Ninth Edition Frequently Asked Questions

Compiled by John Carter
Document last modified June 30, 2005

.RTF Version



Ninth Edition official release date: July 29, 2005

The Ninth Edition core set becomes legal for sanctioned Constructed play August 20, 2005.

Set size: 350 cards (110 common, 110 uncommon, 110 rare, 20 basic land)

This FAQ has three sections, each of which serves a different purpose.

The first section ("Ninth Edition Rules Changes") explains the rules that have changed with this core set. The second section ("General Notes") explains new concepts in the set. The third section ("Card-Specific Notes") contains answers to the most important questions players might ask about a given card.

Items in the "Card-Specific Notes" section include full rules text for your reference. Not all cards in the set are listed.


NINTH EDITION RULES CHANGES

There have been some minor rules changes to better support cards in the Ninth Edition core set and future sets. The most important changes are listed here. The most recent version of the Magic: The Gathering® Comprehensive Rules (in English) can be downloaded at www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rules/tourneyplayer.

Local Enchantments Are Now Auras

The Ninth Edition core set introduces Auras, a new name for a kind of card that's been around since the beginning of the Magic® game. An Aura is just a type of enchantment that's attached to another permanent in play. Most experienced players won't notice any difference in how these "local enchantment" cards work; "enchant creature," "enchant land," and the like just move off the type line and into the text box.

Spirit Link
White Mana
Enchantment -- Aura
Enchant creature (Target a creature as you play this. This card comes into play attached to that creature.)
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.

Why the change? The old format of local enchantments had proven confusing for a couple of reasons. First, they had words like "creature" and "land" on their type lines, even though they didn't have those types. Second, they were the only kind of spell that targets something without ever using the word "target." The Ninth Edition rules change clears up all that. The type line now says "Enchantment -- Aura," and a keyword (such as "enchant creature") in the text box says what the Aura can enchant. And the keyword has reminder text to show new players that Auras are targeted spells (don't worry -- you won't see that reminder text in expert-level sets).

Local enchantment cards printed in previous sets will receive new wordings in the OracleTM card reference. Check http://gatherer.wizards.com for the current Oracle wording of any card.

The following is an excerpt from the revised Comprehensive Rules:

212.4c Enchantment subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: "Enchantment -- Aura." Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. Enchantment subtypes are also called enchantment types. Enchantments may have multiple subtypes.

212.4d Some enchantments have the subtype "Aura." An Aura comes into play attached to a permanent or player. What an Aura can be attached to is restricted by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 502.45, "Enchant").

212.4e An Aura spell requires a target, which is restricted by its enchant ability. Other restrictions can limit what a permanent can be enchanted by. If an Aura is coming into play by any other means than being played and the effect putting it into play doesn't specify what it will enchant, the player putting it into play chooses a permanent for it to enchant as it comes into play. The player must choose a legal permanent according to the Aura's enchant ability. If no legal permanent is available, the Aura remains in the zone from which it attempted to move instead of coming into play. The same rule applies to moving an Aura from one permanent to another: The permanent to which the Aura is to be moved must be able to be enchanted by it. If it isn't legal, the Aura doesn’t move.


GENERAL NOTES

Creature Types

The creature types of many cards in the Ninth Edition core set have been updated to sync them up with the conventions used in the KamigawaTM block and the upcoming Ravnica: City of GuildsTM set. Most of the changes revolved around the "race-class" model, wherein most sentient creatures have both a species and a job. Samite Healer, for example, was changed from a Cleric to a Human Cleric, and Raging Goblin changed from Goblin to Goblin Berserker. Every artifact creature that didn't have a type before was given one; Dancing Scimitar is now a Spirit and Ornithopter is -- what else? -- a Thopter. A lot of cards with old obscure types have been updated to have ones that make a little more sense. Clone is now a Shapeshifter, for instance, and the Lords such as Elvish Champion were given types to match their art (see the "Card-Specific Notes" for Goblin King, Elvish Champion, and Lord of the Undead for more information).

A complete list of cards with creature type changes appears in this section. In addition, the creature type of the token created by Rukh Egg's ability has changed from Rukh to Bird.

In general, the creature types of older cards are updated only as they're reprinted.

Note that the following creature types have been eliminated: Behemoth, Clone, Force, Hell's-Caretaker, Monkey, Nekrataal, Rukh, and Will-o'-the-Wisp.

