Magic 2014 Update Bulletin

Posted in Feature on July 12, 2013

By Matt Tabak

Matt Tabak is the reigning, defending, and undisputed rules manager for Magic: The Gathering, Kaijudo, and Duel Masters. Matt Tabak is Gruul. Matt Tabak tries to laugh, think, and cry every day. Matt Tabak is hungry. Matt Tabak doesn't want you to sass him. Matt Tabak loves puppies.

Four years ago, the Magic 2010 rules changes hit, revolutionizing not only what a core set could be, but redefining the game as we know it. It helped pave the way to unprecedented growth and success for Magic since then. This year's core set update isn't quite that dramatic, but it does includea significant set of changes, and it's time to review them with all of you.

Thanks to Magic 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers on sale on a variety of formats, some of the new rules have been known for a while now. I wrote a preview article a while back, but now it's time for the whole enchilada. Several cards received new Oracle wordings to reflect the rules changes, including all cards that mentioned indestructible or unblockable.

In addition to the cards that were updated due to the rules changes, we poked our heads under the hood and changed a handful of other cards, too. Some nonstandard templates were brought in line. Some mistakes were corrected. Fun was had. As always, my thanks go out to the players, judges, rules enthusiasts, and anyone else who took the time to let us know about cards they felt needed a good scrubbing.

The work you see here is possible only through the efforts of many, from the templating team to rules gurus around the world. Unfortunately for them, I get to write the article, so I get to plug my social media contacts. If there's an Oracle wording or rule you think isn't quite as awesome as it could be, let me know about it. What do you think of the changes? What new decks are you thinking about? What would you use to get stains out of silk? Reply to this article using those links down there. I'm excited to hear your feedback.

The rules changes detailed within take effect on July 13. That's this Saturday! I hope that most of you will be enjoying the Magic 2014 Prerelease at a game store or other location near you.

Oracle Changes

Indestructible (functional)

What is Oracle?

Magic is a game made up of more than 12,000 interchangeable pieces—the cards. Over the years, we've felt the need to update the wordings of older cards, whether because we've introduced a new keyword, or a card was printed with a mistake, or we have a clearer wording for what a card does, etc. Rather than sneak into your room at night and change your cards with a magic marker, we keep a database of the "modern wordings" (what the cards would say if we printed them today) of every tournament-legal card ever printed. These wordings are considered the official wordings of the cards, and accurately reflect their functions.

You can access a card's Oracle wording by looking it up in Gatherer.

Now that indestructible is a keyword, the way it's used in templates changes. Below is a sampling of the sixty-two cards that received new wordings:

Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Flying, vigilance, indestructible
Other permanents you control have indestructible.

Darksteel Plate
Indestructible
Equipped creature has indestructible.
Equip {o2}

Boros Charm
Choose one — Boros Charm deals 4 damage to target player; or permanents you control gain indestructible until end of turn; or target creature gains double strike until end of turn.




Can't be blocked (nonfunctional)

In the other big terminology change this time around, 122 cards were updated by replacing "unblockable" with "can't be blocked." This includes the reminder text of landwalk abilities.




Convoke reminder text (functional)

With the retooling of convoke, new reminder text is required. It's no longer a cost-reduction ability. I don't want to scoop myself, but check out the Comprehensive Rules changes on the next page. Eighteen cards were changed.

Old reminder text:
(Each creature you tap while casting this spell reduces its cost by {o1} or by one mana of that creature's color.)

New reminder text:
(Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {o1} or one mana of that creature's color.)




Delve reminder text (functional)

The three cards with delve received new reminder text to reflect the changes to that ability.

Old reminder text:
(You may exile any number of cards from your graveyard as you cast this spell. It costs {o1} less to cast for each card exiled this way.)

New reminder text:
(Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for {o1}.)




Anti-Magic Aura (nonfunctional... I think)

This card experienced a bit of Oracle drift between its two printings. The Fifth Edition version assumes constant Aura targeting, which is clearly not compatible with the modern system. All in all, I think there's a better template we could use.

Old wording:
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't be the target of spells and can't be enchanted. This effect doesn't remove Anti-Magic Aura.

New wording:
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't be the target of spells and can't be enchanted by other Auras.




Chaos Orb (functional)

This wacky old-timer may seem like we're jumping into the deep end, but this change is fairly benign. We've long interpreted the word "cards" on older, um... cards, to mean "nontoken permanents." For some reason, Chaos Orb has escaped this treatment, despite clearly saying "cards" in its printed wording.

