At the same time you are enjoying your Magic 2014 prerelease, the new rules coming with this set have been released and are now valid (as of July 13th). If you might not be familiar with those changes, I’d like to introduce them to you.
Legends & Planeswalkers uniqueness
I will start with the most exciting change in my opinion: you can now have more than one legendary permanent with the same name on the battlefield, provided each are controlled by different players.
Basically, you can cast Geist of the Saint Traft onto the battlefield even if your opponent already controls one and they won’t both end in the graveyard as they used to. It also means you cannot kill your opponent’s exiled Obzedat, Ghost Council by putting your copy on the battlefield.
So what happens now if you cast another Geist of the Saint Traft while you already have one on the battlefield ? Here again, the rule changed: the two Geist won’t go to the graveyard but instead you will choose which one will stay on the battlefield and which one is doomed to the graveyard. This choice, however, doesn’t go on the stack and can’t be reacted to (you can’t bounce the first one in response, as an example).
What about planeswalkers? It’s exactly the same (except we don’t look at the name but the planeswalker type). While putting a Jace Beleren on the battlefield won’t remove Jace, The Mind Sculptor on an opponent side anymore, you can now play a Jace, use one of his abilities, play another Jace, put the former one in the graveyard and use an ability from the fresh copy.
The various clones are not the legend killers they used to be but they will still be powerful in their primary role which is to copy a permanent.
If you have played standard during the previous months, you may have been the witness of a curious interaction between Falkenrath Aristocrat and Turn // Burn. As indestructible was not an ability, when you cast a fused Turn // Burn on the Aristocrat and your opponent sacrificed a creature in response, you ended with a 0/1 creature with not abilities, indestructible creature with 2 damages on it (a 1/2 if the sacrificed guy was human).
Now that Indestructible became an ability, the interaction is more intuitive and Aristocrat becomes a 0/1 creature with not abilities, with two lethal damages on it and won’t escape its fate.
Playing an additional land
This one is a minor tweak of the rule which, again, makes the things more intuitive. I won’t explain how it was handled before (but if you are curious, take a look to the article on Wizards website) but will focus on the new rule.
You can play a land during your turn, provided you haven’t reached your land play count for the turn (you start your turn with one land play). Effects can increase your land play count but will not create “slots” specific to the card.
If you have Exploration on the battlefield, you can play another land and you will have used your two land plays this turn. If you return Exploration in your hand and cast it again, you will still have used two land plays out of two. If you want to play a third land, you will need a second Exploration in play or another effect alike.
Sideboarding in constructed
The new rule for sideboarding states that you don’t need to have 0 or 15 cards in your sideboard anymore. You’re allowed to have up to 15 cards in your constructed sideboard.
If you cannot find the last card for your sideboard before the tournament, you can now play with only 14 cards in the sideboard if you want. However, at competitive events, be sure to write down all the cards you are playing because having 15 cards in your sideboard but writing only 14 might still get you in a lot of trouble!
Another change is that you don’t have to exchange one card from your deck for one card in your sideboard between two games. You can add any number of cards to your deck provided the deck you are presenting to your opponent contains at least 60 cards.
If you wish, you can start the tournament with 60 cards deck, 15 cards sideboard and for the second and third games of a match, plays a 65 cards deck with 10 cards in the sideboard. You could also do the reverse and start the first game with 65 cards and 10 sideboard cards and the consecutive games with 60 and 15. Remember, you still have to start every match with the exact deck you registered on your deck list.
That’s all for today. I wish you a good pre-release week-end, a lot of fun with the new cards and new rules.