July 2010 Update Bulletin

Posted in Feature on July 14, 2010

By Mark L. Gottlieb

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm a bit late with this update, but sometimes real life intrudes on you and there's nothing you can do about it. See, a couple of months ago, I was working on a plan. Heck, that's just me being modest again. I was working on a masterpiece of transcendant supervillainy. Without getting bogged down in the details, it involved an underwater drill into the earth's crust, some comically malfunctioning robots, crazy contraptions with ludicrous names, the most inept henchmen you've ever seen in your life, more crude oil than you can imagine, and the threat of widespread ecological catastrophe ... unless the leaders of the free world paid my exorbitant ransom, of course. Because no one's evil and/or stupid enough to actually go through with a plan like that. It just doesn't make sense. But then not only did BP beat me to the punch, they did it for free! At least ask for a ransom, idiots. Nice supervillainy.

So, of course, I quickly switched gears and decided to write, direct, animate, and voice a completely original, highly imaginative 3D cartoon movie about a lovable supervillain who adopts three little girls. Trust me, it's genius. I've been devoting so many hours to it, though, that until I finished it yesterday, I hadn't had time to update Oracle, revise the Comp Rules, go out to the movies, read Entertainment Weekly, watch any TV advertising, or become aware of any tie-in marketing campaigns. In the past 24 hours, I was able to catch up on the first two of those things, but not the other four. I have some meetings with distributors tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure at least one of us is going to be very surprised! Wish me luck!

But before I take Hollywood by storm, let's update some Magic!

So Touchy

The main Magic 2011 rules change was ... a minor tweak to deathtouch? That's it? No sweeping terminology changes that required giving errata to a thousand cards? Well, it'll have to do.

M10 saw a functional change to deathtouch as well, but parts of the new rule weren't very intuitive, so we revisited it and altered it again. Deathtouch has two parts to it:

1) One part works while you're assigning combat damage. This is part got the bigger change, though the change isn't relevant in very many scenarios. Deathtouch now works differently if an attacking creature has both deathtouch and trample (note: no such creature has ever been printed, though you can certainly construct one using Auras, Equipment, or other effects), or if a creature with deathtouch blocks or is blocked by multiple creatures.

If a creature with deathtouch blocks or becomes blocked, you announce a damage assignment order like normal. Then, as you assign the damage from the creature with deathtouch, you must adhere to that order—but any amount of damage from the creature with deathtouch is considered lethal damage for damage-assignment purposes. So, for example, say a 3/3 creature with deathtouch is blocked by a 2/2, a 4/4, a 7/7, and a 9/9. You could announce the damage assignment order as the 9/9, then the 7/7, then the 4/4, then the 2/2. Then you could assign 1 damage to the 9/9 and—since that's considered lethal—move on to assign 1 damage to the 7/7, and—since that's considered lethal too—assign 1 damage to the 4/4. (You can't hit the 2/2 in this scenario.)

Similarly, say you control a 4/4 creature has deathtouch and trample. You attack your opponent and your creature is blocked by a 3/3. If your creature had just deathtouch, you'd have to assign all its damage to the blocking creature. If your creature had just trample, you'd have to assign 3 damage to the blocking creature and could assign only 1 to the defending player. But since it has both deathtouch and trample, you could assign 1 damage to the blocking creature and—since that's considered lethal—assign the remaining 3 damage to the defending player.

2) The other part of deathtouch is what actually kills things. This is largely unchanged, though there is a slight adjustment that was made too late to get into the M11 FAQ. See, "lethal damage" doesn't actually kill anything. That's just a cute terminology shorthand. No, the rules kill things. There's a state-based action (a rule that's checked at every opportunity) that says that if a creature has toughness greater than 0, and it's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked, it's destroyed.

Note that this part works on any damage from anything with deathtouch, not just on combat damage from a creature with deathtouch. The source with deathtouch doesn't even have to be on the battlefield!

There are wonky behind-the-scenes reasons why damage from a source with deathtouch can't just be lethal damage. I get that question a lot. The short answer is that lethal damage doesn't work like that. (OK, that's the short and unhelpful answer.) There actually is no rule that says "a creature that's been dealt lethal damage is destroyed." Because then you'd have to ask when, exactly, it was dealt lethal damage. Maybe it wasn't dealt that damage all at once. To get really tricky, imagine a 3/3 creature that's been dealt 2 damage ... and later in the turn, it gets -1/-1. Now it's a 2/2 creature with 2 damage marked on it, so it's destroyed—but it was never dealt lethal damage! So we have a more complex rule, and I'm totally fine with that. The important thing is that the end result is what you expect it to be.

The late change to this rule is that it now works only on creatures with toughness greater than 0. If a creature is dealt damage by a source with deathtouch, and that creature winds up with 0 or less toughness (perhaps because the source with deathtouch also has wither), the 0-toughness rule will put it directly into the graveyard. It's best to avoid the overlap between the deathtouch rule (which allows regeneration) and the 0-toughness rule (which doesn't), especially with things like Debt of Loyalty floating around.

Emblematic for the People

The other major rules change being enacted here involves emblems.

If you're wondering what an emblem is, you are correct: Until now, there's no such thing as emblems. Furthermore, there are no cards that create emblems ... or at least, there won't be any such cards until the Oracle update goes live this Friday. At that point, there will be one—and only one—card that can create an emblem: Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

The next Duel Decks product we're releasing is a knock-down drag-out between Elspeth and Tezzeret, so this gave us the opportunity to reexamine Elspeth's "ultimate" ability. In its first printing, it said "[-8]: For the rest of the game, artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control are indestructible." This affects any artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you happen to control at any point for the rest of the game, and only while you control them. If you play a land later, it's indestructible. If your opponent gains control of one of your creatures, it stops being indestructible.

This is, as we are all well aware, awesome. But it's also very limited. This ability works the way it does because the buff it's granting happens to be indestructibility, and indestructibility is weird. It isn't an ability that's granted to those permanents. It's not a keyword. It doesn't change anything's characteristics. It's just a true thing that affects the game rules. (I believe this would be a little easier to understand if it said "artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control can't be destroyed," because then it doesn't look like a keyword, but the word "indestructible" is too cool not to use.)

