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 Post subject: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-11 1:12 am 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
Regarding this, I have a small favor to ask. This has come up more than a couple of times at my LGS and I have had heated arguments about this with fellow players. Every time this situation comes up, I have to correct someone, show a forum post written by Sheldon, explain who Sheldon is, then explain how this ruling works. Even many judges I asked didn't know about this ruling until I told them about it.

Basically, the ruling lets blink effects or "exile X until this leaves" effects that don't reference the "exiled card" or "cards exiled with this" send a commander to the command zone and back instead of exile and back. The effect WILL bring the commander back from the command zone as long as it never left the command zone, because the command zone is a public zone. Examples of this are Norin the Wary, Obzedat, Ghost Council, Roon of the Hidden Realm targeting a commander, or Grasp of Fate on a commander and Grasp leaves.

This is relevant because stifle effects can leave a commander like Norin stranded in exile, or because the owner wants the option to replay his commander sooner without giving up the alternative option, or because blinking Reyhan, Last of the Abzan can actually have a bonus effect when blinked in this manner.

So the favor I ask is this: can this ruling be added to the Details section of the relevant rule on the main mtgcommander site? I don't know how much this is to ask, but it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

EDIT: Now with card tags.

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Last edited by MMLgamer on 2017-Apr-12 3:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-11 1:36 am 
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The problems I see with doing this are this:

1) The rules for the format listed on the site here are more overview/summary of them -- while what you're asking for is talking about specific details. Not impossible to do, but seems like it wouldn't mesh perfectly.

2) It seems updating that stuff takes a while (or, takes a while for someone to get around to it.) So, while you may get someone who can make the change to say that they'll get it done ... it may still take a while for the update to happen on the site.


Otherwise - it's not a bad suggestion. I can recall MaRo saying that they like the "exile *target* while *this* is in play" effect for white, so I imagine we'll be seeing one or two of these effects every block or so. That means it's more and more likely a situation to pop up in a random game.


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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-11 11:03 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Weren't we supposed to have an EDH FAQ? These kinds of things could be in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-12 9:09 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
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My understanding of it isn't comprehensive, (I can dig through the CR, but we all miss things or misinterpret things.) But the clearest example of how it works would probably to illustrate it using (what I think is) a pretty cool commander, Sharuum the Hegemon

Sharuum as a General, was particularly weak to tuck effects before the rules change- because Sharuum is a General that frequently wants to litter your graveyard, or get stuck in your hand- because she has the hefty 6 mana cost upfront- which makes General tax sortof rough.

When I'm playing Sharuum, I find it disadvantageous to displace her when put underneath an Oblivion Ring, so I simply let her hang out in exile until I feel like playing a proper piece of enchantment hate (allowing me to effectively summon her, and recur an artifact for the cost of the enchantment removal- swag.) This works, because she isn't forced into the command zone- and if the rules WERE like that, Generals who enjoy being in the Grave or Hand simply wouldn't function (which, much like tucking a General- tends to go against the spirit of EDH.)

Most of the confusion regarding this probably comes from how people typically show "exiling" on a board, and display the Command Zone in a similar way (cards floating on the field, not in play- not in the discard pile.) Exile isn't the same thing as the CZ though (it's a "special zone".)

The way I like to imagine how it works, is that it's like operating a clutch while driving stick. When your Commander changes zones in a way that would put them into hand, library, graveyard, or exile- then you can choose to displace them to the CZ (effectively your "clutch" for the Commander being put out of reach.)

With Sharuum in mind, this means that I don't have to send her to the CZ if I want her in my Graveyard for Trading Post or Junk Diver shenanigans- but if an opponent chooses to blow a Relic of Progenitus- when she shifts zones again, I get the chance to use the clutch- and put her back into reach. That's just sortof the idea of the command zone- it doesn't force the player the utilize it, but instead enables the player to always have their commander in reach while playing EDH.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-12 12:02 pm 
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I think you're missing the point, Mr. Degredation, as your example revolves around a card (Oblivion Ring) that does not interact with the Command Zone in the way MML is referring to. His request for a ruling on the main page has to do with cards like Norin the Wary that can be put into the Command Zone and still return to play when the delayed trigger happens. More specifically, because of this rule;

Comprehensive rules wrote:
603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones. During resolution, these abilities look for the object in the zone that it moved to. If the object is unable to be found in the zone it went to, the part of the ability attempting to do something to the object will fail to do anything. The ability could be unable to find the object because the object never entered the specified zone, because it left the zone before the ability resolved, or because it is in a zone that is hidden from a player, such as a library or an opponent’s hand. (This rule applies even if the object leaves the zone and returns again before the ability resolves.) The most common zone-change triggers are enters-the-battlefield triggers and leaves-the-battlefield triggers.


This rule covers it for all the cases cited, if I'm not mistaken. It just requires that people have a good grasp on how the rules work. I think what MML is asking for is basically a layman's terms version of this, that explains in plain english how and why you can do this.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-12 3:00 pm 
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
I think you're missing the point, Mr. Degredation


Indeed! Thanks for the clarification :D I thought this was in reference to the misconception that Commanders have to return to the command zone, and have to be deployed with tax applied. Apologies for the long-winded Sharuum anecdote!

With respect to the OP then, I think perhaps the best way to handle it on the main page (which is more or less just philosophical direction, because most elements of EDH are built towards being intuitive, since card interactions from the vintage pool are already a mess-) is something like the OP is describing in fairly simple, if not entirely specific to why directions.

Would something like this work?

"If a gamestate presents itself, in such a way that a commander would become permanently inaccessible to it's owner- Players are to assume that the commander could re-enter the command zone."

While this doesn't explain the how, or why- it does simply curtail the problem of Stifle and Norin by giving a guiding light- and the worst case scenario is just having to explain the rulings regarding Norin actually allowing Norin to protect itself from becoming completely inaccessible from those sort of corner-case scenarios (with a link to one of the more comprehensive stickies that lay it out in detail.) I suppose that really doesn't cover the point about Reyhan, and blinking- but trying to describe blinking and the somewhat nebulous concept of exiled zone tethering, or triggers that effect things in exile to players who likely still refer to their lands as "mana" might do more to create confusion at the kitchen table, than guide them to a more intuitive understanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-12 8:15 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, Florida
That's not the issue at all. He's asking for a FAQ or something similar for cards like Banishing Light and Grasp of Fate that track where cards they exile go, and how you can place your commander back in the command zone after getting hit with it, but still put it back on the battlefield when the offending permanent leaves the battlefield. Norin the Wary functions in the same manner as these cards, which is why it was brought up.


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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-13 12:26 am 
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Marit Lage wrote:
That's not the issue at all. He's asking for a FAQ or something similar for cards like Banishing Light and Grasp of Fate that track where cards they exile go, and how you can place your commander back in the command zone after getting hit with it, but still put it back on the battlefield when the offending permanent leaves the battlefield. Norin the Wary functions in the same manner as these cards, which is why it was brought up.


I thought that was the intuitive part? The card specifies a trigger that results in whatever is exiled with it being returned- and looks for that card in the event of a zone change trigger. In such a case, it just goes back to RTFC- because the card doesn't specify which zone to return from, but instead just cares about what is returning to the field. Where Norin+Stifle isn't explained by "RTFC". Non-Ring Rings are particularly worded to prevent shennanigans.

IE- Oblivion Ring, Journey to Nowhere, and Detention Sphere also specify "Exile", as opposed to the CZ. Where Banishing Light does not. You can illustrate that to a player with RTFC by using a copy of Journey to Nowhere and a copy of Silkwrap side by side.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-13 6:49 am 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, Florida
Mr Degradation wrote:
I thought that was the intuitive part? The card specifies a trigger that results in whatever is exiled with it being returned- and looks for that card in the event of a zone change trigger. In such a case, it just goes back to RTFC- because the card doesn't specify which zone to return from, but instead just cares about what is returning to the field. Where Norin+Stifle isn't explained by "RTFC". Non-Ring Rings are particularly worded to prevent shennanigans.

It comes up more often than you think, especially with new players. I've even had judges (newer ones, mind you) ask about it. Keep in mind the request is for his group (I'd like a real FAQ on this site as well), and not him.


