Dark Ascension Rules Quiz

Posted in Arcana on February 23, 2012

By Matt Tabak

Matt Tabak is the reigning, defending, and undisputed rules manager for Magic: The Gathering, Kaijudo, and Duel Masters. Matt Tabak is Gruul. Matt Tabak tries to laugh, think, and cry every day. Matt Tabak is hungry. Matt Tabak doesn't want you to sass him. Matt Tabak loves puppies.

In the Dark Ascension set, darkness is definitely... um, rising. Okay, I'm not taking over Savor the Flavor any time soon, but I'm the rules guy, okay? Here's a short quiz designed to test your knowledge of Dark Ascension and a few of its more peculiar interactions.

1. Holding on to the good old days, before the leader of your faith turned into a horrific Zombie, you control Mikaeus, the Lunarch enchanted with Call to the Kindred. Which of the following cards could you NOT put onto the battlefield using Call to the Kindred's triggered ability?

Mikaeus, the Lunarch
Call to the Kindred

a. Thraben Heretic
b. Priests of Norn
c. Blightspeaker
d. Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
e. You could put any of these creatures onto the battlefield.

The correct answer is...

d. Grimgrin, Corpse-Born.

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born | Art by Peter Mohrbacher

To put a creature onto the battlefield with Call to the Kindred, the card you reveal must share at least one creature type with the enchanted creature, although it doesn't necessarily have to share each creature type. Mikaeus, the Lunarch is a Human Cleric, so Thraben Heretic (a fellow Human), Priests of Norn (a fellow Cleric), or Blightspeaker (a fellow Human Cleric) all qualify. Mikaeus and Grimgrin are both legendary, but legendary is a supertype, not a creature type.

2. Your opponent controls two creatures: Stormblood Berserker and Sanctuary Cat. (Meow.) She casts Deadly Allure targeting the Stormblood Berserker. She attacks you with both creatures. You control two untapped Walking Corpses. Which of the following is a legal declaration of blockers?


a. Neither Walking Corpse blocks.
b. Both Walking Corpses block the Stormblood Berserker.
c. Both Walking Corpses block the Sanctuary Cat.
d. One Walking Corpse blocks the Stormblood Berserker. The other Walking Corpse blocks the Sanctuary Cat.
e. One Walking Corpse blocks the Sanctuary Cat. The other Walking Corpse won't block.

The correct answer is...

b. Both Walking Corpses block the Stormblood Berserker.


When declaring blockers (or attackers, for that matter), you have to fulfill as many requirements as you can without violating any restrictions. In this situation, blocking Stormblood Berserker with only one creature violates the restriction imposed by its ability. Not blocking Stormblood Berserker wouldn't follow the requirement created by Deadly Allure. Blocking Stormblood Berserker with both Walking Corpses is the only legal option.

3. You attack Sorin, Lord of Innistrad with Hellrider. Your opponent controls no creatures that can block. Hell yeah! Which of the following is true?


a. There is no defending player because Hellrider is attacking a planeswalker. Hellrider's ability won't trigger.
b. Sorin's controller is the defending player. Hellrider's ability will trigger. You can redirect the damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability to Sorin. If this damage causes Sorin to be put into his owner's graveyard, Hellrider will deal combat damage to Sorin's controller.
c. Sorin's controller is the defending player. Hellrider's ability will trigger. You can redirect the damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability to Sorin. If this damage causes Sorin to be put into his owner's graveyard, Hellrider won't deal combat damage.
d. Sorin's controller is the defending player. Hellrider's ability will trigger. The damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability is combat damage and can't be redirected to Sorin.
e. Sorin is the defending player. Hellrider's ability will trigger. The damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability will be dealt to Sorin, removing that many loyalty counters.

The correct answer is...

c. Sorin's controller is the defending player. Hellrider's ability will trigger. You can redirect the damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability to Sorin. If this damage causes Sorin to be put into his owner's graveyard, Hellrider won't deal combat damage.

During the combat phase of a two-player game, the active player is the attacking player and the opponent is the defending player. If a creature is attacking a planeswalker and that planeswalker leaves the battlefield (or stops being a planeswalker) before the combat damage step, that creature won't deal combat damage. The damage dealt as a result of the triggered ability isn't combat damage. Combat damage is dealt by attacking and blocking creatures during the combat damage step. And even though they can be attacked, planeswalkers are never considered players.


Whew! How'd you do? This is just a taste of the near-infinite cool interactions that can come up during a game of Magic. If you want to put your expertise to the test, check out the Judge Center and create your own practice rules tests (DCI number login required).

And if you're interested in more information about joining the worldwide community of judges, perhaps you'll enjoy this wiki page (no login required).

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