could someone confirm if ive got this correct, or correct me if ive got it wrong?
i play student of warfare for W. it enters the battlefield as a 1/1 with the "level up W" ability. for all intents and purposes, the lower 2 text boxes (level 2-6, and level 7+) do not exist at this point.
when cast, it is a... level 0? or it enters the battlefield as a level 1?
i pay W to level it up, so now its a level 1, but nothing else changes. or did it start at a level 1?
then i pay another W to level it up again, so now its a level 2, so its a 3/3 with first strike and the level up ability?
then eventually, when it gets to level 7, its a 4/4 with double strike.. and first strike? and level up?
and, theoretically, if i had enough mana, i could cast it and level it all the way up to 7 in the same turn?
my biggest question is when i cast it, does it start out at level 0 or level 1?
I am nearly 100% certain that the creature enters as a Level 1 creature and that if you have piles of mana lying around you could cast him and then fully level him up all in the same turn and phase.
But I'm sure you'll get a response from someone who really is 100% sure.
Informal warning issued for unsure answer. I know you only wanted to help, but unsure answers are considered a form of spam here, as they require someone else to post to confirm or correct, making them basically useless. See the Magic Rulings forum rules and your PMs for more details.
The level a creature is on is based on the number of level counters it has. It starts with 0 counters thus starts at level 0.
Double Strike and First Strike are already redundant (in most cases) so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have both. And it doesn't have both. It only has the stats and abilities of the level it is on.
But, yes, with enough mana you could level it up all the way in one turn.
for all intents and purposes, the lower 2 text boxes (level 2-6, and level 7+) do not exist at this point.
The Level Up abilities always exist. They don't suddenly appear as you add Level counters.
They simply don't do much if the number of counters doesn't match.
For design purposes, Leveler cards have these unusual three rows, with very little wording. Very trendy.
However, here's how Student of Warfare actually reads, from a Rules point of view:
Creature - Human Knight
1/1 W: Put a level counter on this permanent. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
As long as SoW has at least 2 level counters on it, but no more than 6, it's a 3/3 and has First Strike.
As long as SoW has 7 or more level counters on it, it's a 4/4 and has Double Strike.
(as you can see, it cannot simultaneously give itself First Strike and Double Strike; levels are mutually exclusive)