(Metagame Archive) Cerebro #3

By Paul Ross

Hi, and thanks again for the questions you’ve sent to vsrules@gmail.com. Don’t forget to tell me where you’re from so that I can tell everyone else where you’re from!

Like last week, I’m going to start with a look at some recently previewed Marvel Knights cards, and then I’ll roll up my sleeves and tackle some other submitted questions.

1. Diplomatic Immunity

If my Dr. Doom is hidden and an opponent proposes a direct attack, can I move him to “intercept” the attack? If he is hidden in my support row, must I move him to the support row of my visible area?

The proposed attack will fail the legality check, because a direct attack can only be proposed against a player who controls no visible non-stunned characters. However, the proposed attacker(s) won’t be “forced” to attack Dr. Doom. They will simply not exhaust, and the attack substep will conclude without further incident. Your opponent could then propose a new attack against Dr. Doom, or pass.

Unless a card says otherwise, a character moving to a different area can move to any unoccupied position in either row of that area.

I want to equip my Tibetan Monks with Decoy Program, and then use Diplomatic Immunity to move it to my hidden area. My friend says I can’t, because the equipment will fall off when it tries to move from a visible area to a hidden area. Is he right?

Last week, I briefly summarized the hidden area rules that deal with attacking and character position. A third set of hidden area rules deal with equipment:

Equipment can only be equipped to a visible character unless a card says otherwise. When an equipped character is moved to a different kind of area, its equipment is placed in the KO pile. Equipment can’t be transferred to a character in a different kind of area.

Is your friend right? Well, yes and no. The Decoy Program will “fall off” into the KO pile, but it will do so only once the character is moving, not “when it tries to move.” In other words, when Diplomatic Immunity’s payment effect resolves, you’ll move your visible character named Dr. Doom. The character that arrives in your hidden area, however, will be named Tibetan Monks, because the Decoy Program gets put into the KO pile in transit.

Note that you won’t be able to use Diplomatic Immunity to move the Tibetan Monks back out of the hidden area, but I’m guessing that won’t be a major cause for concern.

If my Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius is hidden, will it stay in play if I recruit Dr. Doom, Victor Von Doom to my visible area? Can I recruit Sub-Mariner if I only control a hidden Dr. Doom?

Here are two more additions to the “hidden characters are still in play” list from last week. The uniqueness rule will put hidden characters into your KO pile if you recruit a non-army character of the same name. Also, controlling an appropriate hidden character will allow you to recruit a character with loyalty or a restriction like Sub-Mariner’s.

2. Weapon of Choice

Can I choose two character cards that don’t share an affiliation? How about Daredevil, The Man Without Fear and Daredevil, Matt Murdock from Marvel Knights?

You certainly can choose two character cards that don’t share an affiliation. However, you can’t choose two different versions of the same character, because they don’t have different names.

So, what happens if I play Weapon of Choice on the fifth turn, and the only 5-drops in my deck are all named Daredevil? Do I get my discards back?

I’m afraid not. You can legally play Weapon of Choice even if there are no character cards in your deck. On resolution, you can always choose not to reveal any character cards, but if you reveal only one, it will be shuffled back into your deck. Either way, costs are not refunded.

3. Existing Cards

“Lord Dream” from Portugal continued his interrogation from last week with a fun question about multiple team-ups:

I have a face-up Marvel Team-Up naming Darkseid’s Elite (DE) and Doom. I play a Forced Allegiance and choose DE. Are my DE characters still Doom characters?

The interaction of continuous modifiers is one of the most challenging areas of the Comprehensive Rules. If you’re not planning on sitting for the Level 2 exam any time soon, feel free to skip ahead to the next question. You have been warned!

The short answer is that because the Forced Allegiance affiliation (DE) is one of the Marvel Team-Up affiliations, the Marvel Team-Up depends on the Forced Allegiance but the Forced Allegiance doesn’t depend on the Marvel Team-Up. Dependent modifiers are applied after the application of the modifiers upon which they depend, so your characters will continue to have both affiliations.

