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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-30 9:00 am 

Joined: 2017-Dec-23 4:51 am
Age: Wyvern
Then he's just giving a pretty lame idea for changing a well-working rule of the format. The Color Identity rule creates a restriction that breeds creativity, but maybe he can't see this as he's not quite a fan of Commander himself.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-22 1:05 am 
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I feel like in a world where MtG was only a digital game the hybrid mana cards would work more closely to how Mark wishes they would, a world where when I cast Boros Reckoner with only white mana, it is only a white creature or when I cast Beseech the Queen with only colourless mana, it is a colourless spell on the stack.

You would still have problems with a world like that, because Boros Reckoner would still be a red and a white spell in your library, but it would be easier to justify the aesthetic problems of a black spell in my mono-white deck, but we don't live in that world.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 1:40 am 
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With the upcoming set featuring both hybrid and commander elements, this topic seems overdue for open-minded reexamination and the vague explanation we've received in this thread doesn't strike me as a nail in the coffin by any means. There's a lot of slippery slope going on and I think it's safe to blame Rosewater for some of that. The "I designed it fine the first time you don't need extra rules" sentiment in those quotes misses the point of the color limitation entirely. That plus his history of borderline disparaging comments on the format as a whole certainly didn't do the pro-hybrid camp any favors. Don't get me wrong he designed a hell of a game, but this isn't a limited environment and there's no number of articles he can write to convince us the fun new thirty-dollar booster packs are about giving the players agency.

I'm worried about two-color hybrid symbols specifically here, but the same goes for phyrexian and mono-hybrid I suppose since those were brought up. I'm going to try my best as someone who actually likes and plays this format to defend the need for some sort of change.

Oracle text is remarkably inconsistent with how it utilizes color words, land words, and other text-based rules when it comes to using them as opposed to established iconography when defining card functionality. Choices involving the creation and expenditure of mana are especially guilty of this. On top of that it gets changed and updated frequently to address anything and everything from new mechanics to general legibility to player accessibility (to capitalizing on popular fan-created formats). Color identity defines commander yet it depends solely on an inconsistent iconography the format's designers have no control over while ignoring the actual card's rules and flavor and frame and context.

I'm not trying to make that sound like a bad thing! I understand it has to be that way in the interest of keeping things accessible. It's also a huge mess to try and fix every inconsistency manually with extra rules. How do you keep Rhonas's Monument out of non-green decks without also turning Flashfreeze into a Temur card? How do you stop Ruric Thar from playing Scalding Tarn without also stopping him from playing Boil? Mono red should probably have access to Quenchable Fire, but probably not Ogre Savant. Don't even talk to me about Transguild Courier or devoid. As sloppy as relying on symbols is, without some kind of official, dedicated, commander-specific Color Identity text or indicator on every card its unavoidable that there are going to be clashes and holes in the format's flavor or aesthetic or theme or whatever you want to call it, just all over the place. I don't know how many of my examples the rules committee would actually agree with here, but I hope my point is sound: it's going to be messy no matter what. At least with the mana symbol approach it's easy to explain and easy to understand.

Take the old mana filtering rule: it plugged up a few of the aforementioned holes, but caused some pretty big clashes in the process. Scrapping it was definitely a net gain in terms of both aesthetics and rules conciseness. Holes are better than clashes: they let in enough good to far outweigh the tiny bit of bad that slips in alongside, the framework is unaltered, and the format becomes more interesting as a result.

I think hybrid is currently in a similar situation. The rule as-is shores up a few little holes in the aesthetic, but the resulting clashes it causes aren't worth it at all.

