Deflecting Palm is one of Standard’s most rules intensive cards, which is why, yet again, it makes an appearance here on the Rules Tips blog. Many players might mistakenly assume that when a creature with lifelink’s damage is “redirected,” its controller will still gain life (effectively cancelling the damage). This is not the case.
If we break Deflecting Palm’s text down, we find that the original source of the damage has its damage prevented. Once the damage is prevented, Deflecting Palm then becomes the source of the damage. The only way that Deflecting Palm could then gain any player life, which would be the Palm’s controller, is if they had a Soulfire Grand Master on the board. Next time your opponent tries to gain life from your Deflecting Palm, remember this tip and you’ll find yourself in a better position than you would be otherwise.
Today’s Rules Tip written by Daniel Clarke