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Thread: Angel - Flying High and Joker - Unpredictable interaction (re: Prep Area podcast)

  1. #1

    Angel - Flying High and Joker - Unpredictable interaction (re: Prep Area podcast)

    On the new podcast @Necromaticer asserted that when faced with a wall of non-villains with a newly fielded Joker and an Angel in the field that when both are assigned to attack, the Angel die is unblockable since the Joker die can't be blocked.

    What does the community think about this?

    I believe that because of the linked ruling that since Joker can't be blocked, Angel is now eligible to be blocked.
    http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb...hp?f=10&t=1637

    In my opinion, the only way that Angel works is when the defender has fewer blockers, through lack of fielded characters or manipulation (i.e. relentless global usage) than the attacker has attacking shield characters.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    It would fly in the face of their Angel/Namor and Angel/Ring of Magnetism rulings.

    e: and as the linked ruling points out, Angel should essentially be errata'd anyway, the wording of which would make Angel blockable in the Joker scenario.

  3. #3
    The way it works out is that the ruling specifically states that all characters that can be blocked, must be blocked before Angel can be blocked. This means that characters that are unblockable do not count towards the characters which must be blocked before Angel can be blocked. The ruling listed evidences this fact by showing that non-attacking characters do not count towards Angel's effect since they cannot be blocked.

    The trick is thus: Joker can in fact be blocked. Your opponent is not allowed to declare non-villain blockers, but he is still able to be blocked. In the case of your opponent having no villains fielded, your opponent has no valid blockers to declare against Joker, but the fact that the Joker can be blocked (though not by your opponent's specific lineup) is completely unaffected.

    Until all characters that can be blocked, are blocked, your opponent cannot block Angel. Joker can be blocked, just not by the specific characters your opponent has fielded. This means that Joker fulfills Angels criteria of being able to be blocked while not being blocked and so both of them are allowed to swing unimpeded.



    Edit: The essential idea is that:

    "Joker can be blocked, not by your opponent's specific characters, but he can be blocked."

    The ruling listed specifically states that :

    "When Angel attacks, all other attacking [Shield] characters that can be blocked, must be blocked before Angel dice can be blocked."

    Since Joker can be blocked and isn't blocked, Angel goes through

  4. #4
    That's a huge, huge logical leap to take.


    Huge.

  5. #5
    I wholeheartedly disagree. There's only so many words in the sentence, it's rather hard to misinterpret. I'll write it out in a syllogism for you.



    Angel cannot be blocked if another character that can be blocked is not blocked first.

    Joker is a character.

    Joker can be blocked.

    Joker cannot be blocked by non-villain characters.

    Your opponent only has non-villain characters.

    Joker cannot be blocked by your opponent's non-villain characters, but he can be blocked.

    When both of them attack and your opponent does not block Joker, Angel cannot be blocked.



    If you can point out the "leap of logic", I'd love to see if I can improve the syllogism.

  6. #6
    Uncommon Harley would work the same as Angel here, BTW. And that is a much more thematic pairing. One could almost say that the common Joker and uncommon Harley were designed to work that way.

    I will also point out, that ruling was in response to the question of whether non-attacking characters needed to be "blocked" to stop Angel. There is very little, if any clarification on what "could be blocked" means, other than "things that aren't attacking needn't be blocked".

    Extrapolating more out of that ruling than that is ALSO a logical leap.

  7. #7
    Joker cannot be blocked by non-villain characters.
    My opponent has no villain characters.
    Therefore Joker cannot be blocked.

    Angel can only not be blocked if another character that can be blocked is not blocked first.
    Joker cannot be blocked.
    Therefore Angel can be blocked.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
    Joker cannot be blocked by your opponent's non-villain characters, but he can be blocked.
    If he cannot be blocked then he cannot be blocked. That is the leap in logic. Let's do this for Namor:


    Angel cannot be blocked if another character that can be blocked is not blocked first.

