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July 2009 Update Bulletin

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Specific Card Changes

And in the midst of all this global change, there's still time to poke at individual cards.

Dragon Whelp
Dragon Whelp's delayed triggered ability is confusing. It currently says "At end of turn, if this ability has been played four or more times this turn, sacrifice Dragon Whelp." Let's say you activate the ability during the end step. The delayed triggered ability will trigger at the beginning of the next turn's end step. So which turn does the "this turn" in its ability refer to? The turn when you activated the ability, or the turn when the delayed triggered ability triggers? This ambiguity is being cleared up by moving around the parts of the sentence, which has two ramifications: 1) If the fourth time you activate the ability is during the end step, Dragon Whelpwill be sacrificed next turn, and 2) Under the old wording, if you activated the ability five times, you'd need five Stifles to save Dragon Whelp; now, you'd need only two (one for the fourth time and one for the fifth time, assuming you let each ability resolve before you activated it again). Both of these are corner cases, but I heard a rumor Dragon Whelp is in Magic 2010 and didn't get the new wording in time. Nalathni Dragon, Farrelite Priest, and Initiates of the Ebon Hand are getting the same treatment.

New Dragon Whelp wording;
Flying
{R}: Dragon Whelp gets +1/+0 until end of turn. If this ability has been activated four or more times this turn, sacrifice Dragon Whelp at the beginning of the next end step.

Æther Rift
As printed, Æther Rift's ability had you discard a card before putting it onto the battlefield. The Oracle wording does not. This got errata when the Torment set was printed to solve some interaction problems with madness, but I think some streamlining of the madness rules in the intervening years, and the new Æther Rift wording, should make things okay.

New wording;
At the beginning of your upkeep, discard a card at random from your hand. If you discard a creature card this way, return it from your graveyard to the battlefield unless any player pays 5 life.

Bifurcate
As printed, Bifurcate targeted a "card," so it shouldn't be able to target a token. Also, as printed, it didn't necessitate finding a creature card (in case you targeted an animated land, for example).

New wording;
Search your library for a permanent card with the same name as target nontoken creature and put that card onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

Brutal Suppression
As printed, this affected "Rebel cards," so it shouldn't affect tokens.

New wording;
Activated abilities of nontoken Rebels cost an additional "Sacrifice a land" to activate.

Cold Storage
The printed wording of the second ability's effect says "Put all creature cards on Cold Storage into play." Taking that at face value, the player who activates that ability does all the putting, meaning that player controls all the returned permanents. But an old ruling says that's not the case; each card is returned under its owner's control. Since that's not inferable from the card, that ruling is being reversed, and Cold Storage will now specify that the ability's controller gets all the permanents.

New wording;
{3}: Exile target creature you control.
Sacrifice Cold Storage: Return each creature card exiled with Cold Storage to the battlefield under your control.

Cyclone
While this card's printed ability is very similar to cumulative upkeep, it really isn't the same. The ability is being un-keyworded.

New wording;
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a wind counter on Cyclone, then sacrifice Cyclone unless you pay {G} for each wind counter on it. If you pay, Cyclone deals damage equal to the number of wind counters on it to each creature and each player.

Dralnu's Pet
Like Pouncing Kavu, this should say that Dralnu's Pet enters the battlefield with flying, not that it has flying.

New wording;
Kicker—{2B}, Discard a creature card. (You may pay {2B} and discard a creature card in addition to any other costs as you cast this spell.)
If the kicker cost was paid, Dralnu's Pet enters the battlefield with flying and with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the discarded card's converted mana cost.

Ill-Gotten Gains & Time Spiral
As printed, the spell is exiled first, then the rest of it happens. Oracle differs from this, but doesn't have to. (The Comprehensive Rules will specify that once a spell starts to resolve, it resolves fully even if it leaves the stack.)

New Ill-Gotten Gains wording:
Exile Ill-Gotten Gains. Each player discards his or her hand, then returns up to three cards from his or her graveyard to his or her hand.

