Rules Change for Amonkhet

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on April 3, 2017, 6:55 p.m. by golffore297

Bad news for everyone who's been having fun with the Fuse mechanic lately, WoTC is changing the way that all Split cards work at the release of Amonkhet. When the set releases, the CMC of split cards in all zones but the stack will be the combination of both halves. ie the CMC of Ready / Willing is 6.

This means no more casting Beck / Call off Brain in a Jar on two, or Breaking / Entering from Kari Zev's Expertise. Not even flashing back Boom/Bust with Goblin Dark-Dwellers. I'm pretty upset with the rules change as someone who genuinely enjoyed playing the deck in Modern. While it seems like the change is being made to be made simpler, it is also getting rid of a lot of cool interactions.

MindAblaze says... #2


April 3, 2017 7:07 p.m.

golffore297 says... #3

April 3, 2017 7:14 p.m.

Entrei says... #4

TBH, while it is kinda sad, we all kinda saw it coming. I mean you can still play Elite Arcanist, copy the imprint and exile Lightning Bolt and Time Stretch and pay 1 mana to take 2 extra turns every turn.

April 3, 2017 7:57 p.m.

saj0219 says... #5

Full disclosure: I'm upset because I love the fun interaction with split cards. With that said, this ruling doesn't make a ton of sense to me in all situations. Fuse cards? Fine, I get it - if I have the ability to cast both sides of Beck / Call at once, I can see the shift to summing each sides mana cost for the CMC. What I can't figure is why on earth Boom/Bust would have a CMC of 8; I literally cannot think of a situation in which I play that card and pay 8 mana (unless someone tries to Spell Pierce me while I try to cast the bust half and I pay the extra two). I just don't know that I buy a CMC that has no connection to how much the card will ever cost to be played.

April 3, 2017 9:09 p.m.

lonker says... #6

saj0219 ??? It has a CMC of 8 so that you can't play with a Brain in the Jar or Expertse...

April 3, 2017 9:14 p.m.

DrLitebur says... #7

Entrei: How can you cast Time Stretch off of an exiled-Lightning Bolt with Elite Arcanist? Explain this to me please.

April 3, 2017 9:31 p.m.

Entrei says... #8

Well seeing as you exile 2 cards, you can choose which price you want to pay, in this case 1. Then, seeing as there are two cards exiled, you may chose to cast one or both. Owing to the whole rule change, they may have actually fixed that, but I did not look into the articles rulings too much.

April 3, 2017 10:10 p.m.

JWiley129 says... #9

Entrei - Their point is that Elite Arcanist says "Instant" only and not Sorcery. Try again.

April 3, 2017 10:33 p.m.

Entrei says... #10

Oooh wrong card sorry. Thinking about a different card, Time Stop. Confuzzled the names

April 3, 2017 10:41 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

Why is WotC doing this? Is there any good reason for making this change?

April 3, 2017 10:51 p.m.

saj0219 says... #12

lonker, I completely get the effect of the rule change... the issue I have is with the justification. I think that the converted mana cost of a spell should somehow represent of be tied to an actual casting cost. The fact remains that Boom/Bust and other split cards will never be cast for their combined casting costs, so it doesn't make sense that it is their CMC. That's why, while I'm sad to see fun fuse interactions like Beckcall+Brain in a Jar go, I'm willing to accept a combined CMC (since in theory that combination represents an actual, potential cost to cast the card). In the case of old school split cards though, it makes no sense. I'm aware my dissatisfaction won't change the new ruling, and I see how the new ruling might seem "simpler," but I just think it's silly to give a card a CMC that it will never be cast for.

April 3, 2017 11:04 p.m.

lonker says... #13

You can only exile one card with Elite Arcanist as well.

April 3, 2017 11:51 p.m.

This thread was moved to a more appropriate forum (auto-generated comment)

April 4, 2017 1:23 a.m.

KillDatBUG says... #15

Eh. Sucks that they removed something that was perfectly fun and healthy to the game because it's "too complex" or whatever; oh well. Guess we gotta keep on dumbing things down, huh.

April 4, 2017 2:19 a.m.

Dorotheus says... #16

In the description it says: "This rewards players who dig into the rules and figure that out, but it baffles a lot of people, too." This statement is saying that Wotc is willing to shoot holes in their game to get newer players to buy into it. Everything we've seen in Wotc RnD since SOI definitely feels like Wotc is willing to sacrifice integrity of it's rules and make changes that don't necessarily need to be made.

While past changes encompasses the entire game Lifelink not stacking, combat damage not on the stack, have been attempts to identify large sections of the game that aren't working as originally intended, but a change like this only effects a few lightly played cards in the game at all, and mostly effect standard above all else, which says Wotc is catering to that crowd, and their largest playgroup in the past 2 years has been Modern (modern masters sets being made to cater to that audience is not worth mentioning, since it does not cause rules changes), so that fails to make good logical sense to me.

Yea Wotc is going to make the changes they want to make, but it's a very dangerous and slippery slope to be on in game design sense.

April 4, 2017 2:25 a.m.

Chandrian says... #17

I'm quite disappointed by this rules change. Not because it doesn't make sense. The split cards ARE complicated, and stay that way even with the rules change.

The thing that bugs me the most is WotC THEMSELVES made precons in Commander where you can use this "trick". For example, I got the Saskia the Unyielding precon from last year. That decks contains Sunforger and it actively uses/abuses some split cards.

I find at appaling that for so many years they have themselves explained how to "break" split cards, have made precons around it, etc. On gatherer the rulings were always clear (even when I was a new player, it felt a bit weird but it wasn't that difficult to understand)...

So they put time in explaining interactions to players, get new players hyped for this through their product and then YEARS after the first split cards came out they decide to just change the rule.

April 4, 2017 2:44 a.m.

Tanker12 says... #18

Well this is irritating. I've always enjoyed brewing weird decks that work, and the split cards are always a good starting point, but I guess they hate the idea of creativity.

April 4, 2017 3:02 a.m.

WizardLogic says... #19

I think the change is fine. New players shouldn't be lured into playing needlessly complex decks just because of an obscure interaction with a split card and something like BIAJ/GDD. It simplifies the rules for judges, it simplifies deck building as new players don't have to dig deep for obscure interactions, and it tweaks certain interactions that shouldn't have been allowed to exist in the first place.

I find it hard to believe that WotC developed Beck//Call knowing that BIAJ was able to cast both halves due to an obscure interaction. I respect the company for having the courage to step forward and change these interactions, yes it will make the community grumble, but I believe moving forward this will be better for everyone, particularly the new players.

April 4, 2017 3:41 a.m.

Dorotheus says... #20

I find "moving on" as unacceptable when the motive is so weak, and the explanation for doing so is even more so.

Your wording of "needlessly complex" in juxtaposition with new players disturbs me greatly, those niche but powerful interactions are what get quiet a few new players in the game in the first place, I find it and Wotc's recent actions as a threat to, "play our value or don't play." Loosely translated into "we have to sell as much of each set as we can." which I can't be against them for trying to make money, they are a company after all. However, with all the conspiracy, background information selling to stores, insider leaks, Twin Ban, Eldrazi Winter, standard bannings, and now this.... that's a lot of offenses stacked up very quickly in a years time.

As someone with media-understanding, and marketing background... I even feel obligated to bring these things to attention for a game and sport I tend to enjoy.

April 4, 2017 4:15 a.m.

Naksu says... #21

I personally don't play any of these combinations, but was pretty WOW!'d the first time I played against brain + beck/call. Sad to see the whole consept go.

April 4, 2017 5:02 a.m.

Tanker12 says... #22

I had to look for proper information when looking up split card rulings, but that didn't stop me from playing the game. I find limiting people on creativity will slowly make the game boring.

April 4, 2017 6:42 a.m.

kanokarob says... #23

Even understanding how Split Cards worked before this change, having a guy at my locals who played Goryo's Expertise, it was clear that while yes, it worked that way and was logical within the scope of the rules, it really shouldn't have. Just as the announcement said, these cards basically had three mana costs, and which one was relevant to which interaction was practically up in the air. Once you learned which CMC went to which situation it was easy to remember, yes, but it shouldn't have been questionable to begin with, and in being so, created interactions that very obviously were unintentional and volatile.

When they say they are simplifying it or taking away the complexity, in this context, it means they are reducing the number of interactions that need to be explicitly and specifically accounted for, which is logical and practical. Most card interactions should be apparent in a vacuum on first glance, not as a matter of dumbness of the glance-er but as a matter of consistency of the game's rules and mechanics, so there aren't individualized rulings for every card.

April 4, 2017 7:54 a.m.

ROUROU says... #24

Your example is wrong in so many levels xD

April 4, 2017 9:21 a.m.

