Passive Conditions wrote:
- Condition, Passive: An action that causes another action to take effect. The triggered action will be the first declared action in the chain of effects immediately following the chain of effects that contained the passive condition.
condition causes an action to happen as stated on a card already in play. Typical passive conditions involve forcing corruption checks and forcing the effects of environmental long-events. These are called passive conditions because the actions they satisfy come into play only indirectly as the result of a decision made by the player.
- Annotation 9: If a card specifies that an action is to occur as a result of some specific passive condition, this action becomes automatically the first action declared in the chain of effects to immediately follow the chain of effects producing the passive condition. The passive condition must exist when this resulting action is resolved in its own chain of effects, or the action is canceled. Note that actions in the strike sequence follow a different set of rules.
- Annotation 9a: If a card is required to be discarded by some passive condition, the card is discarded immediately when the condition resolves, not in the following chain of effects.
- Annotation 10: If more than one action is required to be the first action declared in a chain of effects, the player whose turn it is chooses the order in which they are declared. No other actions may be declared in this follow-up chain until the multiple required actions have been declared.
Therefore, when a 1st action (the passive condition) occurs in a 1st chain of effects, if that 1st action meets certain conditions established by a 2nd effect, then the 1st action may trigger a 2nd action of the 2nd effect to be the first declared action in a 2nd chain of effects following the 1st chain of effects. Thus, the 2nd action is performed as a result of a passive condition.
But how can a passive condition trigger an action if the passive condition was already brought into play a long time ago? That is, the action that satisfies the conditions was not resolved in the preceding chain of effects
Consider the many cards having effects that are applied to "each" or "all" of something. Such cards establish some action as a passive condition that triggers the action on the card. The passive conditions are shown in bold italics
and the triggered action is shown with an underline
- Bane of the Ithil-Stone -- "Corruption points for Palantíri are doubled." -- triggered by a Palantiri.
- Rank Upon Rank -- "All non-agent Man attacks receive +1 prowess and +1 strikes."
- Smaug Ahunt -- "Any company moving in Withered Heath, Northern Rhovanion, Iron Hills, and/or Grey Mountain Narrows immediately faces one Dragon attack"
- Snowstorm -- "Each moving company with a in its site path must return to its site of origin"
- Wizard's Flame -- "All attacks against Wizard's company suffer a -2 modification to prowess for the rest of the turn."
- The Evenstar -- "the prowess of each Elf is modified by +1 (until the end of turn)"
In these examples above, the Palantir may already be in play, the non-agent Man attack may already be in play, a moving company's new site card may have already been revealed, and Elves may already be in play and they may be brought into play later (by A Change Meeting).
The triggered actions are declared in the chain of effects following the resolution of the passive condition. But the effects of such cards ALSO apply to entities that are already in play (which were not brought into play in the preceding chain of effects). How does the effect apply to those entities? I see 2 alternatives for handling this situation:
- The passive condition can be triggered by the state/status of the card being in play (which would be considered an action for purposes of a passive condition)
- The card's effects not only includes an effect triggered by a passive condition, but also declared actions for "each/all" of the appropriate entities in play.
I believe that (1) is less likely to be correct because "being in play" is the result of an action being resolved, it is not an action itself. Still, we could treat in-play status as if it were an action for purposes of triggered active conditions.
I believe that (2) is more likely to be correct because there is no issue with resolving the effects immediately upon resolution.
This point has actually been ruled on in ICE Digest 79 (which copies in rulings from a few preceding Digests). I'll copy a small portion first and then the entire thing at the end.
ICE Digest 79 wrote:Now that I think about it, RtHW does not fail. Remember, the effect of RUR is done as a passive condition, and is the first declared effect in the chain of effects immediately after the condition resolves (RUR and a man attack being in play). Therefore, Assassin only has one strike when RtHW resolves.
Thus, the ICE ruling states that Rank Upon Rank's actions of "+1 prowess and +1 strikes" are triggered as a result of a passive condition of "a man attack being in play
". Hmm... My 1st issue is that I don't consider "being in play" to be an action -- and passive conditions are actions by definition. My 2nd issue that if the actions of "+1 prowess and +1 strikes" WERE triggered as a result of "being in play," then these actions of Rank Upon Rank would NOT be "the first declared effect in the chain of effects immediately after the condition
(the man attack being in play) resolves
." The description of passive conditions states "The triggered action will be the first declared action in the chain of effects immediately following the chain of effects that contained the passive condition
." But there is no chain of effects that contained "the man attack being in play." "Being in play" is not an effect or an action that gets resolved in a chain of effects.