    Namor is a character.

    Namor can be blocked.

    Namor cannot be blocked if two other characters are in the field.

    There are two other characters in the field.

    Namor cannot be blocked if there are two other characters in the field, but he can be blocked.

    When both of them attack and your opponent does not block Namor, Angel cannot be blocked.


    The opponent not having villains in the field necessarily makes Joker a character that cannot be blocked, just the same as having two other characters in the field necessarily makes Namor a character that cannot be blocked.

  9. #9
    I agree that uncommon Harley is more thematic, but I need common Harley to make it viable in the first place. Joker being a 5-, TFC-4 character doesn't really work for the spam/swarm strategy I'm going with. Common Harley makes Joker a 3-, TFC-1 character with solid defensive stats for Ant-Man to swap.

    I get that it's taking a ruling out of its original context, but the ruling was done in a very general way. In saying that the card "should be worded" it's effectively an unlisted errata and all readings of the card should take into account the edited text rather than the original. It's a clarification and so applies outside of the specific instance it was invoked upon in the linked ruling.

  10. #10
    @alleyviper

    Okay, now I get what you're not quite understanding.

    Your opponent's ability to block a character with his own characters is unrelated to a character's own ability to be blocked. You're conflating these two distinct concepts and that's why you aren't getting how the interaction works out.

    In your syllogism, it breaks down at step 6: "Namor cannot be blocked if there are two other characters in the field, but he can be blocked." This negates the third step and makes Namor ineligible to trigger Angel's effect.

    Namor's effect makes it so that he is unblockable if you have two other characters in the field. A character cannot be both "unblockable" and "able to be blocked" at the same time. That is a self-contradiction and a break in the logic. That same mistake does not exist for Joker.

    In my syllogism, Joker is blockable. Your opponent doesn't have the right characters to be able to block him, but if he did, your opponent could block him. There is never an instant where the statement: "Joker can be blocked." is negated, so logically, it must still apply. Accordingly, since Joker can be blocked and your opponent is unable to block him, he remains unblocked. What follows is that Angel cannot be blocked either since a character that could be blocked, was not blocked.

  11. #11
    No, I understand entirely, I just don't agree. In my mind, unable to be blocked and cannot be blocked are analogous. If my opponent does not have the appropriate personnel for Joker to be blocked, then as far as I'm concerned Joker cannot be blocked. It's not "he can be blocked but." He can be blocked or he can't be blocked and that's that. And if he can't be blocked then Angel can.

  12. #12
    Speaking of Uncommon Harley actually, I have seen folks cite this Angel ruling as an extension of how we should interpret Harley. I question this as it innately makes Harley's ability worse.

    Harley can't be blocked if there are other NAMED characters (besides Harley) attacking with her. Let's say she DOES attack with Joker, and my opponent has two sidekicks and a villain maker global.

    Before anything else, Joker can't be blocked, and the argument is that Harley can. Now, if I make a sidekick a villain, The opponent would be forced to block Joker with one of the SKs before he could block Harley. Why does making a character able to block Joker, make Harley's ability work? It's just counter intuitive.

  13. #13
    If you understood, you would agree. I fully understand that there can be differences in interpretation when wordings are unclear as WizKids often does, but that level of abstraction does not exist in this case.

    There is a very clear delineation of the logic behind how Joker/Angel work together. You tried to come back against that with a self contradiction, but that argument cannot hold water. You keep trying to take "cannot be blocked" and "your opponent does not have the resources to block" as the same statement. This is a true "logical leap" in that a "logical leap is a moment where there is a significant gap in the argument." You never establish anywhere that these two concept are the same, you take it for granted as a premise. When you cannot support a premise, an argument falls apart.

    If you can support your argument that these two statements are equivalent in the context of the game rules, you may have a leg to stand on. Until that happens, you're going to have to come up with something more substantial to try and deny the combo.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
    Joker cannot be blocked by non-villain characters.
    My opponent has no villain characters.
    Therefore Joker cannot be blocked.