For example, with the current rules it's okay for decks to include as many mana producers with the effective rules text of "Tap: Add W or U or B or R or G," as they want, as many Monuments and Medallions and other artifacts with off color or color-altering effects as they want, as many fetches as they want. The color pie is so irrelevant in any eternal context they made an entire set about how much it changes; even colorless cards are wildly inconsistent with how much "extra" cost they require to provide access to every color's mechanics. Why is it then not okay for Spitting Image to be in a Selesnya deck that likes to make big tokens to populate? Or a mono-blue deck with a heavy Clone theme? Both decks are already running a couple of mono-blue or mono-green effects similar in both function and flavor, and the hybrid card makes more sense thematically for their commanders than many of the artifacts in the same vein already freely available to them. Is format aesthetic really in more danger from hybrid mana symbols than it is from all the "true" colorless cards that are allowed with no question? Isn't generic mana just the original hybrid, with six symbols instead of two? Sakashima can play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and then tap his Arid Mesa to help pay for a Kormus Bell. But he is not allowed to copy a creature. Using a six-mana blue sorcery. He'd have to be and green if he wants to use this or green card? But thanks for the Urborg, Sakashima. Now Trostani, Selesnya's Voice can tap her green producing lands to pay for her Blind Obedience extort triggers, didn't even have to play her own copy of 'Oops! All Swamps' first. Still can't make a token copy of a creature though! At sorcery speed. In her colors.

Silly examples aside, color identity is what makes this format interesting and actually fun despite being eternal, and I understand the reluctance to mess with that rule even a little bit. The adamant attitude on display toward treating hybrid cards the way they were designed to be treated is the exact same heel digging that kept the mana filtering in for so long. If it really is intended to be "a deckbuilding restriction that has roots in aesthetics designed to make people be more creative," why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it when so many others that are actually in violation of the rule's intent get a free pass? That paragraph has to be there because hybrid mana symbols are such a visually intuitive design it's an unavoidable question when explaining color identity to a new Commander player. Since there's no getting rid of it, it could just as easily say something along the lines of "hybrid is good and cool, have fun with your carefully designed, thematically engaging boolean "OR"s. They sure are different from "AND"s! In the meantime we're work-shopping a better way to make your local Crucible-plus-nine-fetches-plus-the-same-20-reserved-list-mana-rocks-in-every-deck-Spike be more creative." A bit longer than the current one, I know. But not bad for a first draft?

It's true that restrictions breed creativity. It's also true that arbitration is the enemy of the creative. It'd just be nice to have a justification for the inconsistencies.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 3:45 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
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The problem with hybrid is that however it was supposed to be designed, a lot of cards don't hit the mark of "something that could be printed as a monocolor card in either color".
Spitting Image is a perfect example: name one other mono-green card that makes a copy of a target creature. Trostani shouldn't get a card like that because it isn't a green ability.

Even for the ones that fit in either color identity, its like saying that you should be allowed to play Disenchant in your mono green deck because you are already allowed to run Naturalize.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 4:34 am 
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Zip wrote:
There's a lot of slippery slope going on

Really? Name one.

Zip wrote:
Oracle text is remarkably inconsistent ...

I don't think that's the word you're looking for. The card design use of colour words doesn't help us segregate cards into colour identity restrictions -- sure, but some of that is kind of fun to look around for and see what "odd" things you could use. But from a design standpoint, they are now using coloured mana in artifact costs to help keep things on colour when they want to (if they were to make Rhonas's Monument for the first time, it may or may not have green in it's mana cost.) While in the past (such as during Amonkhet) they were only doing that in special cases, instead of just as a normal tool available when they want it (which is how they think of coloured artifacts now.)

But you also have to acknowledge that Commander is an Eternal format. Design has made many changes in how they design cards, but we still get to play with the "mistakes" that they've made (for example Psionic Blast is now printed as a red card, not blue ... blue should not have any direct damage -- even the Prodigal Sorcerer effect has moved to red.)

Calling the changes in design view over the years "inconsistent" seems like you're selling something short.

Zip wrote:
Don't even talk to me about Transguild Courier or devoid.

Ummm, there's nothing inconsistent about these cards/mechanic.

Zip wrote:
its unavoidable that there are going to be clashes and holes in the format's flavor or aesthetic or theme or whatever you want to call it

Sure. But then how does this relate to hybrid at all?

