Magic 2010 Rules Changes

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Spiderman, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Wow, apparently the Magic rules will go through a "slight" upheaval after 10 years (since 6th edition). None appear to be "groundshaking", but I think #5 below will have the biggest impact, if any.

    I'm posting this in Magic Issues since the Rules forum is really just for Rules Questions and this is a more substantial thing. Although it's not like we can change anything - it's just up for discussion.

    Magic 2010 Rules Changes
    1. Simultaneous Mulligans
    2. Terminology Changes
      2A) Battlefield (replaces In-Play)
      2B) Cast, Play, and Activate
      2C) Exile (replaces Removed from Game)
      2D) Beginning of the End Step
    3. Mana Pools and Mana Burn
      3A) Mana Pools Emptying at both the end of phases and steps
      3B) Mana Burn Eliminated
    4. Token Ownership
    5. Combat Damage No Longer Uses the Stack
    6. Deathtouch (now a static ability)
    7. Lifelink (now a static ability)
  2. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Not a big fan of combat damage not stacking....

    HOWEVER.... this article revealed the new dual lands....

    Glacial Fortress
    Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.
    T: U or W

    I highly approve. :D

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  3. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Whoever decided that "play" would be replaced by "the battlefield" must not have thought how odd it sounds to have a land "entering the battlefield."
    Oversoul likes this.
  4. EricBess Active Member

    Not technically a game rule so much as a tournament procedure. Only real difference is that you don't get to see if your opponent mulligans twice before you mulligan once since mulligans are announced in the same order, just happen together. Should have happened a long time ago.
    And this change does nothing to address that. "Come into play" is not the same as "play", so this is really to make things "more evocative". And Gottlieb's comment about "not when they enter combat" is ironic since this is exactly what a new play would think. Way to go guys...
    Addresses the "play" issue, but is going to upset a lot of parents who won't let their kids see Harry Potter, either (I'm not one of them, just saying...)
    Because "exile" is more descriptive than "remove from the game". "More evocative" yes. I guess since some cards interact with them. So wish cards can no longer get things that were simply "removed"...
    "The beginning of the end"??? Isn't that what everyone says when they change things like this? Personally, most of this is cosmetic, so I'm not going to say it...
    LOL...when I read the combat not stacking rules, this was the first question I had...Creating rules exceptions are the #1 non-intuitive thing in any game. Epic fail here, but I understand why they did it. They should have just made all deathtouch the old style "kill anything blocking it" instead of anything that was damaged. The rest I agree with.

    BTW - the fact that I can't change the order of creatures receiving damage if another blocker is added or if a blocker is removed is very bad. I should be able to completely rearrange at that point.

    How's this for intuitive: I attack with a 5/5 and you block with a 3/3 and a 2/2. I say I will hit the 3/3 first, then the 2/2. You prevent the next 1 point of damage to the 3/3 and because of that, your 2/2 lives... There is a reason damage is stacked.

    I think the only non-intuitive part of this was removing an attacker before the damage resolved. How difficult is it to assign damage, then say that the creature must be in play to be able to deal it when the damage resolves? I'm sure there are other issues here, but it has to be fewer than they have introduced...
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Yeah, I didn't quite get how the deathtouch "exception" made it all flow together, but I guess we gotta see how it ends up working.

    I may have misread, but I thought the defending player arranges his blockers as to who gets hit first and whatnot...
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, let's see. You know, when the rules changed a decade ago, I was really thrown off by it, although I ultimately got over it. These changes look like they'll be a bit easier, although I'll still find myself using the old terminology out of habit, I'm sure...

    Simultaneous mulligans. Well, that makes sense.

    Zone name changes. I'm sure I've used the old names far too much to use the new ones by default, but really, these are probably good. Although...

    Wish cards and Ring of Ma'Ruf will no longer be able to grab cards that were in your initial deck but were removed from the game during course of play. Quite simply, this is bad for casual play. The fun of these cards has been being able to grab so much stuff. I don't like this change at all.

