Hour of Devastation New Set Digest

Q: Amy controls Abandoned Sarcophagus and a Clone that’s copying Desert Cerodon. If Clone trades in combat, into what zone is it placed?

A: Abandoned Sarcophagus has a replacement effect that applies anytime a card with cycling would be put into a graveyard. Such effects generally look at the game state immediately before the appropriate event to see whether they apply [CR 614.1]. Because Clone is a card with cycling at this time, it will be exiled.

Note: If you’re wondering about why I said replacement effects “generally” apply based on the game state just before the event they replace, this article on enters the battlefield replacement effects may be of interest to you.

Q: Amy controls Abandoned Sarcophagus and Homing Sliver. She discards Metallic Sliver to activate Merciless Javelineer. Into what zone is Metallic Sliver placed?

A: First, cards with any flavor of typecycling (including forestcycling, wizardcycling, basic landcycling and even slivercycling) are affected by Abandoned Sarcophagus. Typecycling abilities are seen by anything in the game that looks for a cycling ability [CR 702.28f]. This situation is complicated somewhat by the fact that Metallic Sliver only has slivercycling as long as it’s in Amy’s hand, but this follows the same logic as before: since Abandoned Sarcophagus is a replacement effect, the game checks to see whether it applies immediately before the event happens. Since Metallic Sliver is still in Amy’s hand when the game is deciding where to put it, it still has slivercycling and will therefore be exiled.

Q: Amy activates Avid Reclaimer‘s ability. Can Nicole kill Amy’s Nissa in response so that Amy won’t gain 2 life?

A: No. Avid Reclaimer’s ability produces mana, has no targets, and isn’t a loyalty ability. Meeting these conditions means that this ability is a mana ability [CR 605.1a]. As such, Avid Reclaimer’s ability doesn’t use the stack and can’t be responded to; it just happens [CR 605.3b].

Q: Amy controls Neheb, the Eternal. Can she Lightning Bolt Nicole in response to the trigger to gain more mana?

A: Yes. In contrast to the previous question, Neheb does not have a mana ability. To be considered a mana ability, a triggered ability must not have a target, be able to add mana to your mana pool, and trigger from the resolution of an activated mana ability [CR 605.1b]. Neheb’s ability meets the first two of these, but not the third. Accordingly, it is not considered a mana ability, and it uses the stack and can be responded to just like any other triggered ability.

Q: Amy controls Well of Life and taps out for a Crested Sunmare. Does she get a Horse token?

A: No. Amy controls both triggered abilities, so she decides the order they are put onto the stack [CR 603.3b]. But Crested Sunmare’s triggered ability has an intervening if clause, which means it doesn’t trigger at all (and therefore won’t be put on the stack) unless Amy has gained life at the time the ability would go onto the stack [CR 603.4]. Since Well of Life’s triggered ability is going on the stack at the same time, it won’t have resolved yet.

Note: Well of Life’s triggered ability also contains an intervening if clause. This means, for example, it’s not possible to put Well of Life’s ability on the stack, then tap lands in response so that you will gain life. Indeed, since Well of Life triggers at the beginning of the end step, that means all your lands need to be tapped during the preceding main phase in order to get the life; it’s not possible to float the mana either.

Q: How much life do you gain if you cast a Nicol Bolas while you have his faithful?

A: Only one. This ability triggers when you “cast a…spell.” Nicole Bolas may be three colors, but he’s only one spell, so the ability only triggers once.

Q: Amy exiles Counterspell and Grizzly Bears with Hazoret’s Undying Fury and plays the Grizzly Bears. Nicole Cancels Grizzly Bears. Can Amy Counterspell the Cancel?

A: No. Hazoret’s Undying Fury instructs its controller to cast the spells without giving a time frame in which to do it. This means that Amy has to cast any spells she’s casting at one specific time: as Hazoret’s Undying Fury is resolving [CR 608.2c]. Once that window closes, any spells that weren’t cast will remain exiled, and she won’t be able to cast them anymore.

Note: Compare this to, for example, Mind’s Desire, which specifies that you may cast the exiled card until end of turn. If Amy exiled Counterspell and Grizzly Bears with Mind’s Desire, this play would be possible.

Q: Amy reveals Lightning Bolt and Reverberate with Hazoret’s Undying Fury. Can she cast Lightning Bolt and Reverberate it?

A: Yes. Amy only has one window to cast spells, but they aren’t all cast at the same time. Rather, she can choose to cast one spell, then choose to cast a second spell, and so on [CR 608.2f]. Amy can cast Lightning Bolt first, and then Reverberate. By the time she’s casting Reverberate, Lightning Bolt will be on the stack and be a legal target for it.

Q: Amy exiles Tarmogoyf with Hour of Eternity. What is the resultant token’s power and toughness?

A: Hour of Eternity is a copy effect with a special quirk: it explicitly sets the token’s power and toughness. Copy effects that set or modify p/t, color, or card types and subtypes do this by retaining those values rather than copying them from the original. As part of this, any characteristic-defining abilities (such as the one Tarmogoyf has to set its power and toughness) that would affect the retained characteristics are not copied [CR 706.9d]. As a result, the Tarmogoyf token is 4/4, no matter how many card types are in graveyards.

Note: For the same reason, characteristic-defining abilities that set creature types or color are also not copied.

Note: Since Tarmogoyf’s CDA isn’t copied, the resultant token has no abilities. If there’s a Muraganda Petroglyphs in play, the token will get the buff.

Note: Interestingly, the tokens created this way keep their mana cost, unlike those created by the eternalize mechanic. Tokens created with Hour of Eternity will still be black due to the aforementioned quirk in its copying process, but the mana cost isn’t affected by this. Hour of Eternity’s tokens will add to their controllers devotion and will be affected differently by things that care about converted mana cost.

Q: Amy exiles Clone with Hour of Eternity and wants to copy Grizzly Bears with the token. What are the token’s characteristics?

A: The token becomes a copy of Clone as it is created. As part of this copy effect, the color, types, and p/t of the token are modified [CR 706.9]. After this copy effect applies, there is another replacement effect that is applicable to this event – the one the token now has from Clone [CR 616.2]. Clone’s copy effect makes the token acquire Grizzly Bears’ characteristics, but it has no exemptions or modifications. Because both these copy effects apply in layer 1, the effect that has a later timestamp is the one that wins [CR 613.6]. This is the Clone’s copy effect because it started applying later [CR 613.6b, 613.6a]. The token will be a green 2/2 Bear.

Q: Amy exiles Skywatcher Adept with Hour of Eternity. What is the resultant token’s power and toughness?

A: A technical understanding of how leveler cards function is necessary to answer this question. The token will start out as a 4/4 because the p/t in the topmost text box is the leveler card’s base power and toughness that it always has [CR 710.5]. This p/t is overwritten to 4/4 as part of Hour of Eternity’s copy effect. Once the Skywatcher Adept levels up, however, the answer changes. “{LEVEL N1-N2} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities]” [CR 710.2a]. As this definition makes clear, leveler cards have a static ability which generates a continuous effect that sets their power and toughness at higher levels [CR 611.3]. This power and toughness setting happens in layer 7 [CR 613.3b]. The Hour of Eternity’s effect sets p/t in layer 1 since it’s part of the copying process [CR 613.1a]. Because the leveler abilities are applied in a later layer, they will overwrite the p/t set by the Hour of Eternity’s ability [CR 613.2]. The ability that sets the creature’s p/t at its highest level works the same way [CR 710.2b].

Note: As mentioned in the previous question, the leveler abilities would not be copied if they were characteristic-defining abilities. The leveler abilities are not considered CDA’s because they are not true all the time, but only if a condition is met (in this case, having a certain number of level counters on the permanent) [CR 604.3a].

Q: Amy controls Chromatic Sphere and there are 9 other nonland permanents in play. If she uses Chromatic Sphere to make a W and casts Hour of Revelation, will Hour of Revelation’s cost still be discounted?

A: Yes. The reason for this has to do with how the process of casting spells is structured. First, the total cost is determined, then the player can activate mana abilities (like Chromatic Sphere’s), then the cost is paid [CR 601.2f, 601.2g]. Crucially, once the cost is determined in the first step, it won’t change, even if some stuff happens during future steps that would change what the cost should be [CR 601.2f].

Q: Nicole casts Imaginary Threats. When Amy attacks, she exerts her Vizier of the True. When will Vizier of the True next untap?

A: Vizier of the True sure won’t untap during Amy’s next untap step. There are two effects that say so! Neither of these effects interferes with the other, though. During the untap step after that, both effects will see that they caused Vizier of the True to not untap, so Vizier of the True will untap as normal.

Note: If, for example, Amy attacked with Vizier of the True, then played Savor the Moment, these effects wouldn’t interact as favorably. Savor the Moment makes Amy skip her untap step, which doesn’t count for exert [CR 614.10a]. Exert will not be satisfied until it can cause Vizier of the True to actually not untap during an actual untap step, which means that it will hang around until the next turn Amy takes after that.

Q: Amy controls Bludgeon Brawl and pays to equip her Mirage Mirror to her Grizzly Bears. After that, she has it become a copy of Holy Strength. What happens?

A: The CR uses the term “attached” to collectively refer to the relationship both equipments and auras have to the thing they are equipped or enchanting [CR 701.3a]. The state-based action that puts unattached or illegally attached Auras into their owners’ graveyards also uses this term [CR 705.4n]. So the game has no problem with this weirdness, and nothing in particular happens.

Note: It’s not a good idea to activate Mirage Mirror to copy an Aura if Mirage Mirror isn’t somehow attached to an appropriate permanent already. The aforementioned SBA will see an unattached Aura after the ability resolves and put Mirage Mirror into its owner’s graveyard.

Q: Amy activates Mirage Mirror targeting Frilled Sandwalla and, holding priority, activates it again with the same target. Amy activates the Mirror/Sandwalla’s ability in between those activations. After the second Mirage Mirror activation resolves, can Amy activate Mirror/Sandwalla’s pump ability again?

A: In becoming a copy of Frilled Sandwalla, Mirage Mirror’s abilities are overwritten and replaced with the abilities of Frilled Sandwalla [CR 706.2]. Therefore, the ability Mirror/Sandwalla has the first time it’s activated is not the same as the ability it has the second time. Rather, the first instance of that ability is erased and replaced with a new, completely different instance. Because this new ability hasn’t yet been activated this turn, Amy can activate it again.

Q: Nicole blocks Amy’s Grizzly Bears with two Obelisk Spiders. How much life does Amy lose and Nicole gain?

A: None. After combat damage is dealt, state-based actions will destroy the Grizzly Bears [CR 704.5g]. Then the Obelisk Spiders’ “put a -1/-1 counter” ability will be put on the stack [CR 704.3]. Because Grizzly Bears will no longer be on the battlefield, it won’t be possible to put a -1/-1 counter on it, so Obelisk Spider’s ability won’t trigger.

Q: Nicole blocks Amy’s Hill Giant with two Obelisk Spiders. How much life does Amy lose and Nicole gain?

A: After combat damage is dealt, both Obelisk Spiders’ triggered abilities will go on the stack. After the first one resolves, Hill Giant will be destroyed due to the now-lethal damage marked on it [CR 704.5g]. Both Obelisk Spiders’ drain abilities will trigger because a -1/-1 counter was put on it, and so 2 life will get drained in total. The second “put a -1/-1 counter” ability will not do anything when it resolves because Hill Giant will be in the graveyard by then.

Q: Nicole blocks Amy’s Bonebreaker Giant with two Obelisk Spiders. How much life does Amy lose and Nicole gain?

A: After combat damage is dealt, both Obelisk Spiders’ triggered abilities will trigger. These abilities will both go on the stack even though one of the Obelisk Spiders will die due to taking 4 damage from Bonebreaker Giant. After the first -1/-1 counter is put on, the remaining spider’s drain ability will trigger and go on the stack, draining Amy for 1. The second -1/-1 counter will cause the drain abilities to trigger again, which will drain Amy for 1 more.

Q: How does Oketra’s Last Mercy work in 2 Headed Giant?

A: Your team goes to its starting life total, 30 [CR 810.4]. This is accomplished by having the player who cast Oketra’s Last Mercy gain (or lose) the appropriate amount of life. The other player is not considered to have gained or lost any life [CR 810.9]. Only lands controlled by the player who cast Oketra’s Last Mercy will not untap during that team’s next untap step [CR 810.5].

Q: Amy plays an Endless One for X=2 while she is enchanted by Overwhelming Splendor. What is Endless One’s p/t on the battlefield?

A: Endless One has a replacement effect that causes it to enter the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it [CR 614.1c]. Such replacement effects are evaluated based on how the permanent would look on the battlefield, but continuous effects from outside sources are not taken into account when determining this (see this dedicated article for details) [CR 614.12]. As a result, Endless One’s ability works as it is entering the battlefield and puts 2 +1/+1 counters on it. On the battlefield, the layers system is used to determine Endless One’s final power and toughness [CR 613.3]. It starts as a 0/0, then Overwhelming Splendor makes it a 1/1, then the two +1/+1 counters on it increase it to 3/3 [CR 613.3b, 613.3c].

