Lorwyn Comprehensive Rules Changes

Posted in Feature on September 26, 2007

By Mark L. Gottlieb

What are the Comprehensive Rules?Magic is complicated. No, really. When you have over 9,000 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, Mindslaver!) 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 recommend never reading them. For a much friendlier rulebook that is intended to be a player resource, check out the Basic Rulebook (2MB PDF), now with an appendix on planeswalker rules. It doesn't have sections about phasing or subgames... but you'll never miss them.These changes will take effect on October 1, though any changes that are necessary for Lorwyn cards to work will be in effect during the Prerelease.

The biggest change this time out was creating the planeswalker rules, and changing a number of other rules to accommodate them. The main planeswalker section is 212.9. Other sections that changed include the rules for counters, characteristics, combat, trample, and banding, among others. There are also a couple of new state-based effects. The list of rules that were changed or created are: 104.7, 200.10 (which was broken into subrules), the rules that are now 200.11 (formerly 201.1) and 201.1 (formerly 201.2), 205.2a, 205.3d, 212.1b, 212.9 and its subsections, 214.1, 214.1a, 217.1c, 305.3, 306 and its subsections, 308.1, 308.2a, 309.2a, 310.2b, 310.4c, 311.2, 401.7, 418.8a, 419.6c, 420.5p, 420.5q, 502.9b, 502.9c, 502.10b, and 502.43c.

Sections 209-211
Section 209 became "Loyalty." Section 210 became "Information Below the Text Box," and covers the former 209 (Illustration Credit), 210 (Legal Text), and 211 (Collector Number). Section 211 is now blank.

Card Type
The Comp Rules used to use the shorthand "type" to mean "card type" (as in land, creature, instant, sorcery, planeswalker, and so on). This was unnecessarily confusing, since "type" sometimes means "anything that appears on the type line: card type, subtype, or supertype." "Card type" is the proper term to use here, as shown in Tarmogoyf's text, so the rules have been changed appropriately. It's a little weird that tokens have card types even though they're not cards, but that's always been the case. This change was pervasive but cosmetic.

In other places, "type" has been changed to "kind" (as in "kinds of abilities") to avoid confusion with the game term.

{Y} and {Z}
The references to the mana symbols {Y} and {Z} have been eliminated from 104.3 and 104.3c, since they exist only on an Unglued card. (The Beatdown Box Set Fireball was printed with a {Y} mana symbol, but it's since been reprinted without one, and its Oracle wording doesn't have one.)

This rule now specifies who owns a copy of a spell.

This rule now specifies that power and toughness are characteristics that only creatures have.

Spell Types
212.5c eliminated the reference to the obsolete term "instant types." 212.7c eliminated the reference to the obsolete term "sorcery types."

Section 212.6 ("Lands") was rewritten and rearranged, but the salient content didn't change. 408.2d was also changed.

This rule was changed to provide a better example of a tribal subtype.

Delayed Triggered Abilities
The rules stated who the controller of a triggered ability is—but it never stated who the controller of a delayed triggered ability is, and those kinds of triggered abilities are treated differently. Rules 200.7a, 217.6c, 404.4e, and 410.2 have all been amended and/or created to handle the exception.

Put Into Play Attacking
Various parts of rule 306 ("Combat Phase") and its subrules were amended and/or created to better handle creatures that are put into play attacking. Rules 308.3, 308.4, 308.5, and 502.7f were also amended and/or created for this purpose.

Put Into Play Blocking
Rules 309.3 and 309.5 were amended and/or created to better handle creatures that are put into play blocking.

This rule used to say "Creatures with power 0 or less don't assign combat damage." It will now cover a broader range of cases by saying "Creatures that would assign 0 or less damage this way don't assign combat damage at all."

This rule now specifies that abilities can be granted to objects by rules, not just by effects. For example, the rules grant a mana ability to each land with a basic land type.

This rule was changed to cover the Commands (modal spells that say "Choose two—" rather than "Choose one—").

This rule was cleaned up; it erroneously stated a time a kind of ability could trigger.

In this rule, the parenthetical statement was moved out of parentheses. It's actual rules text, not a clarifying statement.

This rule had been misnumbered.

This rule was created to cover the new Lorwyn keyword action, clash.

The splice rules handled the ability "splice onto [type or subtype]." But the only splice abilities in existence are "splice onto [subtype]." If "splice onto [card type]" cards ever exist, this section will be amended accordingly; until that time, "splice onto [subtype]" is sufficient.

These rules were created to cover the new Lorwyn keywords: champion, changeling, evoke, and hideaway, respectively.

503.4 & 503.5
These rules were changed so they cover what happens when a permanent copies an object, not just when a permanent copies a permanent. They now handle cards like Dimir Doppelganger and Body Double.

This rule had its example changed because Unstable Shapeshifter doesn't choose a color—its controller does.

Copying an Activated Ability
The Lorwyn card Rings of Brighthearth can create a copy of an activated ability, which is something that's never been done before. 503.10 was changed to cover this. In addition, 503.10b was created to supplement this, and the old 503.10b was renumbered to 503.10c and also changed to supplement this.

This rule was created to establish that the game can use last known information about a player in a multiplayer game. The old 600.4e was renumbered to 600.4f.

"Win the Game" Effects
Effects that state that a player wins the game work differently in a multiplayer game that uses the "range of influence" option than they do in a normal game. Rules 102.2b and 601.2 were changed to cover this, and rules 102.3g and 601.15 were created to cover this.

608 Grand Melee
A number of rules within this section were changed, and a number were created, based on the feedback from the Grand Melee event held at GenCon this summer.

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