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Dark Ascension Update Bulletin

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Nonfunctional Changes

 What is Oracle?  

Magic is a game made up of over 12,000 interchangeable pieces—the cards. Over the years, we've felt the need to update the wordings of older cards, whether because we've introduced a new keyword, or a card was printed with a mistake, or we have a clearer wording for what a card does, etc. Rather than sneak into your room at night and change your cards with a magic marker, we keep a database of the "modern wordings" (what the cards would say if we printed them today) of every tournament-legal card ever printed. These wordings are considered the official wordings of the cards, and accurately reflect their functions.

You can access a card's Oracle wording by looking it up in Gatherer.

Adarkar Unicorn

Extraneous "either" eliminated. Excellent!

New Adarkar Unicorn wording:

{oT}: Add {oU} or {o1oU} to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to pay cumulative upkeep costs.

Ancient Ziggurat, Pillar of the Paruns, and Primal Beyond

These three cards add one mana to your mana pool and restrict what you can spend the mana on. Because you can't cast more than one spell using that one mana, the cards will get a slightly clearer template.

New Ancient Ziggurat wording:

{oT}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell.

New Pillar of the Paruns wording:

{oT}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a multicolored spell.

New Primal Beyond wording:

As Primal Beyond enters the battlefield, you may reveal an Elemental card from your hand. If you don't, Primal Beyond enters the battlefield tapped.

{oT}: Add {o1} to your mana pool.

{oT}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast an Elemental spell or activate an ability of an Elemental.

Chromatic Armor

This Aura prevents all damage dealt by sources of the chosen color, but the use of "a source" misled some into thinking you had to choose a single source. We can clarify that.

New Chromatic Armor wording:

Enchant creature

As Chromatic Armor enters the battlefield, choose a color.

Chromatic Armor enters the battlefield with a sleight counter on it.

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to enchanted creature by sources of the last chosen color.

{oX}: Put a sleight counter on Chromatic Armor and choose a color. X is the number of sleight counters on Chromatic Armor.

Endless Whispers and Reincarnation

These two cards refer to "that graveyard," which made more sense when they said "put into a graveyard from the battlefield" and not "dies." We're adjusting their templates accordingly.

New Endless Whispers wording:

Each creature has "When this creature dies, choose target opponent. That player puts this card from its owner's graveyard onto the battlefield under his or her control at the beginning of the next end step."

Reincarnation:

Choose target creature. When that creature dies this turn, return a creature card from its owner's graveyard to the battlefield under the control of that creature's owner.

Gaze of Adamaro, Storm Seeker, and Sudden Impact

There are a few ways to template an ability that deals damage to a certain player equal to the number of cards in that player's hand. We think Runeflare Trap's template is a little clearer, so we're going to bring these three in line.

New Gaze of Adamaro wording:

Gaze of Adamaro deals damage to target player equal to the number of cards in that player's hand.

New Storm Seeker wording:

Storm Seeker deals damage to target player equal to the number of cards in that player's hand.

New Sudden Impact wording:

Sudden Impact deals damage to target player equal to the number of cards in that player's hand.

Ivory Tower

The Magic style guide for numbers tells us to use numerals when referring to life, including a calculation of how much life to be gained.

New Ivory Tower wording:

At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain X life, where X is the number of cards in your hand minus 4.

Leashling

The two other cards with that activation cost say "from," so Leashling will be a good... er... Hound and follow suit.

New Leashling wording:

Put a card from your hand on top of your library: Return Leashling to its owner's hand.

Master Warcraft and Melee

The templates used on these cards just weren't as helpful as they could be. When you start factoring in multiplayer formats and planeswalkers, it was a little confusing who actually got to make what decision. Hopefully, these revisions are a little better. (Melee includes a small functional change in that it now, we feel correctly, affects only this combat.)

New Master Warcraft wording:

Cast Master Warcraft only before attackers are declared.

You choose which creatures attack this turn.

You choose which creatures block this turn and how those creatures block.

New Melee wording:

Cast Melee only during your turn and only during combat before blockers are declared.

You choose which creatures block this combat and how those creatures block.

Whenever a creature attacks and isn't blocked this combat, untap it and remove it from combat.

Merseine

Whether or not the Merseine has a net counter on it is checked at a discrete time, so it should say "if," not "as long as."

New Merseine wording:

Enchant creature

Merseine enters the battlefield with three net counters on it.

Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step if Merseine has a net counter on it.

Pay enchanted creature's mana cost: Remove a net counter from Merseine. Any player may activate this ability, but only if he or she controls the enchanted creature.

Puppet Master

If you gain control of an opponent's Puppet Master, the old Oracle wording seemed to indicate you'd return it to your hand. While the rules are prepared to cover such an eventuality, we don't like relying on them in cases like this.

New Puppet Master wording:

Enchant creature

When enchanted creature dies, return that card to its owner's hand. If that card is returned to its owner's hand this way, you may pay {oUoUoU}. If you do, return Puppet Master to its owner's hand.

Shaman en-Kor

There's a pecking order between Clerics and Shamans. I can't explain why. Maybe it's the alphabet. Maybe it's something far more sinister. At any rate, Shaman en-Kor had it backwards.

New Shaman en-Kor creature types:

Kor Cleric Shaman

Winter's Chill

Winter's Chill has a somewhat-complicated effect that allowed you to pay mana to "prevent this effect." We rephrased to avoid this nonstandard usage of "prevent."

New Winter's Chill wording:

Cast Winter's Chill only during combat before blockers are declared.

X can't be greater than the number of snow lands you control.

Choose X target attacking creatures. For each of those creatures, its controller may pay {o1} or {o2}. If that player doesn't, destroy that creature at end of combat. If that player pays only {o1}, prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to and dealt by that creature this combat.

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