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Subject: Azathoth, The Blind Idiot God - and Power Drain ??? rss

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Josh Newton
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Hello all. Over on the FFG-forums we are having a mini-debate / discussion over Azathoth (the mighty Outer God) and the 2-cost Hastur Disrupt called "Power Drain" (Comes in Core Set- and is quite a useful card, by any measure).


Apparently, many of our French members are implying that the way it is played over there (in tournaments, etc) is that because Power Drain says "Cancel an Action or Response just played..." and Azathoth's text reads as follows:

Response: After Azathoth enters play, each player must sacrifice all characters not named Azathoth and all support cards he controls.

At the end of the turn, you are eliminated from the game.


-----------

.... they claim you can use a simple Power Drain to "Disrupt and cancel" the first part of Azathoth's "Response" - namely the "sacrifice all characters and support cards..." power.

They further seem to say that once this is done...the last part - which says "at the end of the turn, you are eliminated from the game" - STILL GOES OFF. Meaning you can essentially disrupt the main ability Azathoth has, and the only real reason you would put him in your deck and play him (desperate situation to rid the board of defenders so you can go in unapposed for a final story snatching)....with a simple Power Drain. THEN, adding insult to injury, you still get to watch as the opponent loses the game at the end of the turn, due to the second part of Azathoth's card text, which they claim is not at all connected to the "Response" part - ie, both are independent effects.

My question then is: "Is it true (in US Tournaments // regionals // the CCG days // etc) ...that a simple Power Drain played when Azathoth is put into play ...can "cancel" his "blow everything up power".

Secondly...if true....does the secondary effect of the person who played Azathoth still losing the game at the end of the turn....is that also correct....and still in effect, even if the first part (destroy everything) is somehow negated by the Power Drain ?


And Lastly, is it more likely (and likely in the future, if not now) that FFG just goofed and should have // meant to - make the ability a FORCED Response when he entered play, instead of a "Possible" - by typing it up as "just a Response" ?



 
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Chris Long
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Rosh87 wrote:
... they claim you can use a simple Power Drain to "Disrupt and cancel" the first part of Azathoth's "Response" - namely the "sacrifice all characters and support cards..." power.


And they are correct. Power drain specifies a Response just triggered, which Azathoth certainly qualifies as. I'm not sure where the confusion here is at.

Rosh87 wrote:
They further seem to say that once this is done...the last part - which says "at the end of the turn, you are eliminated from the game" - STILL GOES OFF.


Again, they are correct. LordHellfury is right when he says that those two effects are separate on the card. Losing the game is a completely separate, passive ability of Azathoth, and not related to the Response.

Rosh87 wrote:
My question then is: "Is it true (in US Tournaments // regionals // the CCG days // etc) ...that a simple Power Drain played when Azathoth is put into play ...can "cancel" his "blow everything up power".


Of course. And Performance Artist, and Writhing Wall, and half a dozen other cards from the CCG era also worked at the time. My question to you is "Why wouldn't they work?"

Rosh87 wrote:
And Lastly, is it more likely (and likely in the future, if not now) that FFG just goofed and should have // meant to - make the ability a FORCED Response when he entered play, instead of a "Possible" - by typing it up as "just a Response" ?


I am certain they meant is as written. They had the opportunity to change it when the card got included in the white-border format. If they had wanted to change it at that time, they could have.
 
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Chris Long
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LordHellfury wrote:
Upon further investigation, I am now certain that Performance Artist and Ward Phillips can prevent being eliminated from the game at the end of the turn.


No, I'm sorry but they can't.

The "lose the game" condition at the end of the turn is a passive ability completely separate from the triggered ability which clears the board.

Passive ability are not triggered, and therefore are not triggered abilities. As such, they cannot be canceled. I don't know the text on Warn Phillips off-hand, but if he says "triggered ability" it won't work, and Performance Artist definitely does not work.

I'm sorry I didn't chime in on that issue right away, but I wasn't really clear what you were saying exactly in the "edit" block, so I just left it alone.
 
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Daniel Ach
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I don't think that's the case, since elimination from the game is a passive effect, not a triggered effect. Passive effects are not abilities with triggers, and therefore cannot be stopped by cards that cancel a trigger, such as Ward and Power Drain.

