Reverting cards to original functionality



  • As the headline says, this thread is meant to be the focal discussion point. In other threads a few cards were already mentioned, the most prominent being Zodiac Dragon.

    To me this topic is quite interesting. Wordings often look like chosen at random if you look at cards pre 1995 but the creators obviously had an intention how the card should work. Nowadays it's probably impossible to reach the original creators, so we are left with what the current WotC interpretation is.

    What bugs me about that is that it is just inconsistent. I also don't understand where to draw the line. Let's look at All Hallows Eve for example. The card was originally printed as a Sorcery, which didn't make sense at the time. So the card was given an errata and Wotc was actually able to fix it with the next printing - Italian Legends. Then, Time Spiral (the set) came around and suddenly putting counters on a sorcery to get its effect later didn't look that dumb anymore. In the same vein All Hallows Eve got an errata to make it work like quasi Suspend. There are a few thing that I don't get about this, like why is it a sorcery now if it even was supposed to be an enchantment? The most recent printing of the card even says it is an enchantment and I would argue that there are more copies of Italian Legends floating around than English ones.
    But wait, the inconsistencies just started. There are a couple of cards in Legends that were so obviously wrong that they got spelled out errata in Italian Legends. Like Relic Bind - I still think this card was a developers joke to end their EDH rounds faster (I would bet money on that the designers of Legends tested in a way similar to EDH/ Commander - so many flashy cards, so much that gives all players an advantage, the World Enchantment theme... so many things - can't just be coincidence), but then it got reprinted with errata in Italian Legends and finally in 4th Edition. I guess the argument not reverting it back to its original functionality would be that a 2nd Vaultkey is not what the format or people in general need? Also, at which point do you revert cards to original functionality or don't?

    I'm sure there is more that I didn't catch. I was actually mostly wondering what happened to All Hallows Eve and saw they already changed it in 2006.

    Discuss and have fun but keep it civil ;)


  • TMD Supporter

    Marath, Will of the Wild and Oboro Envoy should be played as written as well if Zodiac Dragon loses its "from the battlefield" clause.



  • It is both funny and sad that they had to errata a card that has been printed as late as in 2013. I guess there are too many combos if you could just activate an ability infinite times? But what about the En-Kor then?


  • TMD Supporter

    @wintage said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    It is both funny and sad that they had to errata a card that has been printed as late as in 2013. I guess there are too many combos if you could just activate an ability infinite times? But what about the En-Kor then?

    Typos happen. Slither Blade's flavor text, The Monarch token, M13's Wit's End's flavor text. When it impact's the game rules is when we generate ongoing discussion.

    EDIT: Add Walking Archive to my list of functional changes a la Zodiac Dragon. It isn't printed as an Artifact Creature. Same with Wall of Junk having defender, since it was never printed with creature type Wall.



  • My favorite discussion from the old Mana Drain was Lotus Vale:

    As printed, you can respond to the comes into play trigger by tapping it for 3 mana. It's an uncounterable once-per-turn Black Lotus. It is errata'd as follows:

    If Lotus Vale would enter the battlefield, sacrifice two untapped lands instead. If you do, put Lotus Vale onto the battlefield. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard.

    {T}: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.



  • All the Wishes.


  • TMD Supporter

    @topical_island said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    All the Wishes.

    Coax from the Blind Eternities recently reiterated that they are working as printed. This would be errata in the other direction than the Zodiac Dragon-style group of cards.



  • @topical_island said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    All the Wishes.

    Worth noting that the 18 July 2016 MTR update changed how Wishes work when controlling an opponent or their spells:

    If a player gains control of another player, he or she may not look at that player’s sideboard, nor may he or she have that player access his or her sideboard.



  • Does this mean abeyance is a strictly better time walk? Likely not, but I do think some cards should be fixed for functionality. Ali From Cairo, Library, Bazaar are obviously legendary from a flavor perspective but did the designers have the legendary idea in mind prior to legends? You say it's impossible to ask, but I don't think it is. The problem is likely more of their views on the functionality changing. When relic bind was printed, the untap symbol did not exist. same with voltaic key......
    In 1996 I showed up at a tournament feeding final fortune turns into the unrestricted but heavily erratted time vault.
    I have always had a hard time with howling mine and winter orb getting shut off when tapped but not other continuous artifacts like black vice.



