Emperor Rules Changes

Posted by karne (2nd Aug 2005, 13:54)

Another discussion thread - non Magic players feel free to avoid.

Emperor Rules Changes

Wizards have finalised their multiplayer rules and I'ld like to briefly go over a number of issues raised by the play group. The comments and suggestions given are as discussed by Michelle and I but we'ld very much like comment from everyone else!
Basic rules unchanged (3/4 person teams, standard decks, team turns)
Range is now 2 for the Emperor and 1 for the Generals

There's been lots of discussion about allowing 'global' effects to be unranged, mainly triggered by everyone's annoyance at the unfairness of asymetric Flare/Heartbeat. The problem with globals is that they require many special rules patches. E.g. if Mana Flare affects everyone, can anyone Disenchant it? Can anyone protect it from being Disenchanted? What about negative enchantments like Dread of Night (all white creatures -1/-1)...

As we see it, the new ranges fix many problems. A Flare played by a General no longer helps the other friendly General but not his opponent. It also means that Generals have to stand on their own a lot more and a single strong player can't carry the entire team. Asymetric combat effects are also helped by the changed range. Fog played by one General no longer scews up the other one!
All creatures have 'T:pass to a team mate, play as sorcery'

Very similar to how we play but you can pass to anyone. I suspect this'll make things more agressive but that's probably ok. Now the only way you can help your friendly General is by sending reinforcements.
Permanents out of range of their controller leave play. - POOR RULE?

The best example is something like Pacify. By Wizards's rules, passing a Pacified creature out of range removes the enchantment. Whilst we can see the rules reasons for this (think Equipment), we've agreed it's badly flavoured. We suggest 'A permanent out of range can not affect its controller in any way and vice versa'. Hence;
Holy Strength pumps a creature even if the enchantment it is out of range.
An out of range Soul Link does not let you gain life.
You can't pump a out of range creature with Firebreathing.
If a player dies: (i) revert all 'change of control' effects, (ii) remove anything they controlled from the stack (iii) remove anything they owned from the game.

Wizard's rules and we should probably stick to them. The main change over how we play is that a General's death returns any creatures passed to them by their team mates. That's got both positive and negative effects, but it does mean that last ditch defences of a failing General become possible.

One other aspect of this - according to Wizards, tokens that I caused to be put into play under Your control (e.g. Genesis Chamber) all leave play if I die. We think this is counter intuative in the extreme and likely to result in rules lawyering so suggest we ignore it!


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read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 2nd Aug 2005, 14:51, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

This looks fine to me and looks like it should fix some of the holes that we have in games. I didn't like the Wizards rule which makes it so much easier to de-pacify a creature. Just two turns to get back an unpacified creature seems a little silly.

I like the permanents returning to owners (reduces the slightly harsh "you're about to die - gimme my stuff back") and the range effects could be interesting.

I vote yay.

read biography for - Beale

 Beale ( 2nd Aug 2005, 16:51, Rank: Cylon Centurion )  reply

Bah, no more interesting interaction between the generals' decks. :(

read biography for - dormouse

 dormouse ( 3rd Aug 2005, 12:10, Rank: Jedi )  reply

i'll miss stuff like being able to distribute creature enchantments. But i think fixing the asymmetry for global effects is worth it - anything that affects one side of a combat but not the other results in grumpiness, and it would be interesting to go back to more separate combats, where the game doesn't get stalled on both sides by a recurring spore frog (though if the emperor has it...). On the plus side, passing creatures around will be much faster, so there may be more interaction that way.

read biography for - Siberman

 Siberman ( 2nd Aug 2005, 21:00, Rank: Mentat )  reply

small issue with the new ranges ranges: no one can affect the opposing emperor. This means that a Tiny Tom style combo deck can sit unmolested until it is ready to go infinite, then win - there's nothing you can do directly to stop it. this might screw up game balance. Also how does this sit with counter spells? i know people don't play them much but... could you counter a spell that targets something in range of you but is sourced outside your range? could you not? etc etc.

also you have to remember with this rule change that wizards are coming from the position that all ranges were 1 and so emperor decks were set up to benefit their generals with such cards as new frontiers, flares etc - now a more dangerous ploy as it helps the opposition as well. It was only us that played ranges of 2. They weren't bothered with inter-general interactions as they didn't happen.

read biography for - dormouse

 dormouse ( 3rd Aug 2005, 12:03, Rank: Jedi )  reply

good points there... anyone have ideas how to deal with them?

