Ixalan Oracle Changes

Posted in News on September 28, 2017

By Eli Shiffrin

Everybody Walk the Dinosaur (Functional)

Since Ixalan re-introduced Dinosaurs to Magic, we had to take a look at our existing creatures to see if any of them were secretly Dinosaurs all along. We've had a lot of morphology in our Lizards and Beasts, so we had to draw some lines. We also had to establish rules to respect Onslaught's Beast-tribal themes:

If you were ever printed as a Dinosaur, you're a Dinosaur!

If you were printed a Lizard and you're really a Dinosaur, you're no longer a Lizard. You keep your other creature types, if any, and gain Dinosaurosity.

If you were ever printed as a Beast, you're still a Beast—but you may also be a Dinosaur. This is due to Beast tribal in Onslaught block.

Once we had those guidelines in place, Kelly Digges, our expert in creature types, examined various creatures that looked Dinosaurish. He stuck to those whose art looked like a known real-world dinosaur species, more or less, so a creature didn't get a promotion just for having "-saur" in its name. Fungusaur is a notable weirdo because it has "-saur" in its name and entirely un-Dinosaur art, but it does have an enrage ability so it gets to join in with the Dinosaurs of Ixalan who tease it for not having feathers.

The complete list of changes:

These creatures were close calls, but they didn't make the cut:

  • Allosaurus Rider (The Dinosaur is the mount, not the rider.)
  • Hystrodon, Macetail Hystrodon, and Skyshroud War Beast (They look vaguely prehistoric and two have naming conventions like Dinosaurs, but they just don't look like known Dinosaurs.)
  • Phyrexian Soulgorger (It could be taken for a Dinosaur if you look at it juuust right, but by the time you make up your mind, you'll already be compleat and won't care anymore. Let's not stare at the ravenous murder machine.)
  • Pygmy Pyrosaur (It doesn't look like a Dinosaur in any of its illustrations. Art and flavor text both point heavily toward Lizard.)

Since the Ixalan preview season started, we've heard good arguments for some other cards to become Dinosaurs. Stay tuned—the Rivals of Ixalan update may include a couple new additions to this list.

Legendary Planeswalkers (Functional)

93 planeswalker cards were printed before Ixalan. 93 planeswalker cards got errata. Each and every single one of them is now legendary. It's important to note that they don't merely act legendary or pretend to follow the legend rule, they are legendary, for everything that entails. Karakas and Captain Sisay are over there grinning.

For Commander players, note that the Commander rules have not been extended to allow your commander to be a legendary artifact, enchantment, land, or planeswalker. Only legendary creatures can be your commander, minus a few exceptions spelled out on particular cards.

Always Be Combating (Functional)

You may have noticed that we've moved away from the template of "attacks each turn if able" lately in favor of "attacks each combat if able." That new template has worked out well, so rather than have two confusingly similar templates that work the same in 99% of turns, we've decided to simplify and change the 60 cards that must attack or block "each turn" to instead attack or block "each combat." This is a functional change only for turns with multiple combats—Juggernaut has to attack in every combat it can.

65 other cards say that a creature must attack or block "this turn." These cards remain unchanged, but a rules update enforces that the requirement must be met each time "this turn" that it can be.

The overall result is that a creature that must attack must always attack if it can, and never says "I love combat! Rawr! But I already attacked once today, so nah."

In a related note, four cards said that a creature attacks if able with a penalty "if it doesn't," and have received clarifying nonfunctional errata to expand that phrase to "if it didn't attack."

It's Raining Mana (Functional)

Two cards let you add "up to" some amount of mana. Without mana burn, there's rarely any reason at all not to accept the full amount of mana, and even more rarely a good reason. These two cards are surprisingly more popular in Magic Online decks than in paper, where every extra click is tedious, so we've agreed to remove that option and make the digital world a slightly better place. They still allow you to generate no mana at all if you really want.

We're aware that the Gatherer rulings for these cards weren't updated for the Ixalan Gatherer update, so there's no need to let us know. They'll be fixed with the next rulings file update.

Carpet of Flowers's old rules text:

At the beginning of each of your main phases, if you haven't added mana to your mana pool with this ability this turn, you may add up to X mana of any one color to your mana pool, where X is the number of Islands target opponent controls.

Carpet of Flowers's new rules text:

At the beginning of each of your main phases, if you haven't added mana to your mana pool with this ability this turn, you may add X mana of any one color to your mana pool, where X is the number of Islands target opponent controls.

Thran Turbine's old rules text:

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may add C or CC to your mana pool. You can't spend this mana to cast spells.

Thran Turbine's new rules text:

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may add CC to your mana pool. You can't spend this mana to cast spells.

Everything Everywhere (Non-Functional)

Arcane Adaptation in Ixalan pioneers a lovely new template to express "all your stuff," so we've applied it retroactively to Conspiracy and Celestial Dawn. This isn't a functional change, just nifty new words.

Conspiracy's old rules text:

As Conspiracy enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
Creature cards you own that aren't on the battlefield, creature spells you control, and creatures you control are the chosen type.

Conspiracy's new rules text:

As Conspiracy enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
Creatures you control are the chosen type. The same is true for creature spells you control and creature cards you own that aren't on the battlefield.

Celestial Dawn's old rules text:

Lands you control are Plains.
Nonland cards you own that aren't on the battlefield, spells you control, and nonland permanents you control are white.
You may spend white mana as though it were mana of any color. You may spend other mana only as though it were colorless mana.

Celestial Dawn's new rules text:

Lands you control are Plains.
Nonland permanents you control are white. The same is true for spells you control and nonland cards you own that aren't on the battlefield.
You may spend white mana as though it were mana of any color. You may spend other mana only as though it were colorless mana.

Trample Before Lifelink (Non-Functional)

Did you know that there's an order for keywords? There really is. Haste almost always comes last, flying comes first except with defender, first strike always comes before trample, and so on. Giant lists break the rule, and that has its own rules, and I leave the rest of the rules as an exercise to the reader.

Two cards from the early days of lifelink have lifelink listed before trample, though, and that's backwards. They've received errata to standardize the order.

Behemoth Sledge's old rules text:

Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has lifelink and trample.
Equip 3

Behemoth Sledge's new rules text:

Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has trample and lifelink.
Equip 3

Titanic Ultimatum's old rules text:

Until end of turn, creatures you control get +5/+5 and gain first strike, lifelink, and trample.

Titanic Ultimatum's new rules text:

Until end of turn, creatures you control get +5/+5 and gain first strike, trample, and lifelink.

"Put" in on the Returning

Drafna is very skilled at restoring artifacts, but he's not as adept at terminology. When you're moving an object from another player's graveyard, we use "put" rather than "return." Luckily, we can help!

Drafna's Restoration's old rules text:

Return any number of target artifact cards from target player's graveyard to the top of his or her library in any order.

Drafna's Restoration's new rules text:

Put any number of target artifact cards from target player's graveyard on top of his or her library in any order.


Introduction
Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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