Good morning and welcome back to the Rules Tips Blog! As of last Friday, all the cool new cards from Eldritch Moon are legal for play in Standard (and Legacy and Modern, for that matter). So, with that fresh batch of new cards, we’ve got fresh new questions, with fresh new answers! We’ll start off with Spell Queller, a neat new Spirit that likes to eat spells. The wording on it is similar to old exile effects like Oblivion Ring, rather than current wording like on Stasis Snare. The NEWER cards have a single trigger that exiles the target for a duration, while the older cards had two triggers; one exiled on entering, the other returns on leaving. One of the reasons for the switch was a feel-bad “trick” you could pull off, by playing your Oblivion Ring or Fiend Hunter and then destroying or bouncing or sacrificing it in response to the ETB trigger. Because of the two trigger wording, that would end up permanently exiling the target!
So, Spell Queller has the ‘old’ wording too- can you feed your Queller a spell forever? You can! Simply make sure that the Queller leaves the battlefield prior to the ETB trigger resolving. By doing so, the leaves-the-battlefield trigger will resolve and do nothing (because Queller hasn’t eaten any spells yet), and then the ETB trigger will resolve and eat the spell for good. Blinking it (like with Essence Flux) is tricky; since it’ll come right back, you’ll have another ETB trigger, so that only works if there’s some second spell that you might want to exile. If you’re hoping to use Queller and Flux to stymie just one spell on the stack, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Finally, some more basic things: For X spells, the value of X does change on the stack. Spell Queller can exile your opponent’s Hangarback Walker if X was 0, 1, or 2, but not if it’s 3 or more. Queller also doesn’t care how much they’re paying for a spell, only what the CMC is; if they’re “only” paying 3 or 4 mana to cast a card with Emerge, for example, it still has too high of a CMC for Queller to exile it. Likewise, a Vryn Wingmare doesn’t increase a spell’s CMC, so even if they’re paying 5 mana to cast a 4 CMC creature because of a Wingmare, it still only has a CMC of 4! Queller can eat that.
Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez