WOTC Replaces Several MTG Abilities, Card Types, And Subtypes With New Names

Genoslugcs November 5, 2023 3 min
WOTC Replaces Several MTG Abilities, Card Types, And Subtypes With New Names

If you frequent the MTG side of the internet, you've likely heard about WOTC mulling around the idea of replacing the term tribal with typal. They'd also considered not using certain creature types, such as Shaman and Druid. At first, this seemed like something they considered changing internally, more so than in the game. However, we recently received news of several abilities, card types, and sub-types for creatures getting an errata and in the game soon. Here's the scoop!

MTGA Assistant

Major MTG Errata In Upcoming Sets

In an announcement you can read here, Wizards of the Coast announced that several changes to the game's language were on the horizon and are being made "to make our game as inclusive and welcoming as possible." The article also says these changes will take effect with Khans of Tarkir(Arena release) on December 12th and that the Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards will receive updated Oracle texts on the Gather site.

With that out of the way and no further ado, let's get into the changes we expect to see come December.

Tribal Cards Changed To "Kindred"

As mentioned in the intro, WOTC considered distancing themselves from the word tribal to refer to decks built around particular creature types for their possible negative connotations. Mark Rosewater informed players that they were using the word typal, instead. At least internally. This led many players to wonder what would become of actual cards that referred to a tribe.

image image image image

Well, now we've got our answer. It is changing. However, it's being replaced with kindred instead of typal. I wasn't crazy about typal. So, overall, kindred is much better, in my opinion. There's just one issue! Anyone who plays Vampire: The Masquerade automatically thinks of Vampires when they hear kindred. This is a little strange, considering vampires are a tribe in MTG.

It won't be an issue for MTG players who don't play the vampire RPG, but I know there is a fair amount of it overall. As of now, there are no vampire tribal spells. So, I guess it's a moot point.

"Umbra Armor" Changed to "Totem Armor"

Totem armor is a keyword ability usually found on auras. And it makes it so that if that creature (or permanent) is destroyed, the totem armor is destroyed instead. I've always thought the mechanic was cool and pretty flavorful. I'm a little sad to see it being replaced in the future, but that's life, I suppose. Most of the time, the keyword appears on "umbra" cards, as seen here.

image image image image

So, that's what WOTC has chosen for the replacement term - Umbra Armor. I can see how they landed on this, and if you're familiar with these cards, you'll know what's up. But still, Totem Armor makes much more sense for what the ability represents. Plus, maybe it's just me, but "Umbra Armor" sounds a whole lot like Under Armor... Have to suit my commander up in some sportswear!

Totems are found in many religions worldwide, so I suppose that's why they changed it. I'm not too fond of this train of thought, though, because it won't be long before demons, gods, devils, and countless other types are also changed. Or they pick and choose only particular things to change.

Naga Creature Subtype Will Be Replaced With Snake

Nagas are a divine or semi-divine race of half-human, half-serpent beings in various Asian religious traditions. They reside in the netherworld and can occasionally take human or part-human forms. Again, I'm sure this is why they're being changed. If you look at some of the more popular creatures with the Naga subtype, you can see humanoid snakes.

image image image image

This errata is a little funky, though, because Nagas are often half and half, especially in MTG. Changing to just snake is a bit odd. This feels pretty corny on some cards. Take Mist-Syndicate Nagaimage as an example. Is it going to be called Mist-Syndicate Snake? Until now, most creatures with the creature-type snake have been reserved for nonanthropomorphic serpents, like Blight Mambaimage, Hexdrinkerimage, and Hooded Blightfangimage.

That said, some fall in between. Chishiro, the Shattered Bladeimage, for example, is a snake samurai. So, I suppose it's not too big of an issue overall.

The Cat Subtype Will Be Removed From The Following Cards

According to the original post, a group of Cat Demon cards are losing the "cat" portion. Why? I have no idea, and they didn't elaborate much. As of December 12, the following Rakshasa cards will no longer be cats:


There you have it, my friends, all of the upcoming errata coming to MTG. Some of these are better than others, for sure, but in general, I think they were ok as is. And again, I feel like it's a mighty slippery slope when you start to make changes like this that fall under the category of "possibly offensive" to someone. Of course, this is only my opinion, though.

Now, I want to hear from the readers. What do you think of these changes? If you like them, why? If you don't, how come? Or perhaps you couldn't care less. Comment and let me hear how you feel.


Login to comment


@hinotoumei - Can I join?
gonna start my own religion that worships every letter of the alphabet. then no one can speak and write english.
Search Articles

Enter The Battlefield Prepared

With the MTGA Assistant deck tracker MTGA Assistant