Welcome back to the Rules Tip Blog! Today we’ll be covering effects that set a life total to a specific number. Right now in Standard we’ve got a few cards that do this, such as Tree of Perdition and Providence. When a life total is set to a specific number, most people are just going to change their dice, or scribble out the old number and write in a new one- but technically, the player gains or loses however much life they need to GET to that point. If an effect says you can’t gain life, Providence isn’t going to do anything. Something that replaces lifegain with something else will hit it too; for example, if you were at 13 life and cast a Providence while your opponent controlled Tainted Remedy, instead of GAINING 13 life (the amount Providence will try to make you gain to get you to 26), you’d LOSE 13 life, which is a bit fatal here. On the flip side, a successful Perdition would trigger things like Defiant Bloodlord! Likewise, setting a life total to a lower number causes life loss, so Tree of Perdition can be a nasty combo with Wound Reflection. Finally, if your opponent can’t lose life for whatever reason, like because of a Platinum Emperion, an effect that tries to set their life total to a lower number just… doesn’t!
Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez