For those that missed the huge rules change announcement that occurred today, you can get all the details from our Facebook post here. To summarize, however...
Both you and your opponent are now able to control the same legendary permanent. For example, if you have a Geist of Saint Traft in play, and your opponent casts his own Geist of Saint Traft, now they don't immediately go to the graveyard due to state-based effects. They both remain in play. The same rule is also going to be true for Planeswalkers. If you control a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, your opponent is free to cast his own Jace, the Mind Sculptor and both will remain in play.
The rule is slightly different when it comes to a single player controlling two permanents of the same name, or Planeswalkers of the same “type.” For example, if you control a Jace Beleren, then you choose to cast a Jace, Architect of Thought, you then get to choose which Jace you want to keep. Ordinarily you will choose to keep the new copy (otherwise why play it?) but this is an important distinction to remember in case you “accidentally” cast a Planeswalker and forget you already control one of the same name, or some other corner case scenario.
Point being that if two Legendary permanents (or Planeswalkers of the same type line) are in play, under the same controller, at the same time, they don't both get put into the graveyard; but rather you now get to choose which one goes to the graveyard and which one remains in play.
As a final example, you can now play a Liliana of the Veil. Use her -2 loyalty ability. Then, while this Liliana still has one loyalty counter on her, play anotherLiliana of the Veil. Get rid of the first Liliana. Then use the new Liliana's -2 loyalty ability as well.
As you can imagine this change has shaken up several things. For one, the Commander world has been absolutely bonkers with the implications. No longer can you not play your commander if your opponent has the same card in play!
Legacy and Modern have been similarly impacted. Now you can play your Gaea's Cradle, tap it for mana, play a second Gaea's Cradle, choose to get rid of the tapped one, then tap the new Gaea's Cradle for even more mana. Whereas before both Cradles would have been sent to the graveyard!
While some people tend to hate changes like this, I've actually grown to love them. They make it so the game is completely changed and we have to revisit what was once old as it has now become new again. We're forced to reevaluate strategies and cards that we thought we knew everything about. As you can see, this has changed a great deal, and I want to go over some of the top movers and shakers that have been seeing some huge inventory fluctuations here at TCGplayer.com as of the announcement. Let's get started!
This card's interest should be solely relegated to Standard. The fact that you can now copy your opponent's legendary creature and not have it act as a removal spell, and have it actually give you a creature, could actually be a good thing. Sometimes if your opponent has a Geist of Saint Traft, you too want a Geist of Saint Traft. I'm not quite convinced that the new way Clones interact with legends is bad per se, just different.
Not only is Karakas itself legendary, but its sole purpose is to interact with other legendary creatures. Now when you and your opponent have the same legendary creature in play, you can simply bounce theirs, leaving you with the only copy in play. Or if they have two legendary creatures that you need to get rid of for a turn, you can bounce one, play a second Karakas, then bounce the other with the new Karakas. I'm sure there are more potential uses, but these are the two that stick out to me immediately.
Thespian's Stage seems like an innocuous little card. The first and most obvious use is to copy an opponent's legendary land and not have them both blow up anymore. That's pretty sweet. But the real treat is the latest interaction with Dark Depths. You see Dark Depths says, “When Dark Depths has no ice counters on it, sacrifice it.” It also says, “Dark Depths enters the battlefield with ten ice counters on it.”
This means two things. 1) When you copy a Dark Depths with Thespian's Stage it will not have any ice counters. Because it is not “entering the battlefield.” And 2) Once Thespian's Stage becomes a copy of Dark Depths, based on the new legend rule, you can choose which copy of Dark Depths you put into the graveyard. You of course choose to put the only copy that has ice counters on it into the graveyard, and keep the one that has none. This causes the Thespian's StageDark Depths to trigger and give you a 20/20 Marit Lage token. Cool deal, right?
This one seems kind of obvious. Jace was already doing amazingly before the rules change, and now when you play him in Legacy, you don't have to worry about your opponent playing first or casting their Jace first. Regardless of what is in play, you will always be able to resolve your Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Brainstorm from his zero loyalty ability. Or Unsummon. Or fateseal. Whatever.
I don't know how many truly degenerate interactions there are regarding Thrun, but people seem to be interested in him. Maybe he has a resurgence in Modern coming. I honestly can't think of any broken interactions with Thrun as far as the new rules go, but maybe you guys can fill me in.
I already mentioned some of the implications of this card earlier. Basically any deck that is running Gaea's Cradle is usually a degenerate combo deck that wants to play a bunch of Elves and make a bunch of mana to do broken things like summon an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. (Emrakul story, bro.) So when you're able to play one Gaea's Cradle, tap it for…let's say seven mana, then play another Gaea's Cradle, get rid of the first, then tap the new one for another seven mana...well, bad things are definitely possible.
This guy is the guy that is on all of our minds, and mainly because of his Standard implications. No longer will your $30 Geist of Saint Traft be simply a removal spell. I might have said it best on my own Facebook page:
This card sees play in multiple formats, and anyone who has ever played affinity knows how bad it feels to have extra legendary Moxen stuck in your hand. The new rule remedies that, turning every extra Mox Opal in your hand into a Lotus Petal: an artifact you can tap one for mana, then replace with a new, permanent copy to tap for another mana.
What do you guys think? Like the new rule? Hate it? Have some other awesome interactions with cards that haven't been mentioned here? Let us know, cause we'd love to hear about and this is of course the hot topic right now! Sound off in the comments, and let's get the discussion flowing!
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