    Yeah, I suppose you could argue it. You could also argue that Magic cards are made out of bronze. Technically, for casual play, you could still just use Ring to grab another copy of the "exiled" card that wasn't being used in your deck, but cards do cost money. It's not likely to come up, but if all four of copies I have of a card have been "exiled" and I want to use Ring to grab that card, under the new rules, I'll have to have a fifth copy of that card in my collection. And why? Why change it? Keeping it the same wouldn't even have had to involve modifying the changes they wanted to make. Just define the "exiled" zone as still being outside the game or don't bother doing that and errata the affected cards to include the exile zone.

    As for tournament play, well, I'm not sure. Never been too huge of a wish sideboard player, although I don't know why not, since I'm so bad with sideboarding and a wish sideboard makes the sideboard more of an in-game toolbox and less of an actual sideboard. Players don't seem to use the wishes much to grab removed cards because all the targets are already in the sideboard. They will be weakened slightly, but enough to matter?

    Making the ends step loophole stuff intuitive. Awesome. This was a much-needed change. When I saw the heading for this section, I was worried that the loopholes would be closed. Instead they're just making them obvious. I wonder if Waylay will be affected by this...

    Mana pools emptying between steps. Good. It might be important to keep this change in mind when piloting certain decks, but ultimately, this simplifies things.

    Eliminating mana burn? No! Poor Eladamri's Vineyard. We'll miss you. I had no idea that many players were unaware of mana burn. Maybe I'm out of touch. I really dislike this change. And man, this is huge. I can see myself emphasizing cards that over-produce mana now, at least.

    Some people just don't understand math. This is the equivalent of saying, "In 999 out of 1,000 Magic games, of course, you'll never even notice mana burn is gone." I don't know about the rest of you, but I've lost some games to mana burn, won some games because of opponents getting mana burned, and had to take mana burn or the possibility of it into consideration for even more. I'll grant that all of those combined are still the minority of games, but there are not a thousand other games for each one game in which one of those three things happened.

    Anyway, this significantly weakens some cool cards and even renders some classic cards totally useless. Power Surge comes to mind. Good luck ever using that again. One of my favorite decks in the old Microprose game that I still sometimes play is a CandelabraSurge deck.

    And the funny thing is that the cards this will make more powerful are already too good, like Mana Drain. The more I think about this change, the more I hate it.

    Token ownership. Oh great, another one I don't like. No more Brand hijinks. Curse you, Wizards. And is the excuse for every rules change that ruins something, "lots of players didn't even know about this anyway"?

    Combat damage no longer using the stack. I am so confused and that wall of text with numbers all over it isn't helping one bit. Pretty sure I understood the way combat damage used to work, so I already resent them changing it to whatever this new thing is.

    Deathtouch. Meh.

    Lifelink. Meh.

    You should be forced to use only Power Surge decks for the rest of your life.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Since most of the games I play are casual, if someone ends up with too much mana in his pool because of misreading a card and/or misplaying it, we let him take it back and redo it. So while I may have taken mana burn once or twice in a course of game, even in a tourney (which may be about 5 times in my life), I feel confident enough to say that I have never lost to mana burn or if I have, it wasn't memorable enough to remember so it could fall in that .10%. Certainly I've never built a deck to mana burn my opponent - that just wasn't interesting.

    So certainly, while it was possible and a (little used) aspect of the game, I don't think it's prevalent enough to worry about the upcoming changes and any impact they're gonna have overall.
  8. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    No mana burn.... seems stupid to change this.

    Combat damage not using the stack... wow, what a crazy change.... there is already a rule that changes it.... deathtouch.....
    This going to cause so much chaos in tournament play.... I don't want to judge anymore...... what a convoluted way to deal combat damage..... this is easier? really? to whom?

    The name changes are minor and players still use fizzle and stuff that isn't in the rule book anymore......

