In a ten player Grand Melee, Anthony controls a Darksteel Reactor with 20 counters on it.

Anthony has satisfied the trigger condition for Darksteel Reactor. The trigger resolves, and he wins the game. However, with the limited range of influence option, only the person to Anthony's left and right will lose the game. There is now a void on Anthony's left and right, and his range of influence is not reevaluated until the beginning of his next turn. But Anthony never gets another turn because the Reactor will trigger again and again forever.

What happens to Anthony now? Can other turn markers bring opponents into Anthony's range of influence so that they will lose to him? In other words, can the void on his left and right ever be collapsed? If not, has he fallen victim to an infinite loop, forcing a draw by his own victory condition?

  • I don't know grand melee, but nowhere in that article it is mentioned that range of influence is only re-evaluated in between turns. Are you sure about that?
    – Ivo
    Jan 12, 2015 at 17:09
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    801.2c The particular players within each player's range of influence are determined as each turn begins.
    – diego
    Jan 12, 2015 at 17:16
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    @IvoBeckers Anthony will never even make it to his Cleanup step. He cannot progress his turn at all. He must repeatedly trigger and resolve Darksteel Reactor.
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 12, 2015 at 17:26
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    @IvoBeckers Time Stop would remove the ability from the stack and send you to the Cleanup Step on that turn, but in the Cleanup Step the trigger would go off again and go back on the stack.
    – diego
    Jan 12, 2015 at 17:30
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    @Gendolkari 603.8. A state-triggered ability doesn't trigger again until the ability has resolved, has been countered, or has otherwise left the stack.
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 13, 2015 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Anthony would force himself to draw that game.

801.16. If the game somehow enters a "loop" of mandatory actions, repeating a sequence of events with no way to stop, the game is a draw for each player who controls an object that's involved in that loop, as well as for each player within the range of influence of any of those players. They leave the game. All remaining players continue to play the game.

Grand Melee is set up so that no matter who the Active Player is any given player is inside only one AP's range of influence[807.4d]. This is so that you can't have weird things happen like being within the range of influence of 2 different players at 2 different parts of their turn, because Magic doesn't really support, for example, being in both an upkeep and combat step at the same time.

Since there is no way for Anthony to progress any farther in the current turn than the Cleanup Step, the current turn can't end for him. If somehow someones range of influence were allowed to move into him that would then mean he was currently part of 2 separate turns and that just doesn't make sense in Magic.

  • Just because it doesn't make sense to be a part of two separate turns doesn't mean Wizards handled it. The relevant rule is: 807.4d A player who receives a turn marker can’t begin his or her turn if any player in the three seats to his or her left has a turn marker. It is because of that rule that nobody can break Anthony's infinite loop.
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 13, 2015 at 16:36
  • @Rainbolt I probably should explicitly cite that rule, that is what makes sure any player is only in a single AP's range of influence.
    – diego
    Jan 13, 2015 at 16:40
  • Great. You already had my upvote and accepted answer because it made logical sense. Like you said, it couldn't work any other way without breaking the game.
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 13, 2015 at 16:43
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    It's a little unfortunate that the rules of Grand Melee have to be such that a card which literally says "you win the game" turns into "you cannot win the game".
    – Cascabel
    Jan 14, 2015 at 3:52

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