Welcome back to Rules Processing!

The other day (or really long ago depending on when you read this) someone linked to my Advanced Rules article in response to a comment in a Facebook group. Now I, being so amazing, misread my own article. I only read the first part about how multi-select Summons work, but not the part where I pointed out that was how they USED to work, meaning I thought my article now had some incorrect information. And thus I began writing an article to correct the record, and also because what the hell, multi-select is a good article topic anyway. To be fair, even if the right answers are still in that article, I think it’s better that people aren’t trying to read an article about an entirely different topic just to understand in some way how multi-select works. There likely are some things that are no longer correct in there, just by the nature of the shifting sands of the rules, as if an article about how hard it is to keep track and up to date on the rules isn’t proving it by being outdated (possibly)! Speaking of outdated…

I guess I better address the tiny elephant in the room: my AR! Yes, it’s quite a bit outdated now. There are a couple of reasons for that, and I could probably just write “COVID” and that would do, but it’s not one thing alone so isn’t that straightforward, however it is on me regardless, and I do have plans, not just to update it to be current, but also to try and make it more viewable online, and add in some extras like a glossary and maybe some other things. My ambition is probably my own undoing in part, but worst case I update it as often as the real Comp Rules, and still have a more complete document in the end, and if I didn’t, well I wouldn’t feel the need to do it any more! Anyway, enough about that shit, let’s talk about multi-select.

What is Multi-Select?

First and foremost, multi-select isn’t an official term. I’d sure like it to be because it does a good job of defining what it does for the most part. As yet though there is no actual official term so it’s sort of the wild west when it comes to this, with probably the most popular other option being the term “modular.” I’m against this for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s already an actual keyword ability in Magic. Now, you could make an argument for why that doesn’t matter, sure, and given how the ability works, it probably wouldn’t translate well to FFTCG, but with that said, I still personally would prefer avoiding using an unofficial term when it exists officially in a very popular card game. The other reason is that multi-select stands alone better. “Modular” as a term tends to almost demand another word. “That’s a modular Summon.” “That’s a modular ability.” and so on. Whereas you can just say “that’s multi-select.” Multi-select just feels more stand-alone as a term. I mean, yes, technically it is two words to modular’s one meaning it technically balances out, but the real hidden third point is I like it more, so I’m using it. If you wanna use modular, or modal, or “thing with a bunch of actions you select” you do you, I’m not here to make the decision for you, or act like mine is the right choice, but it’s the choice for this article, so, you’re going to see it A LOT if you continue reading. You can choose to stop now if you like.

With that settled, let’s get into defining what we’re talking about!

Multi-select refers to cards that have an effect that states:

“Select (up to) X of the Y following actions.” 

(X being the max amount of actions you can choose, Y being the total actions written on the effect.)

This can be printed on Summons, or as an ability on Characters. An example of a Summon with multi-select would be Glasya Labolas (5-032H):

An example of a Character with a multi-select ability (an auto-ability in this case) would be Ashe (10-106L):

How Does Multi-Select Work

When you cast a Summon, use an action/special ability,  or when a triggered auto-ability is being put on the stack (that is a multi-select effect), the first thing you do is declare your selected actions (before paying any costs to cast the summon or use the action/special ability). For example, take a look back at Glasya Labolas (5-032H) again. Glasya allows you to pick up to 2 actions out of the 4 available. So you could for example pick the option to choose a Forward and dull it as one option, and to choose a Forward and freeze it, as the other. Once you’ve made your choices, they are locked in. No takesies backsies.

Once you’ve made your choice of actions, you need to choose targets for the applicable actions (still before paying Summon/action/special ability cast/activation costs). Of course, not every one of the actions you pick, or possibly none of the actions you pick, will require targets to be chosen, and in that latter case you don’t need to do anything further for those parts until resolution. For those actions that do choose targets, well, pick your targets! I’ll make a separate section to go over nuances and the like, for example what happens if there isn’t a legal target at this point for some or all parts selected, but for now I’ll just focus on the usual way things play out. Do take note that each action you pick is considered separate in terms of the Forwards chosen. This means, you CAN pick the same Character for different actions (but not the same Character twice for the same action, if chooses more than one Character.)

An important note before we move on about the multi-select effect on the stack. The multi-select effect is a single effect on the stack. Each action is not separate on the stack, if someone uses an effect to cancel a Summon, and chooses your multi-select effect from a Summon, then it’s all gone, and same thing with an action/special/auto-ability cancel targeting your applicable action/special/auto-ability multi-select effect, it goes bye bye. This also means that it resolves as one effect, but we’re about to get into how it resolves so I’ll stop getting ahead of myself.

