Reverting cards to original functionality


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    getting Lotus Vale banned can't possibly be the worst-case scenario though, right? A far more likely outcome is that it gets restricted, and the format just gets a little worse with Vale as a 1-of.



  • @brass-man Yes, agreed. I'm not sure I buy that it would make Vintage a little worse, though. I looked through some of Steve's articles on errata in case there were some analyses there, but didn't find anything.



  • Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins become reusable with Crucible and Ramunup if errat'd to work as ppl want. People want to complain about 4 Workshops in MUD? How about 7 Lotus efx? I for one absolutely wanted Vale and Scorched to work as 1 time mana exploders (dark rituals more or less as explained above), but with 2 very easy ways to recur them, and the easy infinite mana off a fastbond plus Crucible/Mr. Snekky, the cards would be way too op.



  • @evouga said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    @brass-man Yes, agreed. I'm not sure I buy that it would make Vintage a little worse, though. I looked through some of Steve's articles on errata in case there were some analyses there, but didn't find anything.

    I'm thinking of SMIP episode 1 and a thread from about 2012 or so where he and I went back and forth about textualism. Not sure if the old forums are live anywhere.


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    @maximumcdawg said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    @evouga I've this question before over the years, and Steve's only response has been that it is "obvious" that Lotus Vale would be overpowered and lead to more "coin flippy" games. It was in his first episode of SMIP, as I recall. I've always found his reaction on this issue uncharacteristically glib, but there ya go.

    The very first episode of SMIP dealt with this in detail it's true, but that's not been my "only" response to that suggestion. I've consistently had three responses, at least.

    The point of restoring original ruled functionality is to make cards work as they historically did as best we can. Making Lotus Vale work as its text suggests would not only be unhealthy for Vintage, but it's ahistorical. I've always brought up that point.

    As the last place for the game's great cards and strategies, history matters. The point of Vintage is that it's where the past and present converge and live together. It's where Workshop can be used to cast Walking Ballista and Bazaar can be used with Hollow One.

    Making a card more powerful than Mishra's Workshop and arguably Black Lotus because of a quirk of rules changes spits in the face of that history. Lotus Vale never worked that way and was never intended to work that way, and that's also why it shouldn't.

    I've always had multiple reasons, not just the "only" one as you said. Yes: Lotus Vale would be overpowered if working as text suggests, but I've always also said that doing so is ahistorical, and that's another reason it shouldn't. There is yet another reason: I don't believe we should implement a rule to make cards work as their text suggests. That's a fool hardy objective since it's impossible to implement universally. The ideal of making cards work according to their text is an alluring but nefarious goal. It satisfies our desire for order, certainty and stability, but it's foolish.

    Text is inherently ambiguous, and we shouldn't reinforce the myth that it is clear and certain by embracing an errata policy to make cards work as their text suggest. Human beings like certainty and simplicity, but life is messy and complicated, and striving for simplicity is not always the best thing and entails costs. That's definitely true of errata. Embracing the messiness and complexity is better than striving for an unattainable order, even as what Bernstein called a regulative ideal.

    I don't know how you missed my responses to this issue, as I've repeated them many times in these and other forums. I've rarely just focused on the power issue. I've always opposed textualism and insisted on historicism.



  • @smmenen Thanks for the clarification. I do remember you being opposed to textualism as a general principal, but not with respect to Lotus Vale specifically.

    I remain confused by your hostility to original text as a general principal. You can find objections to every errata policy; you'll never get ideological purity and consistency cannot not be the only metric. Sure, you can find specific cards for which textualism can't work on its own. Cards reprinted with different text. Cards with ambiguous original text. Cards with archaic terms. But, Lotus Vale (and Ruins and Soldevi Excavations and so on) do not fall into any of those categories.

    Your argument about "ahistorical" is new to me, though. It really seems wrong-headed. Vintage was always this way and so it must always be this way? This is wrong and you said it yourself: we can play with new cards right alongside older cards. There's no difference whatever between allowing Lotus Vale to function as its text (unambiguously and clearly) directs under modern rules, and printing a new card that did exactly that. Vintage changes. This can happen with errata just as it can with new printings. Having new powerful cards doesn't mean Vintage is less Vintage any more than a lack of Weismann or Control Slaver makes it not Vintage.

    The past is dead. Let it go. (Or play 94/95.)

    The better arguments against using textualism for Lotus Vale are just that reverting it to text doesn't really do good for anyone, on balance. "First, do no harm." People are used to it working a certain way and you can imagine use cases for it, like in a Terravore deck, that may not exist if it got restricted/banned because of becoming too powerful. Doesn't that strike you as more persuasive?


