28, Feb, 22

What's The Deal With This Once A Turn Thing?

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Is this the best answer, or just the simplest one?
Article at a Glance

Magic cards can be broken. We’re talking about the kind of thing that probably never should have been printed, and the longer the game continues to exist, the more cards pop up that are broken. It’s not just new cards either, because older cards can often interact with modern Magic in unusual, and presumably unexpected, ways.

It’s led to a blatant need to curb the power level of newer cards. This is especially true in eternal formats, because when you look at Commander, Legacy, and so on, you find more and more ways to do some utterly despicable stuff. Well, it looks like those days are behind us now.

Everybody gets one

The way that the design teams seem to have decided to deal with this isn’t to curb the ridiculous abilities, because that’d probably get too much of a blowback, but instead add a few words to change how things work: “only once each turn.”

These four words fundamentally change the way a lot of cards work. It doesn’t seem like much, but only being able to trigger things once each turn completely nerfs the power of any ability it’s on. The only thing it wouldn’t decimate is “you win the game,” because that’s obviously not going to need to happen more than once. It’s an interesting way of approaching the problem of power creep.

While this is fine on some cards, and we do get it, it seems odd on others. Take Anje, Maid of Dishonor, who reads, “Whenever Anje, Maid of Dishonor and/or one or more other Vampires enter the battlefield under your control, create a Blood token. This ability triggers only once each turn.” Now, Blood tokens simply aren’t that powerful, so this seems like a weird nerf to a card that wasn’t really ever going to do that much. Ah well.

Read More: How Good Is Ninjutsu In Commander?

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