April 2009 Update Bulletin

Posted in Feature on April 22, 2009

By Mark L. Gottlieb


The Alara Reborn Prerelease is just a couple of days away, and I am super excited about it. Let me let you in on a little secret about Alara Reborn ... I love this set. I've been pushing the idea of an "all-gold set" around here for years (though, oddly, no one ever thinks I'm serious when I say these things), and when it finally got the green light, I was privileged enough to be right at the heart of it. I've got my grubby little fingerprints all over its cards; it's certainly the Gottliebiest set to date (though, make no mistake, it's quite Forsythey, Jansonesque, and Tinsmanic as well). I'm immensely proud of it, and I can't wait for you folks to play with it.

But before the Prerelease rolls around (I'll be at the Seattle event at Safeco Field), I get to roll up my sleeves and be the Magic mechanic, tightening the pipes and flushing out the valves to keep the inner workings of the game running smoothly. That means updates to the Oracle card database, as well as the Comprehensive Rules.

These updates happen only when a new set is released, so corrections or improvements that have come to our attention over the past few months are being implemented now. In addition, some rules changes are necessary to make the new cards work.

Changes to the Oracle card database will go into effect on Friday, April 24.

Changes to the Comprehensive Rules will take effect shortly thereafter, though any changes that are necessary for Alara Reborn cards to work will be in effect during the Prerelease. Bear in mind, however, that the new version of the Comp. Rules has not yet been finalized, so the listed amendments are subject to change.

Things are pretty low-key this time around, with the most memorable change probably being the elimination of the power-level errata on Frenetic Efreet. In giddy anticipation of this glorious event, Aaron Forsythe sent me the following (very tongue-in-cheek) email:

From the people that brought you

Flash / Protean Hulk

Stifle / Phyrexian Dreadnought


Tezzeret the Seeker / Time Vault


Chance Encounter / Frenetic Efreet!

The Alara Reborn Oracle Update!

Riiiiight. As always, this update was a group effort, and that group includes you. I don't spend my days reading the Comp. Rules and scanning Oracle, but whenever someone emails me a problem or posts a suggestion to the Update Bulletin message board, I make sure to check it out.

The next update is tied to Magic 2010, and that one ... well, it's going to be a doozy. I'll be posting more about it as it approaches. For the time being, I'm going to roll around on a big pile of Alara Reborn cards. Clothed, of course. Totally clothed.

Balduvian Warlord & False Orders
These cards didn't handle situations that could arise with Flash Foliage or Ætherplasm, in which a creature is put into play blocking. They're getting their wordings adjusted to handle a) the case in which they target a creature put into play blocking, and b) the case in which they target a creature that's blocking a creature that's also being blocked by a creature put into play blocking. (If the preceding sentence was gibberish, that means your brain is working normally. Please ignore these two cards and move on with your day.)

New Balduvian Warlord wording:
{oT}: Remove target blocking creature from combat. Creatures it was blocking that hadn't become blocked by another creature this combat become unblocked, then it blocks an attacking creature of your choice. Play this ability only during the declare blockers step.

New False Orders wording:
Play False Orders only during the declare blockers step.
Remove target creature defending player controls from combat. Creatures it was blocking that hadn't become blocked by another creature this combat become unblocked. You may have it block an attacking creature of your choice.

Chaosphere & Dense Canopy
Poor Chaosphere. All it's trying to do is turn the game upside-down. In a normal game, flying creatures can block everything, and ground creatures can block half (just the ground creatures). In a Chaosphere game, ground creatures can block everything, and flying creatures can block half (just the flying creatures). It wants to make flying = nonflying and vice versa, but that's easier said than done.

Over the years, as the Giant Spider wordings changed, so did Chaosphere's wordings... and its two static abilities would tend to interfere with one another. A few years ago, in response to Chaosphere having the slight problem of not working at all, it radically changed from setting up game rules ("Creatures with flying can't block creatures without flying") to granting creatures abilities ("Creatures with flying have 'This creature can't block creatures without flying'"). When reach was introduced, the second ability became simple ("Creatures without flying have reach"). But what of the first ability? The spliced-text method is no longer necessary (reach solved that), so the first ability is going back to setting up a game rule. It's a little different than it used to be; it's copying the wording seen on Cloud Sprite, for example. It's a little strange that Chaosphere's two abilities won't be parallel, but I think the end result is easier to process.

