Kraul Harpooner: When is X Determined?

Welcome back to the end of Golgari Week here at the Rules Tip Blog (and for our US readers, we hope you had a happy Thanksgiving)! Today we’re looking at Undergrowth, and when it gets locked in- specifically, on Kraul Harpooner. Harpooner is a great Limited card- when it comes down, you pick out a flying creature of your opponent’s, and then the Harpooner gets bigger for every creature in your graveyard, before going in for a fight. With only 2 toughness, it’s probably gonna die in the process, but with a big enough graveyard it can take down most any flying target.

But when, exactly, do we figure out how big Harpooner’s going to get? What happens if your opponent makes their flier just a little too big, and you have some way of putting more creature cards in your graveyard? Or the opposite- what if your graveyard gets SMALLER before the fight? As you may have guessed, the value of X isn’t “locked in” here. It’s determined as the trigger resolves, so you can grow or shrink your graveyard between the trigger firing and resolving to tweak it. So be wary if your opponent has a Sentinel Totem or a Silent Gravestone, they can make your Harpooner a lot less effective than you might be hoping. Of course, if you can bait them into that and then discard a few creatures, that might work in your favor- Happy Harpooning!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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