Note: The other rules nightmare card in this set, Solemnity doesn’t interact nearly as favorably with Endless One. The ability that prevents counters from being put on it functions even as Endless One is entering the battlefield [CR 121.6]. Therefore, Endless One will get no +1/+1 counters and be immediately put into its owner’s graveyard [CR 704.5f].

Q: Amy controls Worldspine Wurm and is enchanted by Overwhelming Splendor and plays Akroma’s Vengeance. What happens?

A: The game handles leaves-the-battlefield triggers by “looking back in time” to see if they would have triggered [CR 603.10]. Akroma’s Vengeance uses the word “destroy” once, indicating that all the affected permanents are destroyed as part of the same event [CR 608.2e]. As a consequence, the moment before Worldspine Wurm died, Overwhelming Splendor was still on the battlefield, which means that Worldspine Wurm had no abilities. This means that the “get 3 5/5’s” ability will not trigger. On the other hand, Worldspine Wurm’s “shuffle back in” ability triggers when it is put into a graveyard “from anywhere.” Using this specific phrase exempts that ability from being treated as a leaves-the-battlefield ability [CR 603.6c]. Accordingly, whether it triggers is based on whether that ability exists immediately after the event that caused it to trigger; the game doesn’t “look back in time” like it does for its other ability. Therefore, this ability does trigger.

Note: Suppose Amy played Austere Command rather than Akroma’s Vengeance (choosing to destroy enchantments and big creatures). The instructions to destroy these two permanent types are contained in two separate sentences, meaning that these events happen sequentially in the order written rather than simultaneously [CR 608.2c]. Accordingly, Overwhelming Splendor will be destroyed first, then Worldspine Wurm. Because Worldspine Wurm had its abilities both before and after the event where it was put into the graveyard, both abilities will trigger.

Q: Amy controls Riddleform and is enchanted by Overwhelming Splendor. After Amy casts a noncreature spell, what will Riddleform’s characteristics be?

A: In layer 4, Riddleform’s ability makes it a creature [CR 613.1d]. In layer 6, Riddleform wants to give itself flying and Overwhelming Splendor wants to take all its abilities away [CR 613.1f]. Because Riddleform’s ability is timestamped later, it applies last, so Riddleform has flying [CR 613.6]. In the same way, in layer 7b, both of Riddleform and Overwhelming Splendor want to set Riddleform’s p/t [CR 613.3b]. Because Riddleform’s effect is timestamped later, it will override Overwhelming Splendor’s.

Q: What does an eternalized Steadfast Sentinel look like when its controller is enchanted by Overwhelming Splendor?

A: The answer comes down to layers again, but not as favorably as last time. Both the p/t setting and the ability-granting of eternalize are part of a copy effect, which means they take place in layer 1 [CR 613.1a]. Overwhelming Splendor overwrites both of these with its own effects that happen in layers 6 and 7 [CR 613.1f, 613.3b].

Q: Amy plays Puncturing Blow targeting Nicole’s Grizzly Bears. In response, Nicole casts Saving Grace on her Balduvian Bears. Later, Amy Disfigures Grizzly Bears. Into what zone is each creature placed?

A: Puncturing Blow says “If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.” The reference to “that creature” indicates that the exile effect refers to the creature which was targeted rather than the creature that was dealt damage (cf. Incendiary Flow, which ties the exile effect to the damage rather than the targeting). Accordingly, Grizzly Bears will be exiled, and Balduvian Bears will be put into Nicole’s graveyard.

Q: Amy plays Threaten on Nicole’s Grizzly Bears. In response, Nicole plays Saving Grace on Grizzly Bears. Amy attacks with Grizzly Bears, and Nicole lets it through. After damage, Amy plays a Lightning Bolt targeting Nicole. What happens?

A:  After Saving Grace resolves, its triggered ability will be put onto the stack. This ability will set up a prevention effect that will deal all damage Nicole and her permanents will suffer this turn to Grizzly Bears instead. After that, Threaten will resolve, at which point, Saving Grace will no longer be attached to a “creature you control,” so it will be put into Nicole’s graveyard. During combat, the damage the Grizzly Bears would deal to Nicole is dealt instead to Grizzly Bears, and it dies. Future damage that would be dealt to Nicole and her permanents can no longer be redirected to Grizzly Bears, since the latter is no longer on the battlefield [CR 614.9]. Accordingly, Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to Nicole as normal.

Q: Amy controls Solemnity and plays a Siren of the Fanged Coast. What happens?

A: It’s not legal for Nicole to choose to put counters on Siren of the Fanged Coast due to Solemnity’s effect. This means that she cannot pay tribute and will lose a creature.