Alright, so, your multi-select effect is now on the stack. Assuming it doesn’t get cancelled somehow, we now skip ahead to the part where it’s going to resolve. Unless of course you don’t want to skip ahead like this, and instead want to do some serious roleplay in which I put together a realistic scenario which I will describe in detail on the level of Lord of the Rings, and play it out, step-by-step, including mentioning every time priority is given and passed, all leading to the effect getting to the point of resolving? 

No?

Okay, a couple of you ironically said yes, I know it, and I appreciate you, but no.

The first thing that happens when it comes time for the multi-select effect to resolve is to check the targets. If at this point all targets are no longer valid for an action, then that action is removed from the effect and will not resolve (and if there are no legal targets left at all, then the multi-select effect is removed entirely, but more on that in the next section.) Any action that has at least 1 legal target, or doesn’t have targets to begin with, will resolve (assuming there isn’t something that prevents it resolving somehow.) Once this check is done, you resolve each action, and each part of an actions text, in order, as one effect. To be very clear, there is no stopping the resolution at this point, there is no break in between the actions, it all happens in one go (but not simultaneously) in the order written. If one action says dull and freeze, then it dulls first and then freezes. Additionally, even if at this point one action made a target on another action invalid, it doesn’t matter. It will still resolve as best it can, because the time for checking targets has passed.

Now, let’s zone in on that last part, about targets becoming invalid while a multi-select is resolving, and why it doesn’t matter. First I’ll be making up a multi-select effect for one example, and then using a real card for a slightly different example after, but all around the same concept: a target becoming invalid after the multi-select effect starts resolving.

Okay, imagine we picked two actions for a (made up) multi-select effect. One action chooses a Forward and at resolution breaks it. The other chooses a Forward and at resolution deals it 4k damage. The actions are printed in that order, and we choose, for some inexplicable reason, the same Forward for both actions. The Forward is a perfectly legal choice for both when we choose it as a target, and as the multi-select effect comes to resolve, that remains true. The Forward is still there, and still perfectly legal. However, when it starts resolving, the first action breaks the Forward, which means it ends up in the Break Zone (part of the process of being broken includes putting the Character in the Break Zone, if you didn’t know.) So that means when it comes time to deal 4k damage, the Forward isn’t there. However, the multi-select effect doesn’t care. It doesn’t check if the Forward is still valid, it just resolves the 4k… and nothing happens because it tries to do 4k but it’s just slapping the air. So yes, it resolves, but of course the effect can’t chase the Forward to slap it in the Break Zone (how would that even work) and it sure as hell isn’t resurrecting it to slap it about, so yes, even if the multi-select effect doesn’t check if the target is legal at this point, an effect can only do what it can, and in this case, it does fuck all.

Moving on to the second example, we are going to look at Ramuh (6-102R):

In this example, we’re choosing the following actions:

“Choose 1 Forward of cost 4 or less. Dull it.” 

and 

“Choose 1 active Forward. Deal it 7000 damage.” 

We’re also, of course, choosing the same Forward for both actions. Before I go on, let me embrace my inner Dora the Explorer and ask, can you see Swiper? Eh…what I mean is… can you guess the result?

That’s right. I am Swiper. And I’ve stolen your time by wasting it with this Dora-bit in my article.

Okay, but for real, if you said the Forward still takes 7000 damage, congrats. If you didn’t, that’s fine, but please make sure to stay behind after class because I’m going to write a very stern letter to your parents/guardians.

To make sure I cover my bases, let me just explain how this works. First, as Ramuh’s effect resolves, we check the targets. Forward is legal, it’s still active and a valid choice, so we’re all good there. First action, dull the Forward. Great. Forward is now dull. Hold on, now the Forward isn’t active anymore? Nope, no time to hold on, don’t care, SMACK SMACK. 

Once the initial target check is done at resolution, the targets aren’t checked again. As long as the Forward is still there, it’s going to get dealt 7k damage. Even if the Forward becomes immune to being chosen somehow, like with Trey (3-064H) (more on this card later), it doesn’t matter, because that only matters when the legality of targets are checked. So again, SMACK SMACK.

