protection from coloured spells

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Emrakul, the Aeons Torn has "protection from coloured spells".
i'm confused how this is a valid protection ability, though.



702.15a. Protection is a static ability, written "Protection from [quality]." This quality is usually a color (as in "protection from black") but can be any characteristic value.




109.3. An object's characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn't a characteristic.



the first rule says that [quality] has to be a characteristic value. i can buy that the word "coloured" is shorthand for "white or blue or black or red or green", but "spell" is not a value of any of the listed characteristics. so it seems to me that "protection from coloured spells" is not a valid protection ability?


It seems you're correct.

I guess this makes Emrakul just a gigantic uncounterable time-walking hexabraids with no drawbacks. What a terrible card.

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um, were you just making a joke, or is there any actual useful response to my question that i should be reading in your reply?
thought all cards are spells?
thought all cards are spells?

Only non-land cards on the stack are referred to as 'spells'. Everywhere else, they're something else. (Usually 'cards' or 'permanents' or the like.)

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

the first rule says that [quality] has to be a characteristic value. i can buy that the word "coloured" is shorthand for "white or blue or black or red or green", but "spell" is not a value of any of the listed characteristics. so it seems to me that "protection from coloured spells" is not a valid protection ability?



Strictly speaking, the rule says that [quality] can be a characteristic value, not that it must. It's the absence of any rules saying that [quality] can be anything else that (implicitly) restricts it to characteristic values. Not that that changes the conclusion at all.
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Nonetheless, I think silpheed is on to something here. "quality" is an important term used in many different rules (protection, banding, card searching) and yet it's not clearly defined in the rules. Also, with the way 109.3. is written it's no wonder someone might think "quality" is just a set of characteristics.
rmsgrey, thanks for your response. i don't like it when you have to actually think about super-technicalities in language to make sense of the comp rules [ie i wish that the comp rules just made it more obvious what it was saying], but about three or four times now i've realized that the comp rules aren't actually as well-written a document (when it comes to it communicating what it's trying to say) as i wished.

so does this mean that i can have "protection from tokens" or "protection from [status]" (such as "protection from untapped") or "protection from you-don't-control"?

it's weird, because if quality could only be characteristic values, then the following ALWAYS makes sense (along with the other four rules):


702.15b. A permanent or player with protection can't be targeted by spells with the stated quality and can't be targeted by abilities from a source with the stated quality.



but if you allow quality to be things other than characteristic values, these protection rule sound weird: "can't be targeted by spells with the quality of being tokens", "can't be targetted by spells with the quality of being untapped" etc sound really weird. i guess it still technically works (because even though no spell that's also untapped exists, it's okay by the rules to have protection from it), but still... if the protection rules allowed for qualities that weren't characteristics, i wish they'd be more clear about it.

edit:
actually, "can't be equipped by equipment with the quality of being a coloured spell" already sounds weird, without needing to ask about other protection from qualities that aren't characteristic values...
"Can't be equipped by equipment with the quality of being a creature" and "Can't be equipped by equipment with the quality of being a instant" also sound weird, and those are characteristic values.
good point, adeyke! so the quality can be a charactersitic value and sound weird, after all.
i don't like it when you have to actually think about super-technicalities in language to make sense of the comp rules [ie i wish that the comp rules just made it more obvious what it was saying], but about three or four times now i've realized that the comp rules aren't actually as well-written a document (when it comes to it communicating what it's trying to say) as i wished.

The comp. rules are specific and exact because they need to be specific and exact. They can't be (a) short, (b) comprehensive, and (c) comprehensible by normal human beings all at the same time, and neglecting the last option can be rectified by having a semi-professional staff of interpreters to translate their meaning them for the rest: namely, the Judges.

This does mean that the onus is always on you to read them with the understanding that they are never trying to say something they don't mean and are also never trying to mean something they don't say. 

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

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Zammm = Batman

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

Edit:
PreS: and after typing this, i am a little alarmed that i totally thought you were responding to a different thread i started yesterday, where i gave two specific examples of where i think the rules aren't clearly written.. .

for the case of what [quality] means, for example, this is perhaps a good example of where i wish the wording was more clear: that is, i wish it was more obvious from the wording that [quality] *doesn't* have to be a characteristic; when most people would read the protection rule i quoted and come to the conclusion that the rule says it /does/.

-----

oh, i totally agree that the Comp Rules need to be comprehensive, specific, and exact! that's one of my own personal desires when it comes to what i wish the rules to be!

and i can agree that the rules may sometimes not be comprehensible by normal human beings, but /only because/ normal human beings typically don't wish to read a that long of a document! (and maybe because normal human beings may not have a mind easily capable of parsing the"mathematical" kind of thought needed to understand the structure of the rules). but what i'm saying is that i feel the rules currently are *far less* clear than they have to be; that the parts that i think lack clarity serve no purpose by that lack of clarity (other than perhaps making them shorter, but i think that's a horrible trade-off).

personally, i think if they were more clearly written, they would become /more/ exact than they currently are; because vague understandings that a person will come to when reading the less-clear parts are hardly exact understandings.



when i say "super-technicalities", i do not mean using exact language and exact definitions. (how can i explain what i mean by "super-technicalities"...?)
` it's like when a friend is trying to hide something from you but doesn't want to technically lie, so he uses language that sounds a little ambiguous. you believe it to mean X, but he's really saying Y. when you find out about this, he'll point to a small intentional word choice he made (perhaps using "the" instead of "a", in one sentence), and he claims that technically if i was listening well enough, i would have heard the "the" and understood the only correct interpretation of what he says. and while that's technically true, you wished that he used words that would *much more clearly* expresses the truth, instead of having the whole meaning hinge on just a single word.
` i'm not sure if my analogy is resonating, but this is how i now and then feel about the rules. they're technically true but they don't always /communicate/ what they're trying to say in a clear way.


again, i'm not against specific and exact language (i crave it, actually!). and i'm not even against Judges to interpret the rules; but i am against having to have them have to interpret rules only because they're unclearly written, when more clearly written rules is possible.
I guess the only thing I can say to that is that a consequence of using specific and exact language is that it makes choices like using "can" in place of "must" (as in the example you're citing) matter in how we interpret the sentences. But this isn't a bug: it's a feature. There's a reason that arguments based on hair-splitting is called rules-lawyering. When we say that a quality "can be a characteristic value", instead of saying that a quality "must be a characteristic value", we very much intend to imply that things which aren't characteristic values can still be treated as qualities, without having to spend six additional lines (incompletely) describing all of the words and phrases which we want to follow "protection from".

This is not to deny that the comprehensive rules require a fairly sophistocated degree of reading comprehension: they do. Moreover the analogy you're using is quite valid and cuts directly to the heart of the matter. There's a difference between using dense language and finely-distinguished word choices to deliberately obfuscate (which is what your "friend" is doing) and using those same things to pack a lot of meaning into very little space (which is what the rules are doing). That difference is precisely the intent behind them. Your friend is doing it because they want to abuse artificial exactness in order to manufacture technicalities that (poorly) hide that they're being disingenuous. The rules are doing it because its the only way we have to write them consisely.

"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

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