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Many times we see even veteran users asking Magic: The Gathering questions which can be instantly answered by the Gatherer rulings under the card. User @acccumulation suggested to make users more aware of this feature.

The only compatible Stack Exchange feature I know of are so-called 'tag warnings'; the Community Team can set these up so that whenever a user asks a question with a certain tag, they show up like this:

We could use this to

  • ask the user to double check Gatherer rulings for any cards in the question
  • indicate that we have [mtg:Island] as a special syntax to make it easier to link to cards

Would this be a good idea? Any thoughts for more information we could include?

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  • Can we add the cm-review to this, if that helps?
    – Pureferret
    Aug 20 '20 at 12:24
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    @Pureferret you mean status-review? Well, they'll only act if we as a community have made a decision. I'm happy with the three upvotes I got but I feel like it needs some more support.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 20 '20 at 13:12
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Disclaimer, I'm the person who asked the question that led to this meta suggestion.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it's clearly not my finest moment, especially since it's not the first question I asked that could've been answered by Gatherer. On the other hand, I view answering questions on StackExchange as a form of recreation - it's something I do because I can help someone else, and I find it interesting. It could lead to upvotes and rep and what not, but those are mostly for bragging rights and have no real-life application.

So since it's just for fun, there's nothing lost by asking questions that are also easily answered.

That said: I think it's a good idea to have a reminder of some kind to check Gatherer before asking the question. Right now there are reminders to check for related questions, which is fair since the question might already have an answer. The same should go for Gatherer.

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I'm somewhat ambivalent about this. On one hand people are supposed to look for their own answers first, but on the other we run the risk of discouraging questions that should be asked. There have been cases where the rulings and oracle text on gatherer don't actually clear things up, or have been misread and misunderstood. The most notable one I can think of being the definition of "any target" meaning "creature, player or planeswalker." Pointing people too strongly to gatherer may lead to people who misunderstand the ruling or text because of new players to the game not understanding the context that oracle text or ruling exists in properly.

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  • Just because they are pointed to gatherer doesn't mean that they can't still ask the question if they don't understand what is presented on gatherer. The problem being addressed is when someone asks if card X means it can do Y and the gather ruling on it directly answers the question.
    – Joe W
    Sep 20 at 16:06
  • @JoeW Which is why I am ambivalent about it - I am sure seeing a yellow warning pop up on their question telling people to look for an answer themselves somewhere else will discourage a portion of users from asking their question even if they still need help (or again assuming a wrong interpretation they get from a ruling is correct without asking)
    – Andrew
    Sep 20 at 16:08

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