Brave the Elements, Gods Willing, and Auras

Back when Zendikar block was still in standard, was one of my favorite cards. We may have that back, but we also have , which grants protection to just one of your creatures, but that creature needn't be white (plus you get to Scry 1). Now, we're also in a Standard heavy with Auras and Bestow creatures, so there's an interaction with protection you might not think about! Protection from a color means four things, essentially. If you give your creature Protection from Black, then any damage from

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Bestow and Cost Modification

All right, the dust from Theros has more or less settled, and everyone's got a pretty good feel for the mechanics. But there are some nitpicky things that might not come up often, that you're unsure how to handle. For example, when does a spell cast for its Bestow cost 'count' as the appropriate kind of spell? Will you have to pay extra for it under a , or less under a ? When does it stop being a creature? Does it get shut down by , or ? Well, the answer to that is simple! Bestow applies after

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Monstrous Isn’t Linked to the Counters

While this didn't come up much at the prerelease (since there's no real way to get rid of their +1/+1 counters in Theros sealed!), I've seen and heard a few players thinking that "Monstrous" is linked to the counters themselves. For example, they think that if they remove the +1/+1 counters from their somehow (perhaps with -1/-1 counters) that it loses "monstrous"), and they can make it Monstrous again. This, however, is incorrect! Once you use the Monstrosity ability (and it resolves), that

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Melira and Inkmoth Nexus

Infect! Quite the polarizing mechanic in most areas, it was either considered laughably bad or stupidly broken depending on who you were talking to. It's gained some traction lately with eggs-in-one-basket rush decks, especially in Modern, and it's possible you might run into a Pod deck running and you want to know how it interacts with your guys. For the most part: badly. Melira will strip away their Infect, meaning they just do regular old normal damage to stuff. Your or will need to connect

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Runner’s Bane will fall off a creature once its power is 4+.

This one came up quite a lot at our prerelease! is a solid common in Limited, locking down your opponent’s little dudes. It can clear a path for you to swing early on, or it can disable his utility guy. But there’s a deceptively easy way to get rid of it, and it involves hulking out. Runner’s Bane is an Aura with “Enchant creature with power 3 or less”. That means it can’t legally be attached to anything other than a creature with power 3 or less. So, if your creature stops having 3

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Prerelease week: How Fuse works.

Split cards have always been a fan favorite. Probably for the same reason people love the Charms so much: they give you options. In the past, we had entwine, to let you cast all of the modes a spell has, and now, with Dragon's Maze, we have Fuse, which lets us cast both sides of a split card. Alright, let's examine fuse. First off, fuse only works if you're casting the split card from your hand. You don't get the option if you're casting it because of cascade or if you're casting it from your

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Extort’s loss of life can’t hit a planeswalker.

Quick question: What’s the difference between damage and loss of life? As you can see from the cards above, whether an effect deals damage or just causes loss of life is dependent on the specific wording of the effect. When an effect “deals damage”, it causes loss of life (barring weird exceptions like infect), but it’s also affected by other things that affect damage; it can be prevented, for example, by something like , and if it’s noncombat damage, it can also be redirected from

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Elvish Archdruid Won’t Trigger Gyre Sage

If there's one thing Elves love [beyond having Hobbits do their dirty work, but that's another plane entirely], it's mana. Lots and lots of mana. Enormous, obscene piles of green mana, ready to be converted into an astoundingly large spell, or into many little elves, who will make even more mana. Continuing the trend of "That's a lot of mana" in the Elf bloodlines is , a Simic-aligned elf from Gatecrash. This Elf makes green mana equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it, AND has Evolve, so

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Flinthoof Boar and Evolve

is part of a cycle in M13, and it's a pretty neat cycle! They're all uncommon mono-colored creatures that have an ability which requires an allied color of mana to activate, and they get +1/+1 if you control a corresponding basic. Flinthoof Boar is a 2/2 for 2 that gets +1/+1 if you control a Mountain, and it can also be given Haste. But how does Mr. Pig interact with the Simic Combine and their Evolve shenanigans? The answer is 'quite well'. Let's say you led with a turn 1 into , and followed

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