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With the gatecrash FAQ out, we can now see the rules for the new keywords. Here's the one for cipher:
702.97a Cipher appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two static abilities, one that functions while the spell is on the stack and one that functions while the card with cipher is in the exile zone. “Cipher” means “If this spell is represented by a card, you may exile this card encoded on a creature you control” and “As long as this card is encoded on that creature, that creature has ‘Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, you may copy this card and you may cast the copy without paying its mana cost.’”

Isn't the bolded ability a spell ability, rather than a static ability?
Indeed it is.
The phrase "[player/s] may [perform an action]" could either be an instruction or a static ability that allows players to perform a special action. But cipher's first ability doesn't fit into any of the two possible descriptions for effects allowing special actions:

115.2c Some effects allow a player to take an action at a later time, usually to end a continuous effect or to stop a delayed triggered ability from triggering. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time he or she has priority, but only if the ability or effect allows it.

115.2d Some effects from static abilities allow a player to take an action to ignore the effect from that ability for a duration. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time he or she has priority.

Also, there are other things hinting it's a spell ability:
1) It's on a spell card and it doesn't say something like "as long as [this spell] is on the stack" (Torrent of Lava)
2) it's reminder text says "then you may" showing it's an instruction following the rest.
3) it's assumed the player can't exile the card before the other instructions are performed.
It might be considered a static ability generating a self-replacement effect, but it does seem reasonable as a spell ability.
614.15. Some replacement effects are not continuous effects. Rather, they are an effect of a resolving spell or ability that replace part or all of that spell or ability’s own effect(s). Such effects are called self-replacement effects. When applying replacement effects to an event, self-replacement effects are applied before other replacement effects.

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The ability isn't replacing anything (it's not "instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard" or anything like that), so that doesn't apply. It is a spell ability.
I don't think changing what happens when a spell resolves counts as replacing that spell's effects. Also any wording fitting for it to be a replacement effect would use "instead", as it doesn't fit the other categories for replacement effects that don't use "instead". ("skip", modifying battlefield entering, modifying what happens when turning face up).
Huh... not sure what I was thinking there, unless I wrote those rules based on an earlier version of the ability and just never updated it. It's totally a spell ability. The FAQ will be wrong (but no one should care about the finer details of what type of ability it is in practice), but I'll make sure the CR itself gets corrected before posting.

Thanks everyone!
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