Dominaria Leak Updates: Rules, Card Frames, and Reprints!

Dominaria Leaked Updates: Rules, Card Frames, Mechanics, and Reprints!

So I know, I know…it’s been a while since I posted. But for good reason…I’ve been super busy with work. Woo hoo!

But tonight I’m gonna take a break from that to provide you with some leaked info!

*GASP!*

Don’t worry. Wizards of the Coast put out a statement about it and posted the current Dominaria Release Notes ahead of previews. As well, we’ll get some previews early next week, probably about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

As to what happened…their goof. They let a Chinese version of the Release Notes go up way too soon. Instead of covering it up, they’re going full steam ahead with it. (Which makes me wonder if it was legitimately accidental, but we’ll trust them.)

If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read beyond here. Otherwise, let’s dive right in!


Continue reading “Dominaria Leak Updates: Rules, Card Frames, and Reprints!”

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Ixalan Previews Start with a Rule Change! “Legendary Planeswalkers”

Ixalan Previews Start with a Rule Change! “Legendary Planeswalkers”

 

Hello, all, and welcome to the start of Ixalan previews! Quite a few Rares got spoiled some months ago, but today starts the official previews for the set. I apologize for starting previews with a spoiler as a featured image, but it couldn’t be helped. It has to do with the new rule.

 

While I’ll cover some of the other previews within the next few days (hopefully), I’d like to address one change today.

 

When Planeswalkers debuted in Lorwyn in 2007 (reference 1), we got a variation of the Legend Rule called the “Planeswalker Uniqueness rule.” In its current (pre-Ixlalan) form, it states that no player can have more than two Planeswalkers that share a Planeswalker type (the “type” usually being a first or last name, like Jace, Nahiri, or Bolas).

Ixalan looks to change that. Presenting Jace, Cunning Castaway ! (reference 2)

 

Jace Cunning Castaway DAILYMTG

 

You see the “Legendary” supertype listed next to “Planeswalker” now. All Planeswalkers will have this, either new or reprinted. But why?

The “Planeswalker Uniqueness rule” is going away. ALL Planeswalkers are now under the Legend Rule.

Fully technically, here’s all that’s happening:

1) All past Planeswalkers will be errata’d to have the “Legendary” supertype. This means even the original Ajani will have a type line of “Legendary Planeswalker – Ajani.”

2) You cannot control two Legendary Planeswalkers of the same card name. This is important for Jace, Cunning Castaway because it makes non-Legendary copies of himself, meaning the Legend Rule doesn’t kick in. Why? There are not two Legendary Jace, Cunning Castaways on your side of the battlefield, just the original.

 

Let me explain by using a real example.

A player in our group likes a particular Planeswalker character. But he always mixes up the Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule with the Legendary Rule. Why? Because in Magic Origins, his favorite character got a Legendary Creature/Planeswalker flip card. This led to discussions about how many of that Planeswalker character you could have.

I always had to tell him, “It’s fine to have the Legendary Creature and 1 Planeswalker version side-by-side, but once the Creature becomes a Planeswalker, you have to choose one or the other to keep.”

Now, this will no longer be the case. Even if that “flipwalker” becomes a Planeswalker, the game checks for having *Legendary* Planeswalkers of the same *name*.

For another example, if you have this hand and, let’s say, Omniscience (so you don’t have to pay anything to cast anything) (all images from MagicCards.info) :

 

Rules Example Nicol Bolas God Pharaoh MAGICCARDSdotINFORules Example Nicol Bolas Planeswalker MAGICCARDSdotINFORules Example Nicol Bolas the Deceiver MAGICCARDSdotINFO

 

Pre-Ixalan (until September 28th), you can only have one Nicol Bolas planeswalker-type card out at a time. They all share the “Bolas” Planeswalker type.

Post-Ixalan (starting September 29th), you can cast all 3 of these with no issues. You’ll have 3 Nicol Bolas planeswalkers on the board, each with a difference card name.

