Interacting with the Exile Zone

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The ability to interact with the exile zone appears to have been a point of contention in R&D; it defeats the purpose to have the exile zone simply be a glorified graveyard with identical mechanics, but at the same time there is clearly a want for some interaction with exiled cards. The issue is not with cards that exile cards themselves and then care about the exiled card/s (such as Fiend Hunter or Chrome Mox), but rather cards that interact with cards that have already been exiled via some other means (Pull From Eternity).

There are basically four cards that bring up this discussion:

Pull From Eternity, the iconic interact-with-an-exiled-card card.

Riftsweeper, a card by design that was meant to stop your opponent's suspend cards.

Mirror of Fate, a wacky Doomsday-variant meant for Johnnies. (For example, it could be used with Leveler and a series of cascade cards beginning with Enigma Sphinx and ending with Mass Hysteria to cast your library and kill the opponent)

and,

Misthollow Griffin, whose worst abuse is with Food Chain. Mark Rosewater seems to have come to terms with this card, but mentions his frustration and his push to stop the card from being printed at the beginning this article: www.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.a...

To that end, what do you think of cards like these?

Another thing to note is that R&D has never created a card that interacts with face-down exiled cards if it didn't exile those cards itself. Would that be stepping over the line?
Don't forget Runic Repetition.

I'd have no problem with Pull or Sweeper if they only explicitly affected suspended cards.
As is, they do something that should not exist.
They interact with things that are supposed to be permanent.

Mirror of Fate is... interesting. The drawback and amount of work you have to put into it for it not to be horrible kind of tempers my dislike of interacting with exiled stuff.
I have no strong opinions either way.

MaRo has said that he had problems with Misthollow because he felt that it worked along the same sort of axis as Pull or Sweeper, but it's more akin to O-Ring. It only affects itself. It has no way of exiling itself so you need to find a way to abuse it yourself.
Its kind of like a unique form of evasion. Like, an opponent would never try to O-Ring it because that would be akin to a really overcosted Unsummon
As such, I have no problems whatsoever with Griffin (but I don't think its something that needs to show up all that often, or even ever again).

Repitition is interesting.
I like what it's doing, and in theory I have no problems with it because the most likely way that a flashback card will be exiled is by being flashedback.
Nonetheless, it can let you pull things from exile that were put there in other ways (like if Lord of the Void mills it) and thus I have a slight problem with it.
Less so than Pull or Sweeper, but it does more harm than good because its setting a precedent for things being pulled from exile.



In regards to manipulating with face down exiled things, I've toyed with a couple of designs in that vein myself.
I think there's real potential there.
It's hard to disagree with Maro on this one: if they print too many cards that get things back from exile, then there will be no point to prefer exiling to putting in the owner's graveyard.
And, as strange as it may look, I believe that Runic Repetition, just like Misthollow Griffin, is in the right category of cards: it affects cards that are meant to get to exile by themselves, not because the opponent put them there.
Misthollow Griffin and Runic Repetition are cool, in my opinion. Sure, you don't need them every set, but I think they're innocent enough.

Pull from Eternity and Riftsweeper, on the other hand, are stepping a little too much. I was going to suggest that they only target opponents' cards, but HairlessThoctar is probably right. Saying "suspended card" is rules-acceptable, and it would actually help that issue about people not knowing that they were supposed to hose suspend.

I have no idea what to think of Mirror of Fate. I guess I'm just okay with it because it's incredibly difficult to use. I could dislike it more.

As for future designs, I don't want cards that take any exiled card and give it back to the hand or battlefield (if it's shuffled or it goes to the graveyard, I think it's pretty innocent), unless they have a linear intended function like Runic Repetition. I don't mind a card returning itself (I think a phoenix with unearth that returned from exile would be awesome, for example), so these are good, too. Of course, not often. Not even every two blocks.
I think getting cards back from the exile zone is a perfectly okay thing to do, but only when it's narrow in intent, aimed to interact with one specific form of exile.

