LTB triggers

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
man, i had thought i understood how the game knows when things trigger, but clearly i either forgot about it, or never understood it to begin with.

Planar Void's oracle text says:
===
Whenever another card is put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile that card.
===

and it has a gatherer ruling that says:
===
It will not trigger on itself going to the graveyard, or on any other cards going to the graveyard at the same time. This means that neither itself nor other cards put into the graveyard at the same time as it will get exiled.
===


i don't understand why if i cast (say) Planar Cleansing, that Planar Void won't trigger for the other permanent cards that go to the graveyard, when (for example) a Deathgreeter that got destroyed by planar cleansing would trigger off the other creatures that also got destroyed.
Abilities that trigger when a card is put into a graveyard from anywhere trigger from the graveyard. Planar Void triggers after a card hits the graveyard. If that card is Planar Void, the ability doesn't exist at that time because Planar Void isn't on the battlefield, so it won't trigger for itself or anything that enters the graveyard at the same time.

Abilities that trigger when a card is put into a graveyard from the battlefield trigger from the battlefield. The game checks the state of the battlefield immediately before the permanent went to the graveyard to determine what should trigger. At that moment, Deathgreeter was on the battlefield, so it does trigger.
Rules Advisor
i can feel the Magic Rules part of my brain shift just a little bit more. man, you really have to be dilligent about the details, here!

it's so easy for me to miss the fact that though permanents leaving the battlefield will trigger Planar Void, that this doesn't mean that Planar Void has a leaves-the-battlefield trigger.

i imagine Rules people have to train their brains to see these little details, otherwise two different but similar things can be confused with each other!
If you're interested in why this distinction is made, it's so that if you control something like Death's Presence and your Primordial Hydra dies, the ability checks the power of the Hydra on the battlefield (probably greater than zero) instead of its power in the graveyard (zero).
Rules Advisor
actually, i didn't understand what you meant in your post by "triggering from the graveyard" and "triggering from the battlefield". (but your post did help alert me to Planar Void not being a look-back trigger, because it's not on the list of look-back triggers listed in one of the comp rules). but i'm wondering if i'm missing something, now, because i don't understand what you mean by "triggering from the graveyard" and "triggering from the battlefield".

i thought that Death's Presence sees Primordial Hydra's power as it was on the battlefield, because Death's Presence is asking about the characteristics of an object that no longer exists and so it uses Last Known Information; i thought Death's Presence can't "track" the Hydra card (ie and find it's power to be 0 because it's in the graveyard) because abilities can only "track" things like that if it matches some criteria that i can't remember [something about an ability explicitly indicating that it "tracks" an object as it changes zones].

but you're saying that Death's Presence sees the power of the Hydra as it was on the battlefield .. for a different reason? something to do with .. timing ? or "triggering from the battlefield" vs "triggering from the graveyard" or .. something?

can you clarify these ideas for me?
I thought that Death's Presence sees Primordial Hydra's power as it was on the battlefield, because Death's Presence is asking about the characteristics of an object that no longer exists and so it uses Last Known Information; i thought Death's Presence can't "track" the Hydra card (ie and find it's power to be 0 because it's in the graveyard) because abilities can only "track" things like that if it matches some criteria that i can't remember [something about an ability explicitly indicating that it "tracks" an object as it changes zones].

The thing is, one could think that since the ability of Death's Presence triggers when the Hydra is put in the graveyard, it looks at the Hydra's power in the graveyard. That wrong reasoning cannot be clearly refuted without rules to do so.

but you're saying that Death's Presence sees the power of the Hydra as it was on the battlefield .. for a different reason? something to do with .. timing ? or "triggering from the battlefield" vs "triggering from the graveyard" or .. something?

can you clarify these ideas for me?

The truth is that this oft-used-in-answers "triggers from the battlefield or from the graveyard" explanation isn't strictly correct and more of a mind shortcut. The rules do not use those terms. As you read in the comprehensive rules, where each of the defined categories of triggered abilities gets the information it needs to know wheter it should trigger and what it does is clearly stated. I encourage you to keep following them to the letter, you seem to have that kind of mind!
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
Deathgreeter has a leaves-the-battlefield ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield. It's this way to allow "when [this permanent] leaves the battelfield" to work.

Planar Void does not have a leaves-the-battlefield ability. It has an enter-the-graveyard ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. Like almost all abilities, its ability only works when he's on the battlefield, so it can't trigger for itself or another card that enters the graveyard at the same time it does.

