31, Mar, 24

Classic MTG Creature Type Receives Major Errata!

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Article at a Glance

Throughout MTG’s history, there have been a multitude of typal decks that have dominated various Constructed formats. These decks are typically restrictive towards focusing on one Creature type, and there is some major payoff that makes this constraint worthwhile.

Take Rakdos Vampires in Pioneer, for example. Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord is such a strong card that players are willing to eschew some powerful options in favor of cards like Dusk Legion Zealot that synergize with it.

Looking back over the years, it’s amazing just how many different Creature types players have built decks around, especially in a Commander setting. Even underutilized Creature types like Rebel can find homes alongside strong legends (see Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero in this case).

As the MTG card pool continues to grow vaster, more and more Creature types keep gaining extra support. Sometimes, such as with the recent Capybara, entirely new Creature types get introduced.

On the flip side, though, it seems that more and more Creature types are either receiving errata or being discontinued. Take Naga, for example. Nagas have a lot of similarities to Snakes, though they do feature humanoid upper bodies. With the release of Khans of Tarkir on MTG Arena, R&D decided to ultimately revoke the Naga Creature type, and all Nagas would receive errata and become Snakes for the foreseeable future.

This week, a very similar decision was made. This time, the Viashino Creature type would become obsolete. Let’s take a look at exactly what this means going forward.

Viashino is No More

Laughing Jasper Flint

In a recent post made on MTG head designer Mark Rosewater’s Blogatog, a player pointed out that Laughing Jasper Flint is a Lizard, not a Viashino. Laughing Jasper Flint was just recently spoiled as part of the upcoming Outlaws of Thunder Junction set, and its features seem to closely resemble other Viashino cards in the past.

Viashino, more specifically, was a term used to describe humanoid lizard-folk in the world of MTG. These Creatures generally have some interesting characteristics, including overall intelligence and the ability to walk on two legs. Not only that, but every single Viashino Creature throughout MTG’s history has been red. This is not true of Lizards, however, as there have been plenty of mono-green and Simic Lizards printed over time.

In the case of Laughing Jasper Flint, we have a red card with clear humanoid traits, whose artwork depicts a bipedal, weapon-wielding Creature. As such, it would make perfect sense for Laughing Jasper Flint to be a Viashino.

Well, Mark Rosewater responded to the Blogatog post by stating that the Viashino Creature type has ultimately been changed to Lizard. While these Creatures will remain Viashino from a flavor standpoint, they will functionally all be Lizards from now on. This response suggests a full erratum of previously printed Viashino as well. While this isn’t a huge deal, it does mean that there are going to be significantly more Lizards in MTG, so it could be cool to see a Lizard-focused Commander deck in the future if we’re lucky.

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A Long Time Coming

Ziatora's Envoy

Interestingly, while the Lizard errata may seem a bit random, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Back in November 2023, Mark Rosewater hinted at the fact there was a chance this change would occur. Notably, his response was to a question that also asked about the potential for Cephalid to be changed to Octopus and Homarid/Camarid to be changed to Crab. Neither of these other changes have occurred yet, but with multitude of recent errata announcements and the creation of new Creature types for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, additional future changes wouldn’t be too surprising.

Furthermore, in the case of the Viashino errata, there have been hints suggesting this potential change for years. In fact, back in 2016, Mark Rosewater mentioned that R&D hasn’t always followed his exact train of thought, and that “Viashino should be Lizard.” Finally, after nearly eight years, the change is official.

Still, even with that being said, it’ll be worth monitoring when this change ultimately gets programmed on digital platforms. When Khans of Tarkir released on MTG Arena, Nagas were still a part of the set. With regards to Viashino, despite it being likely that only Lizards show up in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, that doesn’t address cards like Ziatora’s Envoy that were in previous sets.

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Player Reaction

byu/charcharmunro from discussion

Ultimately, it appears that many players view this change as a net negative to MTG. First of all, some players mentioned that the Viashino Creature type was a classic MTG inclusion. With its erasure, some players feel like the game is losing some of its uniqueness. Viashino first appeared all the way back in Mirage, almost a year after being showcased in The Prodigal Sorcerer novel.

Furthermore, players pointed out that it seems a bit random what Creature types end up getting the axe. After cards like Dogged Detective weren’t given potentially relevant errata (Dogged Detective does not actually have the Detective Creature type), some players felt it was tough to follow when Creature types might get changed and when they wouldn’t. Others feel these changes are simply going too far, and don’t want to see more and more unique Creature types get discontinued.

Plenty of players are holding out hope that this might foreshadow extra Lizard typal support with the release of Bloomburrow. This seems highly plausible, though only time will tell the extent to which this is the case. Hopefully, in time, the Viashino errata will be perceived as a benefit, not a detriment.

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