07/04/2012 Feature Article: "Magic 2013 Update Bulletin"

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This thread is for discussion of this Feature Article, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

For cards that bug me, Eater of the Dead seems like it should lose it's "If Eater of the Dead is tapped" errata.  If the card is gone when a second copy tries to resolve, the ability will fizzle, preventing untap shenanignas.  It also doesn't seem like having a 5-mana creature that can eat all the creatures in all graveyards while remaining untapped would break any format it's legal in.
You missed Invoke Prejudice, which has the same problem as Nether Void.

Invoke Prejudice should say
counter that spell unless that player pays {oX}, where X is its converted mana cost.

What about the (now missing) interaction between Tallowisp and Threads of disloyalty? The printed version of each cards makes it look like Tallowisp can be used to search for the Threads, but the oracle text on Threads makes that interaction impossible.

Shouldn't Threads instead be worded 
Enchant creature

You control enchanted creature.

Threads of Disloyalty may only enchant creatures with converted mana cost 2 or less

to avoid confusion?

I know it's more wordy, but it really bugs me that I can't use these cards together. It's a cool interaction and there's no good reason to kill it.
What about the (now missing) interaction between Tallowisp and Threads of disloyalty? The printed version of each cards makes it look like Tallowisp can be used to search for the Threads, but the oracle text on Threads makes that interaction impossible.

Shouldn't Threads instead be worded 
Enchant creature

You control enchanted creature.

Threads of Disloyalty may only enchant creatures with converted mana cost 2 or less

to avoid confusion?

I know it's more wordy, but it really bugs me that I can't use these cards together. It's a cool interaction and there's no good reason to kill it.



It's true that Tallowisp no longer interacts with all the same things it did before, but I think the cleaner wording of Auras is still worth it (by a significant margin).  The entire point of the enchant ability is to specify what the Aura can enchant (and what it can target while it's a spell).  So having an enchant ability that says one thing but a further ability that says it can really only enchant a subset of that would be redundant.

And Threads of Disloyalty isn't the only card that would be affected.  There are over a dozen other card that also had "enchant creature" in the type line and an ability that imposed a further restriction but which now have that restriction as part of their enchant ability.  I strongly oppose giving these cards ugly errata, just for the sake of restoring their interaction with Tallowisp (and Rootwater Shaman).

615.11

This rule covers damage that can't be prevented and how damage prevention shields still are applied to such damage, even though those shields won't actually prevent damage. Now, rule 615.7 makes it clear that a damage prevention shield is reduced by actually preventing damage, not just by the act of applying that shield. So, I'm adding a clarification to rule 615.11 that says your existing damage prevention shields will be intact even after you're dealt damage byMalignus, for example.



I'm a bit confused as to what is the purpose of the original rule 615.11 :
615.11. Some effects state that damage "can't be prevented." If unpreventable damage would be dealt, any applicable prevention effects are still applied to it. Those effects won't prevent any damage, but any additional effects they have will take place.

 
Is it for cards like Inquisitor's Snare  to do the rest of their effect (destroying the creature)? Any other examples?

 


615.11

This rule covers damage that can't be prevented and how damage prevention shields still are applied to such damage, even though those shields won't actually prevent damage. Now, rule 615.7 makes it clear that a damage prevention shield is reduced by actually preventing damage, not just by the act of applying that shield. So, I'm adding a clarification to rule 615.11 that says your existing damage prevention shields will be intact even after you're dealt damage byMalignus, for example.



I'm a bit confused as to what is the purpose of the original rule 615.11 :
615.11. Some effects state that damage "can't be prevented." If unpreventable damage would be dealt, any applicable prevention effects are still applied to it. Those effects won't prevent any damage, but any additional effects they have will take place.

 
Is it for cards like Inquisitor's Snare  to do the rest of their effect (destroying the creature)? Any other examples?


 It allows cards like Inquisitor's Snare to use any additional effects that the card has even though the damage isn't prevented.  Now, effects that would prevent damage dealt to a source stay on when a creature whose damage can't be prevented damages it.

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but:



The wording is a little bit confusing, but from what I understand, you cannot go below 7 health while you have Elderscale Wurm under your control.

When cast, if HP < 7, then HP = 7. -this makes sense.
If HP > 7 OR HP = 7 and you take X damage (where X > HP - 7), then HP = 7. -so if I am at 7 life and I take 4 damage, I am now at 7 life. Hmm...

Is this how it is supposed to be? It just seems like an odd, complicated way to say "Your life total cannot go below 7".

If this isn't right, change line 5 of the description from:

"As long as you have 7 or more life,"

to:

"As long as you have more than 7 life,".

Apologies if I misunderstood.
Standard Pauper! (play it on MTGO)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but:



The wording is a little bit confusing, but from what I understand, you cannot go below 7 health while you have Elderscale Wurm under your control.

When cast, if HP < 7, then HP = 7. -this makes sense.
If HP > 7 OR HP = 7 and you take X damage (where X > HP - 7), then HP = 7. -so if I am at 7 life and I take 4 damage, I am now at 7 life. Hmm...

Is this how it is supposed to be? It just seems like an odd, complicated way to say "Your life total cannot go below 7".

If this isn't right, change line 5 of the description from:

"As long as you have 7 or more life,"

to:

"As long as you have more than 7 life,".

Apologies if I misunderstood.



That IS how it's supposed to be so your rewording would change the card significantly.

The key thing to understand about how it's worded is that there are ways to lose life besides damage. Such as Vapor Snag. If you're at 7 with this guy out and one of your other creatures gets Vapor Snagged, now you're down to 6 and the Wurm's ability is effectively shut off. 
I think it's Tallowisp that should "search your library for a card that could enchant a creature", or something that makes sense.
But how far do we carry that? The only Auras that I am absolutely sure could never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever enchant a creature would be those with "Enchant player" or "Enchant Opponent". All of the others "could", depending on the mix of continuous effects I have out.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

I think it's Tallowisp that should "search your library for a card that could enchant a creature", or something that makes sense.

Hmm... Having it search for something that could enchant a creature would allow it to find "enchant permanent" which is more then its printed wording could imply.

Two possible solutions are:

1) Have it search for something that could enchant a creature but not a non-creature.

2) Define "Enachant [something]" abilities. Expand the rules so that abilities formatted as "enchant [qualities] [something]" and "enchant [something] in [Zone]" All count as an "Enchant [Something]" ability for effects that refer to them.

I think the most likely interpretation of "that could enchant a creature" is "that could enchant one of the creatures currently on the battlefield".  I don't think that would be desired.

I suppose adding a rule to allow it to search for a card with any subset of "enchant creature" could work, but I don't really like the idea of such a rule for only two cards; I don't see them further exploring that design space.

Another possibility could be to just let it fetch any Aura card.

Or it could just be left as is.
The change to 614.13 doesn't seem to address this case--the wording is such that it only stops the replacement effect from affecting the card whose entrance is being modified. In other words, when you cast Exhume and return The Mimeoplasm, it stops the Plasm's replacement effect from exiling itself, but it doesn't stop it from exiling, say, the Runeclaw Bear that your opponent's bringing back.

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but:



The wording is a little bit confusing, but from what I understand, you cannot go below 7 health while you have Elderscale Wurm under your control.

When cast, if HP < 7, then HP = 7. -this makes sense.
If HP > 7 OR HP = 7 and you take X damage (where X > HP - 7), then HP = 7. -so if I am at 7 life and I take 4 damage, I am now at 7 life. Hmm...

Is this how it is supposed to be? It just seems like an odd, complicated way to say "Your life total cannot go below 7".

If this isn't right, change line 5 of the description from:

"As long as you have 7 or more life,"

to:

"As long as you have more than 7 life,".

Apologies if I misunderstood.



That IS how it's supposed to be so your rewording would change the card significantly.

The key thing to understand about how it's worded is that there are ways to lose life besides damage. Such as Vapor Snag. If you're at 7 with this guy out and one of your other creatures gets Vapor Snagged, now you're down to 6 and the Wurm's ability is effectively shut off. 

Alright, I had a feeling there was a catch. Thanks for clarifying!
Standard Pauper! (play it on MTGO)
I think the most likely interpretation of "that could enchant a creature" is "that could enchant one of the creatures currently on the battlefield".  I don't think that would be desired.

I suppose adding a rule to allow it to search for a card with any subset of "enchant creature" could work, but I don't really like the idea of such a rule for only two cards; I don't see them further exploring that design space.

Another possibility could be to just let it fetch any Aura card.

Or it could just be left as is.



Back in the day, "Enchant creature" and "Enchant artifact" and whatnot meant entirely different things. You printed the one or the other, not used a catchall (like "Enchantment"). This allowed cards to refer to a narrow range of objects to which they could specifically refer or, perhaps, be undercosted in order to restrict their applicability. Hence, Tallowisp: He only cares about those pesky Auras that hit creatures, and looking backward that meant only "Enchant creature" cards. Now, we make a more careful delineation with keywords, but Tallowisp still manages to sit in his niche with almost complete access to the cards he had before.

