Extended Refresher

Posted in NEWS on December 8, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

John Carter

The winter months this year bring with them the Pro Tour Qualifier season enjoyed by both new and old players-- Extended. With the changing of the season, tournament players and staff must adjust and update their thinking to adapt to the new environment. The rules are all the same though some rules may apply that could previously be ignored (Enchant Worlds and Poison effects are still in Extended though it is unlikely there will be any real need for rulings in this realm). The core coverage here is likely card interactions for popular Extended cards at the PTQ level. Complete card texts for cards referenced in this article can be found at the end.

Graveyard Order Matters:

The Horror must be in the graveyard before the final
main phase ends for its ability to trigger that turn

In the Standard (T2) environment of late, graveyard order was a moot point. Current Standard graveyard manipulation is targeted or merely disregards card order. This is not true with several Extended cards. Death Spark (AL), Krovikan Horror (AL), and Phyrexian Furnace (WL) depend on graveyard order in one way or another. Death Spark is an unlikely card at best, and Krovikan Horror is not expected given that its best friend Survival of the Fittest is banned. The only tricky point to recall is that Krovikan Horror's trigger is "at end of turn" which means the creature must be in the graveyard before the final main phase ends, or the ability won't trigger that turn. If a player says, "before the end of your turn" and dumps the Horror, it's stuck. They should specify, "before the end of your main phase" or the less revealing "before the end of turn step."

Phyrexian Furnace is an entirely different situation. Two major deck designs, Oath-based decks and Reanimator use the graveyard extensively in one way or another, and part of the popular mono-blue Trix card drawing engine runs on graveyard contents. The three key points to remember are:

  1. All triggered abilities use the stack.
  2. The last part of resolving a spell is putting the card into play or into the graveyard.
  3. Indeterminate values are calculated on resolution.

Example #1

Bob activates his Oath of Druids and reveals cards, including a Gaea's Blessing, until he reveals a creature or empties his library. The creature is put into play if applicable, and then the other revealed cards are put into the graveyard, triggering Gaea's Blessing. Bob then puts the trigger on the stack and passes priority. At this time a player may respond to the trigger by removing the bottom and / or target card (such as the offending Gaea's Blessing) from the game.

Monty: would you put here, side by side Oath of Druids and Gaea's Blessing
caption: All triggered abilities use the stack>

The last part of resolving a spell is putting
the card into play or into the graveyard.

Example #2

Darwin plays an Entomb and searches his library for Crosis, the Purger. The dragon is put into the graveyard, and the Entomb goes on top of it. Thus, if a Phyrexian Furnace's remove-the-bottom-card ability is used, it will actually be removing the creature card, not the Entomb. This is often misrepresented by putting the Entomb in the graveyard and then putting the searched card on top.

How many cards are drawn is determined
when Accumulated Knowledge resolves

Example #3

Kai plays an Intuition, reveals three Accumulated Knowledges, and puts one of them into his hand and the others into his graveyard. When he plays the third Knowledge, there are two in the graveyard. His opponent responds but tapping a Phyrexian Furnace to remove the bottom Accumulated Knowledge (see Ex. #2) and then spends 1 and sacrifices the Furnace targeting the second Knowledge. When the Knowledge on the stack resolves, it counts Knowledges in the graveyard and finds none. Kai draws 1 + 0 cards, not 3.

Other Cards to Remember:

Impulse has had errata for a long time. Players do not shuffle from Impulse.

Academy Rector's triggered ability removes the Rector when the ability resolves-- if the Rector is not there when the trigger resolves (Phyrexian Furnace strikes again), the ability does nothing.

Tithe and Land Grant allow a player to search for Plains or Forests respectively as well as the dual lands that count as either of those land types respectively. For example, they could each search for a Savannah.

If a Phyrexian Negator takes lethal damage, it will be destroyed as a state-based effect just before its triggered ability goes on the stack- it cannot be sacrificed to itself in this case.

If a player activates a Yavimaya Elder, the lands are searched for before the draw effect resolves. Other spells or abilities may be added to the stack after the search resolves but before the draw (such as Enlightened Tutor).

The life for Hatred and discards for Firestorm are costs on announcement.
(these two are reminders)

The discards for Recall and life loss for Vampiric Tutor is done on resolution. (these two are functional changes from the original versions though the changes are not particularly new.)

It is hoped that this refresher course helps everyone in the current season. Best of luck to everyone in all of his or her events.