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  • posted a message on Remembering triggered abilities and the word "may"
    If a triggered ability does not contain the word "may", do the official rules require that the ability go on the stack, even if it means backing the game up a phase or two because no one noticed until then?


    I have a Reckless Fireweaver in play. During my second main phase, I play an artifact but forget about the Reckless Fireweaver's ability. During my opponent's upkeep/draw phase, I suddenly remember the Fireweaver's ability should have triggered. At that point, is it too late, or are we supposed to put the trigger on the stack? Does the fact that the ability does not contain the word "may" make a difference? I assume if the triggered ability contained the word "may" and you forget to trigger it at the proper time, you definitely wouldn't/shouldn't be allowed to go back and trigger it?

    Related Question:

    At FNMs, how strict/lenient are you supposed to be with enforcement of rules like this? How much slack are you supposed to give/get regarding remembering triggers late? If I or my opponent have already started our untap phase, is it too late for us to say "Oh wait, before the end of your last turn, I wanted to do X"
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Foul Emissary ETB trigger question
    For "may" abilities, do I have to decide as the ability goes on the stack, or can I wait until it resolves before making my decision?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Foul Emissary ETB trigger question
    If I cast Foul Emissary, it resolves, and its ETB ability goes on the stack:

    1. When the ability resolves, I must look at the top 4 cards of my library. If I find a creature there, do I have to reveal it and put it into my hand? (I'm thinking no?)

    2. Do I have to put all non-creature and non-revealed cards on the bottom of my library regardless of whether or not I actually revealed a creature from among them?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on dual land card type: choice of "Land" vs "[landtype] [landtype]"
    Why in some cases are dual lands printed as card type "Land" (example: Game Trail), but in other cases are card type "[landtype] [landtype]" (examples: Cinder Glade, Taiga (note that Taiga received an errata that makes it type "mountain forest", even though the original printing was type "land"))? Obviously a card like Acid Rain would affect the Taiga or Cinder Glade but not the Game Trail, but given that landwalk abilities and mass land destruction spells seem to be a thing of the past, how often is the distinction in dual land card types meaningful? I'm far from an expert, but drafted BFZ and SOI a fair number of times and don't recall the card types of lands under my control ever being very significant to the mechanics of the format.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Counters are poor game design
    Quote from Aazadan »
    I'm going to reply again and this time in a different way, your problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of the game. It's not your fault either because it's how the game is marketed. The game is marketed as having infinite possibilities, you can make a deck you like, go play, and thanks to variance you will win at least some of the time.

    As is typical for games however, what they claim and what they're like are often very different things. In Magic's case Magic is all about what can't be done, not what can be done.

    You can't cast 8 mana unprotected creatures into cheap interaction Doom Blade, Swords to Plowshares, Mana Leak, Counterspell, Control Magic, Into the Roil, or Act of Treason.

    You can't hold big creatures in your hand all game threatening to come down because Thoughtseize, Despise, Liliana of the Veil will take it and make you find another.

    You can't start the game at turn 3 or 4 when your opponent plans to hit you for several damage on turn 1.

    At any competitive or even casual competitive level 90% of all cards are unplayable, and in some formats that approaches 99%.

    If you play a creature and it's not resilient in some form, it's only function is to die and get a card out of the opponents hand. You're not being aided by loyal minions... you're sending them on suicide missions over and over until they all die.

    Lastly. Cards are supposed to trade and do nothing. My counter for your creature, now we're both down a card. My kill spell for your next creature, we're each down a card again. Next time maybe it's my creature for your removal spell, another trade. The whole point of Magic for most decks it to make 1:1 trades to wear down the opponents resources. You generate value by trading something worth less than what your opponent is making in the trade. Once the resources are gone, you generate card advantage (probably incrementally over several turns through those trades) and win with something that doesn't eat a trade.

    Playing 7 drops in a format with real answers doesn't play into that strategy unless you're on Tron.

    That is what Magic is, it's not a game with infinite possibilities. It's a game with very few possible outcomes because 1% of the cards invalidate the other 99%. Your problem isn't with counterspells, it's that you're playing part of that 99% of cards that doesn't give you any way to deal with them, and all colors can deal with them.

    This was a very helpful post, thanks.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on card rarity/print sheet questions
    What's now known as "rare" in recent sets is what would have been called "R2" under the old nomenclature, and the "mythic" term is likewise a rebranding of R1, so those rarities mesh together neatly on the same sheet.

    For the uncommons, even though the number of cards will fit on a sheet with plenty of room to spare, they actually spread them across two separate sheets. That makes 242 slots, and one of the slots on each sheet is a blank filler card that gets thrown away by the collator, yielding a nice round 240 figure that allows each uncommon to appear three times across the sheets.

    Likewise, with the commons they print five different sheets, with a total of 605 spaces. 100 of the commons are C6 in all, while the last one (which is specifically chosen as a mana fixer, such as Terramorphic Expanse) only has enough room to be C5.

    Perfect explanation, thanks.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on card rarity/print sheet questions
    I was looking at the card rarity information for an early MTG set, The Dark, here:


    and noticed that card rarities are listed as "C1", "U1", and so on. Based on my searches, the letter refers to the sheet the card appeared on (common or uncommon in the case of The Dark), and the number indicated the number of times the card appeared on that sheet. A bit of math revealed that this set had 121-card sheets: one sheet containing commons and one containing uncommons.

    Contrast that with a recent set such as BFZ and the card rarities are just listed as C, U, R, and M:


    The set consists of 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares.

