Raging River alternative templating

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This is just a random thought, and no doubt the minds on this forum will find the ten or so flaws with it, but I wanted to post because I thought the idea might have some application, or at least discussion.

Current wording:

Raging River -
Enchantment
Whenever one or more creatures you control attack, each defending player divides all creatures without flying he or she controls into a "left" pile and a "right" pile. Then, for each attacking creature you control, choose "left" or "right." That creature can't be blocked this combat except by creatures with flying and creatures in a pile with the chosen label.

Proposed new template:

Raging River -
Enchantment
There is an additional Battlefield Zone (whenever a permanent enters the Battlefield, its controller chooses which Battlefield Zone it enters; creatures can only block creatures in the same Battlefield Zone; if a Battlefield Zone is removed, permanents in that zone are moved to another Battlefield Zone of their controller's choice).
Whenever one or more creatures you control attack, each defending player may move any number of creatures without flying he or she controls into a different Battlefield Zone. Then, you may do the same for each attacking creature you control. Then, each defending player may do the same for each creature he or she controls with flying.

And the same without reminder text:

Raging River -
Enchantment
There is an additional Battlefield Zone.
Whenever one or more creatures you control attack, each defending player may move any number of creatures without flying he or she controls into a different Battlefield Zone. Then, you may do the same for each attacking creature you control. Then, each defending player may do the same for each creature he or she controls with flying.

Yes, I know it is more text! More text is usually bad, but am trying to create design space that could be retrofitted to the card.

Let the rules onslaught commence!
That changes the functionality in multiples. With two of the original wording, there are four possible divisions: "left, left", "left, right", "right, left", and "right, right". With two of your new wording, there are only three: "battlefield 1", "battlefield 2", and "battlefield 3".

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

That's a terrible idea.

It certainly sounds like it would create massive functional change to a whole lot of things. There's only one battlefield, and everything assumes there's only one battlefield, as seen in the expression "the battlefield". That expression couldn't be used if there could be multiple battlefield (just as nothing says "the hand", "the library", or "the graveyard"). So that would necessitate errata to thousands of cards, changing it to either "a battlefield" or "total among all battlefields" as appropriate.

It also introduces a lot of decisions and information about the game state that are almost, but not quite, completely irrelevant. Each time a permanent enters the battlefield, the player would have to choose which battlefield that should be. And they'll have to keep track of which battlefield each permanent is in, even outside of people. If people get sloppy about this, they'll have no no idea what can block what if the triggered ability is Stifled.

And I find the idea that this is design space you want to explore further terrifying.
The idea in general is interesting, even though it probably wouldn't work with this case. Thanks for sharing.


... everything assumes there's only one battlefield, as seen in the expression "the battlefield". That expression couldn't be used if there could be multiple battlefield (just as nothing says "the hand", "the library", or "the graveyard"). So that would necessitate errata to thousands of cards, changing it to either "a battlefield" or "total among all battlefields" as appropriate.

I may not approve of this idea of two battlefields, but I don't think it would require issuing mass errata:
We already see something similar with replacement effects: The text of Geist of Saint Traft assumes there's only one token but Parallel Lives makes it bring two tokens; And Living End assumes only its first instruction exiles so it doesn't mention it explicitly, but Leyline of the Void makes its second instruction to exile, so a ruling was required to clarify what Living End was reffering to. This shows that it's okay to have a text with assumptions of how the card works "in a vaccum".
Thanks for the feedback all. I am generally in agreement with much of what you say. I was hoping some designmeister would conjure a version of this that did work, but if the reach exceeded its grasp, so be it.

@ adeyke - like soular, I didn't think this needed a general errata regarding "The" Battlefield. other issues notwithstanding.

Thanks for the feedback all. I am generally in agreement with much of what you say. I was hoping some designmeister would conjure a version of this that did work, but if the reach exceeded its grasp, so be it.

@ adeyke - like soular, I didn't think this needed a general errata regarding "The" Battlefield. other issues notwithstanding.


Personally, I think the current oracle wording is very good.
Are there specific situations in which the current wording does not work as the original card text intended ?

It's easier to address specific issues.