Reverting cards to original functionality
I do feel old. But wishes should be restored to original functionality.
Something that was a common tournament winning play in the early ninties was to transmute artifact for a Su-Chi and decline to pay the difference in converted mana cost in order to get Su-Chi's trigger. There is a thread on archive.themanadrain.com which ends with someone stating that they will petition wizards to take a look at restoring the card to it's original functionality but thus far nothing has been reported. I would be in favor of restoring the original functionality of Transmute Artifact. It does create potential problems in a way similar to Flash but it was the intended usage of the card.
I was reminded of this interaction by Steve's article here:
Also worth mentioning is that the card is very different today than it's original intended functionality:
This is a power level errata if ever I saw one. Wizards of the Coast has publicly stated that power level errata are against their policy.
I wrote at length about Transmute here: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-scars-of-mirrodin-vintage-set-review/
My complete analysis is available at the end of the set review.
@hierarchnoble Also, my knee aches right before it rains.
@smmenen Thanks for posting that here. Somehow I had managed to miss that article.
Edit: Maybe our new rules manager will be more reasonable/better able to make changes to fix this and other old school cards:
I think part of this discussion is as whether cards "should retain their original functionality" or "their original text". A lot of cards dont have their original functionality due to damage on the stack, mana burn, and other rules being erased. It seems like those rule changes can only ever hurt a card though since they fall back to errata.
Rukh Egg is a game changer for Dredge if it returns to original text. Unaffected by all hate outside of Rest in Peace, Leyline of the Void, and Planar Void. Its errata was almost necessary at the time, but now there are highly efficient answers in the form of these GY hate as well as anti-token cards, like Engineered Explosives and Echoing Truth.
In general, with this rule change I dont think there are any cards more broken than Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Black Lotus, and the rest of the restricted list. However, it would provide the format with a large array of new and interesting cards to play and build around.
The OP and subject title of the thread is "original functionality," not "printed text."
For the record, I absolutely oppose any attempt to make cards work "according to their text," without reference to a card's design intent or original ruled functionality, both as a matter of principle and as a practical matter.
I've expounded much more extensively about this elsewhere, but trying to get cards to work according to their printed text is an absolute impossibility, both because text is sometimes ambiguous, and, more importantly, because of rules changes that make text obsolete or vestigial. There is no such thing as interrupts any more to take but one example.
Pragmatically, we don't need or want Lotus Vale, etc. to work as the text suggests. That would be terrible for this format.
The idea of getting cards to work like they originally worked, and to remove power level errata is a worthy pursuit.
The goal of getting cards to work like their text suggests, irrespective of original ruled functionality or design intent, is a fool's errand, and Quixotic, at best.
"Original functionality" in the current rules set up would mean that a lot of old artifacts should have the clause "if untapped" before their text. It means a card like Rukh Egg and becomes playable again. As well as Lion's Eye Diamond becoming much better. There is a long list of power level errata on the mothership: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14
What really gets me is the 2nd half of this article. Where they start talkimg about "intent". The reality is very few cards in Vintage are seeing play for their "intended" usage. Just to name a few: The Dredge mechanic, Time Vault+Key, Oath+Orchard, ect. We weren't intended to make broken combos with these cards. "Intent" was the original justification for making a power level errata on Time Vault (turning it virtually unplayable). Most of these errata have been done away with except for a few. The article even notes that Lotus Vale and Mox Diamond are 2 of these such cards (Phryexian Dreadnaught is listed in the same category and thats been errata'ed back!).
"Original functionality" in the current rules set up would mean that a lot of old artifacts should have the clause "if untapped" before their text.
But when Rich and I talked about "removing power level errata," we weren't talking about restoring all cards to their original functionality. For cards like Power Sink that would be almost impossible, since Interrupts no longer exist, and no one was proposing special errata to former interrupts as a class. You did not used to be able to respond to a Power Sink by casting instants. Obviously, you can now. We weren't trying to change that.
What we were talking about was a very specific subset of cards that had received errata for power level reasons. Thus, to my knowledge, no one has ever proposed restoring all cards to their original ruled functionality through every rules change. Rather, the crusade to get Time Vault fixed, et al, was about reversing specific instances of errata that were issued in the past with the specific purpose of weakening particular cards from how they were designed to work, not as a byproduct of rules changes.
In any case, a few years after the power level errata review and clean up, with the M10 rules changes, Wizards announced that they would no longer try to maintain original ruled functionality through rules changes, and thus Wishes lost much of their original functionality.
Again, this was not because of specific power level errata, but a byproduct of rules changes.
This is a complicated subject, and I'd recommend the podcast episode I linked above for folks trying to get grounded in it. The concepts are subtle, and the history is complicated. But there are critical distinctions here that are easy to miss.
ORF is not the same thing as "intent" whatever that might mean, nor is it the same thing as printed text. Those are three distinct concepts described in more places elsewhere.
@vaughnbros Thanks for the link. It was quite informative and I understand most of the arguments given, even though it makes me very sad to see that my assumption about Relic Bind is true :(
@Smmenen I really like your articles and luckily there are plenty off them. Do you have some kind of library where all your articles are stored?
Something different that I stumbled upon is the weird inconsistency in wording of destroy/ discard/ sacrifice/ place in graveyard in the early sets. Even the card Sacrifice itself stats in ABU "destroy". The only card in Arabian Nights to use the instance of sacrifice is Diamond Valley, but then it got plenty of use in Antiquities again.
Zodiac Dragon and Serendib Djinn should both be changed back to the more powerful versions. I've reached out to the Portal 3 designer and D'Angelo (the former judge who's random ruling on Zodiac Dragon is the only reason it is the way it currently is) on linked in. So far I have heard nothing back.