Zip wrote:
Why is it then not okay for Spitting Image to be in a Selesnya deck
Because it can be countered with a pyroblast. Care to tell me how the flavor/theme/whatever works when a mono-green commander casts a spell that can be countered with a pyroblast (with no other effects going on)?

This is also a format that tries to impose extra deckbuilding restrictions to help make decks different from one another (instead of just a bunch of good-stuff decks, run by different commanders.) Why would we want to relax a deck building restriction and create more homogenization among decks; What benefit does that bring?

And simply because you can bring up strange examples doesn't mean we should make those kinds of things more common in the format.

Zip wrote:
why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it when so many others that are actually in violation of the rule's intent get a free pass?

Perhaps if you do a bit more research, or asking around, you'll find this answer. And it's a simple one: It's easy to write the rule to cover this, while it's a major headache to write the rule to cover all those strange situations without denying a mono-red commander from playing Boil.

Zip wrote:
That paragraph has to be there because hybrid mana symbols are such a visually intuitive design it's an unavoidable question when explaining color identity to a new Commander player. Since there's no getting rid of it, it could just as easily say something along the lines of "hybrid is good and cool, have fun with your carefully designed, thematically engaging boolean "OR"s. They sure are different from "AND"s!

Here's the problem though ... hybrid is only an OR when paying for mana. When checking the card colour, or mana symbols, it's an AND. Since Commander doesn't care about how you are paying for a card - why would we want to use the part of the (core game) rules that only refers to when hybrid is cast (or tapped for mana in things like convoke)?

Zip wrote:
It'd just be nice to have a justification for the inconsistencies.

You keep saying "inconsistencies" -- whereas I see your proposal to be a huge inconsistency in multiple areas (how the main game treats hybrid, as well as in the proposed goal of the deckbuilding restrictions introduced in this format.) How do you reconcile those?


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 6:48 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
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The only inconsistency I see is the Extort mechanic, but only because it was designed into a loophole space (which IMO Wizards should have been aware of during design and not done it in the first place). Beyond that, the CI rule is very consistent and hybrid mana is treated exactly how the rules say it should be treated.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 7:09 am 
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Coco wrote:
The problem with hybrid is that however it was supposed to be designed, a lot of cards don't hit the mark of "something that could be printed as a monocolor card in either color".
Spitting Image is a perfect example: name one other mono-green card that makes a copy of a target creature. Trostani shouldn't get a card like that because it isn't a green ability.

Even for the ones that fit in either color identity, its like saying that you should be allowed to play Disenchant in your mono green deck because you are already allowed to run Naturalize.


Spitting Image doesn't have a common effect, and even if it did I'm not too sure looking for functionally identical mechanics on other cards is any sort of litmus test for the aesthetics that were identified as the core reasoning of hybrid getting it's own special line in Color Identity.

I still don't think color matters but we can break it down on Spitting Image, it's a sweet card! Blue gets the most copy effects in general but only very rarely gets to make tokens. Green token copies are usually conditional and not targeted: it has Dual Nature, Bramble Sovereign, Caller of the Untamed, every mono-green populate card, and a lot of creatures that create token copies of themselves or turn other creatures into copies of themselves. Duplicating or doubling things is also well within green's wheelhouse, it searches for copies of the same card, doubles power, doubles counters, doubles tokens, etc. "That but times two" is a cool and flavorful way green gets to showcase Growth. Sure there aren't any mono-green cards with an identical effect, but if spitting image had never been printed and was tomorrow's spoiler card for mono-green I really doubt anyone would get stinky about color pie problems. Green makes tokens all the time. Green copies stuff less often but often enough that seeing it paired with making a token wouldn't be a huge surprise at all. They probably wouldn't let it target a creature you don't control by today's green standards, but this is a decade-old card we're talking about.

The design process on hybrid cards is to make a card that could be "either" color. Copying a target creature is something green can do on its own. A person whose job it is to decide what mechanics green gets flavor access to put a card that makes a token copy of a target creature firmly in the green slice. The card was Spitting Image.

