Rules Q&A - The Specific Cards and Combos FAQ

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Rules Q&A

Specific Cards & Combos FAQ


Introduction


The purpose of this thread is to compile a list of frequently asked questions about specific cards that seem to cause a lot of confusion, and the answers to those questions. If you think you have a common question about how a specific card or combo works, please check here to see if you can find the answer before asking about it in a new thread in RQ&A.

If you find a rules error or a broken link in this FAQ, please PM me so that I can fix it. Be aware that I may not respond; if it's nitpicky, I might decide to leave it out in the interests of clarity.

There are always many cards that this FAQ doesn't cover, so if you think there is something that needs to be covered or answered, please make a post in this thread.

If you have some other comment, PM me.



Table of Contents


Resources
  • Gatherer (Oracle Card Reference)
    Gatherer contains the official text for every card in existence. Note that this takes precedence over what is actually printed on the card. If a card confuses you, read the Oracle text before asking about it--it may clear things up.

    In addition, you can look up the card you want to find out about and check for relevant rulings. They'll be listed down at the bottom of the page for that card; you may have to scroll down to see them.


  • Set FAQs
    The official FAQs for each released set. Look here if you have a question about a specific card that isn't included in this FAQ. Note, however, that these FAQs are released when the set is released and never updated. As such, they may contain information or rulings that are outdated or inaccurate.

  • Yawgatog's Magic Resource Page
    Yawgatog has been kind enough to provide a number of excellent resources for the average player on his website, including an indexed and hyperlinked version of the CompRules, downloadable Oracle text files, lists of the changes made with each new version of the CompRules and Oracle since Ninth Edition, and a full list of creatures whose creature types have been retroactively altered.


Contributors:


Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this FAQ in any way.

Special thanks to VinnyB for writing out everything anyone could possibly want to know about Eye of the Storm so I didn't have to.


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This question has been rendered outdated by errata to the cards in question.
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Bond of Agony
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Q: So as soon as my opponent has less life than me, I can cast this and they lose? I mean, it only costs and X life, right?
A: Wrong. Bond of Agony does not cost just and X life. It actually costs and X life. You have to pay both X mana and X life in order to cast it.

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The Punisher Cards
(Blazing Salvo, Breaking Point, Book Burning, Browbeat, Skullscorch, etc.)
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Q: So if my opponent doesn't have a copy of that card, I both [Do X] and damage him?
A: No; you're misreading the card. Click those card links and read the Oracle text to the right of the actual card image. That's how they work (and have always worked). When the spell (or ability) resolves, any player can choose to have that spell/ability deal some amount of damage to him or her. If no player chooses to take damage (and only if no player takes the damage), the spell has some other effect. None of these cards care whether or not your opponent possesses a copy of the card or not.

If you're still confused, read the card again, carefully this time, noting the position of the commas. Book Burning, for example, reads:

[Unless a player has Book Burning deal 6 damage to him or her], [put the top six cards of target player's library into his or her graveyard.]

It does not read:

[Unless a player has Book Burning], [deal 6 damage to him or her, put the top six cards of target player's library into his or her graveyard.]


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Chains of Mephistopheles
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Q: Okay, so what does this card do?
A: If a player would draw a card (other than the first one in a draw step), if that player has no cards in hand, he or she mills a card. If he or she does have a card, he or she discards a card, then draws a card.

If a player would draw multiple cards (such as through Divination), each draw is handled consecutively--in this case, the person discards, then draws, then discards and draws again. If the person has no cards in hand to discard, he or she mills two cards instead.

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Q: And if there are multiple Chains on the battlefield?
A: That's when it gets a bit complicated. Each Chains will apply in turn. Essentially, for each one card the person tries to draw, (other than, of course, the first one in a draw step) that person first discards cards equal to the number of Chains on the battlefield, then draws that card. If the person has less cards in hand than the number of Chains on the battlefield, he or she discards however many he or she has and mills a single card.

Again, drawing multiple cards handles each individual draw in turn. Assuming two Chains are on the battlefield and a person casts Counsel of the Soratami, the person who played the Counsel will discard two cards, then draw one, then discard two, then draw one.

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Q: So why don't they just keep triggering off of each other?
A: The Chains' ability is not triggered--it's a static ability that generates a replacement effect. (You can tell because it tells you to do something instead of doing something else.)

A replacement effect can only apply once to any particular event; after that, it looks at the event, says, "Oh, wait, I've already applied to that," and ignores it, even if something else has modified the event since then. (If it didn't work this way, you'd have a heck of a time drawing a card with a Zur's Weirding on the battlefield.)


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Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
(See also [post=12009858]Cards that Stop Specific Cards from being Played or Used[/post])
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Q: I control a Circu, and have exiled a few cards with it. My opponent kills it somehow--can he then cast spells with the same name as the exiled cards again?
A: Yes. Circu's last ability is a static ability, and static abilities only function when the card they're on is on the battlefield (unless the card specifically says otherwise or only makes sense when it isn't on the battlefield). When Circu leaves the battlefield, his ability stops applying, and your opponent can start casting cards with the same name as the exiled cards again.

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Q: What if Circu later returns to the battlefield? Does he automatically stop all the cards it exiled before, or does he have to start all over?
A: He has to start all over. When a permanent leaves the battlefield, it "forgets" everything about its former existence...including, in Circu's case, what cards it exiled.

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Q: I have a Circu on the battlefield and I cast a blue/black multicolored spell--how many cards do I remove?
A: Two. Circu has two triggered abilities--one triggers when you cast a blue spell, and one triggers when you cast a black spell. If you cast a spell that is both black and blue, both will trigger, and each will remove a card.


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Doubling Season
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Q: If I have two or more Doubling Seasons on the battlefield, how many counters/tokens will I get?
A: Each Season will double the number of counters once. Thus, one Season will give you twice as many as normal, two Seasons will give you four times as many, three will give you eight times as many, and four will give you sixteen times as many. (And five will give you thirty-two times as many as normal, and so on and so forth.)

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Q: So why don't the Seasons just keep endlessly triggering off of each other?
A: Because the Season's ability isn't a triggered ability-it's a static ability that generates a replacement effect. (You can tell because it tells you to do something instead of doing something else.)

A replacement effect can only apply once to any particular event; after that, it looks at the event, says, "Oh, wait, I've already applied to that," and ignores it, even if something else has modified the event since then. (If it didn't work this way, you'd have a heck of a time drawing a card with Zur's Weirding on the battlefield.)

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Q: How does Doubling Season interact with Graft creatures and Simic Guildmage?
A: Very well. The Season will double the number of counters a Graft creature enters the battlefield with, and doubles any counters that move onto other creatures. ("Moving" a counter has been ruled to essentially be the same as "remove it from this, put it on that".) See also the FAQ entry for [post=9972078]Graft[/post].

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Q: How does Doubling Season interact with Planeswalkers?
A: Well, but not quite as well as with Graft. The Season will double the number of loyalty counters the planeswalker enters the battlefield with; however, it will not double the counters added to the planeswalker as a cost to activate one of its "plus" abilities.

Doubling Season only doubles counters placed due to effects; activating a planeswalker's abilities adds or removes counters as a cost, not an effect. (Though note that if the ability happens to create counters or tokens as part of its effect, such as with Garruk Wildspeaker's Beast-making ability, then Doubling Season will affect that.)


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Eye of the Storm
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Q: What the hell does Eye of the Storm do?
A: In short, when anyone casts a sorcery or instant, it stores it. Then, it copies all the stored cards, and lets that player cast them.
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Q: Buh?
A: Okay, a (simplified) example:

Eye of the Storm is on the battlefield (it should rarely matter who controls it), and it's "empty."