    The only one that makes any of sense is token ownership......
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't really see players making mistakes as part of the issue. Accidental mana burn may happen, but it seems quite rare. Most mana burn I've seen has been an effect of the state of the board. This happens sources that produce multiple mana are used. Such cards are used a lot because they're often really good. But sometimes you're stuck with the option of either not playing a spell you'd like to play or taking a little mana burn. Whenever that happens, regardless of which option you choose, mana burn as a part of the the game has an effect. I scoff at the notion that this only happens 0.1% of the time. Maybe for players who only use basic lands to produce mana, but if you're using cards like Gaea's Cradle, it's going to come up with much greater frequency.

    It was "little used" because few cards let you take advantage of mana burn in any meaningful way. Mana burn was a property of the game that forced players to avoid certain things, not a way to beat someone. I already mentioned that any card producing multiple mana leaves the potential for mana burn or players having to play around the possibility of mana burn to avoid it (and eliminating mana burn itself obviously eliminates that). This is especially true for cards that produce variable amounts of mana like Mana Drain. Lots and lots of cards will be either a bit stronger or a bit weaker because of this. It's not a minor deal at all. I suppose I wouldn't much mind the cards that get better because of this, but many cards become worse (including any card in existence that could provide a mana sink). Some of them become a lot worse, like Power Surge.

    I don't know if anyone else here used Power Surge decks. I did. I don't have one right now except in the Microprose game, but Power Surge, while not my favorite enchantment, has been a fun one that offered crazy combos or just support for other direct damage to help get the kill. Of course, Power Surge decks don't use mana burn at all. It doesn't come up. Like most other cards that will be affected by this change, mana burn's effect was indirect. And now this card that has functioned in the same way since 1993 (punishing players for not having a mana sink or some other way to tap their lands) becomes completely worthless.
  10. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Well, they killed my Brand deck, so I'm not happy.
  11. Al0ysiusHWWW It's Good to Rock Out

    I guess I strive to make my kills other than creature based damage, and if it is, they're generally protected in some manner or another.

    I don't deal to heavily in specific combat damage exchange, so with the exception of Full English Breakfast, and pattern rector, I think I'll be relatively unchanged as long as it's only combat damage.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    True, more recent examples would be my Heartbeat of Spring in the Tribal game currently going on, any deck that uses Mana Flare, or the Vineyard like you mentioned before. But also like you said, it just forces the opponent (or you) whether to play a spell and take 1 mana burn (usually, if it's an odd cc) or wait. Do all of these one dmgs add up to cause the loss of game? Usually not... so yes, while someone may now avoid taking, say 5 points of dmg during the game from mana burn, I don't think it's going to affect the game too much - usually, if players are building a deck with such mana accelerators in mind, they're bringing out big creatures early and/or big burn spells, so they're going to kill you anyway.
  13. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Actually, he did address this I thought. Just because you HAVE to assign damage to the 3/3 first because of the order you chose, does not neccessarily mean you are screwed on killing the 2/2. You only have to assign LETHAL damage. A prevent spell would not change this. Since the numbers did not change, you will still only have to assign 3 damage and can carry the 2 on to the second creature. The 3 damage will not be enough to kill the 3/3, but you still have a shot at the 2/2.

    However, if your opponent gave the 3/3 +1/+1 or something like that, then you would have to assign Lethal damage to it, therefore he did save his 2/2 in that case.

    At least that is how I read that.

    As for the mana burn issue, I think it is a bad idea to remove that. I have used it to great effect before. Yes, it took a specific deck to do so, but it worked (kinda). Also, I do have a problem with letting an opponent just tap his lands for no reason whatsoever. The red spell: Powersurge for example. It is now useless.

    Other than that, terminology changes do not bother me. The Mulligan thing is something I do in casual play anyways. And I support the emptying of mana pools at each step (makes upkeep more useful for me). I agree that we should eliminate deathtouch and go back to the original wording on the Thicket Basalisk and Cockatrice.