New Chaosphere wording:
Creatures with flying can block only creatures with flying.
Creatures without flying have reach. (They can block creatures with flying.)

Dense Canopy is just half of Chaosphere, so it does what Chaosphere does.

New Dense Canopy wording:
Creatures with flying can block only creatures with flying.

Its first ability is being lined up with other similar abilities like Rites of Flourishing and Azusa, Lost but Seeking: "You may play [number] additional lands on each of your turns." The only difference is that in this case, [number] is "any number of" rather than, say, two. That's not a functional change.

The second ability might be a functional change, though. Its current wording says "Whenever you play a land other than the first land of the turn, Fastbond deals 1 damage to you." Note the "the" in there. Now think about a Two-Headed Giant game. What happens if your teammate plays a land before you do? I don't even know, which means this wording is no good.

New Oracle wording:
You may play any number of additional lands on each of your turns.
Whenever you play a land, if it wasn't the first land you played this turn, Fastbond deals 1 damage to you.

Flooded Woodlands & Reclamation
As printed, these cards set up a game rule. They were changed so they grant abilities to creatures. Since it's not necessary here (doing that changes the creatures' interactions with Humble, for example), they're going back to a game rule wording that's based on Ghostly Prison.

New Flooded Woodlands wording:
Green creatures can't attack unless their controller sacrifices a land for each green creature he or she controls that's attacking.

New Reclamation wording:
Black creatures can't attack unless their controller sacrifices a land for each black creature he or she controls that's attacking.

Technically, those wordings don't need the color word at the front, but I think having them there makes the cards clearer.

Originally, Fork itself turned into a copy of some other spell... except that "Fork remains red." Those kinds of shenanigans no longer work (by the time Fork turns itself into another spell, it's already resolved), so now it makes a copy like Twincast does... except that copy "copies Fork's color."

Now, that's a weird line of text that probably doesn't behave as expected. A copy effect doesn't copy something's current state—it copies its original values, unless they've been modified by some other copy effect. So even if Fork was hit with Purelace, for example, the copy that it makes would still be red, not white. Because that's how the current card works, Fork's wording is changing to just stipulate that the copy is red. This is a functional change with regard to Sleight of Mind.

New Oracle wording:
Copy target instant or sorcery spell, except that the copy is red. You may choose new targets for the copy.

Frenetic Efreet
This card got power-level errata when Chance Encounter was printed in Odyssey. Frenetic Efreet lets you play its activated ability as many times as you want in response to itself (since the cost is just ). When the first such ability resolved, you'd flip a coin and Frenetic Efreet would go away (either to the graveyard or the phased-out zone). According to Frenetic Efreet's original wording, all the rest of the abilities would still resolve, causing you to flip a coin each time. Nothing would happen to Frenetic Efreet (it's gone by now), but you'd get the easy opportunity to win lots of irrelevant coin flips and put plenty of luck counters on Chance Encounter, allowing you to win the game when your next upkeep started. To combat this combo, and the otherwise pointless free coin-flipping this card facilitated, Frenetic Efreet got errata stating that you flipped the coin only if it was in play.

In keeping with our current policy regarding power-level errata, the Efreet is going back to its printed functionality. If this proves to be broken (and it ain't no Flash), it'll be addressed with bannings and/or restrictions.

New Oracle wording:
{o0}: Flip a coin. If you win the flip, Frenetic Efreet phases out. If you lose the flip, sacrifice Frenetic Efreet.

Hull Breach
In the last update, Hull Breach was changed to a "Choose one or both" wording like Branching Bolt. This was listed in the "Nonfunctional Change" section because I was under the impression that all I did was streamline its wording. I was wrong.

With the printed wording, if you want to destroy both an artifact and an enchantment, they're destroyed at the same time. With the new wording, if you want to destroy both an artifact and an enchantment, they're destroyed sequentially. (Think about Primal Command: First one chosen mode happens, then the other chosen mode happens.) This could matter if the artifact has an ability that would trigger when the enchantment is destroyed, for example. Since this change was unintended and unwarranted, it's going back to how it was printed.

New Oracle wording:
Choose one — Destroy target artifact; or destroy target enchantment; or destroy target artifact and target enchantment.

Liquid Fire
This card has always been a problem child. The intent is that it can deal 5 damage to a creature, or 4 to a creature and 1 to its controller, or 3 and 2, or 2 and 3, or 1 and 4, or even 0 damage to a creature and 5 to its controller. That's what it wants to do, anyway.

