Oracle/Gatherer Errors and Fixes - Avacyn Restored

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Thanks everyone for their participation in the Dark Ascension version of this thread. You guys found some good stuff, but we've run out of time to look at things for the Dark Ascension update, and we now turn our gaze toward the Avacyn Restored update in May.

Do you think a card's Oracle wording needs review? Is there an old ruling in Gatherer that is no longer correct? This thread is the best way to let me know about it so it can be reviewed for the Avacyn Restored update.

As a reminder, this thread is for Oracle or ruling content only. Technical errors should continue to be reported using the "Providing Feedback" entry under the Help section of Gatherer.

Thanks again everyone for their help!  
Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Wizards of the Coast Follow me @TabakRules
A more general question for these types of threads: Would we be correct to assume that anything that was posted in the Dark Ascension thread has been considered? I.e. if someone posted an idea but it is not changed in the DKA update, then it is not worth reposting that suggestion unless some philoshophical / rules change happens that reopens the issue?
Yes. I will read and consider every post in the DKA thread. If we don't follow-up on a suggestion made there, it's worth posting about here again. If possible, I'll try to respond and explain what's going on as best I can. I can't promise I'll be able to explain everything to everyone's satisfaction, but I'll try.
Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Wizards of the Coast Follow me @TabakRules
Blazing Effigy still doesn't match its printed text.

I made a thread in case it wasn't noticed.
Blazing Effigy still doesn't match its printed text.

I made a thread in case it wasn't noticed.



I'm surprised you were able to make it through the printed text alive. I believe its Oracle text may be irrelevant because, to my knowledge, no physical copies exist. They've all been burned in frustration by their previous owners.

While the previous paragraph may be a joke, it does touch upon a fine reason to not change a card: because doing so would remind people outside this forum it exists.

Okay, previous paragraph may be a joke too. Alas...
Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Wizards of the Coast Follow me @TabakRules
Goth, the key to achieving accuracy vs. printed text is to come up with something for "in this manner", so that you can't use something like Soul's Fire or Fight to get extra damage. All that should count is damage from the triggered ability.

Edit: Goth ninja-deleted. I'm keeping my response. :-p
 
Proposed
When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 times the number of creatures named Blazing Effigy that were both damaged this turn by another source named Blazing Effigy and died this turn.



No, that's further from the printed text. This way, if you had 2 Effigies and I had 2 Effigies, you hit me with a Balefire Dragon, and I pointed my death triggers at your 2, then each of your 2 would get pumped by 6 rather than by 3...

You know, for all those Blazing Effigy.dec mirror matches that occur every day...
Goth, the key to achieving accuracy vs. printed text is to come up with something for "in this manner", so that you can't use something like Soul's Fire or Fight to get extra damage. All that should count is damage from the triggered ability.

Edit: Goth ninja-deleted. I'm keeping my response. :-p
 

yeah I realized that after the fact and killed it

it seems the intent is to chain them up, 1 kills the next which makes the next trigger larger

it'd be a functional change, but why not just have a sac  exile option in the trigger?

When Blazing Effigy dies, you may exile any number of creatures named Blazing Effigy. Blazing Effigy deals X damage to target creature where X is 3 plus 3 for each Blazing Effigy exiled. Put all cards named Blazing Effigy exiled this way in their owner's graveyard.

wait that'd trigger the others which we don't want...
hmm exile and then put them in the yard...
gah. that doesn't work either...

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How about using counters to keep track of the damage from the triggered ability?

When Blazing Effigy dies, put X plus 3 burn counters on target creature and Blazing Effigy deals that much damage to that creature, where X is the number of burn counters on Blazing Effigy. Remove all burn counters from all permanents at end of turn.

Edit: Nevermind. Changed functionality under Doubling Season et al. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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How about using counters to keep track of the damage from the triggered ability?

When Blazing Effigy dies, put X plus 3 burn counters on target creature and Blazing Effigy deals that much damage to that creature, where X is the number of burn counters on Blazing Effigy. Remove all burn counters from all permanents at end of turn.

