@desolutionist You let me play Whispers of the Muse out of my sideboard in exchange for one of my sideboard slots and you better believe I'd do it.

@protoaddict That's a good analysis and I think it correctly reflects how the less a Companion requires you to actually pay a cost in terms of deck building, the less the Companion Tax matters.

I also suspect this means we're getting more Companions... and quickly. Probably lots of them. We're entering a new era, everyone:

1994- 2007 - The Golden Age
2007 - 2020 - The Planesewalker Era
2020 - ???? - Every Format is EDH

last edited by MaximumCDawg

I wonder if Lurrus can be unbanned now? He may actually be problematic as a 4 of instead of a companion all the same so I'm not sure.

@maximumcdawg The value will depend on the deck building restriction and the power of the card you get for the sideboard slot. Getting a 3/2 I can flash in and copy my gush was really nice when I could just do it End of Turn.

Now I have to broadcast Lutri on my main phase and have enough resources left in a highlander deck to play defense then try to play him at some other time.

Maybe Zirda is worth it with Grim Monolith but I do not see any of the other companions that have been printed so far as worth it.

I don't think it kills the mechanic but in Vintage it sets a very high bar to how good they have to be to see play now.

@moorebrother1 said in New Companion Errata:

Maybe Zirda is worth it with Grim Monolith but I do not see any of the other companions that have been printed so far as worth it.

If you were going to build zidra you basically have 2 paths

  • Standard deck with 4 copies of zidra and whatever cards you want
  • A deck that meets the activated ability clause with 3 zidra main and a 4th that you can living wish for at any time.

I'm not actually sure what the better configuration is going to be in this case. Inclined to believe it is still the companion version since the stuff you need to find all makes mana to pay the tax.

@protoaddict Targeted discard is only played in Doomsday and Dark Petition combo, they're playing it super early in the game when you wouldn't want to cast Lutri anyway, and they're not going to waste the discard going after Lutri instead of your countermagic.

So I think the susceptibility to discard is a red herring. Fetch Lutri on turn 3 and cast it on turn 6. I'll even bet you that the ability to exile Lutri to Force of Will/Negation comes up more often than getting your Lutri Thoughtseized.

@desolutionist said in New Companion Errata:

If this tax doesn't matter, then Whispers of the Muse is the best draw spell in the game

Your point is completely lost on me. The only relation I see connecting Whispers of the Muse and Companions are that they're both spells you cast using mana.

last edited by evouga

@evouga said in New Companion Errata:

If this tax doesn't matter, then Whispers of the Muse is the best draw spell in the game

In fact a better comparison might be to Merchant Scroll+Ancestral: you pay mana in two "installments" to get a powerful effect.

Obviously the tax "matters" in that you'd rather not pay extra to cast your Companion. The rules change was intended to nerf the power of the Companions and nobody is arguing otherwise. Whether you're willing to jump through the extra hoop will depend on the power level of the Companion's effect.

last edited by evouga

I think mana cost has a big influence over what gets played in Vintage. Usually the higher mana cost cards end up being liabilities since your mana base is constantly being attacked or you need to win quickly before you're able to make significant mana developments. People may be attracted to trying Lurrus again if it were to be unbanned but when they realize that they're never actually casting Lurrus that often, they will remove Lurrus in order to play a valuable sideboard card in addition to 3 cmc cards such as Mentor or Narset. Investing two turns into a single 3 mana card that isn't immediately winning the game isn't good.

last edited by desolutionist

@evouga said in New Companion Errata:

So I think the susceptibility to discard is a red herring. Fetch Lutri on turn 3 and cast it on turn 6. I'll even bet you that the ability to exile Lutri to Force of Will/Negation comes up more often than getting your Lutri Thoughtseized.

If he is sitting in your hand for 3 turns, that is 3 turns for you to be wheeled or where you cannot wheel. That is 3 turns that he is +1 HS against balance. There are plenty of relevant situations where this matter.

That being said he is now pitchable to the 2 forces you have in your deck, so very slight upside I guess?

@desolutionist said in New Companion Errata:

hen they realize that they're never actually casting Lurrus that often, they will remove Lurrus in order to play a valuable sideboard card in addition to 3 cmc cards such as Mentor or Narset. Investing two turns into a single 3 mana card that isn't immediately winning the game isn't good.

Ever had a late game where you have a bunch of mana but keep top decking moxen or lands. I know I have. That is where he becomes relevant.

last edited by Protoaddict

@smmenen Waaaait a minute here, Steven.

You've been all over people (like me!) who mis-use the term "Power Level Errata" in the past. Now you're mis-using it? Shame on you, brah.

Power-level errata, as the School of Menedian taught me, means issuing errata to change card text for the express purpose of reducing its power level. Now, usually it's misapplied by people who apply it to a change that is justified by original intent or original function but has the practical effect of reducing power level.

It seems like you're doing the same thing, but abusing a different part of the definition. Wizards is not issuing errata for card text like they did in the Power Level Errata era. Instead, they're changing rules. This is something that happens all the time. Hell, remember the Mulligan rule changes? Remember that cluster? Damage on the stack? Lotus-freaking-Vale? Rules changes are not the same thing as card errata and you know this.

I think the calm version of what I'm trying to say is that it's alarming to me to see someone who has always been so calm and clinical about the application of errata policy essentially break out the pitchforks over this one.

