Won’t Get Fooled Again

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We've had some cheating scandals in the MTG community during the last few weeks. Some of the most high-profile ones were obviously intentional, but sometimes we find ourselves cheating without even meaning to do so. Be it playing an extra land, attacking with a freshly summoned creature, or missing a trigger of some sort, we've all violated a game rule at some point. These GRVs can result in warnings, game losses, or even disqualification from events, which is especially painful when they arose due to a legitimate misunderstanding or memory issue.

To help with this problem, Gathering Magic's A.E. Marling wrote a great piece called "Foolproof Magic." In it, he addresses small things you can do to ensure you don't inadvertently violate a game rule. For example, do you have trouble remembering if you made a land drop earlier in a turn? Marling suggests (with photos to illustrate) that you play your lands upside down (then turn them upright during your next untap step).

Gathering Magic

This article is great. It addresses common problems such as playing extra lands, tapping mana correctly, forgetting upkeep triggers or other triggered abilities, and more. Each tip and trick is illustrated with a photo so that there's no mistaking exactly what Marling is talking about. If you're looking for easy ways to track information so you can focus on the actual strategy of your games, this is definitely an article to check out.

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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2 thoughts on “Won’t Get Fooled Again

  1. Love the article! I’ve been doing the ‘die on the library’ trick for awhile now, since I play Oloro in EDH. The first several games I played, I missed out on SOOO much life, so I knew I had to do something about it.

    I *love* the idea of playing the lands upside-down, because at the end of the turn, you can do a quick check, so if you happen to have a land in hand, and no upside-down land in play, you don’t miss a drop. I actually think this should be suggested as an actual rules change.

    I also believe that ‘summoning sickness’ tokens need to be created, in order to place them on creatures coming into play. I’ve had mid-game slowdowns/discussions that have resulted in a very common question: “Did he come into play this turn or last turn?” This is especially rampant in longer-turn EDH games.

    And ‘token stations’ should be just as readily available as ‘land stations’ at most LGS’s, for drafting and regular tournament purposes. I understand that creature tokens have become practically as collectible as the cards themselves, but since these tokens make the game so much clearer and easy to understand, I think that the tokens should be made more readily available. I’m hoping that the “token packs” being shipped with C14 are the start of a new trend, where token packs are made available to anyone who purchases sealed boxes of product, containing a healthy amount of tokens potentially created by cards in the set.

    I’d never thought of using a die to count triggers, but this leads me to a question… what if there are different TYPES of triggers? Does the player use multiple dice to count the different trigger types? Doesn’t that get just as confusing as remembering the triggers in the first place?

    Thanks for bringing this info to our attention. It’s particularly timely for me, as I’m about to participate in my first EVER Standard tournament tonight. I know I’m gonna get slaughtered, since I’m working with a sub-par budget Abzan lifegain deck, but I’m hoping to get into the swing of things.

  2. I play all my permanents upside down to indicate summoning sickness. All permanents have it, only creatures are affected by it. It can help to identify new abilities, modifiers and to simply tell if your creature is sick or not.

    Thanks for spreading the good word.

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