Die4Dethklok says... #25

Sad days

April 4, 2017 9:25 a.m.

So, the other side effect to this is that card's like Nahiri's Wrath that get a boost from a card's CMC is going to do better.

Granted, that's not nearly as much of an issue as the former ruling. But still, play Nahiri's Wrath discarding Beck / Call would increase her damage output by 8. That's pretty cool, I guess.

I'm sure there are some other cards that benefit from the combined CMC ruling, but I can't think of any others right now.

April 4, 2017 10:24 a.m.

kanokarob says... #27

Nahiri's Wrath, Dark Confidant, etc. would still use Beck / Call's CMC of 8 under the old rules.

But the fact you think it wouldn't have is further evidence that the rules needed this clarification+change.

April 4, 2017 10:26 a.m.

abby315 says... #28

Completely agree, WizardLogic. If we are to point to a weakness in the company stemming from this change, it would be Wizard's somewhat lax testing policy for rules and new cards. There's no way they designed 6 mana powerful spells like Bust to be cast for free based on an unrelated mana cost also on the card. They should have long ago stepped up their prerelease testing to include pro players who want to break cards so they can stop making this mistake--or, at least, they could have changed this rule WITH the release of GDD or the Expertises to reduce feel-bad reactions.

In short, yes, it feels bad, but what were you expecting? Why SHOULD players be rewarded for knowing more esoterica than newer players? And how would it feel as a new player to lose to an interaction that you can't even fathom when you're just getting the hang of "free spells" and have to ask judges because you think the opponent is cheating?

Not to mention with the release of the new twist/GY cards the interaction with GDD was about to spark even more issues.

April 4, 2017 10:31 a.m.

Boza says... #29

I applaud the change. Those spells behaved differently depending on the weather (as far as I can tell). There is no reason for a card to have one CMC when Brain in a Jar looks at it, a different one for Nahiri's Wrath, another one when Inquisition of Kozilek looks at it, another when it is in your library/hand/graveyard...

Good job Wizards! You killed a couple of niche decks, but get consistency in the rules, which is always a good thing in my book!

April 4, 2017 10:33 a.m.

griz024 says... #30

FUUUUUUUCKKKKK! i bought a bunch of the low cmc expertises waiting for someone to break them in modern :(

April 4, 2017 10:35 a.m.

Boza says... #31

griz024, really, even if they were, there would hardly be any profit to make from Standard 5 bucks or less rares, as supply is plentiful. Plus, the interaction with expertises and suspend spells like Ancestral Vision has not gone anywhere.

April 4, 2017 10:42 a.m.

MindAblaze says... #32

One of the things that drew (draws) me to this game is the Melvin of it. That "aha" moment when you realize how much more there is to do with the collection of cards beyond just what it says on them. I feel like this change, while intuitive and sensical, is the wrong direction for the game.

April 4, 2017 10:46 a.m.

griz024 says... #33


That is true with regular versions, but foils are a slightly different matter. Lots of modern staple foils are rather expensive.

Heres hoping living end spikes a few tourneys :)

April 4, 2017 10:55 a.m.

griz024 says... #34


I really have to agree with on this one. Finding neat ways to "game the system" is half the fun of playing magic.

April 4, 2017 10:58 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #35

I have answered many questions over the years on this topic. Many people get confused by Beck / Call's CMC of "2 and 6" producing very different results across cards that intuitively should work the same way. Yes, some weird tricks and loopholes get removed from the game, but I think it's better for more cards to actually do what they seem to say they do.

Oh, and I want to clear up a misconception from earlier in the thread. The trick with Elite Arcanist that Entrei was trying to explain doesn't work that way. If two cards are exiled then Elite Arcanist will use the sum of their CMCs to determine the value of X. See the following Rulings Note from Strionic Resonator:

In some cases involving linked abilities, an ability requires information about "the exiled card." When this happens, the ability gets multiple answers. If these answers are being used to determine the value of a variable, the sum is used. For example, if Elite Arcanist's enters-the-battlefield ability is copied, two cards are exiled. The value of X in the activation cost of Elite Arcanist's other ability is the sum of the two cards' converted mana costs. As the ability resolves, you create copies of both cards and can cast none, one, or both of the copies in any order.

April 4, 2017 12:40 p.m.

