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  • posted a message on Need a little info on tomorrow, Azami familiar (spirit)
    Narset won't stop you from drawing a card, if you haven't drawn one this turn yet (like if every draw that turn was replaced by Tomorrow), so won't stop replacing any such card draw either. It's simply a non-factor.

    If a draw can occur, any applicable replacement effects (like Tomorrow, Notion Thief, Possessed Portal, etc.) are competing to replace it. The player who would draw the card gets to choose which one to apply. If that effect does not replace the card draw with something that entails another card draw, none of the other effects are applicable any more, so again become a non-factor.

    So first you determine, if you are allowed to draw a card. If prohibited, you're done, nothing happens. If you are allowed to draw the card, apply the replacement effect of your choosing from among all that are applicable. Repeat until no replacement effect is applicable anymore. Then do whatever the modified card draw turns out to be. If you have actually drawn a card after all this (not merely put one into your hand, but an actual card draw) increase the count of cards drawn that turn by 1. (Narset looks at that number and would disallow further card draws if it is 1 or higher). If you haven't actually drawn a card due to replacement effects, that number stays unchanged.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Pharika, God of...What?
    Well, I said, I'd share ideas worth exploring, and boy do I have one. A strong and fitting mechanic that is represented on three of my favorite cards in the game, all of which would be good fits for the deck: Transmute. And the specific cards are: Dimir House Guard (a free sac outlet, a tutor for Vraska, and a creature card to exile to Pharika, plus it's a decent creature as well), Drift of Phantasms (good early defense, a tutor for Pharika, Desecrated Tomb, and lots of others, plus a creature card to exile to Pharika), Dimir Infiltrator (a tutor for ..., I think you get the idea). And best of all, all of them are commons and should be cheap and rather easy to get.

    Though first, you should get your deck's size down into the 60s at least without cutting many lands. For maximum consistency you have to go down to 60 or at the very least 62 cards. But don't sweat it if you can't get it done yet. I cannot even describe how hard it was for me to get down there, and how long it took. It is still quite a feat with every new deck of mine to stay that low and I've been at it for nearly two decades now. But it is ultimately the right thing to do when you want a good deck. A crucial part of deckbuilding is to decide which ideas to abandon for that particular deck. Because there isn't room in one deck to fit everything.
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Pharika, God of...What?
    Leyline Prowler would certainly be a good addition in a multicolored deck around deathtouch creatures.

    Also, achieving Sultai colors isn't that hard, otherwise Sultai wouldn't be a thing in the first place. But so far, I simply don't see a necessity for it. You need only one such creature card to get the engine running, multiples aren't required. And adding blue for card draw, when you have black's whole arsenal and even some green goodies for that available already makes no sense to me. And tutors are also available in both colors, if what you want to fetch is a creature card.

    But of course, more colors means more options. It ultimately will be your deck, so go wild in whatever direction you want. I'll happily help you with whatever you decide on, if I've got an idea I think is worth exploring and fitting for your concoction.
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Pharika, God of...What?
    I got the impression, that you wanted to stay in b/g, that's why I specifically chose the Eternal Scourge as an example. If you want to expand into another color, the two blue cards you mentioned are of course options as well. Or branch out into red and Jund with Squee, the Immortal. Personally, though, I think that you should try to stay in two colors for a first draft, because the mana requirements are much easier. A 3+ colored deck usually needs good fixing, and quite a lot of it.

    Unfortunately, you can only cast the creature from exile if it was exiled through resolving the adventure half first. Simply being in exile will not allow you to cast the card as a creature from there.
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Casting Morph via Expertise
    No. Because "without paying its mana cost" imposes an alternative cost. Morph also represents an alternative cost (casting the spell face down for 3). As per the rules, you can only apply one alternative cost to a spell. Since you have to go with "without paying its mana cost" to cast the spell at all with the Expertise, morph cannot be applied.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Pharika, God of...What?
    Such an engine needs fuel. Eternal Scourge can be cast from exile, so all you have to do is make it go to the graveyard regularly, like with a sac outlet, so that you can sacrifice it at a moment's notice, so that it is not exiled by its other ability. Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar, and other such mana generating sac outlets would make it run even more smoothly.

