Looking for exact ruling

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The other day this scenario came up while playing 2HG. I'm fairly sure I know how the situation resolved but I cannot find the rulings to back it up.

We're at 1 life and a Fortune thief is the only thing keeping me and my teammate alive, our opponents are at 40 life but have no direct burn for the thief and have one and four creatures respectively. The opponent that has one creature has a 30/30 Arcbound Crusher, my only creature is the thief and my teammate has seven creatures including a Hissing Iguanar.

Just when it looks the scales are tipping in our favour my opponent playing the arcbound deck draws and plays Rupture.

Now, he thought that since rupture kills the thief, the protection me and my teammate had would be gone and we would die from the damage rupture dealt to us, winning him and his teammate the game.

However as far as I could determine, this is how everything really went:

1. Rupture assigns damage to all players and every creature (except for one lone flyer).
2. Damage is dealt simultaneously and the thief's ability prevents our lifetotal from going below 1.
3. The thief and all other creatures that are dealt damage die (since none of them had more then 30 defence).
4. Hissing Iguanar triggers for every other creature going to the graveyard and my teammate can chose to finish of our opponents with the 10 damage created by the Iguanar's ability.

Our opponents argued that even if we survived, the Iguanar would not trigger since it is already dead. Now I'm 98.6% certain that the iguanar DOES trigger. However, I cannot find the rules that support or dispute my version if the events described above.

So does anyone know the rules dealing with things like this (damage dealt simultaneously and creatures that trigger when stuff goes to the graveyard) and could they post them or tell me where I can find them?

And is the way I described the turn of events above correct? Do me and my teammate win? Or have i got it all wrong?

EDIT: now that i think about it, do my opponents receive 30 damage from rupture or 60?
The other day this scenario came up while playing 2HG. I'm fairly sure I know how the situation resolved but I cannot find the rulings to back it up.

We're at 1 life and a Fortune thief is the only thing keeping me and my teammate alive, our opponents are at 40 life but have no direct burn for the thief and have one and four creatures respectively. The opponent that has one creature has a 30/30 Arcbound Crusher, my only creature is the thief and my teammate has seven creatures including a Hissing Iguanar.

Just when it looks the scales are tipping in our favour my opponent playing the arcbound deck draws and plays Rupture.

Now, he thought that since rupture kills the thief, the protection me and my teammate had would be gone and we would die from the damage rupture dealt to us, winning him and his teammate the game.

However as far as I could determine, this is how everything really went:

1. Rupture assigns damage to all players and every creature (except for one lone flyer).
2. Damage is dealt simultaneously and the thief's ability prevents our lifetotal from going below 1.
3. The thief and all other creatures that are dealt damage die (since none of them had more then 30 defence).
4. Hissing Iguanar triggers for every other creature going to the graveyard and my teammate can chose to finish of our opponents with the 10 damage created by the Iguanar's ability.

Our opponents argued that even if we survived, the Iguanar would not trigger since it is already dead. Now I'm 98.6% certain that the iguanar DOES trigger. However, I cannot find the rules that support or dispute my version if the events described above.

So does anyone know the rules dealing with things like this (damage dealt simultaneously and creatures that trigger when stuff goes to the graveyard) and could they post them or tell me where I can find them?

And is the way I described the turn of events above correct? Do me and my teammate win? Or have i got it all wrong?

EDIT: now that i think about it, do my opponents receive 30 damage from rupture or 60?

All the damage from rupture is dealt simultaneously to all creatures and players it could affect. Since the SBEs don't check until after the spell has resolved, the Iguanar and Thief will still be in play when the damage has been dealt and you will still be alive due to the thief.

The Iguanar will then trigger, because like all "leaves play" triggered abilities, it checks the gamestate just before it entered the graveyard, at which point both he Iguanar and the Thief were still alive. It would also have triggered from the Crusher's demise.

However, I'm not sure how you and your teammate happened to be at one life; the thief only protects its controller.
ΦΦΦΦΦ
the Iguanar and Thief will still be in play when the damage has been dealt

That doesn't sound quite right. What did you mean with that?

