Hugs, Grisley Guardian
27, Feb, 24

Major MTG Errata Announced for Bloomburrow

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To put it lightly, the vast world of MTG has been incredibly busy recently. Last week we had Secret Lairs, announcements of announcements, a full spoiler season, and a massive major livestream. Following all this, you’d think we’d be entitled to a moment’s break to digest the new cards. Sadly, MTG players haven’t been so lucky.

Continuing the non-stop stream of content, we’ve seen even more spoilers, products, and meta-breaking decks emerge. On top of all that, MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, has recently made a major announcement. Via their Tumblr blog, Blogatog, Rosewater has revealed that a major MTG errata is on the way when Bloomburrow releases!

Enters Enters the Picture

Mabel, Heir to Cragflame

During the First Look event for Bloomburrow, many MTG players were understandably enamored by the adorable art. With the first-of-its-kind theme being the set’s selling point, this isn’t a surprise at all. Couple this detail with only four cards being revealed, and it’s no wonder they were somewhat overlooked.

Curiously, Mabel, Heir to Cragflame[\tooltips] doesn’t say “Enters the battlefield” like many MTG cards. Instead, the adorable protagonist of Bloomburrow simply states “Enters.” According to Mark Rosewater, this is a change players are going to see a lot of in the future. 

Starting with Bloomburrow, we are changing ‘enters the battlefield’ to ‘enters’” Rosewater confirmed via Blogatog. This change will also be applied retroactively in the Oracle text of applicable cards. This means that on August 2nd, there will be a major errata to the aesthetics of MTG cards.

Notably, while Wizards is making this change, Rosewater states that “enters the battlefield” isn’t going away entirely. Instead, this classic terminology will still be used from time to time when Wizards feels the need for added clarity. Additionally, Rosewater stated that “enters” is specifically for entering the battlefield so it won’t be used for entering the graveyard.

Despite the change in terminology to entering the battlefield, Rosewater revealed that “leaves the battlefield” isn’t being touched. This lack of change is because Wizards has used “leave as a means to talk about cards leaving the graveyard.” Thanks to this, there would be more ambiguity around the hypothetical use of “leaves,” which Wizards wants to avoid.

A Semantically Sensible Move

Windswept Heath

Thankfully, while the switch to “enters the battlefield” will errata over 5,000 MTG cards, this change isn’t devastatingly complex. Sure, “enters” being a smidgen ambiguous does raise the barrier to entry a touch, but it’s hardly an insurmountable hurdle. Considering most players already abbreviate to saying “enters” or “ETB” this change should come naturally.

Curiously, when confirming the switch to “enters,” Rosewater didn’t explain exactly why this change is happening. That being said, it’s not really hard to understand why Wizards would make this change. As many players have noticed, MTG cards have steadily been getting more verbose and complex.

Even if it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it’s clear that “enters” is designed to combat this rising trend. By cutting out 16 characters across two words, there’s now slightly more room on cards for rules text. If we’re lucky, there could even be enough space for a smidgen of flavor text. 

Outside of adding text, simply reducing the number of words on a card should make them more digestible. With this in mind, the change to “enters” definitely seems like a positive one in the grand scheme of things. Thankfully, this positive isn’t even hypothetical, as Wizards has done this kind of thing before.

Previously, Wizards has shortened language such as “shuffle your library” to just “shuffle” to ease comprehension. Similarly, this semantic shrinkage happened to the phrase “add mana to your mana pool.” Ultimately, while these changes did make things fractionally more complex, they hardly caused a panic-based pandemonium. As a result, the change to “enters” should be completely fine in the grand scheme of things.

Just One Problem

History of Benalia

Unfortunately, while “enters” will be a change to creatures, technically, it already exists in MTG. Since their inception in Dominaria, “enters,” has been used on Sagas without major problems. That being said, Sagas and their use of “enters” does have a notable quirk that may cause some confusion.

Considering the soon-to-be implanted parlance, you may expect [tooltips]Strict Proctor could turn off Sagas like History of Benalia. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case since it’s not actually an “enters the battlefield” trigger. Instead, when Sagas enter with a lore counter, they’re using a replacement effect, which is notably different.

While we don’t expect it to cause absolute chaos, once Bloomburrow launches, there will be two different “enters” floating around. For the majority of players, it’s unlikely this will cause a lot of issues, but new players may get confused. While this confusion is far from ideal, it’s not like MTG isn’t filled with niche interactions and bizarre infinite combos.

Bring on Bloomburrow!

Fox Jace

Now that the change to “enters” doesn’t seem nearly as scary as an errata could be, the only thing left is to wait. For better or worse, the release date of Bloomburrow isn’t until August, which is quite some time away. Before then, three substantial sets will be released; Outlaws at Thunder Junction, Assassin’s Creed, and Modern Horizons 3.

Despite all these sets filling the docket, there’s already a huge amount of excitement about Bloomburrow. Boasting one of the best aesthetics of any MTG release, this furry-filled MTG plane looks spectacular. Hopefully, the set’s cards will be more than a pretty face and an overdue errata.

Read More: MTG Thunder Junction World Championship Card Revealed!

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