This ruling doesn't fit with the existing description of how passive conditions operate. There were no later rulings in the ICE Digests to address this same topic. It could be a workable solution to follow the Digest and consider "being in play" as an action and then declare the triggered actions immediately in the chain of effects following resolution of Rank Upon Rank (instead of upon resolution of the passive condition). But this really makes the "+1 prowess and +1 strikes" more like delayed actions (instead of triggered actions as a result of a passive condition).
So, I think the Digest is incorrect. I think that if the Asssassin is in play and Rank Upon Rank is NOT already in play, then when a player declares Ready to His Will, the hazard player can declare Rank Upon Rank in response. Meaning that Rank Upon Rank will resolve before Ready to His Will. And (in my opinion) resolution of Rank Upon Rank would include both (1) establishment of a passive condition effect and (2) actions targeting each non-agent Man attack in play. Meaning that Ready to His Will would not be able to resolve as it's target would be invalid.
But at the end of the day, this timing issue hardly ever arises. I can't think of another situation where it comes up besides Rank Upon Rank and Ready to His Will. So I'm OK with the ICE ruling even if it doesn't really follow the description of actions or passive conditions.
The relevant ICE Digest rulings (questions in italic
, ICE response in bold
ICE Digest 35 wrote:4) Does Ready to His Will refer to creature's cardtext or
> current situation? (e.g. opponent plays Rank Upon Rank
> and Assassin. Can i play RtHW?)
Current situation. However, Rank Upon Rank's effect is declared
when Assassin comes into play. You can play Ready to His Will
ICE Digest 42 wrote:From: Ndongo Bastos <lgr9...@student1.lu.se>
>Can I play Ready to His Will on an enhanced Assassin
>(e.g. with Rank upon Rank)?
Yes. Rank Upon Rank must be declared and resolved as
a passive condition, and you can respond to it with
Ready to His Will.
ICE Digest 78 wrote:
>>Just a minor point. Rank Upon Rank's effect is applied as a passive
>>condition. That means it is the first declared effect in the first
>>chain of effects after Assassin resolves. Thus, you can respond to
>>it with a Ready to His Will.
>Ichabod, does this mean that *Ready to His Will* works against an
>*Assassin* even if *Rank Upon Rank* was in play before the Assassin was
>ever played? If so this really seems weird.
That's exactly what it means. And yes, it is a bit weird. But it's either
have something a bit weird, or make up a whole new timing rule. We went
for a bit weird.
>Tell me if the following is correct:
>With no Rank Upon Rank in play an Assassin is played, then Rank Upon Rank
>is played, in respose to which Ready to His Will is played; Ready to His
>Will successfully resolves because the Assassin still only has one strike
>per attack at this point.
Correct, assuming htis is done after Assassin resolves.
>If, however, in the above example, Ready to His Will is played in response
>to the Assassin and Rank Upon Rank is played in response to Ready to His
>Will; RtHW will now fail because the Assassin now has two strikes per
>attack when RtHW resolves.
Incorrect. Ready to His Will is discarded with no effect, since it has
no valid target (Assassin has not resolved yet).
ICE Digest 79 wrote:
From: Martin Toggweiler <mtogg...@compuserve.com>
>>>If, however, in the above example, Ready to His Will is played in response
>>>to the Assassin and Rank Upon Rank is played in response to Ready to His
>>>Will; RtHW will now fail because the Assassin now has two strikes per
>>>attack when RtHW resolves.
>>Incorrect. Ready to His Will is discarded with no effect, since it has
>>no valid target (Assassin has not resolved yet).
>Hmmm... if Ready to His Will had no valid target when announced, wouldn't
>the announcement be illegal, thus the card could not be played (at that
>time) in the first place and would be kept in hand instead of discarded?
>Anyway what I meant to ask was suppose an Assassin is announced and
>resolves ( but the target/attacks not yet carried out); RtHW is now
>announced, in response Rank Upon Rank is announced. The chain of effects
>resolves, RtHW fails because the Assassin no longer has one strike per
Now that I think about it, RtHW does not fail. Remember, the effect
of RUR is done as a passive condition, and is the first declared
effect in the chain of effects immediately after the condition
resolves (RUR and a man attack being in play). Therefore, Assassin
only has one strike when RtHW resolves.
>With regard to the weird timing rules which allow RtHW to work on an
>Assassin even if Rank Upon Rank is in play before the Assassin is
>announced, I really think this should be changed in the rules when METW
>second edition is released, if not sooner. The intuitive interpretation
>IMO would be that cards ALREADY IN PLAY like RUR work immediately and
>continuously when a card it modifies resolves (Assassin) and cannot be
>preempted by the announcement of a card not yet in play at that point.
Well, of course that's intuitive. And I already said that. But the
choice is between an intuitive answer, and creating a whole new rule
which will complicate the timing rules even more. We chose not making
the rules more complicated. YMMV.