From the FAQ:
"Passive effects and abilities do not have a trigger such as Action:, Forced Response:, Response:, or Disrupt:"

and

"Passive abilities are “always on,” and active whenever the circumstances of their text would indicate. The main difference between a passive ability and a forced response is that the Forced Response can be cancelled."

The only way for Azathoth's passive effect to be nullified is for Azathoth himself to be removed from play.
 
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Daniel Ach
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Ooops, wasn't quick enough for Chris!
 
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Chris Long
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danach81 wrote:
The only way for Azathoth's passive effect to be nullified is for Azathoth himself to be removed from play.


Or his textbox to be blanked.
 
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Josh Newton
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Good discussion and thanks to all who have chimed in.

To Chris - I guess my confusion (slight) - is more thematic than anything else...you have Azathoth, this almighty Outer God ....with this incredible "Armaggeddon-like" effect when he enters play...he costs 6 to play....and is generally designed for a last, desparate, gamble to win you a close game....yet he is completely neutered by a single 2-cost Core Set card like Power Drain.

Granted...the cost is not entirely the point (many other cheap cards are really good in this game)....but it just struck me as odd that it's "that easy" to block Azathoth, and then stick your opponent with the "lose the game" effect (unless they have some clever way to get him out of play again before the end of the turn).

It makes Azathoth (seemingly) - nigh-unplayable (certainly against Hastur) ...against many deck-types because of the possibility of being stopped in that manner.

* one final clarification - can you also use Performance Artist (sac effect) to cancel at least the first part of Azathoth's "Response:.." ability (the destroy everything part) ...even if you cannot affect the "you lose the game at the end of the turn" portion ?

If so, this would be yet another thing (in addition to Power Drain) which is able to "curb stomp" the great Outer God *
 
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Daniel Ach
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Rosh87 wrote:

It makes Azathoth (seemingly) - nigh-unplayable (certainly against Hastur) ...against many deck-types because of the possibility of being stopped in that manner.

I am coming to terms that I should just not play him. But hey, consider it a challenge.

Rosh87 wrote:

* one final clarification - can you also use Performance Artist (sac effect) to cancel at least the first part of Azathoth's "Response:.." ability (the destroy everything part) ...even if you cannot affect the "you lose the game at the end of the turn" portion ?

I can't seem to find it in the FAQ right now, but I believe that any trigger (Action, Disrupt, Response, or Forced Response) of a card in play is considered an "ability" and therefore PA would work to cancel the effect of Azathoth's ability.
 
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Josh Newton
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Yes - but when he is "being put down" from your hand onto the table - that's when his "when he comes into play" thing triggers....that seems more like something that Power Drain could stop....but not a Performance Artist, no ?

As I understand it, Performance Artist is great at stopping things like Slavering Gug's "Pay 4 and wound a character" or Hastur's "Pay 2 to remove all Willpower and Terror Icons from all your opponent's characters" - abilities. Those are "Triggered Abilities" that Performance Artist is able to stop, if I am correct in my understanding of the card.

Something like Azathoth's "Comes into Play" thing doesn't seem like it could be stopped by her. It would be the same as playing a Deep One Rising - that lets you "Choose and Destroy a character"...and thinking a Performance Artist could sac to stop that. I don't think she could. In fact, I don't think even Power Drain could, because DOR is a "Forced Response", IIRC - and not something Power Drain is allowed to oppose.
 
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Chris Long
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Rosh87 wrote:
Yes - but when he is "being put down" from your hand onto the table - that's when his "when he comes into play" thing triggers....that seems more like something that Power Drain could stop....but not a Performance Artist, no ?


That is incorrect. If you go back to my first response I mentioned that Performance Artist DOES work at cancelling Az. It was only in my later response when I was talking about the "lose the game" condition where I was saying PA didn't.

Rosh87 wrote:
It would be the same as playing a Deep One Rising - that lets you "Choose and Destroy a character"...and thinking a Performance Artist could sac to stop that. I don't think she could.


You are wrong. She can.

Rosh87 wrote:
In fact, I don't think even Power Drain could, because DOR is a "Forced Response", IIRC - and not something Power Drain is allowed to oppose.


This one is correct. Power Drain will NOT work on Deep One Rising, specifically because the card only works on Actions or Responses, which DOR is not.
 
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