Confusing Card of the Week #52 – Flaming Sword, Basic Action Card

Posted: September 6, 2016 in CCW, Confusing Card of the Week, Rules
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Today, we’re going to take a look at Flaming Sword, Basic Action Card from the Dungeons and Dragons Faerûn Under Siege Set. This is a whopper of an article today!

Flaming Sword

Ruling – Ability

Flaming Sword has several abilities on it. The first ability is Equip, which allows a player to attach (or Equip) this Action Die to a character with the Equip icon. You can attach Gear when you field it or at the beginning of any turn that the die is active. Bonuses from Gear do not stack; it acts as a While Active ability. You may also switch the die to another character with the Equip icon at any time you could normally attach the die.

When a character that has Gear attached to it leaves the Field Zone, the Gear stay in the Field Zone. It will stay unattached until you could attach it to normally another character. When a character with Gear attached to it is captured, the Gear will go with it. When the captured character returns, the Gear will return with it, still attached to the character.

If a character would lose the Equip Icon, the Gear would become unattached and stay in the Field Zone until such a time you could attach it to a legal target.

The next ability on Flaming Sword says that the equipped character gets a +2A and +2D. The moment you attach the Flaming Sword to a character, the attack and defense of that character will each increase by two.

The next part of the ability says that the Flaming Sword deals one damage to character dice that are blocking or blocked by the character that’s equipped with the Flaming Sword. This damage is considered ability damage and the Flaming Sword is the source of the damage, not the character it’s attached to. This damage is done after blockers are declared and before the Action/Global part of the Attack Step. This is important because the damage could KO characters with the damage, or even trigger certain abilities. If the equipped character attacks and is blocked by three characters, each of those three characters will take one damage from the Flaming Sword. If the equipped character blocks an attacking character, the attacker will take one damage from the Flaming Sword. This ability is not optional.

The next portion of the ability says that the Flaming Sword counts as Gear. This means that any card or ability that would affect or target Gear, can affect or target the Basic Action Dice representing the Flaming Sword.

The last part of the ability says “It can’t be ignored.” I would assume this to be referencing the previous sentence and means that Flaming Sword can’t lose the ability to be Gear.

*** NOTE ***
This cannot be ignored.
– There isn’t an official ruling as to what the sentence is specifically referring to on the card. I have ruled at my local venue that the sentence directly refers to the sentence before it: This die counts as Gear. Make sure you check with your local venue as to how they are ruling it.

Examples

Example One:
Flaming Sword’s Direct Damage
vs Blockers

~ I have a Gnome Ranger, Minion Harper with a Flaming Sword equipped.
~ My opponent has three Sidekicks in the Field Zone.
~ At the beginning of the Attack Step, I declare my attack with my Gnome Ranger.
~ My opponent declares all three Sidekicks as blockers and blocks my Gnome Ranger with all three Sidekicks.
~ Abilities that trigger after blockers are assigned will trigger here, so Flaming Sword’s special ability will trigger. All three Sidekicks will take one damage each.
~ The three Sidekicks will be KO’d and placed into the Prep Area.
~ During the Action/Global part of the Attack Step, neither player uses a Global and I do not use any Action Dice.
~ Damage is now assigned. My Gnome Ranger was blocked, but there are no longer any blocking characters to assign damage to so the Gnome Ranger doesn’t assign any damage. The Gnome Ranger does not damage my opponent with it’s attack.
~ My Gnome Ranger will return to the Field Zone because it was blocked.

Example Two:
Flaming Sword’s Direct Damage vs Attacker with High Defense

~ I have a level one Gnome Ranger, Minion Harper (3A, 1D) with a Flaming Sword equipped which increases my Gnome Ranger’s attack and defense to 5A, 3D.
~ My opponent has three Sidekicks and a level three Glabrezu, Minion Fiend (5A, 6D) in the Field Zone.
~ At the beginning of the Attack Step, my opponent declares an attack with all three Sidekicks and the Glabrezu.
~ I declare my Gnome Ranger as a blocker and block the Glabrezu.
~ Abilities that trigger after blockers are assigned will trigger here, so Flaming Sword’s special ability will trigger and the Glabrezu takes one damage. This means the Glabrezu can only take five more damage before it’s KO’d.
~ During the Action/Global part of the Attack Step, neither player uses a Global and my opponent does not use any Action Dice.
~ Damage is now assigned. My Gnome Ranger and the Glabrezu do their attack value (with bonuses) to each other and the three Sidekicks deal their attack value to my life total.
~ My Gnome Ranger will be KO’d and placed in the Prep Area, while the Flaming Sword remains unattached in the Field Zone. My opponent’s Glabrezu will also be placed in the Prep Area because Gnome Ranger did five damage to his remaining defense which was enough to KO him.
~ The unblocked Sidekicks go out of play until the Clean Up Step, where they will then go to the Used Pile.