The counterspell one was already there, but would be more noticeable with the shortened - and asymmetric - ranges. I think that the counterspell player would have to be able to see the player playing the spell-to-be-countered. That would mean that an emperor gets to counter the spell of an opposing general, who can't touch the emperor, but I think that fits the theme they're trying for.

untouchable emperor might be more of a problem. But would make for more aggressive games - as soon as one general is down, the emperor is in range of both the attacking general and the opposing emperor, so losing a general becomes more important to the game. It *might* therefore work itself out... funnily enough, sacrificing a general would also bring the emperors into range of each other...

read biography for - karne

 karne ( 3rd Aug 2005, 12:37, Rank: GSV )  reply

Range 2 is not uncommon actually, it's only the online Magic that is odd with range 1.

Untouchable Emperor - personally i think that's a good thing, atm I rarely use highly agressive 'to the head' style decks like Charbeltcer or Dragon Bombard simply because they win way too easily. The same problem occurs with 'we win' cards like Doorway to Nothingness. With the new ranges you MUST get through a General first, and that's how it should be imho.

General Interaction - yeah, losing this will be a shame but if that's the style of game we want maybe we should be playing 2/3 headed giant?

Fog - the aysmetric effect still occurs but only after the loss of one General.

example: blue General A is dead, red General A attacks blue Emperor, blue General B Fogs. That a bad idea as her Emporer's creatures can't deal damage bu red General's can...

It's a problem I agree but I'm not convinced it's enough of one for a special rule. It's certainly less of a problem with the new ranges.

read biography for - Siberman

 Siberman ( 18th Aug 2005, 19:13, Rank: Mentat )  reply

doorway to nothingness and similar cards are now a really big problem, especially if controlled by the emperor: can sit with it ready to activate and wait - if you kill their general then they win instantaneously; if you don't kill the general then you have to wait for people to deck themselves...

read biography for - dormouse

 dormouse ( 3rd Aug 2005, 12:18, Rank: Jedi )  reply

There is a problem with Fog and ranges, that we've so far been ignoring. How do people think it should work?

There is an interpretation that the fog range is strict, and only affects the creatures of players in range of the fogger. Which might result in only one side of a combat being fogged.

E.g. 1 general is down. The remaining general (range 1) fogs the 2 opposing generals' attack, who are attacking both him and the emperor. The Fog is in range of his own attacker, and his emperor. Should the Fog protect his emperor?

This issue is again not new, we've just been ignoring the strict version, and interpreting it as fogging everyone as long as one side of the combat was in range.

read biography for - armadillo

 armadillo ( 3rd Aug 2005, 13:38, Rank: Peacekeeper )  reply

From the oracle text of Fog:
"Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn."

From the comprehensive rules:
"310.1 ... all assignments of combat damage go on the stack as a single object"

From this, I can't see how just one side of the combat damage could be prevented: its all or nothing.

read biography for - dormouse

 dormouse ( 4th Aug 2005, 09:31, Rank: Jedi )  reply

Ok, I hadn't looked at the oracle version - what i was reading was 'creatures deal no combat damage this turn'. Looks like that rewording applies to all fog-like spells - good :)

What do you think about the original issue though - asymmetry when the spell affects creatures in combat. e.g. spore cloud (do the out-of-range creatures get locked down?) or a general pump effect? Maybe it's ok to stick with strict ranges, now that fog is out of the picture.

read biography for - karne

 karne ( 4th Aug 2005, 11:04, Rank: GSV )  reply

armadillo - well spotted, we can consider Fog fixed then, good!

somewhat off topic but it looks like phasing rules are going to change:

'Phasing out does trigger leaves play abilities, but phasing in does not trigger comes into play abilities. So it leaves play but doesn't come into play? Huh?! We've decided that was just too counter-intuitive to leave in place, so we're cleaning things up. Phasing will no longer trigger leaves play abilities. (The other potential change " having phasing trigger comes into play abilities " might have had a little better flavor, but it's way too big of a functional change to way too many cards so we're not doing that.) This change will be part of the Ravnica update to the Comp Rules, so it will go into effect on approximately October 1st.'

edit - rah, flipping smark quotes..

edit edit - oo cobras will become snakes soon..

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