Rules Issues Causers

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Which cards have caused the most rules issues? I'm thinking probably either eye or teh annoying. Not to mention teh new annoying
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That depends on exactly what you define "rules issues" as. Do you mean player confusion, or actual rules problems? Book Burning caused a ton of confusion, but there's no actual rules problem to speak of with it. Humility has warped and shaped the development of the layering rules around it, true, but most of the problems with it were things most players didn't encounter.

One of the frontrunners for outright rules issues is generally Word of Command.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'll mention the Licids. I seem to recall Wizards R&D jokingly denying the existence of the Licids because of the rules issues they cause.
In a similar vein to Word of Command, which has to be bent and warped to fit into a set of rules that really arent meant to support what it tries to do, i would like to add Chaos Orb and Falling Star, which are the only cards to be banned in Vintage for simply not being able to fit into the rules. (Ante cards are banned not because they wouldnt work, but because ante is no longer used in the game; Shahrazad is banned because in a world with finite time limits for tournament rounds, it simply causes games to take to long.)

If you're talking about what cards tend to show up frequently on these forums, no card really sticks out in my mind as showing up a lot, though there will tend to be a few that get asked about frequently immediately after a set's release. Nacatl War-Pride got asked about frequently after Planar Chaos's release for example. Reveillark/Body Double got asked about alot following Morningtide's release. Theres even an FAQ post to answer specific card questions that have come up a lot.
There are really a lot of different categories possible.

Some cards generate a lot of questions even though there shouldn't be anything confusing about them. Bond of Agony is a prime example of this. The in the mana cost works just like the in any other mana cost, but many people still ask questions about it, thinking they can just ignore that .

Some cards have historically caused rules problems but now work consistently, though the involved rules may be complicated. Humility is a good example of that. Thanks to layers, we can figure out the exact game state if we know what effects are involved and what their relative time stamps are. It just might take some effort and might be a bit unintuitive. Prior to layers, though, it was a real mess.

Some cards simply didn't work at all until they noticed it and issued errata. Purity, for example, couldn't work since abilities never deal damage (Prodigal Pyromancer's ability causes the creature to deal the damage). Void Maw and Uba Mask didn't work since they were making other things remove cards from the game; they weren't themselves removing anything. So those cards did have rules issues, but the rules issues have since been fixed with errata.

Some cards are trying to do something they shouldn't. This applies to older cards, mostly. In those cases, trying to give them sensible Oracle texts is impossible, since the underlying concepts are problematic. This often leads to rather convoluted Oracle texts and/or very unintuitive rulings. Some examples of this were already given in this thread. Raging River, Chains of Mephistopheles, Firestorm Phoenix, Imprison, Jandor's Ring, Ice Cauldron and Equinox could all fall into this category, in one way or another. We don't get a lot of questions about these, but it's mainly because they're old and not used a lot.
Some cards simply didn't work at all until they noticed it and issued errata. Vigor, for example, couldn't work since abilities never deal damage

I think you mean Purity, not Vigor.
DCI Level 2 Judge Please use autocard when you ask a question about specific cards: [c]Serra Angel[/c] -> Serra Angel
Indeed. I was checking my autocard links after I posted but missed that one. Sorry about the confusion.
Some cards are trying to do something they shouldn't. This applies to older cards, mostly. In those cases, trying to give them sensible Oracle texts is impossible, since the underlying concepts are problematic. This often leads to rather convoluted Oracle texts and/or very unintuitive rulings. Some examples of this were already given in this thread. Raging River, Chains of Mephistopheles, Firestorm Phoenix, Imprison, Jandor's Ring, Ice Cauldron and Equinox could all fall into this category, in one way or another. We don't get a lot of questions about these, but it's mainly because they're old and not used a lot.

Chains, uniquely among those cards, actually does show up here fairly regularly. Happily, that has the side-effect of giving it a well-understood body of "case law", as it were; it even shows up in the FAQ.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
The layer system managed to sort out most of the Humility questions. Even Humility plus two Opalescence is reasonably easy to analyse.