EDIT: did you mean they will be there but with lethal damage?
I may be completely on the wrong track here, but wouldn't Fortune Thief only "prevent"* damage that goes to the one head who actually controls it? So your share of the 1 life (which is in turn 1 life) would be taken from 1 to 1, but your teammate would suffer the complete 30 points that is dealt to each player, taking your team's life total to -29. Since your opponents are at 40 life, each head would have a share of 20 life, each also taking 30 points of damage, taking the team to -20. Then SBEs are checked and see all players are dead, and the game would be a draw.

*I know, the damage isn't prevented. I just don't know what other word to attribute to FT's effect. Thus the scare quotes.
DCI L2 Judge "When nothing remains, everything is equally possible." - One With Nothing
However, I'm not sure how you and your teammate happened to be at one life; the thief only protects its controller.

It is two headed giant, me and my teammate have a shared life total

EDIT:

I may be completely on the wrong track here, but wouldn't Fortune Thief only "prevent"* damage that goes to the one head who actually controls it? So your share of the 1 life (which is in turn 1 life) would be taken from 1 to 1, but your teammate would suffer the complete 30 points that is dealt to each player, taking your team's life total to -29. Since your opponents are at 40 life, each head would have a share of 20 life, each also taking 30 points of damage, taking the team to -20. Then SBEs are checked and see all players are dead, and the game would be a draw.

*I know, the damage isn't prevented. I just don't know what other word to attribute to FT's effect. Thus the scare quotes.

I don't know. I suppose you're right about my team mate not being protected by the thief, but wouldn't the game bring him down to 0 life then see i have 1 life left? argh 2 headed giant life totals are so complicated.
I'm not sure on the exact ruling on fortune thief in 2HG. It might work, since regardless of who the damage is being dealt to, it's reducing your shared life total.

If your fortune thief doesn't work for your other head, when the rupture resolves, the life totals will be -29 to -20 and the game will be a draw. Both players on each team take damage from the rupture. Your thief prevents your life total from decreasing, but not your allies' life total.

If both you and your teammate had fortune thieves, and the arcbound crusher had been 15/15, the game would have played out the way you wanted - your thieves would have prevented the life loss from the rupture's damage, and your inguanar would have still dealt damage for each other creature that died from the rupture, even though it died from it too.
All Generalizations are Bad
My understanding of the 2HG rules when it comes to life totals is that each team shares a single life total. Because of that, the Thief should protect you and your ally.
One thing I know for sure, is that your opponents only take the 30 damage from Rupture. Again, 1 life total, so it's only affected once.

This is my understanding of the format rules. However, I am frequently proven that my understanding of the rules is wrong, so take what I said with a grain of salt.
One thing I know for sure, is that your opponents only take the 30 damage from Rupture. Again, 1 life total, so it's only affected once.

This is definitely incorrect.

606.9. Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happen to each player individually. The result is applied to the team’s shared life total.
Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player plays Flame Rift, which reads, “Flame Rift deals 4 damage to each player.” Each team is dealt a total of 8 damage.

All Generalizations are Bad
This is definitely incorrect.

You are right, good sir. I need to get out of the habit of being wrong. (I was exploring the Comp Rules while you posted this)

606.9. Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happen to each player individually. The result is applied to the team's shared life total.

As RootBreaker stated, this proves me incorrect. The Comp Rules doesn't say anything explicitly about preventing loss of life, but if you extrapolate on this rule, I would understand that the Thief only protects it's controller's life.

1: The Rupture deals enough damage to kill the ally of the player with the Fortune Thief. So that team will lose when SBEs are checked.
2: The Rupture deals 30 damage to BOTH players on the team that controls the Rupture. Since that is enough damage to kill their team, they will lose when SBEs are checked.

My understanding of the rules tells me this game should have ended in a draw.
I agree that it probably did end in a draw. Though i would love to know if someone can tell me with certainty how fortune thief would interact with life totals in 2HG

also, i'm still looking for the rules that describe what happens wehn multiple creatures are put in the graveyard at the same time
also, i'm still looking for the rules that describe what happens wehn multiple creatures are put in the graveyard at the same time

410.10d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially because the object with the ability may no longer be in play, may have moved to a hand or library, or may no longer be controlled by the appropriate player. The game has to “look back in time” to determine if these abilities trigger. Abilities that trigger specifically when an object leaves play, when an object is put into a hand or library from a public zone, or when a player loses control of an object will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward.

