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Rules Update 7-14

We suggest you check out the mothership today (7/14/2010) for Mark L. Gottlieb's article titled simply as "July 2010 Update Bulletin". In this article, one will be able to check out Magic the Gathering Oracle and Comprehensive Rulebook changes to ensure you know the latest info for your favourite game.

First up, we should yatter about the errata to the new M11 card, Elixir of Immortality.

Elixir of Immortality, 1
Artifact, Uncommon
Rules Text: 2
: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into your library.

The correction involves who exactly owns this artifact at the time it's activated ability is used. The two questions posed by the previous card wording were posed by Cosi's Trickster - 1) Who does the shuffling, and 2) If you and your opponent both own and control Elixir of Immortality, and you activate its ability. How many shuffles are there?

Name: Elixir of Immortality, 1
Artifact, Uncommon
Rules Text: 2
: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into their owner's library.

Essentially, the controller of Elixir of Immortality's ability, not the owner of Elixir of Immortality, does the shuffling, and there's just one shuffle in the case where the artifact is controlled by both players..

Next rule change of interest involves emblems.

If you are unsure just what an emblem is, you are not alone. Currently there are no 'emblems' until the Oracle update goes live this Friday (7/16/2010). After this there will be only one card that can create an emblem: Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

The rule change involves the use of Elspeth's "ultimate" ability - "[-8]: For the rest of the game, artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control are indestructible." This affects any artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you happen to control at any point for the rest of the game, and only while you control them. If you play a land later, it's indestructible. If your opponent gains control of one of your creatures, it stops being indestructible.

The questions posed were what if there was the same kind of ability that granted flying? Or +2/+2? Or shroud? These are things that affect the characteristics of permanents, so they'd affect only what you controlled at the time the ability resolved. Permanents that came in later would be unaffected. Permanents that were affected that your opponents gained control of would retain the bonus. It'd work very differently even though it was worded just like Elspeth. What Wizards wanted Elspeth to really do is to create a pseudo-enchantment with a static ability that works for the rest of the game. One that can't be destroyed, or stolen. An object with an effect that hovers over the rest of the game. We can do this. We can invent emblems.

The new wording would now go along the lines of this . . .

Elspeth, Knight-Errant wording
[+1]: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield.
[+1]: Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.
[-8]: You get an emblem with "Artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control are indestructible."

An emblem is a new kind of object, different from a card or a token. It's basically a marker with an ability on it. In fact, the ability is the only characteristic it has. Emblems have no color, name, card type, or anything else—just that ability. They live in the command zone, which is the same place that Archenemy schemes, Planechase planes, Vanguard cards, and EDH generals hang out. They're not permanents, and absolutely nothing can touch them or get rid of them, simply because no cards say that they can.

This change is being implemented now because this is the last Comprehensive Rules update before Elspeth vs. Tezzeret comes out. It doesn't really functionally change Elspeth at all, so she might as well start doing her new thing right away. The big question now is - does this mean there will be more emblem-creating planeswalkers in the future (we're looking at Scars of Mirrodin)?

Lastly, just an update that MTG Mint Card now has the following editions back in stock !
2010 Core Set, Zendikar, Shadowmoor, and Shards of Alara.
Make sure to check out MTG Mint Card for English and Chinese M11 singles which are available for pre-order.

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