no difference, since if you controlled it before, that effect won't matter for any kind of timestamp and might as well not be there at all.

Rules Advisor

Please autocard: [c]Shard Phoenix[/c] = Shard Phoenix.

Just for a bit of extra completeness, I'm going to highlight that the reason you can target a creature you control with Act of Treason is because its target is specifically "target creature. Compare with Act of Aggression: "target creature an opponent controls".
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Whether or not it is impossible to gain control of something you already control seems to depend on the definition of "gain control."  More specifically, we need to know if a change in control is necessary for the action to be considered "gaining" control.  Unfortunately, I can't find anywhere in the CR that defines gaining control (if someone else can, please post!Smile).  The closest hints at the topic are the following two rules, which appear to offer contradictory answers to this issue:

701.8b When control of two permanents is exchanged, if those permanents are controlled by
different players, each of those players simultaneously gains control of the permanent that was
controlled by the other player. If, on the other hand, those permanents are controlled by the
same player, the exchange effect does nothing.

712.9. A player may gain control of himself or herself. That player will make his or her own decisions
and choices as normal.


Of course, we could fall back on rule 701.1, since gain control is not defined as a keyword.

701.1. Most actions described in a card’s rules text use the standard English definitions of the verbs
within, but some specialized verbs are used whose meanings may not be clear. These “keywords”
are game terms; sometimes reminder text summarizes their meanings.

In this case, the word "gain" means "to come into possession of" (www.thefreedictionary.com/gain), which would mean you were not in possession of the thing before the action occurred.
The change-of-control effect certainly can make a difference: if you gain control of a creature via Mind Control and then Act of Treason it, you'll still control it until end of turn even if the Mind Control is destroyed.

A distinction has to be drawn between actions that are actually impossible and actions which are possible but have no visible effect on the game state. One-shot actions like tapping a tapped permanent, destroying an indestructible permanent, discarding a card from an empty hand, etc. fall into the former category, while continuous effects generally fall into the latter. "Gain control of target creature until end of turn" really means "Create a continuous effect giving you control of target creature, with until-end-of-turn duration", and that's possible regardless of who controls the target.
Look again at what Shard_Fenix was trying to say:
...In the case of Act of Treason, you target any creature, even if you control it. You will not gain control of it (...) If they ever print a card with a "whenever you gain control of a creature" trigger, it might matter that you already control it.

I believe Shard_Fenix was implying that nothing actually happens to the creature, since you already control it; specifically, its control does not get a new timestamp since it did not become under your control. (as opposed to a creature becoming untapped, for example, which requires that it first be tapped)

But that would be extrapolating the rules: the rules do not say that. In fact, one rule actually says the opposite:

613.6b A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability receives a timestamp at the time it’s created.

Act of Treason's control effect does indeed get a timestamp as the spell resolves... but the creature does not!

613.6c An object’s timestamp is the time it entered the zone it’s currently in...

Perhaps Fenix was lured into an unwarranted conclusion by some of those rules:

613.6d If an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification becomes attached to an object or player, the Aura, Equipment, or Fortification receives a new timestamp at that time.

701.3b (...) If an effect tries to attach an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification to the object it’s already attached to, the effect does nothing...

Rule 701.3b would indeed nullify any effect of Magnetic Theft if it resolved onto an equipment already attached to target creature, so rule 613.6d would not apply. However, this conclusion cannot be tranfered to Act of Treason, rulewise, even if it would seem logic. It's not logic, it's Magic!

So, it appears the hypothetical card imagined by Shard_Fenix would indeed trigger. 

If I steal a hundred dollar from a loot of one thousand, people might notice;

If I steal a hundred dollar from a loot of one million, I might get away with it;

If I wish to steal even more and still go unnoticed, I need to make the loot bigger.

 

Now you know why taxes always go up.

 

Looting: ''the plundering of public assets by corrupt or greedy authorities'' (Wikipedia)

It seems to me, that if this rule exists...

 712.9. A player may gain control of himself or herself. That player will make his or her own decisions

and choices as normal.

 
Then the Comprehensive Rules should include "A player may (not) gain control of a creature he or she already controls."

Is there a way to petition to have this officially addressed? 

since nothing in the game cares about you gaining control of a creature you control, does it matter?
proud member of the 2011 community team
since nothing in the game cares about you gaining control of a creature you control, does it matter?


What in the game cares about a player gaining control of himself?  Why do we need a special rule that allows me to Mindslaver myself?  I am a legal target player.  If I couldn't target myself it would say "another target player", so why 712.9?

There are lots of rules that exist simply for clarity.  You shouldn't dismiss the suggestion of a new one just because it's not strictly needed.
 
to counteract an enemy Mindslaver
proud member of the 2011 community team
to counteract an enemy Mindslaver


The same argument could be made for dueling Act of Treasons.
no

you have to wait until Act of Treason/Mindslaver resolves before using your own
with AoT the creature is now no longer controlled by you, with Mindslaver you are still yourself ;)
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Gaining control of a permanent and controlling a player are two completely different concepts. The only similarity is the word "control". You can't draw any conclusion about one from the rules about the other, and it doesn't make sense to discuss the two together.

Controlling a player is something very unique, so there's a whole rule section devoted to that topic. 712.9 is effectively a reminder rule; that behavior already logically follows from the application of 712.1a. However, the situation of having a player who currently is still in control but who will lose control of themself to an opponent next turn and who wants to counteract this via their own Mindslaver is interesting enough that this reminder rule could be worth having.

There's really no need to add a similar reminder rule for gaining control of a permanent. Once you understand that gaining control of a permanent is a continuous effect and once you understand how the layer system works, you can already get the right conclusions.
There's really no need to add a similar reminder rule for gaining control of a permanent. Once you understand that gaining control of a permanent is a continuous effect and once you understand how the layer system works, you can already get the right conclusions.




There are multitudes of rules that are a bit redundant.


ex:
402.1. The hand is where a player holds cards that have been drawn. Cards can be put into a player’s
hand by other effects as well. At the beginning of the game, each player draws a hand of seven
cards. (See rule 103, “Starting the Game.&rdquo


I think the rules are intended to be referenced for specific rulings, not read from cover to cover in order. If I have a question about the "hand", I should be able to go to section 402.1 and learn what I need to know or have a brief synopsis of what's explained in greater detail somewhere else as well as the rule number.


If I have a question about changing control, I should be able to refer to a section that speaks about control (maybe section 110 which defines a permanents control) and find the answer.

Can I cast a spell like Act of Treason and target a creature I already control?

yes
If so, is there a specific rule that says so?

yes, rule 114 and rule 601
I couldn't find one but I did find rule 712.9 that says a player can gain control of himself, which leads me to believe I can "gain control" of a creature I already control

that's irrelevant
you can cast Act of Treason at your own creature because it is a legal target for the spell

the rules don't care whether the effect of the spell will do anything or not

it's legal to cast Cancel at Supreme Verdict, the fact that it won't do anything to it doesn't make it an invalid play
likewise it's legal to cast Murder at Stuffy Doll, again Murder won't do anything, but it was legally cast (maybe he's at two life and wants to gain a life from his Demon's Horn)

same deal here, AoT does 3 things:
1) it untaps the target creature if the creature is tapped (you can cast it at an untapped creature if you like, it'll just fail to untap it)
2) it puts a continuous effect on the creature giving control of the target to the controller of AoT, that effect has a duration until end of turn (normally, one would use AoT on a creature that an opponent controls to make a control change, but there's no requirement that the creature change control to another player)
3) it puts a continuous effect on the creature giving it the ability haste, that effect has a duration until end of turn (it'll put a redundant copy of haste on a creature that already has haste)

the only action that could actually be impossible, would be the instruction to untap the target creature if the creature had a status of untapped

the continuous effects are added regardless (though there may be no visible change)

if your opponent thinks that you can't cast AoT at your own creature because you can't gain control of it, does he likewise think that you can't cast it at his untapped creature because it can't untap it?

if he thinks "yes" to both, then he doesn't know the rules
if he thinks "yes" to the former and "no" to the latter, then he's got severe cognitive problems.
if he thinks "no" to both, we don't have a problem because he agrees with the rules.