Old wording:
{o1}, {oT}: If Chaos Orb is on the battlefield, flip Chaos Orb onto the battlefield from a height of at least one foot. If Chaos Orb turns over completely at least once during the flip, destroy all permanents it touches. Then destroy Chaos Orb.

New wording:
{o1}, {oT}: If Chaos Orb is on the battlefield, flip Chaos Orb onto the battlefield from a height of at least one foot. If Chaos Orb turns over completely at least once during the flip, destroy all nontoken permanents it touches. Then destroy Chaos Orb.




Contested Cliffs & Triangle of War (nonfunctional)

These two cards were updated to use fight a while back, but they didn't do so in the most clear and efficient way. They've both received a new, shorter template.

Contested Cliffs

Old wording:
{oT}: Add {o1} to your mana pool.
{oRoG}, {oT}: Choose target Beast creature you control and target creature an opponent controls. Those creatures fight each other. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

New wording:
{oT}: Add {o1} to your mana pool.
{oRoG}, {oT}: Target Beast creature you control fights target creature an opponent controls. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

Triangle of War

Old wording:
{o2}, Sacrifice Triangle of War: Choose target creature you control and target creature an opponent controls. Those creatures fight each other. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

New wording:
{o2}, Sacrifice Triangle of War: Target creature you control fights target creature an opponent controls. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)




Dread Charge (nonfunctional)

This Oracle wording of this Portal card was clearly based on its printed text, but that left it with a weird, nonstandard template. Usually, when we talk about this sort of effect, we use "can't be blocked this turn except by..."

Old wording:
Until end of turn, black creatures you control can be blocked only by black creatures.

New wording:
Black creatures you control can't be blocked this turn except by black creatures.




Duplicant (functional, sort of)

As you'll read in the Comprehensive Rules section (you will read that part too, right?), our favorite friend Strionic Resonator can do some wacky things with cards that have imprint abilities. Cards that were meant to only have one exiled card can now have two or more. In most cases, that's fine, a rules tweak lets those cards take advantage of that, but Duplicant is a bit different. It's the one card of the bunch that doesn't react well to exiling multiple creature cards. It simply can't have multiple powers and toughnesses. Back before linked abilities were codified, this was solved by having Duplicant get the power, toughness, and creature types of the last creature card it exiled. We're using that solution again, updated with modern terminology.

Old wording:
Imprint—When Duplicant enters the battlefield, you may exile target nontoken creature.
As long as the exiled card is a creature card, Duplicant has that card's power, toughness, and creature types. It's still a Shapeshifter.

New wording:
Imprint—When Duplicant enters the battlefield, you may exile target nontoken creature.
As long as a card exiled with Duplicant is a creature card, Duplicant has the power, toughness, and creature types of the last creature card exiled with Duplicant. It's still a Shapeshifter.




Non-mana costs to attack or block (nonfunctional)

Previously, if an effect imposed a cost on a creature attacking or blocking, we'd use the reminder text "(This cost is paid as attackers are declared.)." It fell out of favor over time, because players pretty much understood when to make these payments. But it turns out that might only be true for mana payments. There are a few cards with weird attacking or blocking costs, and we felt the reminder text would be helpful there.

The following cards are affected:

Exalted Dragon
Flooded Woodlands
Hollow Warrior (this one gets "This cost paid as attackers or blockers are declared.")
Leviathan
Reclamation



Fire Dragon (nonfunctional)

All the past updates are kind of a blur, but at some point we lined up the text of spells like Spitting Earth that dealt damage to a target based on a number of something. Fire Dragon proved elusive and hid out in its lair to avoid this update, but we finally caught up with it.

Old wording:
Flying
When Fire Dragon enters the battlefield, it deals damage equal to the number of Mountains you control to target creature.

New wording:
Flying
When Fire Dragon enters the battlefield, it deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.




Effects that put tokens onto the battlefield controlled by another player(nonfunctional)

Several cards, including the Hunted cycle from Ravnica, instructed a player to put a token onto the battlefield under another player's control. The rules now say that a token is owned by the person under whose control it entered the battlefield, so it seemed a little confusing for a player who wasn't the token's owner to do this. These cards are being changed to just have the owner put the token onto the battlefield.

Forbidden Orchard

Old wording:
{oT}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
Whenever you tap Forbidden Orchard for mana, put a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token onto the battlefield under target opponent's control.

New wording:
{oT}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
Whenever you tap Forbidden Orchard for mana, target opponent puts a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token onto the battlefield.

The Hunted Cycle

Old wording:
Flying, haste
When Hunted Dragon enters the battlefield, put three 2/2 white Knight creature tokens with first strike onto the battlefield under target opponent's control.

New wording:
Flying, haste
When Hunted Dragon enters the battlefield, target opponent puts three 2/2 white Knight creature tokens with first strike onto the battlefield.

Similar updates were made to Hunted Horror, Hunted Lammasu, Hunted Phantasm, and Hunted Troll.

Phantasmal Sphere

Note: Due to (spins Wheel of Excuses...) a solar coronal mass ejection, the update of this card didn't get in this update. Well, here's a preview and we'll clean it up in the Theros update.

Old Wording
Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on Phantasmal Sphere, then sacrifice Phantasmal Sphere unless you pay {o1} for each +1/+1 counter on it.
When Phantasmal Sphere leaves the battlefield, put a blue Orb creature token with flying onto the battlefield under target opponent's control. That creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on Phantasmal Sphere.

New Wording
Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on Phantasmal Sphere, then sacrifice Phantasmal Sphere unless you pay {o1} for each +1/+1 counter on it.
When Phantasmal Sphere leaves the battlefield, target opponent puts a blue Orb creature token with flying onto the battlefield. That creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on Phantasmal Sphere.

Varchild's War-Riders

Old Wording
Cumulative upkeep—Put a 1/1 red Survivor creature token onto the battlefield under an opponent's control. (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
Trample; rampage 1 (Whenever this creature becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature blocking it beyond the first.)

New Wording
Cumulative upkeep—Have an opponent put a 1/1 red Survivor creature token onto the battlefield. (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
Trample; rampage 1 (Whenever this creature becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature blocking it beyond the first.)




Gaea's Touch (functional)

When thinking about changing rules governing playing additional lands, I knew Gaea's Touch was always going to be the problem child. It puts a qualifier on the additional land: it has to be a basic Forest. The temporal mechanics didn't quite work out. But, I wasn't going to let one oddball card stop a sensible rules overhaul. I thought about its Oracle text for a while, but the real key was actually in its printed text. Well that doesn't look much like a land play at all. I had my answer, and the rest of R&D agreed. It's a slight change, and probably a larger one than we'd make if it weren't for the rules change, but it remains true to the spirit of the card.

Old Wording
You may play an additional land during your turn if that land is a basic Forest.
Sacrifice Gaea's Touch: Add {oGoG} to your mana pool.

New Wording
{o0}: You may put a basic Forest card from your hand onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery and only once each turn.
Sacrifice Gaea's Touch: Add {oGoG} to your mana pool.




Knucklebone Witch (nonfunctional)

In the last update, we removed the "dies" template from Boggart Shenanigans because it was clearly meant to interact with tribal Goblins. Well, this Boggart called shenanigans, so we gave it the same treatment.

Old Wording
Whenever a Goblin you control dies, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Knucklebone Witch.

New Wording
Whenever a Goblin you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Knucklebone Witch.




O-Naginata (nonfunctional)

Oh, O-Naginata... this sword had a funny way of referring to creatures with power 3 or greater.

Old Wording
O-Naginata can be attached only to a creature with 3 or more power.
Equipped creature gets +3/+0 and has trample.
Equip {o2} ({o2}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

New Wording
O-Naginata can be attached only to a creature with power 3 or greater.
Equipped creature gets +3/+0 and has trample.
Equip {o2} ({o2}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)




Preacher (nonfunctional)

We looked at this card originally because the "that" was nonstandard. After a bit of research, we gave it a slightly clearer template based on Giant Oyster. Evangelize also received a minor update to remove the errant "that."

Old Wording
You may choose not to untap Preacher during your untap step.
{oT}: Gain control of target creature of an opponent's choice that he or she controls for as long as Preacher remains tapped.

New Wording
You may choose not to untap Preacher during your untap step.
{oT}: For as long as Preacher remains tapped, gain control of target creature of an opponent's choice he or she controls.




Sabertooth Cobra (nonfunctional)

After the Cobra bites you, you have until your next upkeep to pay mana for the antidote. The three other cards that involve this special action refer to "that step." For some reason, Sabertooth Cobra used "that turn," so we're lining it up.

