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Friday, July 22, 2011

Some Rules Reminders and Updates as of M12, plus Procedures Update Reminder

Hello all!
  With our M12 Post-Release coming up Saturday, I just wanted to make sure a few updates got through to those who don't keep up with the sets as much as others.

"Dies" is a new shorthand that means "When this creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield." This change is similar to changing "play" to "cast" or "remove from play" to "exile" in that it doesn't change any rulings currently out there. It's simply a terminology change (one that we almost all use anyway in casual shorthand).

"Dies" will usually apply to creatures only, though enchantments can reference when the enchanted creature dies.

Images from MagicCards.info
As you can see from Archon of Justice, nothing changes. It'll just bring the text from 3 lines to 2 in Archon's case.

2) NEW KEYWORD: "Hexproof"
This isn't a NEW new keyword. It's more similar to when "You may play this at instant speed" became "Flash" or when "This can't be the target of spells or abilities" became "Shroud".

"Hexproof" means "This creature cannot be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control." Anything can have or gain Hexproof.

As an interesting note, Mark Rosewater has already confirmed that any new cards printed will use Hexproof and that Shroud will not be considered on new cards. however, the additional bonus of being able to target your own stuff will be costed appropriately. For example, look at Lightning Greaves vs. Swiftfoot Boots.

Images from MagicCards.info
The difference between Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, aside from the "Shroud vs. Hexproof" keywords, is the Equip cost. Swiftfoot Boots is not a strictly better upgrade. While before you COULD cast Lightning Greaves and equip it on Turn 2 to a 1-mana creature, now you must wait until Turn 3 to equip anything with the Swiftfoot Boots. (assuming you had a 1-mana creature and either Greaves or Boots in your hand at the start of the game)

Wizards of the Coast returns one old keyword per Core Set now. Scry had its day in the sun last Core Set. Now it's time for Bloodthirst from Guildpact.

Bloodthirst applies to creatures and has some number attached to it. When you cast a creature with Bloodthirst 3, for example, if an opponent was dealt damage this turn it enters the battlefield with 3 additonal +1/+1 counters on it. If it were Bloodthirst 1, it'd only get 1 +1/+1 counter, and so on.

It does not require combat damage. Bloodthirst applies for ANY damage dealt to an opponent.

And for multi-player play, Bloodthirst doesn't even require YOU did the damage. Just as long as an opponent was dealt damage, your creature will get the extra +1/+1 counter(s).

4) CHANGES IN PROCEDURE: Non-Swiss Event Overtime Rules for SMM
This is a repost of something posted earlier in the week.

As many players at SMM have raised a concern over fairness to certain decks over others with the overtime rules I have posted for the M12 Post-Release, the following will be the procedure for non-swiss events starting Saturday (NOTE: This I feel covers the vast majority of all cases we'll have crop up. All other scenarios brought up will be addressed at a later date as they come up, either in actual tournament scenarios or as "what if" questions):

Assume you're in your 5-turn overtime.

GAME 1 or GAME 3, CLEAR WINNER (a player has lost all their life, a player had tried to draw from an empty library, a player has 10 or more Poison counters, etc.): A Game win, thus a Match win, for the winner.

GAME 2, CLEAR WINNER: If the winner of Game 2 causes the Match to tie (1-1-0 for both players), go to a Sudden Death 3rd Game. Go to the first life change where one player ends up with a higher life total than the other. The player with the higher life points wins the Game and thus the Match.

GAME 1 or GAME 3, NO CLEAR WINNER AFTER 5 TURNS (neither player is at 0 life, a player isn't drawing from an empty library, etc.): Whoever is ahead on Life Points gets a Game win, thus the Match win. While Life Points normally aren't used to determine a game winner like this, since there MUST be a winner it's the only alternative to use.

GAME 2, NO CLEAR WINNER AFTER 5 TURNS: The game ends in a TIE. THEN, if that does not tie the match results, most of the time whoever won Game 1 will win the Match. If the MATCH ends in a tie because of the tie for Game 2, do a Sudden Death 3rd Game and go to the first life point change where one player ends up with higher life points than the other.

5) UPDATED COMBAT RULES: Legality of Damage Assignments When Multiple Blockers Share the Same Attackers (as in when a creature can block any number of creatures)
Nothing major has changed with this update. It covers mostly corner cases where it MIGHT matter how attacking creatures deal combat damage to blockers.

Let's say you have a Necroskitter with 3 +1/+1 counters on it (so now it's a 4/7) and 2 Runeclaw Bears (2/2 each). Your opponent has 2 4/5 creatures that are able to block any number of attackers. You attack with your 4/7 Necroskitter and both Runeclaw Bears. Your opponent blocks all 3 with their 4/5 Creatures. You prioritize the blockers as Blocker A and Blocker B.

Before, it wasn't clear that you could do the following: Assign 1 combat damage to Blocker A with Nekroskitter, then use the Runeclaw Bears to assign a combined 4 damage and have enough damage assigned for Blocker A to have lethal damage. Then you can assign Necroskitter's remaining 3 damage to Blocker B.

Before, it was assumed that if you used a certain creature to assign damage it had to do all of ITS damage to the first one in line. In this example, going by the assumption based on how combat normally works (1 attacker vs. many blockers), most players assumed Necroskitter would have to assign all 4 of its damage before you could move on to your Runeclaw Bears for damage assignment.

Now, you can split up the damage done from multiple attackers onto multiple blockers (in instances where blockers can block more than 1 creature) as you see fit; HOWEVER, if there is not enough damage assigned to the first blocker in line you have to redistribute your damage assignments until the blockers have enough damage on them to kill them until you can't deal enough to kill any more.

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