Card Name Creature Types
Anaba Shaman Minotaur Shaman
Anarchist Human Wizard
Archivist Human Wizard
Balduvian Barbarians Human Barbarian
Ballista Squad Human Rebel
Beast of Burden Golem
Blessed Orator Human Cleric
Clone Shapeshifter
Crafty Pathmage Human Wizard
Crossbow Infantry Human Soldier
Dancing Scimitar Spirit
Daring Apprentice Human Wizard
Elvish Bard Elf Shaman
Elvish Berserker Elf Berserker
Elvish Champion Elf Lord
Elvish Piper Elf Shaman
Elvish Warrior Elf Warrior
Foot Soldiers Human Soldier
Force of Nature Elemental
Fugitive Wizard Human Wizard
Glory Seeker Human Soldier
Goblin Balloon Brigade Goblin Warrior
Goblin Brigand Goblin Warrior
Goblin Chariot Goblin Warrior
Goblin King Goblin Lord
Goblin Mountaineer Goblin Scout
Goblin Piker Goblin Warrior
Goblin Sky Raider Goblin Warrior
Groundskeeper Human Druid
Hell's Caretaker Horror
Highway Robber Human Mercenary
Honor Guard Human Soldier
Infantry Veteran Human Soldier
King Cheetah Cat
Ley Druid Human Druid
Llanowar Behemoth Elemental
Llanowar Elves Elf Druid
Lord of the Undead Zombie Lord
Master Decoy Human Soldier
Master Healer Human Cleric
Mogg Sentry Goblin Warrior
Nekrataal Human Assassin
Norwood Ranger Elf Scout
Oracle's Attendants Human Soldier
Orcish Artillery Orc Warrior
Ornithopter Thopter
Paladin en-Vec Human Knight
Phyrexian Hulk Golem
Puppeteer Human Wizard
Raging Goblin Goblin Berserker
Royal Assassin Human Assassin
Samite Healer Human Cleric
Sanctum Guardian Human Cleric
Sandstone Warrior Human Soldier
Savannah Lions Cat
Seasoned Marshal Human Soldier
Serpent Warrior Snake Warrior
Soul Warden Human Cleric
Spineless Thug Zombie Mercenary
Temporal Adept Human Wizard
Tidal Kraken Kraken
Tree Monkey Ape
Venerable Monk Human Monk Cleric
Verduran Enchantress Human Druid
Veteran Cavalier Human Knight
Viashino Sandstalker Viashino Warrior
Weathered Wayfarer Human Nomad Cleric
Whip Sergeant Human Soldier
Will-o'-the-Wisp Spirit
Wood Elves Elf Scout
Yavimaya Enchantress Human Druid
Zealous Inquisitor Human Cleric
Zodiac Monkey Ape

S-Series Cards

The English and Japanese core games (the two-player game box designed for new Magic players) contain nine cards that don't appear in Ninth Edition booster packs. These cards have collector numbers that start with S, and they use the Ninth Edition expansion symbol. All of these cards are part of the Ninth Edition core set and are legal for play in all tournaments in which the Ninth Edition core set is legal.

S1 Eager Cadet (with new creature types: Human Soldier)
S2 Vengeance
S3 Coral Eel
S4 Giant Octopus
S5 Index
S7 Vizzerdrix
S8 Goblin Raider (with new creature types: Goblin Warrior)
S9 Enormous Baloth
S10 Spined Wurm

Note that there isn't a card numbered S6/10.

Because other languages use a different version of the two-player game, Eager Cadet and Goblin Raider are the only S-series cards printed in a language other than English or Japanese. However, older versions of all nine cards are legal for tournament play in all tournaments in which the Ninth Edition core set is legal.


CARD-SPECIFIC NOTES

Biorhythm

6 Mana Green Mana Green Mana
Sorcery
Each player's life total becomes the number of creatures he or she controls.

  • If a player controls no creatures when Biorhythm resolves, that player's life total becomes 0, and he or she will lose the game.
  • If a player's life total will go down, that player "loses" that much life. If a player's life total will go up, that player "gains" that much life.

Blinding Angel

3 Mana White Mana White Mana
Creature -- Angel
2/4
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.) Whenever Blinding Angel deals combat damage to a player, that player skips his or her next combat phase.

  • If two Blinding Angels deal combat damage to a player (or if one deals combat damage twice), that player skips his or her next two combat phases.

