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  • posted a message on "Win the game with my opponents cards" deck
    The most straight forward approach to playing with your opponent's deck is very likely Shared Fate. With that you are literally playing with his deck, and he with yours. Just make sure, that your deck cannot remove the enchantment.

    Another idea, and one I did myself, is building around Puca's Mischief. My deck list is around here somewhere, if you are curious. It's a bit outdated, though. Here's the link to the thread:
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Return From Exile Conditions
    You are probably thinking of the processors (e.g. Blight Herder) from the Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch sets. (Though they mostly have abilities that do extra stuff if you return cards, not a requirement for actually casting them.) As well as some instants/sorceries from the same sets (e.g. Processor Assault).
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Double Strike vs High Power First Strike
    As Hackworth said, power boost from spells, abilities, counters, artifacts, enchantments, etc. all count double, since they apply to each strike. This is especially powerful with equipment boosts. Then there are benefits to having a creature with less power and double strike, like with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, that can bring back a Mirran Crusader tapped and attacking, or Mentor of the Meek, that triggers for that Mirran Crusader but not for a high power first striker. Less power also protects against some removal and makes the creature vulnerable to others, so depending on what your opponent is playing, this can be an advantage.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Gerrard weatherlight hero without exile loophole?
    Yes, that works. The later part of Gerrard's trigger does not require you to successfully exile his card to work. So if the card leaves the graveyard before the trigger resolves, you simply don't exile it (which is an impossibe instruction and thus ignored), but get to do all the rest. In would be a different case if the card said "if you do" for the rest to work, like many older cards do.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Do "cast triggers" and "ETB triggers" happen at the same instant?
    No. As the terms suggest, cast ttriggers trigger when you cast something, and ETB triggers trigger whren something enters the battlefield. When you cast a spell, that spell is on the stack, and a cast trigger goes on top of it. Thus the cast trigger will always resolve before the spell. When a spell resolves and makes something enter the battlefield, that spell leaves the stack before the ETB trigger goes there. Thus an ETB trigger will always resolve after the spell. So the spell resolves in between the cast trigger and the ETB trigger.

    When you cast the spell, the stack looks like this:

    cast trigger

    then the cast trigger resolves


    then the spell resolves, making a permanent enter the battlefield, and the ETB trigger goes on the stack

    ETB trigger
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Massacre girl ability
    All right, so: the "this turn" will only work during the turn Massacre girl came into play. Correct?
    During the turn in which the ETB trigger resolved, yes. If it doesn't resolve, then nothing happens, since the delayed trigger is not set up.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on I've been playing off-and-on with a few friends for a year now and I still suck
    Some additional thoughts about actually playing the game. You deck is but one part of what wins you the game, how you play it is another. There are some common mistakes that newer players make all the time. Little things, that together add up to make a huge impact. Here are a few of the top of my head:

    1) Don't play cards before combat, that won't influence combat. You know what you have in your hand, your opponent doesn't. Attacking with mana open and a card in hand will make the opponent think twice about blocking. Do you have a combat trick or removal in hand to screw him over? Is blocking/attacking worth that risk? Especially in the late game, if you are topdecking, draw a land, and don't need that land, don't play it. You can do that later when you draw another land. You can drop that one land with your land drop of the turn if you need the mana.

    2) Creatures die, so don't get too attached to them. With early creatures, the most you can hope for is that is has some effect on the game before it trades with an opponent's card. Don't be afraid of such trades, so long as you don't fall behind on cards by doing so, you ared oing fine.

    3) Use your life total a a resource. Especially in the early game, with 20 life at your disposal, you can afford to take a few hits.

    4) If your win con includes reducing the opponent's life total, and you can attack unhindered with a utility creature and don't need it otherwise for this turn, attack. It may just be 1 point, but it's 1 point closer to victory. Otoh, if your win con doesn't rely on getting your opponent's life total down, or that tiny bit of damage won't make a difference (like with combo decks), stick to your own plan and don't tempt fate with an attack. There is a lot that can go wrong with attacking (flash creatures, combat only removal, and other combat tricks), so if your creature is essential, don't risk it.

    5) Play your cards as late as possible. Open mana and cards in hand is a threat to your opponent. So for example, if you have an instant card draw spell, you may want to play it in the opponent's end step. That way, you use your mana to full effect while keeping the opponent uneasy about what you can do to thwart his plays. another common example is combat tricks. Those you want to use after blockers have been declared.

    6) Don't overcommit. If you have a full board already, that one additional creature probably won't change anything in your favor, but a mass removal on your opponent's side will give him even more card advantage. Better to keep the card in reserve to rebuild and keep the opponent guessing.

    7) Counterspells are powerful tools, but you only have a limited amount of those. So consider carefully wether your opponent's spell is worth countering. If you can cope with it in some other way already, keep the counter for something more important. Example: your opponent is casting a 3/3 creature, and you have a 0/4 wall out already. No need to counter that creature, since you can block it with the wall. But of course, a creature's ability have to be considered, too. That 3/3 might still be a huge threat due to its abilities.

    8) Bluffing is part of the game. I touched on that already a bit with the "keep a card in hand". But you can go to greater heights with that. If your opponent knows that your deck plays a certain card, and you play as if that card is in your hand, you can convince your opponent that you have it in your hand when you don't.

    9) Know the cards in the game. You don't have to learn all the cards in the format, but keep in mind the cards that have been played, especially in the current game. This gives you hints about what to expect, and you can adjust your game accordingly. Remember, that you can look at all the cards in all graveyards and in exile at any time. Your opponent is playing his cards according to his plan. If you can figure out his plan, you can throw a wrench in it. So don't just look at what the cards do right now, but what they could do if other cards are around as well. Some cards just scream "combo", long before it is assembled.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on I've been playing off-and-on with a few friends for a year now and I still suck
    Probably the best way to figure out your decks' deficiencies is to show it to others for critique. Like posting them in this forum's Casual section. Learn about the fundmentals of deck building, that players have figured out over the course of two and a half decades that the game existed, and implement them. I'll try to summarize them:

    1) Have a plan, and have only one plan. Combining strategies or putting in a secondary strategy "just in case" weakens your main strategy as fewer cards are dedicated to it. And the secondary will never be as good as it could be if it were the sole approach, and for the same reason: only part of the deck is dedicated to it.

    2) Play full sets of four of your key cards to increase consistency of drawing them. A good deck wants play the same each time as much as possible.

    3) Stay at or at least close to the minimum deck size to increase consistency of drawing your key cards.

    4) Good decks play good cards. All cards are not created equal, you want to get the most out of every single card slot in the deck. Playing subpar and/or fringe cards just won't cut it in the long run.

    5) Play enough lands. Each deck has its own land needs, but most require about 40% of th deck to be lands. That means about 24 lands in 60 cards. Aggro decks can cope with a bit less (though most of those still shouldn't go below 20), Control decks may need up to 28 or even more. (Yes, almost half the deck.) Being too greedy with your lands will hurt the deck much more than the additional spells will help it.

    6) Interact with your opponent. You are not playing solitaire (though some combo decks can feel like that), your opponent is trying to win as much as you do. You need ways to hinder his plans, and expect him to hinder you. At the very least, you should have some ways to kill or otherwise neutralize creatures, but discard, counterspells, library manipulation, etc. all fall under this point.

    7) Pure life gain is BAD. If you are running cards that simply give you some life and offer nothing more, you are wasting card slots. Gaining life is like patching up wounds while your opponent keeps stabbing you. It's much more efficient to kill the thing that's killing you, or to stay within the metaphor, knock the knife out of his hands. Life gain should alsways come as an additional effect or option, not be the sole purpose of a card. Also, life is a resource, you don't have to protect every single point, only the last one matters. So don't throw valuable creatures in front of attackers if you can take the hit instead.

