Angrath, Minotaur Pirate's oracle text for its +2 ability is different from its card text to differentiate 'opponent' versus 'opponent or planeswalker an opponent controls'.

Can Angrath target a planeswalker its controller controls with its +2?

I assume so, but the ruling on gatherer leaves me confused:

Angrath’s first and last abilities target only the player. Creatures with hexproof that player controls will be affected.


Yes, Angrath can target a planeswalker. As you've stated the Oracle text for it's ability reads:

+2: Angrath, Minotaur Pirate deals 1 damage to target opponent or planeswalker and each creature that player or that planeswalker's controller controls.

Since it specifically says you can target a planeswalker, you can do so. The Oracle text changed with the Dominaria rules changes to remove the planeswalker damage redirect rule. Basically, you used to be able to target a player and redirect the damage to their planeswalker. Now Wizard's is explicit about when you can damage planeswalkers.

The ruling you see on the gatherer page is likely a leftover from before the Dominaria rules change (when you would have just targeted the player rather than the planeswalker). The ruling appears to be trying to clarify that even if your opponent's creatures have hexproof they will still get damaged (since the creature itself is not the target of the ability hexproof doesn't apply). It should probably be cleaned up to state that the ability targets only the player or planeswalker.

Edit to address the explicit question in the post.

You can target your own planeswalker if you would like. The Dominaria rules update states:

Abilities that damage "target opponent" have been changed to "target opponent or planeswalker" with the same exception listed above. These spells and abilities can target a planeswalker you control.

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    Does not actually answer the question - which asks if they are restricted to targeting a planeswalker their opponent controls or if they could target their own planeswalker, say Angrath himself. Your answer says nothing about who controls the walker, just if a walker can be targeted, which was accepted in the premise of the question. – Andrew Nov 1 '19 at 19:55
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    @Andrew I agree that that is the question that was asked in the text, but I'm inclined to think that maybe they meant something else since they quoted a ruling about targeting players rather than planeswalkers. (I had to reread this morning to figure out what you were talking about, so in hindsight I probably should have asked for clarification.) – Becuzz Nov 4 '19 at 12:44
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    @Andrew Also edited to answer the question that was explicitly asked. – Becuzz Nov 4 '19 at 12:47

Yes, there's no restriction on the effect for which planeswalkers can be targeted, you could use that +2 to even target Angrath himself, doing 1 damage to that walker and every creature you controlled.

As Becuzz said this change is due to the removal of redirected damage from player to planeswalker, originally the player would be targeted and damage redirected, now planeswalkers must be specifically listed as targetable, or the target be general enough to include them, as in "any target" effects. With the original rules and ability you would not have been able to target planeswalkers you control with your own Angrath.

This was mentioned specifically in the Dominaria update bulletin:

Abilities that damage "target opponent" have been changed to "target opponent or planeswalker" with the same exception listed above. These spells and abilities can target a planeswalker you control.

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    According to the Dominaria update bulletin, this change was very much intended. Changing "target opponent" to "target opponent or planeswalker" was one of the standard changes that was applied to every relevant card. The ruling is clearly just left over from before that change. – murgatroid99 Nov 1 '19 at 20:47
  • @murgatroid99 I hadnt seen that, ill edit that part out. – Andrew Nov 1 '19 at 22:08
  • I also recommend rewording the first sentence. For me, the intermediate clauses make it a little hard to follow exactly what the answer is. I suggest starting with something like "Yes, you can target any planeswalker, even one you control" and then follow that up with details about the ability wording and the fact that you can even target Angrath. – murgatroid99 Nov 1 '19 at 22:17

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