Welcome back to the Rules Tip Blog! We sure missed you. Today we'll be starting on our tips from Kaladesh! To start with, we'll cover crewing, and crewing a specific card: . Every Vehicle has the Crew ability, which is followed by a number (in this case, Crew 3). That means that anytime you have priority, you can tap any number of creatures you control with total power 3 or more to Crew that vehicle; it becomes a creature, and has Power and Toughness as printed in the lower-right of the card.
is an interesting mana rock. It can make many different colors, but only costs 2 instead of the usual 3! To make up for that, it comes in tapped the turn you play it, and it requires a little work to get going. It has a normal mana ability (because it isn't a loyalty ability and doesn't target, and could add mana to a mana pool as it resolves!), so it doesn't use the stack, resolves instantly, and can't be responded to. But, it requires you to choose a color present among cards in your graveyard,
Rattleclaw Mystic's "turn-face-up" trigger produces mana, but it isn't a mana ability. It uses the stack and can be responded to.
By far the biggest chunk of questions I've gotten from my players and my threads the past week are all about the last mechanic we're covering this week (sorry, Scry): Devotion. Devotion is more or less a reworking of Chroma, an ability word from back in Lorwyn block. Put simply, "Devotion to COLOR" is measured by how many mana symbols of that color appear in the mana costs of your permanents. It doesn't matter how many black permanents total you have, for example, to find your Devotion to Black.
An explanation of how Burning Earth works (or really doesn't) when a nonbasic land is tapped for a non-mana ability.
To finish out this week's Modern flair, let's talk about a deck called Robots (or back in my crotchety days, "Affinity"). It uses lots of artifacts to make your opponent and his life total very sad. The Legacy version (and the original Standard version) made delightful use of the artifact lands like and pulling double duty thanks to Affinity for Artifacts. While those particular little nasties aren't legal in Modern, they are in other formats where s pretty worthless since they can no longer tap
There was a time when counters didn't cancel each other out on the same permanent; you could have a bunch of +1/+1 counters and a few -1/-1 counters on a creature and they'd just co-exist happily on that creature, in case anything cared. With the Lorwyn block, that got changed up because it was a little confusing, and it also allowed you to do cool stuff like use +1/+1 counters to cancel out the -1/-1 counters from Persist, 'resetting' the creatures (or using -1/-1 counters to do the same with Undying,
There's a small caveat in Magic: you can only pay any given cost for one ability or spell; you can't use the same cost to pay for two separate abilities. That’s just not how life (or Magic) works. Very simple here with the Cluestones. Since the Cluestone's abilities require it to tap for both the mana and the card drawing, you can't tap it once to fulfill both abilities (unless the Cluestone became untapped somehow from another ability). If you tap it for mana, you won't be able to tap it to
These two artifacts look very similar, and both see play in the popular and successful "Eggs" deck in Modern. But since is also a very popular sideboard card, you should be careful to note the difference! is rather unique. It includes "Draw a card." in the same ability as "Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." In other words, you get to draw a card without using the stack as part of a mana ability! It's so strange, they even had to add a rule about keeping the drawn card face down
So by now, most people are familiar with the "Urzatron" decks that are popular in Modern. They revolve around getting the three different Urza's lands (Power Plant, Mine, and Tower) to cast large spells rather quickly, getting 7 colorless mana from just 3 lands. In an attempt to combat the deck, one trick people have been using is to include Spreading Seas in their decks or sideboards. They slap one on Urza's Tower, and suddenly it's an island! Now Urza's Mine and Urza's Power Plant don't see