Assassin’s Trophy’s Search!

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Golgari week! I hope you’re all sitting comfortably, because today we’re going to talk about quite possibly the most exciting card in Guilds of Ravnica. It slices, it dices, it turns other guild leaders into elaborate paperweights, it’s Assassin’s Trophy!

That’s right, for a low, low price of one green mana and one black mana, you too can blow away any permanent an opponent controls- but be warned, they’ll get to search their library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield to replace it. That last part is what we’re going to focus on today. Specifically, when does your opponent not get to search up a land?

Let’s look at hexproof first. Let’s say you try to blow up a creature your opponent controls and that opponent responds by casting Dive Down on it. In that case, when Assassin’s Trophy tries to resolve, its only target will be illegal, and the entire spell will fail to resolve. The creature lives, and your opponent doesn’t search up a land. So far so good. Next up, let’s consider if the target simply isn’t there any more- for example, if you tried to blow up a Boros Locket and your opponent responded by sacrificing it to draw two cards. Just as before, that means that the target of Assassin’s Trophy won’t be legal as it tries to resolve. Same situation- no legal target, spell fails to resolve, none of its effects happen.

Finally, let’s talk about indestructible. This time we’re trying to kill an Impervious Greatwurm… for some reason. This time Assassin’s Trophy will resolve just fine- its target is legal, it just can’t be destroyed. Like with Ionize and Thought Erasure in previous weeks, though, despite the destruction not happening, the rest of the card functions just fine. You didn’t destroy anything, but your opponent still gets to search for a basic land and put it into play. It may not be the smartest play, but it sure is legal!

With that, I wish you all the best of luck in stoning your non-indestructible foes, and hope you’ll stop by again for the final installment of Golgari week on Friday! See you around!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Alistair Crook

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