Complications

I mostly kept the previous section focused on the basics and the more straightforward/normal parts of multi-select, but this section is going to take a little journey into the weeds. For example, can you select zero actions? Or what happens if you pick actions but don’t have a legal target for one action, or all actions? These questions and more are what we’ll dig into here.

Let’s start by focusing on the main wording of multi-select, the “select (up to) X of the Y following actions” parts, and more specifically the “up to” part. You see, this part does not appear on multi-select effects that only let you select a single action, it is only present on multi-select effects that let you choose 2 or more actions. A great demonstration of this is Aldore Emperor (12-122H):

Note how the initial multi-select text says “select 1 of the 3 following actions” but if you have 5 or more damage, it instead becomes “select up to 2 of the 3 following actions.” This may seem partly irrelevant at first glance, as if it’s just there to give you the option of choosing 1 or 2 actions, for whatever reason. Perhaps you don’t have a target for more than 1 of the actions, or something like that. Well, hopefully as we dig in, you’ll see how very very weird (and somewhat important) that distinction becomes.

This “up to” part of a multi-select effect actually allows for a very interesting choice of actions: none. That’s right, you can select 0 actions, legally. With multi-select text that only allows the choice of a single action (as in, when there is no “up to”), you are always locked to 1 action. No more, no less. 1. But with up to, you can go even lower (how low can you go?) One whole number down to 0. If that isn’t spicy enough, wait until you find out what happens next. No seriously, wait. Just wait. Hold on. Nearly there…

Okay, so when you select 0 actions, what happens actually differs depending on the type of multi-select you’re dealing with (if the Twitter account is to be believed, and it’s not like we have anything else to go off). If you select 0 actions with a multi-select auto-ability, it is immediately removed from the stack, it doesn’t get to stay on and resolve nothing. However, this is NOT the case with any other type. Yes, selecting 0 actions with a multi-select Summon, multi-select action ability, or multi-select special ability, still means it will stay on the stack and resolve… to do nothing. If you’re wanting a bit more proof on this (and why wouldn’t you,) you can read the two-part question here and here and two-part answer here and here that clarify this somewhat. Additionally, because I believed there was a little bit of wiggle room with the way the question was asked and answered, I asked a follow up question while writing this article. You can read my question here and their answer here, as well as their answer regarding action/special abilities here. (If you have any doubt left, I guess all you can do is reach out to the account yourself.)

Anyway, if that hasn’t confused you enough, don’t worry, plenty of time still left for that. Next, let’s look at what happens if you pick an action, or two+ actions, and one or more (or all) don’t have legal targets. I should probably add for clarification before we go any further, yes, you can pick actions even if there isn’t a legal target present.

If all actions require a legal target, and there are none, then it actually ends up with the same result as if you picked no actions. To be clear, if you have no legal targets for a multi-select auto-ability, it is removed from the stack, and if you have no legal targets for a multi-select Summon, multi-select action ability, or multi-select special ability, it stays on the stack. The reason it works out the same, as each action that has no legal target is removed from the effect, and since you are removing all actions, you end up with an empty effect (or no effect, if you prefer,) and that means it works out exactly the same as if you selected no actions. So, really, you’re just wasting everyone’s time with your need to pick actions, Dave. Yeah, talking to you DAVE. Do better.

Now, what if instead you selected multiple actions, and some of those actions have legal targets (or don’t require targets) and some of those actions have no legal targets? Now, maybe you can already figure this out from everything else, but of course I’m going to explain it anyway. The parts with legal targets (or that don’t require targets) remain as part of the effect on the stack and the parts that do not have legal targets are removed. 

To better explain this, let’s look again at Aldore Emperor (13-122H):

In this example scenario, you have 5 damage, so can select 2 actions, and the actions we’ll be selecting are:

“Choose 1 Forward. Deal it 7000 damage.”

and

“Choose 1 Forward of cost 3 or less. Break it.”

Now for this example, Aldore Emperor is the only Forward on either field (It’s been a crazy game.) As the only Forward, this means that the action that requires a Forward of cost 3 or less, can’t have a valid target, because Aldore Emperor’s printed cost is 5, but the other action can choose any Forward (and it’s not optional,) so Aldore Emperor’s ability chooses, well, Aldore Emperor. This means, the 7000 damage action will remain as part of the effect on the stack, but the break action will not, as it does not have a legal target.

As a final note on all this, if any parts do not require a target then those will remain on the stack as part of the effect, even if all parts that need a valid target are removed (it does not follow the same rule as there is for resolving effects, which we’ll get to next.)

