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  • posted a message on Populating a Key Rune
    The token that's created by the Rider actually enters as a noncreature keyrune. That's because copy effects copy only the printed characteristics of the original, not characteristics granted by effects (with the exception of other copy effects). So the effect making the keyrune a creature is not copied, and you get a keyrune as it would normally enter the battlefield, i.e. just an artifact. It would enter attacking, but since it's not a creature, it doesn't, only creatures can be attacking. And animating it afterwards is too late for it to attack.

    Because populate only copies creature tokens, you won't be able to use it to copy the token keyrune, unless you pay to animate it first. If you do all that, then sure, you get a keyrune token that stays on the battlefield (also a noncreature one until you animate it). But as you can see, it's not as easy or efficient as you might have thought.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Discard
    1. It's a not a trigger, it's a replacement effect, but yes. You can put some or all of the cards you discard with Varina's trigger on top of your library, in any order, instead of putting them in your graveyard.

    2. If you attack with 5 zombies, when Varina's ability resolves, you draw 5 cards, then discard 5 cards, then gain 5 life.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Apex Altisaur and Vigor
    The thing you're missing here is that as long as you control Vigor, the Altisaur's enrage ability will not trigger, because the damage that would be dealt to the Altisaur is prevented. So only the fight from the Altisaur's first ability, the enter-the-battlefield one, will happen. That one fight does make the Altisaur bigger, but since no damage is dealt to it, it stops there.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Indestructible inquiry
    Barring special abilities that modify the results of damage, such as Wither or Infect, damage does not reduce a creature's toughness. What it does is it gets marked on the creature, and if marked damage (which can accumulate during a given turn, but gets cleared out in the cleanup step at the same time as "until end of turn" effects) equals or exceeds toughness, the creature normally gets destroyed as a state-based action. Indestructible allows a creature to ignore this rule. Actually reducing toughness is another thing entirely. If you do reduce toughness at or below 0, the creature dies, but that is not destruction, and indestructible won't help.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Apex Altisaur enrage trigger
    Quote from Iceman695 »
    I recently created a commander deck that includes Apex Altisaur. From my understanding, between its enter the battlefield trigger and enrage trigger, it has to keep fighting until it dies. Is this how the card works? Or is the enrage trigger optional? Can someone point me to a rule that answers this?
    You actually can stop the fights when you wish to, or not fight at all. That's because of the two little words "up to" that are present on both of the Altisaur's abilities. "Up to one target" means that you can choose 0 targets. If it worked as your understood it, those words wouldn't be present, it would just say "it fights target creature you don't control".
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Garruk Relentless and Heart of Kiran
    Absolutely, that works fine. Garruk Relentless' ability that makes him transform is a completely separate ability that will trigger if he ends up with two or fewer loyalty counters on him no matter the reason.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Does Redirect Target?
    Redirect doesn't target the Reckoner, it only targets the Savage Stomp. Redirect makes the Reckoner become the target of Savage Stomp, but Savage Stomp is not a spell controlled by an opponent of Reckoner's controller (who is your ally), so Reckoner's ability doesn't trigger.

    Note that there is no text-changing involved here, target-changing is its own thing entirely.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Disallow and Loxodon Smiter ability
    No, he can't do that, because Loxodon Smiter's ability that puts it on the battlefield this way is not an activated or triggered ability. It's a static ability that creates a replacement effect, which replaces Smiter being put in the graveyard by it being put on the battlefield, as the discard spell or ability is resolving. This doesn't use the stack, and it can't be responded to.

