Why Was Ward Worded as it Is?

General forum

Posted on April 2, 2024, 8:39 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Ward is ostensibly an improvement over hexproof, which, itself, was an improvement over shroud, and I can understand that, but what I do not understand that is why ward is a triggered ability.

To clarify, the reminder text of ward is "whenever this permanent becomes the target of a spell or ability that an opponent controls, counter that spell or ability unless its control pays X," but that is not consistent with shroud and hexproof, which are both static abilities; if ward was consistent, its reminder text would have been "spells and abilities that your opponents control that target this permanent cost X more to cast;" does that make sense, or would that not have allowed for ward costs other than mana?

What does everyone else say about this? Why is ward worded as it is?

wallisface says... #2

Both of those wordings lead to very different applications to how the ability can be interacted with (the major difference being that cards like Abrupt Decay can currently circumvent Ward).

But specifically your rewording of the effect doesn’t work, because abilities aren’t ”cast”, so the choice of that word in the rules text wouldn’t work - and I’d think any wordage change to be inclusive of abilities would make the effect needlessly wordy/complicated.

I think the wording you’re suggesting is ”Spells that your opponents control that target this permanent cost X more to cast. Abilities that your opponents control that target this permanent cost X more to activate.” Personally, that’s a lot of words and feels pretty gross to me, even ignoring the application differences between this wording and the actual-Ward rules.

April 2, 2024 10:46 p.m. Edited.

Gidgetimer says... #3

It definitely isn't about having non mana payments, since they already have Terror of the Peaks which is formatted in the way you suggest.

The large difference made because of it being "counter unless you pay" instead of a static ability is that it allows other ways of getting around the ward besides paying the mana. I don't know if this was intended, but WotC is obviously aware of this because Long Goodbye was in the same set as Disguise. Benevolent Geist  Flip, Boseiju, Who Shelters All, and Abrupt Decay also provide counter play to Ward. I can't provide you with a "why" since I have no inside information, but the most likely explanation IMO is that it was in fact intended that "can't be countered" can be used to counteract Ward.

April 2, 2024 10:55 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #4

Wait, I was wrong. It was specifically triggered abilities that cause Ward to be a trigger. Triggered abilities don't have a cost associated with putting them on the stack. There is no way to make something with no cost "cost more" and so they have to counter it if the payment isn't made instead of imposing an additional cost.

April 2, 2024 11 p.m.

wallisface says... #5

Gidgetimer nice catch!!

April 2, 2024 11:22 p.m.

Because 4 Roaming Throne's on the field wasn't insane enough. It is an interesting decision that surprised me when it triggered on arena a few weeks ago. I had never looked too much into it, but that's dialed up that card to absolutely insane levels... Why it's not legendary is beyond me.

April 3, 2024 3:19 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #7

I feel like if you have 4 Roaming Thrones and haven't already won something has gone horribly wrong.

April 3, 2024 7:57 p.m.

Please login to comment