Edit: Nevermind. Changed functionality under Doubling Season et al. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

I've got it!

When blazing effigy dies, target creature gains X + 3 instances of Substance until end of turn and blazing effigy deals that much damage to that creature, where X is the number of instances of Substance Blazing effigy has. 

Now who could ever complain about that wording? Tongue Out

(oh, god, i hope people realize this isn't a serious suggestion...)
If there is a way of differentiating exact abilities (and there seems to be because Cemetery Puca knows what "this ability" means), my original proposition would be enough without being too awkward, I guess:

"When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature. The next time that creature would deal damage as a result of this ability, it deals that much damage plus 3 to that creature instead."

Or "an ability that's the same as this one" if it doesn't read well.
"this ability" is "this ability on this permanent", not "the ability with the same words on a different permanent".

So far only cyphern's works. And, umm, yeah.

I wonder if you could do something like Sleight of Mind and have the ability hack the text of the targetted Blazing Effigy?
 
Referring to other abilities is tricky. As forty2j pointed out, "this ability" just means "this ability", not "abilities with the same text as this ability". By far the most reliable way to refer to another ability is for that ability to be a keyword ability. Flying, for example, can trivially reference the Reach ability

So, with slightly more seriousness than my previous suggestion (but by no means full seriousness), i propose to add a new keyword to the rulebook:

702.xx Effigy Burn
702.xxa Effigy Burn is a triggered ability which appears on one card (Blazing Effigy). "Effigy Burn" means "When this creature dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of damage dealt to this creature as a result of the resolution of Effigy Burn abilities"
702.xxb If a permanent has multiple instance of Effigy Burn, take a shot. Er, i mean, each triggers separately.

Blazing effigy would then just look like this:

Blazing Effigy
Creature - Elemental
Effigy Burn (reminder text here)
0/3
Radical solution:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X blazing damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of blazing damage dealt to Blazing Effigy this turn.

^ Making a new type of damage that's exclusive to Blazing effigy's would solve the problem. I'd much perfer it over counters or other such things.

Less radical solution:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of damage dealt to Blazing Effigy this turn by trigger abilities from other sources named Blazing Effigy

^ This leaves a few cards that can get through. But it shuts down alot of ways ot abuse the Effigy.

Somewhat radical solution:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of damage dealt to Blazing Effigy this turn by trigger abilities other sources named Blazing Effigy entered the battlefeild with.

^ I'm pretty confident there's no way to have a creature enter the battlefeild with a trigger ability that can damage creatures. I may be wrong, but there are only one or two cards if that's the case.

Very radical solution:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of damage dealt to Blazing Effigy this turn by other sources named Blazing Effigy.

^ Sometimes you just have to accept that older cards won't work 100% like they use to.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Natural Order's Oracle text doesn't match its printed text:

Card Text: Search your deck for a green summon creature and
put that card into play.
Treat it as though you just played it from your hand.
Then put one of your green creatures into your discard pile.
Shuffle your deck afterwards.

Oracle Text: As an additional cost to cast Natural Order, sacrifice a green creature.
Search your library for a green creature card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

Proposed text: Search your library for a green creature card and put it onto the battlefield, then sacrifice a green creature. Shuffle your library.


Maybe the discrepancy is due to power-level concerns?
Natural Order's Oracle text doesn't match its printed text:

Natural Order was also printed in Visions. Its oracle text is based on that. Portal has always been a bit loose with its wordings.
Natural Order's Oracle text doesn't match its printed text:

Natural Order was also printed in Visions. Its oracle text is based on that. Portal has always been a bit loose with its wordings.

Ah, got it. I didn't see it had been reprinted.
EDIT: I spent too long on this and got sniped by a very similar solution by Skibo_the_first; while mine is much uglier it does have the advantage of not needing to add anything to the Comp Rules. That said, it's not a very convincing advantage.

I think we can resolve this by borrowing some sick templating technology from Raging River:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X + 3 damage to target creature, where X is the number of "blazing" piles Blazing Effigy is in. If that creature is another creature named Blazing Effigy, put it in a "blazing" pile until the end of the cleanup step for each damage Blazing Effigy dealt to it in this way.

This ignores the hitherto unmentioned fact that the printed text sounds very much like it increases the damage whenever *any* permanent named Blazing Effigy dies ("If an Effigy..."), but I think we can all agree that is not functionality we should try to capture...

...if we did want to, we could use the same trick to make it work, though:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X + 3 damage to target creature, where X is the number of "blazing" and/or "metablazing" piles Blazing Effigy is in. If that creature is another creature named Blazing Effigy, put it in a "blazing" pile until the end of the cleanup step for each damage Blazing Effigy dealt to it in this way.

Treat other permanents named Blazing Effigy as though they were in an additional "metablazing" pile for each "blazing" pile they are in.

I believe this version does absolutely everything the way the printed wording indicates if we take it as literally as possible. I suppose one could argue that "in addition" means that the extra damage should be a separate trigger, but that doesn't feel like the intent to me. Let me know if I've missed anything, this was fun! : D

Here's how this would play out:

2 Effigies, one dies and targets the other: 2nd effigy is now in 3 "blazing" piles, dies, and does 6 damage to target creature. 

3 Effiges A, B, and C; A dies and targets B, which is targeted by Samite Healer in response: B is now in 2 "blazing" piles. B is Doom Bladed and targets C: B does 3 (base) + 2 (blazing piles from A) + 2 (virtual metablazing piles from C) = 7 damage to C, putting it in 7 "blazing" piles. C dies and deals 10 damage to target creature.

4 Effigies A, B, C, and D; A dies and targets B, B dies: B deals 12 damage to target creature, 3 base + 3 blazing from A + 3 metablazing each from C and D.
Would it make you guys feel better or worse if I told you that the chances I look at and/or change Blazing Effigy are rapidly approaching zero the deeper I go in this thread? ;-P

And I'm considering instituting an exchange program where I'll trade for all your Blazing Effigies so I can set them on fire.
Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Wizards of the Coast Follow me @TabakRules
Would it make you guys feel better or worse if I told you that the chances I look at and/or change Blazing Effigy are rapidly approaching zero the deeper I go in this thread? ;-P

And I'm considering instituting an exchange program where I'll trade for all your Blazing Effigies so I can set them on fire.

C'mon Matt.. this forum has practically no other purpose but to rewrite cards nobody uses anymore to close loopholes nobody actually cares about.
 
And I'm considering instituting an exchange program where I'll trade for all your Blazing Effigies so I can set them on fire.

No, don't do that! Burning them just makes them do more damage!

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.








When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature. If that creature is named Blazing Effigy, the next time its triggered ability would cause it to deal damage, it deals additional damage equal to the amount this creature dealt to it from this ability.

Referencing the ability is probably the only way to go. If it's difficult to do so normally (I don't think it's impossible), substance / effigy burn, sadly, does seem more plausible than "blazing damage" or piles.

I really don't like only counting triggered abilities, because there's still Livewire Lash (or, about the suggestion about "triggered abilities that creature entered the battlefield with", there's Clash of Realities).
"the next time it dies and a triggered ability would cause it to deal damage"?
 
Dying and the triggered ability dealing damage are events apart. And there's time to respond in between. In any case, there's probably some equivalency with Vampiric Sliver + the Effigy being a Sliver and dealing damage to itself or something.

The ability clearly says that it must be that exact ability. Changing it to any other case would make the card more confusing and be as wrong as it is now.
I like "Effigy Burn." Largely because I love the idea of there being a rule in the comp. rules solely to deal with a terrible card from Legends.
I like "Effigy Burn." Largely because I love the idea of there being a rule in the comp. rules solely to deal with a terrible card from Legends.

Then rejoice! Rasputin Dreamweaver has a rule all to himself:
704.5s If a permanent with an ability that says it can't have more than N counters of a certain kind on it has more than N counters of that kind on it, all but N of those counters are removed from it.

Why do four cards have the reminder text "(If it has X in its mana cost, X is 0.)"

Surely either all cards that let you cast cards without paying thier mana cost should have this reminder text or none of them should.

* Frankly, given the number of times this question is asked on a monthly basis, i would like to see it used more often on cards.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Why do four cards have the reminder text "(If it has X in its mana cost, X is 0.)"

Surely either all cards that let you cast cards without paying thier mana cost should have this reminder text or none of them should.

* Frankly, given the number of times this question is asked on a monthly basis, i would like to see it used more often on cards.


Just because they were printed with that reminder text (okay, two of those didn't know it was reminder text). That's why some older cards say "(This effect lasts indefinitely.)" and that kind of stuff you don't see printed anymore.

An inconsistency in the presence/absence of reminder text is to be expected.  There isn't a single "correct" way to do that.  It instead varies based on when the card was first printed (reminder text is more likely for newly-introduced concepts), when the card was most recently printed (the reminder text is usually only updated when a card is reprinted), what rarity it has (common cards have more reminder text than rares), what set it was most recently printed in (core sets have more expansive reminder text than expansions) and how much space there is on the card (more rules text or even flavor text could mean less reminder text).

Because of this, we can't say that some concept should or shouldn't have reminder text.  It's going to vary and it's going to fluctuate as cards are reprinted.

(I do think that if some concept has reminder text on multiple cards, an effort should be made that it's the same reminder text, with certain allowances, but this doesn't apply if the reminder text is omitted entirely on one.)

So here's a promising line of attack for fixing Blazing Effigy: Layer 3.

Draft 1. "When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If it deals damage to a creature named Blazing Effigy this way, change the text of that creature by adding that amount to each number in its text box until end of turn."

[UPDATE] alextfish has brought up the ability to target a Blazing Effigy, have it survive, and later in the turn, make it into a copy of something else. This can be fixed:

Draft 2. "When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If it deals damage to a creature this way, until end of turn, as long as that creature is named Blazing Effigy, change the text of that creature by adding that amount to each number in its rules text."

This still isn't quite bulletproof: that ability can still potentially draw interference with the activation costs on Cemetery Puca, Dimir Doppelganger, Mizzium Transreliquat, and (speaking of cards Matt Tabak would like to burn) Volrath's Shapeshifter. Fixing this would require a new adjective to be able to describe numbers that specifically lie outside of a mana symbol, at which point splicing the chosen adjective into Draft 2 becomes a trivial matter and no more problems should arise (unless future design comes up with a particularly ill-advised copy effect).
^ Sometimes you just have to accept that older cards won't work 100% like they use to.

That's where i'm at too.
I like "Effigy Burn." Largely because I love the idea of there being a rule in the comp. rules solely to deal with a terrible card from Legends.

Then rejoice! Rasputin Dreamweaver has a rule all to himself:
704.5s If a permanent with an ability that says it can't have more than N counters of a certain kind on it has more than N counters of that kind on it, all but N of those counters are removed from it.


Clockwork Beast would like a word with you about that. (There are probably more than that).

My mind was weirded out by the Alpha text of the Beast. Putting new counters on during the untap phase lasted all the way through to the release of Revised Edition.
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Clockwork Beast would like a word with you about that. (There are probably more than that).

No, rasputin dreamweaver is the only one. Clockwork beast doesn't have an ability which interacts with 704.5s. Clockwork beast's activated ability says "this ability can't cause the total number of +1/+0 counters [...] to be greater than 7". But clockwork beast can still have more than 7 +1/+0 counters on it, as long as it gets it from somewhere else.

