Thought experiment : Making the battlefield a player-specific zone.

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How is the battlefield typically represented by players?
Answer:
Two, separate, distinct fields (mats even have a line between the players.)

Would it be possible to split the battlefield into a battlefield per player rules-wise, in other words, make it a player-specific zone?

What would the advantages/disadvantages be?
Would it makes wordings simpler, or more complex?

Return target creature card in your graveyard to your battlefield.
versus
Return target creature card in your graveyard to the battlefield (under your control is implicit here).

Return target creature card in your graveyard to an opponent's battlefield.
versus
Return target creature card in your graveyard to the battlefield under an opponent's control.

This would require re-thinking control-change effects and such, but I think it's something that's worth pondering.
Biggest changes I can think of is that under this method:

1) If I cast Act of Treason on my opponent's Thragtusk, he'll get a token and I'll gain life.
2) It would lead to the unintuitive fact that cards a player doesn't own can't ever be put into his hand or graveyard, but can be put into onto his battlefield.

Since combat takes place on the battlefield, it makes more sense I think for the battlefield to be a single zone for rules purposes.
Rules Advisor
I disagree that it's worth pondering. It really seems like a solution in search of a problem.

The name "battlefield" wouldn't really make sense if each player had their own. Also, it's common for Auras controlled by one player to be attached to a permanent controlled by another player. And it's common for things to affect everything on the battlefield. The wording necessary to make these affect everything on every battlefield would be a lot uglier.
I disagree that it's worth pondering. It really seems like a solution in search of a problem.

The name "battlefield" wouldn't really make sense if each player had their own.


Agreed.

I think there is more merit in considering giving the battlefield "sides". ("Return target creature card in a graveyard to your side of the battlefield" etc)

~ Tim 

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
That solves the terminology problem, but it also removes the only potential benefits to the change that I can see: the shorter wording on some cards and the symmetry with hand/graveyard/library.

I'll note that it makes it makes sense for hand/graveyard/library to work the same way as each other but different from the battlefield. Those zones are all distinct piles (well, the hand is often fanned out, but still), the cards there don't have controllers, and everything in a given pile has the same owner. The battlefield is quite different.

As long as there exists an owner/controller distinction for the battlefield and as long as it's possible for a permanent controlled by one player to be attached to a permanent controlled by another player, the idea just doesn't work.
Perhaps completely splitting the battlefield is overkill (because of the zone change rules)

The battlefield could remain one big zone, but it basically could have a 'subzone' per player.
A subzone would have little to no rules meaning. It would just have a controller, and make things easier to word

Return target creature card in your graveyard to your army. (to the battlefield is implicit, armies can only exist on the battlefield)
versus
Return target creature card in your graveyard to the battlefield (under your control is implicit here).

Return target creature card in your graveyard to an opponent's army. (to the battlefield is implicit, armies can only exist on the battlefield)
versus
Return target creature card in your graveyard to the battlefield under an opponent's control.

("Army" is just a placeholder, to give you an idea. Don't break down my idea just because you don't like the name ;P)

So instead of an actual zone split, it's more of a naming change now.

In short, I'm now suggesting to change defining the control of permanents to defining in which 'subzone' they go, and each 'subzone', in turn, is player-controlled, making it controlling-player-specific intrinsically.

This is basically how a typical player thinks about the structure of the battlefield anyway: they have their army, and I have my army.
As you said, it's just redefinition of control over permanents. And I don't see what makes it more beneficial. I think the flavor idea of "your army" "my army" is well understood with "things under my control" and "things under your control". If it's meant to replace the current "control" definition, control-gaining effects would become less self-explanatory. You'd need to either explain what "gain control of X" means in an "army" sense, or come with a another way to say it using "army". You may think of using "enters your army", but how'd that work with durations as seen in cards like Threaten and such?

Also, if you'd make "army" go alongside the "control" definition, your might be overloading the players will extra definitions, where "control" is enough.


In addition. It seems that one of your issues is with implicit control, but I think you're missing the meaning behind "return":

With "Return target creature card from your graveyard to your army.", mentioning "to your army" rather than "the battlefield" feels unecessary redundant. The way it is currently written, "Return target creature card from your graveyard to your army.", since it's "returning" and "from your graveyard", it makes sense that it goes under your control. (I'm not ignoring the rule that says that whatever you put goes under your control by default, I'm trying to show additional ways some templates can imply that.)

However, I agree that it is shorter to say "Put target creature card from your graveyard into an opponent's army." (I took the liberty to change it to something that read better, in my opinion. Using "return" feels wrong here. As with current cards,  in cases like this "put" is used.). Then again, it's is no less explicit or understandable than what's currently used.
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