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Software engineer and long-time dabbler in mathematics; 11th in the Putnams forever ago but I've long since atrophied.


Oct
22
comment What's the most efficient way of determine individual card values for my collection?
Note that your link for 'expensive commons and uncommons' is very much online-specific; OTOH, there's a very similar article for offline play (the prices are slightly out of date but still fairly close) at starcitygames.com/php/news/print.php?Article=25391 , sorted by set.
Oct
21
comment How does Blood Scrivener work if I “draw 2 cards”?
(Also also, I was skeptical that you would lose another life for the second card draw of Divination, but this is correct: "120.6a An effect that replaces a card draw is applied even if no cards could be drawn because there are no cards in the affected player's library. ". But this only happens if there were zero cards in your library, not just less than two; if there were one, you'd draw it and then the Blood Scrivener replacement ability wouldn't kick in for the second Divination draw.)
Oct
21
comment How does Blood Scrivener work if I “draw 2 cards”?
Also, important to note: Blood Scrivener's replacement effect also effectively reads 'Draw one card. Draw one card.' What keeps it from recursing forever is Rule 614.5: "A replacement effect doesn't invoke itself repeatedly; it gets only one opportunity to affect an event or any modified events that may replace it."
Oct
18
answered Cribbage Scoring Difficulties
Oct
18
comment How do SBAs interact with the sacrifice of a creature enchanted with Gift of Immortality?
@Circeus That's fair; the two things I will note (on the broad, not directly to your question) are that (1) there's one very relevant piece of graveyard hate in Standard, namely Scavenging Ooze, which prevents the creature from coming back in the first place - and (2) even without that hate, right now a recurrent effect on the order of 'reanimate a Brindle Boar once per turn' is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the format; the things people are doing are just Bigger than that. (But the technical question here is a fine one and I don't want to sell it short.)
Oct
18
comment How do SBAs interact with the sacrifice of a creature enchanted with Gift of Immortality?
@Circeus Out of curiosity, why do you feel 'that's the relevant part for Standard'? Can you describe a specific situation you're concerned about that you believe the provided answer and comments aren't covering?
Sep
17
comment Cheating with foils and card orientation
With regard to unsleeved cards facing the wrong way, keep in mind that you are also allowed (at all levels, explicitly) to shuffle your opponent's deck before each game; whenever I notice that some cards are facing different directions in my opponent's deck I just do a couple of iterations of a bridge-shuffle, turning half the cards the opposite way before melding the two piles together. While this has the disadvantage of letting 'real' cheaters get away with it in future, it also handles the issue in an efficient and non-confrontational way.
Sep
12
comment Can Trait Doctoring be used to change words like “nonblack”?
More importantly (and perhaps relevantly), the only targeting restriction on Trait Doctoring is that it target a permanent (and the restriction on Sleight of mind is that it target a spell, thus a spell on the stack); you can cheerfully Trait Doctor a Nessian Courser ( gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/… ) and change all instances of 'red' to 'blue' even though there are no such instances!
Sep
12
comment Can Trait Doctoring be used to change words like “nonblack”?
Wesley: yes, you could; if the target is illegal when the spell tries to resolve (and this includes e.g. being red when the spell says 'non-red'), then it will be countered on resolution.
Sep
11
answered Can Trait Doctoring be used to change words like “nonblack”?
Sep
10
comment Countering the enchanting of a creature
@corsiKa Actually, the way it's looking is that under the new bestow rules you will not get the creature; the spell is still countered by game rules for lack of a target, since it was initially cast with a target and won't 'change' in mid-casting.
Aug
28
comment Does Thassa, God of the Sea's “devotion to blue” clause count when it's not in play?
This seems like it's missing some text. Creatures (inherently) have a power and toughness, and they couldn't readily add the 'creature' type to a permanent without specifying one. (Looking at the site again, I see it's labeled as a 5/5.)
Jul
25
comment Differences between Dixit versions?
One important change in the rules between 'core' Dixit and Odyssey is that point values for a couple of events (most notably, offering up a card that nobody guesses correctly) have changed to be a bit less penalizing. Also, while this is sort of noted in passing, the 'mechanisms' for handling guessing - that is, the chits used for voting - also seem a bit better in Odyssey than they were in the base set.
Jul
21
comment Negative and Infinite ATK in Yugioh
Several games do allow attack values to be negative for purposes of calculating 'boosts' needed to get those values back to positive territory, but then just clamp them to zero for effect purposes. This is how Magic handles negative power on a creature, for instance: a creature that is, say, a -2/2 will deal zero damage (not '-2 damage') to an opponent or to other creatures , but a Giant Growth (+3/+3) will only make it a 1/5.
Jul
17
comment Victory in Yugioh by Unusual Means
Calling these things 'glitches' seems like a misnomer to me. This is a card game, and one in which the rules are easily malleable by the designers; any 'non-standard' win conditions are there because they were explicitly put there by the designers, not because they happen to be some bizarre accident of the rules.
Jul
16
comment How are Swindler's effects resolved in a multiplayer game?
Since the question is of the form 'does X happen or does Y happen', maybe you could be a little more explicit about which of the answers applies in the specific scenario given? 'Yes' seems kind of vague here, and while I think I understand what you mean I'm still not 100% sure...
Jul
7
comment How to properly play activated abilities of twilight drover and other creatures?
Easy +1, of course, but a tiny caveat: abilities can also be countered for lack of a target, the same as spells. For instance, suppose there were a card that read 'sacrifice a creature: ~this~ deals 3 damage to target creature and 3 damage to that creature's controller'. Then if e.g. you sacrificed a creature targeting an opponent's Grizzly Bears, and they bounced the Bears in response, then they wouldn't take 3 damage because the ability is countered.
Jul
3
awarded  Guru
Jun
27
asked How can I keep Magic foils flat?
Jun
20
comment How do I interrupt a loop after multiple iterations?
@SamIam That seems clear from the statement right at the start of 716.2b: 'Each other player'.