We had a bit of a disagreement at the table last night. A player tried to cosmic zap the fire dancer to stop the fire token from adding to its defense. The fire dancer objected and claimed that because the cosmic zap stops one use of the alien's power it should not apply, as the fire dancer's power is the creation of fire tokens and the fire token is already there. The player using the cosmic zap claimed that the fire dancers power was two part, first it creates a fire token then it activates the token and uses the attack cards under it as reinforcement and therefore a cosmic zap could stop the second part of his power. Another situation came up where one player in an encounter played a morph and the other an attack card. The defending player had a fire token in his system and claimed that the morph becomes an attack card and therefore activates the fire token, the other player claimed that morph itself is not an attack card and therefore the fire does not activate. How would you all rule this?
Fire Dancer rulings
I can answer the first question. A Cosmic Zap only zaps parts of a power that follow " may use this power" or " use this power". Some parts of powers are not subject to Cosmic Zap, so it is not possible to zap the last paragraph of Fire Dancer. The token may be activated.
There are other powers that have abilities that are not subject to Cosmic Zap. One example that comes to mind is Zombie's ability to free other's tokens from the warp as part of a deal.
Note that if a power has been Cosmic Zapped legally earlier in a challenge (e.g. Zombie was Cosmic Zapped after being Plagued so that it loses three tokens), that power cannot be used for the rest of the challenge, even for those parts that cannot be Cosmic Zapped directly, so Zombie would not be able to free other's tokens that same challenge.
After some research, I can answer the second question in my next post.
The answer is not as obvious as I previously thought. I have asked Just a Bill at Boardgamegeek.com, who is an authority on Cosmic.
My thought is that, because this effect is tied to encounter resolution, Fire Dancer's power would trigger. I can see the opposite view also, that it is only indirectly tied to encounter resolution, and that the identity of a Morph is "Morph", not "Attack Card", so I am not sure.
I will let you know when I receive a response.
Below is from the updated FAQ, with clarifications from Just a Bill.
Q: What is the difference between an encounter card’s value, and its
identity for all the effects that change values or target certain cards?
A: An encounter card’s value can change, and whatever it is changed
to becomes its new value (e.g., Mirror reversing digits, Tripler
dividing a high value into a low one, Warhawk changing
negotiates into attack 00). In these cases, the card has a new
value. Thus, if Joker’s current wild is an attack 00, the negotiate
revealed by Warhawk’s opponent would become wild. Values only
matter for encounter
totalsresolution . A card’s identity is the actual printed
value. A Morph’s identity is a morph, no matter what it copies * .
Any game effect that targets a card outside of the process of encounter
targeting its identity.
* So, an effect that is not tied to encounter resolution, such as Hate or The Claw, will care about the card's identity as a Morph, whereas an effect that is tied to encounter resolution, such as Tripler or Crystal, will care about the card's value (whatever attack or negotiate it has morphed into).
This is basically Phil's "ink rule" and, although I might quibble over some of the terminology, I am happy to see it ratified in the FAQ.
So, back to the earlier question. Cudgel's effect is related to encounter resolution, since he increases the number of ships lost as a result of losing the encounter. Thus he cares about the card's final value, not its "identity," to use the FAQ terminology. Since its final value is Attack 42, his power is applicable.
On the other hand, The Claw (for example) could never activate in this scenario. His power is completely separate from encounter resolution (it neither cares about nor impacts who wins, who loses ships, etc.). Thus The Claw still sees the card as a negotiate, and since he cannot match negotiates then his power is not triggered by Cudgel's encounter card, regardless of what his claw card is.
I have confirmed that Fire Dancer's power would trigger.
Thanks for the Help!
You're welcome. I am always happy to answer a Cosmic Encounter question.