Anyway, Elspeth works fine. But what if we wanted to do the same kind of ability that granted flying? Or +2/+2? Or shroud? These are things that affect the characteristics of permanents, so they'd affect only what you controlled at the time the ability resolved. Permanents that came in later would be unaffected. Permanents that were affected that your opponents gained control of would retain the bonus. It'd work very differently even though it was worded just like Elspeth. Huh.

What Elspeth really wants to do is create a pseudo-enchantment with a static ability that works for the rest of the game. So ... an immutable enchantment. One that can't be destroyed, or stolen. Something like a Vanguard card that you get in the middle of the game rather than at the beginning. An object with an effect that hovers over the rest of the game. We can do this. We can invent emblems.

New Elspeth, Knight-Errant wording
[+1]: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield.
[+1]: Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.
[-8]: You get an emblem with "Artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control are indestructible."

An emblem is a new kind of object, different from a card or a token. It's basically a marker with an ability on it. In fact, the ability is the only characteristic it has. Emblems have no color, name, card type, or anything else—just that ability. They live in the command zone, which is the same place that Archenemy schemes, Planechase planes, Vanguard cards, and EDH generals hang out. They're not permanents, and absolutely nothing can touch them or get rid of them, simply because no cards say that they can.

This change is being implemented now because this is the last Comprehensive Rules update before Elspeth vs. Tezzeret comes out. It doesn't really functionally change Elspeth at all, so she might as well start doing her new thing right away. Does this mean there will be more emblem-creating planeswalkers in the future? Wait and see ....

Developing News

You may have thought emblems were odd, but I've saved the most unexpected news for last. This is the end of the Rules Managerial road for me, at least for a while. We're doing some internal juggling in R&D, and I'm about to begin a six-month stint as a developer. (Don't worry, that still means I get to thwart Mark Rosewater.) Oddly, my official job title is Developer, and has been for years, but I never actually get to do any development in the traditional sense. Well, until now. The inestimable Matt Tabak will be taking over for me as Rules Manager. I'm a bit concerned that he's not evil enough, but I've got just the Evilomatron (patent pending) for that ....

The Oracle updates go live on Friday, July 16. The new Comprehensive Rulebook will be up shortly after that. Note that changes to the Comprehensive Rules may wind up a bit different than what's posted here because the document needs to be run through Editing and a review process before it's finalized.


Artifact Ward
The Oracle wording grants the enchanted creature protection from artifacts. The printed wording doesn't, however. It's very close, but it shouldn't make Equipment that is already on that creature fall off. Like Argothian Pixies, this card is just going to list what it does.

New wording
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't be blocked by artifact creatures.
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to enchanted creature by artifact sources.
Enchanted creature can't be the target of abilities from artifact sources.

Blaze of Glory
As printed, Blaze of Glory says "target defending creature" and "Play before defense is chosen." The two things are mutually exclusive, but it does indicate that this should get a play restriction. The latter implies that this should say "Cast Blaze of Glory only before blockers are declared." The two together imply that this should say "Cast Blaze of Glory only during the declare attackers step," and that it should target a creature defending player controls. Also, the "must" in the Oracle wording is a nonstandard template.

New wording
Cast Blaze of Glory only during the declare attackers step.
Target creature defending player controls can block any number of creatures this turn. It blocks each attacking creature this turn if able.

Drain Power
All the printed wordings are very clear that all the mana that was in the targeted player's mana pool winds up in your mana pool. Not the same amount and type of mana—the actual, original mana. This could matter if some of that mana was generated by a snow permanent, or came from Boseiju, Who Shelters All, or you're trying to cast an Imperiosaur, for example. We're going to restore that aspect of the Fifth Edition wording and add rules support to cover it.

New wording
Target player activates a mana ability of each land he or she controls. Then put all mana from that player's mana pool into yours.

Dread Wight
The Oracle wording grants two abilities to the affected creatures. Preferably, it'd grant zero abilities to those creatures, since the printed wording didn't. Removing the first one is feasible. Removing the second one isn't worth the lengths we'd have to go to do it. But I'm happy making some progress. While we're here, changing the "all" in the first sentence to "each" makes that sentence more grammatically correct and easier to understand. (You're not putting a single counter on all of those creatures! They each get one!)

New wording
At end of combat, put a paralyzation counter on each creature blocking or blocked by Dread Wight and tap those creatures. Each of those creatures doesn't untap during its controller's untap step for as long as it has a paralyzation counter on it. Each of those creatures gains "{o4}: Remove a paralyzation counter from this creature."

Glyph of Reincarnation
First, the restriction on when you can cast this card has changed; the Oracle restriction doesn't match the printed one. We're restoring the printed functionality.

Second, there's been a functional change with how this card interacts with control-change scenarios. For example, let's say Matt Tabak attacks me with Runeclaw Bear. I block it with Wall of Omens, then I gain control of the Bear somehow. After combat, I cast Glyph of Reincarnation targeting the Wall of Omens. Based on the printed wording, the Bear is destroyed and Tabak gets a creature card (of my choice) from his graveyard. Based on the Oracle wording, however, the Bear is destroyed and I get a creature from my own graveyard. Such injustices shall not stand! Not, at least, while I can construct convoluted and contrived sentences to restore the card's original functionality (assuming, that is, a human being can parse the wording).

Just don't play Glyph of Reincarnation and everything's fine. You weren't playing it, were you? No, I didn't think so. Keep not doing that.

New wording
Cast Glyph of Reincarnation only after combat.
Destroy all creatures that were blocked by target Wall this turn. They can't be regenerated. For each creature put into a graveyard this way, put a creature card from the graveyard of the player who controlled that creature the last time it became blocked by that Wall onto the battlefield under its owner's control.

Goblin Shrine
Goblin Caves and Goblin Shrine were a pair of cards printed in The Dark. Each one enchants a land and, as originally printed, had an effect if the land it's enchanting is a basic Mountain. Goblin Shrine—but not Goblin Caves—was reprinted in Chronicles. The Chronicles version dropped the word "basic," which incurred a functional change and caused these two cards to work differently. We've decided to synch them up again, reinstating "basic" on Goblin Shrine to restore its original functionality. This overturns a decision we made during the Morningtide Oracle update, when we felt the "last printed wording wins" policy trumped the "matched pair" protocol. Sorry for being indecisive ... nah, no I'm not. Well, I guess I am. Maybe.

