Reverting cards to original functionality


Adding the word, "may" wouldve been more in line with what theyve done for other player error corrections. Instead they chose a less obvious errata so they could for some reason, weaken the power of these cards.


They should make you have to reveal for all fail to finds if they wanted to be consistent with the justification you've given.

@vaughnbros So you crack a fetchland, and you can't find a land, so you show your deck to your opponent? I think think WotC solution is better here ๐Ÿ˜„

@brass-man I agree. So they should allow Unmask to be a may.

@katzby said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

@nedleeds said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

Djinn was played as a destroy effect for years, it's a terrible card in modern magic either way but would be an interesting player in 93/94 if you could combo with Consecrate Land.

One quick note- even if Serendib Djinn's wording were changed to something like "At the beginning of your upkeep, destroy a land you control...", then it would still not combo with Consecrate Land. Or rather, it would, but probably not in the way that you are thinking.

I gather what you wish to do is choose your Consecrated land each turn and expect this to satisfy the trigger, meanwhile going about the rest of your game with other lands on the battlefield. Right? This would not work under the current rules.

This is because Consecrate Land gives the enchanted land Indestructible, and so it would therefore be an illegal choice when resolving this ability.

What you could do, though, is destroy all of your other lands leaving only Consecrate-enchanted lands on the battlefield under you control. This would at least allow you to escape the other "When you control no lands..." trigger condition. But, again, I don't think this is what you were going for.

There are various ways to change the wording of the ability to something that would combo with Consecrate Land, but I feel any such wording would be even further away from the original text than the current Oracle seems to be.

FYI, the hypothetical wording above would still combo with Pyramids, though.



Oh yeah I forgot that the rules are 'now' (vs. 1994) smart enough to know the attributes of an object. For old people like me this is counter intuitive. A rule that I have to constantly remind myself of is that damage 'knows' it has qualities. Deathtouch being the most common example when assigning it, the game rules 'know' 1 point is lethal. This is similar the game rules know the object can't be destroyed.

So really this is another reason to make it work as Garfield intended. It will work as an awful combo with Pyramids. It allows you to have 1 land (Consecrated) after an Armageddon. It's still reallllll bad though.

Thanks for clarifying.

@nedleeds I dunno if it's saying that the rules "know" it is indestructible, it's just saying you can't satisfy the payment of "destroying" a land by trying and failing to destroy an indestructible one. It's like how you can't use blue mana when the mana cost calls for white, ya know?

If it said, "choose target land. Destroy it." then you could choose your indestructible land.

I don't think WotC really cares about Serendib Djinn's wording enough to fix it. The only folks that play it are the same folks that share every "Only 90's Kids Will Remember" meme they find on Facebook because the nostalgia of youth is the only thing that pushes them forward in their corporate hell lives. 93/94 is worse than Vintage at dollar voting because the purists refuse to accept reprints, and therefore their voices are worthless to WotC.

I will agree that Wizards doesn't have an immense amount of monetizable wealth to be gained for reverting cards back to their original functionality but I suspect that at some point it will happen. Especially for the reserved list cards. They are not going to see a new printing and so can't be errata'd in any physical version. They are also not very commonly played with a few exceptions such as Lion's Eye Diamond. There is therefore no rules simplification to be gained by maintaining a second set of rules text for that single card when the most recent version of the rules can still be applied to its current text and come up with the same mechanics and game play experience that the card originally had when printed. The most obvious cases where the current rules can be successfully applied to the old wording are the Arabian Nights and Antiquities cards mentioned above. They received multiple errata as the various rules changes came into affect over the years and incidentally were functionally changed in the process; However, the current iteration of the rules can be used to parse the original wording and come up with exactly the same functionality that the card originally had in almost every case and with less subjective interpretation. This didn't used to be the case for previous iterations of the rules and so the errata were necessary and even welcome but now that people are playing them again thanks to old school some have noticed how the original intent has been lost on certain (mostly unplayable) cards that were basically overlooked due to lack of high profile play.

Some of the cases involving the interpretation of the word bury that are mentioned above are actually fairly recent and an attempt to phase out older keywords:
I don't personally agree with the changes made to the definition of buried to mean sacrificed. There is no savings in terms of simplification to add an additional meaning to the word buried since it's been understood to mean "destroyed and can't be regenerated" since it was invented in 1994. There's really nothing to be gained by getting rid of it except on cards that they intend to reprint with the word sacrifice (which can't be on reserved list cards anyway). They're not going to errata Wrath of God to say "Sacrifice all creatures." so I can't think of any reason why reserved list cards which used bury would be errata'd in this way.

