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Originally, in Alpha, creature types were largely used for flavor-related reasons.[1] This was continued until Fallen Empires, when creatures types had in-game mechanical implications. The first block in which creature types mattered was Tempest, particularly via the Licids and Slivers, both of which creature types shared a mechanical identity among its creature cards.

Prior to the Grand Creature Type Update, creature types were only changed when a card was reprinted.[2] This policy was straightforward when only core sets and regular expansions were considered. However it became quite complicated when digital sets on Magic Online (such as the release of the Mirage block or Masters Edition) were considered "reprints". Offbeat reprints found in Coldsnap theme decks and the timeshifted cards in Time Spiral added to the confusion.

Updates before the Grand Update[]

Revised Edition[]

6th Edition[]

Mercadian Masques[]

Battle Royale[]

7th Edition[]

8th Edition[]

Champions of Kamigawa[]

9th Edition[]

Mirage online release[]

Ravnica: City of Guilds[]


  • Introduction of the Weird type

Coldsnap Themedecks[]

Visions online release[]

Time Spiral "Timeshifted"[]

Tenth Edition[]

Masters Edition[]

Weatherlight online release[]

Prelude to the Grand Creature Type Update[]

Mirrodin was the first set to implement the race-class model and along with it most notably the Human subtype was introduced. At that time it was an open question whether creature types on existing cards should be changed.[1][8] In the end, the decision was made in favor of having consistent creature types in the core set (Ninth Edition).

While a mass errata was ruled out in the beginning,[9] a couple of years later Aaron Forsythe actually hinted at an Oracle update.[10] Since Lorwyn block had a tribal theme, it was the perfect opportunity to realize those "sweeping changes."

Grand Creature Type Update[]

The Grand Creature Type Update was a mass update of creature types, as part of the regular Oracle update for Lorwyn in October 2007. With 1197 affected cards, it represented the bulk of the changes.[11] The update ranks as one of the biggest changes to the Oracle (the update for Ninth Edition has been comparable in scope, changing hundreds of local enchantments to Auras).

First and foremost a lot of creatures got the Human subtype, and some cards got other races like Dryad, Dauthi, Kor, or Merfolk. Another objective was making creatures conform to the modern race-class model. Creatures that lacked an obvious class got a class. Additionally, 146 obsolete creature types were removed, most of them being one-offs such as "Ali-from-Cairo" or "People-of-the-Woods". Un-sets types were also dropped. Eight new types were added. For flavor reasons, Nameless Race became the only creature without a creature type.

Also, creatures without creature types got creature types. There were three types of cards that lacked creature types. 1) Prior to the Champions of Kamigawa set, Legend was a creature type. Most legendary creatures were printed as "Summon Legend" or "Creature — Legend," and had no further creature types. 2) Many artifact creatures did not have subtypes. 3) Some cards that self-animate did not list the creature types they gained.

The changes were controversial, as seen on the Magic the Gathering forums. Players either disagreed with the necessity of the update or whether the individual changes were right.[12] R&D now considers the Grand Creature Type Update to have been a mistake. Too many cards do not do what they say.[13][14][15][16]

Dropped creature-types[]

Abomination, Aladdin, Albatross, Alchemist, Ali-Baba, Ali-from-Cairo, Alligator, Ambush-Party, Ant, Asp, Bandit, Banshee, Bee, Being, Bodyguard, Brownie, Bull, Bureaucrat, Caravan, Carnivore, Carriage, Cave-People, Cheetah, Chicken, Child, Clamfolk, Cobra, Constable, Cow, Crusader, Designer, Devouring-Deep, Dinosaur, Dog, Donkey, Dragonfly, Drill-Sergeant, Eel, Effigy, El-Hajjâj, Enchantress, Entity, Erne, Essence, Exorcist, Expansion-Symbol, Farmer, Fiend, Frostbeast, Fungusaur, Gaea's-Avenger, Gamer, General, Ghost, Ghoul, Guardian, Gus, Gypsy, Harlequin, Heretic, Hero, Hipparion, Hornet, Horseman, Hyena, Infernal-Denizen, Inquisitor, Island-Fish, Jackal, Keeper, Kelp, King, Lady-of-Proper-Etiquette, Legend, Legionnaire, Leper, Lord, Lurker, Lycanthrope, Mage, Maiden, Mammoth, Marid, Master, Medusa, Merchant, Mime, Minor, Miracle-Worker, Mold-Demon, Monster, Mummy, Murk-Dweller, Nameless-Race, Narwhal, Niall-Silvain, Noble, Paladin, Paratrooper, Penguin, People-of-the-Woods, Phantasm, Pig, Pikemen, Pixie-Queen, Poltergeist, Pony, Priest, Pyknite, Ranger, Robber, Roc, Rock-Sled, Sage, Scavenger, Shark, Ship, Shyft, Sister, Smith, Sorceress, Spuzzem, Spy, Stangg-Twin, Tactician, Tarpan, Teddy, Thief, The-Biggest-Baddest-Nastiest-Scariest-Creature-You'll-Ever-See, Titan, Townsfolk, Tracker, Twin, Viper, Vulture, Waiter, Walking-Dead, Wasp, Whippoorwill, Wight, Wiitigo, Wirefly, Wolverine-Pack, Wolves-of-the-Hunt, Wretched.