I like it this way, frankly. Sure, it makes him slightly less functional, but his interaction with cards that "could" enchant a creature was already limited before then (e.g., Confiscate) and it doesn't seem like it should be altered when, instead of "correcting" the limitation and broadening "just enough," it would massively expand it. Options ar enice, but the current process seems the better of the them (narrow, broad).

Despite the lack of interaction, cards like War's Toll and Braid of Fire lost their interaction with mana burn, and in some cases some cards were completely neutered. The same was true for the competitive use of Wishes, and these are entire mechanics that are now lost. The benefit is cleaner rules, and more careful rules heading forward.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Despite the lack of interaction, cards like War's Toll and Braid of Fire lost their interaction with mana burn[...]

Huh? War's Toll never had any interaction with mana burn...

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Huh? War's Toll never had any interaction with mana burn...

Not explicitly, no.
However, the correct play with a War's Toll on the table is usually to tap everything (before Toll gets to do so), which may involve manaburn if that mana couldn't find a purpose.

The correct play would be to tap only those lands whose mana you could actually spend.  If your mana-spending options unexpectedly change, this could still result in mana burn, but it's not something War's Toll alone does.
However, the correct play with a War's Toll on the table is usually to tap everything (before Toll gets to do so), which may involve manaburn if that mana couldn't find a purpose.

Huh? No, the correct play is to figure out everything you want to do before you tap anything, and then tap what you need in order to do that. Why would you ever tap something without having a plan for how to spend the mana?

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Well, only if you want to do it the correct correct way.
Despite the lack of interaction, cards like War's Toll and Braid of Fire lost their interaction with mana burn[...]

Huh? War's Toll never had any interaction with mana burn...



In the old days, I could use the enchantment to force an opponent to potentially over-commit on his/her mana. That individual would have to use his mana up all in one go, or be forced to lose it for a turn; no floating. This caused tension as a manner of mana burn to be safe or let them get tapped and not do anything. It was largely a way to also fight control decks. I am not saying it is a classic mana burn card like Cathodion (dying at an inoportune time caused it's controller 3 damage), potentially also Priest of Grix and even Dark Ritual for when you couldn't use the mana all up. Lands that tapped for excess mana had the same effect, but of course the most specific card hurt was Citadel of Pain (and arguably, Braid of Fire, now with no drawback!) -- which depended on the cost of either mana burn, or take direct pain from the Citadel (which could be manipulated).

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I see that Oversold Cemetery and Pit Keeper both use the phrase "if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard", but that Gorilla Titan uses "as long as there are no cards in your graveyard" and Immortal Coil uses "when there are no cards in your graveyard". Should all four of these cards use "you have" or "there are"? (I don't know which would be more consistent with everything else.)
I see that Oversold Cemetery and Pit Keeper both use the phrase "if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard", but that Gorilla Titan uses "as long as there are no cards in your graveyard" and Immortal Coil uses "when there are no cards in your graveyard". Should all four of these cards use "you have" or "there are"? (I don't know which would be more consistent with everything else.)



Triggered vs. static abilities.

"As long as" sets up a continuous effect, while "if you have" sets up an intervening clause that requires a check to be made.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
OmegaM is suggesting that Oversold Cemetery and Pit Keeper should say "if there are four or more creature cards in your graveyard," which would work fine.
OmegaM is suggesting that Oversold Cemetery and Pit Keeper should say "if there are four or more creature cards in your graveyard," which would work fine.



Well, there are a lot of language issues with cards, but I see what he means, and I'd agree with that. I'd love it if all of the cards were worded in such a fashion as to indicate "putting" a card from one zone to another, regardless of from which to which it moves. This means no "return" on Boomerang or Disentomb, as the cards may never have been in hand to begin with.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
How does Pain's Reward interact with Platinum Emperion? And what if two players each control a Platinum Emperion as Pain's Reward resolves? Does "bidding" life count as "paying" life? And does the answer to my second question involve an infinite loop that results in a draw?
How does Pain's Reward interact with Platinum Emperion? And what if two players each control a Platinum Emperion as Pain's Reward resolves? Does "bidding" life count as "paying" life? And does the answer to my second question involve an infinite loop that results in a draw?



You can't pay life, including bidding it, as long as you control a Platinum Emperion. This means if the cost of an ability or spell required you to pay or lose life, you can't do it, and thus the spell or ability cannot be cast/activated. No Greed activations, and no Withering Boon.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
How does Pain's Reward interact with Platinum Emperion? And what if two players each control a Platinum Emperion as Pain's Reward resolves? Does "bidding" life count as "paying" life? And does the answer to my second question involve an infinite loop that results in a draw?



You can't pay life, including bidding it, as long as you control a Platinum Emperion. This means if the cost of an ability or spell required you to pay or lose life, you can't do it, and thus the spell or ability cannot be cast/activated. No Greed activations, and no Withering Boon.



