Sylvan Library and Chains of Mephistopheles

To cap things off, we’re going to leave the realm of reasonable and go absolutely crazy. Sylvan Library is already a somewhat weird old enchantment involving draws, so what happens when we pair it with everyone’s favorite confusing old enchantment: Chains of Mephistopheles? A whole bucket full of weird. Chains seems a lot more complex than it is: If you would draw a card (except the first one you draw for your draw step each turn), one of two things happens. If you have a card in your hand, you have to discard it, and then you get to draw a card. If you don’t have any cards to discard when you go to draw, you will instead mill the top card of your library, and not draw at all.

So how does that work with Library? Let’s assume you have no cards in hand. You’ll draw for your turn, then Library will let you draw 2 if you want. If you choose to draw, you’ll actually discard the card you just drew and draw another one, then discard THAT card and draw a new card. Now, you’ll have to either pay 4 life to keep it, or put it back on top of your library. What if you somehow had NO cards in your hand as the trigger resolved, though? Maybe you drew an instant and wanted to cast it right then. Well, since you don’t have a card to discard for Chains, you’ll just mill 2. You can still pay 4 or 8 life if you want, since paying life is NOT the default, but if you don’t pay nothing will happen. Finally, if you had more than just the one card in your hand, you’ll draw for turn, then discard a card and draw, then discard a card and draw. You’ll pick two cards in your hand that you’ve drawn this turn, and for each one pay 4 life or put it back. If you only kept one of the cards you drew this turn, you just pick it.

Today’s Rules Tip written by Trevor Nuñez

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