Q: Amy controls Solemnity and Phyrexian Unlife. She is at 0 life and lets a 2/2 through unblocked. What happens?

A: Because of Phyrexian Unlife, the combat damage that’s dealt to Amy is dealt as though its source had infect. This means that the result of this damage is that Amy gets 2 poison counters rather than losing 2 life [CR 702.89b]. Because of Solemnity, Amy will not be able to get 2 poison counters. The damage is still considered dealt, so things like Driven // Despair will trigger, but Amy will neither lose life nor get poison counters.

Q: Amy controls Solemnity and Soul-Scar Mage. She plays a Lightning Bolt targeting her opponent’s Grizzly Bears. What happens?

A: Damage is processed in a three-part sequence [119.4]. In the first step, damage is dealt [119.4a]. As Lightning Bolt resolves, it creates a damage event in the game: [3 damage is dealt to Grizzly Bears]. Soul-Scar Mage will replace the 3 noncombat damage to Grizzly Bears with putting 3 -1/-1 counters on it, so the damage event is [put 3 -1/-1 counters on Grizzly Bears]. Nothing interesting happens during the next step, where the damage is processed into its results. In the final step, the damage event actually occurs [CR 119.4c]. Unfortunately for Amy, putting 3 -1/-1 counters on Grizzly Bears is not possible due to Solemnity’s effect, so nothing happens.

Note: As before, the damage is still considered dealt even though nothing happened. For instance, if Amy had a Tamanoa, she would gain 3 life.

Q: How does casting Lethal Sting work with Solemnity in play?

A: Not very well. Because of Solemnity, it isn’t legal to put a -1/-1 counter on a creature you control [CR 614.15b]. Because it isn’t legal to pay the cost to cast Lethal Sting, Lethal Sting can’t be cast.

Q: How does Torment of Hailfire work with X=0? With X=1?

A: This question has already come up a couple of times, largely due to the somewhat awkward phrasing on the card. What does it mean to “repeat” a process 1 time? 0 times? The official ruling, given in this tweet is that you torment your opponent X times. For X=1, they lose 3 life (or do one of the other things), for X=0, nothing happens at all. Hopefully, if an effect like this is ever printed on a future card, they’ll template it “Perform the following process X times” which would be functionally identical, but much clearer.

Q: Amy plays Torment of Hailfire with X = 100 while Nicole controls a Platinum Emperion. Can Nicole just choose to lose 3 life 100 times and not be affected by the spell?

A: Yes. The way Torment of Hailfire is worded, losing 3 life is the default event, and Amy can choose to do one of two other things to keep the default event from occuring. She doesn’t have to, though, and if the default event is for nothing to happen, she isn’t particularly incentivized to do so either.

Note: This is probably why losing life is the default for this spell. If sacrificing permanents or discarding cards were the default, the spell wouldn’t be very good against a player who had none of the appropriate resource.

Note: If Torment of Hailfire was worded so that either of the other two options was the default event, the answer would be different. Amy would not be able to positively choose to lose 3 life because that isn’t allowed to happen.

Q: Amy plays Torment of Hailfire with X=5. Can Nicole discard Metrognome with the first one, then sacrifice the four tokens for the remaining four?

A: No. While the resolution of Torment of Hailfire consists of X distinct events, as far as the game is concerned, it’s just one spell resolving in a drawn out process. This means that any triggered abilities that might happen during this process will have to wait until Torment of Hailfire completely finishes resolving before finally going on the stack themselves [CR 603.2].

Q: Amy plays Torment of Hailfire with X=2. Can Nicole discard Loxodon Smiter for the first torment and sacrifice it with the second?

A: Yes. Replacement effects like Loxodon Smiter’s “discard into play” ability don’t trigger or use the stack; they just happen in real-time instead of the event they replace [CR 614.1]. By the second time Nicole gets tormented, Loxodon Smiter will be on the battlefield and will be a legitimate choice to sacrifice.

Q: Amy plays Torment of Venom targeting Nicole’s Grizzly Bears which is enchanted by Unholy Strength. Can Nicole sacrifice Unholy Strength for Torment of Venom?

A: Yes. Like triggered abilities, state-based actions are not performed during the resolution a spell or ability; they wait until after the spell is finished resolving [CR 704.3]. In this case, after Torment of Venom finishes resolving, state-based actions will put Grizzly Bears into Nicole’s graveyard, then state-based actions will put Unholy Strength there. Up until Unholy Strength is offed by SBA’s, it’s still on the battlefield and is a perfectly legal permanent to sacrifice.

