People have been asking for more explanation on the new combat shortcut. There's not as much there as people think; for all the words, it's not doing too much. But, it is different from before, so people want to make sure that they understand those implications. Let's run through it! There's two mental models you can adopt that I find help to think about the new shortcut. They're technically different but lead you to the same place when you evaluate situations (yes, you can find corners where
We've got a new infraction that changes almost nothing, and a two-word change with deep implications. We've got wholesale revision to the most commonly-invoked shortcut, and a new type of relatively rare unmissable trigger. We've got new rules for identifying cards, and old rules about not helping others do so. More HCE! More about sets! It's an Elder Dragon sized update! The Big Split Let's start with the most changed text, which is a reversion of sorts. Back in the mists of time
Down with rules! Wait, no, that's not right. The citizens of Kaladesh may be revolting, but it's business as usual for the Consulate's policy team, ready with a shiny new downgrade, more changes to shuffling, and a few tweaks and clarifications. There's a lot of words here, but most of the changes are for clarity, not changes in direction. As the Oracle Update Bulletin puts it, we have nonfunctional changes. As the Consulate values the time of its citizens, we're going to adopt a system
Recently there's been a rise in questions about the processes around going to combat. I think it's due to the presence of Vehicles, though they're no different than creature lands, and we've had those in every format for quite some time. Since people are talking about it again, this is an opportunity to explain why we have the shortcut, how it works in practice, and why we have such a hard line. Kevin Desprez wrote an excellent article delving into this. I encourage you to read that. I'll cover
This is a tuneup release. It has a few tweaks, a little streamlining, but is pretty raceworthy to begin with. And the crew is fantastic. Before we start our engines, I want to touch upon something from the previous model that needs emphasizing, because I'm getting reports of people reading things into it that aren't there and I need to put the brakes on. I'd prefer not to fix it in policy, since the policy is correct, so we're going to try to reinforce what's there right now: The Deck/Decklist
If you plan to skip a policy update this year, here's the one for you. A few things have been moved around, some sentences have been rewritten to be clearer, especially for non-native English speakers, and a few small corners have been addressed. Really, all the excitement is over with the Grand Prix Trial announcement. And Meld. Meld can do some wacky things. What? You want details on some of the corner cases? Well, I suppose we have to fill column inches somehow. Straight to the bullet points!
People have been asking for guidelines as to how drafts will work at Competitive REL. Here are the general ones. Note that each Head Judge has the flexibility to modify these as they see fit, and may do as we gather more data, so don't go yelling at a Head Judge if they choose to do something different. Open the pack and count to 14 as always. Hold up all DFCs for a few seconds at the start of the pack, for everyone to see. All of your picks must go on top of the pile; you may NOT attempt
[This disappeared off the internet for various reasons. It's all still correct (with one exception that I've noted below), so I figure it's worth giving a home somewhere.] They're here! Hopefully by now everyone is aware that Innistrad contains double-faced cards. These cards have another card where there would normally be a traditional Magic back, and there obviously need to be new rules to handle these. Here are some of the questions that have come up most often. In general, things shouldn't
After the Oath of the Gatewatch IPG update, I published a piece exploring various cards and how they interacted with the new Hidden Card Error infraction. I thought it would be valuable to revisit those cards and see how the updated infraction handled them. One thing that is still true, but was misinterpreted last time, was my statement where if applying the remedy looked like it was doing something insane, just issue the GRV. I said this because a lot of the egregious situations we were seeing
With such large changes in the Oath of the Gatewatch IPG, the goal of the Shadows over Innistrad update was to refine and clarify those sections, and, indeed, that's what we get. With the exception of a couple of small additions that I'll get to later, all the updates here are in/related to Hidden Card Error and Deck/Decklist Problem. Let's dive in! Hidden Card Error Hidden Card Error was an interesting experiment in trying a more philosophical approach to a penalty, with mixed results.