Many people rejoiced when they saw Magma Spray in the Amonkhet spoilers, as a way to deal with pesky little things like Scrapheap Scrounger, and to deal with the new threat of Embalm creatures- as the flavor text says, you can’t embalm ashes, after all. Magma Spray does 2 damage to a target creature, and exiles it if it would die this turn. The majority of the time, Magma Spray will be aimed at a creature it kills- like the Scrounger, or a Sacred Cat, so it’s pretty simple. Shock your guy, exile it instead of graveyard. But what happens if Magma Spray isn’t what kills the creature? What if your opponent has an Angel of Sanctions that you’d rather they not have, but if you kill it with your Ruinous Path they’ll just Embalm it next turn? Well, you can combine those spells, in a way. Magma Spray sets up a replacement effect on that creature for the whole turn- if it would die for any reason this turn, exile it instead. Magma Spray doesn’t have to be what kills it- as long as Spray resolves, that effect is set up. So if you Magma Spray the Angel, and then hit it with Ruinous Path afterwards, the Path will destroy it, and instead of going to the graveyard, it’ll be exiled because of the replacement effect! Most of the time this won’t matter, since Spray is an instant; you can throw it down after damage in the combat step to finish something off, or after your opponent’s Sweltering Suns that they THOUGHT their X/4 was safe from. Just remember that if you need to cast your spell before the creature would die, you can!
Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez