Published on 03/01/2021

The Rules They Are A-Changin'

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The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast

I started playing Magic back in 1995 (some time before Ice Age came out that summer) and started judging Magic events back in 2007 (first event I ever judged was the Lorwyn Pre-release) and in that time I've seen a lot of rules change. Some of these changes make it so interactions that used to work one way, now work in a completely different way.

One such change happened recently, were you can no longer cascade into Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor using a card like Shardless Agent. We covered this in greater detail in last week's article.

But this got me thinking about various times the rules have changed. So today's article is going to be all about such changes.

Each of the following 10 questions will have at least 2 correct answers. The answer that is currently correct, and then at least one answer that used to be correct.

And as usual, if you have any questions about magic cards don't hesitate to send us a tweet @CranialTweet, or for the more in-depth questions an email to moko@cranialinsertion.com .



Q: My opponent currently controls two 3/3 centaur tokens created by the Hunted Horror I had cast earlier in the game. What happens after I cast Brand?

A: The answer is...

A: The centaur tokens cease to exist as they have no owner.
B: You gain control of the centaur tokens.
C: The centaur tokens remain under the opponent's control.
D: If it's currently the opponents turn, you gain control of the centaur tokens, otherwise they remain under the opponent's control.
E: If it's currently your turn, you gain control of the centaur tokens, otherwise they remain under the opponent's control.


The current answer is
C.
The player who creates a token is its owner. The token enters the battlefield under that player's control.

Hunted Horror instructs the opponent to create the centaurs.




The old answer was
B.

The rule used to be "Some effects put tokens into play. A token is controlled by whomever put it into play and owned by the controller of the spell or ability that created it."

So even though the Horror makes the opponent create centaur tokens, you controlled ability that made them do that, making you the owner of the centaurs, while the opponent controls the centaurs.

This rule eventually changed to the current rule with the Magic 2010 changes.





Q: My opponent control's Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero. If I cast the Lin Sivvi I have in my hand and she makes it to the battlefield what happens next?

A: The answer is...

A: The opponent puts their Lin Sivvi in their graveyard.
B: You put your Lin Sivvi in your graveyard.
C: Both you and your opponent can keep one Lin Sivvi no problem.
D: Both you and your opponent put a Lin Sivvi into your respective graveyards.
E: You have created a paradox and the game ends in a draw immediately.


The current answer is
C.
Starting at Magic 2014, this was changed to the current rule. Each player can have up to one of each Legendary permanent with a different name.


The old answer was
B. & D.

B. was the correct answer from the introduction of Legend creatures and Legendary permanents during the set Legends until the release of Champions of Kamigawa. This caused issues where if the opponent got out their legend first, yours was a dead card in your hand until you could kill the opponents.

D. was the correct answer from Champions of Kamigawa until Magic 2014. This at least eliminated the "dead card in hand" issue by turning your legend into a kill spell against the opponents Legend if they got theirs down first.







Q: I attack with Radha, Heir to Keld but I don't have anything to spend the free mana on, so what happens with this un-used mana?

A: The answer is...

A: This mana leaves your mana pool when the declare attackers step ends.
B: This mana leaves your mana pool when the declare attackers step ends and causes you to lose 2 life.
C: This mana leaves your mana pool when the combat phase ends and causes you to lose 2 life.
D: This mana leaves your mana pool when the combat phase ends.
E: This mana leaves your mana pool when your turn ends and causes you to lose 2 life.


The current answer is
A.

Mana currently empties from mana pools at the end of every step and phase of the turn. Doing so cause no life loss.



The old answer was
C.

The "Mana Burn" rule started all the way back in Alpha.

At the end of each phase (but not step) mana would leave your mana pool and cease to exist, and for each mana that did so you lost 1 life.

This was changed to the current rule as part of the Magic 2010 rules changes, to simplify the game. The designers realized it almost never mattered, opened up some new design space, and was one less thing for players to keep track of.





Q: I control a Grizzly Bears with a +1/+1 counter on it. I then Giant Growth it. Afterwords, my opponent shrinks it using Sorceress Queen. When all is said and done, how big is my Grizzly Bears?

A: The answer is...

A: 0/2
B: 1/3
C: 3/5
D: 4/6
E: 5/5


The current answer is
D.

