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Thread: Greetings! And a question regarding hellblazer

  1. #1

    Greetings! And a question regarding hellblazer

    Greetings and salutations folks, although I've been following this site for the better part of a year I've only now gotten around to making an account and jumping into some of the discussion here (which i'm super excited to do!)

    That being said, the release of the first DC set seems like an awesome time to do so with all the twists and turns in the meta. Needless to say, one character is creating quite a bit more buzz than the rest;



    Yeah, that guy.

    I'm not going to point out why this guy is good, it's already been said and said again. By this point, it's clear that Hellblazer is going to be a staple in most competitive teams. For that reason, and bitterness that I didn't pull him from two gravity feeds, I've been trying to think up ways to counter him. Not an easy feat, considering he'll almost ALWAYS end up beating your counter to the field.

    So that got me thinking that maybe a character was the wrong way to go about this, maybe the best answer lies in some other game mechanic. Maybe, just maybe, it could be as simple as...



    Constantine can't wipe the text of a card that never touches the field. The 5 cost might be a bit steep, but giving Beast or Psylocke the ability to KO Hellblazer as soon as they hit the field might be worth the price tag. This feels like a decent counter at best, but it raised a question that i wasn't totally sure of the answer to. So after that wall of text, we arrive at my question;

    If Constantine were to be KO'd by Cerebro's effect, would his effect still apply for the rest of the turn even though he's no longer on the field?

    I would think the effect still applies, but i don't know that for a fact so I thought i'd open it up to the floor. Let me know what you guys think of both the counter and the question!

  2. #2
    2 things:
    1) I am pretty positive that his effect would last for the remainder of the turn. Other game effects that trigger at certain times, such as when fielded effects, still last if the triggering character leaves play. For example, "when fielded, your fiends cost 2 less to field (minimum 0) for the rest of the turn." would last through the end of the turn, even if you BEGlobal the pit fiend to help you pay for buying other pit fiends.
    2) Would a character lose their affiliation from Constantine's ability? Not that this would prevent Cerebro's effect, but something I just was curious about. I would say no, because things not in the text box aren't text, like cost for example. I don't think that if I field one pit fiend, I couldn't buy another, even though their "text" was wiped.

  3. #3
    And now for the other view:

    I think removing Constantine from the field before fielding the named character would prevent the second half of his ability from triggering.

    The reason I believe this is that the second part of the ability is a triggered effect (triggered by the fielding of the named character), the first part of the ability only defines the condition under which the second part triggers, and a triggered ability cannot trigger if the character with that ability is no longer in the field at the time the triggering condition would be met.

    See the ruling on Black Manta and Nasty Boy for support of this principle.

  4. #4
    But that effect was already triggered, before the clear and draw step. Unless you're saying the ability triggers twice.

    I see it as more of Constantine triggers, changes the other card to have a when fielded trigger instead of it's other text for the rest of the turn.

    But I can see where your point lies, and it is an interesting debate.

  5. #5
    1) Name the character. Time bomb set.

    2) Character is fielded. Time bomb goes off.

    That's basically Constantine. Just to put it in context.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies guys!

    Initially I thought that the effect would last, as that seems the most plausible. However, there's a lingering spec of hope in my heart that this could be the closest thing to a counter we have for the time being.

    I guess the strongest argument that could be made would be that this constitutes a timing conflict. In most instances Constantine would wipe the character's text when they're fielded, so any when fielded effects like Kwannon or Gobby wouldn't apply. However in the case of Cerebro, the effect should resolve at the same time as Constantine, which should mean the turn player chooses the order in which these effects occur.

    Probably a long shot, but it's something to consider!

    EDIT: As if it weren't a long shot to begin with, it also relies on the assumption that Constantine's effect can be stopped by knocking him out in the first place. Highly unlikely, but I can dream! :P

  7. #7
    If I am right, there are several ways to get rid of him.

    Polymorph, or Millennium Puzzle, for instance.

    And, yes, I think Cerebro should work too - even if it is on the named character, because it is Cerebro that does the knocking out, not the character it is on.

    And then there is Prismatic Spray - which should work whether I am right or not.

    Oh, also Polymorph can be used to bypass is effect entirely for characters that don't have when fielded abilities.

