is paying life the same as loss of life???

Beyond Dominia: The Rules Mill: is paying life the same as loss of life???

By Curtis Carroll on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 02:47 pm:

Is there a difference between paying life for some activation cost and lossing life because of some effect/ability? In other words: is paying life considered loss of life?


By Cormarrr, the Groundskeeper (Cormarrr) on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 05:34 pm:


By Curtis Carroll on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 10:22 pm:

'Yup' they're the same or 'Yup' they're different?

By Anxiety (Anxiety) on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 01:30 am:

Actually they are different is one sense. Payment usually takes the form of an activation - thus happening before resolution. Loss of life is usually the other, upon resolution.

Also you cannot pay life you do not have. But you can lose it. If one of a few cards are in play that do not cause you to lose at 0 life, you cannot pay life, as you do not have it. But IU think you could still lose life.


By Curtis Carroll on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 03:07 pm:

the reason I am asking is because of a card coming out in Torment: Transendence--you lose the game at 20 life instead of 0; when you lose life you gain 2 life for each one lost. In this case, would paying life for something like Martyr's Tomb get you closer to 0 or 20???

By Matt the Great (Matt) on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 03:16 pm:

Instinct tells me it would get you closer to 0. Can someone back me up/shoot me down on that? Preferably citing rules.

By nev on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 03:28 pm:

you go up. read the card.

By Curtis Carroll on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 11:08 pm:

ok then---since there is some indifference about the matter---let me rephrase the original question: Is paying life = loss of life? Explain any differences. And as Mr. Matt says: "Preferably citing rules."

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:42 am:

G.21 - Loss of Life
G.21.1 - Loss of life can happen because a spell or ability instructs a player to lose life, or because damage dealt to the player is not prevented. [D'Angelo 1998/02/03]
G.21.2 - Loss of life cannot be prevented or replaced by a spell or ability which prevents or replaces damage. [CompRules 1999/04/23] Some older cards say this as reminder text, but it is true even if they do not.
G.21.Ruling.1 - Abilities that trigger on the loss of life also trigger when you pay life points for something. [WotC Rules Team 1996/02/06]

By G.21, the ability would trigger.

Therefore you would go down the amount of life you paid first, the triggered abilities would go on the stack, and then you would gain the life. End result is you cant pay life to maintain your life total.

By RandomErtai on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:21 am:

There is still a fun combo with Forsaken Wastes that will make you invulnerable to loss of life, damage etc. and also kills your opponent in the process. This works because they made the Transendences triggered ability can still be replaced by replacement effect like Forsaken Wastes. No gain, no pain :)

By RandomErtai on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:23 am:

Too much coffee...

- "they made"

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:01 am:

That's a much, much older combo with Soul Echo, actually.

Nothing new.

By Curtis Carroll on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:00 pm:

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was wandering about it because it sounded easier than using Transendence with Nefarious Lich; with their mana-specific casting costs its hard to play them together. Oh well, I'll just have to use Disenchants with Auramancer and Reclaim...or maybe there will be a nightmare-type creature that removes enchantments...we'll see.


By Prodigal Whelp on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 07:15 am:

Just wondering...
How would 'Soul Drinker' work with 'Trancendence'?

By Curtis Carroll on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 03:46 pm:

paying life is paying life no matter how you look at it, and apparently its the same as loss of life, which mean it won't work with Transendence. Too bad it works like that, because I was going to build a deck around it. Oh well, I'll just have to come up with something else.

By Bo on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 05:01 pm:

Trancendance says when you "lose life" but this loss of life can come from direct life loss (like through Pox or Phyrexian Arena, or paying life) but this "loss of life" can come through damage as well. Its just worded badly. Trancendance should read something like "Whenever your life total decreases by 1 increase it by 2" or something like that.

Interesting to note, that while Trancendance + Nef. Lich doesnt work for damage (since Nef. Lich replaces damage by removal of cards from graveyard), it DOES work for loss of life. If I recall correctly, Mana burn is a loss of life, therefore, with Trancendance + Nef. Lich in play you can pay 1 colorless mana to draw 2 cards at the end of the current phase, which is kinda cool.

