It’s been a while since I’ve done a Rules Corner, but how could I not bring it back to talk about the hot new confusing FFTCG card? The new rules nightmare fuel. Every set there are always a few cards that stand out above all others in terms of causing more than a few tweets to the official FFTCG account, but every now and then comes along a card that causes nothing short of an avalanche of them, and this time around that card is of course Opus 15’s very own Gogo. Let us begin by taking a look at this absolute unit:
In awe at the size of this lad’s auto
Gogo (15-028H)’s auto is the true confusing star of the show. His Special? Don’t care about it. Completed it mate. Not important. Not even going to acknowledge its existence beyond this point.
On the surface, Gogo’s auto is fairly straightforward. It copies an action ability of a Monster or Forward when it’s used. Okay, excellent. End of article.
Welllllll maybe not. You see, there are many different flavours of action ability. What about an action ability that puts the Character activating it into the Break Zone, does that trigger Gogo? What about if the action ability puts Gogo into the Break Zone as part of the cost? What about action abilities that pay X? What about… well you get the idea. The fact is, even if Gogo’s auto’s text is mostly straightforward, what isn’t straightforward is when it triggers and in what way it can use the triggering action ability (if it can). Now, given Opus 15 (yes, I know it’s technically called Crystal Dominion but come on) is only just out at the time of writing, there may yet be scenarios that haven’t come up/been answered not currently covered here, but worry not, I’ll endeavor to edit the article if it’s needed beyond publication. Anyway, time to dig into the different scenarios!
Conditional Action Abilities
Some action abilities have conditions that require certain circumstances in order for them to be used. This is specifically written at the end of the action ability (as it’s not part of the resolving effect, or the cost) with the wording along the lines of “you can only use this ability [if X = true/false]
As we can see, Layle needs to be attacking to use their action ability, and Barret needs a Job AVALANCHE Operative that you controlled to have gone from the field to the Break Zone that turn to use his action ability.
The question, of course, is does Gogo care about these conditions? The answer: no.
Gogo does not care. Why? Well, I’ll do my best to explain it as I understand it. As I said previously, these conditions are not part of the effect, they exist as conditions for activating the ability. Gogo is not activating the ability, Gogo simply copies the already activated ability for their own use. As such, the conditions are not relevant to Gogo, and they do not hinder his usage in any way.
Gogo Vs Assigned Values
Some action abilities assign a value in their effect based on something performed as part of the cost. For example:
Here we have two different ways of assigning values, one where you pay X CP (as in you choose how much to pay while paying the cost) and one where you put a Forward into the Break Zone. In both cases, you can see the effect references information gained from the cost. So, can Gogo reference this information if he copies it? Nope.
For the first case, when it comes to X, because there was nothing paid for the cost (because Gogo doesn’t pay cost, and cannot reference the cost paid for the action ability he’s copying), X becomes set to 0. Meaning, until they print literal 0CP Lightning Forwards, Gogo does nothing copying Zemus’s action ability, and of course, you can extend this to any action ability where you pay X, Gogo will set X to 0 (unless the effect says otherwise). The reasoning as to why it’s set to 0? Well, we can ACTUALLY, for once, refer to the Comprehensive Rules. Specifically, we look at 4.5 (and maybe 4.4 as well) under section 4, “Numerical Values”. 4.5 states that the X in Zemus’s action ability is what’s known as a “variable number”. As in, it’s variable because it’s final value isn’t defined until a certain point, in this case, paying CP as part of the cost to activate Zemus’ action ability. As Gogo does not pay the cost, X goes “how much am I equal to daddy Gogo?” and Gogo goes “you are 0, my son.”
It should be noted, this does indeed mean if we ever get a card that uses X+1 or something along those lines, then yes, that would work for Gogo. So, in the Zemus case, if Zemus’s effect instead played a Lightning Forward of exactly X+1 (maybe if they power creep him or something), then Gogo could play a 1CP Lightning Forward (of which there are currently 6 at the time of writing this) but we don’t actually have a card like that currently, so this is just a hypothetical scenario.
