Noob multiplayer question re: rules of engagement

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Someone suggested I re-post this question here in the Q&A forum where more people could review and offer insight. Sorry for the redundancy... My friends and I are new to MTG. Boy, is this game addictive! We've been playing mostly 5-man multiplayer free for all. Regarding active (your turn) players vs non-active (not your turn) players, can non-active players target each other and, if so, when? Scenarios listed below:

Scenario 1: four players, A, B, C, D. During (active) player A's upkeep, I'm pretty sure (non-active) players B, C, and D can cast an instant or activate a card ability targeting themselves, their own permanents and-or player A/player A's permanents, but can player B target player C/player C's permanents, as well (despite it not being neither B's nor C's turn)?

Scenario 2: It's player A's main phase. She passes priority before entering her combat phase. Can players B, C, and D now cast spells like Vile Rebirth and, if so, whose graveyards/creatures are viable targets? Could any of these players cast a spell like Thunderous Wrath, targeting any of the other 3 opponents/opponents' creatures? 

Scenario 3: Player A attacks player B with her 5/5 creature with 'trample.' Player B blocks with her 2/2 creature. Can players C & D now add their own spells to the stack even though they aren't engaged in the combat, theoretically changing the tides of battle in B's favor? Could C and D target each other this way at this point in the combat phase? 

Thanks in advance for the clarification.
Scenario 1: four players, A, B, C, D. During (active) player A's upkeep, I'm pretty sure (non-active) players B, C, and D can cast an instant or activate a card ability targeting themselves, their own permanents and-or player A/player A's permanents, but can player B target player C/player C's permanents, as well (despite it not being neither B's nor C's turn)?

Yes. Any player can target any other player/player's permanents (unless you're playing with the uncommon "limited range of influence" variant, in which case you are limited by how far you are from the player in seats)

Scenario 2: It's player A's main phase. She passes priority before entering combat phase. Can player B now cast a spell like [Vile Rebirth] and, if so, whose graveyards/creatures are viable targets?

Yes, vile rebirth can be cast. Any creature card in any graveyard can be targetted.
[Thunderous Wrath] ?

Any creature or play can be targetted.
Scenario 3: Player A attacks player B with her 5/5 creature with 'trample.' Player B blocks with her 2/2 creature. Can players C & D now add their own spells to the stack even though they aren't engaged in the combat, theoretically changing the tides of battle in B's favor?

Yes.
Could C and D target each other this way at this point in the combat phase?

Yes.

generally in FFA all players can target and attack each other

also all players get priority in all steps (except Untap and generally Cleanup), so all your scenarios work just fine

if you want to you can play with the Limited Range of Influence Option

Rule 801.
801. Limited Range of Influence Option

801.1. Limited range of influence is an option that can be applied to most multiplayer games. It’s always used in the Emperor variant (see rule 809), and it’s often used for games involving five or more players.


801.2. A player’s range of influence is the maximum distance from that player, measured in player seats, that the player can affect. Players within that many seats of the player are within that player’s range of influence. Objects controlled by players within a player’s range of influence are also within that player’s range of influence. Range of influence covers spells, abilities, effects, damage dealing, attacking, making choices, and winning the game.


801.2a The most commonly chosen limited ranges of influence are 1 seat and 2 seats. Different players may have different ranges of influence.


Example: A range of influence of 1 means that only you and the players seated directly next to you are within your range of influence.


Example: A range of influence of 2 means that you and the two players to your left and the two players to your right are within your range of influence.


801.2b A player is always within his or her own range of influence.


801.2c The particular players within each player’s range of influence are determined as each turn begins.


Example: In a game with a range of influence of 1, Alex is seated to the left of Rob, and Carissa is seated to the right of Rob. Carissa is not in Alex’s range of influence. If Rob leaves the game, Carissa will enter Alex’s range of influence at the start of the next turn.


801.2d An object is within a player’s range of influence if it’s controlled by that player or by another player within that many seats of that player.


801.3. Creatures can attack only opponents within their controller’s range of influence or planeswalkers controlled by those opponents. If no opponents are within a player’s range of influence, creatures that player controls can’t attack.


801.4. Objects and players outside a player’s range of influence can’t be the targets of spells or abilities that player controls.


801.5. Some cards require players to make choices. These cards work differently when the limited range of influence option is used.


801.5a If a player is asked to choose an object or player, he or she must choose one within his or her range of influence.


