9/22/2010 Feature: "September 2010 Update Bulletin"

49 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Kudos on Lich. Boomerang no longer kills me outright, bring us ever closer to having the card actually do what it says it does.

However, "bury" was defined as "destroy this creature. It can't be regenerated" and not "sacrifice this creature." Those are two different things. Ask any player who lies to enchant creatures with Indestructibility.

I realize that in his last update Gottlieb kicked open the door for going back to reinterpreting cards that will never be reprinted anyway at whim, but you guys were seriously on a roll for a while, actually fixing past mistakes. I feel like that's just going to go back to being randomly decided again when printed text matters, and when what one rules guy thinks was the "intent"matters.

I say this every time and it never stops being true: you guys are just going to print cards that do whatever you want them to anyway. As long as a card actually works with last printed text it should be left alone 100% of the time. Not 90%, not "most," not "unless it was part of a pair of cards and the other one did not get changed that one time when only one card was reprinted." I do not know why this is so difficult. 
Is there any reason why 206.3 has to exist at all?
Is there any reason why 206.3 has to exist at all?



Yes. If you can see it on a card, it stands to reason you should be able to find out what it is in the Comprehensive Rules. In plenty of games, a mysterious symbol in the text box could have rules significance.

There are several rules that aren't rules in the traditional sense, but are more informational guides, and even a plug or two. For example, did you know that players can use www.wizards.com/locator to find events in their area? Rule 100.6b is here to help. (Players could do this even if this rule didn't exist. ;-P)

Is there any reason why 206.3 has to exist at all?



Yes. If you can see it on a card, it stands to reason you should be able to find out what it is in the Comprehensive Rules. In plenty of games, a mysterious symbol in the text box could have rules significance.

There are several rules that aren't rules in the traditional sense, but are more informational guides, and even a plug or two. For example, did you know that players can use www.wizards.com/locator to find events in their area? Rule 100.6b is here to help. (Players could do this even if this rule didn't exist. ;-P)


Okay, you have a point there.
Now I have to go scour the CR to see if the sword and shield icons from the Portal sets are mentioned anywhere.

They aren't. Probably an oversight to be fixed in the future.
Am I missing something, or is Voodoo Doll no longer functional?  The reason the damage clause exists on the first card is because it has summoning sickness the first turn and can't tap itself.... The new oracle wording makes the card non-functional.
Those "only if untapped" clauses on Veteran's Voice and friends are redundant; the cost can't be paid anyway if the creature is tapped. I can see having something there for the same reason that cards like Heritage Druid say "untapped" when they don't really need to, but couldn't it be reminder text instead of rules text? (You can't activate this ability if enchanted creature isn't untapped.)

Now that I see Hollow Warrior, I can't help but wonder...why isn't tapping to attack a cost? That would allow the Warrior to avoid the whole "not declared..." part, because you wouldn't be able to pay both the cost to the Warrior and the cost to have the creature itself attack.

...Actually, wait. Now that I check the rule for the Declare Attackers step, why does the Warrior need the "not declared..." part at all, even under the existing rules? Creatures are tapped for attacking before costs are paid, so you can't possibly tap something without vigilance that's attacking, because it's already tapped!

And why shouldn't you be able to tap a creature with vigilance that's also attacking?

(I still stand by my question about tapping to attack, though. Why isn't it a cost?)

Am I missing something, or is Voodoo Doll no longer functional?  The reason the damage clause exists on the first card is because it has summoning sickness the first turn and can't tap itself.... The new oracle wording makes the card non-functional.

Unlike Stuffy Doll, Voodoo Doll isn't a creature.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'll leave the nitpicky parts to those more versed, but I, for one, feel your first Rules Update to be a smashing success

Hooray for MattT!

(Also, glad to see that although the face has changed, the humor has stayed )
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Those "only if untapped" clauses on Veteran's Voice and friends are redundant; the cost can't be paid anyway if the creature is tapped. I can see having something there for the same reason that cards like Heritage Druid say "untapped" when they don't really need to, but couldn't it be reminder text instead of rules text? (You can't activate this ability if enchanted creature isn't untapped.)

