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Early September 2009 Update Bulletin

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What's that? You weren't expecting me so soon? You may notice that this article is titled the "Early September 2009 Update Bulletin." That's right—you lucky duckies get two visits from your Uncle Evil Doctor Wombat this month!

The second update will coincide with the Zendikar Prerelease. That's when the Comprehensive Rules will be hit with a crowbar delicately tuned to incorporate all necessary Zendikariana, and I'll spend some time reviewing the more esoteric Oracle items clogging up my inbox.

This update, on the other hand, covers Planechase and Masters Edition III. The Planechase planes (plus four extra cards that don't seem to have come from any previously printed set .... Weird ....) are being entered into Oracle, and will thus show up in Gatherer. So, as long as we're doing an Oracle update, we might as well do an Oracle update. This is certainly nonstandard—Oracle is generally updated only when a new expansion is released—but the July Update Bulletin noted that it was coming.

Since this is an off-season update, I kept the futzing around to a minimum. Here's what's changing in Oracle:

  • The Planechase planes have been added.
  • The four Zendikar cards that appear in the Planechase decks have been added.
  • Since two of the cards in the Planechase decks have the new kicker template, all 73 previous cards that mention kicker have been updated. More on this after the jump.
  • 20 cards that appear in Masters Edition III got template changes to better reflect how they were originally printed. All details to come.
  • Two cards from Portal Three Kingdoms got the same change that one of the Masters Edition III cards got. Ditto for an Arabian Nights card and its Masters Edition III counterpart.
  • Reaping the Rewards got a typo corrected. ("Sacrifice" was misspelled in Oracle.)
  • Æther Rift got an obsolete wording updated. ("Discard a card from your hand" changed to just "Discard a card.")
  • Harm's Way got a minor wording correction to help alleviate some confusion. Shining Shoal and Shadowbane got the same fix.

Similarly, I wanted to keep the Comprehensive Rulebook changes low, covering only what needed to be changed, keeping in mind that there's another update coming. However, we're coming off the largest revision to the rulebook in a decade, so there were a number of errors and oversights to correct. Plus, if something is wrong in the rules, it's best to fix it sooner rather than later. I want to thank all the people who sent in items to correct, but I'm especially grateful to Sandro Manfredini, who translates the Comprehensive Rulebook into Italian(!), and Pao Yonemura, the Japan Netrep, each of whom sent along a hefty list of corrections.

The biggest change to the rulebook this time out was adding in the rules for Planar Magic. This included adding a new card type (plane), a new zone (command), a new category of card ("nontraditional" cards are oversized and have different backs, but are still cards), and a whole new rulebook section ("Casual Variants"). That section will be expanded a bit in a few weeks, but for now, Planar Magic is all alone.

There were a few other random updates to the rules. Details are linked below. Enjoy Planechase and Masters Edition III, and I'll be back before you know it with more Melvin minutiae!

Mark

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