For the second case, it’s a little bit more interesting. You might have just read what I said about X, look at Cloud and go “that’s basically the scenario you just talked about!” Except it isn’t. That’s right. Gogo does not default to 0 when it comes to something like Cloud’s effect. Nope. It becomes null. Yes, we have some null pointer action in FFTCG.
Now, while we have the official ruling on this set in Twitter stone (meaning it could literally change tomorrow), we don’t exactly have a comprehensive outline to connect all the dots. I will explain as best I can as far as I can see the dots connecting, but HJ/SE might decide to connect them in a slightly different way. Or their connection of dots might literally be to say “this works this way, this works a different way, bye.”
With X, it exists purely as a variable number, and if there is no information to draw on, it defaults to 0. You paid nothing? 0. It has no reference to the cost? 0.
With something like Cloud, where you put a Forward into the Break Zone, it’s not so much looking for a specific value as trying to look for the Character to then reference the value. If you understand some amount of programming, you probably understand when I said null pointer earlier. The Forward in this case is the object, and that object contains the values. The effect looks for the object as a reference, to grab the values from, but it can’t see an object when Gogo uses the effect, because Gogo never paid the cost. There is no valid object/Forward, thus, the value is set to null, not 0. This means Gogo’s search can’t find anything (the search isn’t optional though so you still have to shuffle).
Hopefully that’s not scrambled your brain too much.
Now, before we move on from this area, I want to quickly look at another relevant card:
The reason I want to touch on Amarant is when Gogo copies the ability, it deals null damage. Which actually equals 0 damage. Which raises the question, if Amarant’s copied action defaults to 0 as a value for damage, why does this not happen for Cloud’s copied action? That’s right, we weren’t done making Cloud’s copied effect seem even weirder. Well, to answer this, we must again turn to basically doing a bit of educated guesswork, but thankfully it sort of comes out the same as the explanation of why Cloud’s effect ends up as null, unlike an effect looking for a value of X. Damage needs to be a numerical value. So, yes, Amarant’s copied effect looks at the Forward, says it’s null, but then it cannot be null for damage, so 4.4 says “treat it as zero.” So it becomes 0 damage, which is to say it deals no damage.
Cloud’s effect is looking to reference the Forward, and use that as the basis for getting a value and searching a Forward 1CP higher. It does not need to turn into a number, because it does not add the 1CP on top of a numerical value, meaning it can remain null.
Let’s cool down now after that last section, with a few sections that are a little easier to digest. Firstly, let’s start with action abilities that have multi-select options. For example:
Someone should give HJ a Sterne talking to for this card
Sterne’s action ability is multi-select, meaning you can pick from 1 of 3 actions. The question here is, does Gogo copy the ability exactly, meaning it copies the action chosen? Nope. Gogo gets to make a free choice as to the actions, meaning you can select an entirely different action than you did when you activated Sterne. As the children (and eureka) like to say, very poggers.
“Card Name” vs Card Name “X”
While understanding “card name” vs Card Name “X” isn’t something new thrown up by Gogo, it does of course continue to throw people, so I think it’s worth making sure we go over this. Firstly, the way to tell the difference between when a card refers to itself or to any card with a specific name, is whether or not it has “Card Name” before the card name in question.
Let’s look at an example of each:
In the case of Sky Samurai’s action ability, it refers only to itself. Which is otherwise known as referring to “this card.” In Esha’ntarl’s action ability case, they refer to ANY card named Esha’ntarl. When it comes to Gogo copying these action abilities, what that means is, for something like Sky Samurai, the “this card” wording in the text literally changes to “Gogo” because Gogo is now “this card.” In Esha’ntarl’s action ability’s case, it means the wording/name does not change, and that means Gogo’s copoed the action ability still cannot play a card with the name Esha’ntarl.
As another example, let’s look at this card:
Ultros here combines both “this card” and Card Name “X.” When Gogo copies the action ability, it will put itself at the bottom of the owner’s deck (because the “Ultros” aka “this card” text becomes “Gogo”) and then it will play a card named Ultros (if there is one in the revealed cards) because that text refers specifically to cards with the name Ultros.
Gogo As The Cost
Okay, now it’s time to tackle something that’s a little more complicated. Technically this section isn’t the complicated bit. What makes it more complicated is the section after this. In a sense, this is like part 1, everything is nice and simple, establishes the characters, blah blah. Then part 2 will come and murder everyone.
