Recruiter of the Guard and CDAs

That’s right, kids, today we’re dipping our toes into Legacy (or Commander, I guess)! Recruiter of the Guard is a nifty little sort-of-color-shift of Imperial Recruiter that was released in Conspiracy 2: Electric Boogaloo (Also known as Take The Crown). Both of them work along the same lines- they’re 3 mana 1/1s that fetch small creatures from your library. Imperial Recruiter finds things with POWER 2 or less, while the Guard recruits need TOUGHNESS 2 or less. Either way, they dig for an appropriate creature, have you reveal it, and put it into your hand. But how do they work with, say… Tarmogoyf? Or the many */* creatures? The answer is: generally, not well. See, things like Tarmogoyf have what’s called a Characteristic-Defining Ability, or CDA. Those abilities function in all zones, and even outside the game. They constantly update, no matter where the card is- so the only way Recruiter of the Guard can find a Tarmogoyf in your deck is if there’s no more than 1 card type among all graveyards. If there’s 2 or more, Tarmogoyf in your library has 3 or more toughness, so you can’t find it! Same with things like Boneyard Wurm or Dungrove Elder– those abilities work in all zones, so they’ll probably be too big in your library. A fun exception to this is Sewer Nemesis– that DOES have a CDA, but it refers to “The chosen player”. There is no ‘chosen player’ while Nemesis isn’t on the battlefield, because you choose a player as it enters. So in all zones but the battlefield, that CDA kinda short-circuits itself, and Sewer Nemesis is a 0/0 in all those zones- meaning you can find him with your Recruiters! The more you know, eh?

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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