I'm still under the impression the purpose of the color identity rule on the whole is not to police or otherwise try and "correct" color pie fluctuation? Green gets a one mana enchantment that gives everything haste. White gets counterspells. Blue gets direct damage. And that's all fine! None of those cards are banned or should be banned or should have special paragraphs in the Color Identity section saying where they can be played. Every color already gets everything, there are at least six artifacts that create token creature copies off the top of my head, most of them more efficient and better suited to the task than Spitting Image. Every color can make token copies. We're not talking about the color pie here, or at least I hope we aren't.

I have no idea where you're coming from with the Naturalize and Disenchant comparison though, I'm sorry.

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
There's a lot of slippery slope going on

Really? Name one.

Dismember in mono-white. Sram's Expertise to cast Sunblade Elf in mono white! MARRYING GOAT TOKENS IN MONO WHITE!!! My point here was just that MaRo had given the impression he didn't care about the color identity rule at all and the conversation immediately steered away from the aesthetic viability of the color identity rule treating hybrid cards as "OR" and toward all this other stuff that yeah is clearly just playing off-color cards. I mean I don't want to completely rule out the goat tokens but let's talk about that in a different thread?

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
Oracle text is remarkably inconsistent ...

I don't think that's the word you're looking for. The card design use of colour words doesn't help us segregate cards into colour identity restrictions -- sure, but some of that is kind of fun to look around for and see what "odd" things you could use. But from a design standpoint, they are now using coloured mana in artifact costs to help keep things on colour when they want to (if they were to make Rhonas's Monument for the first time, it may or may not have green in it's mana cost.) While in the past (such as during Amonkhet) they were only doing that in special cases, instead of just as a normal tool available when they want it (which is how they think of coloured artifacts now.)

But you also have to acknowledge that Commander is an Eternal format. Design has made many changes in how they design cards, but we still get to play with the "mistakes" that they've made (for example Psionic Blast is now printed as a red card, not blue ... blue should not have any direct damage -- even the Prodigal Sorcerer effect has moved to red.)

Calling the changes in design view over the years "inconsistent" seems like you're selling something short.


I did acknowledge it's an eternal format? I wrote a lot all at once, I'm really sorry. Got a bit rambly and carried away with my examples and it didn't come out as cohesive as I'd have liked.

I definitely used the word inconsistent too much. Design changes their rules and processes. It hasn't always been the same. Without knowing when a card was printed it's hard to look at any individual one card in a vacuum and understand the flavor or power intentions behind its design. Etc. I should have said all that instead of inconsistent.

The fact that the commander rules committee shouldn't be expected to police that sort of thing or rectify it was the point of those examples. Put Psionic Blast in your blue deck, it's a blue card. Your blue commander is drawing on some old weird blue mana to cast it. "They don't make blue spells like this anymore," you'll say. It's cool! I don't have any issues with out-of-color effects from old cards by today's color-pie standards. I don't have any issues with color-referencing artifacts, you want to put Rhonas's Monument in your Bontu deck that's like, your choice to make. But if format aesthetics is the core issue behind restricting hybrid cards, it's odd Bontu can play every color's Monument but not, say, Everlasting Torment. I don't want him to not be able to play every color's monument. I want him to be able to play every color's monument and Everlasting Torment.

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
Why is it then not okay for Spitting Image to be in a Selesnya deck
Because it can be countered with a pyroblast. Care to tell me how the flavor/theme/whatever works when a mono-green commander casts a spell that can be countered with a pyroblast (with no other effects going on)?

This is also a format that tries to impose extra deckbuilding restrictions to help make decks different from one another (instead of just a bunch of good-stuff decks, run by different commanders.) Why would we want to relax a deck building restriction and create more homogenization among decks; What benefit does that bring?

And simply because you can bring up strange examples doesn't mean we should make those kinds of things more common in the format.


All my strange examples were intended to point out the double standard, and illustrate hybrid cards as a lot less strange in comparison. Trostani can cast Spitting Image because it's a green spell, designed to be playable in mono-green and be accessible to mono-green commanders. Trostani knew the risks of it counting as blue on the stack. What it counts as during deck construction is arbitrary and was invented specifically for this format and can just as easily be changed or adjusted to allow hybrids to function differently from gold cards during deck construction. Since they are.