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    @maximumcdawg said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    @smmenen Thanks for the clarification. I do remember you being opposed to textualism as a general principal, but not with respect to Lotus Vale specifically.

    I remain confused by your hostility to original text as a general principal.

    I'm not hostile to textualism as a general principle. I'm hostile to it as an overriding principle. I don't mind as long as it's subsidiary to or balanced with other principles.

    You can find objections to every errata policy; you'll never get ideological purity and consistency cannot not be the only metric. Sure, you can find specific cards for which textualism can't work on its own. Cards reprinted with different text. Cards with ambiguous original text. Cards with archaic terms. But, Lotus Vale (and Ruins and Soldevi Excavations and so on) do not fall into any of those categories.

    It's too complicated for me to get into here, but text is never quite as clear as it seems. I'm hostile to a perspective that tends to assume that text is clear. Text interacts with context in a way that generates meaning. My critique of Rich's argument regarding Ring of Maruf is a good example: the distinction between implicit and explicit is not really significant since the rules defined something that make the meaning explicit, even if the reference was implicit.

    Cards with ambiguous text arise not simply because of bad templating, but because of semiotics and hermeneutics, not just for the reasons you said.

    Your argument about "ahistorical" is new to me, though. It really seems wrong-headed. Vintage was always this way and so it must always be this way? This is wrong and you said it yourself: we can play with new cards right alongside older cards. There's no difference whatever between allowing Lotus Vale to function as its text (unambiguously and clearly) directs under modern rules, and printing a new card that did exactly that. Vintage changes. This can happen with errata just as it can with new printings. Having new powerful cards doesn't mean Vintage is less Vintage any more than a lack of Weismann or Control Slaver makes it not Vintage.

    The past is dead. Let it go. (Or play 94/95.)

    You are wrong. The past is not dead. That's why we won the Time Vault argument. Time Vault is a complete mess of a card. The text itself is ambiguous, but the design intent was known. We didn't win the Time vault argument on a textual basis. It was won because I asked Richard Garfield how it was supposed to work.

    Vintage is a format that is formed by the past. It's a "formative context" as Roberto Unger would call it.

    The idea of errataing a card to make it one of the most poweful cards of all time - if not THE most powerful - to satisfy some simple minded impulse to make cards work as the text suggests against all history and intent is wrong-headed, not my concerns over history.

    The better arguments against using textualism for Lotus Vale are just that reverting it to text doesn't really do good for anyone, on balance. "First, do no harm." People are used to it working a certain way and you can imagine use cases for it, like in a Terravore deck, that may not exist if it got restricted/banned because of becoming too powerful. Doesn't that strike you as more persuasive?

    The grounds for my opposition to making Lotus Vale work as it textually would suggest are multiple, as I said. I view them as a constellation of objections, functioning independently but also working in tandem. Since they each operate at different levels, I can't really say which is more or less persuasive. They are all persuasive to me.



  • @smmenen said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    You are wrong. The past is not dead. That's why we won the Time Vault argument.

    That's not what I'm saying, and it isn't what you were originally saying either, as far as I could tell. No one should deny the past is a source of precedent. When you said: "The point of Vintage is that it's where the past and present converge and live together. It's where Workshop can be used to cast Walking Ballista and Bazaar can be used with Hollow One[,]" I took you to be saying that you did not want Vintage to be shaken up by a new, broken, powerful card. That you preferred the old broken powerful cards to the exclusion of new ones.

    If by "ahistorical" you were just pointing out that there is never a period of time when Lotus Vale ever functioned like the text would suggest under modern rules, then that's true. But, it only matters if you insist on original function as the default approach. I believe you do, and you've justified it by arguing that (provided you can find the first judge ruling) original function is the least ambiguous of all approaches.

    That is not an unreasonable suggestion; but neither is preferring text when you can get away with it. Both preferences run into trouble in some corner cases and both preferences have advantages and disadvantages.

    EDIT: To recap some of them:

    Textualism

    Advantages:

    1. For the vast majority of cards, this is what we actually do. Function changes when rules change, we simply read the text under modern rules. Nothing is "preserved" over rules changes.
    2. Old cards can get new and interesting interactions, change in power level, and even break entirely as rules change and new cards get printed.
    3. No risk of post-printing card development.
    4. Easier to apply (in MOST cases) because cards simply do what they say.

    Disadvantages:

    1. Simply does not work for some corner cases. These are cards who do not "compute" under modern rules somehow, due to archaic or ambiguous language.
    2. You have to decide what to do about cards printed multiple times with different text.

