Is this the the equivalent of "new lightning bolt" effect due to rule change on planeswalker damage?

Let me explain below the question and confusion.

The new Buy-a-box promo, Firesong and Sunspeaker, has an effect that spells out “target creature or player”. Is this the first card where we have to remember that the effect excludes planeswalkers, i.e. we don't replace the text with “any target” since it's printed after the planeswalker damage redirection rule change?

Channel Fireball's article Understanding the Dominaria Rule Changes and Sagas says:

Now, imagine they print a card like this:

New Lightning Bolt

New Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

This card explicitly excludes planeswalkers, but, if you don’t know when it was printed, you have no way of knowing. If New Lightning Bolt and old Lightning Bolt are both in your hand, they’ll have the exact same printed text, but one will work very differently. It’s not going to confuse any established players, but I can see how it could confuse someone who’s not already enfranchised.

  • This is interesting info as I hadn't heard about it before... but not sure I see a question here; more of a general complaint. It's always been true that in order to know what a card officially does, you have to go by the Oracle text, not by what is printed on the card (unless you have R&D's Secret Lair of course). But yes, this particular errata seems like it could be a bigger deal.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:18
  • Until Firesong and Sunspeaker has a gatherer entry, it has no official Oracle text. If the Oracle text ends up being the same as the printed spoiler, then yes, it will not be able to target Planeswalkers. If the Oracle text says "any target" like Lightning Bolt, then it will. Either way, the question is basically self-answering.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:30
  • 1
    Since Firesong and Sunspeaker is being printed in the set Dominaria, and the mentioned rule change is happening as part of the release of that set, it would be incredibly bizarre if they print it with the pre-Dominaria wording and concurrently publish errata to it.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:32
  • "Lightning Bolt" and the hypothetical "New Lightning Bolt" are different cards because they have different names. Their printed rules text does not matter. Rules of thumb, even those put up by official sources, do not matter. All that matters is the Oracle text and the compRules.
    – Hackworth
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:33
  • 4
    I would like to clarify: your title asks about the functionality of the card Firesong and Sunspeaker. But most of your question body focuses on describing out the confusion players may face, assuming that it works a certain way. If your question is about how the card works, then the stuff about how players may be confused isn't relevant.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


In early March, the release notes were accidentally published in Simplified Chinese, and Wizards of the Coast responded to that leak by publishing the release notes in all languages. In the release notes, the section about the planeswalker damage redirection rules change includes the following paragraph:

Cards printed in the Dominaria set that deal damage to creatures and/or players but not to planeswalkers (such as the Planeswalker Deck card Chandra, Bold Pyromancer and the promotional card Firesong and Sunspeaker) require targets as written even though similar cards have received errata.

In addition, the release notes list the text of Firesong and Sunspeaker as follows:

Firesong and Sunspeaker (Buy-a-Box Promotional Card)
Legendary Creature – Minotaur Cleric
Red instant and sorcery spells you control have lifelink.
Whenever a white instant or sorcery spell causes you to gain life, Firesong and Sunspeaker deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

and includes this ruling

The last ability of Firesong and Sunspeaker can't target a planeswalker.

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