 

So if you want the TL;DR version (that I’ll post on Facebook):

Planeswalkers past, present, and future now fall under the Legend Rule (and will be errata’d to have the “Legendary” supertype). If you have two Legendary Planeswalkers of the same card name (not Planeswalker Type), only then do you choose one to keep and send all others to the Graveyard.  For example, “Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh” and “Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver” are both safe to have on your side of the battlefield as they have different card names.

 

If that’s too long to read, here’s the more condensed “TL;DR the TL;DR” version:

Planeswalkers join Legendary Creatures in following the Legend Rule, with pre-Ixalan Planeswalkers being errata’d to be Legendary. The Planeswalker Uniqueness rule goes away.

 

I should be back with more Ixalan previews, so keep an eye on this page!

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Lorwyn

(2) http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/ixalan-mechanics

A Collection of a Couple Updates from the Last Few Days

A Collection of a Couple Updates from the Last Few Days

Hello, all, and welcome back! I’ve been making posts to a Facebook group but haven’t made them available here for those who don’t see that group, so without further ado, here are the 3 updates I’ve made since breaking down Metamorphosis 2.0.

  1. Banned/Restricted List Changes

No need for a ton of detail here. Aetherworks Marvel is banned in Standard as of Monday, June 19th.

 

2.  Update on “Magic Digital Next”, Umbrella Term for Wizards of the Coast Digital Products

LINK: http://magic.wizards.com/…/magic-digital-next-update-2017-0…

TL;DR:

1) The first game developed by Wizards of the Coast under the “Magic Digital Next” umbrella for all Magic digital gaming will be revealed as HASCON in September with early demos available.

2) Mention of the MMO being made by Cryptic Studios (“Cryptic”) and published by Perfect World Entertainment (“PWE”).

3) Magic Online is staying. They’re celebrating their 15th year in operation with various events.

4) “Magic Duels” will not receive card release updates past Amonkhet. This effectively ends Magic Duels, though it’ll still be available in the various app/computer stores.

5) Be sure to get a Wizards Account (link given in the article) as that’ll be used to help integrate all the digital offerings.

 

3.  Upcoming Product Release Schedule

Product Announcement Day is here!

LINK: http://magic.wizards.com/…/25th-anniversary-announcement-da…

Product Releases (in order) for 2017:

1) Ixalan, a world of Pirates and Dinosaurs, releases September 29th! (We knew the name, but not the world details). Vraska comes back as a pirate!

2) Duel Deck: Merfolk vs. Goblins releases November 10. This is the 2nd time Goblins have been in a new Duel Deck release (this doesn’t count Duel Deck Anthology, which was strictly reprints of older decks).

3a) Explorers of Ixalan is a multi-player “play right out of the box” product releasing November 24. Explore the world for a lost city!

3b) From the Vault: Transform also releases November 24th. 15 “favorite” flip cards, “each with its own story to tell.”

4) The 3rd UN-set finally arrives! Unstable releases December 8.

 

Product Releases (in order) for 2018:

1) Rivals of Ixalan, the last of the 2-set blocks and conclusion to Ixalan block, releases January 19.

2) Masters 25 is a 25th-anniversary Masters-series release. Look for it on March 16.

2) April 28 sees Magic going back to its most reminiscent plane, Dominaria! In fact, that’s the set name: Dominaria. We haven’t seen Dominaria in a block since Time Spiral block in 2006-2007. Since the next set is a Core Set, I’m assuming this is a “one and done” set, with popularity determining if it returns in the future as a single set or gets extended to 2 or 3 sets.

3) July 20 sees the first Core Set since M15, called Core 2019. (yes, this means the “one year newer than it is” naming scheme comes back. Boo! But at least it lets you know what year it rotates!)

A Breakdown of “Metamorphosis 2.0”

A Breakdown of “Metamorphosis 2.0”

For those who don’t get the reference, I’m talking about Mark Rosewater’s big announcement today. LINK: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/metamorphosis-2-0-2017-06-12

 

Let’s lead off with what’s not changing, then dive into what is.

 

THE ONLY CONSTANT…

So what’s not changing with set releases?

