Pitiless Plunderer interaction

Asked by K34 8 months ago

Looking over the spoilers for RIX I saw a new card called Pitiless Plunderer. Someone on the website I was on said in the comments that it went infinite with March of the Machines. They do go infinite, but they do absolutely nothing good unless you have something like Blood Artist on the field. I was pretty excited about this until my buddy pooped on my party and said that it's an infinite loop that would actually end in a draw. Is he right? I looked up a ruling, and this is what I found.

421. Handling “Infinite” Loops

421.1. Occasionally the game can get into a state in which a set of actions could be repeated forever. The “infinity rule” governs how to break such loops.

421.2. If the loop contains one or more optional actions and one player controls them all, that player chooses a number. The loop is treated as repeating that many times or until the other player intervenes, whichever comes first.

421.3. If the loop contains at least one optional action controlled by each player and actions by both players are required to continue the loop, the active player chooses a number. The nonactive player then has two choices. He or she can choose a lower number, in which case the loop continues that number of times plus whatever fraction is necessary for the active player to “have the last word.” Or he or she can agree to the number the active player chose, in which case the loop continues that number of times plus whatever fraction is necessary for the nonactive player to “have the last word.” (Note that either fraction may be zero.)

Example: One player controls a creature with the ability “0: [This creature] gains flying.” Another player controls a permanent with the ability “0: Target creature loses flying.” The “infinity rule” ensures that regardless of which player initiated the gain/lose flying ability, the nonactive player will always have the final choice and therefore be able to determine whether the creature has flying. (Note that this assumes that the first player attempted to give the creature flying at least once.)

421.4. If the loop contains only mandatory actions, the game ends in a draw. (See rule 102.6.)

421.5. If the loop contains at least one optional action controlled by each player and these actions don’t depend on one another, the active player chooses a number. The nonactive player can either agree to that number or choose a higher number. Note that this rule applies even if the actions could exist in separate loops rather than in a single loop.

Now, 421.4 seems to back up his position, but I would say that in the situation with Blood Artist on the field it is in fact not an infinite situation, because unless he's altered his life total he'll only have 40 life to give (playing EDH). Something tells me I'm wrong, because he's actually a pretty experienced player that has played in official tournaments and all that, whereas I only ever play against him.

Any judges that can tell me just how wrong I am?

pskinn01 says... Accepted answer #1

If there is nothing on the board that triggers on enter the battlefield or on death of creature, then yes. As the loop repeats without end.

Now if blood artist(or other enters/leaves battlefield effect that causes life loss) is on the field, then it would not be an infinite combo as there is a meaningful change in the game and an exit resolution (opponent dying). So the infinite rule would not apply as it states "Occasionally the game can get into a state in which a set of actions could be repeated forever". If the loop would eventually cause all opponents to lose, it is not infinite.

January 9, 2018 6:13 p.m.

K34 says... #2

Sweet. Thanks.

January 9, 2018 6:24 p.m.

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