April 19, 2013

Alright, so I promised more content, and I did mean it. Recently, I have just been rather busy helping my brother pack, as he is moving to California in a week, and since I don't see him nearly enough as it is, I took the time to help him out. But tonight, I was able to find time to write about something recent that has occurred, and has a lot of people in a bit of a fit. A few days ago, there was a rules change that went into effect that concerned certain effects that used the conditional phrase 'In that case' within the body of its effect text, rather than being a signifier as a break between what the Cost to activate the effect is, and what the actual Effect text that occurs is. You very rarely see it being used that way now a days anyways, due to the new activated Ninja effect template that began back in Set 21. Hit the jump and find out what that rules change was and how it effects a few cards...

The rule change itself, as I stated, dealt with cards that use 'In that case' as a conditional hinge to be able to complete a given effect text. The best way of explaining what I mean is with an example: The most simple would likely be this:

Now, After the Battle's effect text uses that conditional 'In that case' within the confines of their actual effect. You discard a card from your hand, and In that case, you draw 3 cards. What does this mean? Well, if you don't discard a card, or Can't discard a card, you don't draw the 3 cards. If all you had in your hand was After the Battle and another Earth card, if you play After the Battle and used that Earth card as the hand cost for the mission, you are left with zero cards in your hand. That means that when the mission resolves and you apply the effect text, you are prompted to discard a card. Well, you can't, so you do not get to draw 3 cards, since you didn't discard a card after all.

More complexly, if you discarded a card that didn't end up actually being discarded, you didn't draw 3 cards either. How is this possible? Well, if you happened to discard a card with Revitalize, that card would go to the bottom of your deck instead, rather than the discard pile. For the purposes of actually discarding a card and, in that case, drawing 3 cards, you did Not discard a card, and thus you did not draw 3 cards. The most famous example of this sort of thing was this Ninja:

It is important to note, that Itachi's Cost is NOT 'Discard 1 Ninja', it is part of the actual effect text that is applied when you resolve his effect. The cost for activating Itachi's effect is (0), in other words: 'Pay 0 Chakra'. Doing so will place Itachi's effect on the chain. When his effect resolves, you start at the beginning of his effect and follow it through to the end. So how did his effect work? First, you discard 1 Ninja that you control. And if you do, you draw 2 cards. What was the problem originally? He used the conditional hinge 'In that case', meaning that if you did not actually discard the Ninja, you did not draw 2 cards. This could occur either from the Ninja having Revitalize (Meaning it would instead go to the bottom of its owner's Deck), Inherit (Which meant that it was Removed from Game instead and you gave 1 Ninja you control it's effect text except for Inherit itself), or the Ninja was a Squad or Reinforcement Ninja (When a card of those types are removed from play in any way, they are always removed from game instead). So let's say I activate Itachi's effect, and when it resolves, I choose to discard Hidan (Curse Mode). Since Hidan (Curse Mode) is a Reinforcement, he is not discarded, but rather removed from game due to game mechanics. That means that since you did not discard a Ninja as the effect wanted you to, you do not 'In that case' draw 2 cards.

That was how cards that prompted you to do something and used 'In that case' in the effect text itself to denote that “If you did not do the prior, you don't get the latter”, and how effects that caused the action to be replaced in some way caused the effect to fail from that point onwards.

This has been remedied, and no longer is the case.

So what does that mean exactly? That means that in the case of After the Battle for example, if you discarded a Revitalize card, you would still get to draw 3 cards, even though the card was not technically discarded to the Discard Pile, but instead moved to the bottom of its owner's Deck. You are still considered to have “Discarded” that card, despite where it ended up in the end. This is how Replacement effects being applied to Costs have always worked, but now it applies to everything in this manner. This rule change effects 15 other cards that I can find with a bit of research. I will list them below and explain how this rule change effects them.

Just Like that Hero prompts you to discard any number of Animal and/or Tailed Beast Ninjas, and in that case, you get to search your Deck for a Ninja and so on as per the effect. Originally, if those Ninjas that you discarded weren't actually discarded, by some replacement effect moving them elsewhere such as Inuzuka Clan or the Ninjas gaining Revitalize somehow, you wouldn't get to search for a new Ninja. Now, it doesn't matter where the Ninjas you discard end up, as long as you did the act of discarding them.