Now that I see Hollow Warrior, I can't help but wonder...why isn't tapping to attack a cost? That would allow the Warrior to avoid the whole "not declared..." part, because you wouldn't be able to pay both the cost to the Warrior and the cost to have the creature itself attack.

...Actually, wait. Now that I check the rule for the Declare Attackers step, why does the Warrior need the "not declared..." part at all, even under the existing rules? Creatures are tapped for attacking before costs are paid, so you can't possibly tap something without vigilance that's attacking, because it's already tapped!

And why shouldn't you be able to tap a creature with vigilance that's also attacking?

(I still stand by my question about tapping to attack, though. Why isn't it a cost?)

Am I missing something, or is Voodoo Doll no longer functional?  The reason the damage clause exists on the first card is because it has summoning sickness the first turn and can't tap itself.... The new oracle wording makes the card non-functional.

Unlike Stuffy Doll, Voodoo Doll isn't a creature.




The "only if untapped" parts of Veteran's Voice and friends are there for clarity, just like the cost of Heritage Druid's ability. The reminder text option is there, but this way is far less likely to be ignored (and possibly shorter, at least for Nature's Chosen).

The printed text is misleading in Hollow Warrior's case. Hollow Warrior shouldn't be able to tap itself to block, and attacking should work the same way. This received "before the Prerelease" errata at the time to fix what is considered an error.
So, um, howsabout a wording for Goblin Bookie that doesn't require a causality paradox?
So, um, howsabout a wording for Goblin Bookie that doesn't require a causality paradox?



I wanted to issue errata to The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service so it'd have the current phone number, but alas, I lack this power.

(800) 324-6496, if you're wondering.
Is there even any precident for errata'ing flavor text?
And what repercussions would that have for "Blanky"?
So, um, howsabout a wording for Goblin Bookie that doesn't require a causality paradox?



I wanted to issue errata to The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service so it'd have the current phone number, but alas, I lack this power.

(800) 324-6496, if you're wondering.



Isn't Maro the head of rules for Un-sets? Doesn't he hold the power to issue an errata?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not much to say really, nothing mind shattering.

Still wondering when the "Tap an untapped" redundancy will be eliminated. I never ran into that confusion when teaching people, and i've never seen it in the rules Q&A area. (whether you can tap once to get two effects, yes, but never if you can tap a tapped permanent)
… and then, the squirrels came.
Still wondering when the "Tap an untapped" redundancy will be eliminated. I never ran into that confusion when teaching people, and i've never seen it in the rules Q&A area. (whether you can tap once to get two effects, yes, but never if you can tap a tapped permanent)

However, I have repeatedly run into the opposite effect, of players not understanding that an already-tapped permanent is a perfectly valid target for an effect that will tap it.

There's quite a few players out there who can't quite grasp the fundamental difference be costs and effects.  If a little bit of redundant text is all it takes to prevent games from devolving into "Nuh-uh!" - "Uh-huh!", then so be it.
Oh gawd, so utterly much wrong.  I didn't think it was possible, but this guy is worse than Gottlieb!

I did like "NEW WORDING (I already said that)", though.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
The "only if untapped" parts of Veteran's Voice and friends are there for clarity, just like the cost of Heritage Druid's ability. The reminder text option is there, but this way is far less likely to be ignored (and possibly shorter, at least for Nature's Chosen).

All right, I can accept that, but if it shows up on current cards, I reserve the right to whine some more.

The printed text is misleading in Hollow Warrior's case. Hollow Warrior shouldn't be able to tap itself to block, and attacking should work the same way. This received "before the Prerelease" errata at the time to fix what is considered an error.

Wouldn't "another" solve the problem of the Warrior potentially tapping itself?
Hollow Warrior can't attack or block unless you tap another untapped creature you control.

Seems much cleaner...

