8th Edition FAQ

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Here it is, the 8th Edition FAQ:

Eighth Edition_(TM) Core Set Frequently Asked Questions
Compiled by Paul Barclay and Stephen D'Angelo
Set Release Date: July 28, 2003

This FAQ has three sections, each of which serves a different purpose.

The first section ("Eighth Edition Rules Changes") explains the rules that have changed with this core set. The second section ("General Notes") explains new concepts in the set. The third section ("Card-Specific Notes") contains answers to the most important questions players might ask about a given card.

Items in the "Card-Specific Notes" section include full rules text for your reference. Not all cards in the set are listed.


There have been some minor rules changes to better support cards in the Eighth Edition core set and future sets. The most important changes are listed here. In addition, some sections of the Magic: The Gathering(R) Comprehensive Rules have been revised to improve its readability and organization. The most recent version of the Magic(R) Comprehensive Rules (in English) can be downloaded at www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rule...

Land Types and Basic Lands

* Starting with the Eighth Edition core set, the type line of each basic land includes the words "Basic Land" and the land's type, separated by a long dash. For example, a Forest card has the printed type line "Basic Land -- Forest." Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest cards printed in earlier sets should be treated as though they had the same type line as the Eighth Edition basic lands.

* A land now has only the subtypes listed on its type line. Most nonbasic lands have no subtypes.

* When an effect changes a land's land type, several things happen:
a) The land loses any land types it had and gains only the new land type.
[This is not a rules change.]
b) The land loses any rules text it had. If the land's new type is one of the five basic land types, the land gains the basic land type's ability to produce colored mana. [This is not a rules change.]
c) The land's name doesn't change.
d) If the land was basic, it's still basic; if it was nonbasic, it's still nonbasic.

Example: Urza's Tower is a nonbasic land with an ability that produces colorless mana. If an effect changes the land type of an Urza's Tower to Mountain, the land's name remains Urza's Tower. Its type line becomes "Land -- Mountain." The only ability it has is "{T}: Add {R} to your mana pool."

Example: If you change a Forest's land type to Island, the land's name remains Forest. Its type line becomes "Basic Land -- Island." The only ability it has is "{T}: Add {U} to your mana pool."

* Changing a land's land type doesn't change whether the land is legendary. This means that you can no longer change the land type of a legendary land to avoid the rules for legendary permanents.

In addition to these changes, the official rules about lands and land types have been consolidated:

212.6. Land

212.6a A player may play a land card from his or her hand only during a main phase of his or her turn, and only when he or she has priority and the stack is empty. A land card isn't a spell card, and at no time is it a spell. When a player plays a land card, it's simply put into play. The land card doesn't go on the stack, so players can't respond to it with instants or activated abilities.

212.6b A player may play only one land card during each of his or her own turns. Effects may allow the playing of additional lands; playing an additional land in this way doesn't prevent a player from taking the normal action of playing a land. Players can't begin to play a land that an effect prohibits from being played. As a player plays a land, he or she announces whether he or she is using the once-per-turn action of playing a land. If not, he or she specifies which effect is allowing the additional land play. Effects may also allow you to "put" lands into play. This isn't the same as "playing a land" and doesn't count as the player's one land played during his or her turn.

212.6c Land subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long
dash. Land subtypes are also called "land types." Lands may have multiple
Example: "Basic Land -- Mountain" means the card is a land with the Mountain

212.6d The basic land types are Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest.
If an object uses the words "basic land type," it's referring to one of
these subtypes. A land with a basic land type has an intrinsic ability to
produce colored mana. (See rule 406, "Mana Abilities.") The land is treated
as if its text box included, "{T}: Add [mana symbol] to your mana pool,"
even if the text box doesn't actually contain text. Plains produce white
mana; Islands, blue; Swamps, black; Mountains, red; and Forests, green.

