Obscura Polymorphist
12, Jun, 24

Unannounced Errata Removes MTG Creature Type From Existence

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In recent years, Wizards of the Coast has been rather forthcoming with everything happening in the vast world of MTG. Between Gen Con in 2023 and the many MagicCons each year, players have no shortage of information to digest. Recently, even Secret Lair Superdrops have been getting their own mini-spoiler seasons so there’s truly no end of reveals.

Despite how much MTG players know nowadays, some information still slips through the cracks. Dedicated releases on MTG Arena, for example, are often kept under wraps for a surprisingly long time. More presently, it appears that a fairly major, yet unannounced, errata has been implemented quietly alongside Modern Horizons 3’s release.

Cephalids Are No More

Cephalid Vandal

For better or worse, Wizards of the Coast has entirely removed the Cephalid creature type from MTG. Following the release of Modern Horizons 3, the 28 Cephalid MTG cards have all been errata-ed into Octopuses instead. While this 28-card errata may not have game-changing implications, you’d be excited for missing it entirely. This is thanks to Wizards not announcing it.

Unlike most errata, there was no formal announcement of the impending change to Cephalids. This is quite a surprise considering that this change comes into effect alongside the errata of Typal to Kindred. Notably, this controversial change was explicitly announced alongside a host of other creature-type errata.

For whatever reason, the change to Cephalids was missed from this list entirely, leaving players in the dark. That was, at least, until Reddit user u/Marek14 went sleuthing into the latest comprehensive rules document. Here, Marek14 found that Cephalids weren’t a creature type anymore, with Gatherer then confirming the switch to Octopus.

Considering Wizards of the Coast didn’t announce this change at all, we’re just glad that Marek14 spotted the change. After all, unlike the much-talked-about errata to Kindred, this change actually has real gameplay consequences. On top of that, the flavor of MTG is arguably taking a non-substantial hit too.

An Actual Impactful Change

Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor | Cephalid Facetaker

Unlike most of the other errata that were initially announced back in 2023, the change to Cephalids actually impacts gameplay. Currently, a handful of cards in MTG care about Octopuses as part of the unofficial Sea Creature Typal batch. Supported by cards such as Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep, these Typal decks have just been given new options.

Admittedly, the options on the table from the Cephalid errata aren’t all too exciting. Outside of Cephalid Facetaker and Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor, this MTG creature type was fairly lackluster. That being said, an otherwise small creature type having its support more than doubled is no bad thing.

Beyond the immediate implications of this errata, it may be even more impactful in the future. Should Wizards ever officially create the Sea Creature batch as desired, Octopuses should receive significantly more support. In turn, this would empower the old Cephalid cards, rather than leaving them in a desolate unsupported creature-type wasteland.

Ultimately, while there is a lot of good that comes from the errata, there are some downsides. For starters, since this errata was unannounced, it’s likely going to cause more confusion than normal. Alongside this, MTG is also losing one of its more unique creature types, which undoubtedly harms the game’s flavor.

Thankfully, even if Wizards of the Coast won’t create any more Cephalid MTG cards, they can still make Cephalids in spirit. Whether this is seen in the name or cards or their art, there’s nothing stopping Wizards from making humanoid Octopuses. Hopefully, this will mean that nothing of value is lost from this errata.

More Errata Coming Soon?

Deepmuck Desperado

As if one errata wasn’t enough, it seems there may be even more coming to MTG soon. This follows a surge in interest around the topic on Blogatog. Responding to recent questions MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, recently revealed that another nearly 30-year-old creature type may get errata-ed.

Following a question from Tomwpost on Tumblr, it now seems that the days of Homarids are numbered. According to Rosewater, “If Homarids return, I believe they will [receive an errata].” In their post, Rosewater didn’t specify exactly what this errata could entail, but it’s likely Homarid’s would become Crabs.

As Rosewater mentioned, for this errata to happen, Wizards will have to print a few more Homarids. While Deepmuck Desperado was recently seen in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, this creature type is very rarely used. In the almost 30 years since they first appeared, Wizards has only printed eight Homarid cards.

Ultimately, while it may happen in the future, there’s no telling when the Homorid errata will take place. With no Grand Creature Update 2 on the horizon, MTG players may be left waiting for a while yet. Curiously, while this underserved creature type is getting changed, Wizards isn’t errata-ing everything.

Despite recently changing Efreets to Djinn moving forward, Wizards isn’t using an errata to retroactively apply this change. After Mark Rosewater confirmed this detail, some MTG players were understandably confused, especially given the nature of this change. As Llanowarminotaur comments, it really does feel like “Creature type errata is decided by rolling dice. Anything to avoid giving us a little consistency.”

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