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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-14 10:31 am 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
Mr Degradation wrote:
I thought that was the intuitive part? The card specifies a trigger that results in whatever is exiled with it being returned- and looks for that card in the event of a zone change trigger. In such a case, it just goes back to RTFC- because the card doesn't specify which zone to return from, but instead just cares about what is returning to the field. Where Norin+Stifle isn't explained by "RTFC". Non-Ring Rings are particularly worded to prevent shennanigans.

IE- Oblivion Ring, Journey to Nowhere, and Detention Sphere also specify "Exile", as opposed to the CZ. Where Banishing Light does not. You can illustrate that to a player with RTFC by using a copy of Journey to Nowhere and a copy of Silkwrap side by side.

The problem players and judges had when I explained it to them is that they read the card, they see the word "exile", and they assume that the commander has to be exiled before it can come back, and if the commander returns to the command zone instead, it was never "exiled." Because of the ambiguity between the action word "exile" and the zone "exile", it really isn't a simple case of RTFC. Most people assume that cards like Grasp of Fate intrinsically specify the exiled zone and exclude any other zone with that action keyword even though that's not how it really works.

If we were talking about Oblivion Ring or any other iteration that references the "exiled card" in the "return" clause or anywhere else, this wouldn't be an issue because the commander would have to be exiled by Oblivion Ring to be an exiled card and reap the benefits of Oblivion Ring's return effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-16 8:32 am 

Joined: 2014-Apr-03 3:46 am
Age: Drake
Where is this ruling?


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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-16 9:54 am 
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illuknisaa wrote:
Where is this ruling?


As far as I can tell, there doesn't need to be a ruling, because anything that does what he's talking about is covered under this;

Comprehensive rules wrote:
603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones. During resolution, these abilities look for the object in the zone that it moved to. If the object is unable to be found in the zone it went to, the part of the ability attempting to do something to the object will fail to do anything. The ability could be unable to find the object because the object never entered the specified zone, because it left the zone before the ability resolved, or because it is in a zone that is hidden from a player, such as a library or an opponent’s hand. (This rule applies even if the object leaves the zone and returns again before the ability resolves.) The most common zone-change triggers are enters-the-battlefield triggers and leaves-the-battlefield triggers.


What he's asking for is a clarification on the site that a zone change trigger that doesn't look in a specific zone for something can still track a card through one zone change. Meaning that when Norin blinks, if you put him in the CZ, the delayed trigger will look for him in the CZ and find him there assuming he hasn't left it. The usual rules for new objects on zone change still apply of course, so if you attack and he blinks and you put him in the CZ, then cast him again, then cast another spell, causing him to blink again, and the second event's return trigger was stifled, the first one won't return him, even though he's in the CZ where it's looking for him, because he's a new object now.

So to the best of my understanding, rule 603.6 covers every case that exiles a commander then returns it and doesn't specify that it must be in the exile zone to return. As such, a ruling (implying that someone needs to determine how it works) is unnecessary, but an explanation of how it does work has value since this situation is rather unique to EDH and as such falls outside of most people's experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-16 9:32 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
Something just occurred to me. Isn't this a problem on Magic Online? I don't play online, so they may have fixed it by now, but I remember watching videos in which a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy was someone's commander and he had to turn off tuck for exile effects, because when Jace triggers his exile effect, sending it to the command zone on MOTO would prevent it from returning to the battlefield. This is most certainly a flaw in the online game. (Imagine that! Finding a flaw with MOTO.)

My point here is that anyone who plays MOTO and believes it to be a good representation of MTG's mechanics will go on believing that a commander will always stay in the command zone if it goes there for any reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Blink with Command Zone ruling
AgePosted: 2017-Apr-18 12:34 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-01 6:00 am
Age: Wyvern
Just a few weeks ago, I had a game where my commander was stolen by my opponent (who had the closet ...). It ended in my commandzone, what surprised me. He even stated it was as it should be (what is absolutly wrong). Currently MTGO doesn't perform correctly on this rule.

I send a complaint to mtgo support, which answered "All well, it works as intended"... I answered, they (support) should please contact anyone with actual rule-knowledge about the game and verify with them if it works like intended ... 2 days later I got the reply that it is already in the system to be fixed, since it isn't working at all in mtgo. ;)


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