212.6e If an effect changes a land's type to one of the basic land types,
the land no longer has its old land type. It loses any rules text it had,
and it gains the rules text for the appropriate mana ability for that basic
land type. Note that this doesn't remove any abilities that were granted to
the land by other effects. Changing a land's type doesn't add or remove any
types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic and legendary) the
land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its
own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types
and mana abilities.

212.6f Any land with the supertype "basic" is a basic land. Any land that
doesn't have this supertype is a nonbasic land.

212.6g Nonbasic lands don't necessarily have mana abilities.

Normal Card Draw

Your normal card draw each turn no longer uses the stack. Instead you simply
draw a card as your draw step starts. You see what you draw before abilities
that trigger "at the beginning of your draw step" are put onto the stack.
Spells and abilities that affect the normal card draw should be played
during the upkeep step, not the draw step.

The official rules for the draw step are as follows:

304. Draw Step

304.1 First, the active player draws a card. This special action doesn't use
the stack. Then any abilities that trigger at the beginning of the draw step
and any other abilities that have triggered go on the stack. Then the active
player gets priority and may play spells and abilities.


Core Game Cards

The Eighth Edition core game (the two-player game box designed for new Magic
players) contains seven cards that don't appear in Eighth Edition boosters.
These cards are numbered S1/7 through S7/7, and they use the Eighth Edition
expansion symbol. All of these cards are part of the Eighth Edition core set
and are legal for play in all tournaments in which the Eighth Edition core
set is legal.

S1 Eager Cadet
S2 Vengeance
S3 Giant Octopus
S4 Sea Eagle
S5 Vizzerdrix
S6 Enormous Baloth
S7 Silverback Ape


Balance of Power
If target opponent has more cards in hand than you, draw cards equal to the

* If the opponent has the same number of cards as you or fewer cards than
you, you don't draw any cards.

* The number of cards you draw is determined when Balance of Power resolves.

Blinding Angel
Creature -- Angel
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.)
Whenever Blinding Angel deals combat damage to a player, that player skips
his or her next combat phase.

* If you're dealt combat damage by two Blinding Angels, you'll skip your
next two combat phases.

Blood Moon
Nonbasic lands are Mountains.

* The lands are still nonbasic, but they now have the type Mountain and can
tap only for red mana.

* See "Lands and Land Types" in the EIGHTH EDITION RULES CHANGES section of
this document.

Coat of Arms
Each creature gets +1/+1 for each other creature in play that shares a
creature type with it. (For example, if there are three Goblins in play,
each gets +2/+2.)

* Natural Affinity is an instant that makes all lands 2/2 creatures until
the end of the turn. These lands don't have creature types, so Coat of Arms
can't give them a bonus.

* If the only three creatures in play are Aven Cloudchaser (a Bird Soldier),
Aven Flock (another Bird Soldier), and Glory Seeker (a Soldier), then Coat
of Arms gives each of them only +2/+2. It doesn't matter if a creature
shares more than one creature type with another; Coat of Arms counts
creatures, not creature types.

Death Pit Offering
When Death Pit Offering comes into play, sacrifice all creatures you
Creatures you control get +2/+2.

* Death Pit Offering has been slightly changed from its Nemesis(TM) wording.
The enchantment now has a triggered ability that triggers when it comes into

Change the target of target spell with a single target.

* The new target must be something that the spell could normally target. You
can't make Shock target a land or Stone Rain target a player, for example.

* Deflection targets only the spell whose target is being changed and not
the targets of that spell. You choose the spell to target as you play
Deflection, but you pick the new target for that spell when Deflection

Emperor Crocodile
Creature -- Crocodile
When you control no other creatures, sacrifice Emperor Crocodile.

* Once Emperor Crocodile's ability triggers, there's no way to save the
Crocodile from being sacrificed. Gaining control of another creature before
the ability resolves can't save the Crocodile.

* The ability triggers if you don't control another creature, even if it's
only for a brief moment during the resolution of another spell or ability.

Creature -- Fungusaur
Whenever Fungusaur is dealt damage, put a +1/+1 counter on it. (The damage
is dealt before the counter is put on.)

