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Mercenary and Savage - which takes precedence? Options
TimmerB123
Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 7:43:25 PM
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A character has both Mercenary and Savage. They are a non-melee character and have a legal target 9 squares away.

Must they attack (due to Mercenary) and thereby not have to end adjacent (because they cannot)

Or do they have to end adjacent, and thereby not attack?

Which takes precedence?
Cassus fett
Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2021 5:51:32 AM
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I believe Mercenary takes precedent in this case because the piece is non-melee and therefore can make an attack from its starting space. If it was a melee piece then savage would take precedent since it can’t attack but can end adjacent to the enemy.
Now I’m basing this argument on logic and the idea of “do as much as you can” and we all know those two things don’t always apply to this game.
TimmerB123
Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2021 11:31:12 AM
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If I had to venture a guess it would be this:

Mercenary.

Mercenary’s movement requirement (restriction) is based on where you start. Savage’s movement requirement is where you end. Thus Mercenary kicks in first.

But, it also could be considered simultaneous effects (you have to move for Savage or not move for Mercenary at the same time), so acting player decides. That would be a nice way to get around Savage.
UrbanShmi
Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:39:19 PM
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Savage says the character has to end its movement phase next to an enemy if it can. Mercenary says that if it can make an attack from his starting square, it can't move. Mercenary would control, because the can't overrides the if.
TimmerB123
Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:44:02 PM
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UrbanShmi wrote:
Savage says the character has to end its movement phase next to an enemy if it can. Mercenary says that if it can make an attack from his starting square, it can't move. Mercenary would control, because the can't overrides the if.


(Just to play devil’s advocate), “if“ is not really “if” with Savage in the case of making a non-melee attack (7-12 spaces away). A character cannot choose to attack and therefore “not be able” to end adjacent. They must assess if they can become adjacent sans attack, and forgo the attack if necessary to get there.
FlyingArrow
Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2021 6:52:57 PM
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I haven't spoken up because these are both WotC abilities and this possible interaction has been around for a long time, so I assume the answer is out there somewhere. So I didn't want to give the wrong answer but also didn't want to go on that scavenger hunt. But if I were the judge in a tournament, I would've gone with what UrbanShmi said.

With more thought... Normally, "cannot" overrides "can". "Must" implies that you "cannot" do the opposite, so Mercenary and Savage have contradictory "cannot" clauses and one has to take priority.

Savage's "if" gives a way out. If it can't move, Savage doesn't apply. Mercenary says it can't move. So there's no contradiction in giving Mercenary precedence since that negates Savage.

Going the other way, Savage says you must end adjacent to an enemy if you can. So let's enforce that rule first... now you have to move. If you move more than 6 to get adjacent, then you cannot attack (since you moved more than 6) and that negates Mercenary since you can't attack from your starting spot if you're forced to move more than 6. But if the nearest enemy is within 6 then Savage says you must move adjacent, and Mercenary says you cannot move adjacent. A true contradiction. So giving Savage precedence means you cannot follow the Mercenary rule.

Merc taking precedence is much simpler. I'd have to go that way.

(If Sithborg or swinefeld or even Nickname have answered this previously the other way, then I'm wrong.)
TimmerB123
Posted: Friday, November 5, 2021 9:29:26 AM
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For what it's worth I agree with Laura (and TJ's) interpretation.

I don't think there was even a way to have a Savage Mercenary during WotC days, so thereby no ruling there. I think Watto was the first time it was a possibility, though not much reason to want to do it.

Now with some of the later sets, there could be advantages to having a Savage Mercenary, so while I think it's not a new possibility, it's a new probability that we may see the combo.

A firm ruling would be good to have. If it's Merc trumps Savage, then great - let's run with it. Making a Savage a Mercenary gives you a little more control over preventing them from running off, lol.
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