It was 2007 when Future Sight launched, featuring several new abilities and keywords. What was a Contraption and a Planeswalker? The future looked interesting.
Two of the new cards, Tarmogoyf and Bound in Silence, featured a new card type: Tribal. This year, however, Mark Rosewater mentioned that they were quietly phasing out Tribal and internally using Typal instead. While this was mentioned, it was never official.
Now, Wizards of the Coast recently announced that the Tribal Spell type is officially seeing an errata to, instead of Typal, something else entirely. Alongside this change comes some updates for the Naga creature type and a small collection of Rakshasa cards.
It Already Exists!
Tribal spells will now be referred to as Kindred spells! It’s already in several card names, and doesn’t sound as clunky and sterile as Typal. This minor change may grow on Magic players because it’s already a term that appears on cards that care about creature type synergies. Now, we all know that Kindred, essentially, can grant a noncreature spell a creature type, allowing it to synergize with some creature-type matters cards like Goblin Matron. Simple, elegant, perfect. Good job, Wizards.
Cats and Snakes
Wizards of the Coast is also going to change a handful of barely played cards to no longer be Cats. Rakshasa Debaser appears to be relatively popular on EDHRec, but it’s not being played because it has the Cat type, so this change won’t really affect the card at all. The other Rakshasas are in such a small number of decks. In any case, it really does not make much of a difference gameplay-wise.
Additionally, the Naga creature type is now being replaced by Snake. This errata, while rather niche, does provide a boost for ‘Snake matters’ Commander decks.
Currently, there are 40 Naga that exist in the world of Magic, and some of them are pretty noteworthy. Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Ramunap Excavator, Vizier of the Menagerie and many more notable cards can now empower your Snake-like synergies. This may be a bigger change than players are currently writing it off to be.
Multiple cards with totem armor were included in the Virtue and Valor Commander pre-con deck, so this keyword is not even remotely old. Those are all going to be altered to now, having Umbra Armor instead.
Cards like Bear Umbra and Snake Umbra are played in a lot of decks. The new naming convention easily works and has, more or less, existed already, much like Kindred. Because of this, changing this keyword may feel more natural to players.
Wizards Continues to Monitor Their Game
2007 values might be out of touch in 2023. Wizards is continually checking their cards and modifying what they see as necessary. On the gameplay-side, as long as the changes are relatively harmonious, and make sense from a game perspective, players shouldn’t mind too much.
These updates will be reflected as a part of the Oracle Text updates being introduced as part of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. You can expect these changes to hit Magic Online on November 8.