Note: This is the reason why Torment of Venom specifies that “another” nonland permanent must be sacrificed. Otherwise, the creature that was targeted would be fair game, even if it was about to die anyway.

Q: I heard Majestic Myriarch got errata, but I can’t tell the difference. What is it?

A: Compare the printed text at right to the new text below.

“At the beginning of each combat, Majestic Myriarch gains flying until end of turn if you control a creature with flying. The same is true for first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance.”

The difference is that the “if a creature” clause has been moved to the end of the sentence. Because it no longer appears between the trigger condition (“at the beginning…”) and the effect (“Majestic Myriarch gains…”) it’s no longer considered to be an intervening if clause [CR 603.4]. This has a couple of consequences because triggered abilities with intervening if clauses are handled specially by the rules. Such triggered abilities do not trigger at all unless the if clause is true at the time the trigger condition happens [CR 603.4]. This means, for example, if you control Toolcraft Exemplar, Majestic Myriarch, and three artifacts, the updated wording allows you to stack its ability below Toolcraft Exemplar’s so Majestic Myriarch will end up with first strike also. This would not work without the updated wording.

Note: Majestic Myriarch’s ability has only a single “at.” This means that all of it is one ability, although there are potentially many results. Accordingly, a single Nimble Obstructionist is sufficient to counter the whole thing.

Q: Amy plays Sunscourge Champion. Nicole responds to its ability by casting Grasp of Darkness on it. What happens?

A: When Sunscourge Champion’s ability resolves, its source will no longer be on the battlefield, having succumbed to its subzero toughness. The ability can still have its effect, though. It just uses the last-known information about Sunscourge Champion’s power [CR 608.2g]. Sunscourge Champion had -2 power the last time it was on the battlefield. In the past, this would have meant that Amy would gain -2 life, in essence losing 2. With the newest CR, that is no longer the case. If the result of a calculation is negative and would be used in an effect, 0 is now used instead [CR 107.1b].

Note: For the same reason, a player with a negative life total who controls a Death’s Shadow will have to content herself with a mere 13/13. In this case, the continuous effect uses 0 instead of the player’s negative life total. Effects that set a life total to a specific number, double a life total, or set power or toughness to a specific value are still able to use negative numbers as the results of calculations thanks to special exceptions for these types of effects in the rule cited above.

Q: Nicole controls a Kismet and Amy eternalizes something. Does the token enter tapped or untapped?

A: The answer here changed because of an update to Kismet’s Oracle text. Now, like its colorshifted friend Frozen Aether, Kismet affects all artifacts, creatures, and lands your opponents control, not just the ones they “play,” so the token enters tapped.

Q: While drawing for the turn, Amy accidentally flips the second card of her library face up. By chance, it lands in her graveyard. What is the appropriate infraction, penalty, and fix?

A: I don’t think anyone is arguing that this should be anything other than Looking at Extra Cards. But prior to the most recent revision to the IPG, this was not clear. Specifically, the old wording implied that the appropriate infraction was a Hidden Card Error or a Game Rule Violation once cards touched cards in another set. This has now been remedied, and these infractions now apply only when the card has joined another hidden set. Issue a warning for LEC and have the player shuffle the revealed card into the random part of their library.

Q: Amy attacks with Hill Giant and Nicole blocks with Grizzly Bears and Balduvian Bears. Amy says “Go to damage?”. Nicole then plays a Shape the Sands on her Grizzly Bears. At this point, Amy and Nicole realize that Amy never declared a damage assignment order for the creatures blocking Hill Giant. What do you do?

A: This is a Game Rule Violation for Amy because she did not declare a damage assignment order at the proper time. In the past, the fix would be to declare an order now since this is one of the four partial fixes specified by the IPG. This is still the same fix as what is prescribed now, but there is one important difference. Now, we can perform a simple backup before applying a partial fix if it makes applying the partial fix smoother. To see how that affects this situation, let’s look at what would happen if we did and didn’t perform the simple backup of undoing the casting of the spell before the partial fix.

If we just apply the partial fix immediately, Amy will probably assign the damage from Hill Giant to whatever bear isn’t getting buffed. This will, in effect, waste the pump spell that Nicole played, since one bear will die and the one that will live would have lived anyway. In contrast, if we undo the casting of Shape the Sands, then the results of this combat will be much closer to what they are “supposed to be.” Amy will have to say which creature she is dealing damage to first before Nicole picks which bear she buffs, which is the way that it would have happened if no error had been committed.

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