Runic Repetition is an example of a good use of this design space. Its sole design intent is to get things back after they exiled themselves through flashback, and I think that's just fine--flashback and Runic Repetition basically form an O-Ring that's spread across multiple cards--one (kind of) card is designed to exile itself, while the other is designed to return that specific (kind of) card. It's perfectly acceptable behavior when it's on one card, so why not spread across multiples? Yes, there are loopholes in the implementation--you can get back a card with flashback even if it was exiled some other way--but while it is a problem, solving that problem would require sacrificing a bunch of elegance and raising memory issues that just aren't worth the trouble.

Pull from Eternity and Riftsweeper would be just fine if they said "suspended card", but they go too far, allowing you to hit way too many things they shouldn't be able to touch.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I find it funny that everyone pretty much agrees in the same points.

Query:

How would you all feel about a card that could get creatures with Unearth back from exile? Same card, but for Scavenge?


Get that dead guy back
Cost
Sorcery
Return target exiled creature with Unearth/Scavenge you own to your hand.




In theory, it's working in the same space as Ruinc Repitition, but unlike spells creatures are exponentially more likely to be exiled by things other than their own mechanics.
I prefer if it's a creature card that it gets back itself with unearth and scavenge. Sure, it would avoid Oblivion Ring and more, but you can make it black to justify the hate.
Undying Hatred
Creature - Avatar
If Undying Hatred would leave the battlefield, instead return it to its owner's hand.
"You will never be safe from me."
3/2
Rules Advisor
Undying Hatred
Creature - Avatar
If Undying Hatred would leave the battlefield, instead return it to its owner's hand.
"You will never be safe from me."
3/2


What does this have to do with leaving exile? xD
It "leaves exile" by dodging exile entirely.
Rules Advisor
How would you all feel about a card that could get creatures with Unearth back from exile? Same card, but for Scavenge?

In theory, it's working in the same space as Ruinc Repitition, but unlike spells creatures are exponentially more likely to be exiled by things other than their own mechanics.

I'd be just fine with it.

Pull from Eternity/Riftsweeper are problems because of their open-endedness. No matter what the card is or how it was exiled, they can get it back. "Get That Dead Guy Back" is not. Sure, in theory someone could get back their O-Ringed/Severed creature with it, but in practice the likelihood of that is extremely slim. Nobody's going to run it as an exile-hoser when the range of creatures it can get back is so incredibly limited--do people run Runic Repetition right now as an anti-Slaughter Games/graveyard-hate card? Of course not, because doing so would also require warping their deck so that everything had flashback, and cutting yourself off from the thousands of non-flashback cards out there is really going to cut into your deck quality.

If someone's running a Runic Repetition-like card, they're only going to be doing so for the purpose it was designed for. Yes, on rare occasions a situation could arise in-game to allow it to be used some other way, but they're not something players are going to deckbuild around--in the vast majority of cases it'll be used as intended, with the other cases being simple serendipity. That seems okay to me.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

The problem isn't interaction, so long as the exiling card makes its own pseudozone and interacts with that.

The problem is recursion from exile, and I really do not want exile to be Graveyard 2: Electric Loup Garou. (Yes, I'm picturing an electric werewolf right now. Got a problem with it?)
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(Yes, I'm picturing an electric werewolf right now. Got a problem with it?)



On the contrary; you're describing passages from my dream journal.
I probably wouldn't be alright with straight creature recursion, but would be fine with a card that returns scavenge creatures to your graveyard and unearth cards to the battlefield until the end of turn.

Rescavenge
Sorcery
Put target exiled card with scavenge into your graveyard, draw a card.
 
Reform :B::5:
Enchantment 
You may put exiled creature cards onto the battlefield for their unearth cost. If you do, they gain haste until end of turn. Exile them at the end of turn or whenever they would leave the battlefield. (horribly formatted, but you get the idea)
Unearth :B:


What would you think of some type of "exiles matters" theme/subtheme eventually? Cards that gain power based on opponents' exiled cards and such, just no recursion.

What would you think of some type of "exiles matters" theme/subtheme eventually? Cards that gain power based on opponents' exiled cards and such, just no recursion.



I've designed a few. (Very bottom of first post) I like the design space.
Reform :B::5:
Enchantment 
You may put exiled creature cards onto the battlefield for their unearth cost. If you do, they gain haste until end of turn. Exile them at the end of turn or whenever they would leave the battlefield. (horribly formatted, but you get the idea)
Unearth :B:


What would you think of some type of "exiles matters" theme/subtheme eventually? Cards that gain power based on opponents' exiled cards and such, just no recursion.


Reform here is a typical example of what could go wrong: even a sorcery version of it would be a new version of Yawgmoth's Will caring about the exile instead of the graveyard. The enchantement version is insanely strong: you get to cast your exiled creatures with unearth as many times as you want (the card is typically needing a second exile zone for it to not completely be broken).

Cards that bring things back from exile should really be handled with extreme caution, as they can easily bring major issues to the game.

An exile matters theme could be fun, as long as it doesn't bring anything back from exile. It would make exile lose most of its flavor, though.
Misthollow Griffin and Runic Repetition are cool, in my opinion. Sure, you don't need them every set, but I think they're innocent enough.


I once played against a standard esper colored Misthollow Griffin deck with Rest in Peace, it was very annoying (I was playing control myself).

On the topic of the exile zone, I, like most other people that have posted, agree that should be left alone. It is probably fine to print a card that interacts with it every now and then, but unless they want to end up HAVING to print a real AWOL R&D should stay away from that space.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Hey hey, We're topical

 
Hey hey, We're topical

 



And there is interesting space, but mostly for keeping the card hidden from view for some reason. (The "the only reason this isn't in my hand is because I don't own it" space, for starters.)
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Like how the most recent Holiday card was exactly Praetor's Grasp as a split card in functionality.
Suspend is to me the best general idea for a mechanic involving exile. Perhaps not suspend itself, but the idea that exile is this aether relam that things don't so much exist in, but on rare occassions travel through. That's what I like about suspend: it puts cards into exile with the purpose that they won't stay there, that they're just mysteriously passing through the void, trying to find reality. Of course, that's almost entirely flavor and constructing actual elegant mechanics to take advantage of that is very, very difficult.
I think it's an important type of interaction the game has been embracing since the Imprint mechanic. Most exiling happens as "part" of another spell these days, which means that there is sometimes opportunity for returning exiled objects. More specifically, objects that "fish" in exiled zones do not bother me because the object of retrieval cards is to get to reuse a very specific effect.

To me, the line that should be drawn is usage of exiled spells as fuel, much in the way of battlefield objects, hand objects and graveyard objects, to gain extra value.  Cards that shuffle exiled spells back into decks, or fish them into the graveyard or hand are simply fiddling with the cards available to them, while effects that drain value from using the exile zone and displace cards back into the library would create a state of unfairness, similar to, but much more effective than GY resources like Flashback, Unearth, Dredge etc. In this way- perhaps the line should simply be drawn at "retrieval and reactivity are okay, value and activity are a solid no"
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First things first: I really, really like to play around the exile.

Infinite recursion (as mentioned in a previous reply) isn't an excusion not to use it. There are so many infinite loops and recursions already in Magic, it's just nothing to worry about. If a Rest in Peace generates a nice combination with Misthollow Griffin, use Condemn or similar cards to stop it. Exile was a solution - and therefore the same type of argument - on persist and "this enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counter on it" effects.

So technically, the exile is simply another pile or zone that contains/holds cards. There are some differences to the graveyard, library or hand "zone" as it is - right now - only a oneway system. But similar to flashback and co., sooner or later designers are going to touch that space as well (see Panglacial Wurm). Exile has become more popular lately as

There is also other relative rare "zones". One can be seen on cards like Golden Wish, another is the "phased out" zone.