Are other decks containing cards that reference colors the aesthetic principle driving the hybrid rule? We can't put Spitting Image in Trostani because... it might get Pyroblasted? We can't put Murderous Redcap in Krenko, Mob Boss because it might get pumped by someone else's Bad Moon?

This might get pyroblasted, she thought, but it's the green spell I happen to need right now, and I'm going to cast it using only green mana. I learned it from another green commander, who taught it to me also using only green mana, because it doesn't make sense for me to learn any blue spells or spells that are blue AND green since I can't do the blue mana thing. It sure is a good thing this spell can be learned and cast and used by commanders that are only one color or the other, since by design most hybrid spells are worse, watered down versions of effects often found in true multicolor ones, representing what those effects would be like if they were only one color or the other. You know like, instead of both at the same time. Since they aren't that. If I was a green AND blue commander, I'd probably have a spell that actually required both green AND blue mana that was way better than this one. She realized her internal monologue was getting a bit long, and that her point might be missed entirely or quoted out of context if she didn't wrap up the exposition. It sure is cool and flavorful that blue commanders can learn this same spell, and not have to worry about using any green mana to cast it, since they can't normally do that. Poor blue commanders. Having to worry about Pyroblasts all the time. I bet they never have to worry about Flashfreezes though. Unless the spell they're casting is Spitting Image I suppose.


Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it when so many others that are actually in violation of the rule's intent get a free pass?

Perhaps if you do a bit more research, or asking around, you'll find this answer. And it's a simple one: It's easy to write the rule to cover this, while it's a major headache to write the rule to cover all those strange situations without denying a mono-red commander from playing Boil.

Again, I don't think rules should be written to cover the rest of the corner cases. I think the rule that already had to be written for the one corner case that couldn't be avoided should follow the same pattern of letting it slide, so it's cohesive with the rest of the corner cases. Wouldn't that make more sense? Not trying to make rules to cover every little single possibility was the entire point of like, the first four or five paragraphs.

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
That paragraph has to be there because hybrid mana symbols are such a visually intuitive design it's an unavoidable question when explaining color identity to a new Commander player. Since there's no getting rid of it, it could just as easily say something along the lines of "hybrid is good and cool, have fun with your carefully designed, thematically engaging boolean "OR"s. They sure are different from "AND"s!

Here's the problem though ... hybrid is only an OR when paying for mana. When checking the card colour, or mana symbols, it's an AND. Since Commander doesn't care about how you are paying for a card - why would we want to use the part of the (core game) rules that only refers to when hybrid is cast (or tapped for mana in things like convoke)?


Because it's cool? Because, without significantly changing the overall restriction, having to add any new paragraphs, or opening any sort of floodgates for deck homogenization, it allows players that maybe don't need to be made to be creative to pick from a slightly larger suite of thematic, flavorful cards that fit the aesthetic they're going for for their Commander? Because Commander isn't bound by the core game rules and can allow hybrid to be represented here in a manner more in line with the aesthetic intent of the mechanic's design? It's the only design space where looking at what color a card counts as during deck construction matters, and we have a subset of multicolor cards that use "OR" instead of "AND". What a cool opportunity to recognize and acknowledge that difference!

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
It'd just be nice to have a justification for the inconsistencies.

You keep saying "inconsistencies" -- whereas I see your proposal to be a huge inconsistency in multiple areas (how the main game treats hybrid, as well as in the proposed goal of the deckbuilding restrictions introduced in this format.) How do you reconcile those?

I'm pretty sure you missed the part where I really am not pushing for additional restrictions. Holes are better than clashes. Unlock the door and let hybrid join the party. The aesthetics will be fine. Deck powerlevel will be fine. If anything game variance will increase and the viability of hybrid cards in one color or the other will provide interesting considerations for players and actually put them in a separate category from gold cards. Since they aren't gold cards. The whole point of hybrid is that they aren't the same as gold cards. It's aesthetically inconsistent to make a rule saying they are, instead of one allowing them to function as designed.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 7:30 am 
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Zip wrote:
Dismember in mono-white. Sram's Expertise to cast Sunblade Elf in mono white!