My current least favourites are Life and Limb or a combination of Titania's Song and Mycosynth Lattice. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in combination with subtype-setting effects are also not immediately intuitive.
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I'd like to throw in Relentless Rats which flat out doesn't work. Of course, we all politely ignore that fact and pretend that it does. Besides, short of re-writing both the Rules (DCI and Comp) and the card to make it work, it's never going to actually work.

It has a Static ability which might be able to override the Comp Rules, but Deck legality checks are part of the DCI Floor Rules, not the Comp Rules, and the Rats' ability has no jurisdiction there. It would probably need to be given the Basic Supertype and have the DCI Floor Rules modified in order for it to work correctly. But as I said, we all pretend that it actually works as is and we don't actually get many (any) questions about it.

Still, of all the cards out there, it's the only one I can think of that technically doesn't work, never has worked and probably never will work.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
The layer system managed to sort out most of the Humility questions. Even Humility plus two Opalescence is reasonably easy to analyse.

My current least favourites are Life and Limb or a combination of Titania's Song and Mycosynth Lattice. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in combination with subtype-setting effects are also not immediately intuitive.

Is it still possible to create or destroy a dependency loop involving Life and Limb, drastically changing what it applies to, simply by playing a land? I haven't seen an L&L question in a while. That's probably a more puzzling card than Humility overall, though all the situations involving it do have specific answers in the existing rules. I'll be damned if I can figure some of those answers out in a reasonable amount of time, though.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Sure Relentless Rats doesn't technically work, but everybody acts like it does. You can go to a tournament with 30 rats and you'll be allowed to play.

As a fun fact, Raging River has been errata'd with the release of Shadowmoor. No functional changes, however.
As a fun fact, Raging River has been errata'd with the release of Shadowmoor. No functional changes, however.

Actually, there is a functional change. According to the previous wording, a creature without flying that came into play after attackers were declared didn't have any special blocking restrictions. According to the new wording, such a creature can't block anything.
Is it still possible to create or destroy a dependency loop involving Life and Limb, drastically changing what it applies to, simply by playing a land?

Yes. I'm still waiting for them to break that ability up into its component parts to simplify that interaction.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

And I forgot to mention my pet peeve card: Cyclopean Tomb. It tries to remove "those" counters, which means giving them an identity beyond just their name and location. Shambling Swarm had a similar problem and that was fixed. However, the impetus for that change was the undefined behavior with the counter-annihilation SBE, and Cyclopean Tomb doesn't have that.

From what I can tell, if you just pretend it works, the corner case interactions are easy to figure out (though I'm not entirely sure about the last one):
  • If you multiple Cyclopean Tombs, you keep track of which one added which mire counters, and upon going to the graveyard, each will then only remove the ones it added.
  • If you have Doubling Season, the Cyclopean Tomb will recognize and keep track of both of the counters it adds.
  • If a land is animated and has multiple mire counters from different Cyclopean Tombs, and you Leech Bonder's ability on it, you can choose which of the mire counters you want to move
  • After a counter has been moved by Leech Bonder, Cyclopean Tomb loses track of it and won't try to remove it.


So there aren't any unanswerable questions about how it works, if you just assume it does. I still really dislike the wording of the card, though, and the use of the phrase "until the end of the game" in the Oracle text doesn't help.
After a counter has been moved by Leech Bonder, Cyclopean Tomb loses track of it and won't try to remove it.

Seems right: moving a counter has been ruled to be the same as removing a counter from the old permanent and putting it on the new one (see Doubling Season/Simic Guildmage interaction).

One more to add: After a counter has been moved by Leech Bonder, neither the old nor the new mire-countered land will be a Swamp (assuming there are no other mire counters out and about). The old land isn't a Swamp anymore because it doesn't have a mire counter on it. The new land isn't a Swamp because it hasn't been the target of Cyclopean Tomb's ability, which is what actually makes the mire counter do something... just putting a mire counter on a random land doesn't make it a Swamp.
That does mean, though, that you could perma-Swamp a land, by placing two mire counters on a land with Cyclopean Tomb, then moving one of them off and back on with Leech Bonder.
I'd like to throw in Relentless Rats which flat out doesn't work.

