Core Set 2019 Oracle Changes

Posted in News on July 6, 2018

By Eli Shiffrin

Oracle Changes

Eggs Ova Easy (Functional)

I've got a half-dozen creatures here in this little box, each nestled in its own little hollow. Here, take a look at this little egg, what creature type is it? Is this little shell a Bird? A Dragon? A Lizard?

Well, you dropped it, so now it's just gross.

As I was saying, I have five creatures here that are receiving a spiffy new old creature type: Egg!

Full of Pholidota (Functional)

Magic's not-so-many Pangolins have a rocky history. Prowling Pangolin started its life as a mere Beast. During the Grand Creature Type update, it was adopted into the happy Myrmecophagidae family as the only Anteater in the game. Tragedy struck during the Fate Reforged Oracle update when Anteater was removed from the list of creature types and Prowling Pangolin became just a Beast again. Years later, it found its soulmate when Bumbling Pangolin was printed in Unstable.

Then Reckless Pangolin rolled onto the scene not entirely unlike a large metal sphere used to demolish buildings. Prowling Pangolin and Bumbling Pangolin both took one look and ascended to their true forms, twelve stories tall and made of—wait, wrong story. They just became official Pangolins and lived happily ever after, having finally found their true family.

Because Beast is a tribally-supported creature type and both older Pangolins are printed as Beasts, they're now Pangolin Beasts, not just Pangolins!

The Prequel Trilobite (Functional)

Everyone knows that Shore Keeper is the original Trilobite, but way back before Shore Keeper, there was an Electryte. Check out that art. The Electryte isn't the guy in the background—that's the blocking creature getting zapped. The Electryte is the trilobite-y thingy on the guy in the foreground! So Electryte has been promoted to a Trilobite Beast. Break out your changelings for Trilobite tribal.

Unstill (Functional)

Three cards become copies of something else, except they're still something that they were before. For example, Quicksilver Gargantuan copies a Runeclaw Bear, except it's still 7/7. Sounds easy. Piece of layer cake.

Now dump the other 18,000 cards we have on top of that.

Here, let's take the Scarab God and target that Gargantuan. Now your Quicksilver Gargantuan is a 4/4, not a 7/7. If it copies the Bear, saying "it's still 7/7" is a logical error. It's not 7/7 in the first place, and the rules said it would actually be a 4/4. There were a few different ways to resolve this (including leaving it alone—edge cases are allowed to be strange) and we chose the one that makes cards' text shorter. We're removing the "still" and letting the copy effect set the value. Now, your Quicksilver Eternal Bear gets to be a 7/7.

This change is a functional change, but only in edge cases that you'll probably never encounter.

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind was:

Hexproof
Whenever a creature card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, you may have Lazav, Dimir Mastermind become a copy of that card, except its name is still Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, it's legendary in addition to its other types, and it gains hexproof and this ability.

New text:

Hexproof
Whenever a creature card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, you may have Lazav, Dimir Mastermind become a copy of that card, except its name is Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, it's legendary in addition to its other types, and it has hexproof and this ability.

Quicksilver Gargantuan was:

You may have Quicksilver Gargantuan enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it's still 7/7.

New text:

You may have Quicksilver Gargantuan enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it's 7/7.

Sakashima the Impostor was:

You may have Sakashima the Impostor enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except its name is still Sakashima the Impostor, it's legendary in addition to its other types, and it gains "2UU}: Return Sakashima the Impostor to its owner's hand at the beginning of the next end step."

New text:

You may have Sakashima the Impostor enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except its name is Sakashima the Impostor, it's legendary in addition to its other types, and it has "2UU: Return this creature to its owner's hand at the beginning of the next end step."

Copy Standardization (Nonfunctional)

Wait, hold on a second! Sakashima and Lazav are sporting another change. They don't "gain" their extra abilities anymore, now they "have" them!

This is part of a broader nonfunctional change to the template for copy effects. Whenever a copy effect has an exception, we now specifically use the word "except." This makes it clear that the exception is always part of the copy effect. Whenever an ability is added as part of the copy exception, we now use "has" instead of "gains" to make the templates stand apart better.

Consider these four different effects:

Create a token that's a copy of target Pangolin. It has haste. Exile it when it stops being funny.

Create a token that's a copy of target Pangolin. It gains haste. Exile it when it stops being funny.

Create a token that's a copy of target Pangolin, except it gains haste. Exile it when it stops being funny.

Create a token that's a copy of target Pangolin, except it has haste. Exile it when it stops being funny.

The second one is the only one that's functionally different: haste won't be a copiable part of that token, but if you Clone the other three, they'll all be hasty. We've moved all cards from the first and third templates to the fourth one since it's the most different from the second one. Without making any functional changes, this does a little more to underline the functional difference.

22 cards are affected, and this doesn't change how any of them behave. I won't paste all the new text here, but the affected cards are:

Increase Reduce Cardname (Nonfunctional)

In the Dominaria Update Bulletin, I discussed how we reduced the use of a card's own name by replacing it with "this spell" in some situations. For this set, we've added two groups of text that get the "this spell" treatment: "if this spell was cast" and "you may cast this spell without paying its mana cost."

Seventeen cards are affected, and this change is not a functional change at all.

Tempting Offers (Nonfunctional)

Two of the five cards with a tempting offer ability—from way back in Commander (2013 Edition)—were slightly different from the others. Tempt with Immortality and Tempt with Vengeance let you repeat the effect "for each player" who took the offer, while the others said, "for each opponent." Only opponents are allowed to take your offer in the first place, so it wasn't a functional difference. And now, they're not different anyway.

Tempt with Immortality was:

Tempting offer — Return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Each opponent may return a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield. For each player who does, return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

New text:

Tempting offer — Return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Each opponent may return a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield. For each opponent who does, return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Tempt with Vengeance was:

Tempting offer — Create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste. Each opponent may create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste. For each player who does, create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste.

New text:

Tempting offer — Create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste. Each opponent may create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste. For each opponent who does, create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens with haste.

Stealing Dreams (Nonfunctional)

Dream Pillager saw Stolen Strategy come out in Battlebond and got some clever ideas. Sadly, it couldn't do anything with those ideas because it's a card, and cards can't edit themselves. We took pity on it and updated its text to match Stolen Strategy.

This isn't a functional change, just reducing the ambiguity and clarifying "no, you can't cast those cards next turn, even if you get another trigger."

Dream Pillager was:

Flying
Whenever Dream Pillager deals combat damage to a player, exile that many cards from the top of your library. Until end of turn, you may cast nonland cards exiled this way.

New text:

Flying
Whenever Dream Pillager deals combat damage to a player, exile that many cards from the top of your library. Until end of turn, you may cast nonland cards from among those exiled cards.


Introduction
Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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