If I have a question about changing control, I should be able to refer to a section that speaks about control (maybe section 110 which defines a permanents control) and find the answer.

except that your question isn't about changing control, it's about legally casting a spell and the rules answer that question
I'll quote you again
Can I cast a spell like Act of Treason and target a creature I already control?

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If I have a question about changing control, I should be able to refer to a section that speaks about control (maybe section 110 which defines a permanents control) and find the answer.

except that your question isn't about changing control, it's about legally casting a spell and the rules answer that question
I'll quote you again
Can I cast a spell like Act of Treason and target a creature I already control?




The question of whether or not one can gain control of a creature he already controls did come up and was under debate. Then the question of whether it needs to be written was disputed. My last post was about the need to repeat not whether or not I can target my creature. 

The rules of the game also say that it's legal to target yourself when targeting a player but the rule writer deemed it necessary to write in a rule specifically saying you can take control of yourself. Likely, because the question came up during a game and someone decided clarification is necessary. That rule doesn't need to be written as you are already a legal target for "target player" but redundant rules make for easier references.
As to that question, the rules are not clear on that question. (most likely because it simply isn't relevant to anything)

The continuous effect is most certainly applied, however, most things in the rules that care, look for changes of state. There is no change of state if you had control of the creature immediately before and after the event that placed the continuous effect.

So I would answer no, you can not gain control of a creature that you already control, however, the control change effect is applied regardless.

And as I answered earlier, this has no relevance to the question that you initially asked.

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712.9. A player may gain control of himself or herself. That player will make his or her own decisions
and choices as normal.

@cmontyrun: You seem to be under the misconception that rule 712.9 is indicating that you are allowed to target yourself with something like Mindslaver. While that is certainly true, it's not what 712.9 is saying. That rule is there to remind us of how control effects work.

Any effect that says "target player" with no qualifiers like that can be used to target yourself, no matter how little sense the effect might have. For example, you can look at your own hand with Gitaxian Probe if you like.

712.9 is reminding us that control effects on players are applied in a the same way as control effects on permanents (even though there is a vast difference in the actual mechanics of the effect, how it's applied is the same). This really has nothing to do with activating a Mindslaver. It's all about how to resolve the effect.

So back to Act of Treason. Can you target your own creature? Sure. You already control it, so that part of the effect may be wasted -- but it's probably relevant that you untap it and give it haste. There are plenty of things that you can do in Magic that "don't make sense," but can nonetheless be applied in a meaningful way. Some tangentially related examples:

One can cast Counterspell targeting Supreme Verdict. Supreme Verdict will still resolve, because it can't be countered. One can also cast Essence Backlash targeting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Despite the fact that the spell cannot be countered,  it's still a rather effective turnaround.

As I mentioned before, you can cast Gitaxian Probe on yourself. You're already looking at your hand, so that part seems like a useless effect. You'll still draw a card, though.

You can cast Feast of Blood on an indestructible creature if you really need the 4 life.
since nothing in the game cares about you gaining control of a creature you control, does it matter?


Sort of. IIRC there's an entire deck based on that combo (At least in casual, don't follow srsbsns).
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And as I answered earlier, this has no relevance to the question that you initially asked.



The name of the thread is " Can I gain control of my own creature" Granted, that's open to interpretation and my following question was misguided (focusing on targeting rather than effect) but the question was posed and others did address it already.

 

@cmontyrun: You seem to be under the misconception that rule 712.9 is indicating that you are allowed to target yourself with something like Mindslaver. While that is certainly true, it's not what 712.9 is saying. That rule is there to remind us of how control effects work.



No. Please follow allong.  Others have argued that there's no need to say "a player may take control of a creature he or she already controls" because a knowledge of every rule shows that, because your creature is a legal target and the the way the system of layers/timestamps works, you can take control of your own creature. (though that's debated) If there's not need for that rule, then there's also no need for 712.9 for thesame reason. 