New Time Spiral wording:
Exile Time Spiral. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.

Imprison
As printed, Imprison was destroyed, not sacrificed. Also, its last ability needs the same wording update that Balduvian Warlord got in the last update.

New wording;
Enchant creature
Whenever a player activates an ability of enchanted creature with {T} in its activation cost that isn't a mana ability, you may pay {1}. If you do, counter that ability. If you don't, destroy Imprison.
Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, you may pay {1}. If you do, tap the creature and remove it from combat. Creatures it was blocking that hadn't become blocked by another creature this combat become unblocked. If you don't pay {1}, destroy Imprison.

Maddening Imp
The printed text had a restriction that said its ability had to be activated "before combat." In a recent update, we cleaned up a bunch of activation restrictions, boiling them down to a few consistent templates. Maddening Imp went along for the ride, but it shouldn't have. So its restriction is being changed again to get it back to the way it was printed.

New wording;
Flying
{T}: Each non-Wall creature the active player controls attacks this turn if able. At the beginning of the next end step, destroy each of those creatures that didn't attack this turn. Activate this ability only during an opponent's turn, before the combat phase.

Oath of Lieges
We recently decided for Krosan Tusker and similar cards that if you choose not to search, you don't have to shuffle. This is the same deal.

New wording;
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if that player controls fewer lands than any of his or her opponents, the player may search his or her library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle his or her library.

Phyrexian Purge
As printed, this had an additional cost of "Pay 3 life" that you could pay any number of times, which influenced how many targets you could choose. But at some point, the life payment was moved to the resolution. A short time ago, as many similar cards as possible were reverted back to having additional costs (like Withering Boon, for example), but we didn't have the technology to do this cleanly with Phyrexian Purge because its additional cost could be paid multiple times and ties in to the number of targets. But then we came up with a new treatment for the M10 Fireball, which increases its cost without creating an additional cost. (For practical purposes, this is largely irrelevant; however, for technical rules purposes, it makes a big difference due to when this cost is determined while casting the spell.) Phyrexian Purge can get the same treatment, moving its life payment back into the casting of the spell, not its resolution.

New wording;
Destroy any number of target creatures.
Phyrexian Purge costs 3 life more to cast for each target.

Portcullis
As printed, Portcullis had just one ability. It triggered when a creature entered the battlefield, exiled that creature (maybe), then set up a delayed triggered ability that would return that creature to the battlefield when Portcullis left. Its Oracle wording, however, is two separate abilities. Right now, a single Stifle will counter the entire leaves-the-battlefield ability and none of the cards will come back. It's going back to setting up a number of different delayed triggered abilities, meaning a single Stifle will stop just one card from coming back.

New wording;
Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, if there are two or more other creatures on the battlefield, exile that creature. Return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control when Portcullis leaves the battlefield.

Psychic Allergy
As printed, Psychic Allergy was destroyed, not sacrificed. Also, it should count nontoken permanents, not cards.

New wording;
As Psychic Allergy enters the battlefield, choose a color.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, Psychic Allergy deals X damage to that player, where X is the number of nontoken permanents of the chosen color he or she controls.
At the beginning of your upkeep, destroy Psychic Allergy unless you sacrifice two Islands.

Rasputin Dreamweaver
Rasputin's printed wording was one big block of very tiny text. There were no line breaks at all to indicate different abilities. Its Oracle wording is split into four abilities, but we think it should actually be five: The final line should be an independent ability that refers to Rasputin as a whole, not just its fourth ability.

New wording;
Rasputin Dreamweaver enters the battlefield with seven dream counters on it.
Remove a dream counter from Rasputin: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Remove a dream counter from Rasputin: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to Rasputin this turn.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Rasputin started the turn untapped, put a dream counter on it.
Rasputin can't have more than seven dream counters on it.

Rocket Launcher
As printed, Rocket Launcher was destroyed, not sacrificed. That's being reinstated. Its last sentence is also getting some words rearranged to read better.

