M14 Rule Changes
You all read the news this week on www.Dailymtg.com, right? Yup, they changed the legend rules once again. And trust me this is going to change how Magic is played even more than when they took damage of the stack back in 2009. Well i wasn’t a fan of the first legend rule, I did like how the second one worked, but this third one is a mess more than the first one.
The original Legend Rule was simple, if two or more legends with the same name were on the battlefield the newer ones where destroyed and the oldest got to stay in play. So say you and you buddy are playing UW Spirits. The first one to cast Geist of St. Traft would basically lock the other player out of the game. Now if opponent polymorphs in an Emrakul and you can’t pod out a Metamorph to kill it. Because in both cases theirs would live and yours would die.
Now R&D hated that because, like all players, we all get a little ticked when our cards do nothing but sit in our hands. So they changed things so that clones became weird removal spells. And when Planeswalkers showed up they gave them the same odd legend like effects. So when Caw-Blade ruled you had to have Jace battles so every deck ran five to seven Jaces which meant that even baby Jace was a good value card.
Now let’s look what happens under the new rules. Your opponent drops a nasty legend so you clone it, now you both have a nasty legend. the two most troubling of the nasty legends ins going to be Emrakul and Traft. Traft makes it so you start needing to think more in combat and have more tricks up your sleeves. Emrakul is just GG 99.99% of the time now if you only answer is to make your own, because changes are they will just attack you make make you sac it. So yeah, you going to have to change your game plan to lock down their legends.
Wait, they’ll just cast another one. Yeah, let’s say you opponent has your boss legend under a lock down enchantment like Pacifism so you can’t attack or block with it. Well, under the new rule you just cast another copy and sac the one that is enchanted. Even better, say you have a Planeswalker that only has one loyalty counter left on it after you used an ability but you wish you could use one of it’s abilities a second time this turn. Well just cast another copy and sac the one with the less counters on it and use the fresh one. I can see some abusing of this to just chain effects to end games when the old rules would have allowed opponents an extra turn or two to come back from behind.
With all that out of my system I need to address the last of the major rules changes, sideboards in constructed. For years sideboard size has been Yoda like, “Fifteen cards you have, no more, no less.” I mean come on this rule just seems to be more of an easy loophole that allows for more sloppy play and more game loses for failure to reset sideboards after matches. The only upside of this is for when you have forgotten key sideboard cards at home because you failed to deck check before leaving. Again, just more sloppy playing skills being reinforced.
In the end we are going to see a number of changes rock the game on July 13. It’s still going to be Magic but a number of the tricks that once were in our bag for handling legends are all gone and walkers have seemed to only get better. And this sideboard experiment is going to need a lot of time at the tables to see if it really is good for the game.
Well, that it for my rantings on the changes. This has been…
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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