Hi everyone! It's the end of the first month of the beginning of the first year of the beginning of a new decade, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with the Worldwake Prerelease? (In the spirit of full disclosure, I actually had an answer to that, but since my celebratory moon mission has been canceled by "the authorities," let's just go ahead and assume that the question is rhetorical.) Of course, a Prerelease goes hand-in-hand with an Oracle update (since we've got to put the new cards in there anyway) and a Comprehensive Rulebook update (since we've got to put the new rules in there anyway). Good times!
Since these updates are the be-all, end-all of rules managerdom, it seems appropriate to announce that as of this month, I am the longest-tenured rules manager in Magic history. (What can I say, I put the "age" in "rules manager.") This can only mean that my brain is about to explode. Any second now. Whenever you're ready, brain. Waiting ... waiting ... Oh! There it goes—no, never mind. False alarm. Well, with any luck, it'll pop before the end of the article.
I've got reinforcements, though, as Matt Tabak has been brought on as a new Magic editor. Y'all know Matt Tabak, right? A lot of the changes in the rulebook this time around are his doing. (If that sounded accusatory, good. Stupid no-good new editor, makin' me think about rules and stuff. Wasn't everything fine before?!)
This update contains a lot of stuff, but most of it is minutiae. There are no Oracle bombshells this time around, just cards with little tweaks. The changes are heavy on Urza's Saga, since that's the next set that will show up on Magic Online, but (to my surprise, given the general ridiculousness of that set) nothing went kablooey ... except for my exploding brain? Nope, no, not quite yet. Sigh.
Of some note are two Worldwake cards that need errata right out of the gate. One is Walking Atlas, an artifact creature. The word "artifact" was inadvertently omitted from its type line. That's a mistake; it's clearly an artifact creature if you look at it. The other is Nemesis Trap. It says to put a "creature token" that's a copy of another creature onto the battlefield. The problem is that the token might not be a creature. If you copy an animated land, for example, the token will be a regular, non-animated land. (It's a copy of the permanent, ignoring all effects—such as the animation effect—that have been applied to it.) For that reason, Nemesis Trap has received minor errata to specify that you put a "token," not a "creature token," onto the battlefield.
The Oracle updates go live on Friday, January 29. The new Comprehensive Rulebook will be up as soon as it's gone through Editing and a review process; we're aiming for early next week. Note that changes to the Comprehensive Rules may wind up a bit different than what's posted here due to those processes.