I cast Concentrate. The Eye exiles it, then makes a copy, which I cast. I draw three cards.

Later, my opponent casts Stone Rain on one of my lands. The Eye exiles it, then makes copies of both the Concentrate and the Stone Rain. My opponent draws three cards and destroys one of my lands.

Later, I cast Sacred Nectar. The Eye exiles it, then makes copies of the Concentrate, Rain, and Nectar, all of which I cast. I draw three cards, destroy one of my opponent's lands, and gain 4 life.

[Etc.]

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Q: Can I cast the sorcery copies even if it's not my turn?
A: Of course. You're casting them all while an ability is resolving. If "timing" mattered, you couldn't even cast the instants.

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Q: So it works for both players?
A: Yes. It doesn't matter who owns the exiled cards. Whoever played the spell gets a copy of all the exiled cards.

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Q: Can I cast the copies in any order I want?
A: Yes.

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Q: Do I have to cast all the copies, or can I just cast the ones I want?
A: You don't have to cast all (or even any) of the copies if you don't want to--you can pick and choose only the ones you want to cast.

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Q: How does the Eye interact with Isochron Scepter and Panoptic Mirror?
A: It doesn't. Eye of the Storm's ability triggers when an instant or sorcery card is cast. Copies aren't cards, and cards aren't copies. Cards are made of paper.

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Q: What happens someone 'responds' to one of the spells?
A: Then it gets more complicated. Let's say I cast a Stone Rain. The triggered ability of the Eye (which let's say is empty) triggers, and is placed on the stack, so the stack looks as follows:
The Stack
(Bottom)
Stone Rain card
Eye of the Storm's ability (Stone Rain)
(Top)

You're holding a Skyshroud Blessing, and clearly would like to respond. You have two choices:
  • 'Respond' right now, to the card itself.

    You cast the Blessing; The Eye's ability triggers, and is placed on the stack above it.
    The Stack
    Stone Rain card
    Eye of the Storm's ability (Stone Rain)
    Skyshroud Blessing card
    Eye of the Storm's ability (Skyshroud Blessing)

    You and I both pass, so the Eye's ability (on top of the stack) resolves. It exiles the Skyshroud Blessing. Then, it makes a copy of the Blessing, and lets you cast it, which you do.
    The Stack
    Stone Rain card
    Eye of the Storm's ability (Stone Rain)
    Copy of Skyshroud Blessing

    We both pass again, so your copy of Skyshroud Blessing resolves. Lands are untargetable this turn, and you draw a card. We both pass again, so the Eye's ability (the other one) resolves. It exiles the Stone Rain. Then, it makes a copy of the Blessing and of the Rain, and lets me cast both. I can't cast the Rain copy (since it doesn't have any legal targets), but I can cast the copy of the Blessing. I do.
    The Stack
    Copy of Skyshroud Blessing

    We both pass again, so my copy of Skyshroud Blessing resolves. I draw a card.

    Summary: I get a copy of the spell with which you're responding. You don't get a copy of the spell to which you're responding.

    OR


  • Wait for the Eye's ability to resolve, then 'respond' to the copy.

    You let the Eye's ability resolve. It exiles the Stone Rain. Then, it makes a copy of the Rain, and lets me cast it, which I do. (Then I pass.)
    The Stack
    Copy of Stone Rain

    You cast the Blessing (i.e., you 'respond'); The Eye's ability triggers, and is placed on the stack above it.
    The Stack
    Copy of Stone Rain
    Skyshroud Blessing card
    Eye of the Storm's ability (Skyshroud Blessing)

    You and I both pass, so the Eye's ability resolves. It exiles the Blessing. Then, it makes a copy of the Blessing and of the Rain, and lets you cast both. You cast the copy of the Blessing, then the copy of the Rain (targeting one of my lands).
    The Stack
    Copy of Stone Rain (mine)
    Copy of Skyshroud Blessing (yours)
    Copy of Stone Rain (yours)

    We both pass again, so your copy of Stone Rain resolves. It destroys one of my lands. We both pass again, so your copy of Skyshroud Blessing resolves. We both pass again, so my copy of Stone Rain would resolve, but is countered on resolution due to its lack of legal targets (it "fizzles").

    Summary: You get a copy of the spell to which you're responding. I don't get a copy of the spell with which you're responding.
It's pretty obvious that scenario #2 is what you usually want - It provides you an extra copy, and deprives me (your opponent) of one.

Scenario #1 may be preferable if the card with which you're responding is a counterspell, though. For example, say I played something like Boil, which, with your Counterspell, you wanted to ensure never resolved. By 'responding' immediately, you could counter the Boil card, and thus prevent it from ever being "saved" in the Eye. (When the Eye's ability resolved, it wouldn't be able to find the Boil if it had left the stack.)

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Q: Speaking of spells you never want to resolve, how does [post=9971963]Storm[/post] interact with the Eye?
A: Very well. A spell's storm ability triggers when that spell is cast, and the Eye effectively makes you cast the cards from your hand twice, as well as allowing you to cast a bunch of other spells. This essentially means that when you first cast it, your card's Storm will trigger twice, and assuming there's stuff on the Eye that you cast and you do it right, the second time will be for more. It also means that the "storm count" will escalate very quickly.

For example, say I simply cast Duress, then Brainstorm, then Tendrils of Agony (without an Eye on the battlefield). The Storm ability will create two copies of the Tendrils. The net effect will be "draining" my opponent for 6.

Now, say I do the same, but while an Eye of the Storm is on the battlefield. (We'll assume it's "empty", just to make things simpler.) I cast Duress--the Eye exiles it and allows me to cast a copy, which I do. I then cast Brainstorm--the Eye exiles it and I cast copies of both Brainstorm and Duress. Then I cast Tendrils of Agony. Its storm ability triggers and creates five copies, and the Eye exiles the original and creates copies of all three. Since I can cast them in any order I like, I'll cast the copies of Brainstorm and of the Duress, then the Tendrils. The Tendrils' storm ability triggers again and will create eight more copies. The net effect will be "draining" my opponent for 28.

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Q: What about "X spells"?
A: Very poorly, if you're talking about spells with in their mana cost, like Fireball. Since you're not paying the mana cost, X will have to be 0. (Of course, if the X isn't a part of the mana cost, it'll work just fine.)

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Q: Can I pay additional costs for those copies, like Kicker?
A: You're casting them, so yes. And if the costs are mandatory, like Fling's, you'll have to pay them to cast the copy.

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Q: What about [post=9972064]Replicate[/post]?
A: That works as normal, essentially. For example, with the Eye out, you could cast Train of Thought ( ) "replicated" twice ( ), then cast the copy ( :0mana: ) replicated once ( ). Of course, that's a total of to draw four cards, which you could have done anyway (by just "replicating" it thrice in the first place). There's really only a difference when effects like Stifle's and Helm of Awakening's are involved.

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Q: What about [post=9972015]Splicing[/post]?
A: You can splice cards from your hand onto the copies (assuming the copies are Arcane), since you're casting them. (Of course, you can't splice the copies onto other spells.)

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Q: Can I activate abilities of the copies, like [post=9972043]Transmute[/post] or [post=9971893]Cycle[/post] them?
A: No. You can only cast them. Just like the Eye says.

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Q: Does putting another Eye onto the battlefield have any additional effect?
A: Not really. Playing a sorcery or instant card will still result in getting a copy of each exiled card. There'll just be less control over the order in which you're allowed to cast the copies, depending on which cards are "saved" on which Eye. And of course if one Eye disappears, the other will still be hanging around.