  8. #8
    Polymorph definitely beats him, as would any effect that lets you bring a die onto the field without actually fielding it.

    As far as Millenium Puzzle or Cerebro, their effects are definitely applied which would make them a soft counter for sure, but the real question is whether or or not removing Constantine can prevent the second half of effect from triggering. Like i said in my last post, I think the strongest argument you can make for it is that Cerebro brings up a unique timing conflict. Consider the following;

    1. At the beginning of my turn, the opposing Constantine names Kwannon, for example.

    2. I draw, roll, and field a Kwannon die, which would in theory trigger both her own effect and Constantine's effect.

    Now, in this instance it's acknowledged that Kwannon would not receive her effect even though they happen at the same time. The closest thing I could find in the rule book to support that exchange is that rule that states;

    'If two cards directly conflict, the one that says "you can't" beats the one that says you can.' (p20)

    In the above example, I read Kwannon's effect as saying she can do something whereas Constantine is saying she can't. I don't think anybody would disagree with that, that just explains the outcome of the interaction. This is important because the two cards directly conflict, with one trying to prevent the effect of the other.

    However in the case of Cerebro, Constantine's "you can't" effect doesn't directly conflict with Cerebro's effect that states what you can do. In theory, that introduces a situation where both effects resolve at the same time, meaning the turn player should choose the order in which actions resolve. If that checks out, then the only real question here is whether or not Constantine's effect would still apply even though he's no longer on the field.

    While Constantine is active, before your opponent's Clear and Draw Step, you may name a character. If that character is fielded this turn, ignore its text until end of turn and it cannot attack this turn.

    The first half is straightforward, If he's active then name a character. The second part also seems straightforward, if that character is fielded then the disruption is applied. The best argument I can see against it is that the second half doesn't explicitly state that the effect last for the rest of the the turn, instead only stating this turn. So at this point, the question becomes;

    Does Constantine have to remain active in the field to resolve the second half of his ability?

    After thinking about it for the better part of last night, I'm leaning towards yes. Two reasons;

    1. Assuming that I'm right about the timing conflicts created, this starts to look similar to the recent ruling on Nasty Boy. Potentially apples and oranges, but it does illustrate a situation where a character is unable to resolve their effect because they were KO'd. If I'm right about the difference between this turn / for the rest of the turn, then this should be relevant.

    2. I couldn't find the post for life of me, but i remember reading on here that a good rule of thumb in regard to rulings is that if something seems to weak or too strong, it probably is. If Constantine's entire effect is guaranteed to go off as long as he names a character, that seems a little overpowered. That's why he's generated so much buzz already, but i have to think there's a true counter to this outside of polymorphing things into play.

    Let me know what you guys think!

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  10. #10
    The problem with the too-weak-or-strong line of thinking is that it's often too subjective to draw rules conclusions from. I personally don't think it's too strong that Constantine need remain in the field, for instance.

    I look at Scarlet Witch - Unity Squad as a comparison for Constantine. There is no requirement in her ability that she stay in the field to be able to force your opponent to reroll, skmply fielding her activates the ability for their next turn. Afterwards, you're free to attack with her, she can be KOd, etc., but the ability has gone off. I would interpret Constantine the same way.

  11. #11
    The problem I have with the Scarlet Witch comparison is that her ability has a single part which is triggered when she enters the field.

    Whereas, by contrast, Constantine's ability consists of two parts - first there is the 'while active, name character' part, and second is the 'if named character is fielded' part.

    So, the first part is a static, non-triggered effect, but the second is a non-static triggered one.

    And I think this is a case where people miss an important part of what "while active" means - it does not simply mean the same as "while fielded", it means "while one or more of this character's dice are fielded", or to put it another way "this while fielded effect does not stack".

    Moreover, because of the way "while active" is used, it is easy to forget that the "while fielded" part of the definition is the default for all abilities.

    So, to get back to Constantine, the second half of his ability (the triggered part) has an implied "while fielded" clause.

    I think I may have got a bit rambling there, but hopefully what I mean is still clear.

