If people are confused by the old wording, I think that's a legitimate concern. A newer player might not have any idea what an "Interrupt" even is and would be seriously thrown off by Unglued's pre-Sixth wording.
However, if the question is something like "How does this card actually work in the context of Magic?", the answer is often "It doesn't." These cards don't function within the rules and often intentionally violate them. Goblin Bookie
, for example, wants you to be able to just activate its ability any time you flip a coin or roll a die, before the consequence of that flip/roll happens. The concept is very easy to explain, but the timing rules of Magic don't and can't
Even when the cards are templated properly, they often don't mean the same thing that template would mean in real Magic. Goblin S.W.A.T. Team
, for example, wants its controller to say "Goblin S.W.A.T. Team" and then give the creature a +1/+1 counter within five seconds of that announcement, unless the opponent swats the table. In real Magic, however, the player needs to make a real announcement that they're activating the ability, and the opponent then gets priority to respond to it. It's only after they choose to let it resolves that the five second timer starts.
Similarly, Gotcha wants there to be an immediate gotcha moment when the player takes that wrong action (e.g. "Blaze for 3--" " Gotcha
!"). What it actually means is that the Gotcha ability will trigger each time that action takes place, and the next time a player would get priority, the triggered ability will go on the stack (if a player controls more than one, they then have to make a choice about the ordering). Then, when the ability resolves, the player gets the choice to say "Gotcha" or not.
Planechase and Archenemy are casual variants, but they still try to be serious. The cards use proper templating and the variants come with actual rules to define their interactions. I don't think we've yet seen errata for those cards, but it would make sense for them to get them when needed (I'm still hoping Bant
will get changed from "as long as" to the proper "for as long as").
Un- isn't like that. It's just silly. If you put an Un- card in your deck just because you think its power level is good and that it'll help you win, you're doing it wrong. Ditto if you find yourself looking an Un- card up in Gatherer in the middle of a game because the exact functionality could determine the winner. The point is to laugh at the silly cards, enjoy doing things that wouldn't happen in a serious Magic game, make your opponent do ridiculous things, etc. If you can't figure out what Bureaucracy
is trying to do, that's precisely why they worded it in legalese; it's part of the experience.
The Oracle text of a card is the text it should
have and the text it would
have if it were reprinted now. The latest Animate Dead
shows that they take this seriously, even if the result is hideous. If giving a joke card a certain text would end up ruining its joke, that means that's not an option for the Oracle text.
Normally, it'd be a great idea to use the rulings section to clarify any confusion that could arise from the Oracle text. However, Un- cards shouldn't have rulings. There's a certain legitimacy given to Gatherer rulings. People see those and expect to be able to get some understanding of the underlying rules and to be able to make connections with other rules. That is, they expect the rulings to say how a card actually works, not how it would work if it did work (even though it actually doesn't). If that section was used, it would need to be renamed on Un- cards to something less official-sounding, like "Explanation".
(I also really don't like being put in the position of needing to defend Un- cards in any way. I really don't like them in concept or in practice, and I'd much prefer if they didn't exist at all. If it actually were possible to get rid of the Un-ness and make them just another part of Magic, in the same way as Portal, I'd love that, but it's simply not possible. They don't fit, and trying to force a fit would make them lose whatever value they have.)