    An activated ability is always of the form [cost]:[effect], and a triggered ability's text always begins with 'when', 'whenever' or 'at'. The template " 'if'... 'would'... 'instead' " denotes a replacement effect.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Ghostly Prison and Bloodthirsty Blade: Order of Payment
    Assuming he has no other opponent or planeswalker to attack, yes, he can do that.
    508.1d. The active player checks each creature they control to see whether it's affected by any requirements (effects that say a creature attacks if able, or that it attacks if some condition is met). If the number of requirements that are being obeyed is fewer than the maximum possible number of requirements that could be obeyed without disobeying any restrictions, the declaration of attackers is illegal. If a creature can't attack unless a player pays a cost, that player is not required to pay that cost, even if attacking with that creature would increase the number of requirements being obeyed. If a requirement that says a creature attacks if able during a certain turn refers to a turn with multiple combat phases, the creature attacks if able during each declare attackers step in that turn.
    Now, if the goaded creature has anything else to attack than the player with Ghostly Prison, it must attack (including if the only option is the player who goaded the creature, since it's not able to attack anyone else). It must either attack the Prison player and be paid for, or attack someone else, or a planeswalker if there is no elligible player.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Living Death and grave pact
    Yes. Your creatures on the battlefield dying from Living Death trigger Grave Pact, which waits until Living Death is done resolving to put its triggers on the stack. When the triggers resolve, your opponents will likely have to sacrifice creatures that Living Death brought back to them.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on “Destroy all...” or “Place all...”
    Quote from Ladyseig »
    Thank you for your help! Also, sorry that I posted in the wrong spot, I thought that it was more of a rule question than a strategy question, my bad.
    Rest easy, you did nothing wrong. You didn't post in the wrong forum, this really was a rules question, which happened to pop up because a strategic implication gave you doubt about the rules.

    I wouldn't have carded Argus if he chose to explain briefly, in addition to his answer, that cards that affect all of a subset of permanents are designed, balanced and costed accordingly and encourage you to build around them, by, for example, playing less of that subset of permanent in your deck. That kind of contextual explanation is fine here, as long as it doesn't drag.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Soul Sister + Heliod + Ballista
    Quote from Higusol »
    Hi,

    Everyone is talking about the new combo with Walking Ballista inside the Soul Sisters archetype.

    So have two questions for this exciting possibility.

    1) Having Force of Virtue on the the table would be possible to cast Walking Ballista for 0 ?
    Absolutely. Well, it's generally possible to cast Ballista for 0, it's just that it usually dies immediately upon entering the battlefield, but here, Force of Virtue's static ability makes it 1/1 as soon as it exists on the battlefield, so it's safe.

    Quote from Higusol »
    2) Having Soul Warden and Heliod, Sun-Crowned on the table is it possible to cast Walking Ballista (and make it survive) since you gain life and put the Heliod +1/+1 counters on it.
    Assuming you're again casting the Ballista for 0, no. The Ballista dies as a state-based action for having 0 toughness immediately after entering, even before Soul Warden's triggered ability can go on the stack. By the time you gain 1 life, the Ballista's in your graveyard.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Stack Abilities Instant vs Sorcery
    Spells and abilities on the stack resolve last-in, first-out. When a player casts a spell or puts an ability on the stack, other players can "respond" to that object on the stack by casting instants, spells with flash or activating abilities. The spell or ability put on the stack in response to the first spell or ability resolves before it. That is how, for example, a card like Cancel works: you cast a spell, putting it on the stack; in response, I cast Cancel targeting your spell, Cancel resolves before your spell, countering and sending it to your graveyard before it can resolve. In your example, Dragon Blood's ability resolves before your spell that deals damage, so the Tusker has 6 toughness at the time it gets dealt 5 damage and thus it survives.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Hostage Taker rules check
    Quote from Santaclaws546 »
    What if I turn hostage taker into a 3-3 green elk? Does hostage-takers affect stay in play. Or does the exiled creature return to its original owner?
    In the future, please create a new thread for new questions rather than reviving one that's nearly two years old. Also, please name all of the cards involved in your question and use card tags. Go here to learn how.

    I'll assume you're using Oko, Thief of Crowns, but Kenrith's Transformation would yield the same results.

    The effect remains in place, because it was created by the Taker's enter-the-battlefield ability resolving, and it is not dependent on the Taker keeping the ability after it has resolved. The exiled creature or artifact will still return if the Taker leaves the battlefield. That remains true even if it changes name somehow. The effect only checks that the permanent that was the source of the ability remains on the battlefield, no matter what abilities it has or what it becomes.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on sacrifice two lands
    Oh, that's easy. Lotus Field's ability triggers after Lotus Field is on the battlefield. When the ability resolves, Lotus Field is among the lands you control. If you only control it and/or only one other land, you'll have to sacrifice it to its own ability. (Which you usually don't want to do, so wait until later.)
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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