Example: In a game with a range of influence of 1, Alex is seated to the left of Rob. Alex activates the ability of Cuombajj Witches, which reads, “Cuombajj Witches deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to target creature or player of an opponent’s choice,” targeting Rob and choosing Rob as the opponent who picks the other target. Rob must choose a target that’s in both his range of influence and in the range of influence of the controller of Cuombajj Witches. He must therefore choose himself, Alex, or a creature controlled by either himself or Alex.


801.5b If a player is asked to choose between one or more options (and not between one or more objects or players), he or she can choose between those options even if those options refer to objects or players outside the player’s range of influence.


Example: Alex, who has a range of influence of 2, is seated to the left of Rob, and Carissa, who has a range of influence of 1, is seated to the right of Rob. Alex casts a spell that reads, “An opponent chooses one — You draw 2 cards; or each creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn,” and chooses Carissa to make that choice. Carissa can choose the mode even though Alex is out of her range.


801.5c If an effect requires a choice and there’s no player who can make that choice within its controller’s range of influence, the closest appropriate player to its controller’s left makes that choice.


Example: In an Emperor game in which all players have range of influence 1, an emperor casts Fact or Fiction, which reads, “Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.” Since no opponent is within the emperor’s range of influence, the nearest opponent to the emperor’s left separates the cards into piles.


801.6. A player can’t activate the activated abilities of an object outside of his or her range of influence.


801.7. A triggered ability doesn’t trigger unless its trigger event happens entirely within the range of influence of its source’s controller.


Example: In a game in which all players have range of influence 1, Alex is seated to the left of Rob. Rob controls two Auras attached to Alex’s Runeclaw Bear: One with the trigger condition “Whenever enchanted creature becomes blocked,” and one with the trigger condition “Whenever enchanted creature becomes blocked by a creature.” Alex’s Runeclaw Bear attacks the player to Alex’s left and becomes blocked. The ability of Rob’s first Aura triggers because the entire event (Runeclaw Bear becomes blocked) happens within Rob’s range of influence. The ability of Rob’s second Aura doesn’t trigger, however, because that event includes the blocking creature, which is out of Rob’s range.


801.7a If a trigger event includes an object moving out of or into a player’s range of influence, use the game state before or after the event as appropriate to determine whether the triggered ability will trigger. See rule 603.6.


Example: Carissa and Alex are outside each other’s range of influence. Carissa controls a Runeclaw Bear owned by Alex and they each control an Extractor Demon, a creature which reads, in part, “Whenever another creature leaves the battlefield, you may have target player put the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.” The Runeclaw Bear is destroyed and is put into Alex’s graveyard. The ability of Alex’s Extractor Demon doesn’t trigger because the leaves-the-battlefield event was outside Alex’s range of influence. The ability of Carissa’s Extractor Demon does trigger, even though the creature is going to a graveyard outside her range, because the leaves-the-battlefield event was within her range.


801.8. An Aura can’t enchant an object or player outside its controller’s range of influence. If an Aura is attached to an illegal object or player, the Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard as a state-based action. See rule 704.


801.9. An Equipment can’t equip an object outside its controller’s range of influence, and a Fortification can’t fortify an object outside its controller’s range of influence. If an Equipment or Fortification is attached to an illegal permanent, it becomes unattached from that permanent but remains on the battlefield. This is a state-based action. See rule 704.


801.10. Spells and abilities can’t affect objects or players outside their controller’s range of influence. The parts of the effect that attempt to affect an out-of-range object or player will do nothing. The rest of the effect will work normally.


Example: In a six-player game in which each player has range of influence 1, Alex casts Pyroclasm, which reads, “Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.” Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature controlled by Alex, the player to Alex’s left, and the player to Alex’s right. No other creatures are dealt damage.


801.11. If a spell or ability requires information from the game, it gets only information from within its controller’s range of influence. It doesn’t see objects or events outside its controller’s range of influence.


Example: In a six-player game where each player has range of influence 1, Alex controls Coat of Arms, which reads, “Each creature gets +1/+1 for each other creature on the battlefield that shares at least one creature type with it.” Coat of Arms will boost Alex’s creatures based only on what creatures are controlled by Alex, the player to Alex’s left, and the player to Alex’s right. It won’t take other creatures into account.