    Angel can only not be blocked if another character that can be blocked is not blocked first.
    Joker cannot be blocked.
    Therefore Angel can be blocked.
    The problem with that logic is that Joker can in fact be blocked. My opponent does not have a character that can block him, but Joker can be blocked as there are no game effects stating he cannot be blocked, only an effect limiting which blockers can assign to him. If you refer back to my and @alleyviper 's syllogisms, you'll see that Joker never negates his own ability to be blocked. Accordingly, Joker retains his ability to be blocked, but isn't and Angel then gains the ability to not be blocked.

    The failed reasoning here is conflating the concepts of "this character is unblockable." and "my opponent has no valid blockers." These are two very different cases and while they lead to the same outcome of the character in question not being blocked, they remain distinct.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
    The failed reasoning here is conflating the concepts of "this character is unblockable." and "my opponent has no valid blockers."
    See, this is the key piece for me here. There is nothing in the previous ruling for Angel that states other shield characters have to be unblockable in order for him to become blockable. Rather, all other shield characters that can be blocked must be blocked first. In a vacuum I agree, being unblockable and having no valid blockers are different. However I interpret Angel as reading both of those as equal.

    It is is true that Joker's ability allows for him to be blocked, given the appropriate game state. In a game state where my opponent has no Villains in the field however, he cannot be blocked. He is not "unblockable", no, but he cannot be assigned a blocker. Angel sees an inability to block Joker and doesn't go "well, in a different game state he would be blockable, so I'm unfettered", but sees that, in the current game state, Joker cannot be blocked, and is now able to be blocked.

  16. #16
    Again, this is a reductionist argument that relies on semantics. Joker can be blocked, that is the important part. Not by my opponent's specific characters, sure, but he can be blocked. By defining Angel's ability in accordance to my opponent's resources instead of the state of my own characters directly conflicts with the WizKids ruling. Angel checks if his attacking allies can be blocked, which Joker can, so Angel can't. It's as simple as that.

  17. #17
    So, if my opponent has 1 sidekick, he can't block Joker but he can Block Angel. But if i make that sidekick a villain he can block Joker, but not Angel? Angels ability only works if we throw Joker under the bus?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
    Again, this is a reductionist argument that relies on semantics. Joker can be blocked, that is the important part. Not by my opponent's specific characters, sure, but he can be blocked. By defining Angel's ability in accordance to my opponent's resources instead of the state of my own characters directly conflicts with the WizKids ruling. Angel checks if his attacking allies can be blocked, which Joker can, so Angel can't. It's as simple as that.
    So what you're saying is that Angel does not look at the current game state when determining whether he can be blocked but instead looks at the hyper-literal interpretation of all cards that could be in play.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by alleyviper View Post
    So what you're saying is that Angel does not look at the current game state when determining whether he can be blocked but instead looks at the hyper-literal interpretation of all cards that could be in play.
    No, I'm saying that Angel does not check your opponent's field, but rather the state of his allied attackers. His allied attacker (Joker) is able to be blocked and is a shield character, thus Angel is unblockable until Joker becomes blocked. The fact that your opponent lacks any villains able to block Joker is completely outside of the scope of Angel's effect given the text that WizKids gave us.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
    Again, this is a reductionist argument that relies on semantics. Joker can be blocked, that is the important part. Not by my opponent's specific characters, sure, but he can be blocked. By defining Angel's ability in accordance to my opponent's resources instead of the state of my own characters directly conflicts with the WizKids ruling. Angel checks if his attacking allies can be blocked, which Joker can, so Angel can't. It's as simple as that.
    Of course it's semantical. All rules discussions by their very nature are. The two different interpretations all come down to the meaning of "can" or conversely "can't." I, as well as Scott and Dean, believe a character's ability to be blocked depends on the board state.