Okay, so you're saying the slippery slope is including situations that can't possibly happen even with the proposed rule change. Got it.

Zip wrote:
But if format aesthetics is the core issue behind restricting hybrid cards, it's odd Bontu can play every color's Monument but not

Good thing 'aesthetics' isn't the core issue then. It's more the "restrictions in deckbuilding" that you mentioned elsewhere.

Zip wrote:
All my strange examples were intended to point out the double standard, and illustrate hybrid cards as a lot less strange in comparison.
There is no double standard. There's a clear distinction between what is and what isn't allowed. It's based off of mana symbols because it's clear, simple, and pretty obvious on anything other than a few really old cards. And even then, there's a few casualties such as Mtenda Lion not being able to be in mono-green decks. ... and we accept those casualties.

It isn't a perfect rule, but it's simple to explain and to understand and gets most of what is desired.

Zip wrote:
What it counts as during deck construction is arbitrary and was invented specifically for this format
See, that's where you're wrong. It's not arbitrary ... it's checking what is on the card as if the card were in your hand. Hybrids work the same way. Flip cards and double-sided cards work the same way. The only format exception is that for Colour Identity it does actually check the flipped/double-sided card, as we want the whole card/effect not just what it starts out as. Not arbitrary at all. Created simply for this format? Of course; but not arbitrary.

Zip wrote:
Are other decks containing cards that reference colors the aesthetic principle driving the hybrid rule?
No, because cards referencing colours is distinctly different from mana symbols. That you are conflating the two does your argument no good. You only confuse the matter and as such you see things as "double standards" or "inconsistencies" that aren't there.

Zip wrote:
I think the rule that already had to be written for the one corner case
Why do you think hybrids is a corner case? It's not. It's a logical extension of colour identity. What colour mana symbols are on the card -- that's the colour identity. That a mana symbol can be paid for with multiple methods doesn't mean that the azorius mana symbol isn't both blue and white.

Zip wrote:
I'm pretty sure you missed the part where I really am not pushing for additional restrictions. Holes are better than clashes. Unlock the door and let hybrid join the party.
No, I got that. You missed my point where your "fix" for your "inconsistency" just creates more inconsistencies. And then I asked how you reconcile that; If you dislike inconsistencies in things, then shouldn't you prefer the rule as it is as it's a single inconsistency vs your proposed change which has inconsistencies in two places?


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 8:12 am 

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Zip wrote:
why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it

As far as I can see, there are no rules specifically about hybrid in either the rules on this site or the Comprehensive Rules, let alone a paragraph of them. They are worded to specify that all the colors in a symbol are included in color identity though. If they weren't, color identity would have to work differently for the commander than for cards in the deck, which basically defeats the purpose of defining it. So rules that allowed for off-color hybrid would be more complicated.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-13 9:34 am 
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cryogen wrote:
The only inconsistency I see is the Extort mechanic, but only because it was designed into a loophole space (which IMO Wizards should have been aware of during design and not done it in the first place). Beyond that, the CI rule is very consistent and hybrid mana is treated exactly how the rules say it should be treated.


Loophole space or not, extort seems to be the only hybrid mana "survivor" still able to function in this format the way it should be allowed to.

The saddest part about hybrids treatment by the CI rule is Wizards didn't add any deck construction rules for it during design since they were already implicit in all of the formats they were designing for at the time. Being able to cast the card with either color of mana instead of requiring both? That was huge! It still is in literally every other format. It means it can go in any deck that contains one color OR the other. There are a lot of interesting things to take into account! We don't have to further differentiate this with any text at all. What a clean and easy design. Oops EDH is a thing. We're honestly missing out.

"I can play this in my deck that is both, it will be very easy with the mana base, practically a colorless card. But are any of the gold cards available just straight up better at the same thing, and is it easy enough to get both colors in this build that the gain in value is worth the loss in castability?"

