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MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander • View topic - Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH

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 Post subject: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-13 12:46 pm 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA
In a recent game, I was playing against a deck. My opponent managed to assemble and , and then she unearthed . Using these three cards, she attempted to empty my library into my graveyard.

Fortunately, I have in my deck. So she couldn't completely mill me, as every time she hit the Emrakul, she had to start over.

She wants to mill me until I just 2 cards left in my library, Emrakul, and something else. Theoretically, if she just keeps milling me, eventually Emrakul will get shuffled into the last two cards in the deck, and then she can stop milling me, and force me to kill her in two turns (which might be very interesting, depending on what the other card is).

In the (somewhat obscure) shortcut rules of magic you can only define loops that don't involve conditional actions, and this loop involves a conditional action (loop until I have just two cards left). [See 7.14 in the rules]

So if this were a tournament situation my opponent would be forced to manually mill, then shuffle, then mill, etc, in all likelyhood running out of time before her conditions were reached. Given this is an untimed casual game, this series of actions could take a while. EDH games can go long sometimes, but this is somewhat extreme. [with some napkin math, ~30 minutes of shuffling to have a 50% chance of getting the right result]

However, the shortcut rules also state:
"714.1a The rules for taking shortcuts are largely unformalized. As long as each player in the game understands the intent of each other player, any shortcut system they use is acceptable."

Can we (by the rules of EDH) agree to pick a card at random from my graveyard/deck and Emrakul and put those on the bottom of my deck in a random order?


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-13 8:08 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Yes, you can. Nothing in the rules of EDH stops you from doing this, and there is no real reason not to allow this. I have, in fact, done this very thing with my hippo deck, which uses Intruder Alarm, Drowner of Secrets and Stonybrook Schoolmaster to set up a similar situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-13 10:38 pm 

Joined: 2007-Jun-04 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Gainsville, FL
This is much the same problem in Vintage, when Worldgorger Dragon goes off against a deck with in it. Since the DCI cares very little for Vintage, to my knowledge, no definitive ruling was ever issued by a real judge. Or lower level judges would bicker over it.

I used to assemble that combo ( minus the black dude) with my deck. Saffi was pretty hotsauce with and yes, I used Loyal Retainers (who sadly isn't a legendary creature I could tutor for with my general. Another combo I'd always get was , , and Saffi to save Yomiji and/ or my general. A repeatable wrath to lock down the table was sick.

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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 1:10 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 4:16 pm 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 4:31 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 5:05 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Oct-18 8:52 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oz
At an actual tournament I'd be asking a Judge for something like a Slow Play ruling. (Yes, they could be taking their actions at a sufficient pace but they are choosing to repeat their action over and over (and over (and over)) and it's been 10 minutes since they started and we're not actually playing Magic any more.)
Unless I was already up 1-0 and then I'd be happy for them to shuffle me into a win. :p


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 5:31 pm 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 7:38 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire

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"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-15 4:25 am 
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Joined: 2010-May-23 5:30 pm
Age: Wyvern
I think that EDH shouldn't officially make rules that make unbounded loops more powerful.

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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-15 5:49 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire

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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-15 9:45 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Oct-18 8:52 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-15 11:52 pm 
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Joined: 2009-May-25 4:07 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-16 6:15 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire

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"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Shortcuts for unbounded but conditional loops in EDH
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-16 11:41 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon


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