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 Post subject: Mana abilities
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:24 am 
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Can someone define exactly what "mana abilities" are? because it seems the video game and paper magic are different.

I think a mana ability is something like Scavenging Ooze - you pay mana for the ability.

Something that wouldn't be a mana ability would be the tap ability of Sensei's Divining Top - since you don't pay mana i'm assuming you couldn't tap it in response to a Krosan Grip

The video game issue was it wasn't letting me pay the 1 green for Elvish Piper even though it should have.


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:34 am 
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You have it wrong; a mana ability is an ability that produces mana. (There are a few other requirements, but I'm pretty sure none of the cards that make them come up exist in Duels.) Llanowar Elves, Satyr Hedonist, and Heartbeat of Spring, for example, all have mana abilities. You cannot use Elvish Piper in response to Krosan Grip.

This mistake's a fairly common one.

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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:45 am 
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You have it wrong; a mana ability is an ability that produces mana. (There are a few other requirements, but I'm pretty sure none of the cards that make them come up exist in Duels.) Llanowar Elves, Satyr Hedonist, and Heartbeat of Spring, for example, all have mana abilities. You cannot use Elvish Piper in response to Krosan Grip.

This mistake's a fairly common one.

oh wowwwwwwwwww yeah had that all wrong. they should reword it to "can't activate abilities except for mana producing abilities"

thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Except that would be misleading too, as not all abilities that produce mana are mana abilities. For example targeted abilities cannot be mana abilities (Deathrite Shaman), and neither can loyalty abilities (Xenagos, the Reveler).

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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:19 pm 
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True, but I'd argue that it'd at least be less misleading than the status quo. You'd go from having people screwing up all activated abilities that cost mana to having people screwing up all abilities that produce mana without being mana abilities, and that's a far more exclusive club.

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--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:01 am 
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True, but I'd argue that it'd at least be less misleading than the status quo. You'd go from having people screwing up all activated abilities that cost mana to having people screwing up all abilities that produce mana without being mana abilities, and that's a far more exclusive club.

I'm not sure it's quite that simple. while "mana abilities" leads to a lot of potentially misplayable abilities, it's a fairly simple error to correct. once someone points out that 'mana abilities' means abilities that make mana, you can compare it to something like 'damage abilities' and it'll make sense. and at that point, someone can helpfully come along, while you're in the process of learning something, and point out that a few exceptions exist. also, 'mana abilities' sounds a little less like what it does, which I'd argue is a good thing because it makes it sound more like a keyword and thus the fact that it's an artificially constructed subset of abilities that make mana feels more reasonable. whereas if you call it 'mana-producing abilities', I think you're much more likely to play for much longer without learning that it's not all mana-producing abilities, and that lesson is going to come much harder.

:duel:

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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:12 am 
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razorborne wrote:
I'm not sure it's quite that simple. while "mana abilities" leads to a lot of potentially misplayable abilities, it's a fairly simple error to correct. once someone points out that 'mana abilities' means abilities that make mana, you can compare it to something like 'damage abilities' and it'll make sense. and at that point, someone can helpfully come along, while you're in the process of learning something, and point out that a few exceptions exist.
When someone's learning, it's better to start them off with only what they absolutely need to know, and then present them with new information only once it becomes relevant. Teaching players about all the nitpicky exceptions to "mana abilities are abilities that produce mana" as soon as we clear up their initial confusion violates this principle--such cards are rarely encountered, and the differences matter even more rarely. But if we don't do that (or if we forget, which also happens), then we have a player who's been given instruction that they aren't aware is incomplete, so later attempts to educate them are going to run into the instinctive response of "But that's not what I was told!". They may accept the correction, but they also might not.

With a more precise name, the player is ahead of the game--they can proceed without any instruction at all, so when they eventually do encounter a situation where the difference matters, they don't have that incomplete instruction barrier, and can be taught "fresh".


razorborne wrote:
also, 'mana abilities' sounds a little less like what it does, which I'd argue is a good thing because it makes it sound more like a keyword and thus the fact that it's an artificially constructed subset of abilities that make mana feels more reasonable.
Maybe, but I think the benefits of an intuitive name outweigh the drawbacks. Making the fact that it's an artificially constructed subset feel reasonable is irrelevant if you never need let them know that that's what it is.

razorborne wrote:
whereas if you call it 'mana-producing abilities', I think you're much more likely to play for much longer without learning that it's not all mana-producing abilities, and that lesson is going to come much harder.
On the contrary, I think that a player who's been playing Magic on a serious enough level to encounter a situation where the messy behind-the-curtain rules regarding mana abilities become relevant is more likely to accept such a lesson than one who hasn't. Experienced and/or serious players are much more aware that they don't know all the nitty-gritty details, and are used to accepting the word of authority figures on how the rules work.

It's the inexperienced and casual players who are more likely to resist instruction. Happily, they're also the ones least likely to encounter situations where it matters.

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Knowledge knows no bounds.

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:07 am 
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When someone's learning, it's better to start them off with only what they absolutely need to know, and then present them with new information only once it becomes relevant. Teaching players about all the nitpicky exceptions to "mana abilities are abilities that produce mana" as soon as we clear up their initial confusion violates this principle--such cards are rarely encountered, and the differences matter even more rarely. But if we don't do that (or if we forget, which also happens), then we have a player who's been given instruction that they aren't aware is incomplete, so later attempts to educate them are going to run into the instinctive response of "But that's not what I was told!". They may accept the correction, but they also might not.

