magic_logoWizards is making the biggest changes in ten years to the core rule system for Magic: the Gathering. The last major changes to the rules were for 6th edition. These new changes come into effect with their new core deck system, starting with Magic 2010.

A summary of the changes:

  1. Minor change to the order of when players mulligan.
  2. Terminology changes: “in play” is now “the battlefield”, “play” is now (back to) “cast”, “removed from the game” is now “in exile”. And “at the end of turn” is now “at the beginning of the end step”, which I’m still laughing about.
  3. Goodbye mana burn. It’s gone. Mana pools empty at each step, and that’s it.
  4. Tokens are now “owned” by the first person to control them, not the caster of the spell that brought them into play.
  5. Damage no longer uses the stack and combat is changed. Most significantly, while declaring blockers, the attacker assigns the ordering of the blockers on his or her creatures. After assigning the order, players can cast spells. THEN damage is dealt, and the attacker must assign at least lethal damage to each blocker, in order, before moving on to the next one. Damage is resolved immediately.
    This is like automatic trample to each successive creature.
  6. Deathtouch and lifelink are now state effects.