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July 2010 Update Bulletin

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Übertemplating Oracle Changes

Deathtouch reminder text
Hey, deathtouch has new reminder text! All cards in Oracle that already had deathtouch reminder text are being updated to use the new version. (Cards in Oracle with deathtouch, but without reminder text, aren't getting reminder text added on.)

Oracle doesn't actually need to have reminder text in it at all. But I like to keep it in, and keep it updated. When a player looks up a card in Gatherer, and the printed version has out-of-date reminder text on it (as Wren's Run Vanquisher does, for example), it's immensely helpful for that player to see the current reminder text right there in the Oracle wording.

Affected cards: Deadly Recluse, Giant Scorpion, Gift of the Deity, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Gorgon Flail, Grixis Grimblade, Kederekt Creeper, Lace with Moonglove, Moonglove Changeling, Moonglove Winnower, Pestilent Kathari, Thornweald Archer, Tidehollow Strix, Toxic Iguanar, Turntimber Basilisk, Vampire Nighthawk, Vectis Silencers, Winged Coatl, Wren's Run Packmaster, Wren's Run Vanquisher

Trample reminder text
We tweaked the trample reminder text as well. Since trample changes the process by which you assign a creature's combat damage, it should really say "assign" in its reminder text rather than "deal." That's what the M11 cards with trample say, so that's what the rest will say too.

Affected cards: Avatar of Might; Ball Lightning; Colossus of Sardia; Force of Nature; Loxodon Warhammer; Might Weaver; Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer; Overrun; Primal Rage; Rootbreaker Wurm; Spark Elemental; Stampeding Rhino; Stampeding Wildebeests; Treetop Village

Armageddon Clock & friends
Armageddon Clock is a permanent that deals damage to something equal to the number of counters of a certain kind on it. Different cards put those phrases in different order. Sphinx-Bone Wand says "Sphinx-Bone Wand deals damage [equal to the number of charge counters on it] [to target creature or player]." That's the most recent card of its ilk, and Lightning Reaver, the next-most-recent, is phrased the same way. Jinxed Choker, on the other hand, says "Jinxed Choker deals damage [to you] [equal to the number of charge counters on it]." Since "to you" is so short, that reads better than the alternative. But Armageddon Clock and a few other cards can be lined up better with the current wording.

Affected cards: Armageddon Clock, Time Bomb, Heliophial, Kjeldoran Javelineer

Ice Cagesque Cards
Ice Cage and Arrest put a comma in the sentence "Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated." Some older cards didn't. They're getting the comma to line up, and to be easier to read.

Affected cards: Gelid Shackles, Lost in Thought, Prison Term, Serra Bestiary, Volrath's Curse

Rebels & Mercenaries
In Time Spiral, we slightly modified the wording of the Rebels' search abilities. They used to say "put that card onto the battlefield" (actually, at the time, they said "put that card into play"), but cards like Amrou Seekers and the reprinted Defiant Vanguard said "put it onto the battlefield." We're now applying that change to the original Rebels and their frenemies, the Mercenaries.

Affected cards: Bog Glider; Cateran Brute; Cateran Enforcer; Cateran Kidnappers; Cateran Overlord; Cateran Persuader; Cateran Slaver; Defiant Falcon; Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero; Moggcatcher; Ramosian Captain; Ramosian Commander; Ramosian Lieutenant; Ramosian Sergeant; Ramosian Sky Marshal; Rathi Assassin; Rathi Fiend; Rathi Intimidator; Seahunter; Skyshroud Poacher

Reverent Mantra & friends
Some older cards that grant protection from a certain color to a bunch of cards use a wording that confused players. Reverent Mantra, for example, said "All creatures gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn." It's a bit unclear whether you choose a single color, or you choose a color per creature. (You choose a single color.) More modern cards, like Brave the Elements, use a different wording to eliminate the ambiguity. Brave the Elements says "Choose a color. White creatures you control gain protection from the chosen color until end of turn." Those older cards will be updated accordingly.

Affected cards: Akroma's Blessing, Aven Warcraft, Glory, Prismatic Boon, Reverent Mantra

Spells that cause creatures to become blocked
There are five such cards, and they're somewhat inconsistent with one another.

First, we're changing "attacking unblocked creature" to "unblocked attacking creature." This seems easier to grok.

Two of the cards were printed with reminder text stating that this kind of effect works on unblockable creatures. (So does a card like Flash Foliage; being unblockable makes a creature immune to the declare blockers action to the declare blockers step, but that's it.) One of them got that reminder text in Oracle, but the other two didn't. We're adding it to the other two cards.

Three of the cards were printed with play/activation restrictions. One of the other ones got the same restriction in Oracle, but it's wrong. (It added a functional change that it shouldn't have.) That card—Trap Runner—is getting its restriction changed, and a parallel restriction is being added to Curtain of Light. Neither of those cards actually needs the restriction at all; it's just there to clarify when an unblocked attacking creature exists. (They exist only during the declare blockers step, combat damage step, and end of combat step.) This is a traditional point of confusion; it's easy to believe that an "unblocked attacking creature" exists during the declare attackers step because the attacking creatures haven't been blocked yet. That's not the case, though. A creature doesn't become "unblocked" until it had a chance to become blocked and wasn't.

Fog Patch and Choking Vines remain unchanged, but Curtain of Light, Dazzling Beauty, and Trap Runner are getting new wordings.

New Curtain of Light wording
Activate this ability only during combat after blockers are declared.
Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. (This spell works on unblockable creatures.)
Draw a card.

New Dazzling Beauty wording
Cast Dazzling Beauty only during the declare blockers step.
Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. (This spell works on unblockable creatures.)
Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

New Trap Runner wording
{oT}: Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. Activate this ability only during combat after blockers are declared. (This ability works on unblockable creatures.)

"The card types are ..." reminder text
Some cards, such as Blood Oath and Tarmogoyf, were printed with helpful reminder text that tells you what the card types are. Then we invented new card types! The discrepancy can already be seen if you look at the printed Blood Oath; it says "(The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, and sorcery.)" No mention of tribals or planeswalkers. That's been updated in Oracle already.

The issue now is that we've got card types that are used in casual variants, but are completely irrelevant to the cards that have this reminder text. For their purposes, you never need to know that plane, vanguard, and scheme are card types—even if you're playing a Planar Magic, Vanguard, or Archenemy game!—because cards with those types can never be in a player's hand, graveyard, or library. So the current reminder text is wrong, but adding in the three new card types is pointless. What do to?

Senior editor Del Laugel solved the puzzle. These cards will now have the correct, and useful, reminder text "(Artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal are card types.)"

Affected cards: Blood Oath, Fertile Imagination, Holistic Wisdom, Mirror Golem, Tarmogoyf, and Vigean Intuition

Unless!
"[Do something] unless you [do something else]" means the same thing as "You may [do something else]. If you don't, [do something]." Even though these two wordings are identical in function, sometimes one is clearer than, or sounds better than, the other. We're implementing an "unless" wording on three cards.

New Body Snatcher wording
When Body Snatcher enters the battlefield, exile it unless you discard a creature card.
When Body Snatcher is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile Body Snatcher and return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

New Mana Vortex wording
When you cast Mana Vortex, counter it unless you sacrifice a land.
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a land.
When there are no lands on the battlefield, sacrifice Mana Vortex.

New Warping Wurm wording
Phasing (This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, Warping Wurm phases out unless you pay {o2oGoU}.
When Warping Wurm phases in, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

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