Eldritch Moon Update Bulletin—Oracle Text

Posted in Feature on July 28, 2016

By Matt Tabak

Senior editor. Game designer. Writer. Bon vivant. Matt wears many hats inside Magic R&D, but they're hard to see as he's so tall.

Oracle Changes

Casting spells as though they have flash

We're shifting the templating on effects that allow you to cast something as though it had flash. These effects will refer to "spells." By contrast, text that allows you to cast a card you wouldn't otherwise be able to (say, because it's exiled) will refer to "cards." See the Comprehensive Rules portion of this article for more information.

This change affects Akoum (a plane card); Alchemist's Refuge; Hypersonic Dragon (returning to its printed text); Leyline of Anticipation; Prophet of Kruphix; Rootwater Shaman; Shimmer Myr; Vedalken Orrery; Vernal Equinox; and Yeva, Nature's Herald.

Old rules text:

If Leyline of Anticipation is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
You may cast nonland cards as though they had flash. (You may cast them any time you could cast an instant.)

New rules text:

If Leyline of Anticipation is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
You may cast spells as though they had flash. (You may cast them any time you could cast an instant.)

Kaboom!

Kaboom!'s previous text wasn't clear that you run through the entire sequence for each player. That is, technically you revealed all the cards first, then moved on to the damage-dealing part, where the text "that card" referred to all the nonland cards you revealed. Simultaneously. Or something. Making the sequence of instructions into a comma-delineated list gives us a bit more clarity.

Old rules text:

Choose any number of target players. For each of those players, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Kaboom deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that player, then you put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

New rules text:

Choose any number of target players. For each of those players, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card, Kaboom deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that player, then you put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

Sakashima's Student

Sakashima's Student had two contradictory exceptions to the copy process: The "still a" (as in "it's still a Ninja") means that it doesn't copy the original creature's creature types and is just a Ninja. The "in addition to" means it copies the original creature's creature types and adds Ninja. Deleting the "still" solves the conflict.

Old rules text:

Ninjutsu {1U} ({1U}, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.)
You may have Sakashima's Student enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it's still a Ninja in addition to its other creature types.

New rules text:

Ninjutsu {1U} ({1U}, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.)
You may have Sakashima's Student enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it's a Ninja in addition to its other creature types.

Konda, Lord of Eiganjo

We changed the order of keywords to match the standard, and we removed the vigilance reminder text while we were at it.

Old rules text:

Indestructible
Vigilance (Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.)
Bushido 5 (Whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +5/+5 until end of turn.)

New rules text:

Vigilance, indestructible
Bushido 5 (Whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +5/+5 until end of turn.)

Sword of Kaldra

Sword of Kaldra's kind of a strange sword. It has this cool ability that exiles creatures dealt combat damage by the equipped creature, but it also makes the equipped creature enormous. This means the creature being dealt damage is less likely to survive combat. And if it doesn't survive combat, the triggered ability that tries to exile can't find it. This is really confusing. In fact, when Mirrodin block drafts returned to Magic Online, Sword of Kaldra produced a lot of bug reports, even though it wasn't bugged at all. To help this poor card be better understood, we've added some helpful reminder text to the triggered ability.

Old rules text:

Equipped creature gets +5/+5.
Whenever equipped creature deals damage to a creature, exile that creature.
Equip {4} ({4}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card enters the battlefield unattached and stays on the battlefield if the creature leaves.)

New rules text:

Equipped creature gets +5/+5.
Whenever equipped creature deals damage to a creature, exile that creature. (Exile it only if it's still on the battlefield.)
Equip {4} ({4}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card enters the battlefield unattached and stays on the battlefield if the creature leaves.)

"...deals damage to [something] equal to [some amount]..."

We had two valid templates for cards like Goblin War Strike running around for a while. The first pass to standardize this left a few stragglers, which we're addressing here.

This change affects Corrupt, Goblin War Strike, Last Stand, and Torrent of Fire.

Old rules text:

Goblin War Strike deals damage equal to the number of Goblins you control to target player.

New rules text:

Goblin War Strike deals damage to target player equal to the number of Goblins you control.

Simic Guildmage

When describing an Aura (or Equipment) that's attached to something, the standard template is—unsurprisingly—"attached."

Old rules text:

({(G/U)} can be paid with either {G} or {U}.)
{1G}: Move a +1/+1 counter from target creature onto another target creature with the same controller.
{1U}: Attach target Aura enchanting a permanent to another permanent with the same controller.

New rules text:

({(G/U)} can be paid with either {G} or {U}.)
{1G}: Move a +1/+1 counter from target creature onto another target creature with the same controller.
{1U}: Attach target Aura attached to a permanent to another permanent with the same controller.

North Star

The printed text of this old-timey favorite, including an adorable example, referred to "any type of mana." This became "color" over time, which was fine until the advent of colorless mana in costs. It's an edge case, but maybe you have to cast Kozilek, the Great Distortion and all you have are 14 Forests and a North Star. We got your back.

Old rules text:

{4}, {T}: For one spell this turn, you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to pay that spell's mana cost. (Additional costs are still paid normally.)

New rules text:

{4}, {T}: For one spell this turn, you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to pay that spell's mana cost. (Additional costs are still paid normally.)

Mimic Vat

Before meld cards, it wasn't possible for a Mimic Vat's activated ability to be able to access more than one card at a time. Its imprint ability has a handy cleanup function, and even if you copied the triggered ability, you'd still end up with only one token possibility. However, now that a melded permanent can die and be exiled (exiling both cards), Mimic Vat needs a tweak. Putting a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of two cards is nonsensical, so now you simply choose one in the odd case that more than one card is available.

Old rules text:

Imprint — Whenever a nontoken creature dies, you may exile that card. If you do, return each other card exiled with Mimic Vat to its owner's graveyard.
{3}, {T}: Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of the exiled card. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.

New rules text:

Imprint — Whenever a nontoken creature dies, you may exile that card. If you do, return each other card exiled with Mimic Vat to its owner's graveyard.
{3}, {T}: Create a token that's a copy of a card exiled with Mimic Vat. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.

Personal Incarnation

The activation restriction was a bit of a tease. Any player may activate this ability. Any of them! Oh wait, keep reading. Nope, only the owner. Darn. Why don't we just say that then?

Old rules text:

{0}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Personal Incarnation this turn is dealt to its owner instead. Any player may activate this ability, but only if he or she owns Personal Incarnation.
When Personal Incarnation dies, its owner loses half his or her life, rounded up.

New rules text:

{0}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Personal Incarnation this turn is dealt to its owner instead. Only Personal Incarnation's owner may activate this ability.
When Personal Incarnation dies, its owner loses half his or her life, rounded up.

Iona's Blessing

This card slipped through the cracks on a previous update to add a helpful "each combat" to effects that allowed creatures to block additional creatures.

Old rules text:

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2, has vigilance, and can block an additional creature.

New rules text:

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2, has vigilance, and can block an additional creature each combat.


Introduction
Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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