I plan on posting a thread on Zodiac Dragon when I have the most information possible and a clearly outlines argument for why it should be a vintage relevant card.
I was doing some research on Zodiac Dragon, because at first I thought that the rules change would make it useless anyway, but for the Serra Avatar reprint they did actually change the wording to refer to "anywhere" - considering that both Serra Avatar and Zodiac Dragon came to existence at the same point in time I now agree that this is bogus powerlevel errata. It's an obscure and expensive card, give it some joy. If it breaks anything, it can always be banned or restricted... as very few people actually own a copy, no one would care.
considering that both Serra Avatar and Zodiac Dragon came to existence at the same point in time
To make it even more ridiculous, Serra Avatar actually predates Zodiac Dragon by seven months. (Saga = October 98; P3K = May 99)
@gkraigher I think Smemmen and I both gave pretty solid arguments and laid a good foundation in the other thread we had this discussion on why Zodiac Dragon should not be changed. However even I have to admit that its not as cut and dry of an issue as I thought it was.
I wouldn't think of using Serra Avatar as a comparison because as we noted, there were different rules and different terms used for Portal than for regular magic. However there are other cards with similar wording within Portal sets that received no errata. I still think it works today as they originally intended, but I'll be curious to see if you can get any answers from people who were actually involved in the early stages of the card - you know the people who would know better than me. ;)
Good luck in your crusade. This is one case where I kind of hope to be proven wrong.
I'll paste my thoughts on Serendib Djinn from the other thread here.
VintageGreg, I love you like the intoxicated brother who lives in Detroit I never knew but I can't understand why Zodiac Dragon is the trench you want to die in. Unless you have like 1,000 in your secret stash. I am all for cards to be used as the creator intended, I would have gone to war for Winter Orb for days on end. I think there are just other older cards ahead in the line, most notably Serendib Djinn. How the xerox turned B&R death battle turned power level errata left turn in this thread happened is confusing, maybe we need a "Card that you feel should be restored: Make your case" thread.
Had to actually go read Serendib Djinn, and yeah I have no idea how they haven't fixed that. It's basically the same thing as The Abyss, and they never bothered to errata that to read sacrifice.
I guess the fact that a 4 mana Mahamoti isn't playable, plus there being so few copies around means it slipped under the radar. There's not much argument that it's a radical departure from the power of the card as printed.
Again we are way afield, we probably need a 'Cards as Printed Rescue Thread'. Serendib Djinns wording doesn't use the word sacrifice, which is used in Arabian Nights. Notably on Diamond Valley. Additionally the Creator built a (bad) combo in the set with Pyramids. Serendib states "destroy" with respect to the land (twice).
For many years it was a tier D deck in conjunction with Consecrate Land. You got a slight discount on Fat Moti at the steep cost of potentially stone raining yourself every turn or having Armageddon simultaneously Terroring your Djinn.
Antiquities further hammers this concept home with the many Sacrifice cards in that set. Djinn is clearly intended by the Creator to destroy the land. All hail the Creator.
This is another case of MTGO programmers being lazy and thus altering the wording on a card when they cludged the various Masters Editions sets together (see Winter Orb).
Well I butchered that paste. Circa 1994 U/w Fliers with Armageddon was a fringe deck. It had natural game against other control decks because it could Power Sink into Armageddon. The Djinn could also outclass most other fliers of the day like Serra and Sengir. If Consecrate land did some splash damage against your matchup the deck was passable. Arabian Nights has 2 cards that cemented what The Creator had in mind with the Djinn. Pyramids and Diamond Valley.
Antiquities also further clarified the still uncodified (?) concept of 'Sacrifice' (despite alpha having a card bearing the name). I'd need to research but I think Revised cemented the concept in the rule book. Djinn was played as a Destroy after Revised.
Here is antiquities where the reminder text is present.
Remember this gem?
Djinn was played as a destroy effect for years, it's a terrible card in modern magic either way but would be an interesting player in 93/94 if you could combo with Consecrate Land.
I miss my Illusionary Mask. I want that to go back to the original functionality!
Just for my own curiosity, but what use would there be for Zodiac Dragon or Djinn even if they did have printed functionality? I don't see them getting played either way. Or is there some deck that I am missing? (I get the Dragon+Bazaar synergy, but that is not good enough to be worth putting in a dredge deck IMO).
@mourningpalace Zodiac Dragon, specifically, would be an infinite combo with cards like Wild Mongrel, Noose Constrictor, etc. It's also a better Squee for cards like Bazaar of Baghdad (as you said) and Survival of the Fittest. It provides endless discard fodder to enable cards like Hollow One. I could keep going but if it gets errata'd I really want Oshawa Stompy to come back with a vengeance.
@hierarchnoble Yeah, I get all that. Just does not seem good enough to me to see vintage play, but I could be wrong. Is there a haste creature that this combo's with? Or something with evasion or trample?
I miss my Illusionary Mask. I want that to go back to the original functionality!
Eh, the masks printed text says 'Summon'. For those that want the 'uncounterable' Mask back I think I disagree with the creators intent. He used the word Summon to mean cast quite a bit. Mask essentially was a fake card. Its Unllusionary Mask and honestly it requires hidden information, possibly a judge at a sanctioned event.
Do I think it would be cool as a quasi Aether Vial yeah ... would it break vintage, maybe, probably not the artifact hate is savage you can revoke it, etc.. Plus we have Cavern of Souls. On the Dreadnought side we've got Orb now.