This is a layers question. In the current rules, power and toughness setting abilities like Sorceress Queen can only "override" the actual numbers written in the bottom right of a creature, a CDA ability that sets the p/t, the copied values of p/t if some form of clone, or other abilities that set the p/t that happened earlier. The short version of this is +1/+1 counters and giant growth abilities are unaffected by sorceress queen.

So the bear starts out a 2/2, becomes 0/2 in Layer 7b from Sorceress Queen, than becomes 1/3 in Layer 7c by applying the counter first from time stamp order, and then becomes its final form as a 4/6 in Layer 7c by applying the giant growth 2nd from time stamp order.

This has been the answer since the rule changes to Layers since the Magic 2010 changes. Though there was some minor changes to the Layers during the recent release of Ikoria (the big one being combining the old Layer 7c and 7d into one sub-layer, changing the old Layer 7e into the current 7d).



The old answer was
B.

This was a layers question back than too. There are currently 7 main Layers, but back than there was only 6 main Layers. The old 6, is the equivalent of the new 7 (both being all about power and toughness changes and setting). The stranger part was the order of the power and toughness sub layers was in a different order back than plus there was one more sub-layer than we currently have.

Back than Power and Toughness setting abilities like Sorceress Queen was in the same layer (6b) as temporary boosts like giant growth. This meant back then time stamp order was really important to how these two types of abilities interacted. Giant growth before Queen, meant Queen override Growth. Growth after Queen, meant both happen. Much like today though, changes from counters always apply after queen, so she could never override those.

So the bear starts out a 2/2, while in Layer 6b we apply giant growth first because of time stamp order becoming a 5/5, then while still in 6b we Sorceress Queen following time stamp order making it a 0/2, and then the bear takes it final form as a 1/3 in layer 6c from the +1/+1 counter.








As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'

Q: I'm playing at a Grand Prix (oohh if only), and I've been very forgetful. During the first game of the first round of the first day, I have now forgotten my Soul Warden trigger for the 3rd time. Each time I have forgotten my opponent has called a judge. What penalty should the judge give me for the 3rd time they have come over to the table?

A: The answer is...

A: Disqualification
B: Match Loss
C: Game Loss
D: Warning
E: No Penalty at all


The current answer is
E.

You may not choose to forget your beneficial triggers, but there is no penalty for forgetting them. However, your opponent is under no obligation to remind you of your triggers.



The old answer was
C.

The infraction guide lines changed a lot from its earliest introduction, so I'm going to just talk about how it function in 2009. I could probably write a small book about all the different variations before and after 2009.

In 2009, your first missed trigger at a competitive event was a warning. Than your 2nd missed trigger was also a warning. But your 3rd missed trigger upgraded to game loss. We aren't done yet though, your 4th missed trigger was a match loss. Oh yeah, we aren't done here either, your 5th missed trigger was a Disqualification. Another fun fact here, your infraction count from the previous day didn't reset if you made it to day 2 of the Grand Prix like it does now. So you could miss 3 triggers on day 1 back than, then miss 2 on day 2 and get disqualified. Another strange fact, was your opponent was required to remind you of all of your triggers, including your beneficial ones. If a judged deemed your opponent was intentionally not reminding you of your life triggers, they were guilty of Cheating and would get disqualified.

This set up a feel bad system where better players would have to remind their opponents how to play the game or be guilty of cheating. This is what lead to a major over haul of penalties involving triggers.






Q: I'm currently attacking with a Mogg Fanatic and my opponent chooses to block it with a Bear Cub. Is there any way I can kill the Bear Cub with just the Fanatic's combat damage plus its activated ability?

A: The answer is...

A: Yes.
B: No.


The current answer is
B.

If you sacrifice a creature to activate an ability while its being blocked or blocking, it will not deal any combat damage this turn. If you let it deal combat damage, you can't sacrifice it if it took lethal damage during combat, because it will be in the graveyard before you have priority to activate such abilities.



The answer is
A. & B.

From 6th Edition rules changes until Magic 2010 rules changes, there used to be what was called "Damage on the Stack". After blocks were chosen, but before combat damage was dealt, you had to assign where damage would end up. After this assignment was chosen and "damage was on the stack", you could sacrifice creatures or bounce them back to your hand, and the damage would still be dealt to their intended targets if those targets where still present. This was not very intuitive and rather difficult to explain to new or returning players. The dissatisfaction with this rules set up eventually led to the Magic 2010 changes. For the question at hand during this time, you could deal the Mogg Fanatic's combat damage and sacrifice it for one damage to the creature that blocked it, allowing it to kill a 2 toughness creature by itself.