    Of course, you could also just run a lot of creature cards and put a large chunk of the deck into the graveyard, like with the dredge mechanic.
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Pharika, God of...What?
    Using cards in the graveyard to make creature tokens is very Golgari. The fact that the owner of the exiled card gets the token is an unusual gimmick, I grant you that, but it's really just an additional option for multiplayer. If you don't want to give your opponents creature tokens, don't exile their cards. Just limit the exiling to your own graveyard and you are the only one to get tokens.

    Theros is based on Greek mythology, where snakes are very prominent, and I have no trouble seeing them as b/g flavorwise. Especially with them having deathtouch. And as the divine influence on that plane is represented by the enchantment type, these snakes being enchantments makes perfect sense when created by a God. If that is not enough for you, just picture the classic scene of the Greek hero slaying the monster only for it to turn into a bunch of snakes shortly after being killed (accompanied by some short ominous cliche speech from its master echoing all around.) That's basically what that ability is meant to represent, I think.

    (Sidenote: As a rules guru, I really can't let those probably innocent mistakes go, that you made in your post. Don't take it too personally, but I just have to correct them.

    1. Pharika costs 1BG not 3BG, 3 mana total not 5.

    2. Devotion is calculated from the number of appropriate mana symbols in the mana costs of permanents the controller of the God controls, the owner of the card is irrelevant here. Controller =/= owner. The two are not nessessarily the same.)
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on 2 questions:
    Quote from traderjoe »
    So let's say I attack with a creature, my opponent blocks. I play something instant speed to give my creature flying and a buff. Is my creature blocked still? Buff still goes through, I'm pretty sure of that.

    An attacking creature becomes blocked when a blocker is declared for it during the declare blockers turn based action (of if an effect makes it become blocked), and it stays blocked until it is removed from combat or the combat phase ends, which ever comes first. In order for an evasion ability to have any effect the creature has to have it during blocker declaration, because that's the only time the restriction matters. You cannot make a creature retroactively become unblocked by imposing a blocker restriction after the fact. The creature still gets the ability, but that doesn't change the blocked/unblocked status of it.

    2nd question:
    Let's say I attack with Ajani's Pridemate. He's a 2/2 at the moment. My opponent blocks with a 2/2. I play something to give my pridemate lifelink. Does my pridemate die? The argument is is that damage is dealt simultaneously so if damage was done at the same time, that means I don't gain life until after damage, which means my pridemate would be dead.

    Yes, it dies. Combat damage is dealt simltaneously, yes, and you get the life immediately at that time. But the counters are not given until the triggered ability resolves, but it doesn't even make it to the stack before the Pridemate dies. Because dying from lethal damage is a state based action, that happens right after the combat damage turn based action is finished, before the active player would get priority, and thus before any waiting triggers go on the stack.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Soul Foundry and X spells or Ghalta, Primal Hunger
    Ghalta's converted mana cost is always 12, since it is based on the mana cost, which doesn't change. The cost reduction only applies to casting Ghalta, which Soul Foundry doesn't let you do, that artifact directly creates a token copy via an activated ability.

    When casting a spell with X in its cost or activating an ablity with X in its cost, you first choose the value of X, and then calculate and pay the cost based on that value for X. X in the mana cost of an object is part of that mana cost, and if you are not getting to pay the mana cost (like when casting a spell "without paying the mana cost", or simply look at the mana cost to calculate the CMC for example), you don't get to set a value for X, so X is treated as 0 for any subsequent calculations.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Torbran, thane of red fell with violent eruption
    Quote from peteroupc »
    Quote from Banrel »
    Ok, I was thinking in terms of some planes Walker abilities that let you determine the value "up to" something which can include 0 and similar value determinations like mana cost reductions with spells with x values.
    In general, "up to N" means any number N or less. With the recent change to the rules, if something has a player divide or distribute something among "any number" of objects and/or players of a particular kind, that player can now choose 0 regardless of whether it's possible to divide or distribute that something among one or more of those objects and/or players.

