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To Every Casual Player Out There
By Kirsin Koch
To every casual player out there:

As many of you know, Waylay was a smash at Origins 1999, because it's new tech was unexpected. So, in response, the WotC R&D decided to errata the card to fix the fact that you could keep the token Knights to attack on your turn due to a Sixth Edition rules loophole. This loophole has since come under great fire from everyone, as WotC hasn't fixed this loophole yet. So, as the majority of us in the Casual Players Alliance have supported such a proposal, I say we voice the reasons why this errata is bad for the game to WotC as a show of what the majority of the CPA wants in their games.

First, errata should be used only if a card is unbalancing to the environment. This is why R&D issue errata, correct? Even after the end of turn Waylay trick was revealed most of the decks on E-LeagueŽ were not overrun by Waylay tricks. There are only about six White Weenie decks or decks that used Waylay in the top eight over the space of a month! Yes, White Weenie archetypes used four Waylays in them, but that was a power card at the moment. Sligh immediately picked up four Cursed Scrolls which no one errata'd when Tempest came out. Did they unbalance the environment with Waylay's turn three 6 points of potential blockable damage? Waylay can be countered by any blue deck on the second turn when Waylay can't even come out on turn three. Cursed Scroll, Masticore, Fireslinger, Powder Keg, and any instant direct damage can deal with them. Most first strikers can kill them. Mother of Runes can block one of them no problem, and Waylay becomes completely useless if your opponent has the Mother of Runes/Pariah combination. Wall of Glare can block all of them. And finally, the power of green simply stomps them with its beefy creatures. Obvious examples are Muscle Slivers, Acridian, Wall of Blossoms, "Yeah, keep me from having to pay echo, please" Multani's Acolyte, Albino Troll, Skyshroud Elite (when there are non-basic lands in play), and even the unused Pygmy Troll. Are 6 potential points of blockable damage so unbalancing compared to such things as such as Ball Lightning, which was Deadguy Red's number one creature/burn spell? (Remember the combo? Summon Ball Lightning, sacrifice two mountains for Fireblast, combined with all my damage so far equals... You're dead.) My point is a Waylay CAN BE STOPPED! People are being forced to use Splinter in their sideboards and sometimes maindeck to kill Masticores! Is this not unbalancing? The entire environment is being forced to deal with a single overpowering card and since it's rare and everyone is buying Destiny to get them; WotC will DO NOTHING TO FIX THIS!

Second, the whole sales scheme to Sixth Edition was that the new rules would bring new card interactions and allow new possibilities to game play. Every issue of the Duelist, for example, began to have a section on how you could tutor for a counterspell under the new rules and Healing Salve and regeneration abilities acted as a damage shield now. Well, Sixth Edition opened lots of possibilities to rules gurus and not only to Waylay (Lotus Vale, Lion's Eye Diamond, and Thawing Glaciers to name a few). WotC never once said anything that back products wouldn't be compatible and would need to be changed to "work as they were intended." NOT ONCE! Everyone was excited that Lotus Vale could now be considered the "poor man's Black Lotus." Not all of us can afford $300 to $400 on a piece of cardboard.

Third, they are errata'ing a card "to bring it into line with the way the card was originally meant to be used." And that's why Duelist issue #32 has the Great Whale, Priest of Gix, Recurring Nightmare infinite mana combo thought up by the masters at Wizards themselves! Recurring Nightmare was never meant to create an infinite mana combo with the "free" creatures. Oh, no, not at all! Also, they've messed with Aether Storm which no longer works as was originally intended. Make up your minds WOTC!

Fourth, all or most of the neat tricks you could do with Waylay before Origins are now useless because to bring Waylay into line with its original intent, it can ONLY BE CAST DURING THE COMBAT STEP. For instance, you cannot enchant a Knight token from Waylay with Mark of Fury to give it haste because you cannot cast enchantments during the combat phase... excuse me, STEP. You can't enchant a Waylay Knight token at all! Not even with the perpetual enchantments, which you could do before and was cool. Also, if you have a Soul Warden, Congregate, or Worship out and you need creatures because of direct damage, and all you have is an INSTANT (definition: can be cast at any point of the turn for mostly any reason.) Waylay, you are out of luck. Not the way this card was originally intended.

Fifth, the end step is the problem right now, not the cards. Yes, it fixes the Ball Lightning/Lifeline problems, but it still allowed for loopholes to be played such as Waylay.

Sixth, the majority of players in the CPA and who argued about this in the Dojo's Forums didn't want this as evidenced by the massive outcry in the forums against it. Also, CPA members have been using our voting booth on this issue and so far only one person has voted against repealing the Waylay errata. (How many here don't want the errata of Waylay repealed? Speak now or forever hold your peace.)

Seventh, if everyone had felt that Waylay needed errata, and errata had been truly necessary, there are far better ways to errata Waylay. Festival can only be played during an opponent's turn. For instance, to prevent the end of turn abuse, they could have simply added, "Cannot be cast during the end step." and this card would have functioned exactly as before. This could be applied to all future potential rules problems, which would in turn solve the end of turn problem.

Eighth, people have argued about Waylay's newfound power as being out of flavor for white. I ask this, was Defender of Law out of flavor? What about one of the first (if not the first) instant creatures, Errand of Duty? And then there was Benalish Knight after that. White has three instant creatures. Winding Canyons, a land you pay 2 and tap, allows you to cast any of your creatures as instants and allows this ability for any color. So exactly what is out of flavor in Waylay?

Finally, did R&D truly work to put the best errata for Waylay that they could? I have been made aware that the procedure for errata is this: DCI notices something that maybe a problem. They notify R&D. Then R&D playtests to see if the problem is really truly a problem. Then they decide how to fix the card and issues errata. Now, we all know the problems that R&D have had with playtesting their products lately. So, how did they have time to adequately playtest Waylay and decide that the spirit of the card was to only be played during combat and that this card was unbalancing in a tournament to a higher degree that Masticore or Yawgmoth's Bargain? Or are they just answering to whining pro-players out there?

So, I ask all of you reading this to copy this argument against the DCI and R&D's incorrect actions into an email and voice yourself to them. Let WotC know we don't want this erratum. Let them know what the players want. This is your game. Don't let them change it into something we don't want! We are the Casual Players Alliance and we WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE WE NEED!

Founding and proud member of the Casual Player's Alliance,
Kirsin Koch
(Dune Echo)

Read More Articles by Kirsin Koch!

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