SOI Policy/Rules Updates

Once again we have some policy changes that may, or may not, end up effecting you.

Once again, Toby Elliott has some things to say about these changes. You can find the SOI Policy Changes as well as a separate post on some corner cases on his blog. For the rules changes, they were actually posted a few weeks ago on the main site.

Rules Changes

First the easier bit that is more relevant to most of those who may be reading this. The rules changes really only affect two things….

First, Madness had a small tweak in that when you discard a card with the keyword on it, you will be discarding it into exile (not into the graveyard or some nonsense like that). This is relevant for 2 big reasons that I can think of:

  1. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy will not flip if you discard a madness card to exile with 4 cards in the graveyard, Jace will not flip. The reason for this is that you finish the instruction printed on Jace before the card with Madness can potentially be moved to the graveyard, as it will trigger in the middle of Jace’s ability and have to wait to go on the stack until completion of the ability we are halfway through.
  2. Eldrazi have this processing thing that they can do, which removes cards from exile. Yes, you can process a card exiled to Madness prior to your opponent casting it. No, they do not get to cast it in this unlikely scenario.

One other thing to note: discarding a card with Madness directly into your graveyard is not a big deal. The general consensus is that if a player does this, they have simply elected not to cast it using the Madness ability, and there should be no game rule violation for it (I say “should”, but there are possibly some exceptions where it could apply, maybe, somewhere, in super duper corner case land). To be honest, if players are good with clearly communicating their intentions, I imagine the “technically correct” line of play will be shortcutted quite often: “Discard Fiery Temper, pay , hit you for 3″ being the words spoken as the Fiery Temper is just placed into the graveyard.

Second is the much more substantial set of changes, dealing with Double Faced Cards (DFCs). This is broken down into 3 distinct points.

  1. The converted mana cast of the “night” side of a DFC is the same as the “day” side. This means that Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy has a CMC of 2 regardless of which side it is on. The one exception to this is if you copy the “night” side of a DFC, the “day” side of your object has no CMC (as there is no “day” side), and thus your CMC is 0 (for example, if a Clone copies a Ravager of the Fells, the “night” side of Huntmaster of the Fells).
  2. Some cards enter the battlefield already transformed (on their “night” side). Sometimes an effect tells you to return something transformed (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy). This is all well and good, until you have something copying one of these that doesn’t have a “night” side. In these extremely rare cases the card will just stay where it currently is, as it cannot do the whole transform thing. For example, if you Clone a Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and activate his ability with 5 cards in the graveyard, your Clone/Jace will exile as part of the instruction, but then cannot be returned as it has no “night” side. It will just stay in exile forever, or until your opponent is nice enough to process it for you.
  3. Lastly, if a DFC has an activated or triggered ability instructing it to transform, it only transforms if it hasn’t since that ability was put on the stack. So suppose you have a Huntmaster of the Fells, no spells were cast on your turn, and then it goes to transform. You then cast Moonmist with the ability on the stack, transforming it into Ravager. At this point the original trigger will not transform your Ravager back into Huntmaster. I know, weird….

Policy Changes

There were a number of changes to the Infraction Procedure Guide, though for players a lot stayed the same. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things that may end up being slightly different.

  • Improper Draw at Start of Game got rolled into Hidden Card Error with the last update. It is no longer Hidden Card Error, but has now been rebranded as Mulligan Procedure Error. This primarily covers the case of drawing too many cards in your opening/mulliganed hand, taking a mulligan then scry then mulligan again, or deciding to keep and then changing your mind after your opponent has mulliganed. The general fix here is a to force a mulligan, with the exception of the option of the Hidden Card Error fix (reveal hand, choose cards equal to the excess, they go away) if you have extra cards (this is your choice). It is important to remember that this error only counts before any game actions have been taken, while still in pregame procedures.
  • Speaking of Hidden Card Error, we have a few things that now work a bit differently here. The first is that when something is done out of order, most commonly a “rummage” ability (discard, then draw), we have a new way to “fix” this. As the card was drawn before a discard happened, what we want to avoid is the player being able to discard that card. Our fix is now to reveal the hand, allow the opponent to pick a card to be set aside, and that chosen card is the one that will be “drawn” after the discard. This mitigates the potential advantage to this being done out of order.
  • Also in Hidden Card Error land: in the case of a card not being revealed we reveal the hand, and the opponent chooses which card was “revealed” by the ability in question (so long as it was a previously unknown card). This seems weird, so a few quick examples. First, suppose I have an Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, use his +1, look at 4 cards, and just put one in my hand. When I reveal my hand, now of 3 cards, you see Forest, Siege Rhino, and Abrupt Decay. One of these would be a legal choice if you chose it, but you can pick either of the others, in which case they will be moved to the appropriate zone (in this case it would be shuffled into the random portion of the library). Second, suppose I have a Dark Confidant, bring awareness to the trigger, and just put the card in my hand. At this point we need some information about this card (it’s converted mana cost), so my hand would be revealed and you can pick any card in it. Oh, is that a Tasigur, the Golden Fang in my hand? Guess I’m taking six….
  • In the previous iteration of the Infraction Procedure Guide there was an addition where we could downgrade a deck/decklist problem if a deck was missing a card and it turned up later. What I believe the intent behind this change was: when we find a card on the floor or some such and we can’t determine if the deck was presented as illegal or the card ended up there at some point after that. Our new fix was we could downgrade and then return the card to the library. What happened in actuality much more frequently was that my opponent would be playing Oblivion Sower, and in game 2 would draw one of my lands. At this point we both have deck/decklist problems (me for having a 59 card deck, them for having a card in their deck not on their list), but I am eligible for this downgrade while my opponent wasn’t. Now we can fix this by issuing warnings to both sides and fixing the situation.
  • Last one for today, I promise! There was, until recently, a line in the rules that stated that if you used checklist cards for any Double Faced Cards, then all DFCs in your deck must use checklists. So if you use them for your valuable Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, you were required to also use them for your Liliana, Heretical Healer. The technical penalty for not doing so, due to the wording in the documents, was a game loss for a deck/decklist problem. Now they’ve corrected the wording, and you are fine as long as any card represented by checklist cards must only be represented by checklist cards (no 2 Jaces, 2 checklists).

That’s all for today. If anybody has any rules and/or policy questions, feel free to find me in person at an event, on Facebook, or even in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.