New wording
Enchant land
If enchanted land is a basic Mountain, Goblin creatures get +1/+0.
When Goblin Shrine leaves the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to each Goblin creature.

Instill Energy
The Alpha / Beta / Unlimited, Revised, and Fourth Edition versions of Instill Energy all said that the enchanted creature can attack the turn it enters the battlefield. In Fifth Edition, this somehow got transmuted into ignoring summoning sickness altogether, which is reflected in the current Oracle wording (which simply grants the enchanted creature haste). One of our strongest policies when it comes to determining Oracle wordings is to follow the last printed wording ... but that gets a lot looser when it comes to Fifth Edition. That set went a little loopy with the card revisions. In this case, we're going to invoke that Fifth Edition loophole and adhere to the other three versions, all of which are entirely consistent on this matter.

New wording
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can attack as though it had haste.
{o0}: Untap enchanted creature. Activate this ability only during your turn and only once each turn.

Kormus Bell
This card underwent an odd bit of evolution. On the Alpha / Beta / Unlimited version, Kormus Bell adamantly states that Swamps have no color and (since that's not clear enough, apparently) that they are not black. On the Revised version, no mention of color is made at all. The Swamps are still colorless (they're colorless by default), but Kormus Bell keeps its mouth shut about it. On the Fourth Edition version, Kormus Bell pulls a total reversal and turns the Swamps black!

The color-changing effect doesn't exist in Oracle. Our general policy, though, is to adhere to the last printed version of a card. Other considerations can trump that policy (as seen elsewhere in this bulletin), but since there are no such compelling circumstances with this card, Kormus Bell is getting its color-changing effect restored.

New wording
All Swamps are 1/1 black creatures that are still lands.

Miraculous Recovery
The current Oracle wording doesn't quite match the timing stated by the printed wording, which has two actions in sequence: first you put the creature card onto the battlefield, then you put a +1/+1 counter on it. This will be restored. Returning a 0/0 creature card to the battlefield this way (such as a Clone onto an empty board) still works, since state-based actions aren't checked until after Miraculous Recovery fully resolves. In fact, the functionality differences here are minimal, but they do exist. For example, returning an Eager Cadet to the battlefield with Miraculous Recovery should cause Sword of the Meek's ability to trigger. It wouldn't under the old Oracle wording, but it will now.

New wording
Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Put a +1/+1 counter on it.

Rukh Egg & Summoner's Egg
As you may have seen already, the M11 card Roc Egg has the creature type Bird, not Egg. Yes, the storied and illustrious creature type that is "Egg" has been decommissioned, and all the cards that were printed with it—wait, there's only one? And it's Rukh Egg? Which should obviously be the same creature type as Roc Egg? Oh, OK.

Egg was always a pretty silly creature type. Rukh Egg and Roc Egg are, essentially, very (very) young Birds, so they'll both have that creature type. Summoner's Egg was granted the creature type Egg during the Creature Type Update, but it was never printed like that. It'll now be a Construct.

Scarwood Bandits
As printed, Scarwood Bandits's ability targeted any artifact, and an opponent could counteract the effect by paying {2}. In Oracle, this changed. The ability could still target any artifact, but only that artifact's controller could counteract the effect by paying {2}. In most cases, this winds being the same—you're (probably) playing a two-player game, and you're (probably) trying to steal your opponent's artifact. But this plays differently in a multiplayer game, since Player B might not want you to take Player A's artifact. And it plays differently if you try to steal your own artifact. (For example, you cast Act of Treason to temporarily grab one of your opponent's artifact creatures, then you try to use the Bandits to give yourself control of that artifact permanently. It's a reasonable play, since only you could pay the {2} to negate the Bandits's ability, but that's not what the printed card says.) This one's changing back to match what it originally said.

New wording
{o2oG}, {oT}: Unless an opponent pays {o2}, gain control of target artifact for as long as Scarwood Bandits remains on the battlefield.

Splintering Wind
As printed, it appears that the leaves-the-battlefield ability was a delayed triggered ability that was part of the original token-making effect. So, for example, if you made a Splinter token, then Splintering Wind left the battlefield, then that token left the battlefield, the token would still deal 1 damage to you and each creature you control. And no other Splintering Winds on the battlefield would care.

The Oracle wording has the leaves-the-battlefield ability as a separate triggered ability. In the example above, the Splinter token would leave the battlefield without a peep, since Splintering Wind wouldn't be around to have its ability trigger. Worse, if there were three Splintering Winds on the battlefield when a Splinter left, the abilities of all three would trigger. This ability would even trigger if a Mirror Entity (or any other creature with all creature types) left the battlefield. That certainly doesn't seem right.

New wording
{o2oG}: Splintering Wind deals 1 damage to target creature. Put a 1/1 green Splinter creature token onto the battlefield. It has flying and "Cumulative upkeep {oG}." When it leaves the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to you and each creature you control. (At the beginning of its controller's upkeep, that player puts an age counter on it, then sacrifices it unless he or she pays its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)

Triassic Egg
The Chronicles wording of Triassic Egg did a wacky thing: It targeted a creature card in your hand or your graveyard. This is impossible; the cards in your hand are hidden, so none of them can be targeted. The Oracle wording abandoned the targeting concept altogether and just let you pick a creature card from your hand or your graveyard as the ability resolved.

We can get much closer to the last printed wording, though. The point of targeting a card is so all the players in the game know what the ability is going to do before it resolves, and they can react accordingly. At the time you activate the Chronicles-worded ability, you clearly have to pick a card in your hand or a card in your graveyard to target. So the hand/graveyard delineation is made, and known, at that point. We can mimic that with a modal ability. Although the ability can't actually target a card in your hand, it can certainly target a card in your graveyard, especially since that's now a separate mode.

The Chronicles wording also used the hatchling counters as an activation restriction on the second ability, but never actually removed them. The Oracle wording removes the counters as a handy shortcut. (If you have to remove two counters, there must be two counters on it. Check. Putting this requirement into the cost is easier to find than burying it as an activation restriction at the end of the ability. And Triassic Egg is heading to the graveyard anyway, so who cares whether you keep the counters on it.?) Well, something might actually care! If we don't have to change the activation restriction into a cost—and we don't—then we shouldn't.