For example, say I control an Eye with a Brainstorm, and you control an Eye with a Shahrazad. If I cast a Mulch (it's my turn), then my Eye's ability will be put on the stack first (since I'm the active player), followed by your Eye's ability. Thus, the Mulch will be exiled by your Eye, so I can cast copies of the Shahrazad and of the Mulch (in that order, or vice versa). Then, once those copies and my Eye's ability have all resolved, I'll be allowed to cast a copy of Brainstorm.

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Q: Does casting the copies trigger [random card]'s ability?
A: Does the ability trigger when you cast a spell? You certainly are, so yes, abilities like Wee Dragonaut's and Circu's will trigger - both when you originally cast the spell, and when you cast each of the copies.

For example, say you control a Cloudhoof Kirin and an Eye with a Blessed Breath "in" it, and you cast a Candles' Glow. Both the Kirin's ability and the Eye's ability will trigger. When the Eye's ability resolves, it'll exile the Glow, then makes copies of the Glow and the Breath for you. If you cast both, the Kirin's ability will trigger twice more, and you'll end up "milling" five cards (2, 2, and 1).

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Q: What happens to the copies I don't cast? Can I cast them next time?
A: No, they cease to exist, as soon as state-based effects are checked.

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Q: If I've resolved a spell with [post=9972032]Epic[/post] spell, can I still cast the Eye's copies?
A: Of course not. You can't cast any spells at all.

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Q: Does the Eye copy the last-known information from the stack, or the current information from the exile zone?
A: The latter; if you Wish for a card, then it's not "in" the Eye any more.

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Q: What happens when I have an Eye of the Storm and a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir on the battlefield? I heard something about this stopping my opponent from casting spells...how does that work?
A: Whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery spell, Eye of the Storm's ability does its normal thing and lets players cast copies of a whole bunch of cards, as described above. However, the important part of this is that all of those copies are played while the Eye's ability is still resolving. Since the ability is still resolving, it is still on top of the stack. (Spells and abilities are removed from the stack as the very last part of their resolution; up until then, they're still sitting on the stack.)

Now, pretend that your opponent casts an instant or sorcery spell (they have to do it during their main phase when the stack is empty, because Teferi won't let them do it otherwise). The Eye triggers, exiles the spell, creates a lot of copies, and then tries to let your opponent cast them. But the Eye's ability is still on the stack. This means that the stack is not empty, and therefore Teferi won't let them cast any of the copies.

Basically, if you have both Teferi and the Eye on the battlefield, any instant or sorcery your opponent casts is exiled permanently, and they don't get anything in return. (But since it's on the Eye, you'll be able to use it if you like.)

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Humility
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Q: I have a Humility on the battlefield...?
A: Our sympathies.

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Q: No, I mean how does it work with...
A: Before we get into specifics, it's important to know three things. The first is that continuous effects that modify permanents on the battlefield work in a series of layers, like an onion--each type of modifying effect is applied in a specific layer. The second is that within each layer, effects are usually applied in "timestamp order", which basically means the order they were created, entered the battlefield, or were attached to the permanent(s) they're attached to. The last thing you need to know is that if an ability has multiple different types of modifying effects, each effect is applied in the proper layer, but once an ability starts to apply, the rest is applied as normal even if the ability that generates it disappears in the meantime.

The layers are as follows:

See also the Layer System FAQ Entry for an in-depth explanation of this process.

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Q: ...Opalescence? (And other animation effects?)
A: What exactly happens depends on when they entered the battlefield.

Regardless of the order they entered the battlefield, in layer 4, Opalescence turns all non-Aura enchantments (including Humility) into creatures. Then, in layer 6, Humility removes all abilities from all creatures (which now includes itself). At that point, however, both abilities have started to apply, and will continue to apply. Now, both Humility and Opalescence's abilities want to set the power and toughness of creatures to a specific value, so they both want to apply in layer 6b. Since they want to apply in the same layer, you apply them in timestamp order.

If Humility entered the battlefield first, it sets everything to 1/1, and then Opalescence sets the Power and Toughness of all the enchantments it turned into enchantment creatures to their converted mana cost. Humility ends up as a 4/4 enchantment creature with no abilities.

If Opalescence entered the battlefield first, first it sets the P/T of all those enchantment creatures to their CMC, and then Humility comes around and turns everything into a 1/1. Humility ends up as a 1/1.

With multiple Opalescences, the timestamp order again applies. If Humility entered the battlefield first, all of them are 4/4s. If it entered the battlefield last, they're all 1/1s. If it entered the battlefield somewhere in the middle, all the ones that would be affected by the later Opalescence(s) are 4/4s, and the rest are 1/1s.

This same principles hold true for other animation effects as well.

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Q: ...P/T-modifying counters?
A: Counters are always applied in 6d, after Humility does its thing in 6b. Thus, creatures with counters on them will always be boosted by their counters, even if a Humility's on the battlefield.

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Q: ...Giant Growth? (And other spells and abilities that modify P/T?)
A: As with counters, the effect applies over top of Humility. In the case of Giant Growth, the creature will be 4/4.

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Q: ...Jump? (And other spells and abilities that grant abilities?)
A: If the effect was created before Humility entered the battlefield, then Humility overwrites it, as if it never happened. If the effect was created after, then it applies over top of Humility.

If you Jump your creature, then cast Humility, it will not have flying.
If you cast Humility, then Jump your creature, it will have flying.

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Q: ...Glorious Anthem? (And other continuous effects that modify P/T?)
A: Abilities that modify power and toughness (but don't set it) will always apply after Humility. If you have both Humility and Glorious Anthem on the battlefield, your creatures will be 2/2.

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Q: ...Knighthood? (And other continuous effects that grant abilities?)
A: Apply them in timestamp order. All the abilities that were granted before Humility entered the battlefield will be erased, but all the ones that were granted after will stay.

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Q: ...Some strange combination of the above?
A: Okay, so we can't answer all of the possible questions this card can raise, but just remember that layering system laid out above and remember about timestamps. Also, remember these tips:

  • If multiple things are entering the battlefield at the same time (like with Replenish), the person whose turn it is decides their timestamp order relative to each other as they entered the battlefield.

  • If an effect in a particular layer would affect the existence or applicability of something else in the same layer, that something else is said to be "dependent" on the first; things that are dependent on something else are always applied after that something else. (Thus, an animated Knighthood will never give creatures first strike if a Humility is on the battlefield.)

If that fails, feel free to ask.

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Izzet Guildmage / Lava Spike / Desperate Ritual
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Q: I've heard there was a combo involving Izzet Guildmage, Desperate Ritual, and Lava Spike to deal an arbitrarily large amount of damage to my opponent(s), but I can't figure it out--how does it work?
A: Okay, here's how it works:

First, have Izzet Guildmage on the battlefield.
Then, cast Lava Spike, targeting your opponent, with Desperate Ritual spliced to it.
In response to that, activate the Guildmage's second ability, targeting the Spike/Ritual. (You can do that because its converted mana cost is still 1, no matter what it has spliced onto it.)
Let the Guildmage's ability resolve. It puts a copy of the Spike/Ritual on the stack.
Let the copy resolve. The copy deals 3 damage to your opponent, and you get .
Use that to activate the Guildmage's ability again, targeting the original Spike/Ritual (it hasn't gotten a chance to resolve yet). Lather, Rinse, Repeat--each copy deals damage to the opponent and gives you just enough mana to make another copy.

Note that this combo requires that you have at least six mana available to start with, three of it red: to cast the Spike/Ritual, and to copy it the first time. You can reduce the amount required to five (three of it still red) by casting the Ritual itself in response to the Spike/Ritual in order to get the mana to activate the Guildmage's ability the first time. (And you can reduce the amount required to three, only one of it red, if you have a Seething Song kicking about, and while we're at it, if you have a second Ritual in your hand as well as that Song, you can do it with just two mana. The Guildmage still has to be on the battlefield first, though.)


