Hello and welcome to another edition of Judge of Will!
This edition will focus on damage packets and how they apply in certain game situations. Let’s start with the most commonly asked example:
This interaction arises when a Bahamut player does Judgment by banishing their Rukh Egg and wants to remove their opponent’s resonator. For simplicity’s sake, they want to remove their opponent’s Vainamoinen, and they claim that Bahamut’s [Enter] trigger will deal 200 damage because of Laevateinn’s rest ability.
Unfortunately for the Bahamut player, this is not how damage packets work. Damage is assigned as a packet before any replacement effects go into effect. Therefore, there is a packet of zero damage that the game recognizes will not do any damage. Damage packets of 0 are not created. Since the replacement effect of Laevateinn only goes into effect when the J-Ruler “would deal damage,” it never goes into effect. So the [Enter] ability still triggers, targets, and resolves, but it does not do any damage.
Player A (the active player) casts Banzai Attack with a Beowulf in play, and attacks into their opponent (Player N). Player N blocks with Cheshire Cat, and both players call a judge over to ask how much damage is dealt to each object. Because damage is assigned before it is dealt, Beowulf assigns 200 of its attack to the Cheshire Cat (damage equal to Cheshire’s DEF) and 800 to the opponent (because of Pierce). Then, as damage is dealt, Beowulf’s replacement effect goes into place, doubling both amounts. Thus, Beowulf deals 400 damage to Cheshire Cat instead and 1600 damage to the opponent.
Player A attacks Player N directly with Susanowo, only to have Player N Quickcast a Dragonslayer onto their Sinbad and block Susanowo with Sinbad. Player N is at 200 life, and (s)he claims that Sinbad will reduce the Pierce damage by 500, saving them from a loss. Player A disagrees and calls over a judge. What is the judge’s ruling?
Well, because of damage packets, Susanowo first assigns 600 damage to Sinbad and 600 damage to Player N. It is only after this point that damage is actually dealt, and thus, Dragonslayer can only prevent 500 damage from Sinbad. Sinbad will thus survive the damage, but Player N will lose as a result.
As always, if you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below or send us clarification questions via Facebook or the Force of Will US forums. I hope this episode of Judge of Will proved informative for everyone!