New wording
{o3}, {oT}: Put a hatchling counter on Triassic Egg.
Sacrifice Triassic Egg: Choose one — You may put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield; or return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only if two or more hatchling counters are on Triassic Egg.

Vernal Equinox
The printed card allowed you to flash-ily play creature and enchantment spells. This means that you shouldn't be able to pop out Dryad Arbor this way. The way the Oracle wording is currently construed, though, you can do just that. If we change "play" to "cast," however, that loophole closes.

New wording
Any player may cast creature and enchantment cards as though they had flash.

Wild Mammoth
This has the same ambiguity problem that we fixed on Wild Dogs and Ghazbán Ogre in a recent update. Say one player controls more creatures than any other when the ability triggers, and a different player controls more creatures than any other when the ability resolves. Who is "that player"? The identity of the lucky, lucky winner of a Wild Mammoth now be clarified.

New wording
At the beginning of your upkeep, if a player controls more creatures than each other player, the player who controls the most creatures gains control of Wild Mammoth.

Worms of the Earth
I poked at this card during the Eventide update, getting it a little closer to its printed functionality. I've returned to it with the same purpose. Its second ability is worded as a replacement: "If a land would enter the battlefield, instead it doesn't." I think we can be more forceful, and just state outright that lands can't enter the battlefield.

There are some questions and ramifications related to this.

* If that's what the second ability says, does the seemingly redundant first ability ("Players can't play lands") need to be there at all?

I think so. Otherwise, I could announce that I'm playing a land, have the card fail to move from my hand to the battlefield, and never even get revealed. And yet I've used up my land drop. That can't be good.

* What happens if you cast a Clone and choose to have it copy Dryad Arbor?

Clone resolves, but can't enter the battlefield because it's a land.

* Does it get stuck on the stack?

It turns out we already have a rule in place to cover that case, because it can happen if Copy Enchantment resolves and tries to copy an Aura that can't enter the battlefield for some reason. (Perhaps the Aura is Tattoo Ward and there's only one creature on the battlefield ... and it's already enchanted with Tattoo Ward.) Rule 608.3b says that if a permanent spell resolves but its controller can't put it onto the battlefield, that player puts it into its owner's graveyard. I think the current wording of Worms of the Earth works no differently than the new wording in this respect, but I like this story.

* What happens if you put Clone directly onto the battlefield from some other zone and choose to have it copy Dryad Arbor?

It never actually makes it onto the battlefield and just remains in whatever zone it was coming from.

* What happens if a spell or ability (such as Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker's) tries to put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a land?

It fails; no token is created. A rule is being added to clearly state that.

The other change is that the third ability should deal damage, not be a life payment.

New wording
Players can't play lands.
Lands can't enter the battlefield.
At the beginning of each upkeep, any player may sacrifice two lands or have Worms of the Earth deal 5 damage to him or her. If a player does either, destroy Worms of the Earth.

UPDATE: As originally posted, this article incorrectly described the result of Glyph of Reincarnation's printed wording. The new Oracle wording is correct; only the explanation was wrong. It has now been corrected. Because we know you were worried.

Übertemplating Oracle Changes

Deathtouch reminder text
Hey, deathtouch has new reminder text! All cards in Oracle that already had deathtouch reminder text are being updated to use the new version. (Cards in Oracle with deathtouch, but without reminder text, aren't getting reminder text added on.)

Oracle doesn't actually need to have reminder text in it at all. But I like to keep it in, and keep it updated. When a player looks up a card in Gatherer, and the printed version has out-of-date reminder text on it (as Wren's Run Vanquisher does, for example), it's immensely helpful for that player to see the current reminder text right there in the Oracle wording.

Affected cards: Deadly Recluse, Giant Scorpion, Gift of the Deity, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Gorgon Flail, Grixis Grimblade, Kederekt Creeper, Lace with Moonglove, Moonglove Changeling, Moonglove Winnower, Pestilent Kathari, Thornweald Archer, Tidehollow Strix, Toxic Iguanar, Turntimber Basilisk, Vampire Nighthawk, Vectis Silencers, Winged Coatl, Wren's Run Packmaster, Wren's Run Vanquisher

Trample reminder text
We tweaked the trample reminder text as well. Since trample changes the process by which you assign a creature's combat damage, it should really say "assign" in its reminder text rather than "deal." That's what the M11 cards with trample say, so that's what the rest will say too.

Affected cards: Avatar of Might; Ball Lightning; Colossus of Sardia; Force of Nature; Loxodon Warhammer; Might Weaver; Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer; Overrun; Primal Rage; Rootbreaker Wurm; Spark Elemental; Stampeding Rhino; Stampeding Wildebeests; Treetop Village

Armageddon Clock & friends
Armageddon Clock is a permanent that deals damage to something equal to the number of counters of a certain kind on it. Different cards put those phrases in different order. Sphinx-Bone Wand says "Sphinx-Bone Wand deals damage [equal to the number of charge counters on it] [to target creature or player]." That's the most recent card of its ilk, and Lightning Reaver, the next-most-recent, is phrased the same way. Jinxed Choker, on the other hand, says "Jinxed Choker deals damage [to you] [equal to the number of charge counters on it]." Since "to you" is so short, that reads better than the alternative. But Armageddon Clock and a few other cards can be lined up better with the current wording.

Affected cards: Armageddon Clock, Time Bomb, Heliophial, Kjeldoran Javelineer

Ice Cagesque Cards
Ice Cage and Arrest put a comma in the sentence "Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated." Some older cards didn't. They're getting the comma to line up, and to be easier to read.

Affected cards: Gelid Shackles, Lost in Thought, Prison Term, Serra Bestiary, Volrath's Curse

Rebels & Mercenaries
In Time Spiral, we slightly modified the wording of the Rebels' search abilities. They used to say "put that card onto the battlefield" (actually, at the time, they said "put that card into play"), but cards like Amrou Seekers and the reprinted Defiant Vanguard said "put it onto the battlefield." We're now applying that change to the original Rebels and their frenemies, the Mercenaries.

