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Do Vampire Bats make To Shadows worth using?

Okay, but for real, Vampire Bat Swarm with To Shadows is actually kinda horrendous.

If you make the opponent's creature an Illusion for a [[side]], than perform an "Attack a Unit" [[main]] targeting the Illusion creature, there's no good outcome.
- Unit takes the hit and is destroyed due to Illusion ability.
- Phoenixborn guards for unit, triggers "Swarm 2", deals 1 damage to unit which is destroyed by Illusion ability (since it's the result of an attack)

I'm currently working on a decklist for this right now that uses Harold Westraven since Harvest Soul becomes super easy to fulfill and Hunter's Mark addresses the Unit Guard issue, but I'm curious to know what other people think of this cool combo.

Comments [p. 2]

  • It's been said already that Overkill 2 wasn't triggered with an illusion unit dying. The example I remembered was about silver snakes and false demon, it was said somewhere in the FaQ that the Consume ability wasn't triggered after False demon dies off an attack because Illusion caused the unit to die, and not the attack.

    I guess it's the same for Overkill 2, isn't it?

  • It's been said already that Overkill 2 wasn't triggered with an illusion unit dying

    This is a different issue. The question at hand is not whether an ability is triggered when a unit dies due to Illusion. The question is if Illusion triggers when a unit receives damage that isn't attack or counter damage, but is the result of an attack or counter.

  • Yeah, I get that, but precisely, in my example of Silver Snakes and False Demon, the result of the attack is the unit dying, but it died because of illusion, not because of the attack, thus not triggering consume.

    I assume it's the same mechanism for Overkill 2, which is not triggered because the Illusion unit dies beforehand. Yet, it is the result of an attack.

    Or, let's take Aftershock, which is the result of an attack or counter. Yet, it doesn't kill a false demon, right? I guess it's the same for bats?

    The question would be more like, is bats ability kind of a redirect effect or not? That's how I see the thing at least.

    I don't know if I'm clear with my words haha excuse my english ^^

  • Ah, I see what you're saying. I think you're right; this is a decent example showing that "the result" of something is not tracing causality back more than one level.

    Silver Snake's conditional language reads:

    Consume: Whenever an opponent's unit is destroyed as a result of a spell, attack...

    The FAQ explicitly states that Illusion triggering from an attack and killing a creature does not trigger Consume (p. 4).

    By similar logic, Illusion's conditional language reads:

    Illusion: If this unit receives damage as a result of a unit's attack or counter...

    If the damage from Vampire Bat Swarm's ability is considered the result of an attack, then logically Illusion destroying a creature as a result of receiving attack damage would also be the result of an attack (and should trigger Consume). But the latter has been explicitly ruled against, suggesting that the former is also not a legal play.

    Thanks for clarifying! (Particularly since it supports my preferred reading.) ;-)

  • I won't go quietly into that good night, etc.

    Lexaeus#33rm: There is a difference with the way abilities like Consume, Overkill X, and Aftershock X work in regards to Illusion.

    Consume's trigger is specifically "Whenever an opponent's unit is destroyed as a result of a spell, attack, counter, ability, or dice power you control..."; here, illusion is tricky in that it destroys the unit itself BEFORE the damage can kill it, and Illusion on your opponent's unit (regardless of how it got there) is an ability your opponent controls, NOT YOU. Consume doesn't trigger because it only cares if something you control destroyed the unit, but Illusion is controlled by your opponent. What happens "as a result of your attack/counter" is that damage is dealt, damage is received > Illusion triggers. Then, the unit is destroyed "as a result of Illusion triggering", which is not the same as "a result of your attack/counter".

    Overkill X runs on the same logic as Consume. It only triggers "when this unit destroys another unit by attacking", but the thing that's destroying the unit is Illusion, not the attack itself.

    Why is that different from Swarm X? Because Swarm's trigger is not "when you destroy", it's "when you would deal damage to a PB". The abilities that trigger on your opponent's unit being destroyed by you are interfered with by Illusion being controlled by an opponent, and always happening first. Swarm, however, specifically causes Illusion to trigger in the first place and doesn't care why or how the unit is being destroyed, because Swarm already triggered and happened and is done with.

    By the same logic, Aftershock would also trigger Illusion EXCEPT Aftershock X specifically "places X wound tokens on a target unit", which is not the same as dealing damage.

    On the minus side, this just got me to realize that you can't cast Harvest Soul from destroying your opponent with Illusion, which makes me a little sad.

  • Swarm will not trigger illusion because the damage being dealt is not "as a result of an attack or counter", but specifically because of the Swarm ability. The damage is not attack damage, it's damage from an ability. Yes, the trigger for Swarm was dealing damage to the PB via attack, but that does not make Swarm damage also "from an attack". Attack damage is specifically the damage dealt by the unit(s) during an attack action - the value of which is in the lower left box of the card (plus any adjustments from alterations or the Charm dice power that explicitly affect a card's attack value)

  • The damage is not attack damage, it's damage from an ability.

    Just for the record, I agree this is how it should be, jbensley#3j1m. However, the reason this came up at all is because Illusion doesn't specify that the damage must be attack damage. It only says the damage has to be "the result of an attack". That wording is what introduces this weird grey space.

    Basically, we just need a FAQ clarification on this, I think. There isn't really any definitive prior art, although I do think the way Consume works indicates that Illusion is actually looking for attack damage, not damage that has an attack as its antecedent.

  • Here is the short Version of this post :
    Person : Man i really think it works because of this obvious fact ...
    Other Person : What you say is true. But the problem is something else : ...
    Yet another Person : I think the obvious fact is also wrong.


  • Sorry I hadn't read the first page when posting, so yes I repeated what others were saying but the point still stands - the damage is dealt from the ability, therefore it's not being dealt by the attack. To argue otherwise would be to say that the Spiked Skin ability also triggers Illusion, or that Sympathy Pain could kill a False Demon because the attack against the PB was the trigger. Again I apologize for posting without reading the first page and I'll leave it be from here.

  • Hi,
    I just read all the posts (took me a while ^^'), and damn, that was very interesting.
    But in regards of all that have been said, i have to agree with Lexaeus#33rm.

    The example with the Consume ability is really relevant.
    Say you attack with a silver snake on illusion unit and trigger illusion, this would be the succession of event :
    Attack with snake --> damage on illusion unit --> trigger illusion ability --> destruction of illusion unit

    The scenario with the bat attacking phoenixborn would be like this :
    Attack with bat --> activate bat swarm ability --> damage on illusion unit.

    Why would illusion trigger in the 2nd case while consume does not trigger in the 1st case ? Both wording contains "as a result of", and if we take your logic on bat case, the destruction of the unit in the 1st case is also due to the attack of the snake (that you control), hence triggering Consume. However, it has been officially ruled that Consume does not trigger in this case. By analogy, it seems legit to say that the illusion ability won't trigger in the 2nd case.

    It's my interpretation of the rules for what it's worth.