Today we’ll be taking a look at Rakdos Charm’s third mode, or specifically, what it means for a creature to deal damage to its controller. While it’s unusual for a source you control to deal damage to yourself, it does happen, and in most respects it’ll be treated like any other source of damage; a creature with infect, for example, will give its controller a poison counter, while a creature with lifelink will cause its controller to simultaneously lose and gain 1 life.
Does anything change if either player controls a planeswalker? The planeswalker redirection rule states that if a source you control would deal noncombat damage to an opponent, you may have that damage be dealt to a planeswalker the opponent controls instead. When you use Rakdos Charm’s third mode, the source of some of the damage is your creatures (which you control) and is noncombat damage (because it’s not happening as a result of creatures attacking and blocking), but because it’s being dealt to you, and you are not your own opponent, you can’t redirect it to your own planeswalker. Conversely, the source of the rest of the damage is your opponents’ creatures (which you don’t control), so even though it’s noncombat being dealt to an opponent, you can’t choose to redirect that damage to your opponent’s planeswalker either.
It sure seems like Rakdos Charm is dealing damage, but it isn’t! It’s just making each creature hit its controller out of spite.
Today’s Rules Tip written by Jen Wong