Where it runs afoul of the system is that it's the only card that tries to divide damage between something that's targeted (the creature) and something that's not targeted (its controller). This required changing rule 409.1e (the rule that says that effects like damage or counters are divided when a spell or ability is put on the stack, not when it resolves) to include nontargeted things. But that's not really true; it's true about Liquid Fire and nothing else. Everything else that divides its effects is fully targeted. Everything else that divides its effects among things that aren't targeted wants to do so when it resolves.

To make matters worse, the same rule says that each recipient of a divided effect must receive at least one of whatever's being divided. So the 0/5 and 5/0 split is illegal.

Ideally, Liquid Fire should meet the following criteria:

1) Allow a 0/5 or 5/0 split.
2) Divide the damage when the spell is played. (Dividing on resolution is miserable; if you don't know how much damage is coming at your creature, you won't know if you need to regenerate it, or boost its toughness, or what.)
3) Not screw up the rule for other effects that want to distribute things on resolution. (I'm looking at Forgotten Ancient, for example, even though it doesn't use the word "distribute.")

This leads to a weird wording, but at least the spell will work like you think.

New Oracle wording:
As an additional cost to play Liquid Fire, choose a number between 0 and 5.
Liquid Fire deals X damage to target creature and 5 minus X damage to that creature's controller, where X is the chosen number.

Ogre Enforcer
This card's Oracle wording, which prevents damage, is vastly different from its printed functionality, which doesn't. If Ogre Enforcer blocks my 1/1 with lifelink, I should gain 1 life. If it blocks my 1/1 with deathtouch, it should be destroyed as a result of the deathtouch ability. If it blocks my 1/1 with wither, it should get a -1/-1 counter. I think the card changed because, at some point, the Oracle team shied away from the unique "can't be destroyed" functionality. However, we have "can't be destroyed" technology now (buried within "indestructible"), so we should be able to restore the original functionality.

There's another discrepancy between the printed card and the Oracle wording. I believe the printed card tracks accumulated damage from a single source. If Shivan Hellkite deals 1 damage to Ogre Enforcer, then another 1, then another 1, then another 1, the Ogre should be destroyed. That obviously isn't how the Oracle wording works, which requires all 4 damage to be dealt at once. We can fix that too.

New Oracle wording:
Ogre Enforcer can't be destroyed by lethal damage unless it's been dealt lethal damage by a single source.

Spoils of Evil
As printed, this targeted an opponent. That's being restored.

New Oracle wording:
For each artifact or creature card in target opponent's graveyard, add {o1} to your mana pool and you gain 1 life.

The sunburst reminder text and the sunburst rule had the same phrasing. They both referred to the colors of mana used to pay the cost of a card with sunburst. It's okay for reminder text, but "used" is surprisingly loose terminology for a rule. Furthermore, it's more accurate to refer to the mana spent to play a card with sunburst, not the mana spent to pay its cost. If you play a sunburst card with some alternative cost, like the one provided by Fist of Suns, sunburst counts that too! These are shifting over to have a wording more like Rolling Spoil and the other "enhanced" cards that care what colors of mana you spent to play them.

New sunburst reminder text:
(This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to play it.)

Cards affected by this change:
Arcbound Wanderer, Baton of Courage, Clearwater Goblet, Engineered Explosives, Etched Oracle, Heliophial, Infused Arrows, Lunar Avenger, Opaline Bracers, Pentad Prism, Sawtooth Thresher, Skyreach Manta, Solarion, Spinal Parasite, Suncrusher, Suntouched Myr

Saboteurs and friends
Rule 310.2e said "An effect that states a creature deals its combat damage in a different manner than normal affects the assignment of combat damage."

Essentially, this is the rule that said "We don't like to print 'assign' on cards, so sometimes we're going to say 'deal' but you'll have to interpret it as 'assign.'" This rule covered two classes of cards: The supertramplers like Rhox, which said "You may have Rhox deal its combat damage to defending player as though it weren't blocked," and any card that said that, under certain conditions, it "deals no combat damage this turn." This included the classic saboteurs, like Ophidian, as well as cards like the Laccoliths and Carrion Wurm.

Once Doran, the Siege Tower was printed, it became acceptable to use the word "assign" on cards, and the supertramplers were changed accordingly. Now the second group is getting their day. When their "deals no damage" condition is met, what actually happens is that they don't assign any damage. It's not the case that they assign damage equal to their power and then it goes "poof" and vanishes. So rather than relying on an oblique rule buried in the rulebook, these cards will say what they mean.