  1. There will be a rotation for Standard. Sorry, guys. Cards have to go at some point.
  2. Standard-legal sets will still release quarterly: Fall (September/October), Winter (January), Spring (April), and Summer (July).
  3. From a storyline perspective, visits to multiple worlds a year…maybe. This is really more of a kind-of-depending-on-the-plane thing.
  4. Planeswalker Decks were a success, so we won’t lose those.
  5. The Masterpiece series stays…but much less frequently than once per set. (When you’re putting Divert into a Masterpiece slot, you’re reaching.)
  6. The Gatewatch. They are the protagonists of the story, after all.

…IS CHANGE.

So what changes?

SETS/BLOCKS

  1. The idea of a “block” is gone. A plane may only be visited for one set, or it may get a three-set visit like the olden days. There may even be minor overlap of two planes.
  2. “Small sets” are gone. Every Standard-legal set will be a “large” set, usually meaning over 200 cards per set. This also means…
  3. Sets will no longer be drafted with each other; all Drafts are stand-alone to the set that’s currently out.
    1. For example, if Battle for Zendikar/Oath of the Gatewatch had followed this model, the draft formats would not have been 3x Battle for Zendikar and then 2x Oath/1x Battle. They’d have been 3x Battle and 3x Oath.
  4. THE CORE SET IS BACK! It’ll follow a model very similar to Core Sets like M13, M14, etc. They’ll be a mix of reprints and new cards and release yearly. Complexity won’t be too high; if they’re designing the set and have a choice between something simple and something that’s not quite as simple, simple wins out. It’ll be the Summer set.
    1. For example, if Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, and Hour of Devastation were a part of this model and for some reason we didn’t end Amonkhet at Amonkhet, we’d have instead Kaladesh (Fall), Aether Revolt (Winter), Amonkhet (Spring), CORE SET (Summer), Hour of Devastation (Fall).
    2. The Core Set will tie in better with its related Planeswalker Deck and Deckbuilder’s Toolkit.
    3. So why go back to Core Sets? Simply put, as they tried to put reprints into sets where they seemed to make sense…they didn’t. Inquisition of Kozilek was slated for Oath of the Gatewatch!…but while it was themed to an Eldrazi Titan (Kozilek),  it was a Black card in a set that cared about Colorless spells. Ghostfire could have also gone into Oath of the Gatewatch since it’s Colorless! It has the equivalent of Devoid!…but it was tied to Ugin’s magic and not the Eldrazi’s. As more opportunities came up, they mostly got dashed just as quickly due to set themes. Core Sets will allow for more, possibly better reprints as Core Sets won’t be themed to any specific plane.
  5. The Gatewatch won’t be as prominent on cards. During the 18-month rotation cycle, they wanted to ensure the Gatewatch was Standard-legal at all times. This led to too many of the Gatewatch being around, knocking out room for other potential new or returning Planeswalkers. The problem was exacerbated with the mid-stream change back to a 2-year rotation. We’ll see this happen with Hour of Devastation next month as we’ve already got Planeswalker cards for Nicol Bolas and Samut confirmed.

STORYTELLING

  1.  As implied above, a plane may only be visited for one set or it may get three. It just depends on the story needs of the plane.
  2. The Gatewatch will still be around, just not in as large a quantity.
  3. The Core Set won’t have as much “present day” story as it may have more “filling in the blanks” of characters. I imagine this means more of a Magic Origins feel, where we got backstory on all the current Gatewatch (sans Ajani). However, I don’t believe it’ll be a major theme of each Core Set but rather a “if we can fit it in, let’s do it” kind of thing.
  4. Story-based cards will still be important, but some got pushed too much for gameplay purposes (*COUGH* Emrakul *COUGH*). Other cards were designed solo and had cycles built around them just because a cycle would be nice (I assume the rare Legendary creatures from Aether Revolt and perhaps their related Expertise cards are a product of this). Now they’ll only push a card for Standard play if they feel it’ll fill a story purpose. As well, they won’t feel pushed to finish out a cycle just to finish it out; if it makes sense and won’t hurt card quality along that cycle, it’ll happen.

