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Law of Domination Vs Holy Knight

I would think either one of two things would happen.
A) The Holy Knight is not a valid target, even if the player you targeted wants to select it
or B) the creature can be targeted, but it the spell would basically fizzle, because even if you're the one targeting it, it still cannot be AFFECTED by opponents spells and that spell is still an opponents spell.

I'm more leaning towards the first though. It would not be a valid target, even if the player controlling it wanted to.


  • I believe (A) is the way it would work based on how it reads

  • This is not an easy one to establish a ruling on from the current FAQ. It boils down to whether or not the damage from Law of Domination is damage dealt from an effect, or if it counts as attack damage (or is sourced from the chosen units).

    From the FAQ, p. 17 (bold text mine to highlight relevant sections):

    A card affects another card or player if it attaches, destroys, removes from the game, targets with an effect, deals damage from an effect, places tokens, removes tokens, moves tokens onto or from another card, cancels it, modifies an ability, or modifies base stats of a unit. A card does not affect another card if an effect chooses it, or if it targets another card with an attack.

    So what we know:

    • Holy Knight is not affected by its player choosing it as a result of Law of Domination's effect (because nothing in the list of things that count as "affecting" apply to that clause). So by that read, Holy Knight is a legal choice.
    • However, Holy Knight may or may not be affected by the damage that is dealt, because it is not clear whether Holy Knight's Impenetrable ability would trigger due to damage that is sourced from another unit via an effect.

    My gut instinct is that Holy Knight is a perfectly valid choice for all parts of Law of Domination, because what is directly affecting the Holy Knight is damage dealt by an opponent's unit (the fact that this damage was triggered by a card effect probably doesn't matter, because Ashes rulings tend to only care about direct causes; e.g. attack damage triggering Illusion to kill a unit will not allow Harvest Soul or Silver Snake's Consume ability to trigger).

    However, it's admittedly ambiguous, thanks to the non-standard effect wording on Law of Domination. I can see the argument for not even allowing Holy Knight to be chosen, and would love to have this clarified in the FAQ.

  • I kind of view it similar to how Magic: The Gathering handles this problem.
    If a creature card has "Protection from Red," that means Red cards cannot target it, all damage it would take from Red cards is prevented, and creatures that are Red cannot be declared as a blocker against it.

    However, if there's another card in play that says "Damage cannot be prevented," it gets around one of those clauses. You still can't target the creature with Red cards, but Red creatures can now deal damage to it via non-targeted damage.

    Back to Ashes, I feel that if I play Law of Domination and my opponent willingly chooses Holy Knight, the spell still causes damage to be dealt since the damage absolutely can't be prevented.

    That being said, I understand the argument that Holy Knight's ability just prevents it from being affected by spells altogether. I feel that in that case, the opponent shouldn't be able to pick Holy Knight to begin with since it's not a legal target.

    Basically, I don't think an opponent should be able to pick Holy Knight and automatically get 5 damage for free.

  • We already have a similar situation with bring forth and to shadows. Guilt Link and Holy Knight also have a similar targeting issue.

    I don't think there was a rule for this, but we play it such that if you use to shadows on a unit with bring forth, because the to shadows part was applied later, it now has illusion again. If you really wanted to, you could even apply a second bring forth. So it is similar to magic i guess.

    Also on Boardgamegeek the consensus back then namine was new was that if you get dealt damage with guilt link you can decide to remove your holy knight from play to prevent the damage. No official rulings though.

    Also the FAQ explicitly says
    Affect: [...] A card does not affect
    another card if an effect chooses it, or if it targets another card
    with an attack.

    If you say 'targeting' is a special case of 'chosing' it says Holy Knight is a legal target.
    I think that is pretty much the intention.