  12. #12
    Ok, here's the thing. Constantine works in one of two ways:
    1) His initial trigger puts an effect into play and that effect stays in play even if he is KOed, captured or prismatic sprayed.
    2) His trigger simply chooses a character, and the rest of his card text reads that choice, while applying an effect to that choice.

    The way I see WK ruling on this is that they are likely to say Constantine must be active for his second sentence to apply. It has been bandied about repeatedly that sentences that don't say when active are implying it. Now you may say that the second sentence is just an extension of the first sentence and doesn't need to be when active, to which I will point out that that sentence actually does say when active.

    TL;DR Constantine must be active for the second sentence to trigger.

  13. #13
    The big question is, can half of Constantine's ability work if the other can't?

    The wording on Red Dragon's global does not definitively state whether paying a bolt gives you two small effects or one big effect.

    Once per turn, pay . When you purchase your next action die this turn, it costs 2 less (minimum 1) and you deal 1 damage to your opponent.
    So is this to be parsed as:

    Pay bolt.
    When you purchase your next die this turn:
    • it costs 2 less
    • deal 1 damage to your opponent


    OR

    Pay bolt.
    • When you purchase your next die this turn it costs 2 less
    • Deal 1 damage to your opponent


    Essentially, is the trigger for the damage purchasing the die or simply paying the bolt? The latter can be used as a de facto magic missle/Slifer. I haven't seen a ruling on this from WK but every circle I've played in has played it as the former.

    With that in mind, does Constantine work the same? When a character is fielded, must both of his abilities trigger/not trigger, or can only part of it trigger? There is precedence for doing as much as it can when encountering conflicts/lack of targets/etc. but in the case of something like Prismatic Spray or something that is ostensibly trying to prevent Constantine's ability, it's not unreasonable to assume that if Red Dragon's global is one large, linked ability that Constantine's would be as well.

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  15. #15
    I think the key difference between red dragon and constantine is theven punctuation. I agree that RDG acts as one large effect, but because there's a period in constantine's effect it should function as two completely separate triggers. With regard to that, it should be completely possible to knock him out to avoid the second effect from triggering, no? Or using prismatic spray for that matter.

    EDIT: yeah, what shadow meld said hah

  16. #16
    Having a period hardly matters right now. There is no official literature from WK that says "if a card's text has a period between two separate effects, treat them as separate effects/having separate triggers." It's entirely reasonable to parse Red Dragon's global as something with two mutually exclusive effects.

    Regardless, the relevant portion of Constantine's ability does not have a period:

    If that character is fielded this turn, ignore its text until end of turn and it cannot attack this turn.
    In fact, it's constructed just the same as Red Dragon's global.

    [Trigger], [effect] and [effect].

    [Purchase], [Reduce cost] and [deal damage].

    [Character fields], [text is ignored] and [cannot attack].

    So if the effects of Red Dragon's global are necessarily linked, must Constantine's be, too?

  17. #17
    Agreed here. The second effect has two parts that resolve together.

    The question becomes, if, after naming a character, Constantine is KOed, the a character is fielded, would the second effect trigger?

    So far this threads consensus has been divided, but I am officially putting in a vote for No it would not trigger.

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  19. #19
    Yeah, the question here is not whether the two effects listed in the second part of the ability are linked.

    It is whether the two parts of the whole ability are.

    And if it even matters if they are.

    And there is WizKids ruling precedence to say that when you have '[sentence]. [sentence].' then the two sentences are linked (although in the ruling they use the word 'liked')...

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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
    Yeah, the question here is not whether the two effects listed in the second part of the ability are linked.

    It is whether the two parts of the whole ability are.
    It's actually potentially very important if the two effects are linked. If a ruling comes down that Constantine does indeed have to be in the field for the attack denial to trigger, and the attack denial is linked to the text negation the way the two facets of Red Dragon's global are linked, then Constantine would necessarily have to be in the field for the text negation to happen.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by alleyviper View Post
    It's actually potentially very important if the two effects are linked. If a ruling comes down that Constantine does indeed have to be in the field for the attack denial to trigger, and the attack denial is linked to the text negation the way the two facets of Red Dragon's global are linked, then Constantine would necessarily have to be in the field for the text negation to happen.
    Yes, but my point is that the linking of the attack denial and the text negation is not being questioned.

    In fact it is clear that they are linked.

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