Responding to evolve by killing the creature that just entered.

Evolve has been a popular topic for this blog in the last year, and once again, we’re going to discuss evolve. Today’s topic is how evolve works with removal.

Let’s say that I control an Experiment One with no counters, and I cast a very scary Deadly Recluse. You know that the Recluse is the true threat here, not the Experiment One, so after it enters the battlefield, you Doom Blade my Recluse as soon as you can. But what does that do to the evolve trigger that’s on the stack? The creature isn’t around anymore, so does the One get the counter?

The answer is yes, it does. This is an example of “last known information.” Since the Recluse is not on the battlefield when the evolve trigger goes to resolve, the game uses the last known power and toughness of the Recluse to determine if the One should get a counter. Since the Recluse was a 1/2 when it was last on the battlefield, that’s the power and toughness we use, so the One will get a counter.

As a bonus tip, what happens if we kill the Recluse with a Bile Blight instead? In that case, when we look at the last known power and toughness of the Recluse, we get the answer -2/-1. Since neither the last known power or toughness of the Recluse is greater than the One’s current power and toughness, evolve won’t do anything and the One will not get a counter.

And hopefully, we’ve fully covered evolve now. I mean, I’m sure I’ll be typing up another topic on evolve next month, but it’s nice to dream, right?

Today’s Rules Tip written by Nathan Long

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