So far the only reasoning I've found behind the change in wording of bury being divergent between sacrifice and destroy without possibility of regeneration is due to the wording of the card Call of the Wild which states that the card revealed from the top of the library is either placed into play or buried. To me it's obvious that this is essentially a typo on the original card since there was never any concept of destroying a card that is not yet in play (unlike the keyword "discard").

I believe the reason that these cards have deviated in function so far from their original intended purpose and use is that they're just terrible cards in all sanctioned formats and can only really be played in Old School. I don't know about you, the reader of this post, but that's the reason that I'm reading writing in this thread. I was very happy to see the original functionality of Winter Orb restored. I think there's quite a few cards in a similar vein that could be corrected back to their original intended function at no net cost to Wizards of the Coast that would have a tremendous positive impact on various Old School communities; many of which have taken it upon themselves to enforce their own errata on the ground, so to speak. All they would have to do is remove the current errata on these cards and with a few minor grammatical changes they would be restored to their original functionality and still fit the modern rules template.

Does anyone reading this thread know what the best place would be to send a petition about these rules changes? I think I'd actually like to write to Wizards of the Coast about this one since it's kind of just a cheap and easy fix with a few recommendations. I'd also like to suggest that they print old card frame foil masterpieces of eternal staples that have never been printed in the old card frame in celebration of magic's 25th year; but that's another story ๐Ÿ™‚

last edited by Aaron Patten

There's precedent for Old School making Chaos Orb playable via errata (speaking of which, Falling Star needs that love). No reason the community couldn't all agree to do the same for Serendib Djinn.

@cambriel said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

There's precedent for Old School making Chaos Orb playable via errata (speaking of which, Falling Star needs that love). No reason the community couldn't all agree to do the same for Serendib Djinn.

This is probably the main reason why Old School is a joke. Having a separate B/R list is one thing. Arbitrarily making cards work differently is another.

@cambriel said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

(speaking of which, Falling Star needs that love).

Coming soon to a 93/94 event near you, Turbo Falling "How Does This Work in a Tournament Setting?" Star.

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

This is probably the main reason why Old School is a joke. Having a separate B/R list is one thing. Arbitrarily making cards work differently is another.

It's played in bars and Chaos Orb is the tie breaker. I'm not sure anyone ever claimed it was serious.

Fun as fuck, though. Fake team rivalries alone make it worth the price of a beer.

@cambriel I would play it it had a more accurate name.

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

@cambriel I would play it it had a more accurate name.

I can think of many reasons not to play a format, but refusing to play a format because of it's name seems rather peevish. Have you ever heard anyone refuse to play Legacy because of it's name is inaccurate?

Format naming conventions are merely useful devices and not intended to be precise descriptors. What makes Legacy a "Legacy"? Or Eternal truly "eternal?" Or, going back further, Type I and Type 2 signaled absolutely nothing meaningful about the format they designated except to identify it.

Old School Magic is a spectrum of formats that are essentially the opposite of Standard - any format that excludes more recent sets. They include actual historical formats and re-envisioned formats with old sets. They are incredibly enjoyable to play and explore, and refusing to do so simply because of a name is like refusing to eat a delicious and savory food item because of how it looks or what's called rather than any inherent health or taste consideration. The substance of the thing matters much more than the superficial aspects. If the name is really the only reason you aren't playing Old School formats, you are missing out for fairly silly reasons.

This is probably the main reason why Old School is a joke. Having a separate B/R list is one thing. Arbitrarily making cards work differently is another.

The widely adopted errata on Chaos Orb is anything but arbitrary. It is incredibly narrowly tailored to the problems Chaos Orb presents.

The widely accepted problems with Chaos Orb and other dexterity cards are 1) that they are extremely difficult to adjudicate & resolve disputes/disagreements over, and 2) space, because Chaos Orb can touch multiple cards at once, and therefore compels players to take up more table space than they otherwise would, a precious commodity in many tournaments.

The errata issued to Chaos Orb directly addresses both problems. The "landing" element means that you don't need a judge or even a video camera or replay booth see whether Chaos Orb is touching something. It can be observed directly. And the "targeting" element addresses the problem of players needing to hog more space than otherwise needed.

The errata on Chaos Orb is anything but arbitrary: it directly addresses what most people consider to be the fundamental problems with the card. In my experience, this errata works exceptionally well, and balances the interests in having Chaos Orb be an actual card you can play with against the interests in addressing the fundamental problems with the card.

