Golden Rule?

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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).



I've never known what this rule is for.

As far as I know, Magic has rules that allow you to do some things and work together with whatever cards' effects are working now. Very few rules downright forbid you to do some things.

For example, there is no rule saying that I can't cast creatures anytime I could cast an instant, just a rule saying that I can anytime I could cast a sorcery. With Leyline of Anticipation, I now have two permissions. I can cast them anytime I could cast a sorcery and anytime I could cast an instant. So I'm fine and I can do the second.

But there are rules that forbid you to do some things, and here the cards have to get a little trickier. A creature with hexproof can't be targetted by opponents' spells and abilities. This is why Glaring Spotlight needs that ugly "as though they didn't have hexproof". Otherwise, there would be an effect saying I could target creatures with hexproof (redundant, since the rules already allow me to target any creature), and a rule saying I couldn't, and so I couldn't.

Another clearer example is the "you can't play lands except on your turn" rule. It's very difficult that a card bypasses this restriction. It would have to say something like "as though rule #whatever didn't exist", which is obviously unnaceptable text on a card.

My question is: Is there any case where 101.1 works? Is there any situation in which some card wouldn't work without it? 
Odric, Master Tactician maybe fits the bill.

He changes who gets to decide on blocks and such.
Another clearer example is the "you can't play lands except on your turn" rule. It's very difficult that a card bypasses this restriction. It would have to say something like "as though rule #whatever didn't exist", which is obviously unnaceptable text on a card.



Mirror Gallery quite clearly makes reference to a rule to say it does not apply.

Normally, you can't play lands except from your hand.  Unless something changes that.
Is there any case where 101.1 works?

"Avatar of Hope can block any number of creatures."
Crown of Convergence's "Play with the top card of your library revealed."
Mostly its just small things: the Golden Rule is supposed to be a safety net rule, not a workhorse rule.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Okay. But if it's for small things that are very easily understood (everyone that reads Palace Guard assumes it works), I don't think it should be emphasized, given its own name and taught to new players.

If you say "If a card contradicts a rule, the card wins", you can interpret a lot of things that aren't true, such as Momentary Blink being able to return a token because it says it does (even though the rules say a token can't come back), or Djinn of Wishes allowing you to play a land during an opponent's turn because it says you can (even though the rules say you can't).

This card, for example, doesn't work at all: 

Ninja Trees
Enchantment
During each of your opponents' turns, you may play one land.

Yet people could think that it does because of the Golden Rule.

Another clearer example is the "you can't play lands except on your turn" rule. It's very difficult that a card bypasses this restriction. It would have to say something like "as though rule #whatever didn't exist", which is obviously unnaceptable text on a card.



Mirror Gallery quite clearly makes reference to a rule to say it does not apply.

Normally, you can't play lands except from your hand.  Unless something changes that.


This is exactly the kind of confusion I mean. From what you've said, you seem to think that the rules say "You can't play lands except from your hand." and that Crucible of Worlds works because of the Golden Rule. This is not the case.

The rules say "You can play lands from your hand.". They do not say that you can't play them from anywhere else. So Crucible just gives you another permission.
This card, for example, doesn't work at all: 

Ninja Trees
Enchantment
During each of your opponents' turns, you may play one land.

Yet people could think that it does because of the Golden Rule.



Wait, why not?  I see

 305.3. A player can't play a land, for any reason, if it isn't his or her turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so. Similarly, a player can't play a land, for any reason, if that player has used all of his or her land plays for that turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.


But yet, Fastbond and Exploration still work, because of the golden rule.  How would your card be any different?

 305.3. A player can't play a land, for any reason, if it isn't his or her turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so. Similarly, a player can't play a land, for any reason, if that player has used all of his or her land plays for that turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.

But yet, Fastbond and Exploration still work, because of the golden rule.  How would your card be any different?

Neither fastbond nor exploration contradict 305.3, so there's no need to invoke the golden rule.