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

R. I. P. Quicksilver Elemental + Nature's Chosen + arbitrary color-changer.

Also, reading the printed wording of Chaos Lord makes me wonder what the Ice Age designers were thinking.  Unless you have some external way to gain control of it, you only gain control of it on an opponent's turn, making the haste clause meaningless.
Also, reading the printed wording of Chaos Lord makes me wonder what the Ice Age designers were thinking.

Methinks there was an informal contest among the Ice Age team to see who could design the most ungodly convoluted card and actually get it all the way to print - which would explain Ice Cauldron and Balduvian Shaman quite nicely.

Word of Command - Can I look at my opponent's morph creatures while I'm in the middle of casting their spell? Can I peek at the top of my opponent's library if they control Sphinx of Jwar Isle? There are several reasons why I can't unmorph a creature while I control them, but are there any other choices I could potentially make?

The original WoC, I believe, allowed your opponent to chose which lands were used. The previous WoC definitely did. Although the restriction of using only lands remains, since you now control your opponent during the duration of WoC, you can now choose which lands you tap. If you resolve WoC, and you force your opponent to Mind Rot himself, you can now pay for it with one Swamp and two Islands. (Intentionally tapping those Islands because you saw a Cancel in your opponent's hand, too.)

Also: "If the chosen card is cast as a spell, you control the player while that spell is resolving." Whoa! Where did this bit come from? WoC definitely didn't do that before. So now if I force my opponent to Mind Rot himself, I get to choose which two cards he discards? Oh baby! I'm pretty sure the intent of the card is Word of Command, not Word of Brainwashing. After I hypnotize my opponent and put Mind Rot on the stack, my evil influence should end. Then my opponent should come to his senses and have a chance to respond to his own Mind Rot. (Or your other opponents, in a multiplayer game.)

And if your opponent plays a rhystic*gunshot* *ducks* I'm sorry. I'll stick to the practical game situations. For reference, the previous WoC:
Show
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a card from it. That player plays that card with his or her own mana, but you make all decisions it calls for. The player is required only to spend mana in his or her mana pool and/or mana that can be produced by lands.


^^^ This is how I say "Welcome new rules manager! Long live the rules manager!"
For example, did you know that players can use www.wizards.com/locator to find events in their area? Rule 100.6b is here to help. (Players could do this even if this rule didn't exist. ;-P)



I always wanted to bring 100.6b up in a tournament match and say that I can pause the game while I search... just to see people's 'um, NO' reactions. I have a bit of troll in me... <_<

So, um, howsabout a wording for Goblin Bookie that doesn't require a causality paradox?

 

I wanted to issue errata to The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service so it'd have the current phone number, but alas, I lack this power.

(800) 324-6496, if you're wondering.



Unglued really does need some TLC. There's still a card from it listed in Oracle as an interrupt, even!
For Lich, he states that "I don't believe "You lose all life" means you should gain life if you're at a negative life total".  But the first line of Lich reads "As Lich enters the battlefield, you lose life equal to your life total." 

Isn't losing negative life the same as gaining it?  Eg - If I'm at -10 life, I would lose -10 so it becomes -10 - (-10) = -10 + 10 = 0.


Isn't losing negative life the same as gaining it?  Eg - If I'm at -10 life, I would lose -10 so it becomes -10 - (-10) = -10 + 10 = 0.

No. If an effect would try to make you lose a negative amount of life, you lose 0 instead.

107.1b Most of the time, the _Magic_ game uses only positive numbers and zero. You can't choose a negative number, deal negative damage, gain negative life, and so on. However, it's possible for a game value, such as a creature's power, to be less than zero. If a calculation or comparison needs to use a negative value, it does so. If a calculation that would determine the result of an effect yields a negative number, zero is used instead, unless that effect sets a player's life total to a specific value, doubles a player's life total, sets a creature's power or toughness to a specific value, or otherwise modifies a creature's power or toughness.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Unglued really does need some TLC. There's still a card from it listed in Oracle as an interrupt, even!



