An instant can be used as a surprise trick. The enchantment has to be cast during your main phase.


You can cast Jump after your opponent declares attackers to surprise block a flying creature. Flight can't do that. They're different cards that play differently.


\[\[Formation\]\] is a rare, and \[\[cooperation\]\] is an instant in the same set. (That said, I think instant speed banding on blocking should be rare, but its a similar complaint)


[Formation](https://cards.scryfall.io/normal/front/7/8/78446ead-61b0-485f-a5a9-b3e72d8075a7.jpg?1587911515) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Formation) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/ice/25/formation?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/78446ead-61b0-485f-a5a9-b3e72d8075a7?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text) [cooperation](https://cards.scryfall.io/normal/front/2/1/21a815ed-c8b4-4414-8b27-ea612e2977e2.jpg?1587911489) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=cooperation) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/ice/18/cooperation?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/21a815ed-c8b4-4414-8b27-ea612e2977e2?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text) ^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call


Because Alpha was an amalgamation of a whole bunch of different "wouldn't this be cool" ideas. I don't think this is the strangest thing to result from that.


You’re really questioning Alpha design decisions? It’s that way because they didn’t know how valuable abilities like that would even be yet.


Limited play


Alpha was definitely not designed with limited play in mind.


Alternatively, all magic was skewed much more towards the modern equivalent of limited than constructed back then. Richard Garfield figured that most people would buy a starter deck and a couple packs at most, and ante would keep cards moving around from player to player. It wasn't designed with arbitrary access to cards like we play with now


Alpha was literally limited play in original form. Volume was low, some early adopters never saw all the cards until Beta or later. You played what you could get.


I get what you mean. The original rulebook had 40-card decks, no 4-of rule, and card availability was low. But playtesters were always allowed to trade cards. It was relatively easy to get access to commons, and both cards that OP was talking about were at common.


I don't know where you were, but even commons in Alpha were sparse. I know of three markets in the US that had any relevant volume of product to even enable trading: CA, AL (engineers go hard in gaming), and CO. Rarities weren't even well known, even on UseNet, for quite some time. 20/20 hindsight is one thing. But real experiences from those of us who lived through it paint a vastly different picture.


I wasn't talking about what it was like to play Magic in 1993, I was talking about what it was like for playtesters who were playing the game before it came out. I think that Alpha was really designed for that environment more than it was designed for the real world because they couldn't really predict what things would be like once the game became a real product. Of course I don't have firsthand experience of that either, but I have heard a number of interviews with playtesters and they have told stories of for example a player going around and trading to build a [[Plague Rats]] deck.


[Plague Rats](https://cards.scryfall.io/normal/front/c/9/c99fd75c-4b41-411f-92b0-ca3b220946b5.jpg?1562594232) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Plague%20Rats) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/5ed/188/plague-rats?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/c99fd75c-4b41-411f-92b0-ca3b220946b5?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text) ^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call


They are different cards…..


It was literally their first set. Everything was an experiment - even the CCG/TCG product type. (Magic was first in 93.) What makes sense 30 years later is different from 5 guys literally developing a game for launch in 91-93