Before the 6th edition rules change, there was no such thing as damage on the stack. You could not get 2 damage out of one Mogg Fanatic. So the Magic 2010 rules changes actually reverted the Mogg Fanatic back to the way it originally worked before the 6th edition rules change. So why did they move to damage on the stack? The short answer was, the pre 6th edition rules didn't really work, and there were almost no people who truly understood the rules. The 6th edition rules change was the simplest fixed version of Magic rules they could come up with at the time. For the most part these were a great improvement, with the "damage on the stack" being the strangest outlier.






Q: I'm attacking with Knight of Meadowgrain wielding a Loxodon Warhammer. If it goes unblocked this turn, how much life will I gain just from it?

A: The answer is...

A: 5
B: 10
C: 15
D: 20
E: Infinite life! (game ends in draw)


The current answer is
A.

With the Magic 2010 rules changes, Lifelink became a static ability that means damage dealt by a source with Lifelink causes that source's controller, or its owner if it has no controller, to gain that much life.

If a creature has the Lifelink ability more than once, these extra instances do not stack.



The old answer was
B.

Lifelink is an ability that was introduced in Time Spiral block. At the time Lifelink was a triggered ability and meant "Whenever this permanent deals damage, you gain that much life."

So multiple instances of Lifelink on one creature did stack![/b]





Q: I control Jace, the Mind Sculptor. If I cast and resolve Jace Beleren, what happens?

A: The answer is...

A: Both Jaces are put into your graveyard.
B: You chose one Jace, and put the other into your graveyard.
C: You put just Jace, the Mind Sculptor into your graveyard.
D: You put just Jace Beleren into your graveyard.
E: Nothing, you can happily have 2 Jaces with different names.


The current answer is
E.

Planeswalker uniqueness is no longer a thing, instead most planeswalkers are also Legendary and use the Legend Rule below.

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. This is called the "legend rule."



The old answer was
A. & B.

When planeswalkers were added to the game in Lorwyn, the Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule was as following:

If two or more planeswalkers that share a planeswalker type are in play, all are put into their owners' graveyards.

This was the rule until Magic 2014, then with the release of Magic 2014 the rule was changed to:

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 owners' graveyards.

This was the rule until Ixalan, which removed the Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule based on sub type and just made each planeswalker Legendary.





Q: I cast my commander Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and my opponent responds by casting Hinder. If my opponent chooses to put Kozilek on the bottom of my library, can I put Kozi into the command zone instead?

A: The answer is...

A: Yes.
B: No.


The current answer is
A: Yes.

Starting with Magic Origins, if your commander went to your hand, library, graveyard, or exile, you could choose to put it into the command zone instead.

This recently got a minor change during Core Set 2021 that made the move from graveyard to command zone or the move from exile zone to command zone a state-based action instead of a replacement effect.



The old answer was
B: No.

Before Magic Origins, if your commander went to any zone other than graveyard or exile it stayed there.







And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Q: I attack my opponent with Thornweald Archer wielding a Loxodon Warhammer. The opponent blocks the archer with four 3/3 beast tokens. Whats the most beast tokens I can kill and the most damage I can trample over with?

A: The answer is...

A: 2 beasts killed and 0 trample damage.
B: 1 beast killed and 4 trample damage.
C: 1 beast killed and 2 trample damage.
D: 4 beasts killed and 0 trample damage.
E: 4 beasts killed and 1 trample damage.


The current answer is
E.

Deathtouch is static ability that makes even 1 point of damage lethal. Trample takes this into account when determining if each blocking creature has received lethal damage. So by assigning 1 point of lethal damage to each beast token, this leaves 1 damage left over to trample with. This change happened during Magic 2011.




The old answer was
D.

Deathtouch was introduced as a triggered ability during Future Sight. Trample didn't take this into account when determining if a creature could trample over.

Deathtouch changed in Magic 2010 to be a static ability. This added a state based action that destroyed creatures damaged by a deathtoucher since the last time state based actions were checked. Trample again didn't take this into account when determining if a creature could trample over.








I would like to give a shout out to Andrew Villarrubia for his excellent website Venser's Journal. I would never have been able to figure out when all these rules changes happened with out that resource.

See you all next week.


- Justin Hovdenes AKA Hovey
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


 

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