Rules of Rotation
What does set rotation mean for judges? Usually not much. New cards replace old cards, yet players ask the same kinds of questions. This set rotation, however, promises to be quite different.
I am looking forward to the rotation of double-faced cards (DFCs). For the past two years, they have hounded and confounded us with the concept of sleeve opacity, and the incidents of Marked Cards with an upgrade for potential for advantage have gone up ten-fold. I understand that the rotation of these cards doesn’t change their viability in older formats—especially Delver of Secrets in Legacy—but it does mean that they will see a lot less play overall.
It’s a miracle! ...that these cards are finally rotating. Although Bonfire of the Damned is no longer lighting up the metagame, it used to be a big player and a bigger headache. Cards that require interactions with human dexterity have been banned from all formats—think Chaos Orb—and while miracles don’t require dexterity, the thin line between being able to miracle or not is a couple of inches from your deck to your hand. Put the card into your hand and you’ve lost your chance. If you think the new enchantment creatures will cause all kinds of nightmare judge calls, just imagine trying to decide if a card actually touched the rest of the hand or not.
Missed Triggers have been an ever-evolving topic over the life of Innistrad. Again, good old DFCs probably provide the biggest offender that I am looking forward to saying goodbye to: Werewolves, or more specifically Huntmaster of the Fells. The flip triggers for Huntmaster are an oft-missed bunch because they frequently happen incidentally to you doing something—either casting several spells or not casting spells. Even worse, sometimes your Huntmaster triggers because of something that your opponent does or does not do. This makes the trigger very hard to plan for. The resolution of a missed Ravager of the Fells would also lead to one of the more unsatisfactory situations for a forgetful player, having the Ravager flip back into Huntmaster during combat and be eaten by a larger creature. While it’s true that you never would have attacked if it had been a 2/2, this is why it behooves you to remember your triggers.
I’m anticipating Obzedat, Ghost Coucil taking over the throne of “most forgotten trigger” in Standard. I’ve already heard plenty of stories about this, and its playability should only increase with the set rotation. Luckily, the newest iteration of the Missed Triggers rules were written with this card in mind, so if you’re judging a Competitive REL event then make sure to read up on the IPG, specifically about zone change triggers.