My point was that, if the rule makers say that a clarification is necessary in that instance, it makes sence for a clarification in a virtually identical situation.

So, does it matter if the rules explicitally say "a player may take control of a creature he or she already controls"? Yes for the same reason it's necessary to have 712.9. 

 
The continuous effect is most certainly applied, however, most things in the rules that care, look for changes of state. There is no change of state if you had control of the creature immediately before and after the event that placed the continuous effect.

So I would answer no, you can not gain control of a creature that you already control, however, the control change effect is applied regardless.



That's sound logic but that contradicts the logic used in 712.9. If a player can "gain control" of himself, than he should be able to "gain control" of his own creature. 

Truthfully, I'm not advocating for either side on that debate. I just think it should be addressed spaecifically as many minor instances are addressed specifically.  
That's really a bizarre line of argument: "there's a rule that isn't necessary, therefore any other potential rule that isn't necessary should also be included".

Also, you're still comparing the Mindslaver effect to those that change control of permanents. The two are completely different. It's like saying that because something is said about drawing a card, the same should be said about drawing the game.

The most that would be reasonable to add is some reminder subrule of 611 saying that, if something tries to generate a continuous effect that has no visible effect on the game state, the effect is still generated.
I'm just telling you my opinion based on an extrapolation of the rules as a whole.

The rules don't specifically say one way or the other.
We know the effect is applied and does its thing regardless, even if there is no appreciable effect.

As mentioned earlier, Bazaar Trader can be used to perma-steal a creature stolen temporarily by the aforementioned Act of Treason.

We know 100% for sure that the effect is applied, but it has no visible effect until the turn ends when the control change effect of Act of Treason ends and then we discover that the creature stays where it is because the Bazaar Trader effect is still in place.

Now it also comes down to what one means by gaining control
Is it referring to the act of placing the continuous effect?
Or does it refer to a change of state?

If you mean the former, then yes you gained control of the creature that you already controlled - again. 
However, if you mean the latter, no there was no state change.

Triggers look for state changes, like Fallowsage when it becomes tapped.
It has to start in a untapped state and end in a tapped state for the ability to trigger.
If you put a Fallowsage on the field tapped, say because of an opponent's Kismet, it will not trigger because it didn't transition from one state to the other between gamestates on either side of the event of entering the field.

Likewise, if you activate the equip ability targeting the same creature that the equipment is already attached to the timestamp is not updated and it didn't become equipped anew.

Logically, we can extrapolate from these other rules/interactions/guidelines and speculate that there was no change of control rather that there was just an application of an effect that had no visible effect on the board at the time that it was applied..

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That's really a bizarre line of argument: "there's a rule that isn't necessary, therefore any other potential rule that isn't necessary should also be included".



There are several redundant rules that follow that exact logic. Again, it seems as though the comprehensive rules were intended as a categorized reference tool as appose to a book intended to be read front to back. 


Also, you're still comparing the Mindslaver effect to those that change control of permanents. The two are completely different. It's like saying that because something is said about drawing a card, the same should be said about drawing the game.



In the game, I control my actions, my opponent can gain control of my actions and I can gain control of my own action.
In the game, I control my creatures,  my opponent can gain control of my actions and I can gain control of my own creatures. (arguably)
The parallel is there. Again, if 712.9 exists, by any logic, the exact same logic could be used to create a similar rule regarding control of permanents.

 
The most that would be reasonable to add is some reminder subrule of 611 saying that, if something tries to generate a continuous effect that has no visible effect on the game state, the effect is still generated.



That's exactly the kind of thing I suggested awhile ago.  
Referring to redundant "reminders"
 
 I should be able to go to section 402.1 and learn what I need to know or have a brief synopsis of what's explained in greater detail somewhere else as well as the rule number. (Emphasis  added)



In the game, I control my actions, my opponent can gain control of my actions and I can gain control of my own action.


What actions do you control?

Rules Advisor