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Kaho, Minamo Historian
(Also Spelljack, Ornate Kanzashi, Muse Vessel, and similar.)
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Q: Can I cast cards exiled with Kaho more than once?
A: No, for the same reason you can't cast cards in your hand more than once. When you cast the spell, it moves to the stack, resolves, and is then put into your graveyard. It's no longer exiled (much less by Kaho), so Kaho won't let you cast it any more.

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Odds // Ends
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Q: What happens when I copy a creature/enchantment/artifact spell with Odds?
A: Nothing, because you can't. Odds is limited to targeting instant and sorcery spells-it can't target anything else. (Read it again-its target is "target instant or sorcery spell".)

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Omnibian
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Q: Does Omnibian remove abilities from the creatures it changes?
A: No. Omnibian doesn't say it removes abilities, so it doesn't. All it does is change the creature's creature type to Frog and change its P/T to 3/3. That's it, no ability-removal involved.

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Panglacial Wurm
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Q: Do I have to pay the Wurm's cost if I'm casting it from my library?
A: Yes, you do, for the same reason you would have to pay the cost if you were casting it from your hand. You are casting it as a spell (and it doesn't say you don't pay the cost), so all the normal rules for doing so apply, including having to pay its cost.

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Q: I am searching my Library and want to cast Panglacial Wurm. What happens when I use a Chromatic Sphere to do so?
A: Okay, here's what happens.

First, you start searching your library and decide you want to cast the Wurm. You then put the Wurm on the stack (putting a card on the stack is the first step in casting it). The whole time you're searching, you must be very careful to not change the order of any of the cards in your library (save removing the Panglacial Wurm you're casting), or else you will be accused of cheating (because you are).

Then, you have the chance to activate mana abilities, like the one on Chromatic Sphere. If you use the Sphere, you will add one mana of any color to your mana pool, and then draw the top card of your library, keeping it face-down in your hand (even though you already know what it is because you were searching your library at the time). If you use multiple Spheres, you will draw the top several cards. Remember, you must not change the order of the cards in your library during this process. If you change the order of the cards in your library, you change what you're going to draw, and that's cheating.

After that, you finish up casting the Wurm, the card(s) you drew with the Sphere(s) starts being face-up again, and finish searching your library for whatever it was you were searching for. Then, you'll probably have to shuffle your library.

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Ravnica Bouncelands
(Azorius Chancery, Boros Garrison, Dimir Aqueduct, Golgari Rot-Farm, Gruul Turf, Izzet Boilerworks, Orzhov Basilica, Rakdos Carnarium, Selesnya Sanctuary, Simic Growth Chamber)
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Q: Can I play this land on the first turn so I don't have to bounce a land?
A: Well, you can technically play a bounceland on the first turn. However, doing so won't do you any good, because it'll immediately bounce itself and you'll have wasted your land drop.

The bounceland's return-ability ("When ~ enters the battlefield, return a land you control to its owner's hand") triggers when it enters the battlefield. That is, the land enters the battlefield, then the ability "goes off". Since the land is on the battlefield when the ability resolves, and the ability does not specify that you return a land other than that one to your hand, it sees that you do indeed have a land to return and forces you to do so. You're forced to return it, and you get nothing for your troubles.

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Adarkar Valkyrie
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Q: Can I use the Valkyrie to return dead creatures to the battlefield?
A: No, you cannot. The Valkyrie's ability can only be played on a still-living creature, for the same reason you can't Shock a dead creature. (Only permanents are legal targets unless the spell or ability specifically says it targets something else.)

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Q: I control two untapped, non-summoning-sick Valkyries, and my opponent casts Wrath of God or an equivalent. Can I use my Valkyries to save each other?
A: Yes, you can; both Valkyries will die, and then the delayed triggers will return them to the battlefield. When a card calls itself by name, it simply means "this card", not "any card with this name". If it meant any card with that name, that's what it would have said.

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Mana-cost-less spells
(Restore Balance, Ancestral Vision, Living End, Wheel of Fate, Hypergenesis, Lotus Bloom. Also Evermind)
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Q: Can I use Djinn Illuminatus to replicate these spells infinitely?
A: No. The Djinn makes the replicate cost of the card equal to the mana cost of the card. Since the mana cost of these cards is nonexistent, the replicate cost will be nonexistent, and a nonexistent cost cannot be paid.

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Q: Can I use and similar to cast these spells?
A: Depends. Does the card say you cast it "without paying its mana cost" or "pay {some other cost} rather than [its] mana cost"? If so, yes. If not, no.

Since these cards don't have a mana cost, and a nonexistent cost can't be paid, anything that tries to allow you to cast them but doesn't circumvent the nonexistent cost won't work.

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Q: Can I copy these spells, say with Twincast or Izzet Guildmage?
A: Yes. You may not be able to cast them, but you can copy them just fine, because that isn't the same as casting the spell.

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Final Judgment
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Q: Does this card exile creatures in graveyards, hands, and/or libraries?
A: No, just the ones on the battlefield. If a card uses the name of a type (supertype, card type, or subtype--"creature" is a card type) without specifying otherwise, it refers only to cards of that type that are on the battlefield. Nothing in any other zone will be affected unless the card specifically says so.

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Saffi Eriksdotter
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Q: Can I use Saffi's ability to endlessly return herself?
A: No, you cannot. While you can choose to target Saffi with her own ability (targets are chosen before costs are paid), you have to sacrifice her as a cost to activate the ability, and that happens long before the ability actually tries to resolve and set up the return-effect. When the ability tries to resolve, it will see that Saffi is no longer on the battlefield and be countered for having no legal targets.

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Jester's Scepter
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Q: What happens to the exiled cards when the Scepter is destroyed?
A: They remain exiled, and remain face-down. Your opponent still doesn't get to see what they are. (Nothing is telling you to do anything with them, so they stay where they are.)

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Momentary Blink
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Q: When I use Momentary Blink on a creature, do its enters the battlefield/leaves the battlefield abilities trigger?
A: Yes. It is leaving the battlefield, then returning to the battlefield. Thus, any abilities that trigger on such an event will trigger.

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Q: I Blink a face-down creature. Does it come back onto the battlefield face-up or face-down?
A: Face-up. Unless something specifically tells you otherwise, cards always enter the battlefield face-up. (And untapped.)

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Q: I Blink a face-down creature that has an ability that triggers "When [it] is turned face-up". Does the ability trigger?
A: No. The card is exiled face-down and is returned to the battlefield face-up; there is never a moment when you turn it face-up while it's still on the battlefield, which is what that ability is looking for.

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Q: Can Momentary Blink save a creature from Wrath of God, Pyroclasm, or other mass-removal spells?
A: No. Momentary Blink exiles the creature and then returns it right away, so it will still be around when the spell resolves, and will still be killed.

Note that there are creatures whose enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the-battlefield abilities may be able to save themselves, and you can use the Blink to trigger these abilities and cause the creature to save itself. (Whitemane Lion is an example.) But the Blink will not save the creature all by itself.

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Q: What happens if I Blink a token creature?
A: The token is exiled permanently. Once a token leaves the battlefield, it can't be returned to the battlefield by any means.

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Q: What happens if I Momentary Blink a creature that was [post=13941926]evoke[/post]d?
A: The creature will be exiled, then come back onto the battlefield. It will be considered a completely different permanent than the one that just left, and you didn't pay its evoke cost that time, so you won't have to sacrifice it.

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Hypergenesis
(Also Eureka. See also the entry on [post=10233856]mana-cost-less spells[/post].)
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Q: My opponent doesn't want to put any more permanents onto the battlefield--can I keep on putting more onto the battlefield, even if he doesn't?
A: Yes. Each player can put as many cards as they like onto the battlefield, no matter what their opponents do.

