Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Clarifies Mutate Mechanic After Lead Designer's Mistake

Earlier today, Magic: The Gathering lead designer Mark Rosewater released his first preview article for the upcoming set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and in the article, he talked about how his team at Wizards of the Coast came up with the new Mutate mechanic, one of the craziest new mechanics they've done in a while. However, something Rosewater said in the article caused some confusion about the rules of Mutate. The part of the article in question - which Rosewater already deleted -contradicts what the previous rules article said:

"Let's assume this scares your opponent, and they cast a black kill spell on it. The top card, Illuna, Apex of Wishes is put into your graveyard, but the other cards remain, meaning it will revert to the 2/2 Sea-Dasher Octopus with flying and curiosity," Rosewater explained. "To mitigate the card disadvantage inherent in a mechanic like this, you only lose the top card when it's affected (which is another reason that you might put a creature on the bottom). This is also true to other effects that remove it from the battlefield like returning it to your hand or exiling it."

expand image
Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The rules article stated: "If a mutated creature leaves the battlefield, all of its components go to the appropriate zone. So if it dies, each card ends up in the graveyard. Any ability that triggers "whenever a creature you control dies" or similar will trigger only once. Same with exile, your hand, or your library."

Ben Bleiweiss, Star City Games Manager, brought up the contradicting information on Twitter, showing what Rosewater wrote and the rules article from Wizards of the Coast.

Magic rules manager Eli Shiffrin responded on Twitter, saying that Rosewater's version was not right.

"I can say that Mark's version isn't the current reality, but yeah, I'm not the one who can fix it. :) I haven't read the article yet; is there other context like 'this is how we tested it early on'?"

Rosewater has also responded on Twitter, admitting that it was his mistake, and fixed his article.

Here's the mechanic spotlight for Mutate:

Personally, I think Rosewater's version makes more sense. It just seems unbalanced for one mutated creature to be completely kill by one removal spell. Bigger monsters should be harder to kill.

What do you think about the new Mutate mechanic from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths?

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is officially scheduled to be released on May 15 (rescheduled release day).

Related: MTG Lore Returns in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!