Now, let’s talk a bit about resolution. As I previously stated, multi-select effects only check the legality of targets before it resolves everything, in the order printed on the card. But what happens if there are no legal targets for your effects left when it comes time to resolve? Well, then, the entire effect is removed from the stack without resolving. This includes if you had parts that do not require an effect. This is because despite being different actions, it is still all one effect (gold star to those that remembered that point being made earlier.)

To explain this better, let’s look at Ashe (10-106L):

Ashe has 4 possible actions to select from, and you can pick up to 2. Let’s say you pick the following options:

“Draw 1 card, then discard 1 card from your hand.”

“Choose 1 Character. Activate it.”

It’s on the stack, you’ve got your target for the activation action, and life is good. But before it can resolve, oh no! Your opponent has removed the target of Ashe’s multi-select effect. Now, when it comes time to resolve, the effect goes “let me check if the targets are still legal” and of course, it isn’t, because the target doesn’t exist any more. As such, because all legal targets are now invalid, the entire effect is removed without resolving. Note this is exactly the same with any types of multi-select, multi-select Summons, action abilities, special abilities, and auto-abilities multi-select effects all function the same when it comes to resolving, as does literally every effect that had a legal target when it was put on the stack. No legal targets when checked at resolution, no resolving.

However, if you picked actions that had no targets to begin with (for example, with Ashe (10-106L), you could pick the first 2 actions: to draw and discard; and to give all Water Forwards +1000 power until end of turn) then at no point does it require targets, so outside of it being cancelled by another card’s effect, it will stay on the stack and resolve without worry.

Simple Breakdown

Alright, now that we’ve covered all the important aspects of multi-select that you need to know, it’s time, once again, to try and break it down as simply as we can. Now, I am going to do two breakdowns, once for the initial casting/adding to the stack of the multi-select, and one for resolving, so, let’s do this:

Process of Adding a Multi-Select Effect to the Stack

  1. Begin by selecting (up to) X actions out of Y.
    • If you can select “up to” X actions, you can select an amount from 0 to X, otherwise, you can only select X actions.
  2. If any actions require legal targets and there are no valid targets, those parts are removed from the effect. If you selected 0 actions, or all actions do not have legal targets:
    • If it is a multi-select auto-ability, it is removed from the stack.
    • If it is a multi-select Summon, multi-select action ability, or multi-select special ability, it remains on the stack.

Process of Resolving Multi-Select Effects

  1. If there are no legal targets to check, skip to 3. If no legal targets remain, remove the effect from the stack and proceed no further. Otherwise, proceed to 2.
  2. Remove any actions that require legal targets but have 0 remaining (as long as 1 legal target remains, even if the action chooses more than one, the action will remain).
  3. Resolve the effect. No further legal target checks are performed. (If a multi-select Summon, multi-select action ability, or multi-select special ability has no effect, it will still resolve but nothing will happen).

Addendum 27/10/2021: I will admit to completely overlooking when multi-select text had “if” involved, such as with Cloud (15-139S) & Physalis (13-028L), especially given how relevant Cloud is right now this was a major oversight on my part. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to explain, and doesn’t really change much. You see, despite it being worded the same as a conditional auto, it ISN’T a conditional auto, it is simply a condition that is checked at the point you make your choices. So, in Cloud’s case, if the condition isn’t true when he enters the field, he gets NOTHING. If it is true, he gets his actions. For Physalis’s case, what matters is the number of cards in your opponent’s hand when she enters the field or attacks (so 3 or less: 1 action, no cards: 2 actions, 3 or more cards: 0 actions). Beyond this, it does not matter. Removing the AVALANCE Operative Forward after Cloud enters doesn’t change anything, it does NOT stop the ability from resolving. We only have one tweet confirming this as fact with no solid information as to why, but here’s my educated guess: it’s poor word choice (even if it’s due to a lack of better ways to do it). It makes no sense for the actions to not be able to resolve after picking them, because the “if” only dictates how many actions you get (in Clouds case, 0 or 2), once you’ve picked them, you have your effect, and the “if” should no longer matter, and it doesn’t, they aren’t conditional autos. So, do not expect this rule to change (although who knows!). As a last note, go read the article on conditional autos Esufer wrote (he even added a part about if statements in multi-select because of Physalis and Cloud), you can read it here.

