hand as a public zone?

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i don't fully understand the following rule in the comp rules:
===
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards' faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards' faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.
===


so if i have Revelation out, are hands public zones or not?

one one hand, i might think hands are public zones because "all players can see the cards' faces" and (unlike for hidden zones), *all* players CAN be expected to see the cards faces.

on the other hand, the comp rule says that the hand is a hidden zone, even if all the cards in that zone happen to be revealed.




bonus question (so i can understand why the distinction might be important) : can anyone think of an example why the hand being a public zone or not might matter? or why knowing whether any zone (hand or otherwise) is public or hidden could be important?
the hand is always a hidden zone, even if all cards are revealed

off the top of my hand it matters for Commander
if he goes to a public zone you can put him in the command zone instead
proud member of the 2011 community team
i don't fully understand the following rule in the comp rules:
===
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards' faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards' faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.
===


so if i have Revelation out, are hands public zones or not?

one one hand, i might think hands are public zones because "all players can see the cards' faces" and (unlike for hidden zones), *all* players CAN be expected to see the cards faces.

on the other hand, the comp rule says that the hand is a hidden zone, even if all the cards in that zone happen to be revealed.




bonus question (so i can understand why the distinction might be important) : can anyone think of an example why the hand being a public zone or not might matter? or why knowing whether any zone in general is public or not is important?



Even with Revelation out, a player's hand will still be a hidden zone because of the rule you quoted.

It can be relevant when searching for a card with specific characteristics. If I were instructed to search my library for an enchantment, even if all the cards were revealed and there was a Bad Moon sitting there for all to see, I would still have the option of failing to find one.

i don't fully understand the following rule in the comp rules:
===
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards' faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards' faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.
===


so if i have Revelation out, are hands public zones or not?


It's not.  You have to read the entire rule.  It lists which zones are public.  In a public zone, you can see all the cards, but just being able to see the cards does not make the zone public.


bonus question (so i can understand why the distinction might be important) : can anyone think of an example why the hand being a public zone or not might matter? or why knowing whether any zone in general is public or not is important?


Searching for one.  If you search in a public zone, you have to find the card if it is there.  The same is not true for hidden zones.
 
the hand is always a hidden zone, even if all cards are revealed

off the top of my hand it matters for Commander
if he goes to a public zone you can put him in the command zone instead


No.  The only public zones that works for is graveyard and exile, not any of the others.
 
cool example, Enigma :-)
[edit -- okay, i retract that complicment, Enigma. i obviously don't know my Commander rules!]

so can you explain why arguing that the hand DOES become a public zone using the above comp rule, as i did above, is incorrect?
(in honesty, if i had to choose of the arguments and basing it solely on the comp rule above, it sounds more convincing to me to conclude that hands ARE a public zone)
because it says that it is a hidden zone even if all cards are revealed

not sure how the rules could be any clearer ;)
proud member of the 2011 community team
cool example, Enigma :-)
[edit -- okay, i retract that complicment, Enigma. i obviously don't know my Commander rules!]

so can you explain why arguing that the hand DOES become a public zone using the above comp rule, as i did above, is incorrect?
(in honesty, if i had to choose of the arguments and basing it solely on the comp rule above, it sounds more convincing to me to conclude that hands ARE a public zone)



It is incorrect because the card doesn't contradict the rule. Revelation says: "Players play with their hands revealed.", not "Hands are public zones."

The rule even specifically mentions the case you are talking about. 
cool example, Enigma :-)
[edit -- okay, i retract that complicment, Enigma. i obviously don't know my Commander rules!]

so can you explain why arguing that the hand DOES become a public zone using the above comp rule, as i did above, is incorrect?
(in honesty, if i had to choose of the arguments and basing it solely on the comp rule above, it sounds more convincing to me to conclude that hands ARE a public zone)


As I said: public zones mean you can see the cards, but the reverse is not also true.  And, the rule specifically says that the hand and library are not public.  The only public zones are those listed in the rule.
 
[okay, i retract that complicment, Enigma. i obviously don't know my Commander rules!]

the lord giveth, the lord taketh away ;)

proud member of the 2011 community team
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards’ faces, except for those cards that
some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and
command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see
the cards’ faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to
be revealed.


I don't understand what else you need to know.

