Creature type

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A creature subtype, or creature type, is any subtype used for the further classification of creatures, both cards and tokens. Historically, creature type was simply for purposes relating to flavor; however, as distant as Fallen Empires, creature types have had thematic and mechanistic purposes too. [1]

History[edit | edit source]

Originally, in Alpha, creature types were largely for flavor-related reasons. [2] 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. Masques block revisited this, albeit with Spellshapers; Odyssey block, with its pre-tribal tribal cards; Onslaught block, with its tribal cards [3]; Time Spiral block and Lorwyn–Shadowmoor block, with their Tribal supertype cards.

Following Lorwyn–Shadowmoor block, only Rise of the Eldrazi would feature the Tribal supertype, and following expansions and non-expansion sets would continue to feature creature types for purposes other than flavor.

Grand Creature Type Update[edit | edit source]

The "Grand Creature Type Update" was a mass update of creature types, as part of the regular Oracle update for Lorwyn in October 2007. [4] The update was refined with Morningtide. [5]

Race/class model[edit | edit source]

Main articles: Race and Class

The race/class model is the concept that each Magic card depicting a sapient being should have a class as well as a race subtype. [6] [7] [8] [9]

It was concurrent with Mirrodin's design that the creative team managed to convince R&D that the race/class system needed to be adopted. [10] Before that time, creatures had one creature type. Sometimes, it was merely a race; other times, it was merely a class. The race/class system was designed to help align Magic with many other fantasy-based games. Along with the race/class model, the Human subtype was introduced. At that time, it was an open question whether creature types on existing cards should be changed.[11] In the end the decision was made in favor of having consistent creature types in the core set (Ninth Edition). [12] The final step was made with the Grand Creature Type Update, as part of the regular Oracle update for Lorwyn. [13]

Notably, Nameless Race has neither race nor class, and some creature cards, such as Arcanis the Omnipotent, Nameless One and Adarkar Sentinel, lack one or the other. Certain Phyrexian cards from the expansion Mirrodin Besieged do not have a race either (e.g., Priests of Norn and Tormentor Exarch); the rationale for which being these creatures are so far modified and removed from any species to be identifiable. In retrospect, Mark Rosewater has stated that it would have been profitable to have introduced the Phyrexian creature type, which would encompass many creatures that are now Horrors, Zombies, Carriers.

There are three cards that cause creatures to lose all their creature types: Nameless Inversion, Ego Erasure and Amoeboid Changeling. [14]

List of creature types[edit | edit source]

As of the release of Battle for Zendikar, the following is a complete list of creature (and tribal) subtypes, which Mistform Ultimus and all Changelings have, totaling to 230. [15]

List of obsolete creature types[edit | edit source]

Main article: Obsolete card types

Challenge deck types[edit | edit source]

Challenge decks feature some creature types that aren't legal in regular Magic: Head, Hero and Reveler

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dave Guskin. (February 19, 2008.) "The Creature Type Web", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Magic Arcana. (November 24, 2003.) "When name = creature type", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (November 18, 2002.) "Beast of Show", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Gottlieb. (September 26, 2007.) "The Grand Creature Type Update", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Gottlieb. (January 16, 2008.) "Morningtide Update Bulletin", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Randy Buehler. (November 22, 2002.) "Debating Humanity", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Randy Buehler. (November 29, 2002.) "Human Nature", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (January 21, 2008.) "The Amazing Race/Class", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (February 04, 2008.) "The Space Between The Notes", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) "Change For the Better", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Aaron Forsythe. (July 16, 2004.) "Classifying Samite Healer", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Aaron Forsythe. (July 16, 2004.) "Classifying Samite Healer", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Mark Gottlieb. (September 26, 2007.) "Lorwyn Update Bulletin", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana. (December 12, 2007.) "Losing Types", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules. July 17, 2015.

External links[edit | edit source]