Oracle text is there to keep it so cards work within the rules, are easy to understand, and have wording that's consistent with that of other cards.  When a card is first printed, its Oracle text and printed text are the same (except when there's a printing error), and when a card is reprinted, it uses the current Oracle text.

Many Un- cards intentionally don't work within the rules, are difficult to understand, or have nonstandard templates.  Even at the time they were printed, many used "wrong" text (Old Fogey was printed after the "Summon" wording was obsolete), and there's almost no chance of them being reprinted.

So the idea of proper Oracle texts just doesn't work well for Un- cards.

For Lich, he states that "I don't believe "You lose all life" means you should gain life if you're at a negative life total".  But the first line of Lich reads "As Lich enters the battlefield, you lose life equal to your life total." 

Isn't losing negative life the same as gaining it?  Eg - If I'm at -10 life, I would lose -10 so it becomes -10 - (-10) = -10 + 10 = 0.



Gaining life always means increasing the life total (or doing nothing, in the case of 0).  Similarly, losing life always means decreasing the life total (or doing nothing, in the case of 0).  So if you're told to lose a negative amount of life, it won't change your life total at all; it won't increase it.
Oh boy, a new rules manager to torment!  I missed the last round of this so I have a whole bunch of nitpicks saved up... and some complains MaGo never considered valid, apparently. [The reason I just joined today and have only this one post is because I seem to have lost my password... previously was "Sniffnoy"...]

As long as we're talking about Un-cards, I don't suppose you have the power to correct the Gatherer entry for "Kill! Destroy!" to include the exclamation marks in the name?

Here are some cards that could probably use "token named" templating: Basalt Golem, Broken Visage, Carrion, Serpent Generator, Snake Basket, Tidal Wave.

Floral Spuzzem and Delif's Cube: Unlike all the other "assigns no combat damage" cards, the original text of these two cards say only that it does no combat damage, not that it does no combat damage this turn.  Hence I think "assigns no combat damage this combat" would be a more sensible Oracle wording for these two.

Mercenaries: The Oracle wording on this card doesn't really match the printed text well at all.  As it is, you just have to pay {3} once to prevent all damage to you from Mercenaries for the turn, but going by the original wording, you should have to pay {3} for each time it damages you.

Al-abara's Carpet is another case where something has been interpreted as "this turn" when arguably it should be "this combat"; I'll admit this one is less clear, though.

Brutal Suppression: The original text just states "Rebel cards", it doesn't specify in play.  Hence presumably it should also apply to activated abilities from other (non-stack, anyway) zones if something like Conspiracy or Ashes of the Fallen is used.  (OK, I might be being ridiculous here.)

Kinshala needs to be added to the list of planar types, no?

I'm wondering whether Lobotomy and its closest variants really need the player's hand to be revealed, rather than just you looking at it, given that the cards are going to end up exiled (face-up) and hence publicly visible (thereby verifying that you didn't pick a basic land) anyway.

What's up with the templating on Angelic Arbiter and Choose Your Champion?  The rules don't define anywhere what it means for a player to "attack with creatures"; it's always creatures that attack, not players.  Either that should be added or these should be changed.

Glyph of Destruction: Should the blockingness of the Wall really be part of the targetting requirements?  Should the effect really wear off if the Wall survives?  It's a little unclear.

Glyph of Doom, Glyph of Life: More cases of something being "this turn" when it should probably be "this combat".

Rites of Initiation: Any chance this could get reworded?  The current text seems to have at least 3 plausible interpretations.  I'm told the correct one is choose a number, then discard that many at random, but I'm not sure there's anything that really forces that interpretation.  (The other two possibilities being "discard a subset of your hand chosen uniformly at random", and "as many times as you want, discard a card at random" (i.e. getting to see what it was you discarded before deciding whether to continue).)