Note that this doesn't affect any cards printed more recently than Odyssey. Nowadays when we make a saboteur, it hits you and does its thing!

New Ophidian Oracle text:
Whenever Ophidian attacks and isn't blocked, you may draw a card. If you do, Ophidian assigns no combat damage this turn.

New Laccolith Grunt Oracle text:
Whenever Laccolith Grunt becomes blocked, you may have it deal damage equal to its power to target creature. If you do, Laccolith Grunt assigns no combat damage this turn.

New Carrion Wurm Oracle text:
Whenever Carrion Wurm attacks or blocks, any player may remove three cards in his or her graveyard from the game. If a player does, Carrion Wurm assigns no combat damage this turn.

Other cards affected by this change:
Bone Dancer, Carrion Rats, Cloak of Confusion, Delif's Cone, Delif's Cube, Dwarven Vigilantes, Farrel's Mantle, Farrel's Zealot, Floral Spuzzem, Gaze of Pain, Goblin Vandal, Keeper of Tresserhorn, Kukemssa Pirates, Laccolith Rig, Laccolith Titan, Laccolith Warrior, Laccolith Whelp, Lim-Dûl's Paladin, Orcish Squatters, Pygmy Hippo, Rysorian Badger, Stromgald Spy

Defensive Maneuvers and friends
The word "type" can mean lots of things. It can mean "card type," or "creature type," or "supertype, subtype, and/or card type," for example. Recently we've been more stringent about our use of the word "type" so that it's always clear what it's referring to.

A group of cards from Onslaught block, which includes Defensive Maneuver, use the phrase "creatures of the type of your choice." In this case, "type" means "creature type." You'll probably get what it means from context, but this runs counter to our standard wording protocols. It even runs counter to some cards that preceded it, like Aphetto Dredging and Extinction. So these are getting "type" changed to "creature type" to ensure their clarity.

New Defensive Maneuvers wording:
Creatures of the creature type of your choice get +0/+4 until end of turn.

Other cards affected by this change:
Karona, False God; Riptide Chronologist; Tribal Forcemage; Tribal Unity; Walking Desecration

Avatar of Hope and friends
Avatar of Hope was printed with the wording "If you have 3 life or less ...." It's not alone; a handful of older cards have a construction like this. The modern wording, however, puts the "or less," "or more," "or greater," or "or fewer" directly next to the number. Divinity of Pride, for example, checks if you have "25 or more life."

New Avatar of Hope wording:
If you have 3 or less life, Avatar of Hope costs {o6} less to play.
Avatar of Hope can block any number of creatures.

Other cards affected by this change:
Callous Giant, Convalescence, Convalescent Care, Divine Presence, Lurking Jackals, Opal Avenger, Razor Pendulum, Second Chance

Dance of Many and friends
"Put a token into play as a copy" is being changed to "put a token into play that's a copy," to match recent cards like Minion Reflector and Heat Shimmer.

New Dance of Many wording:
When Dance of Many comes into play, put a token into play that's a copy of target nontoken creature.
When Dance of Many leaves play, remove the creature token from the game.
When the creature token leaves play, sacrifice Dance of Many.
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Dance of Many unless you pay {oUoU}.

Other cards affected by this change:
Dual Nature, Echo Chamber

Fierce Empath and friends
A small group of cards were printed with "you may search your library" abilities that came to a dead stop and, in a separate sentence, said "Then shuffle your library." Since the shuffle is mandatory and separate, it looks as though you're forced to shuffle your library even if you choose not to search it. That's ridiculous, of course, and we don't use this kind of wording anymore—either we include the shuffle in the "you may" sentence, or, in a separate sentence, we say "If you do, shuffle your library."

Of the cards that were printed like this, a couple have been reprinted with new templates, so they're being left alone. Four others have gotten "If you do, shuffle your library" errata. And the last three haven't changed in Oracle. All the cards in the last two groups are all getting the all-one-sentence errata, since it's slightly closer to the printed wording.

New Fierce Empath wording:
When Fierce Empath comes into play, you may search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost 6 or more, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.

Other cards affected by this change:
Krosan Tusker, Hunting Cheetah, One with Nature, Welkin Hawk, Wirewood Herald, Yavimaya Granger

This card is getting its "then" changed back to "and," which is how it was printed and matches a bunch of other cards. If this portion of its printed wording is okay, there's no reason for it to be divergent. It's keeping its errata (which changed "look" to "reveal" in case the spell's target winds up being its own controller).