One of the biggest advantages of exile as a zone in comparison to library, graveyard, etc. is a fact that there can be more than one in a current game. So basically, it's a labeled zone.

# Pull From Eternity:
I like this card because it isn't limited to suspend... it's usable on imprint and haunt as well. However, I would have printed it as a black card instead.

# Mirror of Fate:
Well, it's a reusable Doomsday since the cards removed by the mirror aren't exiled face-down. So you could play another Mirror to repeat the process. I somehow like the concept behind it, but I would have appreciated a version that would have included your sideboard as well.

# Misthollow Griffin:
I've suggested to use the exile as a resource long before the Griffin was printed.

Back then, I've stated that it ought to be a resource mainly for black cards. It derives from two facts: a) Dark Supplicant was limited to non-exile zones and b) token cards are right now creatures in/from a sort of alternative exile-zone -- Whenever you cast a spell or activate an ability that puts a token onto the battlefield, that token suddenly appears out of nothing. And since I'm against the overuse of creature tokens, I've suggested to introduce more nontoken cards that enter the battlefield in a similar way.

Even if Misthollow Griffin is abused, it's still just like a reusable sorcery spell that puts a token onto the battlefield and that is limited to one token at a time (see retrace in form of Call the Skybreaker or dredge in general). It can be similar to a Dark Revenant as well.

In regard of creature tokens, I've suggested to invent an effect that puts a specific creature onto the battlefield that is currently "outside the game" (by now, I realized this in form of 'basic creatures' and search spells that allows you to find a certain basic creature from anywhere).

But in general, I would like to have black manipulating the exile zone and the "outside the game" realm more commonly. It does this in multiple ways: The frist way represents a sort of "extra-terrestrial" entities/energies. All you can do is to banish them or neutralize them, but you're unable to destroy them permanently. Similar to tokens, creatures vanish and don't stay in your graveyard, once they've been killed. But this isn't limited to creatures. There could be spells as well.
The second way is the "alter the universe" path. Similar to Pull from Eternity, 'my' black is centered around manipulating static choices. It can change card color, creature types, etc. and gets cards like Alter Reality. It can exchange imprinted cards, etc. and likewise can change types of/choices on cards that aren't in play.
The third way is the "way of traps, mishaps, contraption or mines". Unlike the old traps, you don't have to draw them to "install" them. They are a mix of "outside the game", morphed cards and Pacts.

As you can see, I don't see a negative side on manipulating the 'exile'. Instead, it's just a new and unexplored design space with an unique identity.
First off, the entire point of renaming the exile zone was because the "removed-from-the-game zone", well, wasn't. Nearly all of the cards put there were very much still part of the game. That's not to say that there isn't space for cards that retreive cards from outside the game, in the vein of the Wishes or Spawnsire of Ulamog but the idea of "manipulating cards outside the game" makes my skin crawl. There's plenty of design space that wants a place where cards can be stored or manipulated by other cards without having those cards in play. You want to do that to a card? Put it in the exile zone: that's why we have one.

Second off, all of the zones are piles of/contain cards. That's...painfully obvious. Especially when you next mention the differences between the zones as though they are some irritating minor detail instead of the most important property the zones have. If the zones are to have any purpose whatsoever, they must be as different from each other as possible. In particular, the distiction between the graveyard zone and the exile zone is essential to the other function the exile zone provides: a place to put cards from which they (probably) won't come back. Pull from Eternity isn't inspiration: it's an elementary design mistake.

(In fairness to Pull from Eternity, it was almost impossible to avoid: the "removed-from-the-game zone" was the only zone the game had at the time of Time Spiral to put Suspended cards and if they were going to let people suspend cards, they were going to let their opponents take those cards away.)

Turning the exile zone into a second graveyard is a terrible idea. Don't do it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

@ Astareal 7:
Not all "zones" - as I see them - contain cards or form a pile. "Zone" means a well-defined and named place. The place where you put your tokens is usually not considered a zone and tokens aren't considered cards. (Well, I transformed this place into a zone for basic creatures. It's like a second sideboard. And I designed cards that brings creatures from that pile into play.... so I made it a zone).

