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Say player A has a spell that kills player B (and any other survivors by the time B dies).

Well, it turns out that B has a reaction card waiting that will kill A (but not save B)! Who wins?

This depends on when reactions happen. Obviously at the table, reactions happen after you die, but in game terms they seem to resolve before, or at the same time as your death (evidenced by reactions that enable you to survive damage). Thus there are three potential outcomes:

  • A wins because they were were necessarily already the last wizard standing for the reaction to trigger. (reasonably likely)
  • A and B both win because each of them killed their last remaining foe. (most fun)
  • B wins because reactions take place before the lethal damage. (less likely)

When this happened, we agreed to go with the "most awesome" result that fits the game's flavour of rewarding (or not punishing) glorious death, which caused a joint win. Everyone was happy with this as a conclusion to a 6 player game with 5 LWS tokens.

Still, I'm curious if there's an official ruling.

6
+50

Based on the rules, Player A should receive the sole LWS token. (For official ruling, see below the break.)

The relevant rule can be found on page 17 (emphasis mine):

When the dust settles and there is but one Wizard alive, the game ends and that Wizard earns a Last Wizard Standing token. In the unlikely event that a Wizard kills himself, leaving no Wizards alive, that Wizard still earns the token. Going out in a blaze of glory is never frowned upon in Epic Spell War!

As you've already noted, in order for a Reaction to happen, the player needs to have died according to the rules. This is confirmed by Matt Hyra from Cryptozoic on Board Game Geek:

Gregg Prendergast: Doers the "reaction" effect only take place at the time your character is killed, or does it take effect any time you are attacked (even if you don't die as a result of the attack)?

Matt Hyra: Only applies if you are killed. If you are not killed, any Reactions in your spell remain face down.

So the order of events would look something like this:

  1. Player A kills Player B
  2. Player B dies
  3. Player A is the last remaining Wizard
  4. Player B has a Reaction that kills Player A
  5. Player A dies
  6. Steps 4 & 5 don't really matter because Player A receives the LWS token even though they are dead

I asked this out on Board Game Geek to get an official answer. From Matt Hyra, Cryptozoic R&D, in response to my question:

The player had to die to trigger the Reaction, so unless the Reaction tells you you are resurrected, the Wizard who killed you gains the LWS token.

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  • Thanks for the answer! Unfortunately the bit about the blaze of glory doesn't apply since it wasn't suicide; B definitely killed A. I agree that B has to be killed for the reaction to trigger, but in game progress this happens at the same time as the part of A's spell that killed B. The "killed" requirement for a reaction can't be instant and final; see Gonzo Shroompuss. I think this might need a direct answer from Matt. :) – Samthere Feb 17 '16 at 19:03
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    @Samthere I expected I'd need more a more definitive ruling, so I already have a question out on BGG with this question. Matt Hyra seems to be pretty good about answering questions there. I'll update when something happens. – SocioMatt Feb 17 '16 at 19:22
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    @Samthere Updated to include Matt Hyra's response from the BGG forums. – SocioMatt Feb 18 '16 at 21:30

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