Let’s Talk About Select

I feel like select could have it’s own mini-article, but for now I’ll settle for writing about it here, because it’s at least in its own clear section, after we’ve dealt with multi-select.

“Select” as a word on cards is pretty interesting. Did you know it’s not actually a defined term in FFTCG? Seriously, go CTRL+F in the Comp Rules and see what is there. The only reference made to select (not counting them just using the word select generally, rather than actually talking about its use on card text) is when they say that choose isn’t the same as select. The reason they say this, essentially, is because it’s not a term. As in, it’s just a word the translation team (going off the JP text) uses. While it does tell you what to do, it’s as defined a term as the word “of” or “following” in multi-select effects. The words together tell you what to do, but make no mistake, select IS NOT a word that actually has any specific meaning in the game. If you’ve played the game long enough, or asked the right questions around select, you may have heard people say “select is done at resolution.” And, for the most part, that’s true, until multi-select comes out to play and completely upends that line of thought. Ultimately, “select” is entirely bound by how the word is used on card text and how the effect that card text makes works, it is not itself defined, it does not itself do anything as far as the rules go, and hopefully by the end of this section, I’ll make this all much clearer.

As it stands, select exists in two forms, one which we’ve talked about extensively in this article, multi-select, and the other… just printed on effects generally. Let’s just refer to this as a “select effect.” Other terms I considered but ultimately decided against were “single select” and “select.” That’s right, pretty ingenious choices. I’m available any time for consultation, SE/HJ, hit me up. Okay, moving on.

With multi-select, hopefully by now you understand how it works. The select acts as the word to let you know you can pick some actions, but you can replace the word select with another word, like the word we just used, “pick,” and it would work exactly the same. The word that would not work is choose, because choose is defined, it exists as a word to define that you need a legal target for an effect/action, so it cannot be used, and frankly, there aren’t a whole lot of other word choices in this case. There probably is room to entirely reword multi-select to avoid using select, or for them to simply use pick, but why would they do that when they could simply just make everything more confusing by using the same exact word? I jest, of course. Yes, perhaps an alternative could have been used, but as I’ve said, select doesn’t really mean anything as far as the rules as concerned. Any definitions you’ve heard people apply to it are entirely made up to try and make it easier to explain, which may make it more confusing as time goes on, unfortunately. Anyway, let me try and finish talking about multi-select, instead of tangenting. The word select by itself in multi-select does nothing, instead the understanding of how multi-select works comes from the defined rules (mostly from Twitter), so we can then understand how they work, as in,  first picking actions, then choosing any targets needed, and so on, basically all the things I detailed in the previous sections of this article!

With a “select effect” on the other hand, it’s defined by the rules around how effects work generally. Meaning, what do you do at activation for a normal effect? You choose targets. Maybe occasionally you need to make some choices of damage amounts (looking at you, Bloodfest,) but, nothing about selecting anything. This means that when the word select is used in general effect text (meaning not used for multi-selecting of actions,) it’s done at resolution, like everything else that isn’t defined otherwise. But the word exists simply to get you and/or your opponent to make some choices that are not the same as “choosing.” Hence, the only actually defined part about select is it is not the same as choose, because they want to make sure you understand the word choose means something to the rules: it needs legal targets; it’s done at activation; it checks on resolution; etcetera. Select? They give no fucks about the actual word select. This is why, ultimately, outside of multi-select (and any random new use of it that comes out after this article is published that may be done at activation), it ends up being done at resolution. Now, as an example, let’s take a look at a card that I think has tripped up many people in its time, even if they didn’t know it: Exodus, the Judge-Sal (3-112H).

Be honest now, how many of you have played this (or seen someone play this) and then immediately declared the number you’re picking? I’m not talking about being a twat who doesn’t wait for a response from their opponent, to see if they want to cancel it, I mean because you’ve read it, and assumed you select the numbers when you initially cast the Summon. Yeah, I see you. It’s okay. Even if you’ve heard the “select is done at resolution” line a time or two, it doesn’t mean you don’t think you need to do something when you cast this card, but you don’t. When you cast this card, that’s it, nothing more, until resolution. Every part of the effect on Exodus is done at resolution, because nothing in its card text is defined in the rules as being done at cast. Thus, all that remains is an effect that resolves, and then you do what it says. The word “select” is only important in the fact it isn’t important, that it isn’t defined, thus it waits until resolution. The rules dictate how casting works, how the Summon resolves, that sort of thing. The words themselves only matter when they are defined. Outside of that, all that’s left is your ability to actually read and interpret the words based on things defined in the rules.