This is wrong.  You can still bid life even when you control Platinum Emperion, and if you win the bid, the Emperion stops you from actually losing the life.  See this thread.
How does Pain's Reward interact with Platinum Emperion? And what if two players each control a Platinum Emperion as Pain's Reward resolves? Does "bidding" life count as "paying" life? And does the answer to my second question involve an infinite loop that results in a draw?



You can't pay life, including bidding it, as long as you control a Platinum Emperion. This means if the cost of an ability or spell required you to pay or lose life, you can't do it, and thus the spell or ability cannot be cast/activated. No Greed activations, and no Withering Boon.



This is wrong.  You can still bid life even when you control Platinum Emperion, and if you win the bid, the Emperion stops you from actually losing the life.  See this thread.



I should clarify that I only intended to indicate that the LOSS of life from bidding is stopped. I DO understand that you can pretend that you are "bidding" (and thus chuck a bid value upward) but it simply does nothing as long as you control an Emperion.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
To me it seems like Transmute Artifact should still put the artifact into play briefly if you choose an artifact that costs more than the one you sacrificed, and choose not to pay the difference.  This could be important for cases like Myr Battlesphere with its enters the battlefield triggers, and it seems to more closely follow the original wording of the card.

So to avoid the current power-level errata, I'd probably word it like:
"Sacrifice an artifact. If you do, search your library for an artifact card, and put it onto the battlefield. If that artifact's converted mana cost is greater than the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost, you may pay , where is the difference. If you don't, sacrifice that artifact. Then shuffle your library."
Transmute Artifact was last touched in September 2010; you can read the interpretation of the word "fails" there.
Here is my suggestion for Transmute Artifact.
Sacrifice an artifact. If you do, search your library for an artifact card and put it onto the battlefield. If its converted mana cost is greater than the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost, sacrifice it unless you pay {oX}, where X is the difference. Then shuffle your library.

The current interpretation of the word "fails" doesn't seem correct - the first sentence of the card indicates that the artifact is searched for and "immediately" put into play.  Only further on, when the card is in play, does it bring up "fails."

It could also be argued that you should word it so that finding an artifact isn't contingent upon sacrificing an artifact, since the original wording has them in reverse order (though this clearly isn't in line with modern design).  Though if you didn't sacrifice an artifact, you'd have to sacrifice your new one as part of the resolution.  Something like this is probably closer to the card's wording:
Search your library for an artifact card and put it onto the battlefield. Sacrifice an artifact. If that card's converted mana cost is greater than the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost, sacrifice it unless you pay , where is the difference. Then shuffle your library.

I believe you have to read the card as a whole in order to determine intent and meaning. The idea is not just to translate each sentence one at a time into modern Magic rules terminology.

I get that you don't just want to translate it word for word, but it seems like the intent was to grab and artifact and put it directly into play and THEN have you deal with the costs.  It could have easily been worded in the opposite order when it was printed.  Since the intention of "fails" isn't clear (unless you can dig up some Antiquities R&D), I'd fall back to interpreting it closer to how it was printed instead of how it would be designed today.

As a side note, it seems more fun to play with as it's printed :-)
Any wording that lets you cast it on an empty board, put Sundering Titan onto the battlefield, then sacrifice it fails on many levels.
Any wording that lets you cast it on an empty board, put Sundering Titan onto the battlefield, then sacrifice it fails on many levels.

Like the change to Flash allowed?

I don't see why the same wording (Put it onto the battlefield, then sacrifice it if the condition isn't met) has been updated to mean different things on these two cards.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
The printed wordings of these two cards are very different. The team is happy with both of them.
The power level of the wording isn't really relevant to whether the current wording is correct or not.  If the correct wording ends up too powerful, it can/should be banned or restricted in the formats it's legal in.  Look at Time Vault - obviously the prior wording made for a more fair card, but it's wording was updated to match how it was designed.  I don't see why Transmute Artifact should be any different.
The power level of the wording isn't really relevant to whether the current wording is correct or not.  If the correct wording ends up too powerful, it can/should be banned or restricted in the formats it's legal in.  Look at Time Vault - obviously the prior wording made for a more fair card, but it's wording was updated to match how it was designed.  I don't see why Transmute Artifact should be any different.



The bolded part is one of many opinions on that subject (and one I sometimes find myself disagreeing with). However, power level did not factor into my decision on Transmute Artifact. I made the best attempt to reasonably interpret a Magic card that creatively is transmuting an artifact and used an imprecise template. And all the Masters Edition IV players rejoiced! (Sort of.)