Deathgreeter has a LTB ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield.

Planar Void does not have an LTB ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. As such, it's not on the battlefield to trigger for itself or other creatures that die at the same time it does.

Again, not strictly correct. If both Deathgreeter and Planar Void are on the battlefield, both trigger at the exact same time after the event of a creature going from the battlefield to the graveyard. They don't behave the same because the rules say they don't, and Planar Void will not exile cards that left the battlefield at the same time as itself because the rules say it doesn't, but it's not a question of timing.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
It's because most triggers trigger based on the game state following an event.

The exception is leaves the battlefield triggers which trigger on the game state prior to the event rather than after it.

So when Mulldrifter enters the field, the ability is there and sees the event happen immediately after it happens.

When Goblin Arsonist dies, the game looks prior to the event and sees the ability and triggers for the event.

Planar Void has an enters the graveyard trigger, not a leaves the battlefield trigger so it triggers based on the game state following the event and it's not on the field to trigger, so it doesn't.

It's for the same reason that a Clone copying a Goblin Arsonist will trigger the dies trigger,
but one copying an Emrakul or Dread won't trigger the shuffle into library trigger.

DCI Certified Judge & Goth/Industrial/EBM/Indie/Alternative/80's-Wave DJ
DJ Vortex

DCI Certified Judge since July 13, 2013  - If you have any concerns with my conduct as a judge, feel free to submit feedback here.
DCI #5209514320


My Wife's Makeup Artist Page <-- cool stuff - check it out

Deathgreeter has a LTB ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield.

Planar Void does not have an LTB ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. As such, it's not on the battlefield to trigger for itself or other creatures that die at the same time it does.

Again, not strictly correct. If both Deathgreeter and Planar Void are on the battlefield, both trigger at the exact same time after the event of a creature going from the battlefield to the graveyard. They don't behave the same because the rules say they don't, and Planar Void will not exile cards that left the battlefield at the same time as itself because the rules say it doesn't, but it's not a question of timing.

It's actually strictly correct. For LTB abilites, the game actually looks back in time to when the object was on the battlefield to see if it triggered. CR 603.6d.
Deathgreeter has a LTB ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield.

Planar Void does not have an LTB ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. As such, it's not on the battlefield to trigger for itself or other creatures that die at the same time it does.

Again, not strictly correct. If both Deathgreeter and Planar Void are on the battlefield, both trigger at the exact same time after the event of a creature going from the battlefield to the graveyard. They don't behave the same because the rules say they don't, and Planar Void will not exile cards that left the battlefield at the same time as itself because the rules say it doesn't, but it's not a question of timing.

It's actually strictly correct. For LTB abilites, the game actually looks back in time to when the object was on the battlefield to see if it triggered. CR 603.6d.




what does "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" mean?
does it mean
- the time that the triggered ability is put onto the stack
or does it mean something more like
- when the triggered ability goes "whoa, i'm triggered, and now i have to wait around until just after state based actions are checked, so i can be put on the stack!", and is said to be triggered in relationship to an event happening (ie "Deathgreeter triggered just before the event of Planar Cleansing putting all nonland permanents on the battlefield into the graveyard")?

also, can not understanding this strict semantics cause confusion; ie, is it important to know what "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" strictly means?
Deathgreeter has a LTB ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield.

Planar Void does not have an LTB ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. As such, it's not on the battlefield to trigger for itself or other creatures that die at the same time it does.

Again, not strictly correct. If both Deathgreeter and Planar Void are on the battlefield, both trigger at the exact same time after the event of a creature going from the battlefield to the graveyard. They don't behave the same because the rules say they don't, and Planar Void will not exile cards that left the battlefield at the same time as itself because the rules say it doesn't, but it's not a question of timing.

It's actually strictly correct. For LTB abilites, the game actually looks back in time to when the object was on the battlefield to see if it triggered. CR 603.6d.

Look, I know I'm in nitpicking territory, hence the use of "strictly". But still : even if one category of trigger looks at an earlier game state than the other category to see if it should trigger, neither triggers earlier. Deathgreeter's ability cannot trigger before the event of the creature dying, it doesn't make sense. The event has to happen for it to trigger.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
what does "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" mean?

"Leaves the battlefield" is not actually a point in time. No object is ever in anything but one zone, so it's on the battlefield at one point in time (a), and it's not the next (b). When did it actually leave the battlefield? According to the rules, (a).

