I Hate You, Milkman Clone

Legends, on the whole, make no sense. Okay, for a second here, just picture Kamahl, Fist of Krosa killing Kamahl, Pit Fighter. All right – shouldn’t this open up some sort of space time paradox wormhole which immediately blows Fist of Krosa boy up and sprays some sort of meaty goo around the room?

Our store begins with two young men at a Pro Tour Qualifier, discussing the card Clone’s interaction Imagecrafter. See, Imagecrafter allows you to turn a legend into something which is not a legend – and then Clone can copy the legend.

When the legend turns back into a legend, the clone has been that legend longer… So the legend dies. It’s a two-card combo that rotates around killing legends – but this is Onslaught Limited, where Legends come in one form: The angry meat-eating variety. Seton, Krosan Protector is used as a tooth pick by Silvos after he thrashes a Wurm token into the ground and eats its head. These are legends that cause bed-wetting and other sorts of physical emissions.

One of the young men, tells the other young man that no, he doesn’t think that the combo works like that. Something is amiss, in his mind. The other young man retorts that he’s sure the combo works, because Ben Bleiweiss wrote an article about Clone and how it works in this day and age.

So, laughs the first young man, you’re going to be using Ben Bleiweiss tech in Standard come November? The two young men then duel to the death, or at least, ’til they’re mildly exhausted, over the honour of Ben Bleiweiss. That lasts about two minutes, and then the first young man says, hey, we’re at a PTQ, let’s go ask the judges.

You know what? Never ask the judge about Clone. (Do read the StarCity database. Don’t mention you didn’t to Ferrett, though – he’ll yell at you.) The Judges were actually right and wrong, proving they were up to date on the whole must-pick-an-existing-creature-type thing, while being actually very, very wrong on how Clone works. They said the cloned Silvos would remain a goblin, while the other Silvos would turn back into a legend.

Say it with me kids: I hate you, Milkman Clone. Also, whenever you’re picking a creature type and it doesn’t matter – as in, you have no reason to make his creature a soldier or yours a zombie – name Whippoorwill. You heard me: You remember this creature? Well it’s the bird that doesn’t have flying (it’s a bird, and it’s flying, but it doesn’t have flying).

One of the young men – the lad who thinks Imagecrafter/Clone can kill a legend – is me, of course. The other lad I’ll let reveal himself when he wants to. I feel bad about writing this, since essentially, he was”wrong” – but only on the most basic level: That is, he approached the rules of the game with the slightest sliver of sanity in his mind.

Let’s put it this way: Clone makes no sense, and neither does using Imagecrafter to kill a legend through using Clone. The rules can be simplified down to the point where”copy” means you photocopy the other card and glue it onto Clone – which is exactly what you do right now – and people will still be confused.

We were confused. And I got even more confused when I started going through the rules with a friend. You see, while I did know the legends rule worked in my favour – sorta – we were rather confused with the whole legend timestamping rules and how they related to the process of OH DEAR GOD JUST KILL ME NOW.

Legends, on whole, make no sense. They don’t. Okay, for a second here, just picture Kamahl, Fist of Krosa killing Kamahl, Pit Fighter. All right – shouldn’t this open up some sort of space time paradox wormhole which immediately blows Fist of Krosa boy up and sprays some sort of meaty goo around the room?

It doesn’t. Nor do the clone rules behind this whole taking down Silvos match. Just picture it with me.

Mage A summons the massive SILVOS, ROGUE ELEMENTAL OF DOOOOOOOM while Mage B is standing there with nothing but a lone Imagecrafter. Who’s like, what, up to Silvos big toe? Maybe a bit taller than that. Anyways, the Imagecrafter (during Mage B’s turn, of course!) does his little Imagecrafter dance. Just picture him shaking his ass and singing”I turn you into a banana!” in a squeaky, off key sort of voice.

Frankly, just picture Harry Potter or something. Dancing. While turning Silvos into a banana.

Well, a Whippoorwill actually. They haven’t printed a banana yet, so for some reason the DCI in it’s infinite wisdom sees us turning Silvos into a banana as a worthwhile rules change.

It’s wrong, man! He’s not supposed to be a banana or a panda! Yes, Silvos, you are now a Whippoorwill! Thankfully, no one has any idea what a Whippoorwill is supposed to be, so really you just look exactly like Silvos! Only something has changed! No one knows what, until Mage B summons a Clone!

The Clone takes form, and he becomes Silvos! And he doesn’t implode for an illogical reason. Like really, you’re cloning a legend. Not duplicating the summon spell. The name is Clone, not Duplicate Summoning, or something. I know this is like Terroring a Wall or something, but really, it’s a copy. Look at the bloody card, with it’s sexy new artwork (note: Not sexy) It reads”Clone comes into play as a copy of that creature.” COPY.

But no, Silvos is not a legend right now, he’s a banana, er, Whippoorwill. Pogo? Pierogie? Anyways, Silvos isn’t a legend. But the Clone – the Clone is a legend. So Silvos the real and Silvos the clone growl at each other, and then, suddenly, Silvos the real melts into a bloody puddle.

And none of us have any idea why.

That is exactly how the rules work. The real Silvos, who was cloned, wasn’t the legend long enough. Neither of them have entered or left play, and the Clone is still a clone, but in this wacky world, the clone cloning a legend is more legend than the originally legend if the legend is a banana at the time he’s been cloned.

So let’s get this straight: You can clone a legend if it’s been imagecrafted, and it will kill the legend. But you can also play Crovax, the Cursed after Ascendant Evincar has come into play, and have him lay the smackdown on the Evincar. Never mind sacrificing Ertai, Wizard Adept to Ertai the Corrupted; none of us will ever really be able to wrap our minds around that one, so don’t bother trying to. Beyond that, you can make one Wild Mongrel a legend, and then another Wild mongrel a legend, at which point the second Mongrel immediately melts into a puddle of goo. And no one has any idea why.

The Legend rule, and the Clone rule, are examples of where the design of the game loses all intuitiveness and simply becomes quite adamantly dumb. The fact that you can make two creatures a legends with Unnatural Selection, or anything else, doesn’t impress anyone. It gives blue decks a way to kill creatures repeatedly – and while the card isn’t broken for doing so, it falls completely out of colour flavour. The Clone rule is simply bizarre: The rules make no sense in the first place. Throw in a banana-loving imagecrafter and the whole thing simply reaches the point where the rules are totally arbitrary and don’t make any sense.

My suggestion, to Wizards, is to change”legend” to a creature ability, not creature type, and then errata all existing legends to have normal creature types. Most of them do, by now… But a lot of the original legends don’t. While this might be it a bit of work, it will make the legend type, I don’t know, make a little bit more sense, making the rules cleaner and easier to understand. As well, Clone should simply be erratad or the rules behind copying changed so that a copied card doesn’t care if it’s a legend or not. It is a copy, and that pretty much invalidates why the Legend rule exists in the first place.

I mean damn, I can Nature’s Revolt Volrath’s Stronghold, turn it into a whippoorwill with Imagecrafter, drop a Clone … And the old Volrath’s Stronghold self-destructs? Does this make any sense to anyone else? At all?

Iain Telfer

(Actually, Whippoorwill is just some normal sort of bird. A lot of people probably don’t know that. The card still doesn’t have flying, no matter how many times you want it to.)