9/22/2011 Feature: "September 2011 Update Bulletin"

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This thread is for discussion of this month's Update Bulletin, which is live now on magicthegathering.com.
I'm confused.  How does Tahngarth, Talruum Hero not fit under the umbrella of "Fight"?  Is there some timing quirk I'm missing?
I'm confused.  How does Tahngarth, Talruum Hero not fit under the umbrella of "Fight"?  Is there some timing quirk I'm missing?


The damage isn't simultaneous. (It matters if, for example, Tahngarth somehow has Infect.)
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Most of the cards that you may think should have fight but don't have damage that isn't simultaneous. A few (Master of the Wild Hunt, new Garruk) involve something other than exactly two creatures.
Hmmm, I swear I had sumbitted it at some point, but 510.3 and 510.4 need some fixing. 116.5 says that when a player would get priority, we do a check for SBAs, then we put triggered abilities on the stack. But 510.3 says that (after combat damage is dealt) we put triggered abilities on the stack, then 510.4 says a player gets prioriy (which would invoke 116.5).

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Questions don't have to make sense, but answers do.

None of the "begin a step" rundowns include the SBA check. I'll probably get to that for next time. No reason why they should work differently, even though that's apparently been the case for years!
I have to wonder why Ghostfire didn't get an update.  It shouldn't be that much trouble to define a gray color indicator to mean "colorless", right?

Other things:  Martyrs of Korlis, as printed, has a restriction on its redirection ability that isn't reflected in its current template.  Also, I believe that rule 115.2c, as currently written, may not allow Channel to work correctly.  Paying life with Channel is a special action as allowed under rule 115.2c, and you are supposed to be able to do so (as per the card) any time you could pay a mana ability.  However, rule 115.2c only allows such actions to be taken when you have priority -- a restriction that clearly should not be applied to Channel.

I am going to continue to insist that just as Boris Devilboon makes a Demon token named "Minor Demon", and Gemini Engine makes a Construct token named "Twin", and similarly this precedent is reflected in Giant Caterpillar, Hornet Cannon, Jungle Patrol, Master of the Hunt, Stangg, The Hive, Tombstone Stairwell, Tooth and Claw, Wall of Kelp, and Wirefly Hive...

...that, similarly, Basalt Golem should make a Wall token named "Stone", and Broken Visage should make a Spirit token named "Shadow", and similarly so it should be with Carrion, Serpent Generator, Snake Basket, and Tidal Wave.

I am also going to continue to point out that although the verb "ante" is defined in the rules, its use in the current templating of the ante cards is inconsistent, with some using the verb and teling you to ante something (Demonic Attorney, Timmerian Fiends), and others ignoring its existence and telling you to put something in the ante. (Amulet of Quoz, Contract from Below, Jeweled Bird, Rebirth).

My other continuing gripes I will save for another time. :D
I'm confused.  How does Tahngarth, Talruum Hero not fit under the umbrella of "Fight"?  Is there some timing quirk I'm missing?


The damage isn't simultaneous. (It matters if, for example, Tahngarth somehow has Infect.)

Good to know.  Thanks!
A question -- are the rules on how to tell whether things are simultaneous or not actually in the CR?  I was looking the other day and couldn't find it.  (I was trying to figure out if Stalking Yeti is simultaneous or not -- apparently the answer is "no", but...)
Great Futurama reference!
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Oddly, the rules describing casting a face-down spell never specified that the resulting permanent will be face down. There was, however, a rule that specified that it was face up by default, so this felt like an important thing to mention.

Booyah, +1 rules goob point for me. Plus an honorable mention, I suppose.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Rally the Horde

The changes we made to this card in the last update were so amusing that I just wanted to see them again. Okay, not really. Cards that repeat a process shouldn't repeat it until a condition that may never occur. This card did, so we reworked it slightly. Note that "this way" means "this time through the process."


New Rally the Horde wording
Exile the top card of your library. Exile the top card of your library. Exile the top card of your library. If the last card exiled isn't a land, repeat this process. Put a 1/1 red Warrior creature token onto the battlefield for each nonland card exiled this way.



I can see how removing the condition from the repetition instruction is a non-functional change and I think it makes the wording a bit cleaner.

While I am pretty sure I understand what the card is supposed to do, I find the wording rather hard to understand and I also find your note about what "this way" means to be confusing.  With the token-making instruction printed after the repetition instruction, it feels like the token-making is not part of "this process" and is something that only ever happens once.  With that, it would make sense for it to count non-land cards not just from "this time through the process" but for each nonland card the spell exiled.

Your note suggests that the token-making is part of the repeated process, happening each time through, and that just doesn't feel right to me.

I still see ambiguity in what "this way" and "this process" are referring to.

I hope I expressed my thoughts in a way that makes sense.

As an aside, could someone explain what happens when you cast this spell with 0 cards, 1 (non-land) card, or 1 (land) card in your library?
Sorry, that's confusing because of an error on my part. One version of the new wording (that ended up not being the final version) said "...If the last card exiled this way isn't a land..." That note was based on that wording. The "this way" that is present at the end of the ability refers to the sum of each time through the process.

I'm confused - Are color indicators copyable or not?


If so, what ist the reason fore the Vesuvan Doppelganger copying a Crimson Kobolds to be blue? Does it have both, Mana Cost and Color Indicator and the Mana Cost trumps?




Quote:


706.2, 706.2a
Color indicator is added to the list of things copied when copying an object.


706.9d
This rule explained that characteristic-defining abilities that define a characteristic that's specifically exempted from the copying process are not copied. This is now also applicable to color indicators as well. For example, a Vesuvan Doppelganger copying a Crimson Kobolds will not have a red color indicator and will be blue.


 


 

@WotC_MattT: I see.  Thank you for explaining that.  I'm glad to have helped a little by bringing it up.

@TrOl69: Vesuvan Doppelganger copies mana costs but does not copy colors nor does it copy the color indicator or other characteristic-defining abilities that define a color.  This is specific to Vesuvan Doppelganger.  Color indicators are copyable and a Clone copying a Crimson Kobolds would be red because of copying the color indicator.
I'm still confused here about "fight" and why Arena was allowed a functional change to now use 'fight' but Tangarth, the Yetis, and others were not.

Arena's original printed wording was "Your creature deals damage equal to its power to your opponent's creature; and your opponent's creature deals damage to your creature." This wording is consistent with Karplusan and Stalking yeti and Tahngarth.  I don't understand why Arena was given a functional change but the yetis and others weren't. Contested Cliffs specifically says "deals damage to each other" and okay I get it, but really? If Tahngarth had wither or infect, he would shrink them before they dealt damage to him? Would he also just not take damage if his damage killed them? I'm really confused by this. Do 'Garth and the Yetis essentially have "first strike in this fight"?

Furthermore, wouldn't "Garth and the Yetis"  be an awesome band name?
I don't get how the change to is nonfunctional.

Say I have 8 cards in my library. I look at the top 5. one of the cards I want is #5, so when I put them back on the bottom, it will be #8, and it will not be in the next 5 cards I look at. With the added "in any order", I can make it card #4 when putting it back, so it will be in the next 5 cards I look at, right?

I don't understand why Arena was given a functional change but the yetis and others weren't.



Last printed wording, Arena Timeshifted made the functional change.
I have to wonder why Ghostfire didn't get an update.  It shouldn't be that much trouble to define a gray color indicator to mean "colorless", right?




Problem is that a card's color is usually defined by it's mana cost.  The mana cost for Ghostfire includes the red mana symbol.  If the text saying that the card was colorless was removed the card would become red by default.  Having the text stating that the card is colorless makes it colorless instead of red.
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When a player doesn't pay Heart of Bogardan's cumulative upkeep

Should that be "When a player declines to play?" Because at the beginning of every one of my turns I notice that none of my opponents pay the upkeep on my Heart of Bogardan! Cool
I don't get how the change to is nonfunctional.

Say I have 8 cards in my library. I look at the top 5. one of the cards I want is #5, so when I put them back on the bottom, it will be #8, and it will not be in the next 5 cards I look at. With the added "in any order", I can make it card #4 when putting it back, so it will be in the next 5 cards I look at, right?

already allowed you to put the cards back on the bottom of your library in any order.  This change just makes it explicit in the card text.

401.4. If an effect puts two or more cards on the top or bottom of a library at the same time, the owner of those cards may arrange them in any order. That library’s owner doesn’t reveal the order in which the cards go into his or her library.

Aaww, sad to see Zedruu the Greathearted  lose a fun tool like Thought Lash. I never succesfully got the combo off on anyone, because people already knew of it, but I would have liked to do it once before the fun was taken away... Oh well, I understand that it was probably never meant to work that way.
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"no one was in love with those lines of text"

I beg to differ, some people liked it. It added an official tone to something not obvious to many players, called attention to the rules as it were that the mana cost is what colours a card, not the frame. Then again I understand for a new player it was utterly stupid and confusing and I'm happy with this new solution myself.

I can still see someone questioning though, "why does this red card have a red dot?? isn't it obvious that it's red?"... because like this is Magic man, we have to follow the rules man! ;)

And how cool is that, in the Arena we now fight!

edit: I still think you should fix Flying Carpet and Castle etc. though. Back to the original wording I mean.
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I am confused.  So why doesn't the Zedruu the Greathearted + Thought Lash combo work anymore.  How specifically did it work previously as compared to now.  The term "a player" refers to the current owner of a permanent, does it not?
I am confused.  So why doesn't the Zedruu the Greathearted + Thought Lash combo work anymore.  How specifically did it work previously as compared to now.  The term "a player" refers to the current owner of a permanent, does it not?

You can still give an opponent the Thought Lash, but it will now mill them quite slowly turn by turn. Previously you could give it to them in response to the trigger and then when you declined to pay, they would lose their library!

The term "a player" refers to the current owner of a permanent, does it not?



No, "a player" can refer to anyone =)
I am extremely happy about Elder Spawn being a Spawn again.  I am less happy about the re-shenaniganizing of Phyrexian Devourer, but I'll live.  And while the reasoning is obvious, I'm distinctly weirded by the fact that Treacherous Werewolf is the only Wolf Werewolf - by a strange quirk of fate, he is far wolfier than the rest of his kind.
The color indicator rules make me severely want Wizards to print a promo Transguild Courier with a teeny-tiny color pie to the left of its typeline.  Overall I'm amazed they didn't think of color indicators sooner; those text lines were always a bit embarassing (although I will miss the blue Glacial Ray made possible by Evermind).  I wouldn't mind a bit if all magic cards got a little dot that officially specifies their color regardless of mana cost, although I'm equally content for things to remain as they are.
I'm puzzled by the rule that fight must always involve two creatures - I thought they specifically said when they introduced fight that it was possible for a creature to fight itself, in which case it would deal damage equal to its power to itself twice simultaneously (so a very buff Mirri the Cursed could scratch herself for 6 damage while picking up two counters).  I'm sure most fight cards would say "target creature fights another target creature" or some variant, so I don't know why they wrote the fight rule to allow no possibility for a "target creature fights itself" card.  Effects like Repentance specifically encourage this sort of thing to happen on occasion.
Finally, the distinction between Transform and Face-Down is hilarious and I present this off-the-cuff design in its honor:

Ixidor's Werewolf Brigade
Tribal Sorcery - Werewolf, GUUUR
Transform all creatures with converted mana cost 0, then reveal target face-down creature to all players.  If that card has the same name as a creature transformed this way, you win the game.
"And I say that both faces are face-down!"  --Ixidor
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In some cases, a single creature can be on both sides of the fight. See ISD's Nightfall Predator, for example. Other cards that use "fight" specify that there must be two distinct targets. A creature can certainly fight itself, dealing damage to itself twice simultaneously.

Thanks for the answers to my questions.  I still think the Zedruu the Greathearted + Thought Lash combo is fun but I only play casual kitchen table MTG and Planeswalker MTGO, so what do I know .  To clarify, the term "a player" does specifically refers to the current owner of the enchantment in regards to Thought Lash correct?
Thanks for the answers to my questions.  I still think the Zedruu the Greathearted + Thought Lash combo is fun but I only play casual kitchen table MTG and Planeswalker MTGO, so what do I know .  To clarify, the term "a player" does specifically refers to the current owner of the enchantment in regards to Thought Lash correct?