Affected cards: Bog Glider; Cateran Brute; Cateran Enforcer; Cateran Kidnappers; Cateran Overlord; Cateran Persuader; Cateran Slaver; Defiant Falcon; Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero; Moggcatcher; Ramosian Captain; Ramosian Commander; Ramosian Lieutenant; Ramosian Sergeant; Ramosian Sky Marshal; Rathi Assassin; Rathi Fiend; Rathi Intimidator; Seahunter; Skyshroud Poacher

Reverent Mantra & friends
Some older cards that grant protection from a certain color to a bunch of cards use a wording that confused players. Reverent Mantra, for example, said "All creatures gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn." It's a bit unclear whether you choose a single color, or you choose a color per creature. (You choose a single color.) More modern cards, like Brave the Elements, use a different wording to eliminate the ambiguity. Brave the Elements says "Choose a color. White creatures you control gain protection from the chosen color until end of turn." Those older cards will be updated accordingly.

Affected cards: Akroma's Blessing, Aven Warcraft, Glory, Prismatic Boon, Reverent Mantra

Spells that cause creatures to become blocked
There are five such cards, and they're somewhat inconsistent with one another.

First, we're changing "attacking unblocked creature" to "unblocked attacking creature." This seems easier to grok.

Two of the cards were printed with reminder text stating that this kind of effect works on unblockable creatures. (So does a card like Flash Foliage; being unblockable makes a creature immune to the declare blockers action to the declare blockers step, but that's it.) One of them got that reminder text in Oracle, but the other two didn't. We're adding it to the other two cards.

Three of the cards were printed with play/activation restrictions. One of the other ones got the same restriction in Oracle, but it's wrong. (It added a functional change that it shouldn't have.) That card—Trap Runner—is getting its restriction changed, and a parallel restriction is being added to Curtain of Light. Neither of those cards actually needs the restriction at all; it's just there to clarify when an unblocked attacking creature exists. (They exist only during the declare blockers step, combat damage step, and end of combat step.) This is a traditional point of confusion; it's easy to believe that an "unblocked attacking creature" exists during the declare attackers step because the attacking creatures haven't been blocked yet. That's not the case, though. A creature doesn't become "unblocked" until it had a chance to become blocked and wasn't.

Fog Patch and Choking Vines remain unchanged, but Curtain of Light, Dazzling Beauty, and Trap Runner are getting new wordings.

New Curtain of Light wording
Activate this ability only during combat after blockers are declared.
Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. (This spell works on unblockable creatures.)
Draw a card.

New Dazzling Beauty wording
Cast Dazzling Beauty only during the declare blockers step.
Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. (This spell works on unblockable creatures.)
Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

New Trap Runner wording
{oT}: Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. Activate this ability only during combat after blockers are declared. (This ability works on unblockable creatures.)

"The card types are ..." reminder text
Some cards, such as Blood Oath and Tarmogoyf, were printed with helpful reminder text that tells you what the card types are. Then we invented new card types! The discrepancy can already be seen if you look at the printed Blood Oath; it says "(The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, and sorcery.)" No mention of tribals or planeswalkers. That's been updated in Oracle already.

The issue now is that we've got card types that are used in casual variants, but are completely irrelevant to the cards that have this reminder text. For their purposes, you never need to know that plane, vanguard, and scheme are card types—even if you're playing a Planar Magic, Vanguard, or Archenemy game!—because cards with those types can never be in a player's hand, graveyard, or library. So the current reminder text is wrong, but adding in the three new card types is pointless. What do to?

Senior editor Del Laugel solved the puzzle. These cards will now have the correct, and useful, reminder text "(Artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal are card types.)"

Affected cards: Blood Oath, Fertile Imagination, Holistic Wisdom, Mirror Golem, Tarmogoyf, and Vigean Intuition

"[Do something] unless you [do something else]" means the same thing as "You may [do something else]. If you don't, [do something]." Even though these two wordings are identical in function, sometimes one is clearer than, or sounds better than, the other. We're implementing an "unless" wording on three cards.

New Body Snatcher wording
When Body Snatcher enters the battlefield, exile it unless you discard a creature card.
When Body Snatcher is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile Body Snatcher and return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

New Mana Vortex wording
When you cast Mana Vortex, counter it unless you sacrifice a land.
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a land.
When there are no lands on the battlefield, sacrifice Mana Vortex.

New Warping Wurm wording
Phasing (This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, Warping Wurm phases out unless you pay {o2oGoU}.
When Warping Wurm phases in, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

Other Nonfunctional Oracle Changes

Elixir of Immortality
This is a new M11 card, and it has a problem. When creating the wording for this card, we neglected to consider the case in which you control Elixir of Immortality, but you don't own it. You certainly don't get to shuffle Elixir of Immortality into your own library in this case. Rule 400.3 says "If an object would go to any library, graveyard, or hand other than its owner's, it goes to its owner's corresponding zone." Still, we don't like to rely on players knowing that rule, and we do like cards to say what they actually do, so the Elixir is getting immediate errata.

Once that was determined, we had two further questions to consider:

1) Who does the shuffling? (Cosi's Trickster wants to know.)

2) Say you both own and control Elixir of Immortality, and you activate its ability. How many shuffles are there? That is, do you shuffle the Elixir into its owner's library and, as a separate action, shuffle your graveyard into your library? (Cosi's Trickster wants to know that too. Tricksters are notoriously curious.)

Based on the printed wording, the answers are 1) the controller of Elixir of Immortality's ability, not the owner of Elixir of Immortality, does the shuffling, and 2) There's just one shuffle in that case.

We wound up with the following wording, which should be more accurate—but no functionally different—than what you'll find in your M11 packs.

New wording
{o2}, {oT}: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into their owner's library.

Assembly Hall
This is another change from "reveal the card" to "reveal it." Infernal Tutor and Remembrance say "reveal it" following a search for a card with the same name as something else.

New wording
{o4}, {oT}: Reveal a creature card in your hand. Search your library for a card with the same name as that card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

Balduvian Shaman
For the sake of the last few shreds of my own sanity, let's ignore everything this card does. The only issue here is the card's first reminder text. (Yes, really. Its first reminder text. It has two separate pieces of reminder text.) This reminder text demonstrates, by example, what its text-changing ability does. In Oracle, this was unchanged from the way it appears on the printed card: It let you know that one of your options with Balduvian Shaman's ability could be to change the text "counters black spells" to the text "counters blue spells." Okay ... except that text makes no sense! Not only does it not appear on any Magic card (let alone on a white enchantment, which is all you can affect with Balduvian Shaman's ability), it can't appear on a Magic card. What kind of ability would say "counters black spells" on it? "If a Rigger you control would assemble a Contraption, it counters black spells instead"? We're replacing that reminder text with a more realistic example (because, as we all know, Balduvian Shaman is all about the realistic game scenarios) pulled from part of Light of Day's ability.

