# Can two Enduring Scalelords create an infinite loop?

With two Enduring Scalelords, is it possible to create an infinite loop by putting a +1/+1 counter on a creature, then because of that, place a +1/+1 counter on both Enduring Scalelords, and because of those gaining +1/+1 counters, they get a +1/+1 counter for the other Enduring Scalelord?

To quote directly from the rulings on Gatherer:

If you control two Enduring Scalelords, putting a +1/+1 counter on one of them will cause the ability of the other one to trigger. When this ability resolves, you’ll put a +1/+1 counter on the other Scalelord. This will cause the ability of the first one to trigger. This loop will repeat until you choose not to put a +1/+1 counter on one of the Enduring Scalelords.

Yes, that would create an indefinite loop. You have to choose a number for how many times the loop is to be performed.

In the Comprehensive Rules, this situation is covered by section 719, Taking Shortcuts:

719.1b Occasionally the game gets into a state in which a set of actions could be repeated indefinitely (thus creating a “loop”). In that case, the shortcut rules can be used to determine how many times those actions are repeated without having to actually perform them, and how the loop is broken.

You tell your opponent how often the loop should happen, and if your opponent does not propose a different series of events, your Scalelords will get that many counters.

You have to choose such a number, because there is no such thing as "infinite" in the game. Every number is a definite one. The game is also not a draw, because not all steps in the loop are mandatory:

719.4. If a loop contains only mandatory actions, the game is a draw. (See rules 104.4b and 104.4f.)

104.4b If a game that’s not using the limited range of influence option (including a two-player game) somehow enters a “loop” of mandatory actions, repeating a sequence of events with no way to stop, the game is a draw. Loops that contain an optional action don’t result in a draw.

• Re "Yes, that would create an infinite loop. You have to choose a number for how many times the loop is to be performed.", Those statements are contradictory. In reality, it's not an infinite loop. Those are only allowed if the loop only contains mandatory options, and those result in a draw (as per the passages you quoted). That is not the case here. – ikegami May 24 '17 at 18:23
• is that better? – Hackworth May 24 '17 at 21:27
• Yes, that is a cake batter. (I too can answer completely different questions!) – ikegami May 24 '17 at 22:07

Yes, you get a non-mandatory infinite loop and can put as many counters on both scalelords as you want. Luckily for you, it's a "may" trigger, so you can stop it whenever you want, instead of the game being a draw.

• In fact, you must stop the loop. – Mosquite May 24 '17 at 18:21
• Re "Yes, you get an infinite loop and can put as many counters on both scalelords as you want", Those statements are contradictory. In reality, it's not an infinite loop. Those are only allowed if the loop only contains mandatory options, and those result in a draw. That is not the case here. – ikegami May 24 '17 at 18:26
• @ikegami 716.1b [Occasionally the game gets into a state in which a set of actions could be repeated indefinitely (thus creating a “loop”). In that case, the shortcut rules can be used to determine how many times those actions are repeated without having to actually perform them, and how the loop is broken.] How is an "indefinite loop" significantly different than an "infinite loop"? – JonTheMon May 24 '17 at 21:21
• Ikegami is interpreting "infinite" to mean "without end"... which is perfectly reasonable. However, I don't know if the rulebook ever uses the word "infinite"; and it seems just as reasonable to use "infinite" to mean "indefinite" in this context. – GendoIkari May 24 '17 at 21:32
• @JonTheMon, There's a difference between loops that could be repeated indefinitely (in which case you must take an action to break the loop) and one that actually is. If you have an infinite loop (because it only contains mandatory actions), the game ends in a draw. – ikegami May 24 '17 at 22:13