helm of obedience + leyline of the void, does it stop?

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on the gatherer page of helm of obedience, there is the following ruling:
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If an effect like that of Leyline of the Void prevents cards from being put into your opponent's graveyard, the process described in the first sentence of Helm of Obedience's effect will never stop. Your opponent's entire library will be exiled, even if X is 1.

==

it says that the Helm of Obedience's effect "will never stop". does this mean that the game ends in a draw?
That's a suboptimal use of words. It will stop, when there are no more cards in the library.
can you tell me why it will stop? because from the sound of the ability:
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Target opponent puts cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard until a creature card or X cards are put into that graveyard this way, whichever comes first.
===
, it sounds like the ability will continue blindly trying over and over again to mill a card, even if there are no cards left to mill?
The effect ends when the library runs out of cards, because it becomes impossible to continue. In order to avoid this confusion, newer cards (such as Trepanation Blade) will reveal the cards, then move them.

It won't blindly try to mill -- the game realizes that milling is impossible on an empty library, and doesn't try.
can you tell me why it will stop?


If an effect tells you to do something impossible, you ignore the instruction. Since it's impossible to mill  the top card of the library any more, that instruction is ignored. Everything else in the helm's ability is tacked on to the milling instruction, so they're of no consequence if you're not doing any milling.
Bowshewicz, but there are many times when an effect "tries as much as it can".
for example, with shimian specter, if i hit an opponent with an empty hand, the "find a card" part of the effect fails, but the rest of the effect is allowed to continue (even though the effect that continues referenced the card you found). why should the way an ability works be different in this case?
As Cyphern says, it's all one instruction. You can't "continue to mill" if you can't mill at all. You can think of it as a built in fail-safe: The game tries to mill, but if milling is impossible, it aborts the process and goes to the next instruction.

Note that this means you won't have to sacrifice the Helm.
can you tell me why it will stop?


If an effect tells you to do something impossible, you ignore the instruction. Since it's impossible to mill  the top card of the library any more, that instruction is ignored. Everything else in the helm's ability is tacked on to the milling instruction, so they're of no consequence if you're not doing any milling.



i .. am having trouble understanding this.


the way i'm reading the following process:
===
Target opponent puts cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard until a creature card or X cards are put into that graveyard this way, whichever comes first.
===
is

1. target opponent mills the top of card of their library. (keep track of all cards milled using this instruction)
2. check the cards milled with instruction 1. if a creature card is in it, or if the number of cards milled in this way = X, you're done with this process. otherwise, go to 1.

instead of:

1. target opponent mills the top of card of their library. (keep track of all cards milled using this instruction). IF YOU WERE ABLE TO DO THIS, check the cards milled in this way; if a creature card was in it, or [....].


are you saying that the process i quoted is the second way, instead of the first? if so, do the rules help me understand why, or do i just "accept" it as an individual card based ruling? and also, why is shimian specter different?




EDIT:
cyphern, are you saing that the difference between Helm of Obedience and Shimian Specter, is that "continue this process" instructions quit if they fail to continue the thing they're trying to repeat? is this in the comp rules, or is it just the agreed-upon way of how Magic abilities work, or is it just some logic following common-sense English language that i am missing out here?

Think of it this way:

Helm of Obedience has two instructions.

1) Target opponent puts cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard until a creature card or X cards are put into that graveyard this way, whichever comes first.
2) If a creature card is put into that graveyard this way, sacrifice Helm of Obedience and put that card onto the battlefield under your control.

We'll ignore X can't be 0 for now, as it won't affect the argument.

The game starts out by doing (1). Eventually, the library runs out of cards, making that instruction impossible to perform. The "end condition" might not be met, but that's irrelevant -- the whole process is skipped and the game moves on to (2).
-------------------------

Shimian Specter has a triggered ability with four instructions.

Whenever Shimian Specter deals combat damage to a player,

1) that player reveals his or her hand.
2) You choose a nonland card from it.
3) Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and exile them.
4) Then that player shuffles his or her library.

When the ability triggers, first do (1). Even if the opponent has no cards in hand, this will work. Next, we do (2). If (2) is impossible, we skip it. (3) can work -- you'll get to search, but actually finding a card can't happen. Then, (4) happens. It is always possible to shuffle a library.
A good example of this type of interaction (in my opinion)

Is Goblin Charbelcher with no lands left in the library.  This doesn't cause the game to end, it just causes you to reveal cards until you run out of cards, and then continue resolving the ability.
MTG Rules Advisor
@Bowshewicz: ohhh, when you write it out explicitly like that, it makes sense exactly why the Helm's instruction would abort. especially clarifying for me is that instruction #2 is still carried out; i was thinking that the whole thing (including instruction #2) was aborted because it was "tacked onto" the milling in some way that i didn't understand. now i see that indeed instruction #2 isn't "tacked on" to the milling after all.


my next question is: should i have been able to figure this out just by reading the card?
i'm thinking that although my incorrect interpretation was reasonable, that it turns out just by separating the sentences as you did (ie the "more literal", and in a way "more simple" approach), that i get the actually correct interpretation.

(i might be going into RT&T territory right now, but i just wanted to verbalize my thoughts about card interpretation, in case it helps me understand other strange interactions in the future.)
I'd say that someone unfamiliar with the comprehensive rules would have no idea what to do in that case. However, I believe most casual players would feel comfortable with the conclusion that the effect just ends. So you might have overthought it a bit

For what it's worth, I did find it necessary to look up the Helm's oracle text and the relevant rule in the CR in order to figure out the actual answer.
oh, there are relevant rules about this in the Comp Rules? please share!
Sure. I'm referring to 101.3. It's one of the "Golden Rules."

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.)

@Below: My pleasure!
cool. thanks for your help, bowshewicz :-)
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