    Does BFZ still use a 121 card print sheet? If so, are the remaining slots (20 in the case of commons) empty, or do some commons, uncommons, and rares/mythic rares appear more or less frequently on a sheet, just as was the case with The Dark and other older sets?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on basic instant/activated ability question
    Thanks, that makes sense.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on basic instant/activated ability question
    My opponent attacks me with a Sludge Crawler. I have a Smite the Monstrous in my hand. I do not declare any blockers for the Sludge Crawler. My opponent then pays 6 to pump the Sludge Crawler up to 4/4. Do I have an opportunity to play Smite the Monstrous before combat damage is dealt? It would seem that if I play it as a direct response to the Sludge Crawler's activated ability, it would go on the top of the stack on top of the Sludge Crawler's activated ability, then fizzle because its target is not legal (yet). Then the Sludge Crawler's activated ability would trigger, but then I would take 4 damage because my Smite the Monstrous had already fizzled.

    Typically when I'm playing, neither I nor my opponent announce each of the combat sub-phases (http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Combat_phase) explicitly other than declaring attackers and blockers. I'm assuming in the case above my opponent used the Crawler's ability at the end of the Declare Blockers step. Would it matter if they had used it then or at the beginning of the Combat Damage step for the purposes of determining whether or not I can play Smite the Monstrous?.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on How much total time do you spend on MTG per week? How much is necessary to become good?
    I'm trying to improve my game and am curious to know how much total time people spend on MTG in a typical week. I'll break up time spent into the following categories:

    1. competitive play (anything official involving prizes: FNM, tournaments, prereleases)
    2. playtesting (playing for the specific purpose of testing out a deck or idea for competitive play)
    3. casual play (playing for fun only)
    4. online play (MTGO or other simulators)
    5. reading/researching/podcasts/etc.
    6. other/something I missed?

    Approximately how much time does one need to invest to become competitive at different levels of competition? I started playing FNM draft a couple months ago after last playing casually in the mid 90's and am wondering how much time I need to invest to really improve. To answer my own question, I draft once per week (~4 hours) and spend about an hour or so over the course of a week reading strategy articles. I know that's probably not a lot, but my current goal is only to consistently be able to place at my FNMs. Most times I still go 0-3 or 1-2, with the occasional 2-1. Obviously some LGSs are more competitive than others, which could skew answers somewhat.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Old Card Frame v. New Card Frame
    I know this is an old thread, but I just got back into MTG a couple months ago after having last played when the old card frames were still being used and just thought I'd add my thoughts to this thread rather than create a new one.

    I think the new frames are cleaner and easier to read, but the old frames had a more fantasy/mysterious look to them, and were overall more enjoyable to look at and play with.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on dividers for BCW cardboard storage boxes with fold over lids
    For those who use the BCW card boxes with the fold-over lids (as opposed to the shoeboxes with separate lids): what do you use as card dividers? For some reason, BCW makes plastic dividers for their monster boxes with the separate lids, but not for the boxes with fold-over lids. I suppose slips of paper would work well enough, but I was just wondering if there were plastic dividers designed for this type of box.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on how are MTG cards randomized and collated?
    Quote from Wolfaxe »

    Because they're based on printed sheets which are pre-determined it wouldn't be possible to make it truly random.

    The sheets are pre-determined, but it would be possible to build a mechanical sorter driven by a random number generator (or pseudo random number generator) to sort the cards after they are cut from the sheet. WoTC may not actually do this, but it would be technically possible.

    Quote from Wolfaxe »

    The packs in each box are not random either because they want to keep at least a range of mythics per box. They don't want someone opening a no mythic box while someone else gets twice the number of mythics as usual as a result. However WotC has gone to great lengths to decrease the possibility of box mapping to where it takes so much time and effort as to not be profitable. You could probably still do it with old boxes though if you really wanted to.

    This is what I figured. If it were truly random, there would be a finite probability of getting all or a large number of planeswalkers in a single box. My question was mainly out of pure curiosity. I didn't think it would ever be worth my time to figure out how the boxes are mapped.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on how are MTG cards randomized and collated?
    Does anyone know how MTG cards are randomized and collated within packs and within boxes of packs? Is each C/U/R slot of a pack truly random? Is each pack of a box truly random, or are there a finite number of box "configurations" that contain a predetermined set of packs?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on early MTG players: what was your LGS/scene like in the early-mid 90's?
    Quote from dwchang »

    A part of me wonders if the internet and price guides took a lot of "fun" out of the trading side. I remember going to my first prerelease (Exodus) and not knowing a single card in the entire set and after opening my packs, reading every single card one-by-one and being excited. That never happens anymore.

    I can definitely relate to this. I remember the anticipation I and the two friends I played with felt when Ice Age was nearing release, which we learned about by talking to people at our LGS. When it was finally available, we went to our LGS to buy packs and spent the next few hours just studying the cards. Each new pack we opened was a discovery process to see what cards were in the set. Eventually the entire list was released along with card descriptions, but you had to buy a magazine or book to access that information. Even those didn't include the artwork, so there was still something to surprise you if you bought packs. If you didn't want to see any spoilers, it was pretty easy to avoid them.

    Although it is still technically possible to avoid spoiler lists today and retain that element of surprise when a new set is released, it is much more difficult if you spend any amount of time on discussion boards such as this one. Even hanging out at your LGS will expose you to spoilers.

    Obviously WotC couldn't have anticipated the growth of the internet and mobile devices way back in 1993, and they had the right idea in keeping card lists and rarities as secret as possible at that time. As much as I like technological progress, I do think a very enjoyable aspect of the game was lost due to the proliferation of the internet.
    Posted in: Magic General
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