Speaking of the sideboard.... it's not a special "zone" in Magic either.

Phased-out cards don't form a pile. Instead, 'phased out' is more like a creature status. There are similarities to exile: If a card is imprinted on another card, it's not really in THE exile zone (f.e. a pile of cards), but the card is transformed into an ability of another card. In my opinion, they lose the status of being a card in this way. (Maybe that's why haunt and imprint don't state that you have to attach the exiled card to the affected permanent). It comparable to an emblem.... and you wouldn't say that emblems form a pile or zone.

"There's plenty of design space that wants a place where cards can be stored or manipulated by other cards without having those cards in play. You want to do that to a card? Put it in the exile zone: that's why we have one."

No. We have an exile zone for two things: a) create a graveyard that isn't affected by graveyard abusal. And b) to create a place where you can add cards as a reminder (see haunt & imprint, etc.)

In tournaments, cards that are considered 'outside the game' if they are in your sideboard. So even 'outside the game' isn't a really a place to put cards in that won't come back. It's more a "face-down" zone.

So in my opinion, Pull from Eternity isn't a design mistake as the exile isn't a "never come back" zone (see suspend and multiple other cards). Exile is basically a placeholder zone that is used when you don't want to use other more common zones (see Mirror of Fate) and I don't see a reason why this zone shouldn't be accessible.

Edited @ 28.02.2013
It is a useful thing for Magic to have a place to put cards from which they will not come back. It is also a useful thing for Magic to have a place to temporarily store cards. There is no reason why these two places can't be the same place, so they are. There is also no rule which says that the latter use nullifies the reasons for the former, so it doesn't.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Well, I believe there is no need for a zone from which cards won't come back. In general, all you need is a "if you don't have the right tools, you won't have access." zone. You need a safe, but you can keep/use the key.

The graveyard f.e. is a good place to put 'used' cards in. And in general, white, blue and red don't have any access to that zone. Putting a card at the bottom of a library makes it also quite unlike that you'll use this card again during a game (unless you shuffle that library).

I don't really see a point why this should be different with the exile. In general, you would have no access, but there is no reason against making exile-retrieval quite common for one set.
It is a useful thing for Magic to have a place to put cards from which they will not come back. It is also a useful thing for Magic to have a place to temporarily store cards. There is no reason why these two places can't be the same place, so they are. There is also no rule which says that the latter use nullifies the reasons for the former, so it doesn't.



I disagree- It's more useful to Magic to have a place where things are DIFFICULT to get back. The cards themselves are representitive of spells and mana resevoirs of the player.  If the player devotes themselves to fishing and recycling their spells, then there should be no point at which a resource is beyond reach- but there should be an additional level of difficulty, much in the same way that recycling something in the graveyard should almost always be a little tougher than casting it from the hand.
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Well, I believe there is no need for a zone from which cards won't come back.

Then we'll agree to disagree. But then I would ask why we need an exile zone at all? Wouldn't it be simpler to just get rid of it? The graveyard could easily handle all of the functions the exile zone currently manages and it comes with oodles of recursion and interaction ready and waiting.

I disagree- It's more useful to Magic to have a place where things are DIFFICULT to get back.

But then where's the line? What is our standard for how "difficult" it is to get something back from a zone?

I could make the argument that it has never been difficult to get back cards from the graveyard: Animate Dead was printed in Alpha. You want to get back something from the graveyard? There it is. If that's our standard, then the glass ceiling was broken in Time Spiral by Pull from Eternity and it is no longer difficult to get things back from the exile zone.