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

Wishes are one thing. But Ring of Ma'ruf is another. Here is the wording of the card:

  • 5: Instead of drawing a card from the top of your library, select one of your cards from outside the game. This card can be any card you have that you're not using in your deck or that for some reason has left the game. Ring of Ma'rรปf is removed from the game entirely after use.

So, this tells us that the Ring is explicitly able to fetch a card "that for some reason has left the game." It immediately follows this with "Ring of Ma'rรปf is removed from the game entirely after use."

Taken together, it is very very clear that wherever the Ring is going, another Ring should be able to pull it back. Any reasonable reading would indicate this.

While there are arguments for the Wishes not being able to grab Exiled cards, the Ring has a few different factors in its favor. First, it has not been printed with a different wording -- and as a Reserve List card, it cannot be printed with a different wording. Second, the Wishes do not explicitly mention that you can get back a card that has been removed; the Ring explicitly grants this. And if there is any remote power level concern, keep in mind that the Ring costs ten mana and eats up your draw step, too.

So, taken together, I think that there's a strong argument for Ring of Ma-ruf being able to retrieve cards from the Exile zone.

Although I am sympathetic to your goal (I would like to see the errata you suggest), there are a few problems with your reasoning.

First, with the introduction of the Exiled Zone, Wizards explicitly announced they would not attempt to restore the functionality of cards impacted by that rules change. So, your reasoning would have to address that barrier, and I don't think it does.

The first reason you give is that Wishes have been reprinted with different wording, but Ring has not. Except that's not true of all of Wishes. Living Wish, for example, has not been reprinted.

Moreover, Ring has been reprinted in Masters Edition, so you have your facts wrong on that. I know how much you'll enjoy this image ๐Ÿ˜‰

alt text

The second reason you give is also flawed: although Wishes don't explicitly state that you can retrieve a card that has been removed from game, they were designed with that functionality and originally ruled to work that way, because the term "outside of the game" was explicitly understood, in tournament settings, to include cards that were removed from game. So although the text was not explicit, the meaning was.

This is actually because of Ring of Ma'Ruf. Item #6 in the June, 1994 Official Magic Floor Rules clarified that Ring of Ma'ruf could retrieve cards from your sideboard in addition to those removed from game, including by Swords to Plowshares, Eater of the Dead, etc. That ruling meant that designers applying the template of "outside of the game" was an efficient way of referring to both cards that were in sideboards or what been removed during a course of the game.

It would be ironic indeed if the O.R.F. of Ring was restored but the design intent and ORF of the Wishes was thwarted because of efficient templating decisions based upon rulings issued because of Ring of Ma'ruf.

On the other hand, they have admitted that text matters (not just ORF or intent), so perhaps the fairly thin reed of the fact that Ring is explicit while the Wishes are implicit is enough to make a difference.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen said in Reverting cards to original functionality:

And lest you think online reprints don't count for the "latest printing" rule, recall how Winter Orb's ORF was restored through an online reprint last summer.

Winter Orb was reprinted last summer in Eternal Masters, and the rules change was associated with that release. I could post an image for you to 'enjoy', but that seems unnecessarily petty even for me...

True, Eternal Masters was not just a digital set, but what I said was true: Rich was mistaken in his claim that Ring of Ma'ruf had never been reprinted with different text. It has been reprinted with different text in Masters Edition. And Winter Orb was reprinted digitally last year. It was just reprinted in paper as well.

last edited by Smmenen

Regarding Serendib Djinn: I tried to delve into its past to find out why they made the change from destroy to sacrifice. Apparently the wording in Arabian Nights was just so random that they tried to homogenize them. Dandan says just destroy, while Junun Efreet states destroy without regeneration. To make it worse, cards like City in a Bottle and Bottle of Suleiman state the term discarded. So creatures are destroyed, everything else is discarded? But wait, Flying Carpet is not discarded but destroyed. And Diamond Valley explicitely states that a creature is sacrificed, despite that not being official language before Revised (thanks for the article, Aaron!)

All I could find was that the "Official Encyclopedia Volume 1" from 1996 already states that the Djinn sacrifices land, because apparently they can't be buried. I would be nice to get the original wording back on this one, but since the card works the way it does for more than 20 years now, I doubt this will ever happen. I'm giving up on this one and I agree that whichever Oldschool community wants to play it either has to use house rules or just play it as intended since 1996 (or 1994 even, when Revised came out - I wasn't able to find a date when the change actually happened).

In the Olden Days, only creatures could be sacrificed. That's why Diamond Valley says Sacrifice but the Djinn does not.

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

In the Olden Days, only creatures could be sacrificed. That's why Diamond Valley says Sacrifice but the Djinn does not.

