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Jakodrako's Primer on Netrunner Abilities


That is not what I’m even saying. I’m saying that the individual card determines what it does and how it views the ‘board state’, and at no time does SMC in this situation care that you have just one card in your stack because you ‘might’ have an effect that causes you to draw that card. At no time was that true. If you have a legal target (a stack with stuff in it) you can use it. Failing to find is legal.

Peddler only cares about those hosted cards. SMC only cares about cards in the Stack. Clearly the drawn card is part of our game state. The FAQ rules only clarify where the trashed card is considered to be on trigger.


We’re talking past one another at this point. The FAQ ruling in question says to resolve the card in an earlier game state. Do you disagree?


I think you are reading this entry much differently than I am. You are reading “reference to the game state within that effect” as “state (or position or something) of the card that initiated the effect?”


Yes. It doesn’t say to “resolve the card in an earlier game state”; it says that when an ability is triggered you reference the game state from earlier to know where the card triggered is located for the purposes of firing that ability (meaning Peddler’s hosted cards are still in play, and SMC…doesn’t even matter in this case) except that the trashed card is also copied in the Heap. It’s telling you how to check on the state of the card not telling you how to resolve the card.

Abbreviated: “When you use a card trash ability, anytime that card might reference a game state, you base that game state on the moment of its trashing, but also there’s a copy in the heap.”

Since we’re being pedantic, the phrase “within that resolving effect,” which everyone is hung up on, is modifying “reference”: “any reference…is based on the game state”.

For SMC: “Search your Stack” is the reference.

For Peddler: “Install a hosted card” is the reference.

[sorry if this sounded huffy]


I’m not understanding what you mean here. Are you saying that in the sentence “Any reference to the game state within that resolving effect”, the words “within that resolving effect” are referring to the card being trashed rather than the resolution of the ability?

I’ve been interpreting “resolving effect” to be the resolution of the ability which required the card to be trashed. So for SMC the resolving effect is the whole ability " Search your stack for a program and install it (paying the install cost). " and the reference is “your stack”.

Yeah I think this was @ironcache’s point. This rule is cumbersome to read, let alone parse correctly :slight_frown:


I’m not sure how one would glean that from the RAW. It may be that you are correct and this is just written very poorly, but if no other elements of the game state are intended to be checked from their previous state, then:

  1. Exile should trigger off Peddler.
  2. Peddler should not work at all with a Blacklist in play.
  3. I’m not wholly convinced the Spike/Wraparound issue is fully solved. It can be, if we presume that the strength requirement on icebreakers is only a factor at the moment we pay costs (and not the moment we resolve effects), but I don’t know if any precedent here.

Right - this is what I’ve been saying for the last few posts. It is clear that you aren’t supposed to rewind the entire game state - just any element(s) of the game state referenced by the effect. The question, then, is whether “search your stack” is a reference to the state of “your stack.” I’m still having trouble understanding how anyone could be certain that it isn’t (note: I am not certain that it is).


I’m pretty much done arguing this.

Your listed conclusions fly in the face of what I just said. Exile should not trigger off Peddler in this interpretation, The trashed card is considered to have a copy in the heap, not the hosted installed cards; the reference, which I’ve been saying is the effect of the ability–which is what the rule says–is based on the location of the card at the moment of trashing.

The whole sentence is discussing the reference of the card’s ability. The reference is in the card’s ability. “Install a card from Peddler” is the reference. You base that install (again, the reference) off the game state of the card when it was trashed. Same with SMC.


Okay, everyone has been saying the same thing for awhile now, and no progress is being made.

@CJFM, I see your point, @strundle has admitted he sees the point you’re making, and I’m pretty sure @PaxCecilia sees your point. Your interpretation is plausible (if requiring a different interpretation of the ruling itself and the game state as a whole than I had initially considered).

However, the interpretation being put forth by them (and, earlier, myself) is also plausible. There are no known interactions (outside of ones that could potentially be flipped by this ruling) for which it can be shown to be incorrect, and the logic is sound.

If one side can’t accept the other’s at this point, than that’s okay. But both sides do have a plausible position. The specifics of what constitutes game state is not well defined (as it hasn’t needed to be defined before now), so we aren’t going to come up with a hard and fast answer to who is right here through continued debate.

What is of note here, though, is that there are several people tied up into debating the interaction of a rule that can be viewed in different manners. This is, at the very least, telling of a ruling that could probably use clarification.


I hope I’m not coming across as arguing for arguments sake, and I’m sorry if I have. I just genuinely don’t understand the rule.

In my post way up thread I tried to apply the rule directly to SMC. When I apply the rule to Street Peddler I get:

When Street Peddler is triggered, ‘1 card hosted from Street Peddler’ is based on the game state at the moment of Street Peddler trashing, but with Peddler considered a new copy of Peddler in the heap.

I’m sure the wording could be cleaned up, but essentially the “1 card hosted on street peddler” is evaluated in the game state as peddler is trashing. So the hosted cards haven’t fallen off of the street peddler yet (as a result of Street Peddler being trashed), and they’re still valid targets. Does that sound correct?


Yep, that’s what I’m saying. And no worries about arguing, I get that way too :wink:


Okay, so with an example where the card being trashed does matter:

When Allele Repression is triggered, ‘each advancement token on Allele Repression’ is based on the game state at the moment of Allele Repression trashing, but with Allele Repression considered a new copy of Allele Repression in Archives.

Again, you evaluate the advancement tokens on Allele Repression based on the game state as it was at the moment of trashing. And, since there’s a copy of Allele Repression in the archives, you can choose itself as a target.


Exactly, yup!