New wording
{oT}: Change the text of target white enchantment you control that doesn't have cumulative upkeep by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (For example, you may change "black creatures can't attack" to "blue creatures can't attack.") That enchantment gains "Cumulative upkeep {o1}." (At the beginning of its controller's upkeep, that player puts an age counter on it, then sacrifices it unless he or she pays its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)

Bargaining Table
At some point, Bargaining Table got some clarification text in Oracle stating that X is the number of cards in an opponent's hand "as you activate this ability." Well, sure ... that's when you need to know what X is, because that's when you're paying the cost. The card was printed without this text, and it doesn't seem necessary. Other similar cards like Chromatic Armor and Soul Foundry don't have it. So it's being deleted.

New wording
{oX}, {oT}: Draw a card. X is the number of cards in an opponent's hand.

Basalt Monolith
The order of its abilities is being juggled a little.

New wording
Basalt Monolith doesn't untap during your untap step.
{oT}: Add {o3} to your mana pool.
{o3}: Untap Basalt Monolith.

Bronze Horse, Spirit of Resistance, & Thunderstaff
These cards all have static abilities that create prevention effects. They start with "if," as many such abilities do, but it's a different kind of "if." The condition the "if" clause checks isn't a this-effect-works-at-this-specific-point-in-time condition of "if damage would be dealt to [this creature]," but is instead a check-this-all-the-time-to-see-if-this-ability-is-"turned on" condition. And that should start with "as long as."

Thunderstaff is more complex, since it actually starts with both. It's being broken up into an "as long as" bit and an "if" bit.

New Bronze Horse wording
As long as you control another creature, prevent all damage that would be dealt to Bronze Horse by spells that target it.

New Spirit of Resistance wording
As long as you control a permanent of each color, prevent all damage that would be dealt to you.

New Thunderstaff wording
As long as Thunderstaff is untapped, if a creature would deal combat damage to you, prevent 1 of that damage.
{o2}, {oT}: Attacking creatures get +1/+0 until end of turn.

There's a family of cards that refer to two different creatures and have to go to great lengths to distinguish which creature it's referring to at any given time. For example, the Oracle wording of Venom says "Whenever enchanted creature blocks or becomes blocked by a non-Wall creature, destroy the other creature at end of combat." All such cards use "the other creature," except for Charisma, which uses "the second creature." Just to be consistent, Charisma is changing to match the rest.

New wording
Enchant creature
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage to a creature, gain control of the other creature for as long as Charisma remains on the battlefield.

Duplicity & Gustha's Scepter
The way the last ability of each of these cards is worded assumes that cards owned by multiple different players have been exiled. This is entirely possible (due to different players gaining control of the permanent and using it), but it's certainly not the likely scenario by any means. In these cases, our policy is to word the card assuming there's just one player involved. (See Khalni Gem for an example of a card that assumes one player owns all the relevant cards; see Whiplash Trap for an example of a card that doesn't make that assumption.) The cards work exactly the same regardless of this wording choice; this is just a decision based on what we think is less confusing given the circumstances. Duplicity and Gustha's Scepter will now match Knowledge Vault and Kyren Archive in this respect.

New Duplicity wording
When Duplicity enters the battlefield, exile the top five cards of your library face down.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may exile all cards from your hand face down. If you do, put all other cards you own exiled with Duplicity into your hand.
At the beginning of your end step, discard a card.
When you lose control of Duplicity, put all cards exiled with Duplicity into their owner's graveyard.

New Gustha's Scepter wording
{oT}: Exile a card from your hand face down. You may look at it for as long as it remains exiled.
{oT}: Return a card you own exiled with Gustha's Scepter to your hand.
When you lose control of Gustha's Scepter, put all cards exiled with Gustha's Scepter into their owner's graveyard.

Eye of Yawgmoth
This had a weird wording; it instructed you to reveal cards equal to something. We're adding "a number of" to the wording so it reads better.

New wording
{o3}, {oT}, Sacrifice a creature: Reveal a number of cards from the top of your library equal to the sacrificed creature's power. Put one into your hand and exile the rest.

Juniper Order Advocate & Spectral Guardian
"As long as [this permanent] is untapped" is frontloaded on all other cards with that wording. It makes it easier to immediately discern whether you need to keep reading the ability. This change also puts "shroud" right next to its reminder text on Spectral Guardian's Oracle wording.

New Juniper Order Advocate wording
As long as Juniper Order Advocate is untapped, green creatures you control get +1/+1.

New Spectral Guardian wording
As long as Spectral Guardian is untapped, noncreature artifacts have shroud. (They can't be the targets of spells or abilities.)

Obelisk of Undoing
The Obelisk's ability affects permanents you both own and control. But it says only that it affects permanents "you own and control." You know what would make this easier to understand? Saying it affects permanents you both own and control. (Remove Enchantments already says that, and nothing Remove Enchantments does can possibly be ludicrous.)

New wording
{o6}, {oT}: Return target permanent you both own and control to your hand.

Ogre Marauder
The ability that Ogre Marauder grants itself is "Ogre Marauder can't be blocked." This is unusual, though. If there was a qualifier on there, like "Ogre Marauder can't be blocked by blue creatures," or "Ogre Marauder can't be blocked except by two or more creatures," it'd be fine. But in the general case, we always say "Ogre Marauder is unblockable."

New wording
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it gains "Ogre Marauder is unblockable" until end of turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.

Orim's Cure & Sivvi's Valor
A whopping 82 cards say "You may [pay some alternative cost] rather than pay [this card]'s mana cost." Only two cards say "You may [pay some alternative cost] rather than pay the mana cost of [this card]." Those two cards are Orim's Cure and Sivvi's Valor, and they have a nonstandard wording to avoid back-to-back possessive words. We've used that construction elsewhere, though (Hibernation's End mentions "Hibernation's End's cumulative upkeep"), so there's no reason to dodge that here. Usually we just avoid card names like this when we know they'll be used in this manner.