Ante cards: There's some templating inconsistency - despite the verb "ante" being defined in the rules, only some of the cards with the effect of anteing cards actually use this term (in some cases not using it even though the original text does!).  Also Contract from Below's Oracle wording seems to have a functional difference in terms of whether or not the first card is technically drawn, which could be relevant.

Circling Vultures - I'm assuming that discarding this falls under the category of special actions defined in 115.2c.  However it doesn't seem to quite match the rule's wording of taking an action "at a later time".  Perhaps the rule should be changed to more clearly include that?

I actually have more, but I think that should make a good start. :D (The other ones are less reasonable, I think...)

Oh yes, and are Vanguard cards, etc, ever going to get added to Gatherer like MaGo once said they would?  He never stated whether that had been canceled or not...
I'm wondering whether Lobotomy and its closest variants really need the player's hand to be revealed, rather than just you looking at it, given that the cards are going to end up exiled (face-up) and hence publicly visible (thereby verifying that you didn't pick a basic land) anyway.

It does need it. Choosing a card is mandatory, not optional, and without the reveal, it's impossible to verify whether or not there are actually any there to pick. That doesn't matter so much if you actually pick something, because obviously if you picked it it's there, but what if you claim there was nothing there you could pick? How do the other players in the game (assume a multiplayer scenario) know you're telling the truth?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Very saddening that the new Rules Manager can get things so wrong:

Stardate 58143.7 is 22nd February 2381. This article needs an erratum urgently. Smile
"Personally, I believe $50 is the roof that someone will pay for a Standard card, Mythic or otherwise." - Ben Bleiweiss, StarCity Games ----------------------------------------------------------
First of all - Congratulations Matt on your new position!Smile

Word of Command - Can I look at my opponent's morph creatures while I'm in the middle of casting their spell? Can I peek at the top of my opponent's library if they control Sphinx of Jwar Isle? There are several reasons why I can't unmorph a creature while I control them, but are there any other choices I could potentially make?

QFT

krovikan elementalist should also say "its controller sacrifices it" and not just "sacrifice it ".

lich - why not replace the scarifice part with destruction (with no regeneration for creatures)? sure., it's strong but it's closer to its original wording
There's nothing in the printed wording that indicates Voodoo Doll should have to deal damage to you to be destroyed, so now it's destroyed simply when the second ability resolves.

what about voodoo doll's chronicles printing?

Maybe it's time for Illusionary Mask to get an erreta so it will actually force the player to pay the the cost of the hidden creature, as it is says "which you still have to spend".
Unglued really does need some TLC. There's still a card from it listed in Oracle as an interrupt, even!



Oracle text is there to keep it so cards work within the rules, are easy to understand, and have wording that's consistent with that of other cards.  When a card is first printed, its Oracle text and printed text are the same (except when there's a printing error), and when a card is reprinted, it uses the current Oracle text.

Many Un- cards intentionally don't work within the rules, are difficult to understand, or have nonstandard templates.  Even at the time they were printed, many used "wrong" text (Old Fogey was printed after the "Summon" wording was obsolete), and there's almost no chance of them being reprinted.

So the idea of proper Oracle texts just doesn't work well for Un- cards.


I disagree, to some extent. While yes, Un cards aren't going to be perfectly correct because of reasons you mentioned, there's still good reasons to keep it /mostly/ consistant. I remember MaRo said during the Unhinged previews something to the effect of 'you can break one rule per card, but you then have to follow the rest of them' Old Fogey and Bureaucracy's oddness is part of the joke. Denied! having been printed before the Sixth Edition changes removed interrupts isn't, it's just what was done at the time. Updating Un would take some different decisions than fixing normal cards, but that's not a reason not to do it.
Very saddening that the new Rules Manager can get things so wrong:

Stardate 58143.7 is 22nd February 2381. This article needs an erratum urgently. Smile


The system was horribly inconsistant even /before/ you threw in alternate universes and timetravel and all that.
Very saddening that the new Rules Manager can get things so wrong:

Stardate 58143.7 is 22nd February 2381. This article needs an erratum urgently. Smile




I am right there with you. Though, he could be paying homage to the TNG cast as I am fairly certain that Star Trek Nemesis was in 2381. As to Feb. 22nd, I am lost.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green).

