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[BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

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[BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 17 Oct 2019, 04:20

Build: Version: 1.6.28

Shifting Ceratops has:
G: Shifting Ceratops gains your choice of reach, trample, or haste until end of turn

When trying to block the opponent's Ascendant Evincar, I selected the Ceratops, activating the ability, and gave it reach. However, any attempt to block with the Ceratops would simply attempt to make it use its ability again, even with no mana available. No option to select it just as a blocker (Unless there's some functionality I'm unaware of).
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Marek14 » 17 Oct 2019, 06:06

Did you give it reach AFTER the step where you select blockers?
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 19 Oct 2019, 19:36

I did not, no, but I went back again to do some more tests just to make sure. As it turns out, if you wait until the "declare blockers" step, it's already too late. You -have- to give the Cera reach during the opponent's declare attackers step, then you'll be able to block with it in the next step. If it's the declare blocker's step, you can give it reach over and over, but the game never lets you block with the Cera.

So it's not quite as broken as I first thought, but it's still very much broken given that you can't really give it reach as a response like the ability intends.
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Marek14 » 20 Oct 2019, 07:49

No, that's entirely correct. The very first thing that happens in declare blockers step is that you declare blockers. If Shifting Ceratops doesn't have reach by that point, it's too late.
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 20 Oct 2019, 17:09

The ability can be activated as an interrupt however, that makes the inability to adequately use it as such a bug (Or at least, lessened functionality).

As an example, in a standard game, if I had an untapped forest and the opponent had a flier, they'd know that I could give the Cera reach and thus may not attack, leaving me free to use that mana for something else.

In Forge however, the opponent can assign their flier as an attacker and wait to see what I do. If I use my forest to give the Cera reach, then since they're still in the declare attackers step, they can just pull their flier back. If I -don't- give the Cera reach, they go forward with the attack knowing I now can't use the Cera as a blocker.

That effectively means that if they have a flier, you -have- to use your mana every turn no matter what to give the Cera reach every time, instead of being able to keep the mana up and using it later for something else. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to how a non-Forge game would go.

Again, not the biggest issue in the world, but still an issue.
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby friarsol » 21 Oct 2019, 00:40

Cellidor wrote:The ability can be activated as an interrupt however, that makes the inability to adequately use it as such a bug (Or at least, lessened functionality).

As an example, in a standard game, if I had an untapped forest and the opponent had a flier, they'd know that I could give the Cera reach and thus may not attack, leaving me free to use that mana for something else.

In Forge however, the opponent can assign their flier as an attacker and wait to see what I do. If I use my forest to give the Cera reach, then since they're still in the declare attackers step, they can just pull their flier back. If I -don't- give the Cera reach, they go forward with the attack knowing I now can't use the Cera as a blocker.

That effectively means that if they have a flier, you -have- to use your mana every turn no matter what to give the Cera reach every time, instead of being able to keep the mana up and using it later for something else. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to how a non-Forge game would go.

Again, not the biggest issue in the world, but still an issue.
It seems your understanding of how Combat works is flawed. Or maybe at least what Forge is showing to you in compared to how you understand Magic.

1) There's no such thing as an interrupt anymore. They were removed in 6th edition. You either have instant speed things, or sorcery speed things.

2) As soon as you are finished declaring your attackers, that's it. Those creatures are now attacking and any appropriate triggers will trigger.

There's no "taking it back". The declare attackers step and declare blockers step have two halves. The declaration portion then the fast effects portion. Have you tried that exact scenario you suggest? Activate your creatures ability after an attack is declared and see if the AI attempts to "undeclare". It won't, because that's not a legal move.

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2014-11-10
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 21 Oct 2019, 04:59

Hmm...I think part of the confusion here is mainly in how the AI plays versus how a human plays. If I'm the one attacking, during my "declare attackers" step, I can select/deselect any creatures I want at will, and it won't tap and "confirm" them as attackers until I pass along to the Declare Blockers step. That's what I mean by "taking back" an attacker, nothing I do is set in stone until I hit OK and pass to the Declare Blockers step. When I've fought against human opponents before in digital MTG games, it's been the same way in that I can see if they select/deselect creatures as attackers before confirming.

I guess the real-world equivalent would be someone putting their finger on different cards and thinking about it before actually tapping and committing.

It's only confusing because when I'm fighting the AI, when they select their attackers they tap right away despite them still being in the "declare attackers" step. So they've effectively committed while remaining within the same step which human players don't do.

Even so, does that properly address the Cera's functionality? I guess I'm not understanding why activating Cera's ability during the Declare Blockers step wouldn't work. As I understand it this set of circumstances should work:

- Opponent enters Declare Attackers step.
- Opponent selects/taps their chosen attacking flier.
- Move to Declare Blockers step.
- I select Cera, activate the ability to give it reach.
- I use Cera to block their flier.

Wouldn't this be the same as someone, during the Declare Blockers step, casting an instant to give one of their creatures flying/reach and using them to defend? Why the arbitrary restriction that such keyword changes only actually function if they take place during the opponent's Declare Attackers step? If I've used the Cera's ability, and the card detail now reads to show that it now has reach, why then can I not use it as a blocker vs the flier if I'm in the Declare Blockers step and still able to select/choose blockers for -other- creatures?
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Marek14 » 21 Oct 2019, 06:36

No. After you select your attackers, you're STILL in Declare Attackers step and you can cast spells and use abilities before you pass to Declare Blockers step. Maybe you don't have a stop set in this step?

The reason why the set of circumstances you outline doesn't work is that declaring blockers in the Declare Blockers step is the first thing that happens in there. You cannot do anything before that. And giving a creature reach after you declare blockers is useless.

You say:

If I've used the Cera's ability, and the card detail now reads to show that it now has reach, why then can I not use it as a blocker vs the flier if I'm in the Declare Blockers step and still able to select/choose blockers for -other- creatures?
But this is wrong. If you used Cera's ability in Declare Blockers step, then it's too late to choose blockers for any other creature as well. Have you actually tried that?
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 22 Oct 2019, 05:34

"If you used Cera's ability in Declare Blockers step, then it's too late to choose blockers for any other creature as well. Have you actually tried that?"

Yes, and as I said, it isn't "too late to choose blockers" because at this point I haven't even -started- choosing blockers. The "Declare Blockers" step begins, which gives me priority to start selecting blockers. Before doing so, I activate Cera's ability at instant speed and give Cera reach. The ability resolves. I'm now -still- at the point where I can choose blockers. However, despite Cera now having reach, I can't use Cera to block the flier despite being able to actively select -other- creatures I may have who have flying/reach as blockers at this point. It's not that Cera wasn't properly given reach, it's because attempting to select Cera as a blocker just attempts to activate its ability again.
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Marek14 » 22 Oct 2019, 05:43

No, that's definitely wrong. There is no "Before doing so". Declare blockers step begins, you select blockers. It's not possible to do anything in that step before that, or at least it shouldn't be possible.

See the rules:

509. Declare Blockers Step

509.1. First, the defending player declares blockers. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. To declare blockers, the defending player follows the steps below, in order. If at any point during the declaration of blockers, the defending player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the declaration is illegal; the game returns to the moment before the declaration (see rule 722, “Handling Illegal Actions”).
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Cellidor » 22 Oct 2019, 07:37

Well that's just... the strangest thing. I tried throwing together a quick standard deck with spells like Tower Defense and Aerial Maneuver just to make sure I wasn't crazy.

Can confirm, I'm apparently crazy? It's like you said, once Declare Blockers began, it refused to let me cast any spells until I selected blockers, valid ones or not.

Maybe it's because of an older digital version of magic I was playing? That, or it's just how I interpreted the order of operations from playing physical magic. This is seriously messing with my head, I've apparently had the rules for this sort of interaction wrong for over a -decade- now and never realized.

Well... shit, I guess that solves that. Thanks for being patient with me through this.
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Re: [BUG] Can't block with a Shifting Ceratops

Postby Marek14 » 22 Oct 2019, 07:43

Glad it cleared up! :)
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