New wording;
{2}: Rocket Launcher deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Destroy Rocket Launcher at the beginning of the next end step. Activate this ability only if you've controlled Rocket Launcher continuously since the beginning of your most recent turn.

Search for Survivors
As printed, the graveyard rearrangement happens first. This could make a difference with some corner cases (involving Volrath's Shapeshifter, for example), so that's being restored.

New wording;
Reorder your graveyard at random. An opponent chooses a card at random in your graveyard. If it's a creature card, put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise, exile it.

Wall of Nets
The second ability is ambiguous: Does it refer to creatures Wall of Nets blocked during that combat (even if it's not blocking them now), or does it refer only to creatures Wall of Nets is still blocking as the ability resolves? It's being clarified as the former. Also, the third ability should return cards to the battlefield.

New wording;
Defender (This creature can't attack.)
At end of combat, exile all creatures Wall of Nets blocked this combat.
When Wall of Nets leaves the battlefield, return all creature cards exiled with Wall of Nets to the battlefield under their owners' control.

Ydwen Efreet
The Oracle wording preemptively caused Ydwen Efreet to be unable to block, but only if you were being attacked. The ability should work even if your planeswalker is being attacked, and it should ideally work after Ydwen Efreet blocks.

New wording;
Whenever Ydwen Efreet blocks, flip a coin. If you lose the flip, remove Ydwen Efreet from combat. Creatures it was blocking that hadn't become blocked by another creature this combat become unblocked.

Nonfunctional changes

It seems a bit silly to call out nitpicky wording changes on individual cards when over 4,000 of them got wording changes. But I know some of you are curious, so I'll do a quick rundown of the extras. A number of additional wording changes related to implementing "battlefield," "cast," or "exile" wordings (such as changing "in" to "from," or deleting "on the battlefield" entirely, or the like) haven't been called out here.

Antagonism, Discordant Spirit, Impatience, Keldon Twilight, Scavenging Ghoul — "That turn" was changed to "this turn."

Arboria — "Card" changed to "nontoken permanent," and the ability was reworded to be easier to understand.

Aspect of Wolf, Mangara's Equity, Primordial Ooze, Pygmy Hippo — These were the only cards that said "where X is equal to [something]" rather than just saying "where X is [something]." Mangara's Equity was reworded to get rid of the X entirely; the rest had "equal to" deleted. Also, Primordial Ooze had a "Do A or do B" wording, which doesn't really exist anymore; now it's "You may do A. If you don't, do B."

Basal Thrull — This was missing some curly brackets around its mana symbols.

Beasts of Bogardan — "Any" changed to "an."

Bogardan Phoenix — This returns to the battlefield under the control of the last player who controlled it, not necessarily its owner. We're adding "under your control" so it's clearer.

Cephalid Illusionist — Reworded to match Soratami Cloud Chariot.

Confusion in the Ranks — Changed "shares a type" to "shares a card type."

Contested Cliffs, Triangle of War — "Each creature" changed to "Each of those creatures" to match Arena.

Corpse Dance — Changed "the creature" to "it" to match Shallow Grave.

Culling Scales — Some unnecessary words were deleted so it more closely matches Topple and Porphyry Nodes, among others.

Cycle of Life; Jolrael, Empress of Beasts; Life // Death; Natural Affinity — "Are" changed to "become" in the first three. "Until end of turn" was moved later in the ability in the last three; they wound up with different (but standard) land-animating wordings.

Defiant Stand; Zhao Zilong, Tiger General — "Until the end of the turn" was changed to "until end of turn."

Dream Leash — The odd second ability was changed to "You can't choose an untapped permanent as Dream Leash's target as you cast Dream Leash."

Endless Whispers — An unnecessary "from the battlefield" was deleted. The last sentence was cleaned up a bit, including changing "creature card" to "card" and "puts" to "returns."

Exiled Doomsayer — "Creatures" changed to "creature spells" in its reminder text.