New Orim's Cure wording
If you control a Plains, you may tap an untapped creature you control rather than pay Orim's Cure's mana cost.
Prevent the next 4 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.

New Sivvi's Valor wording
If you control a Plains, you may tap an untapped creature you control rather than pay Sivvi's Valor's mana cost.
All damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn is dealt to you instead.

Phyrexian Driver
This card had an unnecessary "all"; it's been deleted.

New wording
When Phyrexian Driver enters the battlefield, other Mercenary creatures get +1/+1 until end of turn.

Primal Clay
Back when Primal Clay was printed, artifact creatures didn't get creature types other than Wall. Obsianus Golem wasn't even a Golem back then! Wall was functionally relevant, of course; this was years before defender, and "Wall" incorporated the ability "This creature can't attack." At the time, Primal Clay could be a 3/3 creature-typeless artifact creature, a 2/2 creature-typeless artifact creature with flying, or a 1/6 Wall artifact creature.

We live in a more enlightened society now. Barbers and doctors are distinct professions. My cat's Netflix membership auto-rebills. And all creatures have creature types. Primal Clay is now always a Shapeshifter ... and sometimes it's a Wall too. Its current wording expresses this awkwardly, so we're trying something new.

New wording
As Primal Clay enters the battlefield, it becomes your choice of a 3/3 artifact creature, a 2/2 artifact creature with flying, or a 1/6 Wall artifact creature with defender in addition to its other types.

Changing "for each one" to "for each permanent." This wording matches Reprocess, for example.

New wording
Sacrifice any number of permanents. You gain 2 life for each permanent sacrificed this way.

Rockslide Ambush & Spitting Earth
These two cards have the same wording as one another, and their abilities are functionally identical to the M10 card Seismic Strike. The former two are being updated to match the newer card.

New Rockslide Ambush wording
Rockslide Ambush deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.

New Spitting Earth wording
Spitting Earth deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.

The wording was slightly off. Plenty of cards have you look at the top few cards of your library, then put them back in any order. Except for Soothsaying, they all say it like that: Clearly sequential, with a comma and the word "then."

New wording
{o3oUoU}: Shuffle your library.
{oX}: Look at the top X cards of your library, then put them back in any order.

Static Orb
Winter Orb's and Storage Matrix's static abilities start with "As long as [this permanent] is untapped," but Static Orb's similar ability started with "if." Static Orb (which should really know better regarding static abilities) is being changed to match.

New wording
As long as Static Orb is untapped, players can't untap more than two permanents during their untap steps.

Stronghold Gambit
In its current wording, the third sentence goes out of its way to state who does the putting of the permanents, but then the last sentence switches over to passive voice and leaves you in the dark. Sure, you can infer who does what, but it's an odd construction. Moreover, there's a way to word this card that negates the need for a separate sentence regulating what happens in case of a tie.

New wording
Each player chooses a card in his or her hand. Then each player reveals his or her chosen card. The owner of each creature card revealed this way with the lowest converted mana cost puts it onto the battlefield.

Thieves' Auction
"Those cards" doesn't have a particularly good antecedent, so it's getting changed to "all cards exiled this way."

New wording
Exile all nontoken permanents. Starting with you, each player chooses one of the exiled cards and puts it onto the battlefield tapped under his or her control. Repeat this process until all cards exiled this way have been chosen.

Venomous Breath
Venomous Breath's effect creates a delayed triggered ability. You cast the spell. The spell resolves. Then, at end of combat, its delayed triggered ability triggers and goes on the stack. Then the ability resolves. Lots of cards do this. No big deal.

What lots of cards don't do, however, is have a target inside the delayed triggered ability. This is verboten, because it's wildly ambiguous (and has been the subject of fevered debates within R&D over the past few months). Here's how Venomous Breath was printed:

At end of combat, destroy all creatures that blocked or were blocked by target creature this turn.

You could interpret this in two ways:

As you cast Venomous Breath, you choose a target creature. That's what you do as you cast a spell that says "target [something]" in it. Venomous Breath resolves and does nothing at that time (other than creating its delayed triggered ability). Later, at end of combat, the delayed triggered ability triggers. When it resolves, it destroys all creatures that blocked or were blocked by the previously chosen creature this turn.

2) As you cast Venomous Breath, you do nothing. You don't choose a target because that's the delayed triggered ability's target. Venomous Breath resolves and does nothing at that time (other than creating its delayed triggered ability). Later, at end of combat, the delayed triggered ability triggers. As you put it on the stack, you choose a target. When the ability resolves, it destroys all creatures that blocked or were blocked by the targeted creature this turn.

I believe the correct interpretation here is #1, so it's getting a new wording to make that clear.

New wording
Choose target creature. At end of combat, destroy all creatures that blocked or were blocked by it this turn.

Worldly Tutor
The second sentence was slightly off; it's being changed to match Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, and others.

New wording
Search your library for a creature card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

Table of Contents
I currently have the "Emblem" section as rule 113, inserting it after "Abilities" (at the tail end of the list of things that qualify as objects) and before "Targets." The rest of the 100's all get bumped down and renumbered accordingly.

104.4b (revised) & 104.4f (new)
These are rules in the "how the game ends in a draw" section. This section currently says that if there's an unbreakable loop of mandatory actions, the game ends in a draw. That's fine in a game where everyone can affect everything, but in a Grand Melee game, for instance, that's not fair at all. Now the aforementioned rule will be true only in a two-player game or a multiplayer game with no range of influence. In a multiplayer game using range of influence, only the people able to touch the loop draw the game. (They leave the game having neither won nor lost it.) The people halfway across the table get to keep playing. The old rules 104.4f & g are getting renumbered to 104.4g & h.

This is the rules support being added to handle Drain Power's wacky mana-moving functionality. See the Functional Oracle Changes section for more details.

Four cards let you pay half your life total, an action that isn't well defined if your life total is negative. After moving some words in this rule around, I think it will be clear that you can perform the "what's half my life total?" calculation on a negative number to yield a negative number, which you then won't be able to pay as a cost.

Emblem is being added to the list of objects.

This rule refers to an object's would-be controller (if a player is attempting to cast or activate it). It's missing "play," which is necessary if that object is a land, so that's being added in.

This is a new rule that states that if a spell or ability would create a token, but an effect states that a permanent with one or more of that token's characteristics can't enter the battlefield, the token is not created. (As mentioned in the Worms of the Earth notes in the Functional Oracle Changes section.) The old 110.5d-f are each getting bumped down a letter.