  • @hierarchnoble @thecravenone In 2002 I could pitch Ancestral to Force then get it back with Cunning Wish... Now I can't. And that is, profoundly lame. Especially given what those cards actually say.



  • @elusive said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    Does this mean abeyance is a strictly better time walk? Likely not, but I do think some cards should be fixed for functionality. Ali From Cairo, Library, Bazaar are obviously legendary from a flavor perspective but did the designers have the legendary idea in mind prior to legends? You say it's impossible to ask, but I don't think it is. The problem is likely more of their views on the functionality changing. When relic bind was printed, the untap symbol did not exist. same with voltaic key......
    In 1996 I showed up at a tournament feeding final fortune turns into the unrestricted but heavily erratted time vault.
    I have always had a hard time with howling mine and winter orb getting shut off when tapped but not other continuous artifacts like black vice.

    Some cards are harder to judge than others as they were printed within a different ruleset. I would have to do research on Abeyance, but iirc it was only able to timewalk people for a few months. I guess cards like this and Lotus Vale need to have some kind of errata because they can't be reprinted.

    I don't buy the argument with Arabian Nights cards - judging by flavor, Valakut the Molten Pinnacle should be legendary and it was printed "recently" - there is just no objective here.

    You don't think it is impossible to reach out to people who designed cards in 93 or something and then never had to with anything? Good luck.



  • @thecravenone said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    My favorite discussion from the old Mana Drain was Lotus Vale:

    As printed, you can respond to the comes into play trigger by tapping it for 3 mana. It's an uncounterable once-per-turn Black Lotus. It is errata'd as follows:

    If Lotus Vale would enter the battlefield, sacrifice two untapped lands instead. If you do, put Lotus Vale onto the battlefield. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard.

    {T}: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.

    Lotus Vale works exactly the same now as it did when printed. This was a time when costs had to be paid before abilities were used. So, Lotus Vale was not a one shot lotus when it was printed either. The current wording retains original functionality.



  • Cunning wish rules question (based on the old rules)....if I imprinted brainstorm on my chrome mox, and then Cunning wished for said brainstorm, is my mox turned off?

    PS the wishes should 1000% be returned to their previous state to at least allow pulling cards from Exile. Delve be damned.



  • 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.
    http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=41319.0
    I was reminded of this interaction by Steve's article here:
    http://themanadrain.com/topic/690/old-school-magic-new-strategies-for-the-old-school-transmute-artifact
    Also worth mentioning is that the card is very different today than it's original intended functionality:
    http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=41420.0
    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.



  • @the-atog-lord said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    Lotus Vale works exactly the same now as it did when printed. This was a time when costs had to be paid before abilities were used. So, Lotus Vale was not a one shot lotus when it was printed either. The current wording retains original functionality.

    I suppose there may be another discussion to be had about original functionality vs printed text under current rules.


  • TMD Supporter

    Transmute into sundering titan is the bigger issue there i would think. nice one-sided armageddon you have there.



  • @thecravenone I guess... I've heard the whole Lotus Vale thing for years. But I'm not sure how interesting a discussion about errataing away the original functionality into something super broken would actually be...



  • @garbageaggro Yes, that's precisely what I was alluding to with the Flash reference. It appears to be a power level errata which is against their publicly stated policy.


  • TMD Supporter

    @topical_island said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

    @hierarchnoble @thecravenone In 2002 I could pitch Ancestral to Force then get it back with Cunning Wish... Now I can't. And that is, profoundly lame. Especially given what those cards actually say.

    I'm disappointed with how Burning Wish is worded these days, but I imagine the updated functionality is partially why it was unrestricted.



  • @hierarchnoble That's fair... though given how little play it sees. I don't know that A. errataing it back to the original would do anything broken... or even B. that if the errata happened and it got restricted again, that would do anything either... except making all Wishes make more sense and be more playable.


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