No, that's the entire point.

Old text: When Thought Lash's cumulative upkeep isn't paid, exile all cards from your library.
New text: When a player doesn't pay Thought Lash's cumulative upkeep, that player exiles all cards from his or her library.

'Your' refers to the current owner, but 'a player' can refer to other players as well. So now, if I donate it to you with the upkeep trigger on the stack, if I decline to pay, that ability will trigger and 'a player' will refer to me, even though you are the current owner.
I have to wonder why Ghostfire didn't get an update.  It shouldn't be that much trouble to define a gray color indicator to mean "colorless", right?




Problem is that a card's color is usually defined by it's mana cost.  The mana cost for Ghostfire includes the red mana symbol.  If the text saying that the card was colorless was removed the card would become red by default.  Having the text stating that the card is colorless makes it colorless instead of red.



...unless, you know, it had a color indicator that specified otherwise. It would serve exactly the same purpose as the current text.  In the same way that a color indicator can cause the colorless-by-default Transguild Courier or Kobolds of Kher Keep to not be so, just as their former text did.  You could just define in the rules that a gray color indicator meant colorless, and then give it one.
I renew my objection to the lack of a rule allowing Karn Liberated to work.  The rules allow one ability to be linked to two different abilities, but they don't specify how such a trio of linked abilities works.  The rules of logic work fine in cases where abilities Y and Z use information from ability X; ability Y can only use information from ability X, and ability Z can only use information from ability X.  However, Karn's abilities are linked in the opposite way.  If ability X can only use information from ability Y, and ability X can only use information from ability Z, then ability X can only use information that somehow comes from both ability Y and ability Z.  In the case of Karn Liberated, this would imply that Karn would only leave a card in exile if it was exiled by both Karn's first ability and Karn's second ability, which is impossible - clearly not the intended functionality.

I have to wonder why Ghostfire didn't get an update.  It shouldn't be that much trouble to define a gray color indicator to mean "colorless", right?




Problem is that a card's color is usually defined by it's mana cost.  The mana cost for Ghostfire includes the red mana symbol.  If the text saying that the card was colorless was removed the card would become red by default.  Having the text stating that the card is colorless makes it colorless instead of red.


The rules also say that a card with no mana cost is colorless, but a color indicator overrides that.  It wouldn't be any different with Ghostfire if it had a colorless indicator and such an indicator was defined properly.
...unless, you know, it had a color indicator that specified otherwise. It would serve exactly the same purpose as the current text.  In the same way that a color indicator can cause the colorless-by-default Transguild Courier or Kobolds of Kher Keep to not be so, just as their former text did.  You could just define in the rules that a gray color indicator meant colorless, and then give it one.



The rules also say that a card with no mana cost is colorless, but a color indicator overrides that.  It wouldn't be any different with Ghostfire if it had a colorless indicator and such an indicator was defined properly.


I'm not exactly an expert on the rules, but I'll take a crack at this.
I'm assuming the reason is that color indicators can ADD color identity, but they cannot remove it. The color indicator would say "this card is colorless" and the mana cost would say "this card is red", leading to the combination of the two, which results in "this card is red". It takes rules text to override the color identity granted by the mana cost.
To put it more simply, it's the same reason that having colorless mana in the mana cost of cards doesn't make a card colorless. Colorless + Colored = Colored.
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The current Oracle text of Treacherous Werewolf in Gatherer does not have the Wolf subtype. It seems like it was forgotten in the Gatherer update.

The rules also say that a card with no mana cost is colorless, but a color indicator overrides that.  It wouldn't be any different with Ghostfire if it had a colorless indicator and such an indicator was defined properly.



Yes, a card with no mana cost is colorless unless it's color is defined by it's text or color indicator.  However, Ghostfire HAS a mana cost.  Not only does it have a mana cost, it costs 2 mana of any color (or colorless mana) and one red mana to cast.  Because of the red mana symbol in it's cost, it's color is considered to be red.  However, the text of the spell overrides it's "normal" color and makes it colorless.  These rules are found in rules 105.2 and 202.2 (which I will not post as it will be a bit long).

