Magic rules used to be fairly fluid. The idea was that players would find their own interpretations on how to play. Many cards were intentionally worded ambiguously to force players to make their own conclusions. The rulebooks noted that you should discuss your interpretation of the rules whenever you played with someone outside your local playgroup to "make sure that you play the same game". When I started, we e.g. though that "X" represented the roman numeral 10. In hindsight, that may not the brightest of interpretations. I still played with Word of Binding in my deck though, as the Ron Spencer art was far to sweet to pass on.
|You decide if this gives all Goblins flying or only itself.|
So in this wild west of Magic, the expectations were that players would play locally and without knowledge about all of the cards. The old golden rule states that "Whenever a card's text directly contradicts the rules, the card takes precedence". For many cards in Alpha though, it can be taxing to understand what precedence to take.
|So if I steal the Hordes with Control Magic, should I be more worried about what "pay BBB" means, or that my Control Magic could be "CARD ed"?|
|Alpha to the left, Beta/Unl to the right.|
|Like anyone would need clarifications on Banding.|
Magic was developed by role players, and it was marketed towards gamers. The flavor "drew on the milieu of Dungeons and Dragons". Hence, the first thing you see when you open the first ever Magic rule book, is a short fantasy story written by Garfield. The story doesn't make a lot of sense as to how the card game works, so I guess I can understand why it was cut. It does however hint at the mechanics of sweet cards like Sea Serpent and Glasses of Urza.
|If you don't control any Islands, opposing Serpents can't attack you. Subtle hints on the rules ;)|
This weekend there was another tournament at Playoteket in Scania btw, looking forward to hear some stories from that event :) November 30th there will also be tournament in Gothenburg, at Vasa Gaming. Planning to test out some new tech, hope to see you there!