With a more precise name, the player is ahead of the game--they can proceed without any instruction at all, so when they eventually do encounter a situation where the difference matters, they don't have that incomplete instruction barrier, and can be taught "fresh".
I'm not convinced that a "that's not what I was told!" reaction is worse than a "that's not what it says!" reaction. you may be right that you don't want to dive into all the details, but by the time you come to mana abilities in the first place, you're already looking at some non-simple cards. there are only 44 cards with either "mana ability" or "mana abilities" on them, mostly in the reminder text of split second and cards that target activated abilities. either way, it's not something you'll encounter until you've played for a bit. and you don't have to explain everything, just toss in a "with a few exceptions" so that, when they encounter one, they'll go "oh hey this is one of those exceptions" not "NO WAY DUDE"

Maybe, but I think the benefits of an intuitive name outweigh the drawbacks. Making the fact that it's an artificially constructed subset feel reasonable is irrelevant if you never need let them know that that's what it is.
but you will. at some point, you're going to try to activate deathrite shaman for mana in response to a sudden shock, and boom, everything falls to pieces and you get into an argument that escalates into a fist fight, get permanently injured, get fired from your job because you can no longer do it, and wind up in a gutter somewhere, begging for change, all because Zammm wanted to add an extra word to some magic cards. do you see what you've done? how could you?

more relevantly, while it doesn't come up often, it does come up, and making it more intuitive when it does is a good thing. also, a much more likely example would've been tormod's crypt in response to shaman, but that also requires you to know that mana abilities don't use the stack, and doesn't actually use the term "mana ability" anywhere.

On the contrary, I think that a player who's been playing Magic on a serious enough level to encounter a situation where the messy behind-the-curtain rules regarding mana abilities become relevant is more likely to accept such a lesson than one who hasn't. Experienced and/or serious players are much more aware that they don't know all the nitty-gritty details, and are used to accepting the word of authority figures on how the rules work.

It's the inexperienced and casual players who are more likely to resist instruction. Happily, they're also the ones least likely to encounter situations where it matters.
you can't really juxtapose "experienced" with "casual" like that.

lemme anecdote ya. so I switched high schools in tenth grade. one of the first ways that I connect with people is through magic. (I had a truly awful deck that tried to be five-color with only forests and ran all the invasion Apprentices and Masters because I had no clue what I was doing, but that's neither here nor there.) there was a kid who had a mono-colored deck of each color, and a lot of people just borrowed his decks to play quick matches. the red deck contained onslaught. now, these are people who'd been playing for possibly close to a decade in some cases, and people who'd been to tournaments, and literally none of them believed me when I explained that and why onslaught's trigger could target an already tapped creature, so that you didn't have to tap your own creatures to play ball lightning if you'd already tapped down their creatures. not one person listened. in the end, I had to print out I believe the gatherer rulings but it may have been the relevant comp rule sections before anyone would believe me. why? because the authority figure they had was wrong. I was a new guy, no one knew that I knew what I was talking about, so why should they listen to me? that's gonna be a lot of players' expositions to misinterpreted rules. and as you say, it's not a common thing to come up, so even if players had been to tournaments they might not have experienced the scenario. of course, this is going to happen either way, (there's really nothing they could've done to prevent the onslaught issue, for instance.) but I believe people will be less hardline about it if the terminology is a little more vague, so that one can prevail with reasoned arguments without running so much into the brick wall of "the card literally says 'mana producing', this ability produces mana, what the heck are you talking about."

:duel:

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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:51 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
I'm not convinced that a "that's not what I was told!" reaction is worse than a "that's not what it says!" reaction.
We'll have to disagree on that, then.

razorborne wrote:
but you will. at some point, you're going to try to activate deathrite shaman for mana in response to a sudden shock, and boom, everything falls to pieces and you get into an argument that escalates into a fist fight, get permanently injured, get fired from your job because you can no longer do it, and wind up in a gutter somewhere, begging for change, all because Zammm wanted to add an extra word to some magic cards. do you see what you've done? how could you?
Yes, yes...all according to plan. :laugh:

razorborne wrote:
[The Rest]
I'm not really concerned about people refusing to believe that cards like Deathrite Shaman or Tangleroot don't use mana abilities. There just isn't a lot of harm that can come from it. Most of the errors that them being wrong will lead to will be people thinking they can't respond when actually they can, and I don't have a problem with that happening, because not responding is still legal.

I'm fine with people performing one legal play because they don't know there are other possible legal plays. I'm much more concerned about people performing illegal plays they don't know are impossible, and the status quo leads to much more of the latter. Yes, even with the change there will still be cases where illegal things will happen, but there's far less of them to go around.

There are always going to be obstinate people or incorrect authority figures. Given that, I'd much rather there be less for them to be wrong about.

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Knowledge knows no bounds.

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:52 am 
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right, if I don't know I can respond to Deathrite then I won't. but if I don't know that you can, and then you do, that's fight city right there, especially if I already "know" that you can't.

:duel:

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Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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 Post subject: Re: Rules Q&A
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:31 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
right, if I don't know I can respond to Deathrite then I won't. but if I don't know that you can, and then you do, that's fight city right there, especially if I already "know" that you can't.

:duel:
Thankfully, that won't happen often, and when it does, it's most likely to be in a tournament setting where there's a judge to call and get a ruling.

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Knowledge knows no bounds.

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary


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