I can’t do a short-hand for select that I would feel happy with, given it isn’t actually a truly defined term, as I’ve said ad nauseam. It’s just a word, BUT I will leave you with a final summary:

  • A “select effect” has no special significance, it is just an effect that happens to use the word select. It just so happens this select is done at resolution, because that’s when the effect resolves.
  • The “select” in multi-select comes into play at activation, because you’re required to pick your actions at that point, as defined by the rules.
  • For any future effects/actions with select, look to the rules around it to determine when the select is relevant.
  • Ultimately, select exists only as a word choice to facilitate picking an option. It is not itself defined, but instead defined by the effect/action where it is used.

The Real Comp Rules Strike Again/The History of Multi-Select

Before I finish up this article, I wanted to make sure I document the history of multi-select. Let me stress that if you’re likely to get confused between the information here about how things used to work and the previous information about how they currently work, go ahead and skip this section, especially if you’re fairly new. You can also choose to just stop reading the article, rather than just move to the next section, but that’s a bit rude. How dare you skip my conclusion! But seriously, no harm, no foul. This section isn’t going to teach you how things work, so you can leave it be if you wish, and don’t be blaming me if you choose to read it and confuse yourself.

Now, you might be wondering “why bother?” and want to save the potential confusion, especially because it isn’t relevant to how it works today. While that is true, I do feel it’s important to note this information, for a few reason:

  • This information is useful for knowing how it DOESN’T work. This is important to know in the event someone reads an old tweet/article, etc., or, alternatively, if someone simply wasn’t aware of the rules changes (because these poor souls don’t get their rules from Twitter, like a real FFTCG gamer, or just live under a rock,) meaning you can keep them (or yourself) right.
  • Similarly to the previous point, if the rules do change again then you can at least see the two ways it no longer works.
  • Lastly, it just makes me feel like I’m doing a more complete job of covering as many reasonable aspects of multi-select as possible.

Let us begin, at the beginning, sort of. Although multi-select has existed since Opus II, we didn’t get our first multi-select that allowed more than 1 choice until Opus 5, with Glasya Labolas (5-032H). We’ve looked at Glasya before, but let’s have a look at it again:

Choo choo

 

So, when Glasya released, this was the first time questions started to really be asked about how multi-select worked. Can you select the option to dull AND the option to deal 7k damage on the same Forward? Because it dulls them, does that then make them legal for the other? Well…no…because you choose when you cast it, not when it resolves. But it ALSO meant people made some assumptions. Specifically around how multi-select resolves. Now, funnily enough, those assumptions are how it now works, but not how it worked then. It wasn’t until Opus VI that this truth came to light. To demonstrate this, let us look, once again, at Ramuh (6-102R):

As we’ve already covered, Ramuh allows you to choose the same active Forward for the dull and 7k ability, because at the time of casting, the Forward is legal for both. At resolution currently, assuming it hasn’t been dulled in between cast and resolution, it will resolve fine, this is how it works now AND how people assumed it worked, but no no no that wasn’t how it worked at Ramuh’s release. Now, let me be clear, people made assumptions on how this worked, there were no official HJ rulings on how it was resolved, because there wasn’t a card that existed for anyone to question them specifically on the resolving part. If you can find an official ruling predating Ramuh that says otherwise, go ahead, worst you’ll do is just prove they flip-flopped, but more likely you’ll find nothing, because it was very much an assumption, right or wrong. I mention this because in some people’s minds, they changed the rules in Opus VI, and the fact is we have no proof either way, and I say that as someone that loves to hate on the rules flip flopping.

Anyway, how did it work before? Well, first, it did the usual legal target check, to make sure any targets are still legal, the same as we still have. The difference came as it was resolving. Before each action in the effect would resolve, it would check the legality of the actions targets. This meant once it dulled the Forward and it came time to do the 7k damage action, it checked if the Forward was still legal. Of course it wasn’t, since it was now dulled, so that part didn’t resolve. Fun.

Now, that ruling was… problematic at best. To stroke my own ego, I was fine with it, I understood how it worked, and I’m the best. But for real, it confused a lot of players, especially newer players, because it just added a layer of complexity that then caused further complexities. Frankly, what I think of the rules half the time doesn’t matter, at the end of the day I can look back and say it simply was just too confusing. That’s what really matters, at least in this case. There are definitely cases where that isn’t true, and sometimes things in the rules are just complex and confusing. You can’t escape it as you get into multiple replacement effects and timestamps and all of that good stuff. But, it really really didn’t need to check targets for each action as they were resolved.