New Oracle wording:
Choose a color. Target player reveals his or her hand and you choose a card of that color from it. That player discards that card.

Blurred Mongoose
Its two abilities are in the wrong order in Oracle.

New Oracle wording:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.
Shroud (This permanent can't be the target of spells or abilities.)

Chaotic Goo
The nonstandard text "add a +1/+1 counter to Chaotic Goo" is being changed to the standard "put a +1/+1 counter on Chaotic Goo."

New Oracle wording:
Chaotic Goo comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may flip a coin. If you win the flip, put a +1/+1 counter on Chaotic Goo. If you lose the flip, remove a +1/+1 counter from Chaotic Goo.

"Top of your library" should be "top card of your library."

New Oracle wording:
Remove Darkpact from your deck before playing if you're not playing for ante.
You own target card in the ante. Exchange that card with the top card of your library.

Decree of Annihilation
In the last update, cards that said you removed an entire zone from the game were changed (because they were confusing) to say that you remove all cards in a zone from the game. I missed Decree of Annihilation; its unusual wording didn't pop up in my search.

New Oracle wording:
Remove all artifacts, creatures, lands, cards in graveyards, and cards in hands from the game.
Cycling {o5oRoR}
When you cycle Decree of Annihilation, destroy all lands.

Dralnu, Lich Lord & Recoup
Recoup was printed with a pretty straightforward wording: "Target sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. Its flashback cost is equal to its mana cost." It immediately ran into a problem. Recoup affected a card in your graveyard. When that card moved to the stack (probably because you played it using the flashback ability that Recoup gave it), it became a brand-new card with no memory of its previous existence—so it no longer had flashback! More importantly, it no longer had the flashback cost that Recoup gave it, and since you pay a spell's cost while it's on the stack, that's a problem. So Recoup got weird errata, and when Dralnu was printed, it said the same basic thing.

There's another way to tackle the issue. Rule 217.1c is the rule that says cards that change zones forget their previous existence ... with five exceptions (which it goes on to list). We're going to make this sort of thing a sixth exception. If something grants a nonland card an ability that allows it to be played, that ability will continue to apply to that card after it's moved to the stack as a result of being played this way. That lets us bring Recoup close to its printed wording, and Dralnu goes along for the ride.

New Dralnu, Lich Lord wording:
If damage would be dealt to Dralnu, sacrifice that many permanents instead.
{oT}: Target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may play that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

New Recoup wording:
Target sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (Mana cost includes color.)
Flashback {o3oR} (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

Endless Cockroaches
This had an extraneous "to" that's being deleted.

New Oracle wording:
When Endless Cockroaches is put into a graveyard from play, return Endless Cockroaches to its owner's hand.

The standard wording for this type of ability, as seen on Rites of Flourishing and Azusa, Lost but Seeking, contains an "on."

New Oracle wording:
You may play an additional land on each of your turns.

This is changing to match the wording seen on Catalyst Stone and Auriok Steelshaper.

New Oracle wording:
Cycling costs you pay cost up to {o2} less.

Heartstone & Power Artifact
In the last update, Heartstone got a new wording. Shortly afterward, we realized that it should end with "one mana" (spelled out) rather than "1 mana" (with a numeral). In addition, Power Artifact was printed with the same second sentence as Heartstone, so if one changes, the other should as well.

New Heartstone wording:
Activated abilities of creatures cost {o1} less to play. This effect can't reduce the amount of mana an ability costs to play to less than one mana.

New Power Artifact wording:
Enchant artifact
Enchanted artifact's activated abilities cost {o2} less to play. This effect can't reduce the amount of mana an ability costs to play to less than one mana.

Indestructible Aura
This is getting a cleaner wording.

New Oracle wording:
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.

Infernal Denizen
This card was strange in that it had a triggered ability ("At the beginning of your upkeep...") that created a continuous effect ("...an opponent may gain control of a creature you control of his or her choice"), and then it put the duration of that effect in a separate sentence. It's being run together into a single sentence like any other ability.

New Oracle wording:
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice two Swamps. If you can't, tap Infernal Denizen, and an opponent may gain control of a creature you control of his or her choice as long as Infernal Denizen remains in play.
{oT}: Gain control of target creature as long as Infernal Denizen remains in play.