    Thus ends me rant
  14. Al0ysiusHWWW It's Good to Rock Out

    The master and I used to have a pestilence urza's armor deck that revolved around mana flares and pestilence being the mana sink. Or maybe it was manabarbs. I don't really remember. But yeah, there are still effects that cause mana burn if you're really looking for them.
  15. EricBess Active Member

    Yes, he did address it, but the point is that it gives control the the attacker. Previously, if I prevent a point to the 3/3, then the 3/3 lives and the 2/2 dies. Now, I prevent a point to the 3/3 and the attacker gets to decide who lives. On the other hand, if I prevent a point to the 2/2, then because the attacker stated it last, then the attacker has no say.

    I'm making the same argument here that I've made previously with other rules changes. The new rules are not better, nor are they more intuitive. They are simply different and will have their own set of corner cases to deal with and different non-intuitiveness to rationalize. There was no reason to change something that wasn't broken, but whatever. At least the pre-6th edition changes made things more consistent. These changes may not be less consistent (except for deathtouch, which is now an exception to a, but they aren't more consistent, either. And I would actually arguer that the damage step thing is less consistent. All they had to do is say that damage now means that the creature deals the damage when the damage resolves. If the creature isn't there, no damage.

    BTW - speaking of inconsistencies, my Tim still deals 1 point if you kill him in response to me activating his ability. Why is this different than combat?

    Now, reading what I've written, it sounds as if I'm complaining about the changes. I'm not, I'm just pointing out that their stated reasons for changing things aren't well thought out.

    Oversoul - As for the mana burn, token ownership, and a couple of other things that "no one will ever notice", when I was reading the article, I couldn't help but feel that there were a lot of very interesting casual decks that only people who understood the rules well could build and for some reason, WotC doesn't want these decks to work anymore. 99.9% of the games none of these things will ever be noticed, but in 99.9% of the 0.1% that they were, it was because someone built a deck to take advantage of a lesser-known rule. By your comments, it seems you feel the same way.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, the mana burn doesn't have to add up to deal 20 damage all by itself in order to affect the game or even to cause someone to lose. For example, Fireblast only doest 4 damage, but I've won lots and lots of games with it that I might not have won otherwise. The claim in the article was that the absence of mana burn wouldn't even be noticed.

    I think this is spot-on as far as token ownership goes. The only people who will be affected by that change at all will be people who built decks to exploit it. Sucks for them, but as far as the bigger picture goes, it doesn't really matter.

    Mana burn though, was broader. Eliminating it causes lots of little changes to card functionality, some of them so subtle we won't even think about them, I'd imagine. It might affect deckbuilding too, but I'm not sure how.

    The combat changes still throw me off. I'm not sure what to think of them. I think they change the game a lot and will frustrate a lot of people. Morphling, for example, becomes weaker. And it's even worse for poor Mogg Fanatic. Really, I find the new system confusing and don't see what was wrong with the 6th edition system that needed changing. But that's not to say it's entirely negative. And who am I kidding, I don't do combat anyway. I mostly dislike the changes and really dislike the way Gottlieb and Forsythe presented them, but as long as my baby (Tendrils of Agony) is intact, I'll work around the new stuff.
  17. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    If they didn't intend Warp World and the Hunted creatures to work the way they do now they should've made the token creation an optional choice for the opponent. It's a simple workaround to change token ownership to the opponent. They didn't do it like that (while they do know about Brand and VWR, as it's a pet deck of the rules manager), so I'd assume (!) that the cards are intended to be as they are now. They are made so that people who like to play with obscure cards are attracted to these cards. With this rulechange they change the way these cards are intended to work. That's never a good thing, but to do it just to prevent confusion in (I'd say less than) 0.01% of the games is just dumb. Doing dumb things matters, we don't wand WoTC to do dumb things without a proper reason.

    Yes, token ownership is confusing. But new players won't encounter this as a problem until they're at the level where they can understand how the game works. Warp world and the hunted creatures are great cards now, they are utter crap in a month's time.
  18. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    To add to your last sentence "in the vast majority of Magic games." And I think he's right. Take a look at all of our games played here on the forums, which are mostly casual and more likely take advantage of cards that depend on the opponent to take mana burn. I can't say there's a whole lot or even a whole little of games that did that.

