måndag 23 juni 2014

The flip side

Dexterity cards are pretty funny. I think that one of the things that makes 93/94 feel like a friendly format even with the intimidating costs of some decks is that the Chaos Orbs are flipped without hesitation. I've seen guys successfully managing overhead flips with the Orb, people who have completely missed the table, and I've personally been thwarted by a rotating fan to lose a match. It's not a card for everyone, but those who play it really enjoy it.

Michael "Jhovalking" Ahlberg is hoping for an unrestriction ;)
Chaos Orb have a small errata in 93/94 tournaments, basically stating that it can only hit one card. This is to avoid messy play areas with players spreading out their cards too much. Falling Star does not have this errata though, and can potentially hit a pair of mana birds or a couple of White Knights hanging out too close at the table. I does not have the ability to be a colorless one-sided Armaggedon though, as the best case is more like a one-sided Pyroclasm for 3. Players have recently started talking about actually playing Falling Star, so I went out on a small quest to better find out how the dexterity cards would work with modern rules. When are you allowed to move your cards? What is a 'hit'? What is a flip? Let's delve down.

Step one was not really close to the modern era. In The Duellist #1 from January 1994, they have a section where they explain rules on complex cards (the section on Illusionary Mask is hilarious btw). They have a section about Chaos Orb here:


Well, that sounds strange. I don't think taping your cards to the wall would be interpreted as good sportsmanship these days. I wonder if someone actually did this, and scotch-taped a few unsleeved moxen to a wall. A man can dream.

Step two was putting aside the printed media and try this newfangled internet thingie. At Wizard's Magic card database, The Gatherer, they have card-specific rules for all non-silverbordered cards. The rulings for Chaos Orb and Falling Star have some good info, but they still lacked some of the rulings I was looking for. For example, only Chaos Orb had the rulings "If you have sleeves on cards, they count as the cards." and "You can't interfere in any physical way with the casting of this card." I assume that these hold for the Falling Star as well. Only Falling Star had the ruling "Only cards touched when it stops moving are affected. Not ones touched while it is moving."

How do you flip a Frisbee?
One thing that puzzled me was the ruling for Chaos Orb that stated "You can arrange your cards any time before the Orb is put onto the battlefield, but not after. In general, you should not stack cards or put them in places where your opponent can't read the names of all of them or count them. This is recommended good gaming practice." It is not so much the fact that this statement from 2004 contradicts the one from 1994, it's more that it sounds like it have some big timing issues. According to this, your opponent could rearrange their permanents when Chaos Orb (or similarly Falling Star) are on the stack. This is not intuitive.

So do we get to rearrange cards when Falling Star is on the stack, and do we get to destroy permanents that the Chaos Orb hits but bounces off? I figured there were only one person who could give me a final answer; Matt Tabak, the official Magic rules manager. I sent an email to Matt with my ponderings, and he was quick to reply and sort it out:

"Thanks for writing in. I wouldn't put too much stock in the [gatherer] rulings for either card. [...] I'd say only cards touching the flipped card when it stops moving count, and as soon as a spell or ability is announced that would put Chaos Orb onto the battlefield (including casting the spell itself), players can't move their cards around. The same is true with respect to Falling Star being cast. As a side note, I'd also rule that token copies of Chaos Orb must be regular card-sized. [...]"

Well, that was easy. Very friendly and helpful guy :) Matt didn't mention anything about Forked copies of Falling Star, but it's reasonable to assume that these should also be regular card sized. If you do manage to Fork a Falling Star against me though, I'll definitely let you use an oversized Juzam if you want to flip that.

We'll end today with a picture of Paralyze on Savannah Lions.

Monoblack Prison vs Erhnamgeddon. Sweet matchup.

7 kommentarer:

  1. Sweet! 8)

    I really need to get me an Orb, seems like a lot of fun.

    /axelsson

    SvaraRadera
  2. Where can I find the mB prison list?

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. By a random chance, I actually have this list. It's shown in the post http://oldschool-mtg.blogspot.no/2014/07/jet-black.html, it's the first deck in that post.

      Radera
  3. I'm sure where else to post this, but figured here might make since considering chaos orb got the new errata. So here we go, why not change serendib djinn back to how it used to work and actually states on the card? "Destroy" rather than the errate'd "sacrifice." From what I have read in the past, djinn used to be combined with consecrate land and it was awesome.

    SvaraRadera
  4. I'm sure where else to post this, but figured here might make since considering chaos orb got the new errata. So here we go, why not change serendib djinn back to how it used to work and actually states on the card? "Destroy" rather than the errate'd "sacrifice." From what I have read in the past, djinn used to be combined with consecrate land and it was awesome.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Hi Ryan! The short answer is that it would become very weird very quickly. Take Rukh Egg for example, between December 93 and late spring 94 you could discard it from your hand with e.g. Bazaar of Baghdad to get a 4/4 Rukh. And if we go by what it actually states on the AN card, that would work. Another example is Relic Bind from legends, which is an autowin with Basalt Monolith using the Legends text. Of course, Basalt Monolith was errataed itself in 1994 to prevent this from happening, but the Relic Bind still worked as written for a year or so.

      If we start doing special errata, it's hard to draw the line. But thanks for the question, it seems like a good topic for a post :)

      Radera
  5. Ah, that makes since. I didnt realize the rukh egg wording or relic bind. I now see there has to be a line drawn, though i would love to make rukh's first turn like that... Thank you for answering my question. Now I won't go sniping a bunch of djinn's :)

    SvaraRadera