    Didn't know that, will look it up. Thanks.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Torbran, thane of red fell with violent eruption
    "Up to X" and "any number" include zero as a viable choice, yes. "Any number" is limited upwards only by the number of legal choices available. However, as I mentioned, if you are distributing something, the amount of that something puts additional limits on you, most notably the minimum then is 1.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Torbran, thane of red fell with violent eruption
    Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
    Violent Eruption

    No. The highest possible number of targets you can choose with the Eruption is 4. That's because you are dividing something (damage) and the rules demand, that everything that's getting something distributed to it has to get at least 1 of it.

    Also, if 0 damage would be dealt, that means no damage would be dealt, and Torbran doesn't apply. You need at least 1 damage hitting already in order to apply Torbran.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Life Gain HELP
    For a deck that's basically a mostly white deck with a splash of black for Sanguine Bond and some green for Shalai activations, Arcane Sanctum makes no sense. (Only as a poor dual land for w/b, but you can do better with uncommon and even common lands.) The triland you want here is Sandsteppe Citadel, if you want one. Though I think, you can do better. Like Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth which allows all your plains to tap for black mana and thus you need only one "Swamp" to get the double black. Maybe run Chromatic Lantern to get double green as well alongside some ramp.

    You probably know about the Sanguine Bond+Exquisite Blood combo, but if not, just throwing it out there.

    If Sanguine Bond is a key piece for the deck, you want four, and maybe some Defiant Bloodlords as well.

    Since you can accumulate lots of life, maybe invest some of it into cards. Black is notorious for getting cards for life (e.e. Liliana's Contract). Those cards are worth it, they will keep your hand full and you in the game. Overall, since you have already dipped into black, go deeper, there are many good things there, and with a mana base able to produce BB single black cards are already well supported. For example, you can gain life for killing stuff, very useful, more so than cards that just gain you life.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on My take on Persistent Petitioners.
    15 Petitioners is too much in my opinion, because you really only need one. About 2 playsets (=8 copies) should suffice. You can add other advisors instead, which increases your deck's options. Like Trusted Advisor, which can give you a blue spell each turn for Drowned Secrets. Bounce Fblthp, the Lost or something similar to draw extra cards even. Or the Wall of Lost Thoughts for more milling. Minister of Impediments gives you a nice defensive tool by keeping large threats from attacking you while also being an advisor to tap for a massive petition once you have four. Changelings are advisors, too. And having a Shapesharer lets you compete with another player's big threats. You could even go for the changelings' predecessors, the Mistform critters from Onslaught block, like Mistform Wall.

    Or simply make every creature of yours into an advisor with Xenograft, Arcane Adaptation, or Standardize. Heck, in that case (well, the first two), you may want to run Undead Alchemist, making advisor tokens for each creature card milled, to be tapped for more mill and more tokens. (Oh, and multiples of the alchemist are cumulative, so you get a token from each one for every creature card milled. Even though only one can exile the card, the others don't care, and will simply do what they can, namely making a token.)

    Visions of Beyond may be a nice card draw spell for the deck.

    But really, probably the best way to improve the deck is to add some more lands. 20 isn't enough, even with your cantrips.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Is Attacking an Activated Ability?
    Yes he can and no it's not. Declaring attackers is a turn based action, it doesn't use the stack, and cannot be responded to. An activated ability is defined by this template:


    Every activated ability has this template, and an ability that doesn't is not an activated ability. Look for the colon, either in the text of the ability, or in the rules for a keyword ability (where it will also be spelled out, that the ability is an activated ability, if it is one.) Examples of keyworded activated abilities are Equip, Forecast, Cycling, etc.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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