Example: In the same game, Rob is sitting to the right of Alex. Coat of Arms will boost Rob’s creatures based on what creatures are controlled by players within Alex’s range of influence, including the player sitting to Alex’s left, who’s out of Rob’s range of influence.


801.12. The “legend rule” (see rule 704.5k) applies to a permanent only if other legendary permanents with the same name are within its controller’s range of influence.


Example: Alex has range of influence 1, and Carissa has range of influence 2. Rob sits between them. If Alex controls a legendary permanent and Carissa puts a legendary permanent with the same name onto the battlefield, only the one controlled by Carissa will be put into a graveyard.


801.13. The “world rule” (see rule 704.5m) applies to a permanent only if other world permanents are within its controller’s range of influence.


801.14. The “planeswalker uniqueness rule” (see rule 704.5j) applies to a planeswalker only if other planeswalkers with the same planeswalker type are within its controller’s range of influence.


801.15. Replacement and prevention effects watch for a particular event to happen and then completely or partially replace that event. The limited range of influence option can cause the modified event to contain instructions that can’t be carried out, in which case the player simply ignores the impossible instructions. See rule 614, “Replacement Effects,” and rule 615, “Prevention Effects.”


801.15a If a replacement effect tries to cause a spell or ability to affect an object or player outside its controller’s range of influence, that portion of the event does nothing.


Example: Alex casts Lava Axe (“Lava Axe deals 5 damage to target player”) targeting Rob. In response, Rob casts Captain’s Maneuver (“The next X damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn is dealt to another target creature or player instead”) with X equal to 3, targeting Carissa. Carissa isn’t in Alex’s range of influence. When Lava Axe resolves, it deals 2 damage to Rob and no damage to Carissa.


801.15b If a spell or ability creates an effect that prevents damage that would be dealt by a source, it can affect only sources within the spell or ability’s controller’s range of influence. If a spell or ability creates an effect that prevents damage that would be dealt to a permanent or player, it can affect only permanents and players within the spell or ability’s controller’s range of influence. If a spell or ability creates an effect that prevents damage, but neither the source nor the would-be recipient of the damage is specified, it prevents damage only if both the source and recipient of that damage are within the spell or ability’s controller’s range of influence.


Example: Rob is within Alex’s range of influence, but Carissa is not. Alex controls an enchantment that says, “Prevent all damage that would be dealt by creatures.” Carissa attacks Rob with a creature. The creature deals combat damage to Rob.


Example: Rob is within Alex’s range of influence, but Carissa is not. Carissa casts Lightning Blast (“Lightning Blast deals 4 damage to target creature or player”) targeting Rob. In response, Alex casts Mending Hands (“Prevent the next 4 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn”) targeting Rob. The damage to Rob is prevented.


Example: Rob is within Alex’s range of influence, but Carissa is not. Carissa attacks Rob with a creature, and Rob blocks with a creature. Alex casts Fog (“Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.”) Carissa and Rob’s creatures deal combat damage to each other.


801.16. If an effect states that a player wins the game, all of that player’s opponents within his or her range of influence lose the game instead.


801.17. If the effect of a spell or ability states that the game is a draw, the game is a draw for that spell or ability’s controller and all players within his or her range of influence. They leave the game. All remaining players continue to play the game.


801.18. If the game somehow enters a “loop” of mandatory actions, repeating a sequence of events with no way to stop, the game is a draw for each player who controls an object that’s involved in that loop, as well as for each player within the range of influence of any of those players. They leave the game. All remaining players continue to play the game.


801.19. Effects that restart the game (see rule 714) are exempt from the limited range of influence option. All players in the game will be involved in the new game.


801.20. In multiplayer Planechase games other than Grand Melee games, plane cards and phenomenon cards are exempt from the limited range of influence option. Their abilities, and the effects of those abilities, affect all applicable objects and players in the game. See rule 901, “Planechase.”

proud member of the 2011 community team


Really?

Wizards of the Coast: outsourced to Elbonia

Scenario 1: Any player can target any other player, regardless of who is the active player.

Scenario 2: Any creature card from any graveyard is a viable target for Vile Rebirth. Thunderous Wrath isn't a creature, but it would be a viable target for something like Cremate.

Scenario 3: Yes, players C & D are free to interfere with spells or even have their own squabbles during combat between A & B.

Also, please autocard: [c[mc][/mc]]Vile Rebirth[/c] => Vile Rebirth
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