Viper's Kiss and Mistcutter Hydra

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During the pre-release I ran into a question that I believe received the incorrect answer from people around me.

My opponent had a Mistcutter Hydra with three +1/+1 counters on it. My turn comes around and I attempt to play a Viper's Kiss. My thought is that since the Hydra has zero toughness, the Viper's Kiss would send the Mistcutter Hydra to the graveyard. My thinking was the enchantment would modify the toughness before the counters resolved. I did not call over a rules judge because we were already running long and I didn't really care enough about it at the time. I asked a few people around me and they said that the +1/+1 counters gave the Hydra that much toughness.

Now I'm very interested to know if I'm correct. I've looked through the rules and am unable to find a clear answer. Could someone please help me figure this out?

I know I should be able to figure this out by reading the rules and searching, but I haven't run across anything that gives me a definitive answer.

Edit: I can't seem to get Viper's Kiss to autocard. Here's the card text from Gatherer:

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1, and its activated abilities can't be activated.

John

A Mistcutter Hydra with three +1/+1 counters on it is 3/3. If you use Viper's Kiss on it, it becomes 2/2 until end of turn. The toughness is still greater than 0, so it survives.

If the +1/+1 counters didn't count towards keeping it alive, they'd be rather pointless. The Hydra's printed toughness is 0, so if the counters didn't count towards its toughness, the Hydra would always just immediately go to the graveyard. That's clearly not how it works.

adeyke wrote:

A Mistcutter Hydra with three +1/+1 counters on it is 3/3. If you use Viper's Kiss on it, it becomes 2/2 until end of turn. The toughness is still greater than 0, so it survives.

If the +1/+1 counters didn't count towards keeping it alive, they'd be rather pointless. The Hydra's printed toughness is 0, so if the counters didn't count towards its toughness, the Hydra would always just immediately go to the graveyard. That's clearly not how it works.

Rule 613 seems to contradict that saying that counters that modify power and toughness are applied last. Though I guess it's final power and toughness isn't calculated until all state-based effects are applied? 

 

Rule 613 seems to contradict that saying that counters that modify power and toughness are applied last.
Yes, the counters are applied last, but they are applied. The layers tell you what order to use to calculate what the creature looks like, but you have to finish that calculation. You seem to be stopping part way through.

Though I guess it's final power and toughness isn't calculated until all state-based effects are applied? 
Other way around: calculate first (giving an answer of 2/2), then figure out if any state-based actions apply.

johnperkins21 wrote:

 

 

Rule 613 seems to contradict that saying that counters that modify power and toughness are applied last. Though I guess it's final power and toughness isn't calculated until all state-based effects are applied? 

 

No, SBA will be checked everytime when player get priority , before he/she can do anything.

So , after you cast viper's kiss on his/her hydra (and it resolve) , The viper's effect will apply in sublayer 7c

 

613.3a Layer 7a: Effects from characteristic-defining abilities that define power and/or toughness are applied. See rule 604.3.

 

613.3b Layer 7b: Effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value are applied.

 

613.3c Layer 7c: Effects that modify power and/or toughness (but don’t set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value) are applied.

 

613.3d Layer 7d: Power and/or toughness changes from counters are applied. See rule 121, “Counters.”

 

613.3e Layer 7e: Effects that switch a creature’s power and toughness are applied. Such effects take the value of power and apply it to the creature’s toughness, and take the value of toughness and apply it to the creature’s power.

 

After you resolve the Viper , you get priority again , now SBA will be check before you can cast any more spell or activate ability.

Please note that , after the Viper resolve = attach to the Hydra , the Hydra's P/T is 2/2 , not 3/3 then 2/2 when SBA is checked.

Please autocard , check it on [read this first] - creating a rules thread.

And use lower case c to autocard.

Awesome. That makes total sense to me. Thanks to you all.

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