Only if you think rule 100.2 also doesn't work. Your issues are that you can't figure out when Relentless Rats' ability gets applied - and the answer is that it gets applied at the same time that rules does, and modifies it.

It has a Static ability which might be able to override the Comp Rules, but Deck legality checks are part of the DCI Floor Rules, not the Comp Rules,

Try reading 100.2. The DCI may add additional rules to it, but it is a rule for the game.
Only if you think rule 100.2 also doesn't work. Your issues are that you can't figure out when Relentless Rats' ability gets applied - and the answer is that it gets applied at the same time that rules does, and modifies it.


Try reading 100.2. The DCI may add additional rules to it, but it is a rule for the game.

This isn't something I pulled out of thin air. It's been long known that Relentless Rats DOES NOT WORK.

Rule 100.2 is all fine and dandy, but it has no real effect, unless you are claiming that the Rules of the game are able to affect the game before it even starts!

101.1. At the start of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order. Each player may then shuffle his or her opponents' decks. The players' decks become their libraries.

That's the start of the game and the point at which the Rules are in effect. The deck legality check has to be done BEFORE that point. And at that time, Relentless Rats ability is meaningless.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
Which cards have caused the most rules issues? I'm thinking probably either eye or teh annoying. Not to mention teh new annoying

Why aren't you autocarding? I know you know how to.

I'd suggest R&D's secret lair, but the people here don't like un-sets...

I'd like to throw in Relentless Rats which flat out doesn't work.

Please tell me more...
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
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Rule 100.2 is all fine and dandy, but it has no real effect, unless you are claiming that the Rules of the game are able to affect the game before it even starts!

The rules of any game apply to all aspects of the game, including set-up.

The only issue we have with Relentless Rats is that the ability looks like a static ability not covered by 402.8, which seems to imply that it should only "work" while the Rats are in play.
Please tell me more...

Basically, it comes down to Relentless Rats ability is a static ability. Static abilities are meaningless outside of the game. The deck check is done BEFORE the game actually starts (as indicated by 101.1). At the time the deck check is done, Relentless Rats ability doesn't exist.

While it's fine for a card to overrule a rule when it directly conflicts with it. You do have to be playing a game of Magic for it to happen. An ability of a card can't affect another game (un-cards excepted), it can't affect a game that has already ended and it can't affect a game that hasn't even started yet. Relentless Rats ability, in order to function, would have to function before the game even starts.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
Why aren't you autocarding? I know you know how to.

I don't... Know... Why....

Hm. In any case, I asked this mostly because it interests me, but partly because I just want to build a few decks that annoys the hell out of the judge. He still owes me money.
www.kherkeep.com Seriously-it's good ****. Everyone cool is here.
but partly because I just want to build a few decks that annoys the hell out of the judge. He still owes me money.

Oh god, i can see it now. Firestorm Phoenix attacking along a Raging River, backed up with your Jandor's Ring/Chains of Mephistopheles/Word of Command card drawing engine. Oh, and don't forget the Darksteel Citadel which you enchant with Equinox, then Leech bonder a Mire Counter onto. Then, you target Darksteel Citadel and 2 non-land permanents with Wild Swing and attempt to counter it with Equinox.

Let me know how that works out for you.
Rule 100.2 is all fine and dandy, but it has no real effect, unless you are claiming that the Rules of the game are able to affect the game before it even starts!

You talk like there was something mysterious about that. The rules of nearly every game I know discuss things like how to set the game up, and no-one bats an eye; why would this be any different?
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
The deck check is done BEFORE the game actually starts (as indicated by 101.1).

Ummm.... show me where it is so indicated:
[INDENT]101.1. At the start of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order. Each player may then shuffle his or her opponents' decks. The players' decks become their libraries.[/INDENT]
Where is this mysterious "deck check" that you speak of, and how does this rule which begins "At the start of a game..." describe anything happening "BEFORE the game actually starts" ?

While it's fine for a card to overrule a rule when it directly conflicts with it. You do have to be playing a game of Magic for it to happen.