After all the creatures go their owners' graveyards, the game looks back in time and sees the Hissing Iguanar in play. Hissing Iguanar's ability triggers for each other creature that was put into a graveyard from play.
606.5. With the exception of life total, a team’s resources (cards in hand, mana, and so on) are not shared in the Two-Headed Giant variant.
606.9. Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happen to each player individually. [b]The result is applied to
the team’s shared life total.[b]

your life total is presumably your shared life total considering that you share a single life total and have no individual life totals.

the replacement effect on Fortune Thief affects changes to your life total from damage and it does not specify from where it comes so damage to your ally still affects your life total so it should be replaced.

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your life total is presumably your shared life total considering that you share a single life total and have no individual life totals.

the replacement effect on Fortune Thief affects changes to your life total from damage and it does not specify from where it comes so damage to your ally still affects your life total so it should be replaced.

But Biorhythm mentions life total as well and is used as an example in the comprehensive rules

606.9b If an effect would set the life total of each player on a team to a number, the result is the sum of all the numbers.
Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player plays Biorhythm, which reads, "Each player's life total becomes the number of creatures he or she controls." If one member of a team that has 25 life controls three creatures and the other member controls four creatures, that team's life total becomes 7. The first player is considered to have lost 10 life (13 - 3), and the second player is considered to have lost 9 life (13 - 4), even though the team didn't lose a total of 19 life.

Also:

606.9c If an effect would set a single player's life total to a number, that player's individual life total becomes that number. The team's life total is adjusted by the amount of life that player gained or lost.
Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player on a team that has 25 life plays a spell that reads, "Your life total becomes 20." That player's life total is considered to be 13 for the purpose of the spell, so it becomes 20 and the team's life total becomes 32 (25 + (20 - 13)).
your life total is presumably your shared life total considering that you share a single life total and have no individual life totals.

the replacement effect on Fortune Thief affects changes to your life total from damage and it does not specify from where it comes so damage to your ally still affects your life total so it should be replaced.

The team has a shared life total, yes, but anything that refers to a specific player's life total refers to that player's share of the life total. In this case, the player with the Fortune Thief can't go below 1 life for their share of the life total, but the other head still can.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

Okay...


So your other head takes a total of 30 damage, going to -29. You take the same amount of damage, but is replaced and becomes one. Then the individual life totals are brought together, so the team becomes -28?

Should that be how it works?

Or is there something else that would make this more complex then it seems?
The team has a shared life total, yes, but anything that refers to a specific player's life total refers to that player's share of the life total. In this case, the player with the Fortune Thief can't go below 1 life for their share of the life total, but the other head still can.

Though, We'd agree with you, which is the same way We had felt back when We posed this question 2 years ago, We were told by Lee Sharpe that the team would survive. We'd like to show that post to you, but it's disappeared with time.

And, since Jeff Jordan couldn't have been bothered to answer Our question when We asked the MtG-L Archives, We don't have any lingering answer.


So, We'd say to wait for Natedogg for the [O] answer, to see if it had changed or it remains the same.
Okay...


So your other head takes a total of 30 damage, going to -29. You take the same amount of damage, but is replaced and becomes one. Then the individual life totals are brought together, so the team becomes -28?

Should that be how it works?

Or is there something else that would make this more complex then it seems?

That's right; each head would take 30 points of damage. Since 1/2 rounded up is 1, each team member on the 1-life-left team has 1 life; 1-30 is -29, but since that's reducing your life total to below 1, instead it reduces it to 1 (which, in this case, means your life doesn't change, though if the source was a creature with lifelink, it'd still trigger for 30 points of damage), so you have 1 life and your ally -29, giving you a total -28 life for the team.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

We were told by Lee Sharpe that the team would survive. We'd like to show that post to you, but it's disappeared with time.

So I suppose the only thing detaining that logical conclusion is this :P
so could anyone recommend a helpfull judge that i could send a message about this to?
Without meaning to be offensive or arrogant, I think Lee Sharpe was wrong.

Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

This is a situation similar to the one discussed about a month ago, in which an action would result in Banefire being countered, but it wasn't the same as that ability actually countering Banefire, so it worked (though we had to make the guy see it).

