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New Rules to Examine

9.20.04  Man, in the past week, we got a decent bit of news on the Magic front.

Something that apparently many people didn't know is that Wizards of the Coast has decided to change the "legend rule." Traditionally, if there was a legend already in play and another one later entered play with the same name, the second one was immediately sent to the graveyard.

Now, they are changing the rule to something completely different. Now, if there is a legend already in play and a second one with the same name later enters play, they are BOTH put into the graveyard. This will be the first time the rule has ever been like this.

The new rule does have some benefits. The most positive I see about this rules change is that it should make more sense to new players. Now, it's easy to just say that a legend can never be duplicated. If you think about it, a person can't be in the same place at the same time, so the new rule is strangely intuitive. Anything that makes a game more intuitive has to be a benefit.

Another neat thing is that it adds a whole new dimension to deck building in formats where legends will be dominant. For those of you that have been around long enough, think back to the days of Lin Sivvi running rampant. Wouldn't it have been great to be able to kill her by playing one of your own? We also know that there are supposed to be a lot of legends in Champions of Kamigawa. This is going to open the door to so many more deck building ideas. In extended, there are cards like Gaea's Cradle that produce a lot of mana. You can play one to be able to search it out and kill your opponent's Gaea's Cradle now. Come to think of it, isn't Mindslaver legendary? Now there's an idea :)

Now, of course there are some downsides. The biggest being confusion. Because this rule has been around for so long it will be hard to relearn. Right now, there are a lot of players coming (or coming back) to the game. They've all got the old rule instilled in them. But even that can be worked past. Something to think about though comes back to deck construction. Will some players waste spaces applying a particular legend for fear of losing to it? That's definitely something to think about. If nothing else, a lot of legends may be eating up sideboard slots.

Granted, all of this mattering, hinges on the fact that there will be a lot of good legends. The legends soon to be released could all such right? Then all of this wouldn't matter anyway. But it's fun to speculate anyway.

The other big news this week is that there was an update to the tournament formats. More directly, there were a lot of bannings and restrictions that occurred or were undone. To be honest, there were a lot of changes, so I decided to copy and paste them here for those of you that haven't seen it yet:

September 2004 DCI Banned and Restricted List Announcement -- Magic: the Gathering

Announcement Date: September 1, 2004
Effective Date: September 20, 2004
Magic Online Effective Date: September 23, 2004 (after the regularly scheduled Thursday downtime)


No changes

Mirrodin Block Constructed

No changes


Metalworker is banned
Skullclamp is banned

Vintage (formerly known as Type 1)

Braingeyser is unrestricted
Doomsday is unrestricted
Earthcraft is unrestricted
Fork is unrestricted

"Type 1.5" (new format name to be determined)

The "Type 1.5" Banned List is now maintained separately from the Vintage Banned and Restricted Lists. This format is going to be renamed. Read Aaron Forsythe's magicthegathering.com column on Friday, September 3, for information about how you can help choose the new name.

The following cards that were on the Type 1 Restricted List are unbanned in "Type 1.5":
Burning Wish
Chrome Mox
Crop Rotation
Enlightened Tutor
Fact or Fiction
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Mox Diamond
Mystical Tutor
Stroke of Genius
Voltaic Key

The following cards that were not on the Type 1 Restricted List are banned in "Type 1.5":
Bazaar of Baghdad
Goblin Recruiter
Hermit Druid
Illusionary Mask
Land Tax
Mana Drain
Mishra's Workshop
Oath of Druids
Worldgorger Dragon