Old Wording
Whenever Sabertooth Cobra deals damage to a player, he or she gets a poison counter. That player gets another poison counter at the beginning of his or her next upkeep unless he or she pays {o2} before that turn. (A player with ten or more poison counters loses the game.)

New Wording
Whenever Sabertooth Cobra deals damage to a player, he or she gets a poison counter. That player gets another poison counter at the beginning of his or her next upkeep unless he or she pays {o2} before that step. (A player with ten or more poison counters loses the game.)




Venarian Gold (functional, but only in the sense that it now will be)

When last we looked at this fan favorite (literally, I think there's one guy out there), we overlooked one little detail: now that it had an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability and not an enters-the-battlefield replacement, the value of X wasn't being passed on. Strictly speaking, you would always put 0 sleep counters on the enchanted creature. Clearly, that's not how it should work. How about this?

Old Wording
Enchant creature
When Venarian Gold enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature and put X sleep counters on it.
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step if it has a sleep counter on it.
At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, remove a sleep counter from that creature.

New Wording
Enchant creature
When Venarian Gold enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature and put a number of sleep counters on it equal to the value of X as you cast Venarian Gold.
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step if it has a sleep counter on it.
At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, remove a sleep counter from that creature.




Comprehensive Rulebook Changes

100.4a

The rule for sideboards in Constructed play changed. Instead of fifteen-card sideboards, they now may contain up to fifteen cards. Additionally, you don't have to exchange cards on a one-for-one basis, bringing Constructed sideboarding procedures closer to those used in Limited. The Magic Tournament Rules will have more information about this change. In practice, we expect most people will continue to use fifteen-card sideboards, but this allows players to make minor sideboarding errors without receiving game losses in tournaments.

What are the Comprehensive Rules? Magic is complicated. No, really. When you have more than 12,000 interchangeable game pieces, you get some freaky interactions. The Comprehensive Rules cover everything the game has ever come up with, from basic game play structure, to every keyword ever, to entire pages dedicated to single bizarre cards (hello, Karn Liberated!). The Comprehensive Rules are, well, comprehensive… but they're also obtuse, unfriendly, and looooong. They're not intended to be a player resource—they're a judge resource, a rules guru resource, and a place to store definitive answers. In fact, I honestly recommend never reading them. For a much friendlier rulebook that is intended to be a player resource, check out the Rules Page and download the Basic Rulebook (2.1 MB PDF). It doesn't have sections about phasing or subgames… but you'll never miss them.

103.3

This rule covers the start-of-game procedures involving setting your life total. The rules term starting life total was established because some cards refer to it.

103.4

The rules term starting hand size was established in this rule that covers drawing your opening hand and mulligans. Maximum hand size is still a game-relevant term that's used on cards, but having a parallel to starting life total made it easier to describe what to do at the start of the game. The hand modifiers of vanguards now affect starting hand size and maximum hand size (rule 210). Some minor tweaks were made to other rules to incorporate this new term.

103.4a

This new rule summarizes how to draw your opening hand in a Vanguard game. This information was covered elsewhere, but it was added here for consistency.

109.3

Expansion symbols are no longer a characteristic. Magic cards are recognized as individual game pieces by their English card names. One of the central tenets of that system is that all cards with the same name are considered the same for deck building and play purposes. This system lets us reprint cards, print promo cards, and have cards appear in many languages. But three older cards referred to cards from a specific expansion, and that runs contrary to the system. The Arabian Nights Bird Maiden and the Fourth Edition version should be the same, but City in a Bottle says they're not. In fact, it makes the original version worse!

So, cards will no longer refer to expansion symbol as a characteristic. The three cards that used to do this (City in a Bottle, Golgothian Sylex, and Apocalypse Chime) will receive errata in a future update to refer to cards "originally printed" in the Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Homelands sets, respectively). This means that City in a Bottle no longer affects any cards named Mountain. It also means that those three cards can affect cards that were in the appropriate set and then reprinted. City in a Bottle will affect the aforementioned Fourth Edition Bird Maiden.

References to expansion symbol being a characteristic were removed in several other rules as well.

112.6j

The example in this rule didn't get the memo about "dies." Absolver Thrull's text was updated.

112.11

Indestructible is now an ability, so being indestructible was removed as an example of something that isn't an ability. "Unblockable" was also updated to "can't be blocked" in this rule and throughout the document.

