Sorin, Grim Nemesis’s +1 ability with X spells and Split Cards

Speaking of vampires that sparkle in the sunlight (if you missed Monday’s article, go check it out right now) we’re moving on to Sorin, Grim Nemesis, Innistrad’s resident planeswalker. Sorin’s +1 ability is something we’ve seen before, notably on Modern poster-boy Dark Confidant. Unlike that card, however, Sorin comes with a twist: you put the card into your hand, but the life loss happens to your opponents! To calculate the card’s converted mana cost, most of the time it’s a straightforward check, but there are certain nuances you might have to watch out for. With X spells, X is 0 everywhere except the stack, so it won’t count toward your opponent’s life loss. With split cards, which have two mana costs instead of one, you count both at the same time, which adds up to extra life loss for your opponents (e.g., Far//Away would result in 5 life lost)

Let’s wrap up today with a tournament tip: Hidden Card Error has received a functional change. Now, if you do Sorin’s +1 and fail to reveal it, your opponent will no longer get to shuffle away a card in your hand. Instead, you’ll reveal your hand as before, and your opponent will get to pick which card they want to treat as the card you “should have revealed” – and apply any remaining effects that care about that card. This means that, most likely, they’ll choose a land card and subsequently lose 0 life due to its converted mana cost of 0. If you want to prevent this, it’s simple: always reveal with Sorin first, mark down the life loss, then you can put the card into your hand.

Today’s Rules Tip written by Jen Wong

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