Welcome back! For today’s Kaladesh-based tip, we’ll be talking about the newest addition to my lifegain EDH deck: Aetherflux Reservoir. It gains life and shoots giant life-total-powered doom lasers; what’s not to love? The first ability seems straightforward; every time you cast a spell, you gain life equal to the number of spells you’ve cast this turn. So your first spell would gain you 1 life, your second would gain you 2, etc, etc, to help you gain up over the 50 mark so you can fire the doom laser (not to be confused with arming the Doom Citadel). Here’s the fun part, though: those triggers don’t “lock in” how many spells you’ve cast until they resolve. That means, for example, you could cast a spell, then hold priority and flash in a Rattlechains, then hold priority and cast an instant. Now you’ve got 3 Reservoir triggers, each of which will see that you’ve cast 3 spells this turn, so instead of gaining 1, then 2, then 3… you gain 3, then 3, then 3! Be aware that this super secret tech requires you to very clearly say you’re holding priority between spells, and that your opponent will still get to respond to any and all of them, so it is pretty vulnerable to Summary Dismissal!
Now, onto the next bit: How to fire the Doom Laser. Paying 50 life is the cost to activate the ability, so even if something mucks up your crazy supervillain plans, you’re out 50 life. If someone has a Summary Dismissal to eat the ability, you’ll be in a precarious position, or if someone manages to prevent the damage. You also want to be OVER 50 life, because if you’re at exactly 50 when you activate it… the game will see that you’re at 0 life and you’ll lose before your Doom Laser even resolves! Similarly, if you put yourself really low after activating it, your opponent will have a chance to throw a burn spell at you to kill you before you kill them; remember to keep these risks in mind when operating your Doom Laser (as you should with any doomsday device, really). Remember, supervillainy is equal parts power and presentation, and few things are as stylish as a life-total powered Doom Laser.
World Domination Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez