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Oath of the Gatewatch Release Notes

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Oath of the Gatewatch PreRelease events are the happening thingy this weekend.  We'll battle with the best at our local gaming store OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario in our quest for glory.  Before we do head on off to the game store, we will want to do a little (fun) homework however and run through the Oath of the Gatewatch Release Notes, posted to the mothersite today (linky over here).  This will most certainly make things easier for you as well as the oganiser / judge at the PreRelease event.

Look for card specific notes over at Wizards and for the TL/DR preface here is a quick'n'dirty summary -
The Oath of the Gatewatch set contains 184 cards (70 common, 60 uncommon, 42 rare, and 12 mythic rare). Some Oath of the Gatewatch booster packs also contain Zendikar Expeditions cards (see below).

Prerelease events: January 16–17, 2016
Launch Weekend: January 22–24, 2016
Game Day: February 13–14, 2016

The Oath of the Gatewatch set becomes legal for sanctioned Constructed play on its official release date: Friday, January 22, 2016. At that time, the following card sets will be permitted in the Standard format: Khans of Tarkir™, Fate Reforged™, Dragons of Tarkir™, Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar™, and Oath of the Gatewatch.

Zendikar Expeditions

◊ There are twenty Zendikar Expeditions cards that appear in Oath of the Gatewatch booster packs. They have collector numbers 26 through 45. (The first twenty-five cards appeared in Battle for Zendikar booster packs.) Zendikar Expeditions cards have their own expansion symbol.

◊ Zendikar Expeditions cards are very rare. You can expect to open one only a little more frequently than a premium foil Battle for Zendikar mythic rare.

◊ Zendikar Expeditions cards are playable in any Limited event using the booster packs that contained them. In a Sealed Deck tournament, those cards are part of your card pool. In a Booster Draft tournament, you must draft those cards into your card pool.

◊ However, Zendikar Expeditions cards are not legal in any Constructed format they weren’t legal in before. Appearing in Oath of the Gatewatch booster packs does not make them legal in Standard.

New Symbol for Colorless Mana
Denoted in rules documents as {C}, it represents one colorless mana that can be added to your mana pool. It also represents a cost that can be paid only with one colorless mana. 
Previous cards that said “Add {1} to your mana pool” or similar will receive errata to say “Add {C} to your mana pool” or similar. Going forward, numerical or variable mana symbols ({1}, {2}, and so on, including {X}) will be used only to denote costs.

New Basic Land: Wastes
◊ Because Wastes is a basic land, you can include as many of them as you like in your Constructed decks.
◊ In Limited events (including Sealed Deck and Booster Draft), Wastes must be in your card pool to be included in your deck. You can’t add Wastes to your card pool in the same way that you can add other basic lands.
◊ Wastes is legal only in formats that include Oath of the Gatewatch. Specifically, unless it’s reprinted in a future set, it will rotate out of Standard at the same time as the rest of the set.
◊ Wastes is not a land type. If something asks you to name a land type, you can’t choose Wastes.

New Ability Word: Cohort
Cohort is an ability word and is associated with allies.  The activated ability requires tapping the ally creature and another ally.  The cost of each cohort ability (tapping, and tapping another ally) is always the same but the effects differ wildly. Because the cost includes To Tap.png, the Ally that has the cohort ability has to have been under your control since your most recent turn began. It can't have "summoning sickness." But the other Ally, the "an untapped Ally you control," could be one you just cast.

New Keyword: Surge
Surge is a keyword ability that provides an alternative cost that if the spell is set up with another spell.  You may cast a spell for its surge cost if you or a teammate have cast another spell in the same turn. However, the triggered ability only gives a bonus to your own creatures, not to your teammate's. The cards are both cheaper and more powerful if cast for their surge cost

New Keyword Action: Support
Support is a keyword action that boosts your (or your teammates') creatures with +1/+1 counters. "Support N" means "Put a +1/+1 counter on each of up to N target creatures." You may choose fewer targets at will.  If a creature (or any other permanent) has an ability that supports, the ability can't target the creature / permanent itself.

Returning Battle for Zendikar Mechanics in Oath of the Gatewatch -

Devoid is a characteristic-defining keyword ability which states that a card is colorless, regardless of the colors in that card's mana cost.


Landfall is an ability word which signals triggered abilities that respond to a Land entering the Battlefield under the control of the player with the Landfall card.

Cycle: Oaths of the Planeswalkers
Oaths: four legendary enchantments that interact with planeswalkers: Oath of Gideon, Oath of Jace , Oath of Chandra, and Oath of Nissa.  There is no black Oath.  Each of the Oaths is legendary: if you control more than one of any particular Oath, you choose one to remain on the battlefield and the others are put into your graveyard.
The “legend rule” checks the full names of legendary permanents. You can control Oath of Gideon and Oath of Chandra at the same time, for example.


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