So, when did things change for the better? Well, it was a fateful day way back in the before-times of 2019, when a question was asked about ol’ Trey (3-064H):

As you can see, Trey, when dull, cannot be chosen by opponent’s Summons. So, going by these old rules, if you used Glasya Labolos (5-032H) to both dull and freeze, wouldn’t it make sense that when it came time to freeze Trey that it wouldn’t work, because he’s now not a legal target? That appeared to be the case when this question was asked. Except the official account said otherwise. Huh. I believe at this point I’d been made aware of these tweets (and what would eventually become a thread as you’ll see) and let me tell you my hands were in the air like “WTF is going on.” So, then, Esufer jumped in with the following. Official account came back with this. Then another player brings up Ramuh. Kageyama has entered the chat. Kageyama then continues to clarify everything, here, here, here, AND here. Lastly, he says they’ll add Ramuh to the FAQ (if they did in JP, they never updated to match in EN!)

So, what happened here? Well, one of two things. Either they changed their minds at some point about how multi-select works and just never told anyone OR they had a meeting based on this shit and changed it because they realised it was going to become an insane headache as the game goes on, with potentially unforeseen shit like Trey that they likely never considered. Either way, thus ended the reign of checking every single action’s targets as they were resolved. Long live checking once at resolution only!

Until Next Year

The summary name is sort of a joke, but it’s probably also true, unless I squeeze out an article during the Xmas holidays or something (don’t count on it.) I have some great ideas for articles, I just have to find the time to do them. When I’m not busy distracting myself with procrastination that is.

Before I leave however, I do have one last bit of “news,” if you can call it that. If you’ve read some of my other Rules Processing articles, you’ve probably seen me talk about my journey to become a judge. Something that, if nothing else, was an interesting ride to document. Now, I’m not going to go back and check which article I said it in, but at some point I got the handshake and told “you are very special…” uh… I mean… “you are judge now, as a judge,” or something like that. I got confirmation I’d passed the test and was a judge, is what I mean, after several months of waiting to find out! However, I was never added to the judge Discord. Very sad. Tsk tsk. Well, I’m happy to report I am now in the judge Discord. Thanks to everyone that supported me through this trying time. Mostly me. Okay, all me. Real talk though, I figured if I reached out to the right people it would probably be sorted pretty quickly, but I just never took it upon myself to do it, and it was way funnier to just mention the fact I wasn’t in the Discord than actually try and resolve it. I was never angry or actually upset. I mean hell, not like there’s been much opportunity for any non-virtual, real life judging recently (although there was opportunity to judge virtually, which I’ve done for a few card games, including FFTCG, when I head judged the Zanarkard Open back in… this year? No? Last year? Fuck. Time is an illusion. (editor’s note: it was this April.) Anyway, that was fun, really really fun, actually, but that wasn’t my point… What was my point? Going to leave this bracket world now. Bye.) So it wasn’t like it was really a very pressing issue for me (oh that was my point.) If events and stuff were announced, and we got back into… literally any gear with in-person events then I’d contact the right people so I could judge some stuff, if I so wished. And if they wanted me to, of course. But, as it so happens, one person who’d seen me making light of it did talk to the right people, and it was sorted out. And I didn’t have to lift a finger. Yay me. Anyway, thanks everyone. Or that one person. It wasn’t me this time, but I’ll thank me as well while I’m at it.

With that said, I do have spicy ideas for some articles, which might ruffle the wrong feathers and then I find out I was actually doing an any% speedrun of getting booted from the judge Discord. I’m kidding, it shouldn’t be that bad, and I won’t try and intentionally stir shit, but people are wild. Not that it really matters, because I’ll probably never finish it anyway.

Bye.

 

Oh wait, I have a Twitter now (well a non-personal one), that I made mostly to ask rules questions, and haven’t really thought much more about how I’ll use it, but you can follow it to watch me tweet weird shit at the HJ FFTCG account from time-to-time, if you want. I’ll include the link below.

Okay, bye for reals now.

 

Rules Processing Material

Twitter

Attack Phase Breakdown

FFTCG Discord

 

“You were my pick. My only pick.

Kiera Cass

 

El. Psy. Kongroo

– Yoh Zoey Ceeza