You only stop putting cards onto the battlefield when no-one wants to put more cards onto the battlefield, just like it says on the card.

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Q: Someone puts something onto the battlefield that has an ability that triggers when it enters the battlefield. Does that trigger do its thing while Hypergenesis is still going off?
A: No. Triggered abilities that trigger during the resolution of a spell or ability will always wait until that spell or ability is completely done resolving before they even get put on the stack, which is itself long before those abilities resolve and do their thing.

Hypergenesis/Eureka has to finish resolving before those abilities will even be put onto the stack, and long, long before they resolve.

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Null Profusion / Recycle
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Q: How does this work with Spellbook or other effects that alter your hand size?
A: For effects that set the hand size to a specific value (or eliminate it entirely), whichever effect is most recent will "overwrite" the others and predominate. If you cast a Spellbook, then a Profusion, your hand size will be 2. If you cast a Profusion, then a Spellbook, you will have no maximum hand size. Remember also that if the most recent one stops applying (your opponent Naturalizes your Spellbook), the remaining ones will again apply in the appropriate order.

For effects that alter your hand size without setting it to a specific value, determine where your hand size has been "set" by the game or the cards, then adjust accordingly.

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Q: What counts as "playing a card"?
A: "Playing a card" means casting any spell or playing any land that is represented by an actual card. See the Main FAQ entry on Casting Spells and Activating Abilities for a precise definition of what it means to "cast" something.

Note that activating an ability of a card (like [post=9971893]Cycling[/post], [post=9972027]Ninjutsu[/post], or [post=9972070]Forecast[/post]) is not the same thing as playing the actual card.

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Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
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Q: Can I tap Urborg for mana?
A: Yes. Urborg makes itself into a Swamp as long as it's on the battlefield, and all Swamps have the inherent ability, ": Add to your mana pool."

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Q: If Urborg is on the battlefield, what color and amount of mana do lands produce?
A: All lands will have the exact same abilities they had before, but will also have the ability to tap for . They will not produce "extra" mana with their normal abilities; the swamp-granted ability to tap for is separate.

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Q: Does Urborg affect land cards that are not on the battlefield?
(For instance, could I use Korlash's [post=10159806]grandeur[/post] ability to fetch any lands I wanted if I had an Urborg on the battlefield?)
A: No; Urborg's ability doesn't affect land cards that are not on the battlefield. Land cards anywhere other than the battlefield won't be Swamps due to Urborg.

Unless a card specifically says otherwise, such as by using the word "spell" or by telling you what it affects, it's only going to affect things that are on the battlefield.

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Q: I have an Urborg and some regular Swamps on the battlefield. What happens with cards that care about how many Swamps I control, like Nightmare or Tendrils of Corruption?
A: They will count each land you control as only a single Swamp.

There's no such thing as a "Swamp Swamp"; things can't have multiple instances of the same type. A card either has a certain type or it does not, with no other options. (Note that abilities are different; an object can have multiples of the same ability.) Even if that wasn't the case, cards that care about how many of something there are on the battlefield are looking for the number of distinct permanents that match their requirements.

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Q: How does Urborg interact with Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon?
A: Urborg will simply be a regular Mountain, and its ability will not do anything. This is true regardless of who controls them or what order they entered the battlefield. It will essentially look like this:
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Legendary Land - Mountain
(: Add to your mana pool.)
Yawgmoth's corpse is a wound in the universe. His foul blood seeps out, infecting the land with his final curse."
--Lord Windgrace

This is because giving a land a basic land type without saying it keeps its previous types will remove all of that land's abilities as well, and replace them with just the ability to tap for the appropriate color of mana.

Effects that remove abilities directly, however, such as Ovinize, will not work on Urborg, as such abilities are applied in a later layer, after Urborg's ability has already done its thing. (For an explanation of the layer system, see this FAQ entry.)

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Wild Pair
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Q: I use a spell or ability to put a creature onto the battlefield directly. Does the Pair trigger?
A: No. "Putting" something onto the battlefield is not the same thing as "casting" something, and the Pair only triggers if you "cast" the creature.

To put a card onto the battlefield, you simply take it from where it is and drop it onto the battlefield. To cast something, you announce it, put it on the stack, pay the costs of doing so (usually just the mana cost of the card), and wait for it to resolve and enter the battlefield. See the difference?

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Q: What counts as "same total power and toughness"?
A: Total power and toughness is the sum of the creature's power and its toughness.

For example, a Grizzly Bears has a total power and toughness of 4 (2 power + 2 toughness = 4), so you could find a 0/4, a 1/3, a 2/2, or a 3/1. (And if they existed, you could find a 4/0, a -1/5, a 6/-2, and so on, too.)

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Q: What kind of power- and toughness-altering effects count when deciding how big a creature I can find?
A: Pretty much all of them--counters, Glorious Anthem, Night of Souls' Betrayal, Giant Growth before the trigger resolves...whatever.

Wild Pair doesn't care anything about the creature's "base" power and toughness, or whether it's been boosted or reduced by some spell or ability. It simply searches for a creature with total P/T equal to the current power and toughness of the creature, whatever that may be.

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Q: What does a * count for when the card is in my library?
A: A * on a card that isn't on the battlefield is whatever the card's characteristic-defining ability says it is.

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Q: What happens if my creature dies before the Pair's ability resolves?
A: The Pair will search based on the power and toughness of your creature as it existed just before it left the battlefield.

If your creature died to a toughness-reducing effect like Sudden Death, this may mean you won't be able to find anything. See also the next answer.

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Q: Does Wild Pair trigger when a noncreature object enters the battlefield as a creature, thanks to March or the Machines, Opalescence, Nature's Revolt, or similar?
A: Yes, as long as you played the card from your hand. Wild Pair only cares that the card is a creature when it hits the battlefield. It doesn't care whether or not the card was a creature when you started to cast it.

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Q: What if my creature has a total power and toughness below 0 somehow?
A: Then you search for a creature card with total power and toughness 0. Remember, in Magic, any number that's less than 0 counts as 0 for all purposes except changing it.

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Life and Limb
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Q: If I have a Life and Limb on the battlefield, do my Forests have summoning sickness?
A: Yes. Anything that is a creature is affected by summoning sickness; you will be unable to tap your forests for mana (or attack with them) until they have been under your control continuously since the start of your most recent turn.

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Q: If I have Life and Limb and Muraganda Petroglyphs on the battlefield, do my Saprolings get +2/+2?
A: No. They have the ability ": Add to your mana pool", so they aren't "creatures with no abilities", and thus will not be boosted by the Petroglyphs. (For more information on Muraganda Petroglyphs, see [post=12500197]its FAQ entry[/post].)

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Q: I have a Life and Limb on the battlefield, along with something that changes creature or land types (such as Blood Moon or Conspiracy). What happens?
A: That depends on several things: which order the cards entered the battlefield, what exactly the cards do, and what else you have on the battlefield.

Now, a good explanation of how these kinds of cards work is going to require a bit of an explanation of exactly how the rules apply effects that modify permanents. The system the game uses is known by rules gurus as "the layer system", because (surprise) it works in a series of layers, like an onion--each type of modifying effect is applied in a specific layer. First all of the effects of one kind are applied, then all the effects of another kind, and so on until all effects have been applied. (See the Main FAQ entry on The Layer System for a complete rundown on this process.)

Within each layer, effects are usually applied in what is known as "timestamp order"--basically the order in which they were created, entered the battlefield, or were attached to the permanent(s) they're attached to. Older effects are applied first, then newer ones. This can be changed, though, if one effect "depends on" another.

