Rare Namor and Force Blocks

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Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby jourdo2k3 » Fri Apr 28, 2023 2:09 am

The rare Namor (Leading the Cabal) from Secret Wars reads:

While Namor is active, your opponent must pay 3 life to declare blockers.


If someone were to use a force block Global against their opponent while Namor is active, would Namor’s ability fizzle as you cannot force your opponent to pay a cost? Would the opponent be able to declare attackers without having to pay the life in this case? Or would that still be a requirement as Namor is active?

Thanks!
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby dmrulesteam » Fri Apr 28, 2023 8:10 pm

Any ‘force to block’ ability used on an opponent’s Character die will not initiate Namor’s ability because of the following rule:
Rule 3.1.21 A player cannot be forced to pay an ability cost.


However, if the opponent wants to declare additional blockers with the Character die that was forced to block, then Namor’s ability will initiate, and the opponent must pay 3 life.
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby rpettafor » Sat Apr 29, 2023 3:49 am

This seems like the opposite of how this has always been played - I've always played it as you can't force the payment of costs, therefore they don't have to block, but this ruling is saying that the die still has to block, but without the Namor penalty. Surely this way round would be possible to entirely negate Namors ability, as long as the person blocking had enough energy then they could just force their own dice to block, however they see fit?
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby dmrulesteam » Mon May 01, 2023 4:24 pm

Namor’s ability centers around the Inactive player choosing to declare blockers. A force-to-block ability does not allow an opponent to choose a Character die to block or not. The affected Character die must block, unless there is an ability specifically stating that Character die cannot block (e.g. Doomsday: Villainous Monster, Nightwing: Protector of Bludhaven), which is covered by this rule:
3.1.14 If two abilities directly conflict, the ability stating you “can’t” supersedes the one that states you can or must. This is usually noted in abilities that state “if able” and is intended to let players know that an ability can't force something to happen that is disallowed.

There is no conflict between a force-to-block and Namor’s abilities. If a Character die is forced to block, the cost required by Namor’s ability is not paid, per Rule 3.1.21 (cited above). Namor’s ability does not infer that none of the Inactive player’s Character dice cannot block, nor does it infer that the Declare Blockers sub-step cannot occur. Therefore, Rule 3.1.14 is not applicable. Namor’s ability means that if the Inactive player chooses to declare blockers (i.e. choosing to proceed with the Declare Blockers sub-step), they must pay a cost.

We can see the confusion with the Inactive player choosing a blocker through a force-to-block ability (a counter to Namor’s ability, as you pointed out and an unorthodox, but legal, way of making a Character die a blocker) versus that player directly choosing to declare blockers. The Inactive player is choosing to pay a cost for the force-to-block ability, which would cause the Declare Blockers sub-step to occur, vice specifically choosing to proceed with the Declare Blockers sub-step - a fine, but relevant, distinction.
{NOTE: this paragraph has been superseded – see below.}

Again, as was stated in answer to the first question, if the Inactive player decides to declare additional blockers with the Character die they forced to block, they must then pay the cost imposed by Namor’s ability, regardless that the Declare Blockers sub-step will already occur because of the force-to-block ability.
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby dmrulesteam » Wed May 10, 2023 12:32 pm

After further review, we are adjusting the above ruling. If a player decides to pay for a force-to-block ability on a Character die they control, they will have to pay 3 life due to Namor’s ability. The reason is the paying for this self-taunting ability will cause a Declare Blockers sub-step to occur through a choice the Inactive player is making. No additional cost will be incurred if the Inactive player decides to declare additional blockers along with the Character die they forced to block.

In summary:

If the Active player forces a Character die to block, and no additional blockers are declared by the Inactive player, the Inactive player does not have to pay 3 life.
{NOTE: this statement has been superseded – see below.}

If the Inactive player chooses to declare blockers either directly or by paying for a force-to-block ability, they must pay 3 life.
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby archivist » Thu May 18, 2023 4:49 pm

The first statement in the "In Summary" above contradicts Example (1), quoted below, of Rule 3.1.21:
(1) An ability states “Target opponent must pay 1 life for each Character die assigned to block this turn.” You cannot use an ability that forces an opposing die to block because in doing so would require the opposing player to pay an ability cost.


Based on this example, shouldn’t a force-to-block ability not be able to be used by the Active player, regardless of whether the cost in Namor’s ability is paid or not?

Or is this ruling making an exception for the resolving of this specific ability interaction?

Just resolving an inconsistency. Greatly appreciate the responses.
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Re: Rare Namor and Force Blocks

Postby dmrulesteam » Wed May 31, 2023 3:40 pm

Thank you for pointing out this inconsistency. You are correct. Because of this and the previous revisions, the answer to the initial question is as follows (disregard the subsequent posts to this point):

If Namor is active, no force-to-block ability can be used by the Active player because of the following rule:
Rule 3.1.21 A player cannot be forced to pay an ability cost.

Also, in the rare situation when the Inactive player uses a force-to-block ability on their own Character dice, they must pay 3 life.
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