    But like you say, I think the combat changes will take the biggest adjusting to.

    I think you're correct - the people who designed the cards and ran it through the process were operating under the pre-M2010 rules. Gottlieb doesn't say how long this rules change was going on, but it was probably after the cards and set made it through and was released. So they're retro-fitting and these cards do happen to lose out for this time.
  19. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah, when I said that it didn't matter in terms of the bigger picture, I wasn't trying to say that it didn't matter at all. I did point it out as something I don't like, so I do think it matters. I just meant that it's a small, albeit bad, change and doesn't affect most deckbuilding or playing the game at all. I think this actually makes it even worse. The only way this changes anything other than hurting the players who used token ownership to their advantage is if new cards are printed that use the new rule somehow, but that seems unlikely.

    Oh, and I agree about intent. Maybe VWR wasn't originally intended to work that way (and I think one could make a good argument that it was), but with the others, it had to be pretty clear.

    The problem is that the article didn't say "in the vast majority of games." It said "in 99.9%" of games. I don't know at what point something starts being a vast majority. 80%? 90%? But 99.9% is way, way more than that. Remember, that's 999 out of 1,000. Most people I know who have ever played this game haven't even played 1,000 games. I was explaining some of the changes to a friend of mine who doesn't own any cards and never got into the game, but who has some idea of how to play and used to borrow decks and play with us in high school at the game club when he didn't feel like playing chess. There's no way this guy has played even close to 1,000 games. He's probably played more like 50 games or maybe 100. But he knew what mana burn was and could verify that he's seen it happen to people in games he was in.

    This has nothing to do with what I'm talking about though. Even if people never, ever use decks that try to make the opponent take mana burn, the rule itself could still affect people.
  20. EricBess Active Member

    Last weekend, I stopped by a store to demo Huntik and got pulled into a Naruto/Dragonball Z "tournament" by a friend of my son. Dragonball Z, for those who don't know (which is probably everyone) is basically the same game as Naruto but instead of keeping things exactly the same, they changed a few things up. In an effort to stick to the point, one change they made is that at the beginning of your turn, you take a card from the top of your deck and add it to your "chi" area. Yeah, I realize this is meaningless if you don't play those games, but to understand my point, you only need to know that there are already rules in place dictating how your "chi pool" is created. In other words, they added an additional, unnecessary rule for Dragonball Z and the game was more confusing because of it.

    What does this have to do with anything, you ask...The problem with a lot of game designers is that they tend to throw in a lot of unnecessary rules because they think it makes the game more interesting. Applying this to mana burn, I have heard the question come up many times as to whether or not it is necessary to the game of Magic. the simple answer is that no, it is not. Lost opportunity is incentive enough for people to not just tap their lands without a purpose.

    Having said that, mana burn has existed since the beginning of the game. I really couldn't say why Garfield added it in the first place, but there have been a lot of cards designed with it in mind at this point. Is it correct to retroactively change the function and meaning of so many cards because there shouldn't have been a mana burn rule in the first place?

    Personally, removing mana burn isn't that big a deal for me and token ownership probably just wasn't thought out when that rule was first introduced, but altering things like this retroactively mostly serves to shut down corner-case decks built by people who understand the rules better than most.

    Was it the right thing to do? Well, it would have been better if the rules had been that way in the first place, but I'm not really sure I agree with changing the rules retroactively.

    I understand that the reason to make changes like that is to reduce the barrier of entry into the game for new players. The fewer corner-case rules in a game, the easier it is to teach that game to someone else.

    But this is exactly why I think they are making a mistake with the new combat system. I don't know that there is a perfect combat system, but they say that this combat system addresses some of the confusion the previous system created. I say that it may or may not, but changing one set of confusion for a different set of confusion is a bad idea. And the new rules themselves already include exceptions, so you know that additional complications will arise as well.

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