An effect "depends on" another effect if applying the second would change the existence of the first, or changes what the first would apply to or how it would affect the things it applies to. If one effect depends on another, the effect that doesn't depend on anything is applied, then the one that depends on it. If multiple effects create a "loop" of effects that depend on each other, you ignore all the dependency issues and just use timestamp order.

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Q: Okay...so how does this help me?
A: All right, look at Life and Limb, the other card that changes creature/land types, and what you have on the battlefield.

Now, ask yourself these questions:
  • Based on what you have on the battlefield right now, if you applied the Life and Limb's ability first, would that change what the other card applies to, or how it would affect the things it applies to?

  • Same question, but the other way around. Based on what you have on the battlefield right now, if you applied the other card's ability first, would that change what Life and Limb applies to, or how it would affect the things it applies to?

If you answered no to both questions, there's no problem, and you can just apply both effects in any order without worrying about it.

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, apply the Life and Limb first, then the other card. If you answered no to the first question and yes to the second, apply the other card first, then the Life and Limb.

If you answered yes to both questions, the two effects form a dependency loop, so you need to apply them in timestamp order. First apply the one that entered the battlefield first, then apply the one that entered the battlefield second.

Note: Your answers may change if what you have on the battlefield changes; for example, if you previously had no (real) Saprolings on the battlefield and then you suddenly get one, the order you apply the effects on the battlefield may change. Be on the watch for situations like this.

If you have any questions, ask in Rules Q&A and we'll be happy to clarify.

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Mark of Eviction / Reality Acid
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Bombo Alert!

Q: I have a Mark of Eviction and a Reality Acid on one of my opponent's creatures. What happens?
A: If the Reality Acid has more than one counter on it, then at the beginning of your upkeep, you will return the creature, the Mark, and the Acid to their respective owner's hand. (You may or may not remove a time counter from the Acid before doing this, but that doesn't affect the end result.)

If the Acid has only one time counter on it, you can choose to either return the creature, the Mark and the Acid to their owner's hand, as described above, or to kill all three permanents. (You do this by resolving the Vanishing trigger before the Mark's. This causes the Acid to die, which forces your opponent to sacrifice the creature, which kills the Mark before its ability can resolve and save itself.)

You cannot, under any circumstances, have the creature die and the Auras return to your hand; either all three permanents are bounced or all three permanents die. The Mark returns both the Auras and the creature to their owner's hand at the same time, long before the Acid's leaves-the-battlefield ability could possibly kill the creature.


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Cards that Stop Specific Cards from being Played or Used
(Null Chamber, Meddling Mage, Pithing Needle, Circu, Dimir Lobotomist, Voidstone Gargoyle)
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Q: One of these cards stops some card from being cast/used. Some time later, the permanent leaves the battlefield somehow. Can the named card(s) be cast/used again?
A: Yes. Abilities of permanents only work while the permanent is on the battlefield, unless the ability states otherwise or can only logically work outside of the battlefield. Once the permanent that forbids the card from beng cast/used leaves the battlefield, the effect ends and that card can be cast again.

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Q: I name a card for one of these cards, and then my opponent tries to use the card I named "in response" to the naming. Can he do that?
A: No. The card is chosen as the permanent resolves, and this choice cannot be responded to. By the time you actually name the card, it's too late for your opponent to do anything--the permanent is on the battlefield and is actively forbidding him from using that card.

Note that you can't "speed through" the process of casting and resolving the spell without giving your opponent a chance to do things in response. Your opponent will have a chance to do things in response to the spell itself, perhaps even casting/using the card you're planning to name, if it's an instant or activated ability. He won't know for sure what you will choose until it's too late, but he can take a guess.

This same answer applies to Circu, Dimir Lobotomist's ability as well as the other cards in this group. Unless your opponent somehow knows what the top card of his library is, he won't know exactly which card will be exiled until the ability has resolved and it's too late.

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Frenzied Goblin
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Q: When I attack with Frenzied Goblin, can I pay more than once to make more than one creature unable to block?
A: No. The Goblin says you can pay to make a single target creature unable to block, so you can do that. But the Goblin does not say you can pay multiple times, so you cannot.

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Slivers
(Any creature with the creature type 'Sliver')
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Q: Do Slivers' abilities stack? (ie, Are they cumulative?)
A: Yes, but sometimes that doesn't do anything.

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Q: Huh?
A: Look at the ability/bonus the Sliver grants. Now think: would having two of that exact same ability/bonus do anything extra?

For boosts to power and toughness, the answer is obviously yes. +1/+1 and +1/+1 add together to make +2/+2, for example.

For triggered abilities, the answer is also yes. Two triggered abilities equals two triggers equals two of whatever the ability does.

For activated abilities, the answer is no. Two identical activated abilities don't really do anything more than one of them does, because you can't activate multiple different abilities by paying the cost once.

For static abilities, the answer is generally no, though there are exceptions. "Flying" and "Flying", for example, don't somehow combine to make "super-flying". "Absorb 1" and "Absorb 1", on the other hand, would both apply and would reduce damage by 1 and 1, or 2. Just ask yourself if having a second instance of that same ability would actually accomplish anything.

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Q: Do Slivers' abilities apply to themselves?
A: Yes. Slivers' abilities apply to all slivers, and since the creature the ability is from is also a Sliver, it gets the ability/bonus too. (But of course, if it somehow stops being a sliver, it stops getting the bonus, too...)

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Q: Does having [post=12191595]Shroud[/post] stop slivers from granting each other abilities?
A: No. [post=12191595]Shroud[/post] only stops things from being targeted by spells or abilities. Anything that doesn't target works just fine against something with shroud, and the abilities that Slivers use to grant each other abilities don't target. (You can tell because they don't say "target" anywhere.)

However, the abilities that are granted this way may be stopped by shroud if they need to target in order to work. For example, Crypt Sliver. If both Crypt Sliver and Crystalline Sliver are on the battlefield, all Slivers will have both shroud (from Crystalline) and the ability ": Regenerate target Sliver" (from Crypt). However, since using the ability granted by the Crypt Sliver would require you to target the Sliver you want to regenerate, you won't be able to do that, because all slivers have shroud and therefore can't be targeted. The ability granted by Cypt Sliver is effectively unusable as long as Crystalline Sliver is around; they have it, they just can't actually use it.

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Nacatl War-Pride
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Q: I use something that grants Nacatl War-Pride an ability or changes its power or toughness, and I attack with it. Do the tokens get the ability/bonus as well?
A: No. The tokens are copies of the War-Pride, and copy effects can only "see" the actual card and other copy effects. Counters, Auras, Equipment, effects from spells and abilities...anything that is not part of the actual card and isn't a copy effect won't be given to the tokens. (See the Copying section of the main FAQ for more information.)

For example:

I enchant my Nacatl War-Pride with Mythic Proportions and attack with it. The copies will be 3/3s without trample; the Proportions does not have a copy effect, so the effect that creates the token copies won't "see" it.

I attack with Nacatl War-Pride, and while the "copy-me" triggered ability is on the stack, I use Cytoshape to turn the War-Pride into a Vizzerdrix. The tokens will also be Vizzerdrixes, because Cytoshape is a copy effect, and thus will be "seen" and duplicated.

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Q: How does Nacatl War-Pride's blocking restriction work?
A: If it is possible for the defending player to block the War-Pride with exactly one creature, he or she is forced to do so. (The choice of exactly which creature to block it with is up to the defending player.)

If that isn't possible, the defending player may block it with multiple creatures or leave it unblocked.

