Library of Leng and Solitary Confinement

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So I was wondering if using Leng while I have Confinement in play would allow me to discard to the top of my library. I don't think so, considering the discard is a cost, but I'm hoping to be surprised.
discarding for Solitary Confinement is part of an effect, not a cost, so Library of Leng works ... I'm 99% sure of this ... if you want faster (and 100% correct) answer, try the rules  Q&A forum. (the place where questions like this should be asked anyways).
Please follow forum rules. All rules questions belong in Rules Q&A. This is stated clearly at the top of the Cards & Combos forum.

Moving to Rules Q&A. 

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discarding to Solitary Confinement is both an effect and a cost and because it is an effect you can discard to your top of library via LoL
117.12. Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something]. If [a player] [does or doesn’t], [effect].” or “[A player] may [do something]. If [that player] [does or doesn’t], [effect].” The action [do something] is a cost, paid when the spell or ability resolves.

117.12a Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something] unless you [do something else].” This means the same thing as “You may [do something else]. If you don’t,[do something].”

Translated with respect to Solitary Confinement.

 [Do something = sacrifice Solitary Confinement] unless you [Do something else = discard a card]

equates to

You may [Do something else = discard a card]. If you don't, [Do something = sacrifice Solitary Confinement].

Discard a card is a COST (see the bolded rule above)

and all of this is an effect of the triggered ability

edited: after realizing I had the answer incorrect. 

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DJ Vortex

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discarding to Solitary Confinement is both an effect and a cost, so no you can't put the card on top of your library



The conclusion doesn't match the premise. Library of Leng applies any time an effect makes you discard. It is an effect making you discard, so Library of Leng applies.
discarding to Solitary Confinement is both an effect and a cost, so no you can't put the card on top of your library



The conclusion doesn't match the premise. Library of Leng applies any time an effect makes you discard. It is an effect making you discard, so Library of Leng applies.



Can something be an effect and a cost?

Gatherer says:
You can't use the Library of Leng ability to place a discarded card on top of your library when you discard a card as a cost, because costs aren't effects.

Is that wrong?
it's a cost as part of an effect

if it is just a cost (Wild Guess or Compulsion or cycling) Library of Leng cannot apply
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10/4/2004You can't use the Library of Leng ability to place a discarded card on top of your library when you discard a card as a cost, because costs aren't effects.










10/4/2004The ability applies any time a spell or ability has you discard as part of its effect. It does not matter if you or your opponent control the spell or ability. The discard is forced because it is an effect. 


conflicting rulings in this case,

however, we know that costs can also be effects so we can discount the first ruling in the conflict because it is erroneous.

So yes, you can discard the card to the top of your library because although it is a cost, it is also an effect. (My earlier conclusion was incorrect and has been corrected)

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That's a bit of a problematic ruling around here, where we talk about edge cases daily. However, costs and effects are not normally the same thing. You can discard a card to pump Psychatog. I'm not sure what to call that other than a cost, and this particular cost, like most costs you'll deal with during a typical game, isn't an effect.
That's a bit of a problematic ruling around here, where we talk about edge cases daily. However, costs and effects are not normally the same thing. You can discard a card to pump Psychatog. I'm not sure what to call that other than a cost, and this particular cost, like most costs you'll deal with during a typical game, isn't an effect.


Maybe "You can't use the Library of Leng ability to place a discarded card on top of your library when you discard a card as a cost to cast a spell or activate an ability, because such costs aren't effects." based pn the wording of Angel of Jubilation.
I think Solitary Confinement has a triggered upkeep effect, and that effect causes a discard if not a sacrifice of the triggering permanent. The discarded card would be put on the library if you control a Library of Leng when the triggered effect resolves, as it is merely one of two possible outcomes of a triggered effect and not a cost at all.
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not a cost at all.

117.12 most certainly says that it is a cost, it just also happens to be an effect too.

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DJ Vortex

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Can something be an effect and a cost?

I would say no:
117.1. A cost is an action (...) necessary (...) to stop another action from taking place. To pay a cost, a player carries out the instructions specified by the spell, ability, or effect that contains that cost.

An effect may contain a cost, but the cost itself is NOT an effect.
Confinement's dicarding is a cost, and it is not an effect.
Or rather: Confinement's dicarding is a cost, thus it is not an effect.  

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Can something be an effect and a cost?

I would say no:
117.1. A cost is an action (...) necessary (...) to stop another action from taking place. To pay a cost, a player carries out the instructions specified by the spell, ability, or effect that contains that cost.

An effect may contain a cost, but the cost itself is NOT an effect.
Confinement's dicarding is a cost, and it is not an effect.
Or rather: Confinement's dicarding is a cost, thus it is not an effect.  


I think you're reading too much into the wording here.  The fact that the cost that is contained within an effect does not prohibit the cost being part of the effect.  Note that this could actually make a functional difference to gameplay in certain rare circumstances.  For example it changes whether Doubling Season effects Thought Gorger.
The fact that the cost that is contained within an effect does not prohibit the cost being part of the effect.

In fact, I'd say the effect containing the cost means the cost is part of the effect. Far from conflicting, those sound almost synonymous to me.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
For example it changes whether Doubling Season effects Thought Gorger.



Ooo, now there's an exciting corner case.

....Does it?
Yes. A resolving triggered ability is certainly an "effect" putting counters on something. "If you do" isn't even a cost, it's just a part of the effect that only happens if the creature is still on the battlefield as the ability resolves... not sure why this was actually brought up.

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Yes. A resolving triggered ability is certainly an "effect" putting counters on something. "If you do" isn't even a cost, it's just a part of the effect that only happens if the creature is still on the battlefield as the ability resolves... not sure why this was actually brought up.



"If you do" does indicate a cost:
117.12. Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, "[Do something]. If [a player] [does or doesn't], [effect]." or "[A player] may [do something]. If [that player] [does or doesn't], [effect]." The action [do something] is a cost, paid when the spell or ability resolves. The "If [a player] [does or doesn't]" clause checks whether the player chose to pay an optional cost or started to pay a mandatory cost, regardless of what events actually occurred.



However, it's also an effect. Doubling Season does double the counters.

Yes. A resolving triggered ability is certainly an "effect" putting counters on something. "If you do" isn't even a cost, it's just a part of the effect that only happens if the creature is still on the battlefield as the ability resolves... not sure why this was actually brought up.



You're wrong; when a card says "If you do", everything before it (that you decided to do or not to do) is a cost. That's defined in the rules. That's why the issue exists. (Yes, this definition is counterintuitive.)

- - -

Anyway, thanks for the answer Adeyke.
Yes. A resolving triggered ability is certainly an "effect" putting counters on something. "If you do" isn't even a cost, it's just a part of the effect that only happens if the creature is still on the battlefield as the ability resolves... not sure why this was actually brought up.



You're wrong; when a card says "If you do", everything before it (that you decided to do or not to do) is a cost. That's defined in the rules. That's why the issue exists. (Yes, this definition is counterintuitive.)

- - -

Anyway, thanks for the answer Adeyke.



I'm not wrong, but that's ok. It's not worth arguing about. You're welcome for the answer.

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