115.2a

This rule described the special action of playing a land. Its language was tweaked to more accurately the reflect the rules concerning playing additional lands.

117.8c

This new rule was added to cover cases where you are instructed to cast a spell with a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone if able. That's a mouthful. For example, say you're forced to cast Disaster Radius if able. The game doesn't really know if you have a creature card in your hand or not. We don't want you to have to call a judge to verify that you're being honest about the contents of your hand. So, in the spirit of the "fail to find" rule, now you don't have to pay that additional cost and cast the spell.

201.4c

This rule allowed us to truncate the name of a legendary card on second reference or later. For example, Axelrod Gunnarson (my favorite!) is referred to as just "Axelrod" in its rules text. We're changing this rule to remove the second reference or later reference. Now, we can just use the shortened form of the name, and it's just as if it were the full name. We don't plan on doing this a lot, but you never know.

205.3j

The list of Planeswalker types included a reiteration of the "Planeswalker uniqueness rule," which was updated.

206. Expansion Symbol

Changes were made to reflect its transition to something that has no effect on game play.

210. Hand Modifier

Minor language tweaks to incorporate starting hand size.

211. Life Modifier

Minor language tweaks to describe how life modifier impacts starting life total, including a new reference to the start-of-game procedure.

303.4h

This new rule covers the case where an effect attempts to put a non-Aura onto the battlefield attached to a creature. This is possible with cards like Flickerform and Copy Enchantment. The permanent is put onto the battlefield unattached.

305.2. and 305.3.

These two rules describe how a player determines whether he or she can play a land. By default, a player can play one land on each of his or her turns. Effects may increase this number. To determine if you can play a land, compare the number of lands you've played this turn with the number you're allowed to play.

In practice, this means that permanents that allow you to play additional lands stop doing so when they leave the battlefield. Say you control Exploration, and then you play a land. Later in the turn, Exploration leaves the battlefield. After that happens, you can't play another land. At that point, you're allowed to play one and you already have. For more details on the mechanics to this system, please read my rules preview article.

One important thing to remember is these changes don't affect cards that put lands onto the battlefield without a player "playing" them. Cards like "fetch lands" and Rampant Growth are completely unaffected. They'll work as they always have.

306.4

The new "Planeswalker uniqueness rule." If a player controls two or more Planeswalkers that share a Planeswalker type, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owner's graveyards.

505.5b

This rule about the main phase included information about playing lands. This information was updated to reflect the new rules about playing additional lands.

601.2b

Convoke is no longer an additional cost (see below), so it was removed as an example of one.

607.3

As I mentioned before, our BFF Strionic Resonator does some unusual things with cards that have imprint abilities. We've seen how Duplicant received a wording change to prevent it from having multiple powers and/or toughnesses. But the other imprint cards can also exile multiple cards, and in many cases that wasn't "supposed" to happen. We could've addressed it with individual card changes, but then their rules texts would read very strangely, especially if you weren't thinking about Strionic Resonator. So, I wrote a new rule.

If a card with a pair of linked abilities refers to a single object by using "the exiled card," "a card exiled with [this card]," or a similar phrase, and there are multiple exiled cards it could be referring to, it's referring to all of them. Woohoo! No, really, it's awesome. Check it out:

Consider Elite Arcanist:

When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand.
{oX}, {oT}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.

If its enters-the-battlefield ability is copied, two instant cards may end up exiled. So, to activate its other ability, you need to determine the value of X. Let's say you exile cards with converted mana costs 2 and 5. So you pay {o2} and {o5} (otherwise known as {o7}), and you get to copy both cards. You can cast none, one, or both copies in either order. Sweet!

610.3

This new rule (and two subrules) handle one-shot effects that cause an object to change zones "until" a specified event occurs. This new style of ability is seen on our Magic 2014 friends Banisher Priest and Colossal Whale. Now, this may look like a continuous effect, but it's not. It's two one-shot effects, one that moves the object and one that is delayed until just after the specified event.

To explain why this new style of ability was created, we have to look at cards like Oblivion Ring. To use a Tom LaPille phrase, Oblivion Ring is a beautiful poem of rules text. You exile a permanent. The Ring leaves the battlefield. The exiled card returns. Beautiful. Except not.