Betrayal is a cool card, because you can pair it with something like a Mind Transfer Jutsu off of a Mind Ninja such as Ino Yamanaka, and you would get to keep that Ninja for at least one of your actual turns, letting you either use its effect, Attack with it, and so on. This meant that you could also target it with Betrayal, effectively drawing cards for killing a Ninja that you would have had to give back eventually, but now your opponent doesn't get it back. Originally, this was not the case if that Ninja didn't actually get discarded, through something like having Inherit, or Revitalize, or being a Squad or Reinforcement. In a case like that, they would just be removed from play, and you didn't get cards. Now, you get to draw the cards still, and better yet, if you use Betrayal on an Inherit Ninja, You get to put its effect on another Ninja you control, even if that Inherit Ninja was originally your opponent's!

Awakening is somewhat obscure in its interaction with this rule, but there is a case that when you would try to discard this Mission due to it's trigger of having 4 or more coins, and it ends up not being sent to the Discard Pile, such has if it somehow gained Revitalize. Now, that doesn't matter. You still discarded it from play, so you still get the effect of drawing up to a full hand of 5.

Sneak Attack has you discard Puppet Ninjas from your Deck in order to Discard a target Ninja. Now, if you tried to do something fancy like discarding Puppet Ninjas from your deck that had Revitalize, you wouldn't meet the criteria for the card. Now, you can pitch some Revitalize Puppet Ninjas from your Deck and not worry about the effect failing, effectively meaning that 3 copies of that Hiruko with Revitalize in your Deck turns Sneak Attack into “Discard target Ninja with an Entrance cost of 3 or less” at the very least.

The Fire Lord was a card introduced with all of the Inherit Ninjas in Fire, and seemed like a cool way of discarding your Ninjas to draw cards and getting to Inherit their effects around. Except for the fact that with the way the old rules were, if you discarded an Inherit Ninja with The Fire Lord, you didn't get to draw any cards, because of the whole 'In that case' thing. The rules update fixes that and allows you to use the Fire Lord on any type of Ninja, just like Betrayal.

Itachi Uchiha. This was the big one, the guy who caused all the hubbub originally. With how he is worded, if the Ninja hadn't been discarded properly, you didn't get to draw the two cards. Now, it doesn't matter where the Ninja goes, as long as you did the act of discarding them from play, replacement effects and game mechanics can do what they want after that point. Most interestingly enough, this actually means that Itachi can discard Himself due to his own effect, and not only do you draw 2 cards, you also get to give another Ninja you control that effect, and effectively get to use it again in that turn if you wanted to.

Jugo is another obscure case where he would have to have been effected by something like Bloodline Selection to give him Revitalize, and thus mess with the fact that his being discarded is what hinged on if you got to put in play State 2 or not. That doesn't matter anymore, but it's still a testament to how certain card effects can mess with other card effects in really weird and non-obvious ways.

Kisame Hoshigaki's effect did not interact well with Revitalize cards in the Chakra area originally, since trying to discard 1 of those would send it to the bottom of the Deck and make him not fulfill his 'in that case' obligation. No need to worry about that anymore.

Temari is only on here because you can now discard a Wind card with Revitalize and not worry about it messing with her effect.

Gentle Step: Twin Lion's Fist has that 'in that case' hinge that determines whether or not you get to look at your opponent's hand and mess with it, depending on if the target was Discarded or not. Now you can hit Revitalize, Inherit, Squad, and Reinforcement Ninjas without worrying about the 'in that case' thing.

Earth Style: Mudwave is the same as above. If the Ninja wasn't properly discarded, your opponent actually didn't get a BR back. This is technically a nerf to the card, but that sort of thing happens.

Sacrifice, again, same deal as the other Jutsu. If you tried to discard a Revitalize, Inherit, Squad, and Reinforcement Ninja, your opponent didn't have to discard a Ninja after all. Now you can Discard anything and then they have to Discard a Ninja as well.

