Comprehensive Rulebook Changes
What are the Comprehensive Rules?
is complicated. No, really. When you have more than 12,000 interchangeable game pieces, you get some freaky interactions. The Comprehensive Rules cover everything the game has ever come up with, from basic game play structure, to every keyword ever, to entire pages dedicated to single bizarre cards (hello, Karn Liberated!). The Comprehensive Rules are, well, comprehensive... but they're also obtuse, unfriendly, and looooong. They're not intended to be a player resource—they're a judge resource, a rules guru resource, and a place to store definitive answers. In fact, I honestly recommend never reading them. For a much friendlier rulebook that is intended to be a player resource, check out the Rules Page and download the Basic Rulebook (2.1 MB PDF). It doesn't have sections about phasing or subgames... but you'll never miss them.
This rule talks about the numbers used in Magic. The example attached to this rule said a creature with negative power assigned 0 combat damage, which isn't technically correct. It doesn't assign combat damage in that case.
This rule covers effects that instruct a player to name a card. Previously, if you wanted to name a split card, you had to name both halves. So, for Meddling Mage's ability, you couldn't say just "Fire," you had to say "Fire and Ice." The casting of either half would be shut down. But the split card rules tell you that it has two sets of characteristics, one for each half. It follows that a split card has two names. When you named "Fire and Ice," you were choosing a name that wasn't actually the name of a spell that could be cast.
This seemed off to me, so I looked for someone who could change that rule. I found such a person: me! Well, me backed up by the rest of the rules team and R&D, but details, right? Now, the names of each half of a split card show up on the list of legal names to choose from. When asked to name a card, you can name half of a split card, but not the whole card. But fused split spells have two names. So, going back to our Meddling Mage example, if you name "Far," then Away could still be cast. Far clearly can't be cast, and you couldn't use fuse and cast Far and Away either. One of the fused split spell's names is Far, and spells with that name can't be cast.
Ral is added to the list of Planeswalker types. Hi, Ral!
This rule covers the rarely used template "attacks and isn't blocked," which popped up on the Dragon's Maze card Master of Cruelties. Abilities with that trigger condition trigger during the declare blockers step. Unlike abilities that trigger "whenever [a creature] attacks," it doesn't really matter how a creature came to be an attacking creature. It matters only that no blockers were declared for it. If Master of Cruelties is put onto the battlefield attacking before blockers are declared (say, with popular Commander card Kaalia of the Vast), its ability will trigger if goes unblocked. This wasn't completely clear, as you could easily get hung up on the word "attacks" used in both trigger conditions. This rule will now more clearly define how this template works.
This new rule is getting tucked into the Search section to cover a very rare interaction. If a search is replaced with a partial search (say, by the one card that does this, Aven Mindcensor), that partial search still counts as a search for any effects that care about that (say, the one created by Veteran Explorer's ability).
Renegade Krasis introduces the term "evolves," defined by this new rule as happening when one or more +1/+1 counters are put on it as a result of its evolve ability resolving. The "or more" means if you control Doubling Season, Renegade Krasis's ability will trigger only once.
Keyword number 100 is fuse. Any guesses what number 200 will be?
Section 708 is the split card section. Many rules in this section got updates to account for the new split cards with fuse. There's also a mention here of the new card-naming rules discussed above. When not on the stack, split cards with fuse behave just like other split cards. They have two sets of characteristics, and effects that compare or ask for certain qualities or values get two answers. A fused split spell also has two sets of characteristics, but it has one converted mana cost (the total amount of mana in its two mana costs, regardless of color).
This rule governs how effects that need to know how many poison counters a player has behave in Two-Headed Giant games. I added a sentence to clarify that cards like Phyrexian Swarmlord, which need to know how many poison counters your opponents have, count teams and not individual players.
There are new entries for fuse and fused split spell.
Matt Tabak is the reigning, defending, and undisputed rules manager for Magic: The Gathering, Kaijudo, and Duel Masters. Matt Tabak is Gruul. Matt Tabak tries to laugh, think, and cry every day. Matt Tabak is hungry. Matt Tabak doesn't want you to sass him. Matt Tabak loves puppies.