Hour of Devastation Oracle Changes

Posted in Play Design on July 14, 2017

By Eli Shiffrin

Kismet (Functional)

Kismet and Frozen Æther once had identical Oracle text. Then around Scars of Mirrodin someone noticed that Kismet's printed text was slightly different in a functional way, and so its Oracle text shifted to what was until now: Only things played got tapped, not tokens or things put onto the battlefield.

In the meantime, most people still played with Kismet as though it had Frozen Æther's text. To compound the oddness, some printings of Kismet claim to only affect "target opponent" and not each opponent. When looking at the best way to resolve this, we decided that going back to Frozen Æther's text was the solution that caused the greatest number of players to be playing the card correctly.

Kismet's old rules text:

Artifacts, creatures, and lands played by your opponents enter the battlefield tapped.

Kismet's new rules text:

Artifacts, creatures, and lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury (Non-Functional)

Gonti is a sneaky fellow. They would be very happy to know that their rules text was slightly ambiguous as to how the timing of casting a spell worked. But we here care more about your happiness, dear players, and not Gonti's, so the card has received some minor errata to make reality less ambiguous.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury's old rules text:

Deathtouch
When Gonti, Lord of Luxury enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of target opponent's library, exile one of them face down, then put the rest on the bottom of that library in a random order. For as long as that card remains exiled, you may look at it, you may cast it, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast it.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury's new rules text:

Deathtouch
When Gonti, Lord of Luxury enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of target opponent's library, exile one of them face down, then put the rest on the bottom of that library in a random order. You may look at and cast that card for as long as it remains exiled, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast that spell.

Daxos of Meletis (Non-Functional)

While we were discussing Gonti's shiny new words, Daxos and Psychic Intrusion came up. One uses "that spell" to indicate what gets to use mana without regard for color, while the other uses the more ambiguous but oh-so-short "it." We decided that the clearer "that spell" is a better standard to use and brought Daxos in line.

Daxos of Meletis's old rules text:

Daxos of Meletis can't be blocked by creatures with power 3 or greater.
Whenever Daxos of Meletis deals combat damage to a player, exile the top card of that player's library. You gain life equal to that card's converted mana cost. Until end of turn, you may cast that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it.

Daxos of Meletis's new rules text:

Daxos of Meletis can't be blocked by creatures with power 3 or greater.
Whenever Daxos of Meletis deals combat damage to a player, exile the top card of that player's library. You gain life equal to that card's converted mana cost. Until end of turn, you may cast that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast that spell.

Insist (Non-Functional)

Instants, sorceries, and Auras can be countered by the game rules, while all other spells can only be countered by spells and abilities. Because of this truism, we save space on "can't be countered" effects by leaving off "by spells or abilities" whenever appropriate. Insist got its vestigial "by spells or abilities" due to the presence of Overmaster in the same set, keeping them nicely parallel. This made more sense when Insist and Overmaster were the first spells of their kind, but now it's time to bring one's text in line with other similar effects so players aren't confused about why Insist is different.

Insist's old rules text:

The next creature spell you cast this turn can't be countered by spells or abilities.
Draw a card.

Insist's new rules text:

The next creature spell you cast this turn can't be countered.
Draw a card.

Battlefield Scrounger (Non-Functional)

When we stripped Cabal Inquisitor of its comma in the Amonkhet update, Battlefield Scrounger was out doing its job, scrounging the battlefield. It came home with a whole bag of scrounged things and thought we'd be grateful and have a welcome-back party to celebrate, but instead we just took away its comma, too, and hid it in this article. Wow, this update bulletin ended on a sad note.

Battlefield Scrounger's old rules text:

Threshold — Put three cards from your graveyard on the bottom of your library: Battlefield Scrounger gets +3/+3 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn, and only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

Battlefield Scrounger's new rules text:

Threshold — Put three cards from your graveyard on the bottom of your library: Battlefield Scrounger gets +3/+3 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn and only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.


Introduction
Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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