Discard to examine the top 2 cards of your location and return them in any order
So, what is the order of play if I examine a Trigger barrier?
I use the Spyglass, examine a longsword and a Shrieky Plant. Fail to defeat it. Summon a Zombie. Fail to defeat it. The summon goes away.
Now what? Does the Shrieky Plant get shuffled in, then the Longsword on top, or do both both go on top and then shuffle the deck?
And what if the Shrieky Plant was on top? Do I encounter it before examining the next card or examine both, then encounter the Shrieky Plant?
Is there a general rule that will help me in these situations?
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There's two rules in the "Searching and Examining" section of the rule book that you're looking for:
Examine the cards in the order you find them, and put them back in the same order unless instructed otherwise. If anything would cause you to shuffle the stack you are examining, shuffle only after you put back any examined cards that do not leave the stack.
Cards that have the Trigger trait have powers that happen when you examine that card. When a card has the Trigger trait, it’s highlighted in red and listed first so you can easily spot it. If you are examining multiple cards and a triggered power interrupts your examinations, set the remaining cards aside and examine them after you deal with the triggered power. While set aside, the cards still count as being in the location.
So if Shrieky Plant was on top, you would have dealt with the trigger and the random monster right away before examining a second card. Then once those encounters were done, you would then examine the Longsword.
No matter what order they were in to start, you get to put them back in any order because that's what Spyglass says to do. However, both cards now get shuffled back into the location since you failed to defeat the plant. ("If anything would cause you to shuffle the stack you are examining, shuffle only after you put back any examined cards that do not leave the stack").
Pretty clear in the rules.
If anyone of the examine cause you to shuffle, don't, finish handling totally all examine cards in order without disturbing the order. Then when you are done:
- either none of the examinations and related effects needed you to shuffle > you replace them face down in the original order
- or at leat one of the examinations and related effects needed you to shuffle > gather all cards that remain in the location and shuffle the location
Bottomline, only shuffle once at the end of all examinations if you had at least one reason to do so during the examinations.