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Djinn of Wishes has an activated ability with the effect:

Reveal the top card of your library. You may play that card without paying its mana cost. If you don't, exile it.

The rulings state that if you reveal a land, it can only be played if it is your turn and you haven't yet played a land this turn.

I know that rule 305.3 states

305.3. A player can’t play a land, for any reason, if it isn’t their turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.

However, why doesn't the first Golden Rule override this?

101.1. Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation.

This sounds like an example of a card text directly contradicting the rules... the card text says "you may play the card", while the rules says "you cannot play the land".

One might argue that 101.2 would apply here, but I don't think it does:

101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can’t happen, the “can’t” effect takes precedence.

First off, it's specific that it's only discussing an "effect" that states it can't happen, not a "rule or effect". Because "rule or effect" is used in the first part, and only "effect" is used in the second part, it seems that rules are purposefully excluded. Which makes sense to me because 101.1 already says that "effects" (which are written on cards) will override rules.

And second, even if it did mean "rule or effect", then you just have a case of 101.1 clashing with 101.2 and it isn't clear which one would take priority.

So...

Why is 305.3 able to prevent Djinn of Wishes from playing a land out of turn? I would expect it to work if it said something like "this is an exception to 101.1", as sometimes the comprehensive rules do for other rules that contradict rules.

Interesting to note that Djinn of Wishes does allow you to play a land during Combat, or your Upkeep; other times when you cannot normally play a land. In fact any time you play a land with its ability it is "special" timing, because whether it is your main phase or not, you don't have priority, and the stack isn't empty. Presumably the difference is that while the rules for lands only allows them to be played during your main phase, there is not a rule similar to 305.3 that says lands can only be played during your main phase.

  • Hmm. Interesting inconsistency with being able to play lands out of timing during an upkeep. – ryanyuyu Jul 24 at 14:58
  • The only thing I can come up with is that timing restrictions on casting spells get ignored (because the effect still has to be resolving while you cast a spell) but any other restrictions are not ignored (one of the rulings on the gatherer uses the example of a card that could only be cast during combat). So you are allowed to cast a sorcery with the effect or play a land when the stack isn't empty (ignoring the timing restrictions) but you don't get to ignore the other restrictions (1 land per turn only on your turn, etc). (cont) – Becuzz Jul 24 at 15:28
  • (cont) If Djinn had a clause about "If the revealed card is a land, you may play it at any time and it doesn't count as playing a land for the turn" or something like that then I could see a case being made for the golden rule coming into play here. However, since it doesn't instruct you to ignore those restrictions, I'm not sure it applies. This is all just a theory. I can't find any rules that explicitly state why timing restrictions are ignored but other restrictions are not. – Becuzz Jul 24 at 15:30
9

There are two parts to 305.3.

The first part ("A player can’t play a land, for any reason, if it isn’t their turn.") is directly contradicted by Djinn of Wishes's activated ability's effect, so it's ignored.

The second part ("Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.") isn't contradicted by the effect.

Since a player must ignore the effect's instruction to play a land when it's not their turn, they are never instructed to play a land when it's not their turn, so the rules aren't contradicted.


Of note, the rules were different before Jul 13th, 2013. See the "Playing Additional Lands" section of Magic 2014 Core Set Rules Preview. Djinn of Wishes is specifically mentioned in the examples. This only shows that the ruling is in line with the intent of the game designers.

  • 1
    So in effect, any rule saying "ignore an effect that does X" is an exception to rule 101.1, but it doesn't need to spell that out because it is not "ignore 101.1 in this case" but rather "it's impossible for 101.1 to apply in this case". Unless perhaps a card effect had weird wording like "never ignore this effect", in which case we could apply 101.1. – GendoIkari Jul 24 at 18:42
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    I'm not disagreeing; I was saying that it "acts" like an exception in that it avoids invoking the rule. It's a wording the rulebook can use to make it so that 101.1 doesn't come into play. – GendoIkari Jul 24 at 19:06
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    There no more of an exception here than when an ability deals 2 damage to a Protected creature. An exception is a situation where the rule would normally apply, but it doesn't because of the exception. This isn't an exception, and it doesn't help anyone to pretend it is. In fact, such metaphors always backfire. – ikegami Jul 25 at 4:11
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    The reason conceding is an exception is because the rules allows one to conceded even if the cards instruct the player to do something different. There is a direct conflict between what the rules allows, and what the cards instruct. Normally, the card would win out (the player must draw a card or something). But the exception allows the rules to win out (the player can concede instead). That's not situation here. There's no contradiction, so 101.1 is not involved, much less ignored. – ikegami Jul 25 at 4:12

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