Example Three:
Flaming Sword’s Direct Damage vs Attacker with Low Defense

~ I have a level one Gnome Ranger, Minion Harper (3A, 1D) with a Flaming Sword equipped which increases my Gnome Ranger’s attack and defense to 5A, 3D.
~ My opponent has three Sidekicks and a level one Goblin, Lesser Humanoid (2A, 1D) in the Field Zone.
~ At the beginning of the Attack Step, my opponent declares an attack with all three Sidekicks and the Goblin.
~ I declare my Gnome Ranger as a blocker and block the Goblin.
~ Abilities that trigger after blockers are assigned will trigger here, so Flaming Sword’s special ability will trigger, and the Goblin will take one damage.
~ The Goblin is KO’d and put in the Prep Area.
~ During the Action/Global part of the Attack Step, neither player uses a Global and my opponent  does not use any Action Dice.
~ Damage is now assigned. My Gnome Ranger is not currently assigned to an attacking character so she doesn’t do any combat damage but the three Sidekicks deal their attack value to my life total.
~ My Gnome Ranger is not KO’d by any attacking character because the attacker that was blocked was KO’d before the Assign Damage part of the Attack Step.
~ The unblocked Sidekicks go out of play until the Clean Up Step, where they will then go to the Used Pile.

Official Sources

There are no official sources specifically for Flaming Sword. There are a few about Gear that apply.

You can find the official ruling for multiple copies (stacking) here.
You can find the official ruling for targeting here.
You can find the official ruling about characters losing the Equip Icon here.
You can find the official ruling about captured equipped dice here.

The Faerûn Under Siege Rulebook has the definition of Equip on page 26.

Competitive Play Rating

For the competitive scene, there are far too many other Basic Action Cards that are better than Flaming Sword. Even if you were to build a competitive Gear focused team, there are other Gear cards that would be more useful. The card itself isn’t terrible, it’s just not as good as other Gear cards. With some meta cards, like Hulk, Green Goliath, you do not want to use a card like this. Until the meta changes either by a ban list or set rotation, I don’t see this card making any competitive list as a utilized card.

Flaming Sword, Basic Action Card gets a competitive play rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Casual Play Rating

Giving this card a two out of five stars does not mean this card is bad for casual play. It means the card can be very confusing and not very easy to work with. Flaming Sword requires at least one other card on your team be a specific type of card. Cards that have strict limits like this are not usually ones I recommend for beginners. My ratings are also based off of a Constructed format, which would include all sets and not just the set a card is in. If you’re playing with nothing but Dungeons and Dragons cards, you don’t have anything to worry about here. There are loads of great casual characters that can have Gear attached to them.

I do feel that Flaming Sword, along with other Equip/Gear cards are great teaching tools and are not seen near enough. If you build a team tailored for Gear, this card would be a great option and I would highly recommend this card for consideration on a Gear centered team for a more advanced player to use as a teaching tool.

Flaming Sword, Basic Action Card gets a casual play rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Reader Questions

I had a few specific questions asked about this card, so I thought I would add them in here even if they’re covered in the article.

Question:
What is the nature of the damage done by the sword? Is it combat damage?
Answer:
The direct damage done by the Flaming Sword is ability damage. It’s not considered Combat Damage.

Question:
When does the damage apply?Answer:
The Flaming Sword’s ability damage is triggered after blockers are assigned during the Attack Step, but before the Action/Global part.

Question:
Can I field the Flaming Sword Basic Action Die as though it were gear?
Answer:
Yes. The card states that the dice count as Gear. All game rules that apply to Gear, apply to these dice as well.

Question:
How does Blue Dragon, Apprentice Dragon ability interact with this card?
Answer:
When you use this particular Action Die, you place it in the Field Zone (References: FUS Rulebook Page 12 and here). As long as the Blue Dragon is active, when you place this Gear die in the Field Zone, you get to choose a character and that character can’t block for the turn.