Here is the complete Banned List for the new "Type 1.5" format:
Amulet of Quoz
Ancestral Recall
Bazaar of Baghdad
Black Lotus
Black Vise
Bronze Tablet
Chaos Orb
Contract from Below
Demonic Attorney
Demonic Consultation
Demonic Tutor
Dream Halls
Falling Star
Frantic Search
Goblin Recruiter
Grim Monolith
Hermit Druid
Illusionary Mask
Jeweled Bird
Land Tax
Library of Alexandria
Mana Crypt
Mana Drain
Mana Vault
Memory Jar
Mind Over Matter
Mind Twist
Mind's Desire
Mishra's Workshop
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Oath of Druids
Sol Ring
Strip Mine
Tempest Efreet
Time Spiral
Time Walk
Timmerian Fiends
Tolarian Academy
Vampiric Tutor
Wheel of Fortune
Worldgorger Dragon
Yawgmoth's Bargain
Yawgmoth's Will

Magic Online Formats

The Banned Lists for Magic Online formats will now be maintained using these quarterly announcements. Note that the Standard, Mirrodin Block Constructed, and Extended formats in Magic Online use the same Banned Lists given above. In case you skipped ahead, the net impact is that Skullclamp is banned in Extended (Metalworker is in a set unavailable for play in Magic Online).


No cards are banned in the Classic format. Every card available on Magic Online may be played in this format.


No cards are banned in the Open format. Every card available on Magic Online may be played in this format.


Bribery is banned
Buried Alive is banned
Burning Wish is banned
Cunning Wish is banned
Diabolic Tutor is banned
Eladamri's Call is banned
Entomb is banned
Fabricate is banned
Insidious Dreams is banned
Living Wish is banned
Quiet Speculation is banned
Sterling Grove is banned
Sundering Titan is banned
Tooth and Nail is banned
Wild Research is banned


No changes


Skullclamp is banned

That's a whole lot of text to absorb. So let's examine them format by format here.

Standard Format and Mirrodin block Constructed.
- Both of these formats saw no change. That's ok. The last round of bannings that got rid of Skullclamp has drastically helped to diversify both formats.

- Metalworker and Skullclamp both got the axe. I have done a little examination of the extended and most list I had been working on included either of these two cards. After speaking with some competitive players that spend lots of time playing this format, they agreed with these bannings. So R&D has apparently did their research. This is great too, because they didn't wait until a pro level event happened. This should give us an interesting tournament format for Pro Tour Columbus.

- First of all, the noted that they will be using the name "Vintage" regularly again. More importantly though, they opened up a lot more deck again. Vintage is a fast format, so none of these cards are totally threatening to the format. However, they will add a little bit of diversity.

Type 1.5
- The only format without a cool nickname. This isn't a big deal. The thing to note now though, is that Type 1.5 is not directly linked to Vintage any longer. The list seems more than fair. Many fans of this format are griping right now, but I think they need to let it ride. R&D has actually done some research and surveying on this one. I think WotC wants this format to gain some popularity in the future. This is a format that allows even casual players to participate with WHATEVER cards they have, but doesn't force them to need the most expensive cards in the game to compete.

- So what decks are decent in this format again? Well, from one message forum I am on, one players notes:

10-land green stompy
Any sligh/burn deck - minus "goblin deck-stacker
White Weenie
U/R Fish/Landstill
R/G beats/LD/fires decks
Secret Force
The Rock
Pattern of Rebirth
BBS (Blue Bull****)
Mono-black control
Mono-black Discard/megrim

And that's just naming a few. This looks like a nice healthy format. It's a bit of a throwback to Extended before the last set rotation. It's still good stuff here though.

Magic Online
- I honest know very little about these formats. All I can say is that the players that I've spoken with are OK with what has been posted, so I'll take their word for it.

Things are definitely looking good for Magic. Rules changes and bannings always start heated debates. Be prepred to listen to them for the next few days. But there is one thing to note; all of the recent rules changes WotC has made have turned out great. So maybe if we give them time and get ourselves acclimated to them, we won't even notice the difference.

Out of curiosity, I want to end with something different. I want to know what your store means to you. I don't anything extravagant. I just want to know what lengths you are willing to go to for you local store. What do you like about it? Why are you in support of it? Why do you support it over other stores or internet stores?

I think that might make a good article. It would also be interesting to just read. Just send them to my e-mail address and will make my best effort to reply to directly to each one I receive.

Until next time,

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com




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