The real question is, which one takes precedence?  Color indicator or colored mana symbol?  At the moment, I feel that colored mana takes precedence so an additional line of text will need to be on a card with a colored mana cost in order to overwrite the colored mana symbols.
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I see that, in Oracle, Giant Solifuge reads

Trample; haste; shroud (This permanent can't be the target of spells or abilities.)

but that Simic Sky Swallower reads

Flying, trample
Shroud (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities.)

Shouldn't these two cards be formatted the same way?   

The real question is, which one takes precedence?  Color indicator or colored mana symbol?  At the moment, I feel that colored mana takes precedence so an additional line of text will need to be on a card with a colored mana cost in order to overwrite the colored mana symbols.


It doesn't matter which one you feel takes precedence.  It matters what the rules say, and the rules team can make the rules say anything they have to say to make the game work better.  The technology clearly exists to make them work either way, and neither one would be particularly complicated.

Making color indicators override mana costs has a clear benefit (assuming that using color indicators rather than rules text is a benefit): it would allow Ghostfire to use a color indicator.  Furthermore, if Wizards wanted to print a card that cost blue mana but was red (and not blue), this would allow them to do so by giving it a red color indicator.  If Wizards wanted to print a card that cost blue mana and was both blue and red, they could still do so by giving it a blue and red color indicator.

Making color indicators not override mana costs has no clear benefit.  If color indicators did not override mana costs, then Wizards could use color indicators to make the second hypothetical card above, but not the first.  In short, Wizards would have fewer options.  There's nothing stopping the rules team from making the rules work this way, but there would be no real benefit to doing so.
But when will the Comprehensive Rules be updated with all this changes? it stills says it was last updated 15 July.
But when will the Comprehensive Rules be updated with all this changes? it stills says it was last updated 15 July.

There isn't a hard date, but it's generally shortly after the beginning of the month of the set's release. I'd expect October 1st--or 3rd in this case, since the 1st is a Saturday.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I am going to continue to insist that just as Boris Devilboon makes a Demon token named "Minor Demon", and Gemini Engine makes a Construct token named "Twin", and similarly this precedent is reflected in Giant Caterpillar, Hornet Cannon, Jungle Patrol, Master of the Hunt, Stangg, The Hive, Tombstone Stairwell, Tooth and Claw, Wall of Kelp, and Wirefly Hive...

...that, similarly, Basalt Golem should make a Wall token named "Stone", and Broken Visage should make a Spirit token named "Shadow", and similarly so it should be with Carrion, Serpent Generator, Snake Basket, and Tidal Wave.

Rukh Egg too.

While we're on about nitpicky but ongoing peeves, I still think Gilded Drake should actually say what it means ("this ability isn't countered if the target becomes illegal") instead of the confusing, at-first-glance-utterly-superfluous "this ability can't be countered except by spells and abilities" coffee stain of a template it currently bears. I'm not fond of "When ~ enters the battlefield, if it's on the battlefield..." either, for much the same reason, but can live with the latter because it's harder to think of a suitable replacement.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Rukh Egg too.



Actually, no -- under the doctrine of "most recent printing is what goes (barring a few weird exceptional cases)", Rukh Egg should indeed just produce a Bird token, because that's what its printing in Ninth Edition does.  I certainly agree that morally it ought to produce a Bird token named Rukh, but the rule is pretty clear here and it doesn't favor that.
Rukh Egg too.



Actually, no -- under the doctrine of "most recent printing is what goes (barring a few weird exceptional cases)", Rukh Egg should indeed just produce a Bird token, because that's what its printing in Ninth Edition does.  I certainly agree that morally it ought to produce a Bird token named Rukh, but the rule is pretty clear here and it doesn't favor that.


That "rule" is hardly written in stone, they've certainly made exceptions to it before. In any case though, I've always thought it should be more like "(all else being equal) the wording most numerous in the wild wins". Of course, WotC doesn't release sales figures, so it's hard to know what that is in a lot of cases. But especially with the 10th anniversary noise surrounding 8E, I would be surprised if 9E outsold 8E and Arabian Nights put together. Also worth considering are all the years when the AN printing was the only one anyone could possibly have seen, owing to no others existing.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
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