Blinking Spirit

3 Mana White Mana
Creature -- Spirit
2/2
0 Mana: Return Blinking Spirit to its owner's hand.

  • You can play the ability repeatedly, even during the turn Blinking Spirit comes into play.
  • The owner of a card is the person who started the game with it in his or her deck.

Booby Trap

6 Mana
Artifact
As Booby Trap comes into play, name a card other than a basic land card and choose an opponent.
The chosen player reveals each card he or she draws.
When the chosen player draws the named card, sacrifice Booby Trap. If you do, Booby Trap deals 10 damage to that player.

  • The choice of which card to name can't be countered.
  • The card isn't chosen until Booby Trap is coming into play, at which time Booby Trap is no longer a spell and can't be countered.
  • If an effect causes the player to draw multiple cards, each card is revealed as it's drawn. If Booby Trap's ability triggers, it will go on the stack once the card-drawing effect has concluded.
  • If a single Booby Trap's ability triggers multiple times, then only the first ability to resolve causes Booby Trap to be sacrificed and damage to be dealt.
  • If Booby Trap's last ability is countered, Booby Trap remains in play (and no damage is dealt).

Clone

3 Mana Blue Mana
Creature -- Shapeshifter
0/0
As Clone comes into play, you may choose a creature in play. If you do, Clone comes into play as a copy of that creature.

  • Clone doesn't copy any effects on the creature -- you just get exactly what's printed on the card and nothing more. So if you copy an animated land, for example, you get a normal, nonanimated land.
  • Clone doesn't copy whether the original creature is tapped or untapped, or any Aura enchantments or counters on the creature.
  • Any comes-into-play abilities of the copied creature will trigger when Clone comes into play.
  • If a Clone copies another Clone, it copies whatever the first one copied. That is, you get what was printed on the card that the original Clone copied.
  • You can choose not to copy anything. In that case, Clone comes into play as a 0/0 creature, and is probably put into the graveyard immediately.

Coat of Arms

5 Mana
Artifact
Each creature gets +1/+1 for each other creature in play that shares a creature type with it. (For example, if a Goblin Warrior, a Goblin Scout, and a Zombie Goblin are in play, each gets +2/+2.)

  • Sharing multiple creature types doesn’t give an additional bonus. Coat of Arms counts creatures, not creature types.

Elvish Champion

1 Mana Green Mana Green Mana
Creature -- Elf Lord
2/2
Other Elves get +1/+1 and have forestwalk. (They're unblockable as long as defending player controls a Forest.)

  • Note that Elvish Champion now has the Elf creature type and its ability has been reworded to affect other Elves. This means that if two Elvish Champions are in play, each gives the other a bonus.

Emperor Crocodile

3 Mana Green Mana
Creature -- Crocodile
5/5
When you control no other creatures, sacrifice Emperor Crocodile.

  • Once Emperor Crocodile's ability triggers, there's no way to save the Crocodile from being sacrificed. Gaining control of another creature before the ability resolves can't save the Crocodile.
  • The ability triggers if you don't control another creature, even if it's only for a brief moment during the resolution of another spell or ability.

Fellwar Stone

2 Mana
Artifact
Tap: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.

  • The opponent's land need not be able to produce a given color at that time. For example, Mirrodin's Core from the DarksteelTM set has the ability "Tap, Remove a charge counter from Mirrodin's Core: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." If your opponent has a Mirrodin's Core in play, you can tap Fellwar Stone for any color of mana, even if Mirrodin's Core has no counters on it.
  • If your opponent's lands produce only colorless mana or produce no mana, you can tap Fellwar Stone, but it won't produce any mana. (This is a functional change from the previous Oracle wording, which allowed Fellwar Stone to be tapped for colorless mana.)

Flowstone Crusher

3 Mana Red Mana Red Mana
Creature -- Beast
4/4
Red Mana: Flowstone Crusher gets +1/-1 until end of turn.

  • Flowstone Crusher's ability can be played multiple times, but Flowstone Crusher is put into the graveyard after an effect resolves that makes its toughness 0.

Furnace of Rath

1 Mana Red Mana Red Mana Red Mana
Enchantment
If a source would deal damage to a creature or player, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead.

