Amonkhet Split Card Rules Changes

Posted in News on April 4, 2017

By Eli Shiffrin

Starting with the release of Amonkhet, we're streamlining split cards a bit. This applies to all split cards, not just the aftermath cards.

Previously, we played a delicate dance when asking about the converted mana cost of split cards.

Destined to Lead

This rewarded players who dug into the rules and figured that out, but it baffled a lot of players, too. We've had this in the back of our minds for a while as something to fix—split cards are strange. Their weirder interactions are fun if you understand them, but you must explain them every time you play against someone for the first time, and your opponent never quite believes you at first. Judges have a long and storied history of trying (sometimes in vain) to explain split cards to players. Once we knew Amonkhet was returning split cards to the Standard stage, we determined that it was time to simplify split cards.

The core of the change is that we're no longer assuming split cards have two sets of characteristics when they're not on the stack. Some characteristics have multiple pieces of information very naturally—Destined to Lead is an instant sorcery, the same as Ornithopter is an artifact creature. It's black and green just like Winding Constrictor because its mana cost has B and G in it. Continuing that, the mana cost combines the components, and a card asking for Destined to Lead's mana cost sees 4BG.

So now, the converted mana cost question is simple: if Destined to Lead isn't on the stack, it has a converted mana cost of 6. Destined on the stack is still a black instant with a converted mana cost of 2, and Lead on the stack is still a green sorcery with a converted mana cost of 4, but Destined to Lead, any time it's not one or the other, is a black and green instant sorcery with a converted mana cost of 6.

We're aware that this puts a halt to a handful of decks that relied on taking advantage of split card converted mana cost interactions.

We believe that these changes will improve the player experience when playing with split cards, old and new.

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