Rules Advisor

okay, i'll accept that the correct answer to my question has been determined.
now i think i'm quibbling about the rule itself being unclearly written -- unless someone can show me what i'm missing.


it /sounds/ like the rule is saying that:
- a zone is public if all players can be expected to see faces of each card there, ignoring effects that turn individual cards face-down
- a zone is hidden if it is NOT true that all players can be expected to see faces of each card there.

according to this definition, Revelation /does/ seem to make the hand into a public zone.


but then the rule seems to contradict this information i understood the rule as saying, with the line "Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.", so how i made sense of this was that this line was only talking about if all cards in the hand are revealed only by many effects each revealling individual cards, but new cards put in the hand will not be revealed.


am i explaining why the rule, to me, sounds unclear / contradicting-itself?
can someone point out how i'm misreading the rule (ie assuming you think it's a clearly-written rule)?
no, the rules say

"these zones are public"
"these zones are hidden"
the rest is just some explanation why a zone belongs to one category

it doesn't really matter what state the cards in the zones are
you can exile cards facedown, despite exile being a public zone, for example
proud member of the 2011 community team
You're misreading the rule.

A public zone is a zone where everyone can see the cards in it.  A hidden zone is a zone where not everyone is expected to see it.  The hidden zone is the only zone that uses the words "is expected."  Just because this one cards makes your hand visible to all doesn't change it from "is expected."  As the game started, no one expects that others are going to see their hand at all times.  It's still a hidden zone.

And all that aside, the Comprehensive Rules say that the hand is hidden.  If the hand was not hidden, it would have been listed under public.  But it wasn't.  Because it's hidden.  Because the Rules say so.

Rules Advisor

Enigma, i understand that that's what the rules /mean/, but from how i'm reading the rules, it's not clear that that's what the rules /say/.

(i understand that i'm "misreading the rule" in the sense that my reading is not the intended meaning, but i still feel that my reading is a reasonable reading instead of a misreading -- and i want others to show me why it's a misreading (or concede that the rule is unclearly written)).

(but maybe people don't want to discuss whether a rule is clearly written or not. it still bothers me to have rules that are not very clearly written, though).



let me take the following to [try to] make my point more salient:
===
Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see
the cards’ faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to
be revealed.
===
with Revelation out, the first sentance is /not objectively correct/: the hand is still a hidden zone, so the rule says not all players can be expected to see the faces of cards that are in hands. but this is /not/ true with Revelation out -- all players CAN be expected to see the faces of cards in hands.



the rule would have been clearer to me if it said, say:
===
The battlefiled, exile, ante, stack, command and graveyard are public zones. Typically, the faces of cards in public zones can be seen by all players.
The hand and library are hidden zones. Typically, the faces of cards in public zones aren't able to be seen by all players.
===

or even

===
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards’ faces at the beginning of the game / not affected by effects on cards, except for those cards that
some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and
command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see
the cards’ faces at the beginning of the game / not affected by effects on cards. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to
be revealed.
===


my wording is obviously bad, but hopefully you see the point i'm making.


Enigma, i understand that that's what the rules /mean/, but from how i'm reading the rules, it's not clear that that's what the rules /say/.

(i understand that i'm "misreading the rule" in the sense that my reading is not the intended meaning, but i still feel that my reading is a reasonable reading instead of a misreading -- and i want others to show me why it's a misreading (or concede that the rule is unclearly written)).

(but maybe people don't want to discuss whether a rule is clearly written or not. it still bothers me to have rules that are not very clearly written, though).



let me take the following to [try to] make my point more salient:
===
Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see
the cards’ faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to
be revealed.
===
with Revelation out, the first sentance is /not objectively correct/: the hand is still a hidden zone, so the rule says not all players can be expted to see the cards' faces in hands. but this is /not/ true with Revelation out.



the rule would have been clearer to me if it said, say:
===
The battlefiled, exile, ante, stack, command and graveyard are public zones. Typically, the faces of cards in public zones can be seen by all players.
The hand and library are hidden zones. Typically, the faces of cards in public zones aren't able to be seen by all players.
===

or even

===
400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards’ faces at the beginning of the game / not affected by effects on cards, except for those cards that
some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and
command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see
the cards’ faces at the beginning of the game / not affected by effects on cards. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to
be revealed.
===


my wording is obviously bad, but hopefully you see the point i'm making.




For any rule, there is a card that makes it not true.  Mirror Gallery and the legend rule, the four-of rule and Relentless Rats, etc.  If they had to append "Typically" or "most of the time" to each rule to account for the fact that a card might go against the rule, the rulebook would get a lot bigger and a lot more hard to read.
 
that being said, currently there is no card that changes a zone from hidden to public or the other way around
proud member of the 2011 community team


101. The _Magic_ Golden Rules 101.1. Whenever a card's text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).

 

This removes the need for adding "typically" before everything.

