Whenever a new set of Magic Cards is launched it is expected that along with all the shiny new cards will be a bunch of new or altered rules. Magic Origins is no different; there are new rules and changes to old ones as well as changes to the oracle text. All in all 316 cards have been updated or changed.
With the Magic Origins Planeswalker cards some adjustments had to be made to the rules regarding double-faced cards from Innistrad. The rules regarding the Sun and Moon symbols on the werewolf double-faced cards have been removed and the front of a double-faced card is now described as the one with the mana cost; The Sun, Moon and Planeswalker symbols are purely decorative.
The Keywords Menace and Renown have been added to the glossary and the rules defining what they mean are now in the official rules. A special entry has been added for Days Undoing and its effect on any abilities that trigger before the “end the turn” procedure starts. It explains that those effects do trigger but do not go on the stack. The Commander “tuck rule” has been added so that if a commander is put into its controller’s hand or shuffled into his or her library it may now be put into the command zone instead. A full list of the new and updated comprehensive rules changes can be read on the Wizards of The Coast website.
Along with these rules changes there have been updates to the Oracle text database. Oracle text is the updated or revised version of the rules text on older cards. If an older card has an effect that has since become a keyword ability it is updated or if there is a new way of phrasing and structuring rules text the database of all magic cards ever printed has to be corrected.
This update mainly focuses on improving the clarity of some cards, so that both clauses of the rules text refer to the same player.
Dark Prophecy previously read:
“Whenever a creature you control dies, you draw a card and lose 1 life.”
The oracle text for this card now reads:
“Whenever a creature you control dies, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.”
This change may only add an additional word, but it improves the clarity of some cards and will be used as a template for rules text in the future so that any new card printed will read the same.
Additionally the keyword “Scry” has been added to cards printed before it became an evergreen mechanic so that they fall in line with Magic Origins and all new cards to be printed.
Opt previously read:
“Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library. Draw a card.”
The Oracle text for this card now reads:
“Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
Draw a card.”
The other big changes to the Oracle text database include the addition of reminder text for keyword abilities that will not be used as frequently on cards in future sets. Those keywords are Intimidate, Changeling, Landwalk, Bushido and Provoke. For a more comprehensive list of the oracle text updates an article can be read on the Wizards of The Coast website.
These changes may add up to very minor changes, however it is still important to understand them and the reasons for the changes. As members of the Magic playing community we must know how our game has changed and be familiar with the most recent templates for rules text. It will make us better Magic players and ambassadors to new players.