I noticed today a new question: Exiling Creatures: When is the card face up and when face down?

Very well formulated question (generalized) with a specific example. (Although it has some minor spelling issues.)

Clearly this older question could have been given the same title, but it wasn't. Are cards exiled with Ashiok revealed?

The answers to both questions with different examples but essentially asking the same thing will of course be the same.

Should we reword the older question and mark the new one as a duplicate or "reward" the new better crafted question and mark the older question as a duplicate?

EDIT: Just realized the new question still requires a bit of tweaking, as it says exiling creatures not exiling cards.

2 Answers 2


Yes in this case, and often yes in general.

The requirement is that the new question must thoroughly and clearly answer the older one. (But that's always the case for duplicate votes.) In the case you've discovered, this is satisfied because the older question is asking about a very specific application of the behaviour that the newer question asks about more generically.

This is not not the most common use of duplicate closure, since we usually prefer to close newer questions as you've acknowledged, but is an extremely useful way to use them. Specifically, it's the way we create canon questions — consider we have three or four questions all brushing up against a topic, like whether exiled cards get exiled face down or not on various different cards, but all the answers are different and none are duplicates. Someone can come along and create a canon question on the topic, and we can close all of those questions as a duplicate of it. If we universally only closed as duplicates of older questions, we'd be robbing ourselves of an opportunity to have a fantastic canon question.

  • 1
    I suggest changing "[...] the new question must thoroughly and clearly answer the older one." to "[...] the new question must more thoroughly and clearly ask the same question that the older one does." Changes emphasized in bold. The "more" is self-explanatory. The other change is because duplicate-ness is not determined by whether one question answers another, but by whether is is the same as another.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 17:42
  • @Rainbolt Thanks for catching that, that's a pretty important thing to point out too. I think when we're closing an old question as a dupe of a newer one the answer quality's also relevant, so I'd like to still mention that too. (Or maybe it's always relevant, and our normal sort of dupe closure is no different, but usually the results end up favouring closing the new as a dupe of the old... food for thought.) I'm going to think about how I need to reword this and get back to it in a few days when I'm not so busy moving house. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 12:40
  • You could think of it as a series of trade offs. Generality: Covers a mechanic versus covers a single card, the former being more canon. Clarity: Clear versus obfuscated, the former being more canon. Answer Quality: Has high quality answers versus doesn't have high quality answers, neither of which is more canon but it is a consideration when deciding which question to close. Finally, Age: old versus young (asked recently), the former having priority if all else is equal. I don't mean to explode your answer, so maybe you can find a simpler way to put it.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:37

"All other things being equal," I would give priority to the older question. That doesn't seem to hold in this case.

The newer question appears to be about exiling creatures in general. The older question appears to be about exiling creatures in one special (Ashok) case. Based on this factor, the newer question is an order of magnitude better.

I don't want to see a "pretty good" question (which may have several answers with upvotes) supplanted by even a "great" one. But in this case, I'd consider the Ashok question kind of "borderline." So if the issue is, should we replace a borderline question with something decidedly better, by marking the first as a duplicate of the second, I'd say (emphatically) yes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .