Winter Orb Errata

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With Eternal Masters being a set designed with nostalgia in mind, a decision was made to change the functionality of one of the cards. Rather, to change back that functionality. Once upon a time, years before I would crack my first pack, there was something called a "continuous artifact", which meant that the artifact didn't do what it does when tapped. If you look at the Alpha printing of Winter Orb, you'll note that it was one such continuous artifact. With the removal of this line of text, the functionality of Winter Orb changed, and leading up to Eternal Masters the card just "worked" regardless of whether it was tapped or not.

As of the EMA printing, Winter Orb will now have the additional text "As long as Winter Orb is untapped..." This means that if you're able to tap the Orb on your opponent's turn that all of your lands will untap while their's will be restricted.

Winter Orb isn't currently Modern legal, and it's been a minute since you'd want it in your Legacy deck, though this errata could have some Commander applications. Surely there are still plenty of griefer Commander players, and I imagine some of them play decks that would benefit from a Winter Orb that only impacted the rest of the table. While the Orb itself isn't a great speculation target given that it's about to be reprinted, cards that fit into such a deck could be solid pickups right now.

I'm the wrong person to ask about Commander, though I happened upon a Reddit thread where somebody suggested Ring of Gix as a pickup in light of this errata. The card is not what I'd call good, and the application is niche, though I can think of worse ways to spend a couple bucks than on a handful of bulk rares that are on the Reserve List. You'll get better returns than a lottery ticket, anyway.

Ryan Overturf

Ryan has been playing Magic since Legions and playing competitively since Lorwyn. While he fancies himself a Legacy specialist, you'll always find him with strong opinions on every constructed format.

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13 thoughts on “Winter Orb Errata

  1. I don’t believe you’ll get any returns to be honest.

    EDH’s main aim is to promote fun. To be a griefer means to actively try to ruin other people’s fun. There are indeed people who do that, however, when they do they could’ve already played Orb just fine under it’s older wording as the drawback was easily circumvented by playing mana rocks. Unfortunately that’s also its main downside: lots of people play mana rocks.

    When you speculate on the Winter Orb errata you are aiming for a small subset of EDH players that likes griefing, a smaller subset of that who like Winter Orb’s griefing effect in particular and then the even smaller subset to who the functional change matters. There are many Rings of Gix available and the group of people who would want to pick one up as a result of this is VERY small.

          1. I took your lottery ticket comment to mean that you believe there is a bigger chance that Rings can be sold profitably after increasing based on the Orb change than the chance of winning on a lottery ticket. I believe there’s zero chance of the former happening, so I would prefer the latter when talking about the chance exclusively. However, yes, your Rings would retain more value, but I would argue to buy neither of them as they will both lead to a loss.

            You promote the purchase of Rings by writing about it in your article. Some people may actually take your advice and buy based on it. If enough people do they will push up the price, but it’ll come crashing back down as they find that no casual players actually want to buy it. In the end they all bulk out the card at a price that is at best the same as what they got in at. I don’t think this is a good investment experience to recommend.

            1. It was a topical link on the free side that didn’t use language that promoted the buy- and certainly not as a quick flip. I see where you’re coming from, but you’re exaggerating both what was said and the significance.

              1. It’s my view, I did not exaggerate my view, this is what it is. If your message came across different from how you meant it maybe you should also have a critical look at the message.

                  1. Again, I am not exaggerating, I honestly don’t have a clue where you think I am exaggerating in that comment :S.

                    I am trying to help you, either to improve the clarity of your message or your understanding of EDH, I don’t know why you respond the way you do, wouldn’t you want to know if something could possibly be improved?

                    (You are of course free to disagree that it would be an improvement, but it’s very hard for me to imagine that you wouldn’t even want the feedback).

  2. This is awesome for Cube aficionados, as we get both a foil AND the functionality, as well as being able to play it alongside cards like Opposition 🙂


  3. Thanks For the shout out to the thread I posted… I’ve taken a bit of ribbing for suggesting that Ring of Gix can ever be anything besides bulk, but crazier things have happened than a fringe RL card supporting a long term price of a couple of bucks. There’s also already been a bit of buzz in the EDH sub about this errata having at least some impact on existing stax strategies. While it’s far from a slam-dunk, anyone can throw out wisdom like “Rishadan Port will increase in value now that its confirmed not to be in EMA.” The key to any combo embedded in an attrition based deck is for neither of the pieces to be dead draws on their own. Ring fits nicely within such a deck building philosophy.

  4. I feel like there could be some things done with this and girapur Aether grid in the right deck. If your artifacts are ensnaring bridge and winter orb you can probably just lock people out of the game

    1. Grid and Orb seems like a legit soft lock / combo piece. Propaganda / Ghostly Prison effects would probably mesh better with that than Bridge, IMO. It’s worth messing around with, anyway.

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