The damage being dealt to your teammate will result in your share of the life total dropping below 1, yes, but the damage itself is not reducing your share of the life total below 1, and that's all the Thief cares about.

The thing is this: Why would Fortune Thief's 'your' refer to the whole team, when no other instance of 'you/your' affects the other head? The answer: It doesn't. It only cares about your share of the life total, which in the given case is 1. Sure, this will have an effect on the overall life total of the team is affected by this fact, but if something is damaging each player, your other head will take full damage, and even if that means your share of the life total will drop below 1, that's not a direct result of the damage, so the Thief won't stop it.

At least, that's the way I see it; I would say it's very ambiguous to say this 'you'-variant refers to the whole team instead of just 'your' share of whatever it's looking at, when none of the others do.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

this seems to be the most relevant

606.9. Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happen to each player individually. The result is applied to the team’s shared life total.
606.9c If an effect would set a single player's life total to a number, that player's individual life total becomes that number. The team's life total is adjusted by the amount of life that player gained or lost.

Fortune Thief has a replacement effect which sets a single player's life to 1 when damage would bring life total below 1.

Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

oddly, if the life total was 5 and the player controlling Fortune Thief was attacked by a 10/10 and lets him through. The life loss resulting from the damage is replaced and his life total would be set to 1, however, 606.9c steps in and says a change from 3 (half shared life rounded up) to 1 is a drop of 2 so the new shared life total becomes 3 (5-2)

if the other player was attacked, I don't think Fortune Thief should apply because it is a life loss resulting from damage replacement effect and damage is dealt to each player individually (606.9) and it does specifically reference "your" life total referring to Fortune Thief's controller and obviously Fortune Thief's ability is an effect that set its controller's life total and 606.9c applies.

in the example cited...
30 damage to each player and each creature with flying

30 damage should go to the ally
30 damage goes to Fortune Thief's controller and the life loss resulting from the damage gets replaced
the damage is simultaneous
which means the replacement effect happens as the 30 damage is being dealt
this would mean the original life total should be used to see the effect of the replacement. 1 becomes 1. net change = 0 so the damage applied to Fortune Thief's controller has no effect on the life total, but the other 30 damage to the ally brings them to -30 and game over.

That's how I see it by the rules.

a point of contention though - does your life total reference only its controller or the team as a whole?
your is a second person possessive adjective which can apply to an individual or a group
eg. a parent can say "clean up your room" to a single child or "clean up your room" to multiple children who share a room

if your were to reference the team as a whole, the replacement effect should replace the life loss resulting from the damage to both the players on the team and in the example 1 becomes 1 and 1 becomes 1 for a net effect of 0 and 0 which means the shared total stays at 1 and they live.

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Slight nitpick: The damage isn't replaced by anything; if 5 damage is dealt to the controller of Fortune Thief who has <5 life left by a creature with lifelink, the controller of that creature will gain five life; the Thief simply keeps that much damage from taking the life total below 1.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

YOUR speculation.

Magic cards are normally designed for a 2 player environment.

If Fortune Thief was one of those, then it is evident that your references its controller. The confusion only appears when it is dropped into a team environment with shared life totals.

Magic card wording tends to be sufficiently precise and if it was intended to mean your in the plural sense, it likely would have been worded as follows.

Damage that would reduce you or your team's life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

this wording would be more precise and less ambiguous if it was intended to function that way in X-headed giant.

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this wording would be more precise and less ambiguous if it was intended to function that way in X-headed giant.

I agree that this wording would be more precise and less ambiguous, but just because it's not worded that way doesn't mean that it's not intended to function this way. Personally, I doubt that the card was designed with THG in mind, and so there is no "intended" functionality. We have to go with what the card says and what the rules say, and in this case there seems to be a disagreement about what exactly everything says.

Potentially relevant rules:

[indent]606.4a Each team has a shared life total, which starts at 30 life.[/indent]

606.9. Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happen to each player individually. The result is applied to the team’s shared life total.

[indent]606.9a If an effect needs to know the value of an individual player’s life total, that effect uses the team’s life total divided by two, rounded up, instead.

606.9b If an effect would set the life total of each player on a team to a number, the result is the sum of all the numbers.

