I noticed that the text of the Lesser/Greater Werewolf card reads Lycanthrope but the oracle text at Gatherer reads the type as Werewolf.

I think that the Gather errata (oracle) should be the observed interpretation, but how can I put this in a simple way that will be accepted by other players and is consistent with the established rules?

I see this as a relevant question, as this card could be teamed with Mayor of Avabruck//Howlpack Alpha and gain the +1/+1 no matter which side was facing.

Lesser WerewolfGreater Werewolf


The creature sub type "Lycanthrope" has been removed from the game; "Werewolf" is correct as per Oracle reference.

Oracle is always the final authority on all questions about a specific card:

108.1. Use the Oracle_(TM) card reference when determining a card's wording. A card's Oracle text can be found using the Gatherer card database at http://gatherer.wizards.com.

A rule specifically tackling your question:

205.3f Many cards were printed with subtypes that are now obsolete. Many cards have retroactively received subtypes. Use the Oracle card reference to determine what a card's subtypes are. (See rule 108.1.)

I don't see any way to convince other players of that fact if they choose not to believe you, except by showing them the Oracle reference. Note also that in the Comprehensive Rules, section 205.3m, there is a list of all currently legal creature subtypes, and it does not list Lycanthrope.

For reprinted cards with that issue, you could take 1 of the reprinted cards as a sample and prove it that way.

  • The reference to 204.3k is helpful, let's see if anything more conclusive comes up. – Stephen Sep 20 '11 at 13:20

The Oracle wording is considered to be the official way the cards work according to Wizards of the Coast.

Sure, there's nothing stopping your casual group playing using the original card text. But if you want to "become good at Magic" and maybe attend some sanctioned tournaments some day, then having a clear idea of how the cards will actually work in such an environment should certainly be to your advantage.

If your play group is avowedly casual, and intends always to be so, then it's fine to have a house rule to "play the card as printed". But you should warn new arrivals to the group early on, to avoid possible confusion! And even then the really obsessive-compulsive rules lawyer types may not be happy with such a free-and-easy approach...


The change to "Werewolf" took place on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011.


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