Flailing Drake, Goblin Swine-Rider, Sacred Prey, and Serra Inquisitors — "When" changed to "Whenever." Also, some words were trimmed from Goblin Swine-Rider; now it deals "2 damage to each attacking creature and each blocking creature."

Frankenstein's Monster — "On it" was added to the end of the ability.

Gamekeeper; Iname, Life Aspect; Rooting Kavu — "You may exile [name of this card]" was changed to "you may exile it." This matches Iname as One and Academy Rector.

Gleancrawler, No Rest for the Wicked, Second Sunrise, Twilight Shepherd— These cards all do similar things, so their templates are getting synched up.

Goblin Recruiter — Reworded to match Dwarven Recruiter.

Holistic Wisdom — "Type" was changed to "card type," and its reminder text was restored.

Illusionary Terrain — An extraneous "of" was deleted.

Ixidron — An unnecessary instance of "on the battlefield" was deleted. "They're 2/2 creatures" became reminder text, since the rule that governed that effect was moved out of the morph section and into the general "Face-Down Spells and Permanents" section.

Kangee, Aerie Keeper; Kyren Toy; Ventifact Bottle — The order of some mana symbols changed. ({X} should come first.) Ventifact Bottle's second ability was reworded to remove its X; having X mean different things on the same card is unnecessarily confusing.

Lost in Thought, Volrath's Curse — "Ignore this ability" was changed to "ignore this effect," as seen on Damping Matrix and Siren's Call.

Mangara's Blessing — An unnecessary "from your hand" was deleted.

Mangara's Tome — Reworded to match Parallel Thoughts.

Martyr's Cry — The redundant word "white" was deleted from the second ability.

Mercurial Kite & Vertigo Spawn — "It" is being changed to "That creature" to match other similar cards and be extra clear about what doesn't untap.

Mirror Strike — This is being reworded as a more standard redirection effect.

Mtenda Griffin, Soul Manipulation — "In your graveyard" changed to "from your graveyard."

Murmurs from Beyond, Purging Scythe — "Of them" was added after "An opponent chooses" and "You choose," respectively.

Ogre Enforcer — This was revised in the last update, but it wasn't entirely clear. It's getting some new vocabulary that's being introduced in the Comprehensive Rules.

Phyrexian Processor — Now makes an X/X token, where X is equal to the life paid as Phyrexian Processor entered the battlefield.

Planeshift "Planeswalker's" enchantments — "In his or her hand" changed to "from his or her hand."

Remembrance — "Creature card" became "card," since you can wind up searching for a noncreature card if an animated land goes to your graveyard, for example.

Siren's Call — The casting restriction was changed to "Cast Siren's Call only during an opponent's turn, before attackers are declared" to match other similar cards.

Skyshroud Condor — Reworded to match Talara's Battalion.

Stasis Cocoon — The second and third ability were fused into a single ability (like on Faith's Fetters).

Surge of Strength — "Its" was changed to "that creature's" so it's clearer that it's referring to the targeted creature, not the card discarded as an additional cost.

Swirl the Mists — Since its ability creates a text-changing effect, its wording was adjusted to include the words "text" and "changed."

Thousand-Year Elixir — An unnecessary "the" was deleted.

Thrumming Stone — "Control" is being changed to "cast" to match Djinn Illuminatus, Maelstrom Nexus, and the like. There's a theoretical functional difference (you can control a spell you don't cast), but since ripple works only on spells you cast, there's no practical difference.

Tidal Control — The last two abilities (which are identical except for their costs) were fused into a single ability with a choice of two costs. This matches how it was printed.

Touch of Vitae — This had a very awkward wording, with a period in the middle of a sentence. "Until end of turn" was moved to the beginning of the first ability to smooth it out.

Traveler's Cloak — The order of abilities was changed; it now matches Pentarch Ward.

Varchild's War-Riders — A comma was changed to a semicolon. (Some cards that got reminder text added to them got the same change.)

Verdant Embrace — We took "under your control" off Verdant Force in the last update. This is following suit.

Word of Command — "Use" changed to "spend," and "drawn from" changed to "produced by."

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