He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one."

I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred:

Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature.

Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself?

Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill.

Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it.

Him: You can't do that.

Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

"When they were included in Magic Online, both Krovikan Elementalist and Goblin Ski Patrol were updated to have the controller sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step."

According to Gatherer, Krovikan Elementalist's current Oracle text states "Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.", rather than "Its controller sacrifices it at the beginning of the next end step."


However, "bury" was defined as "destroy this creature. It can't be regenerated" and not "sacrifice this creature." Those are two different things. Ask any player who lies to enchant creatures with Indestructibility.

"Bury" has long been errataed to either "sacrifice" or "destroy, can't be regenerated", depending on the card and the context.  This is not a new issue.


Also: "If the chosen card is cast as a spell, you control the player while that spell is resolving." Whoa! Where did this bit come from? WoC definitely didn't do that before.

Word of Command's printed text: "...you make all the decisions it calls for."  That has been interpreted to include decisions made as the spell is resolving.


However, "bury" was defined as "destroy this creature. It can't be regenerated" and not "sacrifice this creature." Those are two different things. Ask any player who lies to enchant creatures with Indestructibility.

"Bury" has long been errataed to either "sacrifice" or "destroy, can't be regenerated", depending on the card and the context.  This is not a new issue.




That's exactly my issue. Bury was used on enough cards that it should mean one thing and only one thing. It doesnt matter that he's not the first one to do this. I am saying it needs to be fixed or at least not made worse.
Maybe it's time for Illusionary Mask to get an erreta so it will actually force the player to pay the the cost of the hidden creature, as it is says "which you still have to spend".

...It does. "You may choose a creature card in your hand whose mana cost could be paid by some amount of, or all of, the mana you spent on ."

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Oh yes, and are Vanguard cards, etc, ever going to get added to Gatherer like MaGo once said they would?  He never stated whether that had been canceled or not...



Both the printed Vanguard cards (e.g. Maraxus) and the MTGO Vanguard cards (e.g. Goblin Warchief Avatar) are already in Gatherer.  You just have to make you sure check the "include special items" checkbox when searching for them.
I'm wondering whether Lobotomy and its closest variants really need the player's hand to be revealed, rather than just you looking at it, given that the cards are going to end up exiled (face-up) and hence publicly visible (thereby verifying that you didn't pick a basic land) anyway.

It does need it. Choosing a card is mandatory, not optional, and without the reveal, it's impossible to verify whether or not there are actually any there to pick. That doesn't matter so much if you actually pick something, because obviously if you picked it it's there, but what if you claim there was nothing there you could pick? How do the other players in the game (assume a multiplayer scenario) know you're telling the truth?



Ah, good point.  Thank you, I missed that.

Oh yes, and are Vanguard cards, etc, ever going to get added to Gatherer like MaGo once said they would?  He never stated whether that had been canceled or not...



Both the printed Vanguard cards (e.g. Maraxus) and the MTGO Vanguard cards (e.g. Goblin Warchief Avatar) are already in Gatherer.  You just have to make you sure check the "include special items" checkbox when searching for them.



Woah! Now I just look silly. When did they implement that?  I had been checking for that for some time since MaGo said they would, though I must admit I can't remember when I last did - probably not for like half a year. Yay! So glad to see this. Now they just need to get all the various promo planes and schemes up.
Also: "If the chosen card is cast as a spell, you control the player while that spell is resolving." Whoa! Where did this bit come from? WoC definitely didn't do that before.

Word of Command's printed text: "...you make all the decisions it calls for."  That has been interpreted to include decisions made as the spell is resolving.