And you don't consider that act of starting a game to be part of the game? How do you start one, then? It can't be by following the rules of the game, since it isn't a game yet. In fact, nothing except the rules that apply to "a game" say anything about how to start one.

[sarcasm mode off]

Really, you are being just a little pedantic here. You don't like how it fits in the process. I can understand that. But you are making many unfounded claims trying to back it up.
Relentless Rats ability, in order to function, would have to function before the game even starts.

Any time the rule-of-four would have any meaning has to be considered part of a game; otherwise that rule has no meaning. Relentless Rats modifies that rule, and does so at a time that has to be considered part of the game. I agree it isn't spelled out completely, but there is no need. It works fine.
Whatever. Believe what you want.

I didn't come up with this. It was brought up a long time ago and the original discoverer was given a nod for it in the last Stump the Judge contest on this forum without them even having to submit it.

So go ahead. Say what you want. If I haven't explained it clearly enough, fine. I really don't care. This thread isn't about Relentless Rats. It's about all things that cause Rules issues. Relentless Rats is merely one of them.

I'm done with this.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
I'd say Ahlyis is right. When the DCI floor rules would check your deck's legality, a Relentless Rats deck wouldn't meet the requirements. DCI floor rules are independent of any M:tG rulings.

But whatever. Until I find a judge that tries to stop a player from playing that deck, I won't bother with this issue.
If I haven't explained it clearly enough, fine.

Actually, i thought you explained it quite well.
Basically, it comes down to Relentless Rats ability is a static ability. ... Relentless Rats ability, in order to function, would have to function before the game even starts.

To those of you bashing on ahlyis, his point is not that the rules have no effect before the start of the game, his point is that static abilities have no effect before the start of the game. Sure, relentless rats' ability is allowed to override rules (as is any ability for which 103.1 is applicable), but nothing about Relentless Rats ability allows it to function anywhere other than in play, since it does not fall under any of the exceptions in 402.8.
rulebook quotes
100.2. In constructed play, each player needs his or her own deck of at least sixty cards, small items to represent any tokens and counters, and some way to clearly track life totals. A constructed deck can have any number of basic land cards and no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards.

103.1. 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 102.3a).

402.8. Abilities of an instant or sorcery usually function only while the object is on the stack. Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is in play. The exceptions are as follows:

402.8a Characteristic-defining abilities function in all zones. (See rule 405.2.)

402.8b An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.

402.8c An ability of an object that modifies what it costs to play functions on the stack.

402.8d An object’s ability that restricts or modifies how that object can be played functions in any zone from which it could be played.

402.8e An object’s ability that modifies how it comes into play functions as that object is coming into play. See rule 419.6i.

402.8f An object’s activated ability that has a cost that can’t be paid while the object is in play functions from any zone in which its cost can be paid.

402.8g A trigger condition that can trigger only in a zone other than the in-play zone triggers from that zone. Other trigger conditions of the same triggered ability may function in different zones.
Example: Absolver Thrull has the ability “When Absolver Thrull comes into play or the creature it haunts is put into a graveyard, destroy target enchantment.” The first trigger condition triggers from the in-play zone and the second trigger condition functions from the removed-from-the-game zone. (See rule 502.51, “Haunt.”)

402.8h An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it’s on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability’s trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability’s cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone.
[indent]Example: Necrosavant says “, Sacrifice a creature: Return Necrosavant from your graveyard to play. Play this ability only during your upkeep.” A player may play this ability only if Necrosavant is in his or her graveyard.[/indent]

Relentless rats does directly contradict 100.2. It does not directly contradict 402.8.

EDIT: 'course, it would be fairly simple to make it work (albeit a bit strange for one card). Either add the phrase "This ability functions during deck construction" (causing it to directly contradict 402.8), or add another exception along the lines of "402.6i An ability that modifies deck construction rules functions during deck construction."
I'm sorry. I lied. Apparently I'm not quite done yet. :P

I've been trying to remember exactly what the issue was and I think Lemt nailed it. In any Sanctioned event, deck checks are done prior to the match starting, let alone any individual game.