Similarly, "enters the graveyard" is not a point in time. No object is ever in anything but one zone, so it's not in the graveyard at one point in time (a), and it is the next (b). When did it actually enter the graveyard? According to the rules, (b).

Don't mistake my use of clearer wording for a error.

Deathgreeter has a LTB ability. LTB abilities are special. They actually trigger before the permanent leaves the battelfield.

Planar Void does not have an LTB ability. Its ability triggers after the card is put into the graveyard. As such, it's not on the battlefield to trigger for itself or other creatures that die at the same time it does.

Again, not strictly correct. If both Deathgreeter and Planar Void are on the battlefield, both trigger at the exact same time after the event of a creature going from the battlefield to the graveyard. They don't behave the same because the rules say they don't, and Planar Void will not exile cards that left the battlefield at the same time as itself because the rules say it doesn't, but it's not a question of timing.

It's actually strictly correct. For LTB abilites, the game actually looks back in time to when the object was on the battlefield to see if it triggered. CR 603.6d.




what does "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" mean?
does it mean
- the time that the triggered ability is put onto the stack
or does it mean something more like
- when the triggered ability goes "whoa, i'm triggered, and now i have to wait around until just after state based actions are checked, so i can be put on the stack!", and is said to be triggered in relationship to an event happening

The latter.
(ie "Deathgreeter triggered just before the event of Planar Cleansing putting all nonland permanents on the battlefield")?

No, it triggered from the event of Planar Cleasing putting all nonland permanents in the graveyard. It's just that the rules say that it triggers for other creatures leaving the battlefield at the same time as itself, and looks back in time to check what those were, because that category of triggered abilities, which Planar Void is not part of, behaves that way.

also, can not understanding this strict semantics cause confusion; ie, is it important to know what "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" strictly means?

Maybe not... I feel I'm getting a little deeper than is usally necessary here, but you're the one making me do it!

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
I suppose they both trigger with the event, but based on the different game states on either side of the event.

@Slipheed: the trigger triggers on the event, but may not be put onto the stack until shortly after when a player gets priority.
eg. Cloudshift a Fiend Hunter and technically the LtB trigger triggers first before the EtB trigger, but they can still be put on the stack in either order.

DCI Certified Judge & Goth/Industrial/EBM/Indie/Alternative/80's-Wave DJ
DJ Vortex

DCI Certified Judge since July 13, 2013  - If you have any concerns with my conduct as a judge, feel free to submit feedback here.
DCI #5209514320


My Wife's Makeup Artist Page <-- cool stuff - check it out

what does "a triggered ability triggers [at some point in time]" mean?

"Leaves the battlefield" is not actually a point in time. No object is ever in anything but one zone, so it's on the battlefield at one point in time (a), and it's not the next (b). When did it actually leave the battlefield? The rules says (a).

Similarly, "enters the graveyard" is not a point in time. No object is ever in anything but one zone, so it's not in the graveyard at one point in time (a), and it is the next (b). When did it actually enter the graveyard? The rules says (b).

That's a fine way to make sense of it, I won't argue on that interpretation.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
@MadMage:
====


Feb 3, 2013 -- 5:23PM, silpheed_tandy wrote:

(ie "Deathgreeter triggered just before the event of Planar Cleansing putting all nonland permanents on the battlefield")?




No, it triggered from the event of Planar Cleasing putting all nonland permanents in the graveyard. It's just that the rules say that it triggers for other creatures leaving the battlefield at the same time as itself, and looks back in time to check what those were, because that category of triggered abilities, which Planar Void is not part of, behaves that way.
====
yeah, sorry, i forgot to finish my sentence. i meant "Planar Cleansing putting all nonland permanents on the battlefield into the graveyard". i'm surprised you tried to make sense of what i wrote before i realized my mistake


@ikegami:
i am intrigued by how the rules technically view things. i don't understand it, but it intrigues me.

edit: upon re-reading, i'm wondering if you're saying the same thing i myself already understand things to be? could you correct me where i'm wrong below:

the way i understand things to be is:
- an event will cause the game state to go from A to B
- after the event happens, the game will ask "what triggered abilities have triggered?"; it will look at game state B and ask "are there any triggered abilities here that care about how the event made the game state go from A to B" and it will look at game state A and ask the same question, but for look-back triggers

i think what i wrote is correct from a practical standpoint, but i'm getting the idea it's not correct from what the rules technically says about how the game works. could you correct me, please?
If you want to delve mind-bendingly deeply into how a game of Magic proceeds, you'll eventually realize that it's not continuous: it's a series of discrete game states. This realization is especially important when analyzing the finer nuances of triggered abilities. I've found it's easiest to think about if I break triggered abilities down to three fundamental notions.