As I pointed out, your example doesn't modify public or hidden zones at all, so there is no change to their definitions.  
rudolf, i guess i'm not successfully explaining what i'm trying to say! yes, i recognize the examples you give, but i feel my complaint about the unclarity of this rule is different, and that this rule could be much more clearly written than it is now (and more concisely written, too, as in my example that uses the words "typically").

the rule talking about public zones as being one where faces of cards can be seen by all players makes it sound that the rule is DEFINING a public zone to have this characteristic, but it's /not/ doing that; it's just giving the "typical" idea behind a public zone.

or to put it in other words, everyone is saying that "The rules say that public zones are graveyard, exile, ante, command, stack, and that's that; and the rules say that hidden zones are hand and library, and that's that". if that's true, i think the rules should just state it in that simple way, instead of making things confusing by also sounding like they're defining a public/hidden zone by if you can see the faces of cards in it or not.


---------

P.S.
whether or not i succeed in having someone understand what i'm trying to say, i want to thank those who told me about the relevance of hidden vs public zone, with respect to searching. this is a cool tidbit to know.
if this is about how the rules should be and not some question about how the rules are you should take this to "Rules Theory and Templating" below
proud member of the 2011 community team
Furthermore, the rules shouldn't really be this difficult to understand to begin with.  The rules say that the hand is a hidden zone, so it's a hidden zone.  Playing with your hand revealed doesn't change that.

Rules Advisor

rudolf, i guess i'm not successfully explaining what i'm trying to say! yes, i recognize the examples you give, but i feel my complaint about the unclarity of this rule is different, and that this rule could be much more clearly written than it is now (and more concisely written, too, as in my example that uses the words "typically").

the rule talking about public zones as being one where faces of cards can be seen by all players makes it sound that the rule is DEFINING a public zone to have this characteristic, but it's /not/ doing that; it's just giving the "typical" idea behind a public zone.


or to put it in other words, everyone is saying that "The rules say that public zones are graveyard, exile, ante, command, stack, and that's that; and the rules say that hidden zones are hand and library, and that's that". if that's true, i think the rules should just state it in that simple way, instead of making things confusing by also sounding like they're defining a public/hidden zone by if you can see the faces of cards in it or not.



The rules do state that, simply. 
There are some additional clarifying statements placed before the formal definition of the zone types.


400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards' faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards' faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.

 

A zone is not public because it is a zone "in which all players can see the cards' faces,...", a zone is public because the rules explicitly say so.

If there were a hypothetical card that read "Player's hands are public zones.", then they would be. Neither Revelation nor any other current card says this, so a player's hand remains as defined by the rules. 
well this a question about the rule should be /written/ in the comp rules, not that the actual rule itself should be changed.
but still i probably should take this to the RT&T forum anyways if i want to further the discussion, though, huh?
well this a question about the rule should be /written/ in the comp rules, not that the actual rule itself should be changed.
but still i probably should take this to the RT&T forum anyways if i want to further the discussion, though, huh?



400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards' faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards' faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.

The answer to the question is written in the rule.
yes, this forum is about how the rules currently work, and you seem to be mostly clear on that
down there other people frequent that might give you better insights why the rules are written like they are, because they have written them ;)
proud member of the 2011 community team
okay, thanks for the encouragement enigma. :-) if i still am bothered about this tomorrow, i'll consider posting there and maybe some people might give me some insight on why the rules are written using this particular wording.
For what it's worth, I can see where your confusion comes from.  Perhaps it would make more sense to name the public zones first and then state that in these zones all players can see the faces of cards.

Cheers
LoveMonkey, thanks for letting me know that you think you see where my confusion is coming from. you're the first person to tell me; maybe i'm not crazy after all :-)

and yes, your thought of naming the public zones first is something i thought would help too, and shows that you are probably understanding me!
The confusion you expressed about hidden zones' definition is valid and LoveMonkey's proposal seems like a good idea. Wizards of the Coast update Magic's rules twice a year, and they DO listen to our suggestions. All you need to do is to let them know about it!  

Sorry we had to increase taxes: my limo needs new tires. (eh! they were two weeks old)

it's good to know that they take our suggestions into consideration, Chaikov!
what's the best way to let them know about my suggestion? is it just simply through posting in the RT&T forum?
yes, RT&T is the forum they read most often
Matt reads here also from time to time, mostly when he has been asked to give an [O] ruling, so the better bet is below
proud member of the 2011 community team
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