    Your interpretation is the far more useful and powerful of the two, which leads me to believe you are incorrect. If you are correct, I have a team consisting of Joker, Bucky, Namor and Angel that I'd like to sell you.

  21. #21
    Okay, we're simply never going to come to terms on this.

    No matter how true it is that Joker's ability allows for scenarios that he is still blockable, my opponent not having a Villain in the field is a scenario where he can't be blocked. As far as I'm concerned, in any given game state, something can be blocked or can't be blocked. There's no gray area there. If there is nothing capable of blocking a character, that means the character cannot be blocked. Not "can be blocked if the proper dice were on the other side of the board." If it cannot be assigned any blockers at this time then that means it can't be blocked at this time. The Angel/Joker scenario described creates a situation where Joker can't be blocked. There are many other times where he can be blocked, yes. In this one, he cannot be assigned a blocker. He cannot be blocked. That frees Angel to be blocked.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Bankholdup View Post
    Of course it's semantical. All rules discussions by their very nature are. The two different interpretations all come down to the meaning of "can" or conversely "can't." I, as well as Scott and Dean, believe a character's ability to be blocked depends on the board state.

    Your interpretation is the far more useful and powerful of the two, which leads me to believe you are incorrect. If you are correct, I have a team consisting of Joker, Bucky, Namor and Angel that I'd like to sell you.
    I agree that rules arguments are semantic in nature, but when you rely on a reductionist interpretation, you're perverting the rules to suit your ends.

    The way the rules work is more powerful than the way you two are trying to sell it, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. When in doubt as to how a combo works, it's a good idea to go with the version that isn't overpowered. This is only ever a suggestion. Further, the way the combo works out isn't even overpowered, it's the only way that Angel has any reasonable power whatsoever. If you guys are right, Angel becomes a glorified sidekick in that he has to be blocked last.

    Even with how Angel works, he doesn't work alongside Namor since he becomes unblockable, Bucky has awful stats and just avoids sidekicks, and Joker only has strength alongside Harley Quinn and the Ant-Man global. If you have a team with all that chaff and anti-synergy, sell it as much as you want, I'm not buying.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by alleyviper View Post
    Okay, we're simply never going to come to terms on this.

    No matter how true it is that Joker's ability allows for scenarios that he is still blockable, my opponent not having a Villain in the field is a scenario where he can't be blocked. As far as I'm concerned, in any given game state, something can be blocked or can't be blocked. There's no gray area there. If there is nothing capable of blocking a character, that means the character cannot be blocked. Not "can be blocked if the proper dice were on the other side of the board." If it cannot be assigned any blockers at this time then that means it can't be blocked at this time. The Angel/Joker scenario described creates a situation where Joker can't be blocked. There are many other times where he can be blocked, yes. In this one, he cannot be assigned a blocker. He cannot be blocked. That frees Angel to be blocked.
    You're right, we're never going to come to terms in this.

    You keep focusing on the board state even though it has nothing to do with Angel's effect and I can't dissuade you from that. As soon as you look at anything other than the status of Angel's allied attackers, you're going outside of his effect and incorporating worthless data. Nothing on your opponent's field matters at all in this interaction, there's no plainer way to say it. You keep reducing the rules to a pragmatic instance where the effects in question work on a different level. Misapplication of effects is bound to lead to false conclusions and that's where we have to leave it.

  24. #24
    I mean, I feel like saying that Joker can be blocked when my opponent has no Villains in the field is perverting the rules to suit your own ends but that's just me.

  25. #25
    So, if and Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	2298 attack together and my opponent chooses not to spin anyone down, my Harley can still be blocked as normal? Game state says Black Widow can't be blocked because my opponent didn't spin down, thus Harley can be because only characters that COULD be blocked are referenced by her ability.

    To follow this logic some more, Natasha gives no ability to go unblocked to Harley if my opponent only has Sidekicks, as the sidekicks can't spin.

    Do these follow your Logic trains?

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