Monday, June 15, 2009

Rules Changes - My Opinion

The biggest rules change is combat. (In case you missed the memo, Wizards has updated a few things.) Last night I read and re-read the combat section but I’m not sure that I fully understand it. While the old way of doing combat was more complicated, I had spent many hours fully understanding all of the intricacies. Much as if the rules of chess were changed and pawns could now move diagonally, I’m not sure how the new combat rules differ greatly from the old ones.

The new combat rules deal damage as the damage is assigned, so there is not a step between assigning and dealing damage. That seems simple enough but the rules about multiple blockers is still fuzzy in my mind. The new rules state that the attacking players puts the blocking creatures in order, assigning them 1,2,3 and so on and then deals damage to them in that order.

Personally I don’t see a difference between putting the blockers in order (1,2,3) and not putting them in order. You will still kill the creatures that you want to. Hopefully the nuances of this new combat scheme will be explained in further detail. I would love a computerized demo like the one that is packaged with the 10th Edition starter kit and hopefully Wizards will put out a new version when Magic 2010 comes out. You can download the Windows demo here (85 MB).


Gormie said...

The Wizards article says: "When it comes time to actually deal the damage, lethal damage must be assigned to the first blocker before any can be assigned to the second, and so on." That is the important part.

Silly Freak said...

i think that he meant that the ordering is done by the one dealing damage, and so it's not important when the descission is made.
however, the thing is:
by dealing combat damage immediately, there's no chance to react to the attacker's choice.
however, the ordering is made when the blockers are declared, so the defender knows what will happen more or less and can react accordingly

Forge said...

I think I understand. So after player 2 is done blocking, player 1 puts the blocking creatures "in order". Then player 1 and 2 can play instants and abilities. Player 2 knows which creatures will receive damage first and can act accordingly.

This still seems a little convoluted because the blocking player needs to know something about how damage will be assigned even though the damage hasn't been assigned yet. The whole "put blocking creature in order" thing is still wierd to me but I will get used to it.

Forge said...

Basically once you get to the combat damage step the damage is automatically assigned to each creature in order according to that creature's toughness (most of the time). I guess you could assigned 5 damage to a 1/1 creature in case your opponent had Giant Growth but most of the time you will just only assign enough damage to put the creature in the graveyard. (A creature may already have damage so you would assign it less damage than it's toughness.)

Unknown said...

Noooo. The order is chosen by the attacker, so they choose the order. It is not chosen by thoughness. Although it sometimes is good to do it that way. But often, the creature with more toughness has more power, and therefore is a bigger threat, so that should be dealt with first. Also, you can assign any amount damage (within limits of your creature's power) to a creature , but it has to be at least lethal before you can go to the next creature.

Kevin said...

I guess another case where the combat damage assignment matters is if you're planning on doing more damage. I read an example, where, say, you attack with a 2/2 into 2 x/3s. Under the old rules, you could do 1 dmg to each and use a pyroclasm to clear the board, but in this case, you would only be able to kill one of them.

Forge said...

Yeah I think your right Kevin. It is hard to twist around your head to understand "what doesn't work now under the new rules".