Ruling on Aether Web

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Aether Web

See the second ruling:

If the enchanted creature has shadow, it won't be able to block any creatures (not even those with shadow).



Why is that there it is horribly counterintuitive. A card that is supposed to let creatures block things that they normally can't suddenly makes creatures not able to block at all.
A little bit of courage is the real magic.
It's because of the way they worded the ability. For the purposes of declaring blockers, we are to pretend the attacking creature doesn't have shadow. But if the attacking creature doesn't have shadow, then a creature with shadow cannot block it. 

Is it unintuitive? Yes. But that's how they designed the card. In retrospect it probably would have been a good idea to word it "Enchanted creature [...] can block creatures with shadow as though enchanted creature had shadow", but it's too late to redesign the card.
The problem I think lies in the word "can". In normal english "can" is not a mandatory thing. It just means you have the option or ability to do something. I "can" drive to work tomorrow morning does not imply that I must drive to work. I am capable of driving to work, but I could just as easily take a bus or something.

So, I "can" treat creatures with shadow as though they didn't have shadow shouldn't lead to the conclusion that I "must" treat them as though they didn't have shadow. But for some reason it does and we're left with this mess.
A little bit of courage is the real magic.
Also now that I think about it, does this mean if Cloud Pirates gain reach, they can't block anything either?

EDIT: Disregard this. Reachy Pirates can still block flying dudes because of how Reach is in the comp rules.
A little bit of courage is the real magic.
The problem I think lies in the word "can". In normal english "can" is not a mandatory thing. It just means you have the option or ability to do something. I "can" drive to work tomorrow morning does not imply that I must drive to work. I am capable of driving to work, but I could just as easily take a bus or something.

So, I "can" treat creatures with shadow as though they didn't have shadow shouldn't lead to the conclusion that I "must" treat them as though they didn't have shadow. But for some reason it does and we're left with this mess.

Deja Vu. I just had this conversation about a month ago :P

Anyway, in magic-ese, they use "may" to indicate that things are optional.
Also now that I think about it, does this mean if Cloud Pirates gain reach, they can't block anything either?

Cloud pirates doesn't use an "as though" wording, so it doesn't invoke rule 609.4. Reach also isn't an "as though" ability (though it has been in the past). This quirk is pretty much unique to Aether Web and Aetherflame Wall
609.4. Some effects state that a player may do something "as though" some condition were true or a creature can do something "as though" some condition were true. This applies only to the stated effect. For purposes of that effect, treat the game exactly as if the stated condition were true. For all other purposes, treat the game normally.