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Area and Beam Attacks and Mystic Empowerment - Further Clarification

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Mystic Empowerment

I saw a previous answer from Nov 2020 that says Doctor Strange can apply Mystic Empowerment to Beam and Area Attacks. I'm not understanding why, as Beam and Area Attacks never choose targets - a clear part of the requirements to use Mystic Empowerment. In order to help figure out what we are missing in our group, please consider the following:

A player has a character (for ease of reference, we will say it is Loki) with a Beam or Area Attack. It is his turn, he decides to use that attack. Three enemy characters are under the measurement tool, thus in range of the chosen attack. For the purposes of this question, the three enemy characters have no special distinctions or rules that matter other than that they each have a defensive stat that is lower than the other two defensive stats.

Loki (again, just a convenient reference - it does not matter that the charater is in fact Loki, only that the attacking character has a Beam or Area Attack) wishes to take advantage of Mystic Empowerment to make his attacks use the lower defensive stats of the enemy characters who will suffer his attack.

The first part of Mystic Empowerment reads: "Once per turn, when an allied character declares an attack, before choosing a target it may spend one Power."

The rules for both Area and Beam Attacks instruct the player to follow a different set of rules. The rules for Beam Attacks outright state "instead of declaring a target." The rules for Area Attacks say "The attacking character does't declare a target..."

This would mean that Loki cannot take advantage of Mystic Empowerment to change the attack type, as it does not choose any targets. They are simply under the range stick and attacks are resolved against all enemies affected.

Is this correct?  If not, why not?


As always, thanks!

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On 3/13/2022 at 12:44 PM, Sleboda said:

...as Beam and Area Attacks never choose targets

This part is not quite correct, every attack targets a character at some point in the process.

After the sections you quoted, you’ll see that each section has paragraphs that include the text

"...make a series of attacks targeting each enemy character..."

The point of the text in the sections you quoted is that targeting doesn't occur in exactly the normal way and the later sections tell us that targeting does still occur in both cases.

Mystic Empowerment’s wording is referencing targeting to indicate the timing step that the Leadership is triggered/resolves at though, it is not listing a requirement.

You can see other examples of this in rules that say things like "Before damage is dealt". This doesn't indicate that damage is a requirement of the rule occurring, it is telling you the timing step of the attack that it occurs in.

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