Serendib Djinn was originally used with pyramids and Consecrate Land so the distinction is relevant.

last edited by Aaron Patten

In the 1994 Pocket Players' Guide (so revised edition), the rules are quite clear and they namely explain the differences from the First edition. Here are some quotes from it :

In the chapter : MTG revised edition rules

Sacrificing (Page 58 and after)
If a card call for a sacrifice, you must choose an appropriate card in play and place it in your graveyard. This card is considered buried and thus may not be regenerated (see Destroyed, Buried, and Removed from the game). You can not sacrifice a card under another's player control or a card that is already leaving play.

[... here was an exemple ...]

A sacrifice is a cost that cannot be prevented. Any effect that would normally prevent a card from beeing destroyed or damaged do not protect the card from beeing sacrified. Also just as mana is spent as soon a spell is announced, a sacrifice is taken as soon the spell or effect requiring it is announced. If this spell or effect is countered in some way, the card beeing sacrified still get buried, just as mana spent on a countered spell is still spent.

[... here was an exemple ...]

Selene says : note that sacrificing something is not the same as destroying it. A card that says it can not be destroyed still can be sacrificed. (...). Sacrificing a card is a distinct action you take as a player to meet the requirements of another card; it is treated differently from destroying, burying and other effects that remove cards from play.

In the chapter : Differences between first edition and revised edition MTG

Sacrifice (Page 111)
Under revised rules a sacrifice is a cost that can not be prevented, and the card goes to the Graveyard immediately, at the speed of an Interrupt. If a fast effect involves sacrifying a creature, put the creature in the Graveyard as soon as the fast effect is announced, rather than waiting until all other fact effects are announced. (Any benefit or result from the sacrifice still waits until its proper place in the effect-resolution sequence). Even if a spell or effect is countered in some way, the card beeing sacrificed still gets buried, just as mana spent on a countered spell is still spent.

Card errata (Page 112)
Most of the First Edition cards can be played "as is" under the Revised rules. Some Revised cards have minor changes in what they do when compared to First Edition; when playing with mixed sets, play each card by wording on the card itself. However, just because one version of a card says something explicitely and another version doesn't, this does not mean they function differently. Some of the cards text contain reminders of things that are already part of the rules. The presence or lack of such text on one card versus another should not be interpreted as meaning that rule does not apply.

A few cards do need their wording changed, as follow :

These card say "discard" and should say "destroy" : Bottle of Suleiman, Balance, Black Lotus, Chaos Orb, City in a bottle, Conversion, Cyclone, Disenchant, Drop of honey, Jihad, Pestilence, Tranquility, Unsummon.


In the chapter : MTG FAQ (Page 216-217)

Q: Are the terms "kill" and "destroy" synonymous ?
A: Yes. In both cases, you may attempt to regenerate the creature beeing killed or destroyed.

Q: And "goes to the Graveyard" ?
A: This means that the card must be placed in the graveyeard. Once a creature is Sacrificed, it must go to the graveyeard, and can't be regenerated or other fancy stuff. Protection, Guardian Beast, Consecrate Land, and other protective effects cannot save cards that are sacrificed or "placed in the graveyard".

Q: what about "discarded"?
A: If it refers to a card in a player's hand, the card is simply placed in the graveyard and generate no effect. If it refers to a card in play, it is synonymous with "destroyed" and the card may be protected or regenerated.

Q: Are the terms "gone to the graveyard", "killed", "discarded" and "destroyed" synonymous?
A: These are all past tense. If a card actually goes into the discard pile, then it was killed/discarded/destroyed/sent to the graveyard.
The Revised rules have clearly defined "kill" and "destroy" as identical, and have replaced "destroyed without possibility of regeneration" with "buried". This saves space, and works for any type of card (instead of just creatures).

My 10 cents ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, to sum it up, under Revised Rules :

  • Serendib Djinn wording was still "destroy" and as such the combo with consacred land or pyramid were still legal.

  • The rules allowed any card to be sacrificed, not only creatures (even if i fail to find any other card in those sets who would ask for it).

Edit :
I found the official errata in the Duelist number 7 (Page 99) so in 3rd quarter of 1995 and still under Revised rules :

Q: When i choose a land for my Serenbib Djinn to destroy during upkeep, can i prevent that destruction?
A: No, Serendib Djinn should be read as if the land were sacrificed.

(by the way, it was in the same errata that the Guardian Beast/Disk combo did not work any more as they also say : consecrate land, guardian beast and pyramid may no longer save permanents from themselves).

last edited by albarkhane
  • 148
  • 68297