Note that the rule says you can't play a land "if [you have] used all [your] land plays for that turn". Since fastbond/exploration has created additional land plays, you have not used all your land plays for the turn, and thus 305.3 doesn't have anything to say on the matter.
Also, as evidenced by the many replies here, the average player simply assumes they can't do things the rules don't say they can do (which is true). They don't really think of the fact that the Comp Rules are permissive by nature, rather than restrictive, and accordingly, will assume that "I can do this" means "I can't do that". Having that as the rule just makes it a lot easier for players to understand why things that let you do things you aren't normally allowed to do actually work.

And there's a reason "Ninja Trees" would never actually be printed. :P 

Level 3 DCI Judge Mission Viejo, CA

This card, for example, doesn't work at all: 

Ninja Trees
Enchantment
During each of your opponents' turns, you may play one land.

Yet people could think that it does because of the Golden Rule.



Wait, why not?  I see

 305.3. A player can't play a land, for any reason, if it isn't his or her turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so. Similarly, a player can't play a land, for any reason, if that player has used all of his or her land plays for that turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.


But yet, Fastbond and Exploration still work, because of the golden rule.  How would your card be any different?

A player who utilizes Fastbond or Exploration to play an extra land hasn't used all of their land plays for the turn; so the prohibition in 305.3 doesn't apply to that. On the other hand, even text as specific as "During each of your opponents' turns, you may ignore the prohibition in Rule 305.3 which disallows a player from playing a land during an opponent's turn and play one additional land," would at best cause confusion because it causes a headlong collision between 101.1 and 101.2 (the "can't beats can" rule), moderated by intesne discussion as to whether this effect is "instructing" a player to play a land.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Ninja Trees wouldn't work as worded because you can only do "instant speed" things on your opponent's turn, and playing a land doesn't work like that.

If it had an ability that said "0: put a land from you hand into play, you may only do this once per turn" then you could activate it on your opponent's turn, because now it's a fast effect, not a "play a land" special action.  At least that's how I would understand it to work.  Sorry for using outdated terminology in my explanation, I know there's no such thing as "instant speed" but the term is still somewhat useful in understanding how effects work, sometimes.

On a separate note, one interesting corner case of this golden rule is the use of Relentless Rats in singleton formats, like Commander (what was EDH).  When EDH was still EDH and wasn't yet officially adopted by WotC, there was some discussion about whether or not the rats could be allowed in an EDH deck in any great numbers.  Since the rats ability and the golden rule would tell you that you can play more than 4 rats in a standard deck, for that it was fine, but since EDH did not have official Magic rules as laid out by WotC, the rule the card was breaking wasn't actually in the rules of Magic, it was a casual tournament deck construction rule, so the EDH people had to sort of rule it, which meant that players either had to allow it or not.  As it is now, the rats ability officially allows you to play with 10 of them in a standard deck or in a Commander deck, because you can point to specific rules that its text supercedes.
 
The rules say "You can play lands from your hand.". They do not say that you can't play them from anywhere else. So Crucible just gives you another permission.

That would be the case if it said something like "When you have priority, you may play a land from your graveyard"., but it doesn't. It actually overrides part of 305.1 thanks to 101.1.

305.1 A player who has priority may play a land card from his or her hand or graveyard during a ...

...because you can point to specific rules that its text supercedes.

Actually, Relentless Rats technically doesn't use the Golden Rule anymore. It uses Rule 112.6m.
112.6m An ability that modifies the rules for deck construction functions before the game begins. Such an ability modifies not just the Comprehensive Rules, but also...any other documents that set the deck construction rules for a specific Constructed format.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Actually, it still does. 112.6m says when it works (or it would only work when it's on the battlefield), but it still works by overriding the (deck construction) rules using 101.1.
But yet, Fastbond and Exploration still work, because of the golden rule.

On the contrary, they both have effects that 305.2 is talking about.

If you cast Explore on an opponent's turn (say via Hypersonic Dragon), you are still not allowed to play a land.

Likewise same problem, if you activate Djinn of Wishes on an opponent's turn and reveal a land card.

DCI Certified Judge & Goth/Industrial/EBM/Indie/Alternative/80's-Wave DJ
DJ Vortex

DCI Certified Judge since July 13, 2013  - If you have any concerns with my conduct as a judge, feel free to submit feedback here.
DCI #5209514320


My Wife's Makeup Artist Page <-- cool stuff - check it out

112.6m says when it works (or it would only work when it's on the battlefield), but it still works by overriding the (deck construction) rules using 101.1.