Summoning Jutsu: Reanimation follows the same line as the other Jutsu again. If you hit one of their Revitalize, Inherit, Squad, and Reinforcement Ninja with it, you didn't get a Ninja from a Discard Pile back. Now, with the new ruling, you still do.

Now for two cards that weren't quite concerned with the whole 'In that case' problem, but more so about if a certain number of cards were actually discarded successfully. Those two cards are Yamato [The Power Within], and Giant Eagle. They both also got a bit of an upgrade in regards to how their effects work out.

Yamato was a card that gave a lot of people a lot of trouble due to the fact that it had been previously ruled that Revitalize cards that got milled over due to his effect did not count towards that "At least 3 Earth cards" condition that his effect had in order to let you draw a card when you activated him from hand. With the new rules change, the fact that a card has Revitalize or not doesn't matter, nor would the fact that the card get removed from game instead due to something like Shake Hands or Anbu (Foundation) (Neither of which we don't have to worry about in Block, at least for now).  So if you were to activate Yamato and mill over something like: Shikamaru Nara [Outwit], Ino Yamanaka (Childhood), Spontaneous Tree Summoning, Spontaneous Tree Summoning, and Sasuke Uchiha [Solo Attitude], you normally would not have gotten the draw since only 2 Earth cards actually got discarded. Now, it counts the two Tree Summoning as well, so you technically milled 4 Earth cards, which is at least 3.

Giant Eagle was sort of like Yamato prior to the rules change. Eagle triggers if you discarded at least 2 cards from the top of your Deck, but if say you discarded 2 cards total, and 1 of them was a Revitalize card, it didn't count those cards, and thus you didn't get Eagle's trigger. With the rules change, Eagle will count Revitalize cards and other cards that get sent elsewhere as part of the '2 or more' quality that prompts him to trigger. Though, it is important to note that you can only choose from cards that actually are moved to your Discard Pile with Eagle, as any other card that is either moved to the bottom of your Deck via something like Revitalize, or Removed from Game from Shake Hands or Anbu (Foundation) are not viable options to grab with Giant Eagle anymore. This is due to them no longer existing in the zone that Giant Eagle is concerned with, which is the Discard Pile. So if you mill three cards and 2 are Revitalize, your only option to take with Eagle is the 1 card that did go to the Discard Pile in the end.

So, after going over all of those, it should be easy to understand better what exactly the rule applies to (The action that comes before 'in that case' being replaced or altered somehow). So, what Doesn't get effected by this? A lot of cards, actually, one of them being a card mentioned above.

If you don't actually discard a card from your hand for After the Battle, you still don't draw a card. If you try to use the Fire Lord while not actually having any Ninjas in play, there is no Ninja to discard and thus you wouldn't be drawing any cards from discarding a Ninja. If you literally cannot apply an effect properly, and the effect uses 'in that case' instead of 'then', you cannot 
finish the effect. 

You cannot use Lariat on an already injured Ninja for example and draw 2 cards, because you did not injure the Ninja. 

You cannot target an injured Female Ninja with Sakura's Decision and still draw the cards, because you did not injure that Female Ninja. 

You cannot actually add one of the Ninjas to your hand with Gathering the Beasts unless you actually search for a total of three Ninjas. Getting any less would not satisfy the 'In that case' on the card, meaning you would just shuffle the two or one Ninjas back in.

A lot of that can be understood with a small application of common sense though, so I am not going to make an extensive list of Those types of effect. Rather, I can say that when you see an effect that has 'In that case' written in it, try and think of the 'In that case' as an 'If you did' instead. So for After the Battle, it would be “Effect: Discard a card. If you did, draw 3 cards.” Discarding a Revitalize card would still be discarding a card, even if the card doesn't go to your discard pile, but not discarding any card at all would not qualify.

I plan to try and do more of these types of articles more often, as my attempts to explain things on the Naruto CCG forum seem to be well enough received. This way I have more space to elaborate and explain as well as rant a bit. Be sure to check back often for more articles in the near future. I will likely be putting up some form of Deck article this weekend, or maybe I will do an interview if I can find the time.

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