  • If a creature, spell, or ability will deal damage to multiple things, you divide up the damage before applying this effect. This means something can't normally end up being dealt an odd amount of damage.
  • If you have two Furnaces in play, the damage is multiplied by four. If you have three in play, it's multiplied by eight.
  • The original source deals all the damage. Furnace of Rath doesn't deal any damage.
  • If multiple effects modify how damage will be dealt, the player who would be dealt damage or the controller of the creature that would be dealt damage chooses the order to apply the effects. For example, Mending Hands says, "Prevent the next 4 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn." Suppose a spell would deal 5 damage to a player who has played Mending Hands targeting himself or herself. That player can either (a) prevent 4 damage first and then let Furnace of Rath double the remaining 1 damage, taking 2 damage, or (b) double the damage to 10 and then prevent 4 damage, taking 6 damage.

Giant Spider

3 Mana Green Mana
Creature -- Spider
2/4
Giant Spider can block as though it had flying.

  • A few standard Magic card wordings had used the word "may" in abilities that weren't intended to ask players to make decisions. Most of these abilities are attacking or blocking restrictions, such as Giant Spider's ability. These cards have been reworded in Oracle to use the word "can" instead.
  • In the case of Giant Spider, the new wording results in a slight functional change: If an Elvish Bard ("All creatures able to block Elvish Bard do so") with flying attacks, Giant Spider must block it. (With the previous wording, Giant Spider's controller could choose that Giant Spider wasn't blocking as though it had flying and therefore can't block a flying creature.)
  • To learn more about this template change and which older cards it affects, check out John Carter's "Saturday School" column on magicthegathering.com on Saturday, July 30, 2005.

Gift of Estates

1 Mana White Mana
Sorcery
If an opponent has more lands than you, search your library for up to three Plains cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

  • Gift of Estates does nothing if each of your opponents has the same number of lands as you or fewer.
  • You can find nonbasic lands if they have the Plains land type, such as the Alpha card Tundra.

Goblin King

1 Mana Red Mana Red Mana
Creature -- Goblin Lord
2/2
Other Goblins get +1/+1 and have mountainwalk. (They're unblockable as long as defending player controls a mountain.)

  • Note that Goblin King now has the Goblin creature type and its ability has been reworded to affect other Goblins. This means that if two Goblin Kings are in play, each gives the other a bonus.

Greater Good

2 Mana Green Mana Green Mana
Enchantment
Sacrifice a creature: Draw cards equal to the sacrificed creature's power, then discard three cards.

  • You draw cards equal to the creature's power when you sacrificed it. This includes any bonuses from effects like Giant Growth.
  • You must discard three cards regardless of how many cards you drew. If you have less than three cards in hand, you discard your hand.

Hell's Caretaker

3 Mana Black Mana
Creature -- Horror
1/1
Tap, Sacrifice a creature: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play. Play this ability only during your upkeep.

  • You can sacrifice Hell's Caretaker to pay for its own ability.
  • You can play the ability any time during your upkeep.
  • Note that the ability doesn't give the returned creature haste.

Imaginary Pet

1 Mana Blue Mana
Creature -- Illusion
4/4
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have a card in hand, return Imaginary Pet to its owner's hand.

  • Imaginary Pet's ability triggers only if you have cards in your hand as your upkeep begins, and the ability checks again as it resolves. If your hand is empty at both those times, Imaginary Pet stays in play.

Jade Statue

4 Mana
Artifact
2 Mana: Jade Statue becomes a 3/6 artifact creature until end of combat. Play this ability only during combat.

  • You can play the ability any time during the combat phase. If you want to attack with Jade Statue, you need to play the ability during your beginning of combat step. If you want to block with it, you can play the ability either during the beginning of combat step or the declare attackers step.
  • If Jade Statue's ability has been played, abilities that trigger "at end of combat" will see Jade Statue as an artifact creature.
  • A delayed triggered ability that refers to Jade Statue still affects it even if it's no longer a creature. For example, if Jade Statue blocks the Champions of KamigawaTM creature Kashi-Tribe Warriors ("Whenever Kashi-Tribe Warriors deals combat damage to a creature, tap that creature and it doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step."), the Warriors' effect stops Jade Statue from untapping.

Karplusan Yeti

3 Mana Red Mana Red Mana
Creature -- Yeti
3/3
Tap: Karplusan Yeti deals damage equal to its power to target creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to Karplusan Yeti.

  • If the target creature isn't a legal target (it's no longer in play or has protection from red, for example) when Karplusan Yeti's ability resolves, the ability is countered and does nothing.
  • If Karplusan Yeti left play while its ability was on the stack, the effect deals damage equal to the Yeti's last known power to the target creature.

King Cheetah

3 Mana Green Mana
Creature -- Cat
3/2
You may play King Cheetah any time you could play an instant.

  • King Cheetah is never an instant spell, no matter when you play it.

Lord of the Undead

1 Mana Black Mana Black Mana
Creature -- Zombie Lord
2/2
Other Zombies get +1/+1.
1 ManaBlack Mana, Tap: Return target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.

  • Note that Lord of the Undead now has the Zombie creature type and its first ability has been reworded to affect other Zombies. This means that if two Lord of the Undead are in play, each gives the other a bonus.

Polymorph

3 Mana Blue Mana
Sorcery
Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a creature card. The player puts that card into play and shuffles all other cards revealed this way into his or her library.

  • If the creature is an illegal target as Polymorph resolves, Polymorph is countered and nothing happens.
  • You can play Polymorph targeting an indestructible creature. The indestructible creature stays in play because it can't be destroyed, but its controller still gets to put another creature card into play. (You won't see any indestructible cards in the Ninth Edition core set, but you will in other sets.)
  • If there are no creatures left in your library, you reveal your library and then shuffle it.

Rootwalla

2 Mana Green Mana Creature -- Lizard 2/2 1 ManaGreen Mana: Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn.
  • If Rootwalla changes controllers after its ability has been played, the new controller won't be able to play the ability again until the next turn.

Sanctum Guardian

1 ManaWhite ManaWhite Mana
Creature -- Human Cleric
1/4
Sacrifice Sanctum Guardian: The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to target creature or player this turn, prevent that damage.

  • The target is chosen when you play the ability. The source of the damage is chosen as the ability resolves.

Sengir Vampire

3 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
Creature -- Vampire
4/4
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.) Whenever a creature dealt damage by Sengir Vampire this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Sengir Vampire.

  • If Sengir Vampire and another creature deal lethal damage to each other in combat, both are put into graveyards before Sengir Vampire's triggered ability can make the Vampire bigger.
  • Note that Sengir Vampire's ability isn't restricted to combat damage.

Shard Phoenix

4 ManaRed Mana
Creature -- Phoenix
2/2
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.) Sacrifice Shard Phoenix: Shard Phoenix deals 2 damage to each creature without flying.
Red ManaRed ManaRed Mana: Return Shard Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.

  • You can return Shard Phoenix any time during your upkeep by paying Red ManaRed ManaRed Mana.
  • You can sacrifice Shard Phoenix and then return it to your hand all during the same upkeep.
  • If, for example, Shard Phoenix was blue when it was sacrificed, the damage will come from a blue source.

Soul Warden

White Mana
Creature -- Human Cleric
1/1
Whenever another creature comes into play, you gain 1 life.

  • Two Soul Wardens coming into play at the same time will each cause the other's ability to trigger.
  • The life gain isn't optional.

Storage Matrix

3 Mana
Artifact
As long as Storage Matrix is untapped, each player chooses artifact, creature, or land during his or her untap step. That player can untap only permanents of the chosen type this step.

  • Permanents with multiple types untap if any of their types is chosen. For example, an artifact creature untaps if either artifact or creature is chosen.
  • Storage Matrix doesn't allow players to untap permanents that don't normally untap, such as Phyrexian Colossus.
  • If another effect limits the number of permanents that untap, that number combines with Storage Matrix's effect. For example, the Champions of Kamigawa card Imi Statue says "Players can't untap more than one artifact during their untap steps." If both Imi Statue and an untapped Storage Matrix are in play, and you choose "artifact," only one artifact untaps.

Verdant Force

5 ManaGreen ManaGreen ManaGreen Mana
Creature -- Elemental
7/7
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play under your control.

  • A Saproling creature token is created at the beginning of each player's upkeep, not just yours.
  • Verdant Force's controller puts the Saproling into play. If another player gains control of Verdant Force, the existing Saprolings stay where they are.

Yawgmoth Demon

4 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
Creature -- Demon
6/6
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.)
First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may sacrifice an artifact. If you don't, tap Yawgmoth Demon and it deals 2 damage to you.

  • You may choose not to sacrifice an artifact.

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