Mmmmm...I see your point, but I feel like it's to-may-to/to-mah-to. 112.6m says itself that such an ability modifies the deck construction rules, so I don't see the need to invoke 101.1. But more always helps.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

If I say "Astarael7 modifies bank account passwords", it doesn't mean that I'm giving you the right to do so. 112.6m merely says that the deck constructions rules are included by 101.1. In no way does it replace 101.1.
My question is: Is there any case where 101.1 works? Is there any situation in which some card wouldn't work without it?

Not everyone will accept the principle that «cards trump rules», as absurd as such a denial may be.
Perhaps it needs to be said out loud.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.                        -Albert Einstein

 

So, you keep on voting, and you keep expecting different results from those elections?

How long have you tried this, over and over?

Ain't it time you reached a different conclusion about this whole mascarade?

the average player simply assumes they can't do things the rules don't say they can do

Au contraire!
Many (!) questions we see here on this Forum prove the exact opposite: the average player assumes a lot!

Perhaps they do so because civilized countries' legal systems work this way: one can do anything that's not forbidden.
Not everyone realizes that games work the exact opposite way: one can do nothing but what the rules say.  
(exceptions aside, of course...)


Also, as evidenced by the many replies here

People who reply here are anything but average...

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.                        -Albert Einstein

 

So, you keep on voting, and you keep expecting different results from those elections?

How long have you tried this, over and over?

Ain't it time you reached a different conclusion about this whole mascarade?

Abyssal Persecutor/Platinum Angel

"Trample" fit the bill ages ago, it just got added in the rulebook. "Protection" too.

Magic rules are just made of a small subset of rules and a shitload of exceptions.

Rules Advisor

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

 A player who utilizes Fastbond or Exploration to play an extra land hasn't used all of their land plays for the turn; so the prohibition in 305.3 doesn't apply to that. On the other hand, even text as specific as "During each of your opponents' turns, you may ignore the prohibition in Rule 305.3 which disallows a player from playing a land during an opponent's turn and play one additional land," would at best cause confusion because it causes a headlong collision between 101.1 and 101.2 (the "can't beats can" rule), moderated by intesne discussion as to whether this effect is "instructing" a player to play a land.

Rule 101.2 doesn't apply in this case as it only applies to effects that say you can't do something, not to rules that say you can't do something.


101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can't happen, the "can't" effect takes precedence.

 
 A player who utilizes Fastbond or Exploration to play an extra land hasn't used all of their land plays for the turn; so the prohibition in 305.3 doesn't apply to that. On the other hand, even text as specific as "During each of your opponents' turns, you may ignore the prohibition in Rule 305.3 which disallows a player from playing a land during an opponent's turn and play one additional land," would at best cause confusion because it causes a headlong collision between 101.1 and 101.2 (the "can't beats can" rule), moderated by intesne discussion as to whether this effect is "instructing" a player to play a land.

Rule 101.2 doesn't apply in this case as it only applies to effects that say you can't do something, not to rules that say you can't do something.


101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can't happen, the "can't" effect takes precedence.

 

My pardon. I meant to say that it causes a headlong collision between 305.3 and 101.1 that 101.2 doesn't help to resolve. Somehow that all ran together.

Consider three cards
I Don't Work ?

Instant

If it's not your turn, play a land.

This is an effect instructing a player to play a land on a turn that's not their own.

I Might Work ?

Instant

If it's not your turn, you may play a land.

This effect is giving them the option of playing a land.

Do I Work? ?

Enchantment

As long as you haven't played a land since the end of your last turn, you may play an additional land.

This card gives a player a continuous option to play precisely one land during a turn not their own.

Here's the issue: if we interpret 101.1 and 305.3 literally, both are silent with regards to cards 2 and 3 (both texts are vauge enough that 305.3 and 101.1 are neither directly contradicted nor directly invoked), while card 1 definitely does not work: the card does not contradict 305.3, so 101.1 doesn't apply, but does directly invoke it, so 305.3 disallows the effect from doing anything. Unless, of course, being daring enough to actually invoke the text of 305.3 actually means contradicting it. After all, a card is saying to do one thing while a rule is saying not to do that thing which is precisely what a literal reading of 101.1 is meant to resolve. So the rules are either unresolvably ambiguous or in direct contradiction.