606.9c If an effect would set a single player’s life total to a number, that player’s individual life total becomes that number. The team’s life total is adjusted by the amount of life that player gained or lost.[/indent]

Though unnecessary, I'm also going to copy-pasta the card's Oracle text and the rulings present in Oracle.

Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.


* 9/25/2006 The first ability applies only if your life total is being reduced by damage. Other effects or costs (such as "lose 1 life" or "pay 1 life") can reduce your life total below 1 as normal.
* 9/25/2006 If an effect asks you to pay life, you can't pay more life than you have.
* 9/25/2006 The last sentence is not a prevention effect. It stops unpreventable damage from reducing your life total below 1.
* 9/25/2006 The ability doesn't change how much damage is dealt; it just changes how much life that damage makes you lose. An effect such as Spirit Link will see the full amount of damage being dealt.
* 9/25/2006 Thief won't prevent you from losing the game if your life total is 0 or less or some other effect causes you to lose the game.

Looking at everything at once, I find that I still don't know the answer. The real question here really is whether Fortune Thief looks at your team life total, or your own share of the life total. 609.c looks like it's saying that each individual player has a life total, and if it gets changed, the team life total gets changed accordingly. So I could see an interpretation saying that Fortune Thief only modifies the effect of damage on its controller's share of the life total and has no effect on the rest of the life total. But I really don't know.
I have too many irons in the fire.
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(Nevermind. Rethinking again.)

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actually that is an interesting scenario...

Platinum Angel is in play and the shared life total is -5.

If something does damage that would reduce the total to less than 1, which that damage would do (nevermind that that is already the case), it would attempt to "reduce" it to 1 instead (which is an impossible action).

What would happen?

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So, to be clear, we're in pretty much agreement that this 'your' effect is no different from the rest in MtG, in that it affects only its controller, but we're not quite sure about how to look at 'your life total' when using the card? Or is there still disagreement about the 'your' referring to the player or the whole team?
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

What would happen?

Ignoring the 2HG scenario?

Then, if your Lifetotal is already less than 1 then Worship/Fortune Thief will have no effect on how Damage being dealt to you affects your lifetotal.
That damage, being dealt to you, will cause your lifetotal to continue into the negatives.
actually that is an interesting scenario...

Platinum Angel is in play and the shared life total is -5.

If something does damage that would reduce the total to less than 1, which that damage would do (nevermind that that is already the case), it would attempt to "reduce" it to 1 (which is an impossible action).

What would happen?

The life total would go down; since Magic doesn't use negative numbers, a reduction by a negative number is impossible. So, since the game can't 'reduce' your life total from -5 to 1 (a reduction of -6, which is impossible since MtG uses only non-negative integers), it ignores that impossible action, and the change in life will be as normal.*

*Disclaimer: This is not said with 100% guarantee of being correct, but I am fairly sure that I've seen that question posed before with my answer given (though not by myself, at the time).
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

Ignoring the 2HG scenario?

Then, if your Lifetotal is already less than 1 then Worship/Fortune Thief will have no effect on how Damage being dealt to you affects your lifetotal.
That damage, being dealt to you, will cause your lifetotal to continue into the negatives.

Even in the 2HG scenario; since 'you' can't lose the game, that means your teammate can't lose the game (but that's not because of PA directly; that's because the rules say that if one head loses, the other loses, but if one head can't lose, the other can't--associative property), if you have a shared life total of -5, each of you 'has' -3 life for your share. Damage to either of you would still cause a reduction to below 1, but since it's impossible in MtG to reduce by a negative amount, the game ignores the impossible action of 'reducing it to 1 instead' and does the normal thing.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

Ignoring the 2HG scenario?

Then, if your Lifetotal is already less than 1 then Worship/Fortune Thief will have no effect on how Damage being dealt to you affects your lifetotal.
That damage, being dealt to you, will cause your lifetotal to continue into the negatives.

ok, per
CR419.5. If an event is prevented or replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. Note that the modified event may contain instructions that can’t be carried out, in which case the impossible instruction is simply ignored.

right?

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but since it's impossible in MtG to reduce by a negative amount, the game ignores the impossible action of 'reducing it to 1 instead' and does the normal thing.