    8) Pay attention to your deck's mana curve. Look up the phrase if you want more details. But in short, the mana curve refers to how many cards you have for each mana cost. The bulk of those should usually be at 3-5 mana with some cards for less mana for the earlier game, and higher cost cards being rarer, since you can't play them early and you don't want them uselessly cluttering your hand. You don't have to play stuff during the early turns, but you need to be able to.

    9) Try to get card advantage. Cards are the most valuable resource in the game, the player who has more cards is usually more likely to win. That doesn't just refer to drawing more cards (eg. Divination), or making the opponent discard cards (eg. Blightning), but more generally trading one card for two or more of your opponent's (eg. Day of Judgment), creating multiple creatures with one card (eg. Aven Eternal), repeatable abilities (eg. pretty much every planeswalker), etc.

    10) Consider the meta game. The meta game is the players and the decks they are playing in your play group. If you know what your opponents are likely to play, prepare your decks accordingly, and play them accordingly. Each meta is different, things that are powerful in one group may be useless in another. So evaluate advice given and cards suggested with your meta in mind.

    That's all I can think of right now. But browse around the forums, especially the deck help sections, and you will pick up more pieces of wisdom, I'm sure. Don't give up, trying to get better at playing and deck building is part of the fun of the game.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Triggered Abilities with ETB
    Yes. For the Chamber to trigger, the Knight has to enter the battlefield. Meaning, it IS on the battlefield at that time. When the Chamber's trigger resolves and you create a token, the Knight's ability triggers, provided it is still on the battlefield.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Question on assigning damage to multi blockers
    Unless that 5/5 has deathtouch, yes, you are stuck with killing at the very least the first of those blockers. You are not required to assign damage to the next in line, but can instead opt to assign more to the blocker in front. so you can assign all 5 damage to the first blocker, or 4 to the first and 1 to the second, or 2 to the first and second each and 1 to either the first second or third.

    With deathtouch, any nonzero amount of damage is lethal, so you can kill up to five of the blockers by assignung 1 damage each. Which you can do because 1 damage is lethal so you can go to the next in line already.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Lake of the dead combos
    Quote from Gabryz »
    Ok thank you, but it is not really clear, because one of the used combo is lake of the dead and dark ritual that basically is the same concept, so what is the difference?

    Lands are permanents with the land card type on the battlefield. Mana is the magical energy to fuel your spells. It is not physically represented within the game. Representing mana is not nessessary, because it is usually used up right away after being produced, and vanishes with the end of every step and phase if not used. Mana is stored in your mana pool, which like mana, is not physically represented within the game. Your lands on the battlefield are not your mana pool. Lands can usually produce mana, but they aren't the mana. To use an analogy: lands are like cows, mana is like milk. Just like you drink milk and not the cow to quench your thirst, you spend mana on your spells and not the lands.

    Mana can be produced in many ways, tapping lands for mana is one such way, resolving a Dark Ritual is another. You can't sacrifice mana, so this "combo" doesn't work, since you don't get any lands from the Ritual, just mana.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Preventing damage
    The Forge-Tender dies, since protection can't prevent the damage due to Flaring Pain. But since you and the Forge-Tender are both dealt damage during Earthquake's resolution, you still control a creature, and Worship can save you. Your creature only dies after Earthquake has finished resolving, when state based actions are checked. Damage does not destroy creatures, SBAs do, and they are not checked during an object's resolution, but afterwards.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Constricting Sliver ability
    Also note, that removing the sliver before its triggered ability resolves will make it not exile the targeted creature, because the duration of the exile ended before it began.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Solemnity against Devoted Druid combo
    Yes. Since Solemnity makes paying the Druid's cost impossble in the first place, the Druid's controller cannot even begin to activate the ability, and the Vizier thus has nothing to replace.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Soulherder + Kitchen Finks
    You controlled the Finks continuously since your most recent (the current) turn began. When you take a turn, that turn IS your most recent one. So the Finks are not summoning sick and can attack. That's also why flashing in a creature in the opponent's end step allows you to attack with that creature on your turn.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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