I'd settle for that, if that's what the current version of the card did. As of this very moment it's still unchanged in The Gatherer. I think "choices" in the current wording means targetting, modes, and other choices made as the spell is announced only, although I'll admit it's vague. I hadn't considered your possibility before. But I'm going to stick with WoC 'ending' when WoC finishes resolving. I don't think WoC hitting an Ad Nauseam should be an instant win. But since I liked the old WoC better, and I think Mr. Tabak changed it unintentionally, I'm going to petition it. Worth a shot.

I'm still pretty sure I'm right about the new wording accidentally opening up your opponent's hidden information; as well as having potential interactions with special actions, such as Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

And I'm mostly sure but not totally positive that the previous WoC gave your hypotized opponent the choice of how to pay for the spell. Regardless, I think that it should, and that the new version does not. That's another reason why you can't take control of your opponent.

Between Sen Triplets (which makes you the controller of the spell) and Piracy we should have all the technology we need to make WoC work right. I don't see why either rules manager is afraid to touch the card. Sen Triplets is like a Word of Command with Staying Power. Ow! Now that hurts.
Between Sen Triplets (which makes you the controller of the spell) and Piracy we should have all the technology we need to make WoC work right. I don't see why either rules manager is afraid to touch the card. Sen Triplets is like a Word of Command with Staying Power. Ow! Now that hurts.


Both Sen Triplets and Piracy allow you to use your opponent's resources to do something.  That is very different from actually forcing your opponent to do something.

The hidden information issue is a problem.  WoC should not reveal irrelevant hidden information.  On the other hand, this needs to change:
If used with a card that allows your opponent to search his or her library, you do not get to look through that player's library. You get to name a legal card for them to take. If it is in the library, they take it. If not, you name another card. Repeat until you name one that they have. Remember that even on-resolution decisions are made by Word of Command's player.


I don't know how WoC should be worded, but it might include the words "as though you controlled that player".

Also: "If the chosen card is cast as a spell, you control the player while that spell is resolving." Whoa! Where did this bit come from? WoC definitely didn't do that before.

Word of Command's printed text: "...you make all the decisions it calls for."  That has been interpreted to include decisions made as the spell is resolving.


I'd settle for that, if that's what the current version of the card did. As of this very moment it's still unchanged in The Gatherer. I think "choices" in the current wording means targetting, modes, and other choices made as the spell is announced only, although I'll admit it's vague. I hadn't considered your possibility before. But I'm going to stick with WoC 'ending' when WoC finishes resolving. I don't think WoC hitting an Ad Nauseam should be an instant win. But since I liked the old WoC better, and I think Mr. Tabak changed it unintentionally, I'm going to petition it. Worth a shot.

From the Gatherer rulings for Word of Command:

10/4/2004 If used with a card that allows your opponent to search his or her library, you do not get to look through that player's library. You get to name a legal card for them to take. If it is in the library, they take it. If not, you name another card. Repeat until you name one that they have. Remember that even on-resolution decisions are made by Word of Command's player.

The controller of Word of Command does make the decisions as the opponent's spell resolves; you are mistaken in thinking otherwise.


Fundamentally, Word of Command is a broken card (and not in the "ridiculously overpowered" sense).  It just can't work the way it was designed to, especially as the game has gotten more complicated and the rules have gotten tighter.  The rules managers are trying to make it work as well as it can under the rules.
I am 100% confident that you should make decisions called for upon resolution of the spell, hence you regaining control of that player when the spell you made them cast resolves.

The hidden information consequence wasn't originally intended, but the team talked about it (even before the Update went live) and we're okay with it for now. The old wording just didn't work at all, and we're happy with this step in the right direction.

The "name a card in their library, then trust them to take it" ruling is whimsical, but just so, so weird. Now you control that player, so you can look through his library if the spell you make him cast asks you/him to, and you can decide what he finds.
Ihave like four random beta cards, and what do you know, one of them is WOC, the card we still can't figure out 18 years later Cool

I guess I can stop complaining that R&D could not get a Split Second variant in Time Spiral.

While I am here, does WOC ignore timing restrictions or am I stuck choosing instants?
Sign In to post comments