Rules Corner - Fade vs Remove cost action
by Kevin Broberg
R: After your opponent plays a card (not as a block), cancel its effects and add it back to their hand.
R Remove: After you play a Combo attack, your opponent adds the top 2 cards of their deck to their card pool face down.
Question: What happens when Fade responds to an Action card that has “Remove” among its costs?
Answer: The player getting Faded adds the removed card to their hand.
Commentary: Don’t be misled by ideas like “cards can’t leave some zones”. That’s a design policy, not a game rule.
To understand this ruling, you need to understand scopes, which are explained in J.4 of LGR 0.7.
“J.4.1 Some effects will have a time frame, called its scope, which defines how far back in the game to look for a card's property or value when that effect calls for it”
And additionally, this Effect Limitation
“J.5.4 In the case of a fired effect, or the immediate effect of a response ability - if a card involved in the game event at the start of its scope has changed zones since that game event concluded, but before the effect begins to execute, the effect cannot interact with that card.”
J.5.4 is responsible for several intuitive rulings. For instance, if both players have fired effects on “If this attack deals damage” that move the card to different zones - for instance, the turn player will add it to momentum, but the defending player will remove it from the game - then the first effect wins, and the card only changes zones once (to momentum). The second effect fires and can’t “find” the attack. Let’s see if it’s important here.
Fade does create an immediate effect (to return the played card to your opponent’s hand) and it is a Response ability. The game event that triggers Fade is “After your opponent plays a card.” Check out section E.4 of the LGR for a refresher about playing a card, but the key here is E.4.4 for paying costs, and E.4.11 is specifically the game event that triggers Fade.
So what? Costs are paid in E.4.4, including the action card moving to the Removed zone. When we reach E.4.11, the card is Removed, and when Fade resolves, it’s still Removed. J.5.4 has no quarrel.