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Confusing Card of the Week #57 - Ronin: Between Employers

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Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

Today, we're going to take a look at Ronin: Between Employers from the Marvel Civil War set.

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Ruling - Ability

While Ronin is active, you may redirect all damage from one source to one of your Ronin dice, but you can only do this once per turn.

Ronin's ability is a While Active ability. While Active abilities work regardless of how many of that character's dice are in the Field Zone. I've heard it compared to a light switch - it's either on, or it's off.

This ability also says may, which means you do not have to use the ability unless you choose to use it. This also means that if you forget to use the ability, you do not get backtrack to use it.

Ronin's ability to redirect damage does not change the damage type or alter the damage in any way. If the source is dealing ability damage, then Ronin's ability is redirecting ability damage. If the source is dealing combat damage, then Ronin's ability is redirecting combat damage.

If you only have one Ronin die active and he is the target of damage, he may not redirect the damage from that source to himself. I do not have an official ruling on this, but I base it off of the wording in the Rulebook on page 21-22. It says:

Other powers redirect a game effect (usually damage). When an effect is redirected, the target of the effect changes from its original target to the new one as described in the game text, even if the new target is your opponent’s character. The source of the effect remains unchanged from the original.
If Ronin is already the target of the damage, he can't make himself the 'new' target. If you have more than one Ronin active and one is being targeted by damage, you can redirect the damage to the Ronin die that isn't being targeted.

If a character has an ability that can be triggered or activated multiple times in a turn, each trigger or activation is considered a separate source of damage. This means that an ability that can be used more than once each turn can not be fully redirected by Ronin, only one source or instance can be redirected. A character with an ability that does damage can have that damage redirected, but if that same character attacks, the combat damage cannot be redirected because the combat damage is a different source.

Ronin can only redirect damage and cannot redirect life payment or life loss, such as the one associated with the Global on The Front Line: Basic Action Card.

Ronin's ability is a reactive ability.

Affiliations and Types

Ronin: Between Employers is a Mask Character and has the Avengers affiliation.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
Ronin redirecting ability damage.


~ I have one level two Ronin (2A/4D) die active and my opponent has one level one Cheetah: Cursed Archeologist (2A/2D) die active.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares Cheetah as an attacker. Her ability triggers and my opponent chooses me as the target.
~ (Attack Step) I tell my opponent that I want to use Ronin's ability to redirect the damage from Cheetah's ability to Ronin's die. Ronin has one damage on him now.
~ (Attack Step) I declare Ronin as a blocker and block Cheetah.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Ronin and Cheetah each deal their attack value in damage to each others' defense. Cheetah is KO'd and placed in the Prep Area. Ronin has three damage on him now but his defense is four, so he isn't KO'd and stays in the Field Zone.


Example Two:
Ronin redirecting combat damage.


~ I have one level three Ronin (3A/5D) die and one Sidekick die active in the Field Zone. My opponent has a level two Blue Beetle: Jamie Reyes (4A/1D) active in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) My opponent spends one Fist energy for the Global on The Front Line: Basic Action Card and targets my Ronin die.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares Blue Beetle as an attacker.
~ (Attack Step) I declare my Sidekick as a blocker.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) I tell my opponent that I want to use Ronin's ability to redirect the damage from Blue Beetle's attack to my Ronin die. The damage that Blue Beetle would have done to the Sidekick is now done to Ronin. Ronin is not KO'd because he has a defense of five and has taken no other damage this turn. Blue Beetle takes one damage from the Sidekick that's blocking him. Blue Beetle is KO'd and sent to the Prep Area because he only has a defense of one. The Sidekick and Ronin remain in the Field Zone.


Example Three:
One Ronin die vs a character with Overcrush.


~ I have one level one Ronin (1A/2D) die in the Field Zone. My opponent has one level two Martian Manhunter: Green Martian (6A/2D) die in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares an attack with Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step) I declare Ronin as a blocker and block the Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Ronin takes six damage from Martian Manhunter. Martian Manhunter takes one damage from Ronin. Ronin is KO'd and sent to the Prep Area. Martian Manhunter will remain in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Because Martian Manhunter has Overcrush, I will take the difference in damage between Martian Manhunter's attack and Ronin's defense. I take four damage. I cannot use Ronin to redirect the damage because Ronin is already being damaged by the source.


Example Four:
Two blocking characters (one Ronin) vs a character with Overcrush.


~ I have one level one Ronin (1A/2D) die and a Sidekick die in the Field Zone. My opponent has one level two Martian Manhunter: Green Martian (6A/2D) die in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares an attack with Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step) I declare Ronin and the Sidekick as blockers and block the Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) I tell my opponent that I want to use Ronin's ability to redirect all Martian Manhunter's damage to Ronin so the Sidekick doesn't take any damage.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Ronin takes all six of Martian Manhunter's damage and the Sidekick takes zero damage. Because there is still a blocker, Martian Manhunter's Overcrush does not hit my life total.


