Targeting troubles with Dromoka’s Command.

Something old, something new — Commands are back in Modern Masters 2! These powerful and flexible cards, that debuted in Lorwyn, are modal spells like their lower rarity “charm” counterparts, but instead of choosing one effect among three, Commands let you choose two effects from among four! The Dragonlords’ Commands, taking advantage of multicolor, are packed with even more interesting effects.

Possibly the most complicated of all of them is Dromoka’s Command, which can affect your creatures, your opponents’ creatures, their enchantments, or even their spells on the stack. What all of these abilities have in common, though, is that they require targets. Therefore, when you’re casting the Command, first you’ll choose which two modes you want to use, then you’ll select the applicable target — or targets! — for each mode. You can’t choose the fourth mode unless you can legally target one creature each controlled by you and your opponent, for example.

An interesting thing you can do with this spell is choose any target spell with the first mode, regardless of whether or not that spell would deal damage. Say your opponent controls no creatures, and you really want to force him to sacrifice his Whip of Erebos before his Commune with the Gods dumps a pile of creatures into his graveyard. You can cast Dromoka’s Command for the first mode, targeting Commune, and the second, targeting your opponent; the first mode won’t do anything, but because it targeted an instant or sorcery spell, it fulfilled the requirements to be legally cast! Note, however, that you can’t do this unless there’s another spell (other than Dromoka’s Command) on the stack, since a spell is never a legal target for itself.

Changing the situation slightly for the next scenario, what if this time you still want that Whip gone, but you control a creature? Let’s attempt to put a +1/+1 counter on it. In response, the opponent casts Hero’s Downfall on the creature. While we won’t get the +1/+1 counter, the enchantment sacrifice still happens. A spell only needs every target to be legal as it’s cast. When it’s resolving, as long as it still has even one legal target, it’ll resolve and do as much as possible.

One other thing to be aware of. Spells always resolve in the order they’re printed, top to bottom. So if you happen to cast Dromoka’s Command choosing “Sacrifice an enchantment” and “My Seeker of the Way fights your Courser of Kruphix“, you may be in for a surprise. The player can choose to sacrifice the Courser to the first instruction, and then it won’t be around to fight anything, so you won’t get the benefit of your Seeker’s lifelink!

Thanks again for visiting the Rules Tips Blog this week!

Today’s Rules Tip written by Jen Wong

Sharing is Caring - Click Below to Share