You see, if Oblivion Ring left the battlefield before its enters-the-battlefield ability resolved, its leaves-the-battlefield ability would go on the stack and resolve first. That ability wouldn't do anything very interesting. It can't return a card that hasn't been exiled yet. Then, the enters-the-battlefield ability would resolve and exile the target indefinitely. It would never come back, even though the Ring was gone. This "stack loophole" was the worst kind of rules interaction. It baffled players and felt a lot like cheating. I know it has its fans, many of whom will tell you it was logical, derivable, and a wonderful example of the intricacies of the Magic rules and its many moving parts. And they're right, but it's also really bad when cards do something other than what they're advertised to do. Players shouldn't feel tricked by their beloved game.

To fix this, rule 610.3a says that the initial one-shot effect that moves the object won't move it if the specified event that returns it has already occurred. So, the "stack loophole" doesn't work.

The other problem, which popped up less frequently but certainly enough to get my attention, was how cards like Oblivion Ring behaved in multiplayer games. If I've exiled your (Gatherer random card) Ingot Chewer with Oblivion Ring, and I leave the game, I think you'd expect to get your Ingot Chewer back. Nope. See, if I controlled Oblivion Ring, I also controlled its leaves-the-battlefield ability. But that ability never gets the chance to resolve because it ceases to exist when I leave the game. Sorry, Ingot Chewer.

To help the Ingot Chewers of the world, this delayed one-shot effect system makes sure they can find their way back to the battlefield. The one-shot effect that returns it to the battlefield doesn't use the stack. It just happens as soon as the Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield. Run and play, little Ingot Chewer.

It's important to note that this new style of ability won't appear on older cards. Oblivion Ring will continue to do what it does. No older cards are changing.

613.10

Indestructible is now a keyword, so it's a poor example of a continuous effect that affects game rules.

700.4

This rule previously defined "indestructible." It's been changed and moved to the keyword section. In the renumbering, rule 700.4 is now the rule that defines "dies."

700.5 (old)

This rule previously defined "unblockable." That term no longer appears on cards, so that rule was removed.

700.5 (new)

Now in this slot is a rule defining the term "originally printed," seen on the three cards that previously referred to cards from a particular set based on expansion symbol. Subrules include the list of cards originally printed in the Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Homelands sets, respectively.

702.12 Indestructible

The rules defining the new keyword indestructible. Subsequent rules and about a billion cross-references were renumbered.

702.50 Convoke

I don't remember exactly how the conversation started, but one day a few months ago R&D ended up talking about how weird it was that you could "overtap" when casting a spell using convoke. That was weird, past-me thought, so I started thinking about ways to change that. As a cost-reduction ability, it couldn't really be contained. You can make a spell cost a billion mana less if you want to. I sought the advice of Rules Manager Emeritus Mark Gottlieb. Together, we came up with a new paradigm for convoke: what if instead of reducing the cost, tapping creatures was just another way of paying mana?

So now it is! You don't declare which creatures you're tapping ahead of time, just like you don't declare what lands you'll be tapping ahead of time. When it comes time to pay the spell's costs (rule 601.2g), you can tap creatures rather than pay mana. Note that this is after you have a chance to activate mana abilities (rule 601.2f). This means that if you intend to sacrifice a creature to activate a mana ability, you can't also tap that creature for convoke.

702.65 Delve

Once we worked out the details of convoke, changing delve in a similar manner was natural.

704.5j

Another appearance of the new "Planeswalker uniqueness rule," this time in the list of state-based actions.

704.5k

The first appearance of the new "legend rule." If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards.

704.5m

The little-used (at least these days) "world rule" was clarified: If two or more permanents have the supertype world, all except the one that has had the world supertype for the shortest amount of time are put into their owners' graveyards. In the event of a tie for the shortest amount of time, all are put into their owners' graveyards.

800.4d

Four years later, there was still a reference to "play" instead of "the battlefield." I think they breed at night.

801.12. and 801.14.

These two rules described how legendary permanents and Planeswalkers behaved in a multiplayer game using range of influence. The rules change made them obsolete, so they were deleted and surrounding rules renumbered.

Glossary:

Changes to convoke, delve, expansion symbol, indestructible, legend rule, Planeswalker uniqueness rule, unblockable

New terms: starting hand size, starting life total




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Amonkhet Prerelease Primer by, Gavin Verhey

Welcome to Amonkhet! You've never quite seen a world like Amonkhet before. Inspired by ancient Egypt at its height, and showcasing some of the strongest warriors around, Amonkhet is a ...

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