Limited Play - Dark Ascension

Joshua Vanderwall | 1 Feb 2012 12:57
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I now sat at 0-2 for matches and, around this time, I started considering my options for a total overhaul into Red for Wrack with Madness, and likely Green for Immerwolf and Prey Upon. Of course, thinking through it, Wrack with Madness wouldn't actually have killed the Skirsdag High Priest, and I would have been in pretty much the same situation only without Ghoulcaller's Chant to get my guys back once they hit the Graveyard. Splashing White occurred to me, as that would give me Bonds of Faith and Smite the Monstrous. Once again, I realized that this might have helped in Round One, but would have done nothing in Round Two, and I decided at last to stick with my guns and feast on brains with Zombies. And feast I did.

Round Three I had to mulligan to five on my first hand, and still only had 1 land. I drew into another land just in time to see a Hollowhenge Beast hit the field and proceed to tear my late-to-the-party Zombies to pieces. Second game went much more smoothly, with a first turn Diregraf Ghoul into a second turn Walking Corpse and a third turn Diregraf Captain. The zombies were finally getting it right. A couple of Ghoulcaller's Chants made sure I kept Diregraf Captain in play, and I dropped Mikaeus, the Unhallowed on turn 6 for icing on the cake. Game three was a closer match, with none of the Zombie-fueled mayhem of the second game. I played my Armored Skaab on turn three, which they followed up with Gatstaf Shepherd with no more action on my side, that meant they had an intimidating Gatstaf Howler swinging for 3 each turn. I got a Soul Seizer out turn five and they followed up with their Hollowhenge Beast. I blocked the Beast with my Skaab, after which they dropped three counters on the Beast with a morbid Hunger of the Howlpack. Next turn I stole the tapped 8/8 with Soul Seizer, and finally had an out to the Howler. Unfortunately, since it was tapped I couldn't block that turn, and they swung for 3 and followed up with a Devil's Play for lethal to finish the job.

Round Four was a relief and saw the zombie hordes doing what they were supposed to do. There was nothing quite like game two of round three, but the Zombies put on the pressure early both games and kept it on for the duration. Every time one of them would die, they'd come back with a Gravepurge or Ghoulcaller's Chant, or they'd get replaced with the Headless Skaab. Mikaeus made another showing in game two, and pretty much ended the game outright.

All told, it was a ton of fun to play and, given my inexperience with the Limited Format, I'm not too worried about my record. I am now looking forward to doing some drafting around the office with the new set and getting in some extra practice in Limited.


Q: Can Nevermore be used to affect an Artifact Land like Seat of the Synod?


A: There are two reasons this doesn't work. First, Nevermore states "As Nevermore enters the battlefield, name a nonland card. The named card can't be cast." Since one of Seat of the Synod's types is Land, it cannot be named for Nevermore. Secondly, since Seat of the Synod is a Land, it is never actually cast. Lands are simply put onto the battlefield as a special action which doesn't use the stack.

205.2b Some objects have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature). Such objects satisfy the criteria for any effect that applies to any of their card types.

305.1. A player who has priority may play a land card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Playing a land is a special action; it doesn't use the stack (see rule 115). Rather, the player simply puts the land onto the battlefield. Since the land doesn't go on the stack, it is never a spell, and players can't respond to it with instants or activated abilities.

Q: How does Undying work with Token creatures?

A: Unfortunately, it doesn't. When a Token creature is put into the Graveyard, or any Zone other than the Battlefield (Exile, Hand, Library), it ceases to exist as a State Based Action. As such, when the Token with Undying with no +1/+1 counters is put into its owner's Graveyard, the Undying ability will trigger but before the ability is put on the Stack, the Token will cease to exist when State Based Actions are checked.

110.5f A token that's phased out, or that's in a zone other than the battlefield, ceases to exist. This is a state-based action; see rule 704. (Note that if a token changes zones, applicable triggered abilities will trigger before the token ceases to exist.)

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