How do you work out the dependencies? That’s a slightly longer answer. The Marvel Team-Up will affect characters that have either the Doom or DE affiliation. Can the Forced Allegiance change whether a character fits this description? Yes, it can change a non-DE character into a DE character, or a Doom character into a non-Doom character. Consequently, the Marvel Team-Up depends on the Forced Allegiance.

The Forced Allegiance affects affiliated characters. Can the Marvel Team-Up change whether a character fits that description? No, it can’t make an unaffiliated character affiliated or an affiliated character unaffiliated. Consequently, the Forced Allegiance doesn’t depend on the Marvel Team-Up.

Again, dependent modifiers are applied after the application of the modifiers upon which they depend. Applying the Forced Allegiance modifier first means that all of your affiliated characters will lose their affiliations and become DE. Applying the Marvel Team-Up modifier second means that all of your DE characters will also have the Doom affiliation.

Ryan O. from Tallahassee, FL, USA asked a couple of questions about the Inmates:

Does Fear and Confusion exhaust a defender if the plot twist is played after the attackers have exhausted and the attack has become legal?

The attackers will get the +1 ATK bonus, but the defender won’t exhaust. Here’s how it works:

Fear and Confusion creates a Delayed Trigger Modifier (DTM) that waits for an Arkham character you control to attack a character this turn. If you resolve Fear and Confusion and then propose such an attack, the DTM will trigger when the attacker exhausts, putting an effect on the chain that exhausts the defender on resolution.

If you play Fear and Confusion after attackers have exhausted, the DTM won’t trigger until the next time an Arkham character you control attacks a character.

Can characters “frozen” by Mr. Freeze ready if Mr. Freeze becomes stunned?

This is an extension of the “basketball” rule from my first edition FAQ, which says that an effect won’t be disrupted if something happens to its source. In the same way, a modifier created by an effect won’t be disrupted if anything happens to the source of the effect.

In the case of Mr. Freeze, whenever he attacks or is attacked by a character, his triggered effect creates a modifier on resolution. This modifier prevents “frozen” characters from readying and will persist until end of turn, regardless of what happens to Mr. Freeze.

Marc L. from Sydney, NSW, Australia asked an interesting question about reinforcement:

I was playing in a Man Of Steel draft this week and was obviously against the ropes, because my 6-drop was Lex Luthor, Power Armor. It was vital that I do some breakthrough with Lex, so I attacked a smaller front row character and waited for my opponent to exhaust a support row character to reinforce. In response, I targeted the support row character with Play Time, which I thought would negate the reinforcement effect. However, my opponent simply moved the target next to his front row defender and said that the reinforcement effect would still resolve. Was he right? If he was, should I have played the Play Time before proposing the attack?

Yes to both. To pay the cost of a reinforcement effect, you must exhaust a support row character adjacent to a target defender that shares an affiliation with that defender. It will resolve if the target is still a defender you control that shares a team affiliation with, and is adjacent to, the character you exhausted. In other words, the character you exhaust has to be in your support row when you pay the cost, but not necessarily when you resolve the effect.

Steve L. from Keedysville, MD, USA asked a question about my favorite deck:

It’s the beginning of turn 5 and I’m playing Wild Vomit. I have two Underground Sentinel Bases and three Sentinel Mark IVs face down in my resource row. Is it possible to use both USBs this turn and bring out two extra Sentinels? I’d assume I could flip one of them and add its effect to the chain, then flip the second one in response (putting the first in the KO pile) and add its effect to the chain.

You could, indeed. The key is flipping the second one before the effect from the first one resolves. After the effect from the first one resolves, the second one can’t be flipped because there are no longer enough resources to pay its threshold cost.

So, with that example of stellar play, it’s time to bid you all farewell for another week. I’m looking forward to judging at one of the Marvel Knights Sneak Peek tournaments, and will probably be doing so as you read this! I’ll be sure to pass on any rules questions that come my way. If any rules questions come your way, please send them to vsrules@gmail.com.


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