First is the Event. This is the notion that there exists a Game State A and a subsequent Game State B which differ in some specific, identifiable way. For example, Game State A could contain a particular creature permanent on the battlefield and Game State B could contain the particular creature card which was representing that permanent in the graveyard. Note that there is no mention here of how Game State A became Game State B, mostly because that's how I choose to think about events. (Also note that the notion of the Event applies across the rules globally; its not specific to triggered abilities.)

Next is the Condition. This is the specific description that each triggered ability uses to indentify the changes between State A and State B that it, in essence, "cares about".

It's important to realize that Events and Conditions (as I have defined them) are related but independent: we can associate many different conditions with the same event (for example "When Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is sacrificed/is destroyed/dies/leaves the battlefield" are four different conditions associated with the event of an Emrakul on the battlefield becoming an Emrakul in the graveyard) and many different events with the same condition (for example, an Emrakul on the battlefield becoming an Emrakul in a player's graveyard/hand/library or in exile are four different events associated with the condition "When Emrakul, the Aeons Torn leaves the battlefield)". The rules define how each condition relates to each event and whether a triggered ability uses State A or State B to determine any information it may need.

Finally is the Effect. This is whatever a triggered ability does when it resolves.

There's an extended analogy I could give here which treats Magic as a computer program which is the origin for the way I've arrived at this particular analysis of the rules, but I think this is already long enough.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

@ikegami:
i am intrigued by how the rules technically view things. i don't understand it, but it intrigues me.

They don't view things. They explain how how the the game works.

i think what i wrote is correct from a practical standpoint, but i'm getting the idea it's not correct from what the rules technically says about how the game works. could you correct me, please?

Is there any difference in the order and actions taken? If not, then they are equivalent. (Or as you would say, "technically equivalent".)

We don't just quote the rules, we explain them.


Astarael7, it may have been you, in fact, who introduced me to this concept (of magic going discretely from gamestate to gametate, with events causing the changes) many months ago (back in a thread about Undiscovered Paradise untapping does not count as it becoming untapped), and i had found it VERY helpul. but i haven't actually heard that being talked about in the Comp Rules, so i'm wondering if all judges view it in this way?
If you want to delve mind-bendingly deeply into how a game of Magic proceeds, you'll eventually realize that it's not continuous: it's a series of discrete game states.

Is there a game that isn't? I don't think I've ever heard of a game that couldn't be coded into a computer with sufficient resources, and I can't imagine one.
CALVINBALL!!!

Wizards of the Coast: NOT ANYMORE outsourced to Elbonia

If you want to delve mind-bendingly deeply into how a game of Magic proceeds, you'll eventually realize that it's not continuous: it's a series of discrete game states.

Is there a game that isn't? I don't think I've ever heard of a game that couldn't be coded into a computer with sufficient resources, and I can't imagine one.

I would agree that all games proceed this way, but A) Magic's rules stop only just short of actually saying it and B) I don't think most people realize that this is so because none of them actually play it that way (nor should they).

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

If you want to delve mind-bendingly deeply into how a game of Magic proceeds, you'll eventually realize that it's not continuous: it's a series of discrete game states.

Is there a game that isn't? I don't think I've ever heard of a game that couldn't be coded into a computer with sufficient resources, and I can't imagine one.


608.2c. The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written. However, replacement effects may modify these actions. In some cases, later text on the card may modify the meaning of earlier text (for example, "Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated" or "Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into its owner's graveyard.") Don't just apply effects step by step without thinking in these cases--read the whole text and apply the rules of English to the text.


(and other similar passages)


As soon as we get a machine able to "apply the rules of English" to a text, we're talking.

[<o>]
Why stop at games? There's a current physical theory that describes the entire universe in terms of a series of discrete states. Give it a read, if you're into that kind of thing: philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9057/
As soon as we get a machine able to "apply the rules of English" to a text, we're talking.

MTGO does a fine job. The machine doesn't need to know English, just the devs.

Sign In to post comments