Ma Chao, Western Warrior
"It is" is becoming "it's".

New Oracle wording:
Whenever Ma Chao, Western Warrior attacks alone, it's unblockable this combat.

Mana Web
This said "can produce" in one spot and "could produce" in another spot. Since the latter is defined in the Comp. Rules, that's what it should say in both places.

New Oracle wording:
Whenever a land an opponent controls is tapped for mana, tap all lands that player controls that could produce any type of mana that land could produce.

Research // Development
Dire Undercurrents says that the word "lets" in the Development half should actually be "has." It makes more sense as "has," which doesn't imply an option the way "lets" does.

New Oracle wording:
Choose up to four cards you own from outside the game and shuffle them into your library.
Put a 3/1 red Elemental creature token into play unless any opponent has you draw a card. Repeat this process two more times.

Scarwood Bandits
"Is in play" should be "remains in play" like all other similar wordings.

New Oracle wording:
{o2oG}, {oT}: Unless target artifact's controller pays {o2}, gain control of that artifact as long as Scarwood Bandits remains in play.

Seize the Soul
In the last update, I added a comma between "nonwhite" and "nonblack" in the first ability. I missed the fact that the card said that twice, so it needed another comma.

New Oracle wording:
Destroy target nonwhite, nonblack creature. Put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play.
When the creature Seize the Soul haunts is put into a graveyard, destroy target nonwhite, nonblack creature. Put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play.

Sen Triplets
This should say "you may play," not "you can play," to match standard wordings.

New Oracle wording:
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target opponent. This turn, that player can't play spells or activated abilities and plays with his or her hand revealed. You may play cards from that player's hand this turn.

This wording is being modernized; see Midnight Bargain, for example.

New Oracle wording:
Target player reveals his or her hand. For each blue instant card revealed this way, that player discards that card unless he or she pays 4 life.

Soltari Guerrillas
The Oracle wording references the "defending player." This is confusing if the ability is activated outside of combat, since there is no defending player at that time. The printed card referenced an opponent, so the Oracle wording will do that too.

New Oracle wording:
Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)
{o0}: The next time Soltari Guerrillas would deal combat damage to an opponent this turn, it deals that damage to target creature instead.

Transmute Artifact
With the advent of colored artifacts, we took a look at the printed wording of Transmute Artifact to decide if it's supposed to take color into account when asking you to pay the cost difference. At the time it was printed, Transmute Artifact took for granted the fact that all artifacts were colorless, so it's a bit vague on the point. In the end, we decided that no, this just cares about converted mana costs. If you sacrifice an artifact that costs and find an artifact that costs , you'll just have to pay .

The language of this card's Oracle wording was a bit loose with regard to what you're paying, so we made it a bit more specific.

New Oracle wording:
As an additional cost to play Transmute Artifact, sacrifice an artifact.
Search your library for an artifact card. If that card's converted mana cost is less than or equal to the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost, put it into play. If it's greater, you may pay {oX}, where X is the difference. If you do, put it into play. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard. Then shuffle your library.

Two-Headed Dragon
This should say "Two-Headed Dragon can block an additional creature," not "Two-Headed Dragon may block an additional creature." Who does it think it is, Floral Spuzzem?

New Oracle wording:
{o1oR}: Two-Headed Dragon gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
Two-Headed Dragon can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
Two-Headed Dragon can block an additional creature.

Verdant Force
For a while now, Verdant Force has specified that you put the Saproling into play "under your control." This text isn't necessary, but it made things clear back when the trigger condition referenced other players. The trigger condition doesn't do that anymore, and Dragon Broodmother doesn't use that text, so it's being stricken.

New Oracle wording:
At the beginning of each upkeep, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play.

The example is being changed to state that the creature assigns 0 combat damage rather than saying that it deals no damage in combat; see the note about rule 310.2a for further details.

This rule, which states that "An object that moves from one zone to another is treated as a new object," is being changed to add a sixth exception. The exception will cover an ability granted to a card that allows that card to be played; the card will retain that ability if it's moved to the stack as a result of being played this way. See the Dralnu, Lich Lord section of the Other Nonfunctional Oracle Changes page for more info.

