Limited Play - Avacyn Restored

Joshua Vanderwall | 2 May 2012 16:00
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Round Three

Round three was just as exciting as the last, with my opponent playing a really mean Red Black concoction, featuring two copies of Homicidal Seclusion. Game one I drew all of my equipment and none of my creatures. He quickly ran over my defenseless board and ate me alive. I was a little taken aback by the absolute beating I took that game, but I wasn't going to let myself get psyched out that easily. I shuffled up and presented, ready to win this time. And win I did. An early Somberwald Sage lead to a mid-game Avacyn with two other creatures on the board. He tapped out to cast Killing Wave for 6, with me at 16 life, I had to sacrifice my board except for Avacyn herself, who put me down to 10. I swung again and, threatening lethal damage next turn, he drew for the turn and conceded. Game three was an epic struggle for survival on both sides of the table. He cast a Demonic Taskmaster with some other creatures on the board, and I immediately Defang'd his Taskmaster, but had to hold back my troops to force him to sacrifice his other creatures to the Demon. He was finally down to just the Taskmaster, after casting a Homicidal Seclusion, and then another, making his fortunately harmless Demon a 10/5 Flying Lifelink that couldn't deal any damage. He cast a Bonfire of the Damned for two, missing his chance at a miracle casting which would have cleared my board, but still taking out more than half of my creatures. I knew I had to start dealing damage if I wanted to win, so I took the risk and attacked. He blocked my Wurm, finally getting rid of the Taskmaster that had kept him from casting any other creatures. At this point I was on the edge of my seat. If he cast a creature, I was done for, since any solitary creature on his side was getting +6/+2 and Lifelink, which could easily race my 6 damage per turn. I didn't have enough mana to cast Avacyn if I drew it, since he killed my Somerwald Sage with his Bonfire. I was terrified to see what he had in his hand. He drew and smiled. He dropped a land and cast Essence Harvest for 0. That was it. He scooped, we shook, and I breathed another heavy sigh of relief.

Round Four

My round four opponent was apparently new to Magic, having only been playing for a few months. I commended him for going 3-0 during his first Sealed Deck tournament, and we agreed to Draw the last round in order to split the difference in prize packs. We played two games for fun anyways, and ended up going 1 and 1. In hindsight I wish we'd played a third game, if only to sate my curiosity as to who would have come out on top, but his Moonsilver Spear really wrecked me in the second game, and I was eager to open more booster packs.



Q: I control Blood Artist, Rakish Heir, and Falkenrath Aristocrat. My opponent controls three 1/1 Human creature tokens. They cast Day of Judgment, in response I sacrifice my Rakish Heir to make Falkenrath Aristocrat indestructible until end of turn. After Day of Judgment has resolved, how many times does Blood Artist's ability trigger in all?

A: First, Blood Artist's ability will trigger when you sacrifice Rakish Heir to Falkenrath Aristocrat. That's one. Then, when Day of Judgment resolves, his ability will trigger for each creature that dies, including himself, as per his wording. Three Human creature tokens and the Blood Artist himself makes four more triggers. Remember that the Aristocrat is Indestructible this turn. All told, there have been five triggers, so your opponent has lost five life, and you've gained five life. The tricky part here is knowing when Blood Artist 'sees' other creatures dying, and in the case of a board wipe, like Day of Judgment, all creatures will see all other creatures die, triggering their on-death abilities.

603.6d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger.
Example: Two creatures are on the battlefield along with an artifact that has the ability "Whenever a creature dies, you gain 1 life." Someone plays a spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. The artifact's ability triggers twice, even though the artifact goes to its owner's graveyard at the same time as the creatures.

Oracle 5/1/2012: If Blood Artist and one or more other creatures die at the same time, its ability will trigger for each of those creatures.

Question of the Week

Your opponent controls Wolfir Silverheart paired with Trusted Forcemage and a Borderland Ranger. You control Ulvenwald Tracker who is paired with Nightshade Peddler as well as a Borderland Ranger. They attack with the Wolfir Silverheart and Trusted Forcemage. Before blockers are declared, you use Ulvenwald Tracker's ability to make Nightshade Peddler and Wolfir Silverheart fight. Both creatures die. You then declare Borderland Ranger blocking the Trusted Forcemage. Before combat damage is dealt, they cast Cloudshift targeting the Trusted Forcemage and pairing it with their own Borderland Ranger when it re-enters the Battlefield. What happens when combat damage resolves?

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