@maximumcdawg said in New Companion Errata:

You've been all over people (like me!) who mis-use the term "Power Level Errata" in the past. Now you're mis-using it? Shame on you, brah

The companion rule is written on the cards. It is a card rule, not a game rule like how phases or damage work. This is 100% a power level errata.

The game is littered with examples of cards that were hamstrung by rules changes: Interdict, Piracy, Citadel of Pain, Spectral Searchlight, Master of Arms....

One difference this time is that the rules were changed specifically to nerf Companions, rather than Companions getting nerfed incidentally as a consequence of a rules change whose intent was something else (such as streamlining the rules). I do agree though that the reaction of Steve et al. have a hint of special pleading.

The companion rule is written on the cards.

In the strict sense of "written," but it was reminder text. Reminder text isn't and never has been rules text. In fact reminder text is often purposefully an incorrect reflection of the actual rules, even at the time of printing (see Madness for instance).

last edited by evouga

@maximumcdawg said in New Companion Errata:

@smmenen Waaaait a minute here, Steven.

You've been all over people (like me!) who mis-use the term "Power Level Errata" in the past. Now you're mis-using it? Shame on you, brah.

Power-level errata, as the School of Menedian taught me, means issuing errata to change card text for the express purpose of reducing its power level. Now, usually it's misapplied by people who apply it to a change that is justified by original intent or original function but has the practical effect of reducing power level.

It seems like you're doing the same thing, but abusing a different part of the definition. Wizards is not issuing errata for card text like they did in the Power Level Errata era. Instead, they're changing rules. This is something that happens all the time. Hell, remember the Mulligan rule changes? Remember that cluster? Damage on the stack? Lotus-freaking-Vale? Rules changes are not the same thing as card errata and you know this.

I think the calm version of what I'm trying to say is that it's alarming to me to see someone who has always been so calm and clinical about the application of errata policy essentially break out the pitchforks over this one.

I didn’t actually say anything. All I did was post to snarky photo to be funny.

In any case, I actually do think this qualifies as power level errata. The express purpose of this change is to power down the companion mechanic.

It’s true it’s just a rules change. But it’s not a rule change with an incidental byproduct. The effect is the purpose.

It’s true that makes it different from most cases of power level errata, but not all.

To get technical about it, power level errata is a change to functionality that differs from the original ruled and intended functionality for the express and primary purpose of lowering a cards power. But that can occur by changing a cards text or by changing the rules. In almost all instances in which rules have been changed it’s because there has been a systemwide change. In this case it’s a targeted change in the mechanic with very few cards printed so far.

@smmenen said in New Companion Errata:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14

alt text

This is my main issue with it. I find it very disturbing that they'd choose to go this route after all this time. This is just weird and opens up a very bad precedent.

I mean, if you plot a chart of the admitted mistakes, bannings and restrictions and errata they have had over the past few years, and put it against a chart of the increase in releases the game has had, it's pretty much a direct correlation. I honestly just think this is them getting sloppy and being too relaxed about the corrective measure they have. I don't know what staffing looks like over there but I genuinely just believe they need more to do all the testing and QA work.

This kind of change is going to be more and more possible in the future as Magic shifts to digital formats. There, you can easily perform power level errata on cards. Bad Presidents indeed...

@Protoaddict

Even if they were sufficiently careful such that their attempts to ratchet up the power level of Standard didn't lead to mistakes that require bannings within Standard, the additional synergies and lines of attack available in eternal formats means that any attempt to push Standard's power level makes mistakes in non-Standard formats nearly inevitable.

That would be true even if Wizards did their best to test and QA for those formats, and let's not forget that Mark Rosewater has publicly stated that Wizards does not "have the means to test older formats".

@necrogeist said in New Companion Errata:

@Protoaddict
Even if they were sufficiently careful such that their attempts to ratchet up the power level of Standard didn't lead to mistakes that require bannings within Standard, the additional synergies and lines of attack available in eternal formats means that any attempt to push Standard's power level makes mistakes in non-Standard formats nearly inevitable.
That would be true even if Wizards did their best to test and QA for those formats, and let's not forget that Mark Rosewater has publicly stated that Wizards does not "have the means to test older formats".

Are you suggesting that adding more testing would not catch issues and that everything is inevitable? I disagree.

It took the communities of these formats all of a week to not only solve the new cards but to determine what was bannable. Even in previews, go back and look at what people caught the very day some cards were spoiled. I very much remember looking at Mystic Forge day 0 and saying this would be restricted in vintage. We can also look at a number of recent cards and see how quickly they were called out as staples such as Breach.

Testing is not infallible but to think that because it is not perfect they should not do more is foolish.

Video games have been using a concept called an "Open" beta for years to test the balance of their games on the general populace, and make the necessary adjustments before the real release. There is really no reason that this couldn't be done using MTGO or Arena.

@vaughnbros said in New Companion Errata:

Video games have been using a concept called an "Open" beta for years to test the balance of their games on the general populace, and make the necessary adjustments before the real release. There is really no reason that this couldn't be done using MTGO or Arena.

I work in software development. If my 25 man company can test out a multi-functional application against multiple form factors, devices, and browsers from 10 years ago and at the least know where the breakage points are, then I fail to see how a multi-million dollar company cannot test out the obviously problematic cards in a few playtest session against the formats they purportedly support.

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