And then for SMC which I am having the most problems with:

When Self-Modifying Code is triggered, ‘your stack’ is based on the game state at the moment of Self-Modifying Code trashing but with SMC considered a new copy of SMC in the heap.

As you said above, SMC’s being a copy of itself in the trash is irrelevant, so it just boils down to

When Self-Modifying Code is triggered, ‘your stack’ is based on the game state at the moment of Self-Modifying Code trashing.


Sure, but remember that discussion we had a long time ago in the rules thread, where you evaluate that you can play a card or use an ability based on no other cumulative or cascading effects? That applies here.

I just want to point out, something somewhat minor, that when the reference is “based on” the game state, it never says it cannot ever be modified from that base, or whether there would be other things that could change it after the trigger.


For me, it’s not a question of whether or not I can use SMC if the last card is drawn. As you said, you don’t take conditional triggered abilities into consideration for attempting to trigger an ability.

For me, it’s whether or not a chain reaction that affects your stack will matter in regards to evaluating your stack before that chain reaction happens. When I want to use SMC as Geist, it goes something like:

  1. Pay cost & trash
    1.1 Trigger condition met for Geist’s ability
    1.2 Trigger Geist’s ability
    1.3 Resolve (draw 1 card)
  2. Resolve SMC’s search

When I go to resolve SMC’s search, I’m evaluating my stack based on the game state at the moment of trashing, which is Step 1. It doesn’t seem clear to me that the card drawn in step 1.3 is on the top of my stack or in my grip when I go to resolve SMC based on that earlier stack game state.


It’s in your grip because you fully resolve cascading abilities and triggers before moving on. I get what you mean, that the SMC should, therefore, be able to install it because it “sees” it as in RND still, but the game state has moved on, so to speak, and it’s not there anymore. This could be an issue of the game state moving beyond the trigger condition due to a cascading effect. This is discussed in the FAQ on p.4 under “non-resolvable abilities,” which I think this might? fall under. SMC would be trashed, having found nothing as there’s nothing to find.

Now, whether that’s true or not is hard to say because we’re getting into another badly worded rule. It’s probably not working like that in this case, and I think the thing SMC only cares about is that you “search your R&D for a program.” Remember, you don’t have to name that program ahead of time, so it doesn’t care whether you drew it or not. Not sure about the individual status of each card in the Stack based on our discussed rule. My intuition tells me that the game state does not track individual cards, and only checks for a basis of legality (SMC, in our example, does not track specific cards with its reference, only that there’s a legal search target in R&D–that is to say, I think each card’s reference needs to be evaluated individually, not holistically).


True, Geist’s draw has fully resolved and I’ve drawn the card. However the rule says to search my stack based on the game state prior to that draw. Searching a different stack than what it was in Step 1 seems like not following the rule correctly. [edit: At the same time it seems weird that at step 2, I’d have a card both in my grip and on the top card of my stack? Is it any weirder than Allele Repression having a copy of itself in the archives?]

I feel like the game state must keep track of some more about the stack than that there is a stack. Say I played Test Run for a Magnum Opus. Once my turn ends, Magnum Opus is the top card of my deck. Is that part of the game state? It seems so, because (barring any abilities that change [the game state of?] my stack) I should reasonably expect to draw Magnum Opus when I draw a card. If I don’t draw Magnum Opus then we haven’t tracked the game state correctly.

I’m glad we’ve finally come to an agreement on the disagreement :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, I think that it bases it on the fact that you “can” search your stack, because there was a stack when you triggered the ability. In other words, you search your stack, fail to find, and move on, I don’t think it’s specifically stating that the game state would care that the state has changed, only that you base the legality of the search on that previous state.

Somewhat, because an ability besides the original ability has resolved. In Allelle, there’s just the one ability, so it can see itself. In our SMC situation, another ability is triggered and resolved while SMC is waiting to resolve. So, if you look at it askew, it does seem pretty weird. :wink:


I think there’s a confusion between the player’s expectations and the game caring what card is on top. It only cares when an ability tells it to care, like Eureka! It doesn’t care what card is on top after MO was put back, just that there’s a card there. Just because you expect to draw Magnum Opus, and you know MO is on the top of the stack, doesn’t mean the game state cares that that specific card is there until you tell it to care (with an ability, not by decree xD ).


I think I finally see (maybe??) how you are reading this. Let me try to explain the difference and see if we are on the same page:

My Reading: “(any reference to the game state) (within the resolving effect)” would mean we are looking through the effect to find anything which references the game state (as a whole) in the text of the effect and determining outcomes based on that previous state.

Your Reading: “(any reference) (to the game state within the resolving effect)” would mean we are only looking for things which reference the game state of the effect. I’m not sure how to read that in game terms (super pedant mode: "within "is also the absolutely incorrect preposition, here), as I don’t think we have terminology for the state of effects, once triggered/activated/etc. To my knowledge, they just exist until they are resolved (or fizzle) – because effects exist independently of their sources. BUT, leaving that aside for the moment, I think (??) you are saying that “the game state within the resolving effect” is supposed to be something like “the game state of the originating card (of said effect).” Is that correct?

If so, and if you are correct, I think that would clear up most of my disagreements*. I’m not actually sure this is how the rule is intended (the original Lukas response to Spike/Wraparound seems to suggest a much broader reference to game state – not a fine parsing about when we check the strength on an icebreaker), but at least I see where you’re coming from.

*I do maintain that the contents and order of your stack are definitively part of the “game state” (any number of game effects can provide concrete knowledge about these elements – it is not a quantum black box or something). This isn’t germane to the current question/dispute about SMC, though, if the narrower interpretation of “game state” as “state of originating card” is accurate, so it is irrelevant at the moment.