Reef Worm only Triggers on Dying

Reef Worm is an interesting and potentially frustrating card for your opponents to deal with. It doesn’t seem to matter how they kill it, it just keeps coming back bigger. Not all hope is lost for your opponent though! They could just as easily exile it or enchant it with a Faith’s Fetters. Since the key word in Reef Worm’s triggered ability is “dies”, any way of dealing with it SHORT of destroying it won’t trigger it. That includes exiling it or shuffling it into your opponent’s library, as well as bouncing it to their hand. This applies to the tokens as well, so a single Path to Exile, whether it be aimed at the original Worm or any of his progeny, ends the chain.

A neat trick with your Reef Worm and its tokens is providing it with a sacrifice outlet that ultimately benefits you and gets you a bigger token (a sacrifice still means the creature dies). For example, playing with a Barrin, Master Wizard and sacrificing your Worm in response to a Path to Exile. The Worm is sacrificed before the Path resolves, the opponent gets a creature bounced (or one of your own if you’re really tech) and you get a bigger token that you can subsequently sacrifice again to bounce yet another creature and get yet an even bigger token. Keep brewing the combos in Commander and remember that Reef Worm only works if it dies, not if it’s taken off the battlefield any other way!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Daniel Clarke

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