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This new rare Magic The Gathering card is actually busted

Due to a wording error, new Magic: The Gathering card Wheel of Potential came out supremely overpowered - and Wizards admits its mistake.

New MTG card is busted - Wizards of the Coast image showing the Modern Horizons 3 card Wheel of Potential, overlaid on its own card art

Quibbling over the specific rules of an MTG card at a critical moment is often an unavoidable part of playing the game. But just occasionally, a simple, honest wording mistake makes a card so ridiculously ‘broken’ that publisher Wizards of the Coast has to step in to fix things. So it was with the new card Wheel of Potential, which sent the MTG community into a spin this week.

A new Sorcery card released in Modern Horizons 3 earlier this month, its faulty wording made it an absolute bonanza of free card plays. The card’s rules read: “You get (three energy counters), then you may pay X Energy. Each player may exile their hand and draw X cards. If X is 7 or more, you may play cards you own exiled this way until the end of your next turn.”

The big problem here, as is often the case, is the use of the word ‘may’ at the end of the first sentence. Because there is no hard stipulation for whether or not a player needs to actually pay a chosen X amount, players have interpreted this as an opportunity to simply declare what the X amount would be – and then choose not to pay it. If that were the rule, it’d let them move on to the card’s second part with any number they wish, allowing them to play as many cards they just exiled without the energy cost.

Almost as a portent for what was to follow, Wheel of Potential’s flavor text declares, “The wheel has only one sure output: chaos”. Chaos did indeed ensue, as discussion boards lit up with MTG Modern players having fun with the consequences of this unassuming ‘may’ on the card.

New MTG card is busted - Wizards of the Coast image showing a tweet from a Wizards MTG designer confirming the card was designed so you had to pay the energy to get the cards.

In the end, Matt Tabak, Principal Magic Editor at Wizards of the Coast, was asked for comment and declared on Twitter, “No, if you don’t pay the energy, you don’t draw the cards. We may have to tweak that template, but the card doesn’t work that way.”

In another Twitter response to that same thread, Tabak explained: “it’s very obvious what it’s supposed to say. I think this one just slipped through”.

So there’s a clear answer on this little typographical slip-up: you gotta pay that energy if you want those sweet, sweet card draws. Next time this card gets played in one of your games, before your opponent starts merrily drawing those free cards – show them this article.

The old arguments between rules-as-written and rules-as-intended will surely rage on for ever – but Wheel of Potential is a cut and dried case, and trying to play up that little ‘may’ to your advantage is only going to get you death stares. And we don’t want that.

We have a handy MTG release schedule guide if you want to keep up to date with what’s on the Magic horizon – and a full list of all the MTG sets ever released to brush up on your history. To keep up with the latest every day, bookmark our MTG news page and follow Wargamer on Google News.