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Q: How does Nacatl War-Pride work with effects like Lure?
A: A Lure on a War-Pride doesn't have much effect; the only thing it does is to force your opponent to not let the Lure-Pride be the one unblocked War-Pride that gets through their defenses. This is because when blocking, you must satisfy as many blocking requirements as possible, and blocking the Lure-Pride with only one creature and having your other creatures block the other Prides will always fulfill more requirements than blocking it with multiple creatures would.

If a non-War-Pride creature with Lure and a War-Pride attacks you, each creature you control will be forced to either block the Lured creature or whichever of the War-Prides you wish. (You won't be able to multi-block any of the War-Prides, though.)

This answer changes if there are (for some reason) more potential blockers than there are War-Prides. Ask in Rules Q&A if that happens.

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Q: How does Nacatl War-Pride work with Doubling Season?
A: The War-Pride's ability will put double the number of tokens onto the battlefield than it normally would. These tokens are exactly like the regular tokens created by the War-Pride. They will be attacking, and they will be exiled at end of turn.

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Q: Do the tokens have the token-making ability too? If so, why doesn't it trigger and create even more tokens, which then make even more, and even more...?
A: Yes, they have the ability. But the ability triggers when the War-Pride is declared as an attacking creature, and the tokens are put onto the battlefield already attacking; they are never declared as attacking creatures, so the ability won't trigger.

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Q: Wait, the tokens have the token-making ability? So if I find some way to attack again before they're exiled, each of those tokens will make another set of tokens?
A: Yes, as long as you can give them [post=9971825]haste[/post] so they can be declared as attackers. (The tokens are summoning-sick, since you haven't controlled them since the beginning of your most recent turn. The only reason they could be attacking before was that they were put onto the battlefield already attacking.)

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Q: I attack the opposing team with Nacatl War-Pride in a Two-Headed Giant game. Do I get tokens for the creatures controlled by both "heads", or only one? And if only one, which?
A: You only get tokens for the creatures controlled by one of the opposing team's "heads", but it's whichever one you want.


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Muraganda Petroglyphs
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Q: What counts as an "ability"?
A: Any text in a card's text box that is not in italics is an ability, no matter what it says or does. Anything that has any non-italics text in its text box will not be boosted by the Petroglyphs. (Yes, this includes Imperiosaur.)

Also, anything that says that your creature(s) "gain(s)" or "has/have" something is granting an ability to the creature; thus, your creature will no longer be given the Petroglyphs boost.

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Q: I have something on the battlefield that turns my lands into creatures. Will my basic lands get the Petroglyphs bonus because they don't have any text in their text box?
A: No. They do have an ability; it's just hidden. All basic lands have the ability ": Add [big symbol on card] to your mana pool."

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Q: If I have Life and Limb out, do my Saprolings get the bonus?
A: No. Because they're Forests, they have the ability ": Add to your mana pool", so they aren't "creatures with no abilities", and thus will not be boosted by the Petroglyphs.

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Dread Return
For more information, see the [post=9971917]Flashback[/post] entry.
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Q: Can I flashback Dread Return from my graveyard to reanimate one of the creatures that I sacrificed to cast it?
A: No. You choose targets for your spells before you pay costs, so it has to be a creature card that was already in your graveyard.

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The Re-Suspending Spells
(Chronomantic Escape, Reality Strobe, Festering March, Arc Blade, Cyclical Evolution)
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Q: So, these spells keep on suspending and re-suspending themselves every time they resolve? So they come back every three turns?
A: Yes.

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Q: When can I counter one of these spells? What happens when I do so?
A: Each time the spell comes out of suspension, its controller is casting it and putting it on the stack, so it can be countered the same way any other spell can. If it's countered, it's put into its owner's graveyard and does not resuspend, because it did not resolve. (Note that Chronomantic Escape and Festering March don't have any targets, so can't be countered by making their targets illegal.)

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Q: What happens if I copy one of these spells? Does the copy suspend itself and come back the same way the original does?
A: The copy will exile itself with time counters on it, but it won't come back, because it will then cease to exist.

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The Pacts
(Intervention Pact, Pact of Negation, Slaughter Pact, Pact of the Titan, Summoner's Pact)
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Q: If my Pact is countered, do I still have to pay during my next upkeep?
A: No. The Pacts only set up the pay-or-lose trigger during their resolution, and if a spell is countered, none of its effects occur. This means that if the Pact is countered, it doesn't have time to set up the delayed trigger and thus you will not have to pay.

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Q: If my Pact of Negation or Slaughter Pact's target becomes illegal somehow, do I still have to pay during my next upkeep?
A: No. A spell whose targets become illegal is countered when it tries to resolve, and just like above, none of its effects will occur, including the setup of the delayed trigger.

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Q: On my next upkeep, can I avoid having to pay by countering the triggered ability or by having something that says I can't lose the game?
A: Yes. If you counter the triggered ability, it will never resolve, so you will never have to pay, and "can't" beats "can", so if something says you can't lose the game, the Pact can't force you to.

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Q: What happens if I somehow skip my next upkeep?
A: The Pact's delayed trigger waits until the next upkeep you actually take, not necessarily your next "scheduled" upkeep. If you keep skipping your upkeep, you won't have to pay for any of your Pacts...but as soon as you do take an upkeep, you'll have to pay for all of the Pacts you've cast since you started skipping them, all at once.

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Q: What happens if I untap and draw my card and forget to pay for my Pact?
A: You lose the game. (...What did you expect? That is what it says.)

In a casual game, your opponent may be lenient with the rules and allow you to back up and pay, but they don't have to, and you certainly shouldn't expect it of them, much less in any kind of sanctioned tournament play. You're the one who cast the Pact, so you're the one responsible for remembering to pay it. If you don't, you must suffer the consequences.

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Q: But wait, isn't the payment mandatory? So I have to back up and pay it?
A: The payment is mandatory, so if you happened to have enough mana in your mana pool to pay it at the time the trigger resolved, you would be forced to do so. However, nothing is forcing you to generate the required amount of mana. So if you move on to your draw step without doing so, it is assumed that you didn't do so and thus couldn't possibly have paid for the Pact, so you lose.

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Platinum Angel
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Q: If I have a Platinum Angel on the battlefield, can I lose the game because of...
A: No. Stop right there. If you have a Platinum Angel on the battlefield (and it still has its ability), there is absolutely nothing that could possibly make you lose the game or make your opponent win. Not Phage, not having 0 life, not drawing cards from an empty library, nothing.

The only way you can possibly lose if you have an Angel on the battlefield is by you choosing, of your own free will, to concede the game. Period. It really is that simple.

(Okay, okay, or you could be forced by the tournament rules to lose, either by being handed a Game Loss by a Judge or to break a tie in a single-elimination tournament, but nothing within the game can possibly cause you to lose.)

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Q: My opponent and I both have Platinum Angels on the battlefield, and no way to get rid of them. What happens?
A: The game continues until either one of you finds a way to get rid of your opponent's Angel, one of you concedes, or you agree that the game is a draw. The game will not naturally end.

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Tarmogoyf
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Q: What counts as a card type?
A: There are eight different card types in Magic: instant, sorcery, artifact, enchantment, creature, planeswalker, land, and tribal. Any type that isn't one of these eight isn't a card type*. (It might be a supertype, a creature type, an enchantment type, or whatever, but it's not a card type.)

*Okay, okay, technically there are a few others—Plane, Scheme, Vanguard—but those will never, ever be on a card in a graveyard or anywhere else you'll ever be asked to care about them, so don't worry about those.

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Q: I have a Tarmogoyf on the battlefield with nothing in any graveyard and my opponent tries to kill it with a spell that deals 1 damage or reduces its toughness by 1. (Say, Afflict or Zap.) Does Tarmogoyf get boosted by the increased number of card types in graveyards in time to survive the damage/toughness reduction?
A: Yes. Since creature death due to damage or toughness reduction is a state-based effect, the game doesn't bother checking whether or not Tarmogoyf "should die" until after the spell has completely finished resolving, and by that time, the card is already in the graveyard and boosting Tarmogoyf just enough to make it survive.