Question:
How do cards like this interact with Beholder, Master Aberration?
Answer:
I don’t have an official answer for this one. I can only answer with the way I’ve ruled it at my local venue. This does not mean that I’m right, it’s just my perspective, so you should check with your local TO on how they plan to rule an ability like this.

Beholder’s ability allows you to use Basic Actions as though you had rolled them. The most important text is “as though you had rolled them” and means that you must have a legal target for the ability as well as be legally able to complete the action. Beholder must have been assigned to attack to use his ability which means you wouldn’t be able to field a Sidekick that rolled by using Resurrection because you’re already in the Attack Step and beyond the point that you could field a character (unless otherwise stated in the card ability). You can use Resurrection with Beholder’s ability to roll any die from your Used Pile, but rolling a character side is not helpful.

To be able to use Flaming Sword’s ability with Beholder, I would check to see if I had a legal target for the Basic Action Die’s ability. Beholder says to use the ability as though you had just rolled it, so if I had just rolled the Action Die, can I Equip the die? If not, then you would not legally be able to use the ability.  Normally you can’t use Action Dice before the Action/Global part of the Attack Step, but the Beholder allows you to bypass that and use the ability as though you had just rolled it. I would rule that Beholder would allow you to use the Flaming Sword, so long as you had a character than can be equipped with it.

I don’t see any reason as to why you wouldn’t be able to grant the ability to a character that can use Gear, because with Beholder’s ability you get to use the Basic Action Die which would mean that you could Equip it as you played it as per the Equip rules. Until end of turn, you would have a character with a ghostly Flaming Sword (at least at my venue – remember that this is not official and to check with your TO).

Question:
How does Beholder and Blue Dragon together, interact with the Flaming Sword?
Answer:
Provided that your local TO rules the way I do on Beholder, if you have a character that can use the Flaming Sword, the following would happen (starting at the Attack Step):

  1. I declare my attackers – Beholder and Gnome Ranger (not attacking with my Blue Dragon).
  2. When Attacks abilities will trigger. I can choose to use all of the Basic Actions as though I had rolled them (for the sake of example, we’ll pretend that I’m not able to use three of the Basic Actions).
  3. I use the Flaming Sword Basic Action with my Beholder and Equip it to the Gnome Ranger.
  4. After using the Flaming Sword and Equipping it to the Gnome Ranger, Blue Dragon allows me to choose an opposing character that can’t block this turn. I choose my opponent’s only character in the Field Zone.
  5. If there are any legal blockers, they can now be assigned. In this example, there are no legal blockers.
  6. When Blocking/Blocked abilities would trigger, but there aren’t any in this example.
  7. If I had any Action Dice in my Reserve Pool, I could use them now.
  8. If either player wanted to use any Globals, they could be used now.
  9. We would assign damage at this point, which would be zero to me and my characters. My opponent would take my characters’ full attack values as combat damage which would include my Gnome Ranger’s additional +2A from Flaming Sword.
  10. Unblocked characters go out of play.
  11. Clean Up starts – effects and damage are cleared from character dice (including the Flaming Sword from Beholder if the Gnome Ranger had stayed in the Field Zone); all out of play dice are moved to the Use Pile; the active player’s turn ends.

* Please keep in mind that some of these responses are based off of my understanding of the game and my interpretation of the cards and rules. I do understand that there are opinions that are different from mine and I don’t mind discussion, but please do not respond in a hateful or negative way to me or anyone that comments on my articles. Thanks!

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Special thanks to The Reserve Pool for the use of their site.

Roll on, Dice Masters!

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Comments
  1. Jamie Alison says:

    Thanks so much for this awesome post. Answered all my questions about this card and also brought to attention that I can’t field it without a target! Your blog is one of the best D&D dice masters resources out there.

    Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can field the die without a target.

      Like

      • Jamie Alison says:

        This was the part that confused me:

        “To be able to use Flaming Sword’s ability with Beholder, I would check to see if I had a legal target for the Basic Action Die’s ability. Beholder says to use the ability as though you had just rolled it, so if I had just rolled the Action Die, can I Equip the die? If not, then you would not legally be able to use the ability.”

        Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, that’s a special scenario. If you purchase the Basic Action Die and roll it on an Action Face, you can field that Basic Action Die without a target. The particular part that you singled out is in relation to Beholder’s ability only. Beholder uses the ability on the Basic Action Card as though you had rolled the die. If you don’t have a character that can use equipment, you won’t be able to use that particular Basic Action’s ability and that’s because you can’t equip Gear to characters that don’t have the Equip Icon.

        Like

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