Hour of Devastation Comprehensive Rules Changes

Posted in Play Design on July 14, 2017

By Eli Shiffrin


We always have to keep an eye on effects that give +X/+X if there's any chance that X can be negative. For example, a Resilient Khenra hit by a Torment of Venom has -1 power, so its +X/+X becomes -1/-1. It's fairly unexpected for a buff to suddenly become a debuff, and unusual enough that it confuses people when it happens, so we decided to make it not happen anymore. If an effect gives +X or -X, and X is a negative number, X is treated as 0.


Samut passes her test (in theoentomology, perhaps) and joins the list of planeswalker types.


Some triggered abilities, like those on Know Evil and Gilded Drake, have additional instructions after the trigger's effect. These additional bits and bobs never actually got covered by the rules, but now they are.


Rule 609.7b talks about prevention and replacement effects that ask you to choose a source with a specific quality, like "a red source of your choice." However, the 615 rules are where most prevention effect rules live, while 609,7 is about sources of damage. I've added a new 615 rule pointing to the 609.7 rule so that this information about prevention effects is actually mentioned in the rules about prevention effects.


To support My Laughter Echoes echoes (echoes . . . ), "set in motion" was updated to cover setting a scheme in motion a second time, which has no physical or visible impact but still does something.


The rules for eternalize live here forever. Not in lazotep blue, sadly, but just plain black.

(Echoes . . . )


The rules for afflict are affixed here.

Some of you may notice that afflict and eternalize aren't in alphabetical order. If so, I approve of your eye for detail and offer a frozen Kefnet-shaped pop. These abilities were intentionally reordered so that embalm and eternalize appear next to each other to help readers compare the two without having to mentally skip over afflict.

(Echoes . . . )


There's one other quirk with My Laughter Echoes (echoes echoes . . . ). Before the Archenemy: Nicol Bolas rules update, you could resolve the new scheme's trigger first and then that scheme would be gone before setting it in motion a second time. To address that, we've changed the rules for the scheme state-based action to only brush away schemes once all triggered abilities of all schemes are done resolving.

(Ech—No, that's quite enough of that.)


This rule included a parenthetical aside that ending the turn removes phased-out creatures from combat. Since phasing out causes a creature to leave combat, that isn't actually necessary to say here, so I've shortened this rule a little.


In a multiplayer game, a player leaving the game during that player's own turn doesn't end the game. In fact, it doesn't even end the turn. The current turn continues to completion without an active player. We have a rule that handles what happens if a card asks a player to do something and that player has left the game, and this new rule handles game rules asking the active player to do something while that player has left the game. (For example, choosing relative timestamps for objects entering a zone.)


In a game with shared team turns, controlling one player on a team causes you to control that entire team. The rules for teammates consistently assume that teammates aren't trying to stab each other in the back, so this rule stops very odd situations where the teammates are actually trying to do awful things to each other. It was written a little narrowly, so the rule has been updated to say more precisely what it meant.


This rule covers combat in games with shared team turns. It's received an overhaul to bring it closer to Two-Headed Giant's combat system rather than normal multiplayer games. And as a result . . .


This rule said that Two-Headed Giant used a system of combat modified from the normal rules. Now it says that it uses a system of combat modified from the shared team turn rules. Nothing's actually changed here, but it's amusing how it looks like a major change.


We've got glossy new entries for afflict and eternalize.

Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

Latest Play Design Articles


January 31, 2020

M-Files: Theros Beyond Death – Red, Green, and the Rest by, Jadine Klomparens

Welcome back to the M-Files! Jadine Klomparens here again to bring you the second half of your regularly scheduled behind-the-scenes look at how the cards in Theros Beyond Death came to...

Learn More


January 24, 2020

M-Files: Theros Beyond Death – White, Blue, Black by, Jadine Klomparens

Welcome to the M-Files! I'm Jadine Klomparens, here for the first time to bring you your regularly scheduled behind-the-scenes look at how the cards in Theros Beyond Death came to be. ...

Learn More



Play Design Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We have updated our terms of use and privacy policy. Click the links to learn more.
We use cookies on this site to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking YES, you are consenting for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more