Blake Davis
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Hi all,

I am moderating a MK game, and one of the players has a setup he wanted to try, but I am not sure it works the way he thinks. He wants to use a red mana and black mana to power Sacrifice, fine so far. He has three blue crystals and three white crystals, so he wants to gain the Ranged Ice Attack, getting 18 for having three pairs. Also fine.

The disagreement stems from him thinking that the crystals now become mana *tokens* he can use later during his turn. My understanding is that he is spending or 'sacrificing' the crystals, converting them into spent mana.

The card says "Then, turn all these crystal pairs into mana."

Advice?
 
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Joseph Cochran
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As far as I understand it, they turn into mana tokens, yeah. Otherwise it would just tell you to spend the pairs in order to gain the attack.
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Blake Davis
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My problem is that I can't find any other card where it says 'convert this into mana' and means mana tokens. The card always is very specific about saying 'mana token'.
 
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Trevin Beattie
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For reference:

Quote:
SACRIFICE
Choose green or white, then choose red or blue. Gain Siege Attack 4 (if you chose green) or Ranged Attack 6 (if you chose white) for each pair of crystals of one of each of these colors in your inventory. This Attack is Fire (if you chose red) or Ice (if you chose blue). Then, turn all these crystal pairs into mana.


As I read the card, you get the Attack just by virtue of these crystals being in your inventory; you do not spend the mana to get the effect. (By extension, you cannot use mana tokens or dice to add to the effect.) The mana that you turn the crystals into is yet unused. The sacrifice is that you are committing to use all of that mana this turn, or lose it.
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Josh Powell
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I read it the same way, your friend can now use these mana tokens to power other effects.
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David desJardins
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jpowelltheowl wrote:
I read it the same way, your friend can now use these mana tokens to power other effects.


Ditto. This makes the spell even more overpowered, but that's what it says.
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Evan Coolen
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Thematically, how would this be a "sacrifice" then?
 
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Johannes Albani
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Vjaas wrote:
Thematically, how would this be a "sacrifice" then?
you sacrifice the crystallised form of the mana, the energy set free this way powers the spell, and the mana is now free but unstable, so it will disappear after the turn.
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Blake Davis
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So this is still what I don't understand. It does make the spell very powerful, first off, which is why I was initially against it. Second, I still cannot find any other card that neglects the use of the word 'token'. All other cards are very specific about saying token when they mean it.

Now, mana in this game consists of crystals, tokens, dice, and a few other things. When you spend a mana die to power a card, you are spending a mana die as mana. This is covered roughly under the Using Mana section of the core rules, page 5.

So when I see, "Turn all these crystal pairs into mana", that reads the same to me as "Turn a die from the source into mana". IE: It gets *used*.

I guess if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. It just seems very odd that, considering all the other cards that say "gain a mana token" in some way or fashion, this one does not.
 
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Simon Kamber
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Karui_Kage wrote:
So this is still what I don't understand. It does make the spell very powerful, first off, which is why I was initially against it. Second, I still cannot find any other card that neglects the use of the word 'token'. All other cards are very specific about saying token when they mean it.

Now, mana in this game consists of crystals, tokens, dice, and a few other things. When you spend a mana die to power a card, you are spending a mana die as mana. This is covered roughly under the Using Mana section of the core rules, page 5.

So when I see, "Turn all these crystal pairs into mana", that reads the same to me as "Turn a die from the source into mana". IE: It gets *used*.

I guess if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. It just seems very odd that, considering all the other cards that say "gain a mana token" in some way or fashion, this one does not.


I see your point, but ... what would the alternate interpretation be? That 'turning into mana' meant 'lose'?
 
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Pat G
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If you do indeed lose all of the mana crystals then you are only getting just over 2 ranged per mana at the max conversion, and it is much worse for the smaller conversions. By contrast with either Snowstorm or Fireball you are getting 5 for 1, units like Gunners give 6 for 1, and even basic actions like Swiftness give 3 for 1.
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Blake Davis
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My justification here is that you are getting less of a ratio in terms of conversion at the exchange of such a high attack. Yes, you're only getting over 2 ranged per mana at max, but you can get 18 Ranged attack at max. The other examples are a bit more limited, their max less than half of that. Otherwise, you can essentially gain 18 Attack for 2 mana (red and black), as I can't see the other mana crystals counting when you can still use them *all* for any other cards you want that turn (if as tokens). This makes Sacrifice easily the most powerful Spell in the game in terms of pure damage output.

I think my biggest hangup is just the lack of the word token. Every other card is so *so* clear about it, the lack of it on this one just seems sloppy. My brain instantly wants to think that it means something different. It makes me sad. :(
 
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Jan Erb
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While the word "token" might be missing, the card would be very weirdly worded if it really meant you lose the mana. Then it should say something like "then remove these crystals from your inventory". In your example, if you use a die from the source, it is not lost - you actually get the mana to power something with it.

The spell is obviously very powerful in its advanced version, but it is not alone in that; there are several spells which can have a huge impact in the ultimate version.
I think the most powerful spell in terms of damage output is still Earthquake in an assault on a large city. While it doesn't actually kill anything on its own, it is almost 4*numbers of enemies efficient attack (a little less if there are guys with 4 or less base armour, and arcane immune enemies don't care), making it quite easy to wipe the floor with the defenders. Even a 22 metropolis isn't so scary anymore when every hit takes out 2-3 defenders. Flame Wall also yields more in these scenarios, as with 10 defenders it means Fire Attack 25 for 2 mana.

Also, while you get the six crystals as mana, to actually not waste any of them you'd need a really good hand: six more cards of matching colours to power, maybe less with one of the cards that let you spent multiple mana. So while it is very strong, the reward is fine for me if you manage to set things up like that - which likely meant multiple turns of optimizing your hand.
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Blake Davis
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I guess I might have to concede this one then. The language still bothers me a lot, but enough of you are under the impression that it's tokens, so I'll go with that until I hear official word otherwise. :) Thanks all.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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Karui_Kage wrote:
I think my biggest hangup is just the lack of the word token. Every other card is so *so* clear about it, the lack of it on this one just seems sloppy. My brain instantly wants to think that it means something different. It makes me sad.


There's a LOT of text on that card already: they may have had to trim down what they had in order to get it to physically fit on the card.

But if you want to look at wording, everywhere else a spell or card asks you to actually give up mana, it says "when you play this, pay....", so if the card were to be intended as you posit, it probably would have said, "Chose green or white, then choose red or blue. Gain Siege Attack 4 (if you chose green) or Ranged Attack 6 (if you chose white) for each pair of crystals of one of each of these colors you pay. This Attack is Fire (if you chose red) or Ice (if you chose blue)."
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