Infect! Quite the polarizing mechanic in most areas, it was either considered laughably bad or stupidly broken depending on who you were talking to. It’s gained some traction lately with eggs-in-one-basket rush decks, especially in Modern, and it’s possible you might run into a Pod deck running Melira, Sylvok Outcast and you want to know how it interacts with your guys. For the most part: badly. Melira will strip away their Infect, meaning they just do regular old normal damage to stuff. Your Blighted Agent or Glistener Elf will need to connect for 20 instead of just 10!
But wait, you may say. Why does Melira have the ‘redundant’ effect of stopping poison counters if she already stops infect? For one, it stops proliferation of counters. For two, and probably more relevant, it means that if you manage to give Infect to one of your creatures post-Melira (which, due to the magic of Timestamps, will actually give it Infect)… it’ll be even more useless than before. So, for example, Inkmoth Nexus. Nexus can animate itself, and in doing so it grows some wings and some fangs. The “I have infect” effect it creates in layer 6 is newer than “you totally don’t have Infect” from Melira in the same layer, so it ‘wins’. However, that means that the damage it deals does pretty much nothing! Since your opponent can’t get poison counters, your creature will connect and deal 2 or 3 or whatever damage (and stuff that cares about damage being dealt will see that, like lifelink); but the damage doesn’t DO anything. It’s from a source with infect so it should add poison counters rather than take away life, but your opponent flat out cannot HAVE poison counters put on him, so nothing much happens!
Today’s Rules Tip written by Trevor Nunez