For this section, we’re looking at what happens if the cost of an action ability pays with Gogo’s blood. As in, makes Gogo leave the field in some way as a cost. For example:
Golbez’s action ability puts 4 Characters into the Break Zone for cost (as well as dulling itself first), so what happens if Gogo is one of those put in the BZ? Does he trigger? No.
At the point Gogo would trigger, which is when the ability is put on the stack (and the activation is considered successful/completed), Gogo is Gogone.
Yes, I’m very proud of that joke, thanks.
Activating Character As Cost
Now, it’s time for your favourite characters to die. Welcome to part 2.
This time, we’re looking at what happens if the activating Forward/Monster leaves the field as part of the cost (but not Gogo). Does Gogo trigger? Yes, yes, yes.
The reason this gets confusing is because Gogo specifically says “you control.” As we established in the last section, Gogo doesn’t trigger until the ability goes onto the stack aka is successfully activated. This means, Gogo doesn’t just immediately pop-off the second you try and activate an ability, and so, you might expect, if the Forward/Monster isn’t on the field any more, you don’t control it, so how can Gogo trigger? The answer: FFTCG.
The real answer actually lies in the fact you controlled the Forward/Monster when you began activating it. That’s right. Gogo doesn’t care that you no longer control it, only that you did when you started activating it. I admit, it’s definitely a ruling that makes you stare up at your brain and scratch your head a bit. Ultimately the rules are created and defined as they are, and as much as you want them to be consistent and make sense, sometimes, things just….are how they are and all you can do is complain about them every article you write. Not that I’d ever do that. Something something, everything is made up and the points don’t matter. I actually don’t really mind this ruling, I’m still caught on a ruling made about 2CP ME cards and don’t get me started….anyway.
One thing I want to make clear, before we move on, is this DOES NOT retroactively change other cards that say “you control,” for example Iroha (8-004R). You still need to control the Character dealing the damage, it matters if you controlled it and now do not, because she won’t increase damage that way. What’s the difference you might ask? Well, Iroha’s field ability checks at the point damage is done, it doesn’t look at if it’s an auto and you controlled it at the point it triggered, or anything like that, all it does is go: “damage has been dealt. Do you control the source of the damage? If yes, +1000. If not, do nothing.
With Gogo, well it does feel a little out of line so if anything is going to change, it’ll be him (I hope, geezus if they change Iroha et al) but Gogo ultimately sees the Forward/Monster you control using it, even if it ultimately doesn’t remain on the field at the point Gogo triggers. Is that weird? Very. But hey-ho, please take all complaints to HJ/SE.
To end this article (minus the conclusion part), I’ve put together a little breakdown, to summarise everything we’ve gone over, and make a nice neat reference tool. Enjoy!
Summary of how Gogo (15-028H)’s auto-ability interacts with action abilities:
- Ignores conditions that prevent activation of the ability.
- Cannot reference information gained from the cost.
- Sets X in effect text to 0, if X is defined by the cost paid.
- Sets non-X values related to cost paid to null (damage becomes 0).
- Makes “this card” text equal to “Gogo.”
- Can freely select multi-select actions (equal to limit set on original action ability)
- Does not trigger if Gogo leaves the field as part of the cost
- Does trigger if activating Forward/Monster leaves the field but Gogo remains.
Thus concludes our look at Gogo. What a wild and wacky card that’s totally not a problem because of a lack of a complete comprehensive rules document or anything.
Damn it. Almost made it a whole article without complaining about that. The earlier joke didn’t count!
As a note, I’m going to try something a little new for the end material of this article. I’m going to include the sources I used for the rulings. I think this is probably something I should have done way earlier, but I’ll do my best to include sources and things going forward. Admittedly, I don’t typically do a lot of sourcing when I write my articles, only a few checks here and there, but I’ll endeavor to seek our sources as much as I feel is needed in a given article.
I probably won’t be back before next year, so happy Xmas, and good new years, and merry holidays, and whatever else. Congrats on your birthdays? Yay for living one more year.
Rules Processing Corner Material
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”