 

WHAT’S NOT QUITE AS CLEAR: ROTATION

As this article was about changes, it’s surprising that none of the changes in set release schema included a change to the rotation schedule for Standard. I’ll assume this to mean that Standard simply rotates when the Fall set (September/October) releases and it’s still a 2-year rotation. If that’s the case, here’s how you can tell how long a set will be in Standard. (Time frames are approximate; there may be a few weeks’ to a month’s difference depending on specific release dates)

START: Fall set (24 months/2 years)

Winter set (21 months/1 year 9 months)

Spring set (18 months/1 year 6 months)

Hour of Devastation (2017)/CORE SET (future years) (15 months/1 year 3 months)

Split Card Rule Change, with Amonkhet Preview to Explain!

Split Card Rule Change, with Amonkhet Preview to Explain!

Hello, all! Here’s another Amonkhet preview with a new rules change to figuring out a Split card’s converted mana cost. The new rules will be public, and the Amonkhet preview will be in a section you need to click on to continue.

First, the rule change.
 
SPLIT CARDS AND CONVERTED MANA COST
 
Split cards’ converted mana cost will now be the combined total of the two halves unless it’s on the stack, in which case the converted mana cost is just for the side being cast.
 
Split cards have had a weird set of circumstances for how mana costs are figured. Look at Breaking & Entering (before called Breaking//Entering, but the naming convention on split cards has changed slightly) (image from MagicCards.info):
Breaking Entering Split Card Rule Change Example MAIGCCARDS.INFO
Sometimes it has a converted mana cost of 2, other times 6, and other times it’s combined to be 8. It depended totally on the situation, not any consistent conditions.
 
This changes with Amonkhet due to the new Aftermath split card mechanic.
 
With any split cards (not just those with Aftermath on them), the mana cost is only checked at 2 different times:
 
1) If the spell is on the stack, the converted mana cost is just for the part you’re casting. If you’re casting Breaking, its converted mana cost is 2. If you’re casting Entering, it’s 6. Because it’s a Fuse card [can cast both halves by paying the total cost], if you Fuse it the converted mana cost is 8.
 
2) If the spell is NOT on the stack, its converted mana cost is the combined total of all parts. For Breaking & Entering, when you’re not casting it, the converted mana cost is 8. Period.
 
Let’s use a preview card for this…after you click the Break!

Continue reading “Split Card Rule Change, with Amonkhet Preview to Explain!”

Amonkhet Previews! Cycling, New Mechanics, and “Masterpieces”

Amonkhet Previews! Cycling, New Mechanics, and “Masterpieces”

Hello, all, and welcome to another set of preview posts for the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set Amonkhet. This is a world where Nicol Bolas seems to have much influence over the Amonkhet population. How did he get such power, and what do the gods of this world have to say about it? All that will be decided in the story.

But you’re almost all here for the cards and mechanics, right? Well, look no further! Let’s go ahead and plunge a bit into previews (with more detailed information in the next few days…if I think to do it. ha ha!)

(Click the jump below if you don’t mind spoilers. All images are taken from articles on dailymtg.com except for the “Masterpiece” at the end of this post.)

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Cautionary Tale: Shortcuts and Combat

Cautionary Tale: Shortcuts and Combat

Hello, everyone! Sorry for not posting in a while. Real life responsibilities take their toll. I’m hoping to post more, but I also know how people feel when a blogger says that: “Okay, prove it!”

So instead of promising what I may not be able to deliver, I’ll simply say I hope to post a bit more regularly.

Today is a warning about using shortcuts to advance the flow of the game.

The Situation

In Round 8 of Pro Tour: Aether Rrevolt (#PTAER), one player had these two permanents on the board:

The player declared “Combat?”, and his opponent agreed. The player then tried to tap Weldfast Engineer to crew Heart of Kiran, then use Weldfast’s triggered ability to give Heart of Kiran +2/+0 and attack with the Vehicle.

Just one problem…the shortcut doesn’t allow that.

