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Thread: When exactly can an opposing player play global abilities in tournament play?

  1. #1

    When exactly can an opposing player play global abilities in tournament play?

    I am having a difficult time determining when it is and is not appropriate for the inactive player to use a global ability. I was perusing the Strategy page in the a Reserve Pool and came across this passage under the Globals subcategory:

    >>Critically, you need to understand how globals function in the main phase. According to tournament rules, the active player can do as many actions as they desire, with the inactive player essentially unable to respond (once again, exceptions abound, but you they require some sort of trigger to come into play)>>

    That is the way I have been playing the last couple of months, though it came at a cost since my Magic friends who played DM stopped playing DM because we treated global abilities like "Instant/Interuption" cards in Magic (if you don't play Magic, Instants/Interupts can essentially be played whenever).

    Today I was researching Johnny Storm - Human Torch (While Human Torch is active, each time you field a character, Human Torch deals 1 damage to your opponent and one to a target character (not 1 damage per Human Torch die). I was surprised to see Loki - Loki Laufeyson (While Loki is active, once per turn you may pay to deal 1 damage to a character die. That character die loses all of its abilities until end of turn. You may use this ability whenever you could use a Global Ability.) listed as a counterattack against Torch since the inactive player would not be able to play a global ability until the active player completed all their actions.

    This lead me to conduct more research, and I found the following passage in the AoU, AVX and ASM rule books (I am going to assume it is in all rule books). The passage says:

    >>During the Main Step, the active player can use a Global Ability as one of the actions available during the Main Step. The other player can also initiate a Global Ability (that is, use one that is not a reaction to something else happening) after each action (purchase, field, etc.) that the active player uses during the Main Step.

    However, in cases where both players may wish to use Global Abilities at the same time (e.g., one player is trying to use a Global Ability to knock out a character, and the other wants to boost the character’s defense), the active player always takes precedence. Thus, while it is fine to play loose in casual play, tournament play requires a stricter procedure.>>

    The two quoted passages seem to contradict each other, and I am wondering what is the official ruling on playing global abilities during the other player's turn. This question has lead to fights and dissension in my local DM community, and I would like some clarity before next February's regional events. (I hope it's the second quoted passage).

    For example, let's say I have the Loki referenced above and my opponent has Johnny Storm fielded. It is his turn and he rolls two sidekick characters, a shield and a bolt. At what point can the inactive player use Loki's ability in the following turn sequence:

    ((A)) After active player concludes second roll.
    Active player fields sidekick die to trigger Johnny Storm
    ((B)) Inactive player uses Loki ability and negates damage
    ((C)) Inactive player uses Loki ability after damage is resolved and negates future damage
    ((D)) Inactive player cannot use Loki's ability until active player has fielded all sidekicks and made his purchase or passed priority

    One final question related to the topic. Let's say I am playing a game where we have a bolt global that deals 1 damage to target character and a global that gives a character +1 defense if they pay a shield. Let's say the active player has one active sidekick and three bolts and one shield in the reserve pool while the inactive player has three fielded sidekicks and three shields and one bolt in the Reserve Pool.

    If the active player paid a bolt to knock out a sidekick during the start of his Main Phase, can the inactive player then pay a shield to increase that sidekick's defense, or is the sidekick knocked out?

    If the answer is the sidekick gets knocked out, I have a follow-up. After the active player passes priority, what happens if the inactive player uses the bolt global to shoot the active player's sidekick. If the active player did not use the shield global before the inactive player, can he still use it afterward to bump up the sidekick's defense to prevent being knocked out?

    Thank you for any clarity you can provide.

  2. #2
    This is an open and shut case: D.
    Loki is a terrible counter to Human Torch unless you're against an opponent that's comboing him with the rare Agent Venom to get infinite damage on your turn.

