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So, this question is pedantic, but still I must ask.

Here is the current oracle text for Touch of Moonglove:

Target creature you control gets +1/+0 and gains deathtouch until end of turn. Whenever a creature dealt damage by that creature dies this turn, its controller loses 2 life.

Normally when card text discusses something dealt damage by a creature, it looks for "dealt damage by X this turn" (e.g. Abattoir Ghoul), or for a delayed trigger in a spell, it looks for "dealt damage this way" (e.g. Aggravate; not appropriate here because Touch of Moonglove doesn't deal damage).

So, I think a literal reading of Touch of Moonglove means it would apply to all creatures that have ever (in any turn) been dealt damage by the target creature as long as they die this turn. ("This turn" after "dies" I think can syntactically only apply to the duration of the delayed trigger.)

Clearly this is not the intended reading. If this was intended, it would perhaps be worded like Diseased Vermin ("previously dealt damage", but in this case probably worded something like "dealt damage this turn or previously dealt damage"). But, such a card has memory issues at the very least.

The correct wording is I think "Whenever a creature dealt damage by that creature this turn dies this turn, ...", but it is maybe a bit awkward.

Note that although damage is cleared at end of turn, the "dealt damage" clause cannot be understood to rely on marked damage. It should work with wither or infect which do not mark damage (and last beyond this turn), and I think it still works after regeneration or other effects that would remove marked damage (if it still dies later).

Note also that I am reading that "dealt damage" can refer to damage before Touch of Moonglove resolved. This could even be previous damage dealt "this turn," which is how I understand the card should work.

Is this criticism correct? Is this some reason that Touch of Moonglove doesn't need another "this turn?" Are there other cards with similar issues? (I didn't find any others yet.)

  • Re "But, such a card has memory issues at the very least.", Yeah. But you can prepare knowing this card is in your deck. – ikegami Sep 16 at 3:23
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    Bone Shaman's Oracle wording says to me that two "this turn"s might be necessary. – Arcanist Lupus Sep 16 at 6:26
  • @ikegami If we were to accept this reading, then the opponent would have had to have been keeping track as well. After all, they have a right to challenge your assertion that the creatures has been dealt damage. – Acccumulation Sep 16 at 22:01
  • @Accumulation, I agree that that looking back to the start of the game is problematic, but that's not a factor in determining what the effect does. And no, they could track the info, but they wouldn't have to. For starters, "details of current game actions and past game actions that still affect the game state" such as this qualify as free information "to which all players are entitled access without contamination or omissions made by their opponents." – ikegami Sep 16 at 22:41
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Given the Oracle wording on Bone Shaman (as pointed out by @ArcanistLupus in the comments), I would say it probably should have another "until end of turn".

Bone Shaman's Oracle text

{B}: Until end of turn, Bone Shaman gains "Creatures dealt damage by Bone Shaman this turn can't be regenerated this turn."

Clearly someone at Wizards decided that Bone Shaman needed similar wording to be more clear as to the purpose of its ability. I would guess that Touch of Moonglove's wording is just an oversight (or maybe whoever wrote Bone Shaman's Oracle text wasn't involved with Touch of Moonglove).

Ultimately though, as you've pointed out, the intent was obviously not to deal with all creatures damaged throughout the course of the game. You could try to rules-lawyer it that way, but I doubt any reasonable judge or playgroup would allow it to happen.

  • Re "It probably should have another "until end of turn".", ...if it works like Bone Shaman. Could you please establish that? You say it's obvious, but it's never obvious that a card works differently that worded, as that's a contradiction of the rules. – ikegami Sep 16 at 20:58
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    @ikegami Name one other card that references something that happened on a previous turn, and isn't marked with something such as a counter, tapping, exile, etc. How would a judge rule on that? "Is the judge supposed to rely on a player's declaration as to what happened several turns ago? – Acccumulation Sep 16 at 22:03
  • @Accumulation, What does that have to do with anything? Are you saying it's impossible for cards that do things no other cards do? (If it mattered, I'd refer you to the comments on the other answers that reference Diseased Vermin.) – ikegami Sep 16 at 22:24
  • Re "Is the judge supposed to rely on a player's declaration as to what happened several turns ago?", It wouldn't be the first time. – ikegami Sep 16 at 22:30
  • I'm not saying you're conclusion wrong; I'm just saying that, "Yes, because it's obvious" is rather lacking as an answer, especially when that contradicts the rules. [CR 608.2c] – ikegami Sep 16 at 22:43
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No, Touch of Moonglove does not need another 'this turn'

Theoretically, damage dealt by a source to another source can be remembered across the game, because it's part of the game's history. However, for practical reasons, no card references damage dealt in previous turns without a system (e.g. counters), because it would be a large impediment to the game if players had to keep track of all instances of damage, even if they knew beforehand they might need it later.

The only exception is commander damage to opponents, which is remembered for the whole game, but only because every player knows beforehand to keep track of that damage, and it's only one card per player.

Wither and infect are kind of remembered through -1/-1 counters, but those don't count as "remembered damage". The counters could come from anywhere, could be removed, and, most importantly, those counters are damage results, not the actual damage:

119.4. Damage is processed in a three-part sequence.

119.4a First, damage is dealt, as modified by replacement and prevention effects that interact with damage. [..]

119.4b Next, damage that’s been dealt is processed into its results [..]

Marking damage on a creature is also a damage result, not the actual damage.

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    "... no card references damage dealt in previous turns without a system ..." Surely my example of Diseased Vermin is an exception to this? (Granted it's an old card and such a card would probably never be printed today in this exact form.) And, is this not begging the question? I agree every other card probably works like this, but only because they say so on the card. Why in particular is "this turn" the default duration? Your rules citations don't seem to explain this. Noting that marked damage is not actual damage was one of my arguments that "this turn" was needed... – tehtmi Sep 16 at 6:45
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    "no card references damage dealt in previous turns without a system" -- Well, it might be that no other card does. But the question was if Moonglove does so. I don't think it would be only Magic card with a unique effect, so this doesn't really answer the question. – ilkkachu Sep 16 at 12:18
  • @tehtmi the difference between Diseased Vermin and Touch of Moonglove is that Diseased Vermin can't deal damage before it enters the battlefield, and as soon as it did ETB, players can start tracking. ToM on the other hand, if interpreted your way, would look back in time and would therefore require players to keep track of every creature's damage assignments for the entire game just on the possibility that someone plays ToM on some creature. – Hackworth Sep 16 at 12:31
  • @tehtmi The very next words after the part you quote was "such as counters". Diseased Vermin puts counters on creatures it has damaged. – Acccumulation Sep 16 at 22:06
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    @Acccumulation It does not. The counters go on Diseased Vermin. – tehtmi Sep 16 at 22:14

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