Rules maze

Posted in Arcana on July 3, 2002

By Wizards of the Coast

In Duelist magazine #9, which came out in February 1996, at about the time Homelands was on shelves, Tom Wylie compiled a visual representation of the current timing rules in his "Murk Dwellers" column.

The timing rules were not as streamlined as they are today. There was no stack; spells and effects were played in batches, and once a batch started resolving, nothing else could be added to it. Interrupts trumped instants, and damage prevention effects could only be used during a certain "bubble" as opposed to at any time.

These rules are currently outdated, but we've included the whole "maze" just to show how convoluted things were back then. Aside from the sprawling diagrams, there were three pages of text, plus a caveat that it would also be necessary to read the rulebook and the Pocket Players' Guide in order to fully understand timing rules.

R&D has a few copies of this chart hanging around their offices as gentle reminders of how rules can spiral out of control if not kept on a tight leash. The introduction of the stack with the Sixth Edition rules has eliminated many of these timing problems.

Glance over it here, and if you have any interest in looking at it in more detail, try and track down a copy of Duelist #9.

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