"Instead" Replacement Effects

Hi guys, we have had a lively conversation on Discord and there is some confusion about the replacement effect initiated by the word “instead”. We would like some clarification, and some reconsideration of previous rulings that seem to contradict such replacement effects.

This is a 2 part question, with both closely related, so I hope that’s ok to post.

  1. Last years May 1st errata that explains the order of resolving traits/reacts was as follows:
    -First play/resolve traits with replacement effects (designated by the word “instead”)
    -Then play/resolve normal traits
    -Then play/resolve reacts with replacement effects
    -Then play/resolve normal reacts

This is just a quick question to verify: is this still the case? If the answer is yes, can we see this in a future updated version of the rules/FAQ?

From the current rules: Some Reacts replace the original event with a new event; these can be identified by the use of the word “instead” within their text. Once a React of this type is played, the original react window is closed and the replacement event occurs. Additional Reacts can then be played in response to that new event.

If the original event is truly being replaced, there are a couple of rulings that seem to contradict this:

Justice in Exile, similar to Hellstrome, does a special acing on a dude given a criterion (the dude was wanted and left play at the same location as a Deputy, during high noon). However, this acing happens after the dude leaves play, and thus when used on a Harrowed dude, the Harrowed dude goes to Boot Hill (as opposed to the Discard Pile, which they’d normally go to, if they were aced from play).

Similar ruling: Hellstromme and Harrowed dudes - #5 by scottw
"Dude A has already left play at this point and therefore is no longer harrowed (harrowed only works while in play) he therefore is Aced.

TLDR; Harrowed only works whilst in play, Hellstromme says after an opposing dude is discarded or aced."

It makes sense that A Fight They’ll Never Forget doesn’t work, since they are not aced as a casualty, but the acing should not happen after the dude leaves play. Doesn’t the acing happen “instead” of the discarding, so with Justice in Exile and Hellstrome, a Harrowed dude would in fact still be discarded since they are still in play when this replacement is happening? How can replacing the discard with an acing happen AFTER the discard?

This gets at a very confusion question of all these replacement effects that say “before” or “while” or “after”. My view is that none of those words matter, and in fact they are simply inconsistent wording. If you are doing a replacement effect, it should not matter if it says “before a dude is discarded”, “while a dude is discarded” or “after a dude is discarded”. If you are replacing the original event with acing, for example, none of those things should matter. This is similar to a post I made today about Henry Moran, but if this works as I thought it does, it greatly simplifies any card that has “instead” on it, making it very clear how every single one should work.

Is that in line with how replacement effects were intended to be?


RT is working on finding official May 1st errata and updating as necessary. This is a little tough since these rules were not placed in official documents, but instead only hosted on forums.

I will confirm that Justice in Exile will ace a harrowed. The trigger is “after…leaves play.” Harrowed only works in play and since the dude has already left play, he can not benefit from harrowed.


Since it showed up on Discord but hasn’t shown up here, yet, @kempy had archived the May 1st errata from the Alderac forums