Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Knowledge Vault Addendum

I implied - or more directly stated - that it would be a simple matter to revise the wording on Knowledge Vault to make Sacrificing the Vault an activation cost of the second ability. Not so.

If you sacrificed the vault as a cost of the second activated ability then the triggered ability would go off and put all cards from the vault into your graveyard before the activated ability had time to resolve.

What a blunder!

Well, my one star rating stands, because, as I've said before, if a good wording is not supported by the rules, it doesn't make me like a poor substitute any more.

But how could we possibly work Knowledge Vault to make it work the way it ought to work?

Well, I thought of a few ways to go about it.

Instead of:
2, Tap: Exile the top card of your library face down.
0: Sacrifice Knowledge Vault. If you do, discard your hand, then put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's hand. 
When Knowledge Vault leaves the battlefield, put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's graveyard.
We could go with:
2, Tap: Exile the top card of your library face down.
Sacrifice Knowledge Vault: Discard your hand, then put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's hand. 
When Knowledge Vault leaves the battlefield, put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's graveyard. If this ability would trigger when an activated ability of Knowledge Vault is on the stack, instead it triggers the next time there are no activated abilities of Knowledge Vault on the stack.
Though it has the odd side effect of putting the card from the top of your library into your graveyard if Knowledge Vault is destroyed in response to the first activated ability when it would otherwise be exiled. So we could try something like:
2, Tap: Exile the top card of your library face down.
Sacrifice Knowledge Vault: Discard your hand, then put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's hand.
When Knowledge Vault leaves the battlefield, unless it was sacrificed to pay the cost of an activated ability of Knowledge Vault, put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's graveyard.
But there are ways you could end up with a Knowledge Vault with activated abilities that have sacrifice as part of the cost that are not the second Knowledge Vault ability. The trouble is that while there are various ways to link abilities in Magic, they all have to do with referring to cards affected or choices made as part of one ability. You can't just state that two arbitrary abilities are linked and that one triggers or does not trigger off the other.

There is another way, though. My proposed wording for Knowledge Vault, after some thought, would be:
2, Tap: Exile the top card of your library face down.
Knowledge Vault loses all instances of "When Knowledge Vault leaves the battlefield, put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's graveyard." if any, Sacrifice Knowledge Vault: Discard your hand, then put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's hand.
When Knowledge Vault leaves the battlefield, put all cards exiled with Knowledge Vault into their owner's graveyard.
The "if any" protects against the case where you target your animated Knowledge Vault with a Quicksilver Elemental. Since the elemental would not have the triggered ability it couldn't lose it to pay the cost of the sacrifice ability.

I think the wording does the trick. It would still have odd consequences if you somehow replaced the sacrifice payment with an effect that left it in play, but for now that's very difficult and I'm much happier with that defect than the defect where your opponent can respond to the sacrifice ability by destroying it to deprive you of your cards.

No comments:

Post a Comment