If our standard is, instead, that we've had legions upon legions of riffs on Animate Dead, but are holding the line pretty firm with Pull from Eternity, then we can still say the exile zone is vastly more inaccessible than the graveyard. But that also carries the implicit requirement that we set a strict limit on the number of such cards, saying "this many, but not one more". For me that number is however many Pull from Eternity counts as: even it isn't unrestricted exile recursion, because lots of cards exile cards face down, and it can't touch those. But it goes too far.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

i think there should be an distinction between cards that are returned to the game under certain conditions such as fiend hunter/oblivion ring and cards that are literally "removed from the game". The latter category should not be stored in a 2nd graveyards waiting to be retreived. If Restoration Angel had the description "Remove target non-angel creature from the game then return it to the game" the need for distinction between permanent removal and suspension becomes clear. It just sounds illogical and self-contradicting. If a card is literally removed from the current ongoing game then nothing in any card's description should be allowed to touch that card. Otherwise it would be like "look for this card in your sideboard" or "add a card from your backpack to your library" The game does need a non-interactive zone, but that zone is technically still part of the game. A card removed from the game on the other hand should do what it says literally. Remember WHY we have "remove from the game" inthe first place? It's because graveyards become interact-able. If graveyards are permanent resting places for cards then there'd never be the need for "remove from the game." The sentence should carry out its intended purpose. Cards that need a temporary non-interactive storage should get that mechanic separately. I would like "exile" to remain for mechanics such as oblivion ring or keywords like cascade, basically for cards that are still part of the game but non-interactive for a while. But abilities intended for literal removal like dissipate or rest in peace should again use "remove from the game" and do that precisely. 
Well, we don't actually have "removed from the game" anymore. ;)

Also, we do have a zone that basically nothing interacts with: the Command zone.  
Yes, it exists in all Magic games, not just Commander/EDH; for example, it's where emblems live.
--
Personally, I'm OK with the continued use of the exile zone as a place to dump cards that have to go away temporarily, particularly since the RFG wording was changed.  As others said ages ago, not printing cards that interact too generally with exile avoids most of the issues.

That said, I'm slightly sad that it makes playing with the flavor of "exiling" things much harder, but that's life for ya.

"Go, then. There are other worlds than these." -- Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Please feel free to copy this message into your sig.

The flavour of "exiling" things never worked on one-way cards like Exile or Path to Exile. It works somewhat better on things like Journey to Nowhere, but personally I think it'd still be better as something like "void".

Anyway, the important thing is that Astarael is precisely right. Returning arbitrary cards from exile is a very, very bad idea, because it does degenerate straight into a second graveyard. Returning specific cards that were also removed by a known specific effect (Runic Repetition) is fine. In other words, Journey to Nowhere and suspend are fine; Pull from Eternity and Riftsweeper are very bad precedent.
that's more or less what we've been saying from the get go
If we get "Cards that would be exiled are put into their owner's graveyard instead" I'd lose faith in mtg
Napoleon returned from exile
If we get "Cards that would be exiled are put into their owner's graveyard instead" I'd lose faith in mtg

There's worse things in Magic than replacement effects.
Napoleon returned from exile

:I
If we get "Cards that would be exiled are put into their owner's graveyard instead" I'd lose faith in mtg

Though mechanically it'd likely be broken, philosophically speaking I'd be fine with such an effect.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

If we get "Cards that would be exiled are put into their owner's graveyard instead" I'd lose faith in mtg

There's worse things in Magic than replacement effects.
Napoleon returned from exile

:I



people returning from exile is culturally embedded in the language

maybe "remove from the game" could be returned.

maybe "remove from the game" could be returned.


Except things aren't actually "removed from the game". They can have lots of effects on the game, so it's confusing. Eventually, the zone could be renamed the "void" zone or something similar if it feels clearer.
If we get "Cards that would be exiled are put into their owner's graveyard instead" I'd lose faith in mtg

Though mechanically it'd likely be broken, philosophically speaking I'd be fine with such an effect.  




I guess this would be acceptable if we go to my original point of having a separate "exile zone" for suspension. The point is having a clear separation of "exile zone" for oblivion ring/resto angel and permanent removal for stuff like dissipate and rest in peace. If you can bring cards removed by dissipate back into the game, then that's power-creep and eventually you'll need "Exile target spell. That spell cannot be un-exiled"