"I can play this White-or-Green hybrid card in my White-and-Red deck. But oof, I definitely am going to have a hard time hitting five solid white mana on curve, unless I make the red a splash."

Hybrid multicolor really shines and differentiates itself from gold multicolor during deck construction. Each card has so many possibilities depending on which other colors it's introduced to. It's like playing off-color fetch lands (currently allowed) except actually in line with the each card's flavor, actually embracing each cards design intent, and actually interesting!

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
Dismember in mono-white. Sram's Expertise to cast Sunblade Elf in mono white!

Okay, so you're saying the slippery slope is including situations that can't possibly happen even with the proposed rule change. Got it.


I have been referencing a lot of stuff from the earlier parts of this thread. Did you read the rest of this thread before my post? I should've just made a new thread I guess? Can we drop the slippery slope thing? Everyone commits fallacies, all the time. It shouldn't be a big deal, but since it is here, I'm sorry, and it's not relevant to the topic at hand. I didn't mean any offense. I was just using it to take another harmless jab at Rosewater while steering the conversation back to the initial topic of discussion without having to address each and every point made by each and every poster when the majority of them were along the same line. Dismember and Sram's Expertise were actual examples brought up by actual people earlier in this thread. I'm sorry. I was trying to be funny, not combative, I failed.

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
But if format aesthetics is the core issue behind restricting hybrid cards, it's odd Bontu can play every color's Monument but not

Good thing 'aesthetics' isn't the core issue then. It's more the "restrictions in deckbuilding" that you mentioned elsewhere.


This is the quote from earlier in this thread that I'm referring to when I keep talking about aesthetics. I really hope this puts more of the things I've said in better context:

papa_funk wrote:
Mark's completely wrong, and I've had extensive emails with him about this explaining the reasons why it's the way it is. He just doesn't like it. He also fails to see it for what it really is - a deckbuilding restriction that has roots in aesthetics designed to make people be more creative.


It's the last part there in bold that I've been referring to and taking issue with and looking for more explanation on this whole time. I don't expect really anyone to agree with me on any of this but it'd be cool to at least establish that we understand each other.

Carthain wrote:
It isn't a perfect rule, but it's simple to explain and to understand and gets most of what is desired.


This is almost verbatim the point I made initially in my initial post. I know it's not perfect, I don't expect it to be perfect, and I appreciate the elegance of using the symbols. We agree on this. We have agreed on this point.

Carthain wrote:
Zip wrote:
What it counts as during deck construction is arbitrary and was invented specifically for this format
See, that's where you're wrong. It's not arbitrary ... it's checking what is on the card as if the card were in your hand. Hybrids work the same way. Flip cards and double-sided cards work the same way. The only format exception is that for Colour Identity it does actually check the flipped/double-sided card, as we want the whole card/effect not just what it starts out as. Not arbitrary at all. Created simply for this format? Of course; but not arbitrary.


Arbitrary has a negative connotation. Sorry for using the word arbitrary. I'm not trying to say it's bad or fake or wrong. I actually think it's elegant and inspiring when looking at how complex MtG is altogether. It's neat and concise and that should absolutely be prioritized when considering any changes. Let me just, let me try and TL;DR everything I've been trying to get at.

The subruling within CI was added in order to ensure hybrid functions the same as most other cards since hybrid is a bit weird and the question comes up a lot. Right? That's a real bummer for hybrid though, since mechanically it's really more of a deck-construction mechanic and is pretty boring and useless when treated the same way as gold cards. They would've just made more gold cards if that was the intent. We know I'm not the only one who thinks this, and I'm not pulling the issue out of thin air since even the core game's lead designer has pleaded to have this discrepancy fixed the past. The cited reason not to was aesthetics.

Without a clearer explanation of the aesthetics in question preventing a fix, the ruling could easily be changed to allow these cards to shine. As it's currently worded it does align them with other multicolor cards for the sake of simplicity, but at the cost of making them boring, worse than their gold analogs, and far enough removed from their design intent to feel out of place and strange. Of course some cards slip through the cracks (Urborg, Fetches), and of course some individual cards that would need custom rulings have to be deemed as acceptable losses (Quenchable Fire). Hybrid has a special rule in place to ensure zero confusion, but still feels like a loss.