Added creature-types[]

Anemone, Anteater, Elk, Harpy, Metathran, Nautilus, Scarecrow, Squid, Thalakos.



The "Grand Creature Type Update" Update[]

As expected, mistakes were made in the first update. Subsequently 90 cards were updated when Morningtide was released.[17]

After the "Grand Creature Type Update" Update[]


  • Introduction of the Noggle type.

Magic 2010[]

  • Introduction of the Siren type.


Rise of the Eldrazi[]

Magic 2011[]

  • Egg became Bird. When the M11 card Roc Egg was printed, the creature type "Egg" was decommissioned and Rukh Egg was changed accordingly.

Scars of Mirrodin[]

Mirrodin Besieged[]

New Phyrexia[]



Journey into Nyx[]

  • Introduction of the Lamia type.
  • For Challenge Decks the Reveler subtype was used, but again not added to the comprehensive rules.

Khans of Tarkir[]

  • Introduction of the Naga type.

Fate Reforged[]

Battle for Zendikar[]

Shadows over Innistrad[]

  • Introduction of the Mole type.


Aether Revolt[]

  • R&D changes their stance that every supported creature type mentioned in the card name has to be on the card. Therefore, Quicksmith Rebel and others don't have the Rebel type.[19]


  • Re-introduction of the Jackal type.




  • Introduction of the Azra type.

Global Series: Jiang Yanggu & Mu Yanling[]

Core set 2019[]

  • Re-introduction of the Egg type.

War of the Spark[]

  • Introduction of the Army type.

Commander 2019[]

Throne of Eldraine[]

Ponies: The Galloping[]

Theros: Beyond Death[]


Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths[]

  • Introduction of the Otter type
  • Reintroduction of the Shark type

Core Set 2021[]


Strixhaven: School of Mages[]

Modern Horizons 2[]

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms[]

Streets of New Capenna[]

Commander Legends:Battle for Baldur's Gate[]


  1. a b Magic Arcana (November 24, 2003). "When name = creature type". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (November 18, 2002). "Beast of Show". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Sixth Edition Oracle. October 5, 1999. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  4. Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2004). "Change For the Better". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. "Ninth Edition Frequently Asked Questions : Wizards of the Coast". June 30, 2005. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  6. Magic Arcana (July 31, 2006). "Mistform Ultimus Watch: Coldsnap Edition". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (October 03, 2006). "Mistform Ultimus Watch – Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Aaron Forsythe (July 16, 2004). "Classifying Samite Healers". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Randy Buehler (November 29, 2002). "Human Nature". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Aaron Forsythe (August 24, 2007). "Looking Back to the Future". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Gottlieb (September 26, 2007). "Lorwyn Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. "The Grand Creature Type Update (and other Rules Updates) - MTG Salvation Forums". Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  13. Mark Rosewater (March 16, 2014). "Is the number of cards that would have to be rewritten really more than the Grand Creature Type Update?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  14. Mark Rosewater (March 17, 2014). "The Grand Creature Update was a mistake? Why?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  15. Mark Rosewater (May 15, 2013). "Is retroactively applying creature types considered "functional errata"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Mark Rosewater (August 01, 2017). "Why is it that creature types get a pass, given that they do have gameplay repercussions?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  17. Mark Gottlieb (January 16, 2008). "Morningtide Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Matt Tabak (January 15, 2015). "Fate Reforged Update Bulletin — Oracle Text". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Mark Rosewater (January 28, 2017). "Is Rebel no longer a supported creature type?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  20. Eli Shiffrin (September 27, 2019). "Throne of Eldraine Oracle Changes". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Eli Shiffrin (June 20, 2020). "Core Set 2021 and Jumpstart Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]