    Original Function

    Advantages

    1. Provided you can find the original judge's ruling on how a card works, you can get a clear and unambiguous answer about what the card actually did.
    2. An experienced player knows what the card used to do and can rely on it continuing to do that.

    Disadvantages

    1. This is an aberration from how most cards work. Most cards are allowed to change function when rules change, and it's hit or miss which ones get their original function restored and which ones get the rug pulled out. Classic examples include Power Sink (we use text, not function to determine it's modern abilities) and anything relying on mana burn.
    2. Sometimes you have a hard time finding the original rulings. Judge forums are jealously guarded and Scry magazines are in landfills.

    Since neither approach is perfect, we live in a world with a hybrid of both plus a sprinkling of other theories like original intent (gag) tossed in for good measure. But it's debatable which approach should dominate.



  • @smmenen said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    The idea of errataing a card to make it one of the most poweful cards of all time - if not THE most powerful

    This is an extreme exaggeration. I think you'll find, upon performing a careful analysis, that Lotus Vale is a slightly weaker "double Lotus petal." It's nowhere near the power level of Black Lotus or even Mishra's Workshop, and in fact I would be surprised if it saw any play in a Workshop deck at all.


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    A land that can be used immediately for three of any color, can't be countered, isn't disrupted by Chalice or Spheres, is only a 'double lotus petal'? Not likely. Workshops sometimes doesn't play Lotus itself, so I could see Workshop not using it, and that's obviously not the test for whether it would be a problem or not. Dredge doesn't use Black Lotus either.

    If you make Lotus Vale work that way, you also need to make Scorched Ruins work that way. That would have more of a negative impact on the format than the tandem tag team of Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time.



  • @smmenen Negative impact here meaning a more "coin flippy" format, right?

    Or, to put it another way a format with twice as many or more first turn JTMS....



  • I don't find much positive to the Weatherlands being 'fixed'. Maybe their low monetary cost is a minor benefit. But they would still principally benefit power owners. The number of non-games where a player on the draw can't come back would increase. The ~11.7% of the time you open on Lotus can lead to 'Getting Vintaged'. I think most of us accept this as a feature of the format and not a bug. But increasing the initial unconditional mana scenario I don't think is good for the format. Finally, I think Shops benefits more because Crucible exists and it has a higher curve than most other decks.



  • Could you ever, in any point of history, use Lotus Vale as a pseudo-BL? I don't remember but I don't think so.

    I know this though, Wizards always wanted them to work as they do now:
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14

    It really baffles me that people think Vintage would be ok with Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins errated.



  • Interesting fuel for this conversation, re: rules changes and errata:

    http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/166162774138/what-planeswalker-redirection-rule-change



  • @fsecco said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    Could you ever, in any point of history, use Lotus Vale as a pseudo-BL? I don't remember but I don't think so.

    I know this though, Wizards always wanted them to work as they do now:
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14

    It really baffles me that people think Vintage would be ok with Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins errated.

    No. You could never use it in that manner in sanctioned play. The Alliances lands for a time could be, Crystal Keep is gone so I'm relying on memory. But by the time Weatherlight came around you could not. I'm remembering casting Browse off the Soldevi Scryland.



  • @winterstar I hate planeswalkers. What a total mess of errata. Now my planeswalker can gain hexproof / shroud?



  • @winterstar said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    Interesting fuel for this conversation, re: rules changes and errata:

    http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/166162774138/what-planeswalker-redirection-rule-change

    So does this mean that true believer/leyline of sanctity etc. will receive errata to say your planeswalkers also have hexproof? Good ol' rules change + errata policy that can't possibly catch all interactions.



  • @wiley said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    @winterstar said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    Interesting fuel for this conversation, re: rules changes and errata:

    http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/166162774138/what-planeswalker-redirection-rule-change

    So does this mean that true believer/leyline of sanctity etc. will receive errata to say your planeswalkers also have hexproof? Good ol' rules change + errata policy that can't possibly catch all interactions.

    I guess not. They probably won't protect PWs anymore. I think this is good though. EVERYONE uses this shortcut, so it makes the rules less complicated and more in tune with what people are actually doing in the game - just like the Blood Moon change makes everything easier to understand.



  • @wiley That was my of my major points in the comparison between textualism vs original function above. Namely, that text is the approach used for the VAST majority of cards
    Rules change. Card change.

    Ideally I'd like to see with apply some disclosed and disciplened approach to which cards get selected for original function, which use the text, and that's all. Original intent should NEVER be used, imho.



  • @fsecco said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    It really baffles me that people think Vintage would be ok with Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins errated.

    Vintage players want change for the sake of change, especially if it creates more issues for them to incessantly complain about.


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