April 2012 Update Bulletin

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Oracle Changes

 What is Oracle?  

Magic is a game made up of more than 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.

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

Astral Slide

This card used a slightly nonstandard way to find the card it had exiled. We're going to line it up with Mistmeadow Witch, among others. Referring to that card by mentioning a specific zone is important for things that require that card to be exiled, like imprint and hideaway. In cases like Astral Slide, it slightly confuses the issue. One side benefit is that it's clearer that if you exile a commander this way, and that commander heads to the command zone instead of exile, it returns.

New Astral Slide wording:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may exile target creature. If you do, return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.


Desolation was confusing in situations where more than one player sacrificed a Plains. This template is streamlined and (hopefully) clear.

New Desolation wording:
At the beginning of each end step, each player who tapped a land for mana this turn sacrifices a land. Desolation deals 2 damage to each player who sacrificed a Plains this way.


"All players sacrifice all lands" is not quite the group activity it was purporting to be. Taking a cue from All is Dust, we're going to have the sacrifices be a little more individualized.

New Epicenter wording:
Target player sacrifices a land.
Threshold—Each player sacrifices all lands he or she controls instead if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

Granger Guildmage & Thornscape Apprentice

The guidelines for order of abilities when these cards were printed (white before red) were different than the current guidelines (red before white), so the abilities on these cards will be doing a do-se-do. Or is the do-se-do where they end up in their original positions? If that's true, they're doing the other thing. You know what I mean.

New Granger Guildmage wording:
{oR}, {oT}: Granger Guildmage deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you.
{oW}, {oT}: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.

New Thornscape Apprentice wording:
{oR}, {oT}: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.
{oW}, {oT}: Tap target creature.

Orcish Mine

Orcish Mine received an update last time around, but it still had two minor issues. First, it dealt damage "to its controller," where "it" is supposed to refer to the enchanted land but could be misread as referring to Orcish Mine. Second, we usually use "or" to link both sides of a compound trigger condition, so we'll also be doing that here.

New Orcish Mine wording:
Enchant land
Orcish Mine enters the battlefield with three ore counters on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep or whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, remove an ore counter from Orcish Mine.
When the last ore counter is removed from Orcish Mine, destroy enchanted land and Orcish Mine deals 2 damage to that land's controller.


Unlike other cards that compare two or more values, Tariff was unclear what to do when more than two creatures were tied for the highest cost.

New Tariff wording:
Each player sacrifices the creature he or she controls with the highest converted mana cost unless he or she pays that creature's mana cost. If two or more creatures a player controls are tied for highest cost, that player chooses one.

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