    As for the second question, the inactive player may not pay his shield to increase his sidekick's defense until he has priority. Since he does not have priority when his opponent used the bolt to deal the sidekick 1 damage, the sidekick is KO'd and play continues. Similarly, the active player may not use a shield to save his own sidekick since they do not have priority at the time the global kills their sidekick.

    Globals are very different to instants and there isn't any sort of "stack" like there is in Magic. They are almost entirely proactive.
    There are no retroactive abilities outside of reactive globals, those being ones that respond to a trigger (usually damage). Reactive globals can be played regardless of priority, though the active player still plays theirs first. Globals like this include Mera, Treant, Slander, and Human Torch.

  3. #3
    Can you explain how your answer does not contradict the rule book passage cited above?

    Let's change the scenario. Let's say the active player has Torch in the field and rolls three side kick and a Prismatic Spray - Lesser Spell (cancels opponent's character's card text). The inactive character has the Professor X- Trainer card on his team. If the active player fields his sidekicks, could the inactive player use the Professor X global before being hit with the Prismatic Spray? According to the rule book, this seems completely legit.

  4. #4
    "In tournament play, the active player takes as many sequential
    actions as desired (from zero to all possible actions) before pausing
    and indicating that the inactive player can take an action. The inactive
    player can then either perform an action or decline the opportunity.
    Then the active player can take more actions."
    - Page 22 of the ASM Rulebook.

    The problem you're referring to arises form a semantic issue with the following passage:
    "During the Main Step, the active player can use a Global Ability
    as one of the actions available. The other player can also initiate a
    Global Ability (that is, use one that is not a reaction to something else
    happening) after each action that the active player uses during the
    Main Step (purchase, eld, etc.)."
    - Page 24 of the ASM Rulebook.

    The phrase "after each" in the above passage is unclear and leads to the misinterpretation you're talking about. In context "each" means "each and every" not "each individual". This is clear when looking at the rules in aggregate, but focusing on that specific passage makes it ambiguous.

  5. #5
    Although the common play is as @Necromanticer says, I can understand where the language mix up comes into effect. Coming from Magic as well, I agree that when they say 'each' it should always mean 'each instance'. This would make the game far more interactive for sure.

    The curious thing for me is they seem to flop between what some words mean. Each in this regard is 'each and every' while on say rare Lantern Ring is 'each instance of'.

    The wording in the game is still being worked out on many levels. If you would like more clarification, visit the Wizkids rules forum. You can always ask there.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Reglor View Post
    Just to make sure I understand what you are saying. In Magic terms globals generaly work as sorceries and the active player retains priority as long as he says he does, is that correct?
    Well, yes and no...

    Most work at sorcery speed. Each global is an effect unto itself and there is no chaining one to another except for reactive globals. Reactive globals as I mentioned, resolve at the same instant as the effect they are reacting to and usually modify damage by increasing or reducing it.

    The biggest difference is that there's a window in the attack step for each player to play globals between declaring attackers/blocker and assigning/resolving damage (and no second main step). The priority for the attack step is the same as the main step, but with a lot more mind games.

    Finally, you are correct in how priority works. The active player does as much as they like until they decide to pass priority. It's just important to remember that the inactive player must pass priority in order for the step to end.

  8. #8
    It's been ages since I played Magic, but they had cards labeled as Instants and Interupts. From what I remember, you could play this cards at any time if you had the appropriate amount of unused mana.

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  10. #10
    Thanks for the chart. Even though I asked the question, I have been playing the correct way. I just thought I would ask once I found the (poorly worded) paragraph I cited above that I thought might contradict the rule. I am still not a fan of the ruling, but I will make it work. I also know that this rule has caused at least one DM enthusiast to stop playing, which is why I posted to see if anyone else had any thoughts. In my opinion, a battle should be fluid and give the inactive player an opportunity to play defense whenever they want (especially if they held dice for that purpose), so if there is an action, there is an opportunity for a reaction.

    I shall climb off my soapbox...but not before I say I wish they would go back to four super rares per set. Thanks to everyone who has posted thus far.

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