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 10:01 pm:

Bo: I addressed the same thing concerning poor wording in the Torment thread on the Rumor Mill. Glad I'm not the only one who thought that. :)

Here's what I mentioned there, in short: I'd make it say "Whenever your life total decreases, gain two life for every point by which your life total decreased."

By nev on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 03:15 pm:

The designers at wizards have a very fun article on Trancendance at . You should all read it.

By Curtis Carroll on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 05:52 pm:

I've read it. My response is that you stack the triggered abilities(if you can do that), so that Transendence happens first, because at the bottom of Transendence in parenthesis it says that damage causes you to lose life; which means that damage is turned into loss of life; or that you would lose life instead of taking damage. Therefore, with Lich in play you would never have to mill your own graveyard.

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 07:45 pm:

Curtis, that is not how it works.

Transcendence is a triggered ability while Lich is a replacement effect.

Damage (once resolved and not prevented) is considered loss of life, and would trigger transcendence. However, with lich in play, the damage is replaced by removing cards and therefore never happens, so transcendence cant trigger.

By Curtis Carroll on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 01:18 pm:

That's cool then, since there are lots of black cards that can fill your graveyard, along with a few white ones. With white damage prevention one might actually be able to run a deck that can use the Lich/Transendence combo...hmm...(scratching chin). You know, though, doesn't Transendence replace damage with loss of life? Doesn't that mean that you have to choose which replacement will happen?

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 02:02 pm:

No. Transcendence triggers on loss of life.

The text you are referring to merely clarifies something already in the rules, that taking damage (once resolved) is considered loss of life.

By Andrew, the Sphinx Slayer (Andrew) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 08:20 pm:

Transcendence is - quite carefully - not a replacement effect. Look at the wording: it's a triggered ability. You do actually lose a point of life, and then you gain two more - so your life total increase by 1, net.

By Curtis Carroll on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 08:29 pm:

Ok, thanks. I think I've learned more on this thread than I ever have about the entire game of Magic, not that I haven't been playing for 2 years...(more chin scratching)...I'll have to come up with a removal/recursion theme to run Transendence with Lich...(srcatching again)...G/W/B maybe...

By Intrepid911 (Intrepid) on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 10:38 pm:

wait, so if you're at 4 with transendence in play and you get fireblasted, you lose?? that sucks.

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 10:30 am:

Transcendence also has the text:

You did not lose the game for being at 0 or less life.

so no.

Nw if they fireblast you, Transcendence's triggered ability goes on the stack, and then they disenchant transcendence in response, you die.

By Bo on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 10:39 pm:

Curtis, Trancendance with Lich still works like I posted above with Mana Burn so you dont REALLY need any recursion ...some way to protect the Lich would be good though (stupid losing if it leaves play).

By Curtis Carroll on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:28 pm:

I realize the mana burn trick would work, but you will eventually deck yourself doing it...unless you are playing a really thick deck. As for protecting Lich, that's what Sterling Grove is for.

By Crovax the Great on Sunday, January 20, 2002 - 10:40 pm:

Bo, I notice something you said, which was a misconception of mine for quite some time. I quote: "If I recall correctly, Mana burn is a loss of life..."
Well, mana burn is not loss of life. It's damage.
411.3 states in part:
"at end of each phase, both players check their mana pools for any mana unspent. Each player then takes 1 damage for each mana in his or her mana pool. Each player then empties his or her mana pool."
This is interesting, because it means things like Worship and Urza's Armor affect mana burn.

By Gzeiger (Gzeiger) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 01:49 am:

Crovax - I'm not at all sure where you're quoting that from. In the current edition of the comprehensive rules, 411 has to do with triggered mana abilities like Wild Growth, not burn.

In the current version, the mana burn rule is:

300.4. When a phase ends (but not a step), any unused mana left in a player's mana pool is lost. That player loses 1 life for each one mana lost this way. This is called mana burn. Note that mana burn is loss of life, not damage, so it can't be prevented or altered by effects that affect damage. (See rule 406.1, "Mana Abilities.")

By Crovax the Great on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 11:13 am:

Okay, then it's changed since the last time i checked it. Thanks!

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