Ryne91 says... #36

This does keep you from exiling a few Spirit Guides from your hand, casting Kari Zev's Expertise into Breaking/Entering for a turn one Emrakul. So, I can definitely support this change.

April 4, 2017 3:16 p.m.

I absolutely agree. The acknowledgement of "...rewards players who dig into the rules and figure that out..." yet deciding to retroactively change the way the cards work to dumb them down/nerf them, minority-report style(???) is like punishing players for READING THE FUCKING MANUAL! lol

To exploit either of the few viable split cards was no different - and required no less extra setup - than any other 2 or 3 card combo. Nothing was broken in any format, and nothing was guaranteed to win. It was simply a new potentially good thing that was found to add to the diversity of every format, using janky-ass cards(re: fun). Now, those cards, are absolutely not competitive, and the split cards will just not be playable in any format, at all.

Bright side; everyone knows the cmc now. Yippie skippy. How dare I try to budget-jank my way into winning a few games of modern and having fun. Spike +1, Johnny -1.

April 4, 2017 4:14 p.m.

dan8080 says... #38

I'll throw my 2 cents in. So my understanding is they banned it for the over complexity that comes with it and the fact that honestly when you abuse the fuse mechanic like that it's arguably only a step above rules lawyering.

Personally never played with the deck but played against the expertise into breaking and entering and I thought it was fucking hysterical but at the same time if you were to have me or your average magic player explain how it remotely works to someone who asks especially a new player in fine details the best i'd come up with is it works cause it works and I've been playing for over 10 years now in general competitively for about 5. The explanation is too complex that it's not easy to explain clearly and while I don't totally like how wizards is dumbing down the game a bit, I do agree this one needed either the clearest of explanations as a reference point or a flat out retcon which they did the latter. So long story short I'm a little disappointed they killed all those interactions but I also agree that they had to go.

April 4, 2017 4:32 p.m.

Snydog17 says... #39

April 4, 2017 4:33 p.m.

FYI - goldfishing a turn 1 emrakul requires: kari zev's expertise, 2 simian spirit guides, breaking//entering, and forbidden orchard (or a land and a creature to target) at minimum in your hand. It also requires one of the top 8 cards to be emrakul. You can calculate the odds of this happening by combining the odds for each multivariable hypergeometric distribution (probability) that meets this minimum criteria for a turn 1 hand. Suffice to say it is not bloody likely.

This is not a reason to change the mechanics of split cards.

April 4, 2017 5:08 p.m.

Dorotheus says... #41

@ HomebrewForLife, or a Desperate Ritual or Pyretic Ritual instead of the second SSG. However, still that turn 1 inconsistent win can happen but it's oh so not likely, and usually not keepable because it's not durable.

April 4, 2017 7:53 p.m.

cklise says... #42


April 4, 2017 8:28 p.m.

Dorotheus says... #43


April 4, 2017 9:06 p.m.

Vectoro says... #44

Pretty sure the point of this change was not to nerf the Expertise decks, but rather to provide consistency in the rules.As others have said, it doesn't make much sense to have the card be treated as having multiple different CMCs depending on the situation (Why should Beck / Call be able to be targeted by both Inquisition of Kozilek and Transgress the Mind), and this change aims to streamline that. As far as I'm concerned, it may eliminate a few more obscure interactions, but it makes the cards more consistent in more situations.

April 4, 2017 10:17 p.m.

Would you rather have interactions that were never meant to happen hold back design, or would you rather them have more room to breathe when making both split cards and CMC based cards?

April 4, 2017 11:10 p.m.

LordNazahn says... #46

So I got a simple Question: How do splits work with Cascade?

I get they now have a combined total, but let's say i use Maelstrom Wanderer to cascade into..lets just say hit Ready / Willing can you cast both halves or just one?

April 5, 2017 6:58 a.m.

Hamster2558 says... #47

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This plus all the other cartouches and trials were spoiled. Nice planeswalker.

April 5, 2017 10:43 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #48

@Simon_Williamson: +1 on your comment. This does have a meaningful positive design and development impact.

@DarkEclipse18: You can't cast both halves of a Fuse split card from Cascade because Fuse only works if you cast the spell from your hand. Cascade casts the spell from exile.

April 5, 2017 10:45 a.m.

Hamster2558 says... #49

Oops commented on the wrong thread. Sorry everyone

April 5, 2017 10:47 a.m.

Hamster2558 says... #50

Oops commented on wrong thread. sorry

April 5, 2017 10:50 a.m.

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