JUDGE POINTS: Extended '03 Part 1

Posted in NEWS on December 7, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

Sheldon Menery

The Extended season is in full swing, and the deck archetypes have begun to lay themselves out. While it's impossible to create an exhaustive list of card and rule interactions, here's a refresher of what you're likely to see.

Oath of Druids: Oath triggers at beginning of upkeep only if the condition (the active player having fewer creatures than the opponent) is met.

Example: David has a Bottle Gnomes in play. Ariel has a Silvos. At the beginning of David's upkeep, the Oath does not trigger. David must sacrifice his Bottle Gnomes at the end of Ariel's turn if he wants Oath to trigger.

It also checks on resolution. If the condition isn't still true, the ability does nothing.

Example: David has 2 Bottle Gnomes in play; Ariel has a Silvos. On Ariel's Upkeep, the Oath triggers and goes on the stack. In response, David sacrifices one of the Bottle Gnomes. When the triggered ability resolves, Oath sees an equal number of creatures, and nothing happens.

Astral Slide: Activation of the Astral Slide sets up a delayed triggered ability, which will put the targeted creature back into play at End of Turn (EoT). If the Astral Slide is activated during the End of Turn Step, the creature won't return until the next End of Turn because the time for EoT triggers has passed. If the creature returned has EoT triggers, they won't trigger until the next EoT. If a face-down creature is removed from the game, it will return face up.

Example: Gini controls Astral Slide. Jeff attacks her with a face-down Blistering Firecat. Gini activates the Astral Slide, removing the Firecat. At end of turn, the Firecat comes back into play face-up. It won't be sacrificed until Gini's EoT.

For the duration of the effect, the creature is removed from the game. That means it can be fetched with a Living Wish. If it is, however, it won't return to play at EoT, even if it somehow gets back to the RFG Zone.

Note that Astral Slide and Lightning Rift both trigger whenever a player Cycles a card, not just their controller.

Goblin Cadets: Whenever Goblin Cadets blocks or is blocked, the opponent gains control of it. That means it's removed from combat before the Combat Damage Step. This ability is targeted, so if the opponent has Ivory Maskor True Believerin play, the ability won't do anything.

Gilded Drake: The Drake's coming-into-play ability is modal. The controller chooses one: sacrifice it or exchange control of it and a target creature an opponent controls. The mode choice and targeted creature choice are made during announcement of the triggered ability (rule 409.1b and 409.1c, respectively). If the exchange isn't made for any reason, such as the targeted creature leaving play or gaining Protection from Blue, then the Drake is sacrificed.

Grim Lavamancer: Removing the two cards in the graveyard from the game is part of the activation cost of the Lavamancer. If the player doesn't have 2 cards, then they can't activate the ability.

Powder Keg: There are two differences between Powder Keg and Pernicious Deed. First, the Keg only destroys artifact and creatures; the Deed destroys enchantments as well. Second, the Keg destroys permanents with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters, while the Deed destroys permanents with converted mana cost equal to or less than the X in its activation cost. The Deed is likely to destroy far more.

Animated lands, such as Treetop Village, and tokens have a converted mana cost of 0 (rule 203.1).

Cursed Scroll: The card isn't named until resolution of the Scroll's ability. The target, whether it's a creature or a player, is named on announcement of the ability.

Fact or Fiction: The cards are revealed and then some are put into your hand. They're not drawn, so they won't trigger any abilities and they can't be replaced with Words.

Aluren: Aluren doesn't change the mana cost of a creature, it just pays it. Creature spells are still being played (as opposed to Elvish Piper, which puts creatures into play), so they may be countered. If there are additional costs required to play spells, then they must still be paid.

Example: William has Aluren in play, and Kelly has played Chill. If William wants to play Horned Kavu via the Aluren (RG), he'll have to pay 2. The Aluren pays the RG, but he's still responsible for Chill's extra cost.

Krosan Tusker (and other Cycle triggers): The card is drawn last. The first thing that happens is the announcement of the Tusker's Cycling ability, and putting it on the stack (rule 409.1a). When announcement of that is finished, its Cycle-triggered ability goes on the stack. The trigger will resolve first, and then the draw of the card.

Yavimaya Elder: Similar to the Krosan Tusker's ability, the Elder's triggered ability goes on the stack after the card draw. The land search happens first, and then the draw.

Cabal Therapy: The card is named on resolution of the Therapy spell. A player can't wait to see what is named and then decide whether or not to counter the Therapy. The color named for Persecute works identically.

This is just a sampling of what you might see during the season. Keep current with what decks are being played, and head off any rules problems by looking them up beforehand. Next week, we'll discuss Floor Rules/Penalty Guidelines issues that you're likely to come across in Extended '03, Part 2.