Courser of Kruphix and Shock Lands from the library.

In a block that loves using the scry mechanic to foretell the future, Courser of Kruphix goes one further: it lets you play with the top card of your library revealed at all times. In addition to the Courser’s synergy with cards like Domri Rade, it has some additional abilities: if that top card is a land, you can play it (as your regular land drop for the turn), and you’ll gain a little extra life in the process.

Suppose you control a Courser, Domri Rade, and three lands, and the card on top of your library is a Stomping Ground. It’d be nice to know whether the next card down is a creature, and if so what mana it costs, so you can decide whether to put your Stomping Ground onto the battlefield tapped or untapped before you cast any creatures this turn. However, the game rules aren’t quite so convenient.

When is the next card in the library revealed? When the top card changes. When you play a land, this happens when the land enters the battlefield. This means that any choices you have to make before the land is already on the battlefield — such as those made “as [this permanent] enters the battlefield” — happen while the card is still on top of your library. So in the case of the Stomping Ground above, you’ll have to decide whether or not to pay two life, then put the land onto the battlefield and reveal the next card.

Today’s Rules Tip written by Jen Wong

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