Core Set 2020 Oracle Changes

Posted in News on July 3, 2019

By Eli Shiffrin

Oracle Changes

We All Scream for Ice Cauldron (Functional)

Long ago, every card that instructed you to do something with a card in your hand that had certain characteristics was fixed to say that you "may" do that thing. After all, maybe you have no cards that fit the bill—do you have to reveal your hand to your opponent to verify that you really can't do it? Somehow Ice Cauldron missed out, possibly because no one could stay awake long enough to finish reading the text. For all your sakes, I drank an extra-large coffee and waded in with my red pen. You're welcome.

Ice Cauldron was:

X, T: Put a charge counter on Ice Cauldron and exile a nonland card from your hand. You may cast that card for as long as it remains exiled. Note the type and amount of mana spent to pay this activation cost. Activate this ability only if there are no charge counters on Ice Cauldron.

T, Remove a charge counter from Ice Cauldron: Add Ice Cauldron's last noted type and amount of mana. Spend this mana only to cast the last card exiled with Ice Cauldron.

New text:

X, T: You may exile a nonland card from your hand. You may cast that card for as long as it remains exiled. Put a charge counter on Ice Cauldron and note the type and amount of mana spent to pay this activation cost. Activate this ability only if there are no charge counters on Ice Cauldron.

T, Remove a charge counter from Ice Cauldron: Add Ice Cauldron's last noted type and amount of mana. Spend this mana only to cast the last card exiled with Ice Cauldron.

Many a Treasured Thing (Non-Functional)

As you may have noticed on some Core Set 2020 cards, we're using a new template for a small number of noncreature tokens. So far, that's just Treasure—we'll look at other existing tokens as we print cards that make them. An example of Treasure in action:

Sailor of Means was:

When Sailor of Means enters the battlefield, create a colorless Treasure artifact token with "T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color."

New text:

When Sailor of Means enters the battlefield, create a Treasure token. (It's an artifact with "T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

What's in a Name? (Non-Functional)

Speaking of übertemplating updates and tokens, we've adopted the new template for legendary tokens that first showed up in Dominaria. It took a little time to percolate down, and then some more time for a core set to make this update (we didn't want to make it any other time, which unfortunately meant sitting on it longer than we'd have preferred).

Tolsimir Wolfblood was:

Other green creatures you control get +1/+1.

Other white creatures you control get +1/+1.

T: Create a legendary 2/2 green and white Wolf creature token named Voja.

New text:

Other green creatures you control get +1/+1.

Other white creatures you control get +1/+1.

T: Create Voja, a legendary 2/2 green and white Wolf creature token.

Cryptoplasm Conformity (Non-Functional)

When we standardized copy exceptions, Cryptoplasm escaped us by hiding as a porcelain vase. There are no porcelain vases on New Phyrexia (Elesh Norn would feel uneasy about that), so it stuck out like a sore thumb, and now we can fix it.

Cryptoplasm was:

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have Cryptoplasm become a copy of another target creature. If you do, Cryptoplasm gains this ability.

New text:

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have Cryptoplasm become a copy of another target creature, except it has this ability.

Die, Brutal Expulsion, Die (Non-Functional)

If War of the Spark taught us anything, it's that Planeswalkers die. Under the right circumstances, they're like popcorn, especially if they're not named characters. What this means for us is that Brutal Expulsion doesn't need to dance around saying "put into a graveyard" when it can just throw up heavy-metal horns and yell "DIE!"

Brutal Expulsion was:

Devoid (This card has no color.)

Choose one or both —

• Return target spell or creature to its owner's hand.

Brutal Expulsion deals 2 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If that permanent would be put into a graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

New text:

Devoid (This card has no color.)

Choose one or both —

• Return target spell or creature to its owner's hand.

Brutal Expulsion deals 2 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If that creature or planeswalker would die this turn, exile it instead.

Dichotomancing the Stone (Non-Functional)

Similar to my rules change on 701.18g, Dichotomancy falls into the camp of "these words sound nice but if you really stop and think about it, it gets kind of weird." In this case, it sounded a lot like the permanents would enter one at a time, sequentially, rather than happily simultaneously, but it was still squiffy and ambiguous. So, while clearing up the search rules, we made this one unambiguously work like its buddies!

Dichotomancy was:

For each tapped nonland permanent target opponent controls, search that player's library for a card with the same name as that permanent and put it onto the battlefield under your control. Then that player shuffles their library.

Suspend 3—1UU (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay 1UU and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

New text:

For each tapped nonland permanent target opponent controls, search that player's library for a card with the same name as that permanent. Put those cards onto the battlefield under your control, then that player shuffles their library.

Suspend 3—1UU (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay 1UU and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

Modular Reminder (Non-Functional)

Here's another candidate for "least meaningful update": Modular's reminder text used a pronominal "this," but we usually don't let "this" stand alone without modifying another noun, like "this creature." I know there are still some counterexamples floating around in Oracle like sunburst's reminder text, but we didn't just print a set with a brand-new sunburst card! Thanks, Scrapyard Recombiner.

Arcbound Worker was:

Modular 1 (This enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)

New text:

Modular 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)


Introduction
Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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