This answer applies doubly to permanents that are sacrificed as a cost to activate some ability that would deal damage to/reduce the toughness of Tarmogoyf, as the permanent will be in the graveyard and boosting Tarmogoyf long before the ability resolves.

Note: This answer scales up. If your Tarmogoyf is a 1/2 with no instants in the graveyard and your opponent Shocks it, it will survive. If it's a 2/3 with no sorceries and your opponent Volcanic Hammers it, it will survive. And so on and so forth. You only check whether or not Tarmogoyf should die after the spell has finished resolving and gone to the graveyard.

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Coat of Arms
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Q: How, exactly, does Coat of Arms work?
A: For each creature on the battlefield, Coat of Arms will go around to each other creature on the battlefield and ask them if they share a type with that creature. Every creature that answers "yes" gives the creature +1/+1.

Four example, if four Goblin tokens are on the battlefield, each of the tokens gets +3/+3, because each Goblin sees three other creatures that share a type with them.

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Q: If creatures shares more than one creature type, do they get a bigger bonus?
A: No. Coat of Arms does not count the number of creature types that creatures may share; all that matters is whether or not they share any at all. Sharing two, three, or fifty types is exactly the same as sharing just one, as far as the Coat is concerned.

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Q: Do creatures have to share all of their types in order to be boosted by a Coat of Arms?
A: No; they only have to share at least one. If there's a Human Wizard and a Vedalken Wizard on the battlefield, they each get +1/+1, because they share the Wizard creature type.

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Q: How does Coat of Arms interact with Mistform Ultimus and Changelings?
A: The Ultimus/Changeling will get +1/+1 for each other creature on the battlefield that has a creature type. It will not get more than that, no matter how many creature types those other creatures may have.

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The Elemental Incarnations
(Purity, Guile, Dread, Hostility, Vigor)
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General Incarnation Questions

Q: I have more than one of a particular Elemental Incarnation out. Do I get an increased effect?
A: Not particularly, no. Purity, Guile, Hostility, and Vigor all have replacement effects that replace one thing with another; once it has been replaced by one of your Incarnations, it's no longer trying to do the thing the Incarnations try to replace, so the second one's replacement effect won't apply.

Vigor will get slightly better, because each Vigor will protect the other from damage. Dread also gets slightly better, as each will trigger independently; thus, creatures that can [post=12501037]regenerate[/post] will need to be regenerated twice rather than once in order to survive both triggers.

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Q: My Elemental Incarnation is put into my graveyard. How soon does it get shuffled back into my library?
A: As soon as the Incarnation is put into the graveyard, its ability triggers; nothing happens yet, though. After whatever's currently resolving is done resolving, the Incarnation's ability goes onto the stack. Both players will have a chance to respond to it, and then it will resolve and shuffle the Incarnation back into your library.



Specific Incarnations Questions

Q: Does Purity also give me life if I control the thing dealing the damage, such as Char or a painland?
A: Yes. Purity doesn't care who controls the thing that's trying to damage you and will give you life regardless of who that is.

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Q: How does Guile's effect work?
A: If a spell or ability you control would directly counter a spell an opponent controls, it doesn't. Instead it exiles that spell and gives you the opportunity to cast it without paying its mana cost if you so desire. You have to decide whether or not to cast it right then, and you won't have the opportunity to cast it again later. If you cast it, it goes onto the stack and then goes into the graveyard once it's done resolving, just like a normal spell. You don't have to cast it if you don't want to, and if you don't the spell stays exiled permanently.

You can do this no matter what type of spell it was you were countering or whose turn it is, and you are casting the spell, so it will trigger any abilities that trigger off of spells being cast and will increase your [post=9971963]storm count[/post]. If you attempt to counter a spell copy that doesn't have a physical card associated with it, such as a Twincast-created copy or a [post=9971963]storm copy[/post], it will get exiled but you won't be able to cast it.

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Q: Do I have to pay anything to cast the Guile'd spell?
A: Guile takes care of the spell's mana cost, so you don't have to pay that, but if there are any mandatory additional costs to casting the spell (such as the cost imposed by Thorn of Amethyst or sacrificing an artifact to Shrapnel Blast) you will have to pay them if you want to cast it. Optional additional costs, such as [post=9971915]kicker[/post] or [post=9972064]replicate[/post], can be paid if you wish, but they are not free.

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Q: I cast a spell that deals damage to all creatures and an opponent. Will the tokens created by Hostility get damaged?
A: If it deals the damage to players and creatures at the same time, no. The set of creatures that will be damaged by the spell is set before the damage is dealt and the tokens actually enter the battlefield--the tokens arrive on the scene too late to be dealt damage.

However, if the spell is an Incendiary Command or some other spell that deals damage to the players, and then deals damage the damage to creatures, the tokens will be damaged because they are entering the battlefield before the creatures are dealt damage, thus in time to get hit themselves.

Note that if something says it deals "damage to [each/all] creature(s) and player(s)", all the damage is dealt at the same time no matter what order creatures and players were listed--it's all one action that deals damage to everything simultaneously. It's only when the damage to creatures and players happens in separate clauses or are separated by the word "then" that the damage is not simultaneous.

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Q: One player controls Hostility and the other controls Purity. The Hostility player casts a spell that would deal damage to the Purity player. What happens?
A: Whatever the Purity player wants to happen. Both Hostility and Purity are trying to replace the damage that would be dealt to the Purity player with something else. Because they're trying to replace the same event, the player affected by that event (the Purity player) decides the order in which to apply them. They can choose to either give the Hostility player tokens or gain life. They'll probably choose the latter.


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Reveillark / Body Double
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Q: Can I use Reveillark's ability to return Body Double? As a copy of Reveillark? And when the Double-ark dies the ability goes off again and I can effectively have the Double return itself?
A: Yes to all of those questions.

As long as Body Double isn't on the battlefield, its power is always going to be 0, so it's a legal target for Reveillark's ability, no matter what its power might later become. By the time Reveillark's ability resolves, the 'Ark is in the graveyard and thus a legal choice for Body Double to copy. And when the Double leaves the battlefield it's in the graveyard just in time to be chosen as a target for the copied 'Ark-ability.

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The Bannerets
(Ballyrush Banneret, Stonybrook Banneret, Frogtosser Banneret, Brighthearth Banneret, Bosk Banneret)
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Q: Does the cost of my spell get reduced by if it has both of the appropriate types?
A: No. Each Banneret will ask each spell you cast "Are you a ____ or a ____?". If it gets a "yes" back, it reduces the cost by . If it hears a "no", it doesn't. It's just that simple. The Bannerets do not care whether your spells have both types or only one--the cost reduction will be the same regardless: just .

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Q: Will having multiple Bannerets increase the total reduction?
A: Yes. Each individual Banneret will only reduce the cost of a given spell by , but each Banneret functions independently of the others, so the first will reduce it by , the second by another , the third by another , and so on.

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Q: Will a Banneret reduce what I pay when using [post=14838916]Prowl[/post] or [post=13941926]Evoke[/post] costs of cards with the appropriate types?
A: Yes. Prowl and Evoke are both simply alternate costs you can pay when casting the spell, and the Bannerets reduce the total cost of casting the spell, no matter whether you're paying the mana cost or some alternate cost instead.

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Q: Will a Banneret reduce what I pay when using [post=14838922]Reinforce[/post]?
A: No. Reinforce is an activated ability of the card, not an alternate cost to cast it like Prowl or Evoke.

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