Possible fix:
Utilize the already-existing rules space dedicated to hybrid in the CI rule to allow the mechanic to work as intended.

Possible wording:
"If either part of a hybrid mana symbol matches any of the colors in your commander's color identity, the entire symbol matches."

NMS wrote:
As far as I can see, there are no rules specifically about hybrid in either the rules on this site or the Comprehensive Rules, let alone a paragraph of them. They are worded to specify that all the colors in a symbol are included in color identity though. If they weren't, color identity would have to work differently for the commander than for cards in the deck, which basically defeats the purpose of defining it. So rules that allowed for off-color hybrid would be more complicated.

Click on "details" next to Rule 3 in Deck Construction.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-14 5:58 am 
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Zip wrote:
the way it should be allowed to.

But why "should" it be allowed?

Zip wrote:
We're honestly missing out.

Except not really.

Zip wrote:
The saddest part about hybrids treatment by the CI rule is Wizards didn't add any deck construction rules for it during design since they were already implicit in all of the formats they were designing for at the time.

Most supported formats don't give a shit about card color during deck construction. EDH does. That doesn't mean hybrid is being handled wrong. It means EDH has rules that restrict hybrid, and that's fine. Arguing about this is like arguing that we should be able to run 4-of any card other than basic lands, because that's how all other formats work. EDH doesn't.

Zip wrote:
It's the last part there in bold that I've been referring to and taking issue with and looking for more explanation on this whole time.

As far as the aesthetics go, the idea of color ID is to make everything in your deck the colors of your general, on the idea that the general doesn't deal with colors that it is not. Allowing off color hybrids explicitly violates this concept, whether or not you can legitimately cast them with your colors, because they are not only your colors. This is especially true in cases like the Beseech the Queen cycle and Reaper King, where the card isn't even half-on half-off.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-14 8:18 am 
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Zip wrote:
why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it when so many others that are actually in violation of the rule's intent get a free pass? That paragraph has to be there because hybrid mana symbols are such a visually intuitive design it's an unavoidable question when explaining color identity to a new Commander player.


What paragraph are you talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-14 8:20 am 
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Zip wrote:
why does a mechanic that appears on fewer than 1% of all cards ever printed get a dedicated paragraph specifically forbidding it when so many others that are actually in violation of the rule's intent get a free pass? That paragraph has to be there because hybrid mana symbols are such a visually intuitive design it's an unavoidable question when explaining color identity to a new Commander player.


What paragraph are you talking about?

Zip wrote:
Possible wording:
"If either part of a hybrid mana symbol matches any of the colors in your commander's color identity, the entire symbol matches."


Now I'm really confused. You cite a nonexistent additional paragraph as a flaw in color identity, then propose to fix it by... adding a paragraph.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-14 8:54 am 
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Zip wrote:
Click on "details" next to Rule 3 in Deck Construction.



"While hybrid mana symbols may be played with either colour mana, they contribute both colours to the card's colour identity. Therefore they may only be played with a Commander whose identity includes ALL of the hybrid symbols' colours."


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 Post subject: Re: History of Color Identity
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-14 2:28 pm 
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Zip wrote:
Zip wrote:
Click on "details" next to Rule 3 in Deck Construction.



"While hybrid mana symbols may be played with either colour mana, they contribute both colours to the card's colour identity. Therefore they may only be played with a Commander whose identity includes ALL of the hybrid symbols' colours."


That's simply reminder text. It's not a rule. It could be deleted and wouldn't change anything.

The relevant rules are CR 903.4 and its subrules, and 903.5c. Hybrid is not mentioned. They are designed to be elegant and not contain extra hacks to make things like hybrid work differently. "Look at your commander. Don't put mana symbols in your deck that are not on your commander" gets us a nice line and reflects the flavor that Commander was founded with.


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