However, card 2 indicates that a strictly literal interpretation of either rule is unsustainable. If the player chooses affirmatively, then we know to resolve it as though it were just the first card. But a literal reading of 305.3 indicates that it actually should work: the effect isn't "instructing" anyone to play a land, only to make a choice and 305.3 doesn't say anything about making choices. Therefore, if we invoke the reasonable principle that the rules don't suddenly stop working just because players have some agency, we have to conclude that card 2 doesn't work because it violates the spirit of 305.3.

Then, we argue that if 305.3 is entitled to a less-than-strictly literal reading, so is 101.1. But then we find that both rules apply to all three cards: all three have the same goal; they just each use different words to accomplish it. So the rules are merely in direct contradiction.

The only way to avoid this problem is to figure out a wording of the effect direct enough to contradict 305.3 (thus satisfying the needs of 101.1), without being specific enough to invoke it (thus enacting the instruction to ignore that effect). The only wording I can think of is "305.3 doesn't apply"; but that text also doesn't actually let you play any new lands.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

"If it's not your turn, play a land" doesn't make any sense. Did you mean something like "At the begining of your opponent's upkeep, play a land"?

"If it's not your turn, you may play a land" also doesn't make sense. Did you mean something like "At the begining of your opponent's upkeep, you may play a land"?

The only way to avoid this problem is to figure out a wording [...]

Actually, no. The other way is not to print such cards. No such card is going to be printed with 305.3 standing as is. Rules Theory is much better suited place to discuss these hypothetical situations.
"If it's not your turn, play a land" doesn't make any sense. 

as the instruction of an Instant with that as a spell ability, it makes perfect sense

it's a self replacement effect, do this if [condition] otherwise do nothing.

@Astarael7:

#1 will do nothing (305.3)

#2 will do nothing (305.3 and 608.2d)

#3 will let you play an additional land on each of your turns provided you choose the additional play first
(if you don't, the condition becomes false and you lose the additional land play)
However, it will not allow them to play a land on a turn not their own. (305.3) 
This would be the same as casting Explore on an opponent's turn.

#1 instructs a player to take an impossible action (assuming it's not his turn)
#2 gives the player a choice, but he can not choose an impossible action (again assuming it's not his turn)
#3 is an example of an effect in 305.2, but its effect in and of itself does not allow the player to break 305.3 so the player may play an additional land on his turns, but still can't play a land on opponents' turns.

Essentially, "you may play an additional land" in Magicese means "increase the maximum number of lands that you can play legally this turn by one". Playing a land on an opponent's turn is still illegal.

You have to consider the Magicese in the equation.

If I have a Wind Zendikon attached to an Island and I cast Mirrorweave at a Llanowar Elves and it resolves,
is that Island still a land?
no and this is in direct contradiction to the printed text of Wind Zendikon which says "It's still a land."
do we invoke the Golden Rule here?
Of course not because the rules explain what "It's still a land." really means in Magicese.

edit: It just dawned on me that Wind Zendikon would become unattached right after Mirrorweave resolved,
but we could use Mutavault or Faerie Conclave instead to achieve the same point.


DCI Certified Judge & Goth/Industrial/EBM/Indie/Alternative/80's-Wave DJ
DJ Vortex

DCI Certified Judge since July 13, 2013  - If you have any concerns with my conduct as a judge, feel free to submit feedback here.
DCI #5209514320


My Wife's Makeup Artist Page <-- cool stuff - check it out

oops, missed that it was an instant. Well, I saw the word, but I had the idea of a permanent stuck in my head.
Abyssal Persecutor/Platinum Angel

"Trample" fit the bill ages ago, it just got added in the rulebook. "Protection" too.

Magic rules are just made of a small subset of rules and a shitload of exceptions.


Abyssal and Platinum are just the old "can't" beats "can".

Trample and protection were always keywords, so they had rules associated with them. Protection is, again, just a "can't" beats "can" situation. Trample might have been the case, but you can always word the rules so that they allow exceptions or modifications instead of saying "A card can contradict a rule and win" and confuse a lot of people so that certain card works.
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