* Fungusaur now works the same way it did when it was printed in the Alpha,
Beta, and Unlimited Edition(TM) sets. Note that Fungusaur was printed with a
different functionality in the Revised Edition(TM), Fourth Edition(TM), and
Fifth Edition(TM) sets. All versions of Fungusaur should be played as though
they had this new wording.

* Fungusaur gets the +1/+1 counter immediately, not at the end of the turn.
If the damage is enough to destroy Fungusaur, it's destroyed before it gets
the counter.

* Fungusaur can get more than one +1/+1 counter each turn.

* If Fungusaur is dealt damage by more than one creature at the same time,
it gets only one counter.

* Fungusaur doesn't get a counter if all the damage that would be dealt to
it is prevented.

Furnace of Rath
If a source would deal damage to a creature or player, it deals double that
damage to that creature or player instead.

* If a creature, spell, or ability will deal damage to multiple things, you
divide up the damage before applying this effect. This means something can't
normally end up being dealt an odd amount of damage.

* If you have two Furnaces in play, the damage is multiplied by four. If you
have three in play, it's multiplied by eight.

* The original source deals all the damage. Furnace of Rath doesn't deal any

Grave Pact
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from play, each
other player sacrifices a creature.

* If multiple creatures you control are put into your graveyard at the same
time, Grave Pact's ability triggers once for each creature.

Intruder Alarm
Creatures don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.
Whenever a creature comes into play, untap all creatures.

* If multiple creatures come into play at the same time, Intruder Alarm's
ability triggers once for each creature.

Mana Clash
You and target opponent each flip a coin. Mana Clash deals 1 damage to each
player whose coin comes up tails. Repeat this process until both players'
coins come up heads on the same flip.

* Unlike most other damage-dealing effects, Mana Clash deals each 1 damage
separately. This means that you need to activate a Circle of Protection: Red
once for each time Mana Clash would deal damage to you in order to prevent
all the damage from it. (Remember that you need to set up any damage
prevention shields before Mana Clash starts resolving. You can't play a
spell or ability while Mana Clash is resolving.)

* This card's coin flip has no winner or loser.

Mind Bend
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color
word with another or one basic land type with another. (For example, you may
change "nonblack creature" to "nongreen creature" or "forestwalk" to
"plainswalk." This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)

* Mind Bend changes only words that are being used as color words or land
types. It can't change words in a card's name or words being used in another

* You can change a basic land's land type with Mind Bend. If you do, you'll
change the color of mana it produces. A Forest normally produces green mana,
but if you change "Forest" to "Mountain," the land can produce only red

* You can change only text that's actually on a permanent or spell. You
can't change an ability that's given to a permanent by an effect.

Murderous Betrayal
{B}{B}, Pay half your life rounded up: Destroy target nonblack creature. It
can't be regenerated.

* Say you have 13 life. To use this ability, you pay {B}{B} and 7 life.

Obliterate can't be countered.
Destroy all artifacts, creatures, and lands. They can't be regenerated.

* "Obliterate can't be countered" just means that. If an effect would
counter the spell, it fails to do so. Any player can target Obliterate with
spells and abilities and their other effects still work.

Creature -- Beast
You may have Rhox deal its combat damage to defending player as though it
weren't blocked.
{2}{G}: Regenerate Rhox.

* When you're assigning combat damage, you choose whether you want to assign
all Rhox's damage to the defending player or to the creatures that block it.
Rhox's first ability has no effect while it's blocking.

Sacred Ground
Whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls causes a land to be put
into your graveyard from play, return that land to play.

* If a land that's also a creature is dealt lethal damage, it's not being
destroyed by a spell or ability. It's being destroyed by a game rule, so
Sacred Ground's ability can't trigger.

* If the "Legend rule" causes a legendary land to be put into your
graveyard, Sacred Ground's ability doesn't trigger.

You have no maximum hand size.

* If you control Spellbook, you don't discard at the end of your turn, no
matter how many cards you have in hand.