The Explanation

Short explanation: “Combat?” implies that you’re declaring your attackers. By that time, it’s too late for both the crewing and the triggered ability to matter.

Longer Explanation:

  1. Weldfast Engineer’s ability tries to trigger at the Beginning of Combat Step (Combat Phase’s first step, broken down further below). If you wanted to give the +2/+0 to Heart of Kiran, you needed to Crew it in your Main Phase so it’d be a Creature in the next Step.

2. The Combat Phase is really split into a number of steps (copy-and-paste from Yawgatog.com):

507. Beginning of Combat Step

508. Declare Attackers Step

509. Declare Blockers Step

510. Combat Damage Step

511. End of Combat Step

The last time you can crew a Vehicle and be able to attack with it (assuming it has Haste or is already able to attack) is in the Beginning of Combat Step. If you’re in the Declare Attackers Step and haven’t already crewed your Vehicle, it’s too late to do so for the purposes of attacking.

3. Magic as a physical game has to live on shortcuts; that is, shorter wording or implied actions demonstrate you’re moving from one Step/Phase into another. What got this player in trouble was “Magic Tournament Rules (MTR) 4.2”:

“A statement such as ‘I’m ready for combat’ or ‘Declare attackers?’ offers to keep passing priority until an opponent has priority in the beginning of combat step. Opponents are assumed to be acting then unless they specify otherwise.”

His “Combat?” wording was tricky. Did it imply he was simply entering his Beginning of Combat Step? Because of the word “combat”, did that imply he was ready to attack, moving to the Declare Attackers Step?

The Ruling

The Head Judge ruled that “Combat?” implied a move to the Declare Attackers Step…too far long gone for Engineer’s trigger and one Step too late to crew Heart of Kiran to attack.

The Lesson

1) Know your cards and the proper timing of their activations. The player in question built his deck 2 days before the Pro Tour. I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t aware of most of his angles and abilities and the nuanced timing needed for some situations.

2) Be specific about where you are in the turn. If you want to go to the Beginning of Combat Step so you can avoid the timing of certain things (“this can only be activated/cast during a Main Phase”, for example), be specific!

3) Casually, I think players are okay with “going back in time” if nothing is obviously declared. At FNM, this varies from player to player, though safest thing would be to be intentional about your phase/step movements. At higher-level tournaments, BE SPECIFIC TO AVOID CONFUSION!

I hope this clarifies an issue in the game that may cause issues in your future matches.

 

Original story comes from http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptaer/statement-round-8-feature-match-ruling-2017-02-04 . You can watch coverage, both live and archived, at Twitch.TV/Magic .

Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: Council’s Dilemma

Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: Council’s Dilemma

Welcome back to previews for Consipracy: Take the Crown! Today we see an expansion on the voting mechanic from the original Conspiracy.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-Conspiracy cards found in Conspiracy: Take the Crown are only legal in Legacy, Vintage, Commander, and any format using any of those 3 as a base. Pauper and other similar “Eternal” formats also allow non-Conspiracy cards. It’s up to your playgroup whether to use Conspiracies in any way; just remember that some Conspiracies are only useful if you draft.

 

If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t click on the Read More link. If you’re ready, read on!

Continue reading “Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: Council’s Dilemma”

Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: The Monarch!

Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: The Monarch!

 

Welcome back for previews of the 2nd set in the Conspiracy set of supplemental releases. Conspiracy: Take the Crown continues the story and mechanics of Conspiracy and adds a few more interesting elements in, some for draft and others for regular gameplay.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-Conspiracy cards found in Conspiracy: Take the Crown are only legal in Legacy, Vintage, Commander, and any format using any of those 3 as a base. Pauper and other similar “Eternal” formats also allow non-Conspiracy cards. It’s up to your playgroup whether to use Conspiracies in any way; just remember that some Conspiracies are only useful if you draft.

 

Conspiracy: Take the Crown allows you to do exactly that with a new mechanic! Some cards allow you to “become the monarch.” What does this mean? Click on the link below for the rest of the preview post.

Continue reading “Conspiracy: Take the Crown Previews: The Monarch!”