This rule states that creatures that would assign 0 combat damage (because their power is 0 or less) don't assign combat damage at all. This conflicts with rule 310.5, however, which covers first strike and double strike. That rule says that if there's been a first-strike combat damage step, the creatures that assign their damage in the second combat damage step are those that didn't assign damage in the first step and creatures with double strike. Taking these two rules together, it means that a creature with first strike that has power 0 or less will get to assign its damage in the second combat damage step, because it didn't assign damage in the first. That's not right, so 310.2 is being changed to specify that creatures with power 0 or less assign 0 combat damage.

This rule is being deleted. All the cards it referred to have gotten errata, rendering this rule unnecessary. See the "Saboteurs and friends" section of the Übertemplating Oracle Changes page for more info.

409.1c & 409.1d
These two rules are switching places with one another. Their old order implied that you chose "normal" targets first, then chose "extra" targets (such as those due to a kicker ability) later. That's not the case; all targets are chosen at the same time. Since the rule that was numbered as 409.1d was trying to retroactively refer back to what had just happened in 409.1c, it's instead going to come ahead of that rule.

The rule that used to be 409.1d will be getting some rewording to make sense in its new location.

The rule that used to be 409.1c will be getting text indicating that this is the point at which abilities that care about when something becomes the target of a spell or ability trigger.

This rule will no longer refer to untargeted objects and players. See the Liquid Fire section of the Functional Oracle Changes page for more details.

This rule lists the times when the game looks into the past, just before an event, to evaluate the game state and see if that event meets any trigger conditions. (Normally the game state is evaluated just after an event.) This rule is getting two changes: 1) The line about objects moving from a public zone to a hand or library is being broadened; it will now refer to objects that all players can see moving to a hand or library. This is so Wheel of Sun and Moon, for example, interacts with such trigger conditions as intended. 2) This rule will now cover abilities that trigger when an object becomes unattached, such as a Grafted Wargear that leaves play.

This rule refers to a "variable." It means a variable such as X, and will say so.

This is the state-based effect that states that if multiple planeswalkers with the same planeswalker type are in play, they're put into their owner's graveyards. It's being tagged with the label "planeswalker uniqueness rule" to go along with the "legend rule" and "world rule." It can't just be the "planeswalker rule" because planeswalkers have lots of rules!

This is the rule about protection. It's getting some new subsections to specify that "protection from [quality A] and from [quality B]" (such as "protection from black and from red") and "protection from all [characteristic]" (such as "protection from all colors") are shorthand versions of multiple protection abilities. This is relevant if a permanent with either such ability loses protection from black, for example. This is in contrast to "protection from everything," which is a single ability.

This rule covers cycle-triggered abilities. (These are abilities that start "When you cycle [this card],"). This rule previously said that these abilities trigger from the graveyard, but that's not quite accurate. They actually trigger from whatever zone the card winds up in after it's cycled. That's probably the graveyard, but might not be if a replacement effect, such as the one from Leyline of the Void or Wheel of Sun and Moon, changes it.

This is the sunburst rule. It's being slightly reworded to be more accurate, and to match more recent wordings (as seen on cards like Rolling Spoil and Batwing Brume) by referring to "each color of mana spent to play it" rather than "each color of mana used to pay its cost." See the Sunburst section of the Übertemplating Oracle Changes page for more info.

This is the hideaway rule. It was intended to allow each player who had ever controlled the land with hideaway to be able to look at the removed card, even if the hideaway land was no longer in play. It was butting up against some contradictory rules, though, so it may not have worked properly. I'm trying something different.

This is the cascade rule; it's being added.

This rule is being added to cover the case when a player leaves a multiplayer game being played for ante. Rule 600.4a says that all cards that player owns leave the game. That's clearly not right in an ante game; the player doesn't get to walk off with his or her ante card. I don't want to junk up rule 600.4a (which is already plenty long enough) with exceptions for ante games, since they're so far out of the mainstream. So this exception is being slipped in here.

This rule is being added to state that a limited range of influence affects the "planeswalker uniqueness rule" (just as 601.12 does for the "legend rule" and 601.13 does for the "world rule"). The old 601.14 is becoming 601.5, and the old 601.15 is becoming 601.16.

Glossary: Cascade
This is being added.

Glossary: Hideaway
This is being modified to match the modified rule.

Glossary: Number
The example is being changed to state that the creature assigns 0 combat damage rather than saying that it deals no damage in combat; see the note about rule 310.2a for further details.

Glossary: Planeswalker Type
This section is getting an explanation of the "planeswalker uniqueness rule" added to it.

Glossary: Sunburst
This is being modified to match the modified rule.

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