Spreading Algae
Enchant Land
Spreading Algae can enchant only a Swamp.
When enchanted land becomes tapped, destroy that land.
When Spreading Algae is put into a graveyard from play, return Spreading
Algae to its owner's hand.

* You can't play Spreading Algae on anything that isn't a Swamp.

* If Spreading Algae is enchanting a Swamp and that land's land type is
changed (for example, to Mountain), Spreading Algae is put into its owner's
graveyard. Then its last ability triggers and returns the Spreading Algae
card to its owner's hand.

Teferi's Puzzle Box
At the beginning of each player's draw step, that player puts the cards in
his or her hand on the bottom of his or her library in any order, then draws
that many cards. (That player draws his or her card for the turn first.)

* First you draw your card for the turn. Then this ability is put onto the
stack. The timing works exactly the same way for all players.

* See "Normal Draw Step" in the EIGHTH EDITION RULES CHANGES section of this

Thieves' Auction
Set aside all cards in play. Starting with you, each player chooses one of
the cards set aside and puts it into play tapped under his or her control.
Repeat this process until all those cards have been chosen.

* Thieves' Auction doesn't affect tokens. They remain in play.

* If you choose a local enchantment, you put it into play enchanting a
permanent of your choice that it can legally enchant. If the enchantment has
nothing to enchant, it remains removed from the game. Later on during the
resolution of Thieves' Auction, a player can choose that enchantment again.
If it still can't enchant anything, it remains removed from the game. If
there's a point at which the only permanents left are local enchantments
with nothing to enchant, Thieves' Auction finishes resolving.

* In multiplayer games, Thieves' Auction affects all players, and players
make choices in turn order.

* Triggers from the permanents leaving play and then being put back into
play are not put onto the stack until the entire effect of the spell is

Thorn Elemental
Creature -- Elemental
You may have Thorn Elemental deal its combat damage to defending player as
though it weren't blocked.

* When you're assigning combat damage, you choose whether you want to assign
all Thorn Elemental's damage to the defending player or to the creatures
that block it. Thorn Elemental's ability has no effect while it's blocking.

Two-Headed Dragon
Creature -- Dragon
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.)
{1}{R}: Two-Headed Dragon gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
Two-Headed Dragon can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
Two-Headed Dragon may block an additional creature.

* Two-Headed Dragon can be blocked only if at least two creatures block it.

* Two-Headed Dragon can block up to two creatures each time it blocks.

Urza's Mine
Land -- Urza's Mine
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. If you control an Urza's Power-Plant and an
Urza's Tower, add {2} to your mana pool instead.

Urza's Power Plant
Land -- Urza's Power-Plant
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's
Tower, add {2} to your mana pool instead.

Urza's Tower
Land -- Urza's Tower
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's
Power-Plant, add {3} to your mana pool instead.

* You have to control all three Urza's lands in order for any one of them to
produce more than one colorless mana. Urza's Tower produces either {1} or
{3}. The other two produce either {1} or {2}.

* If you control at least one of each of the Urza's lands, you can't tap any
of them for just {1}.

* To find out how much mana the Urza's lands produce, you look at their
*land types.* Changing an Urza's Tower into a Mountain removes the types
"Urza's" and "Tower" from it and replaces them with "Mountain." It no longer
counts toward the conditions on Urza's Mine or Urza's Power Plant.

If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less
than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

* Worship doesn't prevent damage. It keeps you from losing life, but the
damage is still dealt, and abilities that trigger on damage being dealt
still trigger.

Zur's Weirding
Players play with their hands revealed.
If a player would draw a card, he or she reveals it instead. Then any other
player may pay 2 life. If a player does, put that card into its owner's
graveyard. Otherwise, that player draws the card.

* If a spell or ability causes a player to draw more than one card, that
player draws the cards one at a time and this effect is dealt with before
the next card is drawn.

* If someone pays the life, the card is never drawn or discarded. It's put directly from the library into the graveyard.

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