What are you talking about?

There's nothing being "ignored", because nothing is applicable.
[indent]Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead. [/indent]
Since your lifetotal is ALREADY less than 1, the Damage being dealt to you is NOT trying to reduce it to less than 1.
What are you talking about?

There's nothing being "ignored", because nothing is applicable.
[indent]Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead. [/indent]
Since your lifetotal is ALREADY less than 1, the Damage being dealt to you is NOT trying to reduce it to less than 1.

ok, so the event to be modified is the actual act of dropping below 1 (passing that barrier)

because "reducing" it to less than 1 implies that it is more than 1 to begin with.

"reducing" doesn't adequately apply to the drop in life from -5 to -10 then?

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DJ Vortex

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Taking offers on my set of unopened limited edition full art judge foil basic lands, message me if interested.
 

"reducing" doesn't adequately apply to the drop in life from -5 to -10 then?

You're missing the "to less than 1".

If you're have already south of the "barrier", ie. you began this scenario with 0 or less life, then that "barrier" will not keep your lifetotal from being reduced further.
What are you talking about?

There's nothing being "ignored", because nothing is applicable.
[indent]Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead. [/indent]
Since your lifetotal is ALREADY less than 1, the Damage being dealt to you is NOT trying to reduce it to less than 1.

That depends on how you look at it, actually.

If you're looking at 'reduce to less than one' as 'reduce from higher than 1 to less than 1,' then you're right. If you take what it says literally, 'reduce to less than 1' doesn't mean it has to start above one. Reducing from -2 to -6 (a reduction of 4) is still reducing your life total to some amount less than 1. And the card doesn't do anything more or less than what it says--it doesn't say from 'greater than 1 to less than 1,' it just says 'to less than 1.' So, the impossible action is ignored, because MtG doesn't use negative numbers, and thus a reduction by a negative number is impossible, thus the instruction is ignored and everything goes on about its merry way as if nothing was different.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png

"reducing" doesn't adequately apply to the drop in life from -5 to -10 then?

"reducing" would apply, but "reducing to less than one" would not.

if you have a shared life total of -5, each of you 'has' -3 life for your share.

nitpick, each of you "has" -2, not -3. -2.5 rounded "up" is -2.

/nitpick
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That depends on how you look at it, actually.

Not really. It's been consistently ruled that "reduced to less than 1" only applies if you started at or above 1.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
"reducing" would apply, but "reducing to less than one" would not.


nitpick, each of you "has" -2, not -3. -2.5 rounded "up" is -2.

/nitpick

Nyah. The idea still sticks.

And 'reducing' would still apply--see my above post. -6 is still 'less than 1,' and going from -2 to -6 due to damage is damage 'reducing your life total to less than 1,' and the card says nothing about 'from greater than 1 to less than 1,' so it still does apply--however, since a reduction by a negative number is impossible in MtG (just like you can't lose -2 life if a -2-power creature hits you), the instruction of 'reducing it to 1 instead' is ignored.
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and going from -2 to -6 due to damage is damage 'reducing your life total to less than 1,'

Wrong.

-2 is NOT above 1.
Going from -2 to -6 is NOT going from above 1 to less than 1.

This is NOT a matter of perspective; This is how the game works, rather than how you wish it worked.
Not really. It's been consistently ruled that "reduced to less than 1" only applies if you started at or above 1.

Yes, and that's what I'm saying. It can't apply if it tries to make the game reduce your life total by a negative amount, so it doesn't apply. I'm just saying it doesn't apply because the instruction is ignored, while you guys are saying it won't even try. The end result is literally the exact same, so it's just a point of semantics at this point.
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Wrong.

-2 is NOT above 1.
Going from -2 to -6 is NOT going from above 1 to less than 1.

Again, does the card say anything about starting above 1? It doesn't.

Reducing your life total to less than one merely means that, after the reduction, it's at something less than one. It implies nothing about having to start above one.

You don't want to get into an argument over math with me. Just like I'd lose against you in a Rules debate, you'll lose against me in this. So, since we're saying the same thing from two different points of view as to why it works that way, let's just agree to disagree on the reasoning and agree that it works like it does.
MTG Rules Advisor Mirrodin_Loyalty.png