IMPORTANT UPDATE: This article has been updated as of the prerelease of Magic 2014 on July 13; Please refer to the revisions below. This was briefly explained in the Battalion mechanic blog entry last week, but it's still a common question, so I'm making it as a bonus entry all to itself! All the triggered abilities labeled with the Battalion ability word have the same trigger condition: "Whenever and at least two other creatures attack,." To understand why Geist and its Angel can't
As usual, people are seeing if they can use the new token toys to make their even more fun. And like before it, the Populate mechanic gives you some new options with Geist. Unlike Parallel Lives, which makes Geist throw down two tokens, both swinging and temporary, Populate will simply give you another of the Angels. So say you attack with your Geist, and then cast due to your opponent's combat trick, or a bad block. When you Populate, the Angel token that you create isn't attacking, since
A new block rotation always comes with a new set of planeswalkers, and the new looks to be a fair bit more complicated than his predecessors. Today we'll be focusing on his +1 ability. When it's activated, it sets up what's known as a delayed triggered ability, meaning it'll wait to be put onto the stack until a particular event happens. In this case, it's whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, and this event occurs at the beginning of the declare attackers step. After
So normally, when you attack, there's no question which player you're attacking. However, when there are multiple legal choices for who to attack, it gets a little more involved. You still only get one combat phase and one of each of the steps in that phase. So when you move to combat, each other player becomes a "defending player." As you attack, you declare which player or planeswalker each creature is attacking at that moment. This is not too complicated. What about blocking? Who blocks first?
Those of you who were playing Magic during Shards of Alara block may remember Exalted, the feature mechanic of the shard of Bant. For the rest of you, let's break it down step by step. ʺWheneverʺ signifies a triggered ability, that goes on the stack when a condition is met. ʺa creature you control attacksʺ indicates that exalted triggers during the turn-based action of declaring attackers at the beginning of the declare attackers step, before any player gets priority. And ʺaloneʺ means exalted
When attacks, an attacking 4/4 flying angel token is put into play. The Geist's ability doesn't specify what this token is attacking, so the controller gets to choose. It does not have to be attacking the same player or planeswalker that the Geist of Saint Traft is attacking. For example, if Geist of Saint Traft is attacking a player, the controller can choose to have the angel token attack a planeswalker controlled by the defending player and not just the defending player. This also works