Example Five:
One Ronin blocking and one Ronin not blocking vs a character with Overcrush.


~ I have two level one Ronin (1A/2D) dice in the Field Zone. My opponent has one level two Martian Manhunter: Green Martian (6A/2D) die in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares an attack with Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step) I declare one Ronin as a blocker and block the Martian Manhunter.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) I tell my opponent that I want to use Ronin's ability to redirect all Martian Manhunter's damage to the Ronin die that isn't blocking.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) The Ronin die that isn't blocking takes all six of Martian Manhunter's damage and the Ronin that is blocking takes zero damage. Because there is still a blocker, Martian Manhunter's Overcrush does not hit my life total.


Example Six:
Two Ronin dice blocking two characters with Overcrush.


~ I have two level one Ronin (1A/2D) dice in the Field Zone. My opponent has two level two Martian Manhunter: Green Martian (6A/2D) dice in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares an attack with both Martian Manhunter dice.
~ (Attack Step) I declare each Ronin as a blocker and block each Martian Manhunter die with a Ronin die. (Ronin 1 blocking Martian Manhunter 1, Ronin 2 blocking Martian Manhunter 2)
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice or Globals. I decide not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) I tell my opponent that I want to use my Ronin 1's ability to redirect all of the Martian Manhunter 2's damage to Ronin 1's die.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Ronin 1 is KO'd and Martian Manhuter 1 hits my life total for six because his blocker was KO'd. Ronin 2 is not KO'd and Martian Manhunter 2 doesn't deal any damage to my life total.


Example Seven:
Ronin vs multiple triggers from one character.


~ I have a level two Ronin (2A/4D) die in the Field Zone. My opponent has a level two Nova: The Human Rocket (5A/6D) die in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step) My opponent declares an attack with Nova.
~ (Attack Step) I declare Ronin as a blocker and block Nova.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent doesn't use any Action Dice, but does use the Global on the Magic Missile: Basic Action Card to do one damage to Nova.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) I tell my opponent that I want to use Ronin's ability to redirect the ability damage from Nova to my Ronin die.
~ (Attack Step - Action Dice and Globals) My opponent chooses to use the Global on Magic Missile a second time. I cannot redirect the damage this time because this is a new source of damage. I take two damage.
~ (Attack Step - Assign Damage) Nova takes two damage from Ronin, and Ronin takes five damage from Nova. Nova ended up taking a total of four damage, one from each Magic Missile Global and two from Ronin. Ronin has already taken two damage from Nova's ability and now takes five from his attack for a total of seven. Nova is not KO'd and remains in the Field Zone. Ronin is KO'd and sent to the Prep Area. Because Ronin dealt damage to Nova, I will take two damage from Nova's ability.


Official Sources

You can find an official ruling referencing Ronin: Between Employers, here.

Page 21-22 of the Civil War Rulebook - Preventing and Redirecting can be found towards the bottom of the page.
Page 21 of the Civil War Rulebook - Active and Fielded explains how While Active abilities work.

Competitive Play Rating

Ronin is a very powerful card and can easily turn the tides in your favor. His ability can be super complicated and even ruled differently in different venues, so I would recommend you clarify rulings about him with the TO beforehand. I've seen first hand how much Ronin can change the outcome of a game. His purchase cost is so good for such a powerful ability and since he's a Mask character, you could easily benefit from his energy faces if he doesn't roll a character face. His fielding costs are near perfect and his level two and three defenses are decent enough that he can survive most individual sources of damage. He's definitely a card to consider on almost any team for competitive play.

Ronin: Between Employers gets a competitive play rating of four out of five stars.
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Casual Play Rating

Ronin is very powerful for competitive play, but I wouldn't recommend him for casual play. His ability is very complicated to use and could be very intimidating for a beginner to play against. If you want to use Ronin because you like the character, I would suggest either Ronin: Continuing the Name or Ronin: Lone Warrior when you play in a casual setting. Save the big nasty for the competitive scene. The ability of Lone Warrior is close to the ability of Between Employers, but it's less intimidating. If the casual players in your scene play on a more competitive level, then Between Employers might not be a big deal. But I always look at my casual ratings as though the card is being used around a group of beginners. Use your best judgement when it comes to your local casual scene and always remember that casual settings should be about enjoying the game play and not have so much focus on always winning.

Ronin: Between Employers gets a casual play rating of one out of five stars.
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Updated 10-12-2016 at 06:29 AM by DiceDiceKitty

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Comments

  1. agentj's Avatar
    Thanks for tackling such a difficult card.
  2. DiceDiceKitty's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agentj
    Thanks for tackling such a difficult card.
    Thank you for reading! I won't lie - I've been putting this one off for a long time because he's a monster of a card to explain... lol