In fact, here's what I believe is the relevant rule from the DCI Floor Rules for MtG:
120. RULES FOR CONSTRUCTED TOURNAMENTS

121. Deck Size Limits
Constructed decks must contain a minimum of sixty cards. There is no maximum deck size; however, players must be able to sufficiently randomize their deck within the time allotted.

With the exception of basic land cards, a player’s combined deck and sideboard may not contain more than four of any individual card, counted by its English card title. All cards named Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest are basic. (The five basic snow lands, also known as “Snow-Covered lands”—Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Island, Snow-Covered Swamp, Snow-Covered Mountain, and Snow-Covered Forest—are also basic lands. Note that basic snow lands, also known as “Snow-Covered lands” lands are permitted only in formats that allow the Ice Age™, Alliances™, and/or Coldsnap™ sets.)

How is Relentless Rats ability able to override that Rule? Even if you claim that the "game" has started and Relentless Rats abilities are able to override the Comp Rules, I still don't see how you get it to override the DCI Floor Rules. There's no provision in the DCI Floor Rules for cards outranking the rules like 103.1 in the MtG Comp Rules.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
To those of you bashing on ahlyis, his point is not that the rules have no effect before the start of the game, his point is that static abilities have no effect before the start of the game.

And the point of those "bashing on" him (I don't like that phrase, but it is what you used) is that the four-card rule doesn't, either. For it to apply, by definition there has to be a game it is part of. The static ability of Relentless Rats can, and does, apply at that time.
In any Sanctioned event, ....

Please make up your mind - are you talking about the rules of a DCI sanctioned event, or the rules of Magic? They are not the same thing. Relentless Rats does not work under the DCI rules for a sanctioned event, if that is the only one that applies. It does work under the rules of Magic.

And an ability that can only function in a specific zone is considered to be implying it functions in that zone. For example, Wonder does not explicitly "state which zones it functions in." It states what it does, and it can only do that from the graveyard. This is taken to mean it satisfies 402.8b. It is no different with Relentless Rats.
It states what it does, and it can only do that from the graveyard. This is taken to mean it satisfies 402.8b. It is no different with Relentless Rats.

Wonder references the graveyard, thus it works from the graveyard. What zone does Relentless Rats reference? I see no way that 402.8b would apply to it.
402.8b An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.

Wonder references the graveyard...

... without "stating it works" from that specific zone. So no, the rule does not apply, if taken as literally as you are applying it to Relentless Rats. Something like Flashback (rule 502.22a says "functions while the card is in a player's graveyard") does.

But I'm trying really hard to not argue at this pedantic level. I'm only doing it in response.
You didn't answer my question. What zone are you claiming Relentless Rats works from? "A Deck" is not a zone.
Zones
217.1. A zone is a place where objects can be during a game. There are normally six zones: library, hand, graveyard, in play, stack, and removed from the game. Some older cards also use the ante and phased-out zones. Each player has his or her own library, hand, and graveyard. The other zones are shared by all players.
This is directly pertinent to your post #31:
And an ability that can only function in a specific zone is considered to be implying it functions in that zone. For example, Wonder does not explicitly "state which zones it functions in." It states what it does, and it can only do that from the graveyard. This is taken to mean it satisfies 402.8b. It is no different with Relentless Rats.

Please make up your mind - are you talking about the rules of a DCI sanctioned event, or the rules of Magic?

I'm not "talking" about either. I'm talking about the card Relentless Rats and how it has Rules Issues.

It certainly doesn't work with the DCI floor rules. And as things currently stand, I don't believe it works with the Comp Rules either. It looks like it may be easier to bend things so it works with/within the Comp Rules. But currently, I don't believe it technically works with either set of Rules.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
But I'm trying really hard to not argue at this pedantic level. I'm only doing it in response.

Nice edit, though that is the second time you have resorted to calling this topic "pedantic", rather then attempting to either solidify your position or notice that your interpretation don't seem to fit with the rules. (Though clearly, the rules should be made such that Relentless Rats works. After all, who wants a card with a useless ability? :P)
Really, you are being just a little pedantic here. You don't like how it fits in the process. I can understand that. But you are making many unfounded claims trying to back it up.

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