16, Jun, 24

Broken MH3 Draw Engine Expected to Receive Necessary Errata!

Article at a Glance

Over the years, many MTG cards have received errata for a multitude of reasons. In some cases, a change to a creature’s type will be implemented with the goal of promoting consistency across the board. Just recently, it was revealed that the Cephalid creature type was being phased out, and all Cephalids would function as Octopuses moving forward. While this change is interesting, in most instances, the difference isn’t too important from a rules perspective.

Other times, the rules text on an MTG card will be errata-ed to better reflect exactly how the card was intended to function when printed. Take Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, for example. As written, Teferi’s +1 forces you to untap two lands if possible. This means that if all your lands are untapped and your opponent has lands that are tapped, you are required to untap two of their lands. Teferi has since been errata-ed by changing the text to read “untap up to two lands.”

While no change has been announced quite yet, it appears as though Wheel of Potential will most likely be getting errata-ed in the near future. As things currently stand, Wheel of Potential is actually incredibly broken as written. This may seem a bit confusing, as it’s fairly obvious how the card is meant to work. As we will see, however, the exact wording on the card is rather problematic.

How Wheel of Potential Should Work

Wheel of Potential

Wheel of Potential was designed to be a “fixed” version of Wheel of Fortune that requires some work to get going. First of all, unlike Wheel of Fortune, each player gets the choice of whether to exile their hand and draw cards. This means that if you have a card like Narset, Parter of Veils in play that would otherwise completely break parity, the opponent isn’t forced to get rid of their original hand.

Next, Wheel of Potential was created to reward you for playing lots of other cards that can net you a large reserve of Energy. As intended, you essentially get three Energy on the house, then you can pay any amount of Energy to allow each player to exile their hand and draw that many cards if they want. As you may expect, this is how the card works on MTG Arena. You even get a small bonus if you pay at least seven Energy.

If Wheel of Potential is the only source of Energy in your deck, the maximum number of cards you should be able to draw with it is three. The idea is that Wheel of Potential shouldn’t just be slotted into any deck. With enough support, though, Wheel of Potential can draw a ton of cards. Seems simple enough, right?

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An Issue with the Wording

Bane of the Living

Unfortunately, the way Wheel of Potential is actually worded, you can put the card into any deck and draw as many cards as you want, regardless of how much Energy you pay upfront! Given our explanation above of how the card works, this may be a bit confusing. After all, the card clearly states that you may pay X energy, and then each player may exile their hand and draw X cards. It would make sense that the value of X when drawing X cards would be directly correlated to the amount of Energy you initially paid. Technically, this is not how things work.

Players were quick to realize that neither the card’s rules text nor the official MTG rules deliberately state that you have to pay the Energy cost to get the draw effect. See, Wheel of Potential states that YOU MAY pay X energy, then you get to draw X cards. The value of X is not defined by the amount of Energy you pay, but rather by the action of you choosing a number for it.

As such, you are allowed to declare a number for X that is greater than the number of Energy counters you have accumulated, choose not to pay any Energy whatsoever, and still reap the rewards. Clearly, this is not how Wheel of Potential is supposed to work, as it would immediately be one of the most broken draw engines ever. This isn’t the first time a card with an X in its rules text caused confusion as Bane of the Living required a rules update. This begs the question: what is the easiest fix?

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Potential Errata Options

Localized Destruction

For Wheel of Potential, there are a couple of different ways that the card can be errata-ed that would help solve the problem. One of the directions Wizards of the Coast could take is to add the text “if you do” right before the “each player may exile their hand and draw X cards” clause. Similar templating is seen on cards like Localized Destruction. Adding “if you do” to the rules text ensures that you only get the benefit of drawing X cards if you spent X Energy beforehand.

This is a perfectly reasonable fix, but it’s not the only route that can be taken. Another decent option is to get rid of the text “you may” before the Energy payment. This makes sure that players can’t simply bypass paying Energy and still get to draw cards. Notably, paying zero Energy is still an option, but you won’t get to draw any cards out of the deal. For more information on Wheel of Potential’s current issues and different errata options, check out this helpful video.

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Other Strangely Worded Cards

Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor

Interestingly, Wheel of Potential isn’t the only card in MH3 that has players questioning how rules text is worded. Recently, a player pointed out that one of Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor’s abilities is a bit misleading. See, Pearl-Ear lets you draw cards whenever you cast an aura spell that targets a Modified permanent you control.

With this in mind, Twitter user BomattCourier decided to build a deck around auras with “enchant land,” such as Abundant Growth. The assumption, of course, was that Pearl-Ear would let them generate card advantage each time they targeted a land that was already enchanted. Soon enough, they realized that, according to MTG rules, only creatures can be Modified. So, even though Pearl-Ear specifically mentions a Modified “permanent,” you only benefit from targeting creatures.

Ultimately, it’s unclear if any alterations will be made with regard to how Pearl-Ear functions. We know for a fact, though, that Wheel of Potential’s wording is a minor mishap that should be fixed in the near future. At the end of the day, MTG is a complicated game for players and card designers alike, and mistakes are bound to happen. Make sure to keep an eye out for any rules updates and errata that are announced in the coming weeks.

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