One of the most common questions about the 93/94 format is whether we use old rules or new ones. We use the current rules, mostly due to the fact that old rules are at times pretty confusing (and sometimes contradictory). Today, with some old rule books at hand, we'll take a look at the history of "timing" before the stack came into existence.
|That Revised rule book was in my sister's first starter pack from 1994 :) The Ice Age rules are identical to the 4th Ed. rules, apart from the additional page on snow lands and cumulative upkeep.|
Lets start with the original rules. What do they say about timing?
|Well, if you have a problem with solving rule conflicts with coin flips, at least you get your ante back.|
Once Revised rolled around in April 1994, the rules got some major updates. You could still discard a Rukh Egg to Bazaar of Baghdad to get a 4/4 token, but coin flips were frowned upon. At this point, Wizards had realized that they needed some common rules for timing in tournaments, and that these interactions could be somewhat confusing.
So, what does 4th Edition say about timing?
Triggered abilities at this point are also pretty hard to grasp. A simple example is that if an opponent uses Nekrataal to kill one of your creatures, you can't save it by casting Unsummon, as the triggered ability won't use the batch.
|On the plus side, enchantments on the creature won't get CARD ed.|
|I'm not reading this.|
In February 1997, the set Visions was released. One of the cards in Visions was Sands of Time, which became one of the key cards in the Travolta deck. Now, Sands of Time immediately received errata stating that the effect of the card didn't apply to itself, which very few novice players knew. As tapped artifacts were "shut off" at this time, correctly letting the abilities of multiple Sands of Time resolve was highly unintuitive, and if a player did something wrong, he or she would receive a warning for failure to maintain game state (or something like that). If you would get three warnings, you would get a game loss, or be ejected from the tournament. One of the win conditions of the Travolta deck was hence to play complex cards, make the opponent misplay, and call on a judge. The deck got it's name from players raising their hand in the air like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever while shouting "Judge!". The deck wasn't very popular, but just the fact that it could be built and that it could "win by Judge" is pretty impressive.
In early 1998, a place called "In Between Turns" existed. This was created mostly to solve issues with game states with multiple Time Vaults in play. During 5th Edition rules however, abilities and spells which generated mana (Mana Sources) could be played at ANY time. Hence, you could activate the ability of Wall of Roots in between turns, and as it wasn't during a turn, you could activate it as many times as you wanted. Without state-based effects killing the wall, you could generate an arbitrarily large amount of mana between the turns. If you had a Stasis or Sands of Time in play, you would then skip your untap phase and get all that mana during your upkeep. Add something like a Magma Mine to use all that mana during your upkeep to kill your opponent. A funny thing with this deck is that it was created in January 1998, and the "In Between Turns"-rule was removed almost immediately in February 1998 as the deck was deemed to be against the spirit of the game.
In late 1998, I played in the Type 1 tournament at BSK. A guy who beat me in the swiss, and ended up winning the tournament, did so with a deck that abused Yawgmoth's Will. At this time, Dark Ritual was printed as a Mana Source, and hence could be cast immediately at any time. In fact, according to the rules, the speed of Mana Sources were even faster than replacement effects (at the time, "replacement effects" were seen as triggered abilities). Hence, if the guy cast Yawgmoth's Will, and then cast a Dark Ritual, he could cast the Dark Ritual again from the graveyard before the Will exiled it. He could do this as many times as he wanted, generating any amount of black mana before killing his opponent with a Drain Life or any other X-spell.
So, there's some history of timing. The release of 6th edition rules really did wonders for the game, and the original timing rules were literally up to a coin flip. When players suggest that we use the original rules in 93/94, it's usually only one or two rules they miss (e.g. mana burn or tapped blockers dealing no damage). If we would arbitrarily choose a subset of rules from 93/94 to use, it could become very confusing for new players in the format. As far as historically correct rules are concerned, every rulebook from Alpha to 4th Edition have sections encouraging house rules, so using the current rules of Magic 2014 could be seen as our house rules ;)
|A stack :)|