112.3b, 602.1, Glossary entry of "Activated Ability"
These rules described activated abilities as taking the form "[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation restriction (if any).]" That last bit wasn't accurate, and is now being called [Activation instructions (if any)]. This covers restrictions ("Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery"), but also who gets to activate it ("Any player may activate this ability"), which clearly isn't a restriction, and stipulations about the activation cost ("X is the number of cards in an opponent's hand.")

In addition, the old 602.1 was broken in half. Part of it became 602.1a, and a new 602.1b was created to cover these activation instructions. The old 602.1a & b were bumped down to c &d.

Emblems were added to the list of objects whose abilities function in the command zone.

This section was added to cover emblems. The old 113 through the old 120 are the new 114 through the new 121.

This is a new rule in the "Life" section. It states that "Whenever [a player] gains life, ..." abilities are treated as though they are written, "Whenever a source causes [a player] to gain life, ...", with an Ajani's Pridemate example to boot.

Rule 120.3 in the "Drawing a Card" section states that you can choose to draw a card even if your library is empty (hey, maybe you've got a replacement effect like the one from Words of War), but not if an effect says you can't draw (like mean ol' Maralen of the Mornsong). This new subrule extends that to the case when the player with the option and the player who would draw the card are different—a case Dire Undercurrents knows quite well.

This rule is about the use of card names in abilities—specifically, that if an ability of an object refers to that object by name, and another object winds up with that ability, the new object's ability will refer to the new object accordingly. It's a Quicksilver Elemental rule. What this rule didn't cover, though, was the case in which an object with such an ability changed its name and gave that ability to its new-named self! Think Dimir Doppelganger copying a Runeclaw Bear.

Egg has been beaten off the creature type list. It's been whisked away. It was clearly broken. (I know, I'm cracked.)

This rule was written a bit too wishy-washy, what with its "implies" and "treated as." It'll have the same content, just more forceful and definitive. Like me, after I listen to my Arnold Schwarzenegger "Be You But Better" series of motivational tapes.

Previously, the command zone was used only in casual variants like Archenemy and EDH. Now that emblems are using it like a real zone, some of the descriptions of this zone have to change.

There's been a huge debate raging on the message boards regarding Desertion and kicker. If you cast a creature with kicker, and I cast Desertion to counter it and put that creature on the battlefield, does the creature enter the battlefield kicked? The answer is no. This rule seems to imply that maybe the answer is yes, but that reading will be shut down. Abilities of a permanent that care about choices made when it was cast get those answers only if the permanent is a result of that spell resolving.

This is the command zone section. The description of the zone is changing, and it's getting a subrule about emblems.

This rule needs to state that the archenemy sets a scheme in motion only during his or her precombat main phase. That detail was inadvertently left out of this rule. (It was stated elsewhere, like in 703.4d.)

This rule had a typo in its number.

The rule will state that permanents that phase out are removed from combat.

These are the revised deathtouch rules.

There was a weird little loophole in the cumulative upkeep rules. Say you control a permanent with cumulative upkeep. At the beginning of your upkeep, the ability triggers. It somehow leaves the battlefield in response. Now the cumulative upkeep ability resolves. You can't add an age counter to the permanent, of course ... but if you want, you can still pay the upkeep cost based on the last known information regarding how many age counters are on it. That seems silly, right? Who would want to pay a cost for a permanent you no longer have? Well, you would, if that "cost" was giving you free stuff like Herald of Leshrac or Braid of Fire did. That's certainly unintended and unintuitive, though, so the rule's being changed. You can pay the cost only if the permanent is still on the battlefield.

The ninjutsu rules stated that you had to return an "unblocked creature" you control to its owner's hand. Just to be helpful, it will now say "unblocked attacking creature."

Finally! This has got to be important! This is ... the epic rule! Oh, wait, it's just the rule about epic. It's getting a minor description change regarding the delayed triggered ability part.

This is the deathtouch tweak mentioned on the front page. This state-based action will kick in only if the creature dealt damage by a source with deathtouch has toughness greater than 0.

This rule, egregiously left out of the Archenemy rules update, states that if you begin a subgame of an Archenemy game, the archenemy brings his or her scheme deck along (but not the ongoing schemes that are currently face up in the main game). Phew! You can dig out your Shahrazads now!

A minor tweak to go along with the draw rules mentioned above.

This rule, about illegal actions, already stated that actions that moved cards into a library, or moved from a library to a zone other than the stack, can't be reversed. It will now say that actions that cause a library to be shuffled can't be reversed either.

Various 807.4 subrules
One of the massive headaches intriguing pickles that's come up over the past couple of months is what happens in a Grand Melee game if one person has a Darksteel Reactor with 20 charge counters on it. Unlike many similar "you win" cards, which trigger and resolve at the beginning of your upkeep, Darksteel Reactor has a state trigger that pops whenever you have 20 counters on it. So it'll trigger and resolve and you win! However, in a multiplayer game using the limited range of influence option, "you win" actually means "your neighbors lose." So in that scenario, Darksteel Reactor triggers and resolves and eliminates a couple of players ... then triggers and resolves again ... and again ... and again ... (it still has 20 charge counters on it!) ... and again ...

This shouldn't be an auto-win in a 120-person game, though, especially since the vast majority of the players it would mow down wouldn't even get the chance to try to deal with it. They enter the range of influence ... and get Reacted right out of the game. Ugh. The revisions and new rules in this section are my attempt to stymie that, basically by not allowing new players to enter the range of influence until the next turn begins. Then, since the Reactor player's turn can't end (he or she is in a one-player loop), his or her game ends in a draw and everyone else keeps playing. There are ramifications to this, of course. I can't attack the player to my left, eliminate that player, then cast Relentless Assault and immediately go after the new player to my left. But I think the slow-it-down philosophy is necessary to prevent the really game-breaking shenanigans.

Since this section of the rulebook doesn't get a lot of scrutiny, and I made the mistake of looking straight at it, I also found myself compelled to add details, cover some cases regarding turn marker passing that weren't mentioned, correct a contradiction between adjacent rules that I can't believe I hadn't noticed before, and so on.

Glossary: Emblem

Glossary: Command

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