I once made a thread on Rules T&T proposing that the clockwork creatures (or some of them anyway) could use the same template as rasputin dreamweaver, but with their existing oracle text, they do not.
An inconsistency in the presence/absence of reminder text is to be expected.  There isn't a single "correct" way to do that.  It instead varies based on when the card was first printed (reminder text is more likely for newly-introduced concepts), when the card was most recently printed (the reminder text is usually only updated when a card is reprinted), what rarity it has (common cards have more reminder text than rares), what set it was most recently printed in (core sets have more expansive reminder text than expansions) and how much space there is on the card (more rules text or even flavor text could mean less reminder text).



Why should reminder text be selective? Do players have trouble handling Planeswalker's Mischief, but someone have no problem with Djinn of Wishes? If the reminder text works, and is worthwhile, it should be used everywhere it makes sense. If it doesn't work, then it should be removed from the cards it's on to shorten thier text.

This reminder text in particular is of interest to me because it happens to be a question we get reguarly, and the reminder text itself is rather short.

(I do think that if some concept has reminder text on multiple cards, an effort should be made that it's the same reminder text, with certain allowances, but this doesn't apply if the reminder text is omitted entirely on one.)



I disagree. A reminder text reminds players of the rules. It is ability dependant not card dependant. Having reminder text on four cards won't help the player who is using one of the dozen other cards without the reminder text.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Let's take the example of suspend. Are you claiming that Keldon Halberdier and Errant Ephemeron shouldn't have reminder text, and so a player opening a booster with them in will have to look online to figure out what this "suspend" thing means? Or are you claiming that Living End and Greater Gargadon shouldn't have been printed without reminder text, which probably means they wouldn't be printed at all?

Or are you just saying that the online Oracle wording for all these cards should include the full reminder text for suspend, even if the printed card doesn't include it? That's a sensible idea, but it's one they've already implemented.
It's because, though the reminder texts are stored in Oracle, they aren't "really" part of the Oracle text.

The Oracle text is the current/correct text of a card, and it's the text the card would have if it was reprinted.  However, there's still leeway to add or remove reminder text on reprinting.  And when they reprint a card in this way, the listed Oracle text will be updated to have the new reminder text (or the new lack of reminder text).  This doesn't mean that it'll still be the same if reprinted again.

As for reminder texts being "ability dependant not card dependant", surely you see the problem with that.  Common cards in core sets have reminder text even for abilities like first strike and vigilance.  Does that mean that even mythics in expansion sets should have reminder text for those?  Even if the reminder text is just in Oracle, rather than on the printed cards, that would really clog up the texts of many of those cards (and you can't tell me that the wall-of-keyword-ability cards like Akroma, Angel of Wrath would be easier to understand with an even bigger wall-of-reminder-text).

Also, it was already stated why Planeswalker's Mischief has that reminder text: it already had it as rules text before.  So if a player looks up the card and compares it to their printed version, they'll see that it still works the same way, but that part is now made clear in the rules instead of the card's text.  Otherwise, they might conclude that the omission of that text was a functional change somehow (perhaps not in this case, but in other, similar ones).

Now, if you think that this particular example is something that's sufficiently confusing that it's worth issuing reminder text on all related cards, go ahead and advocate that.  However, there's then no need to bring up the consistency argument.
I think the current Oracle text for Blazing Effigy is about as close as it can come to the printed text, unless a phrase can be coined which would approximate "in this manner" in the printed text. Perhaps "instances of this ability" would suffice.

In which case:

When Blazing Effigy dies, it deals X damage to target creature, where X is 3 plus the amount of damage dealt to Blazing Effigy this turn by other instances of this ability with sources named Blazing Effigy. 
I have too many irons in the fire.
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I liked "Blazing Damage" the most.
Seriously.



Maybe something can be done via emblems? /joking
[c]Forest[/c] gives you Forest
"instance of this ability" works well enough for me.
"instance of this ability" works well enough for me.



How would you define that by the rules?

One card, Blazing Effigy, uses the term "Instance of this ability". An instance of an ability is defined as the exact same activate, trigger, or static ability on two cards with the same English name.

^ That could probably be cleaned up a bit.
… and then, the squirrels came.