Our first article received overwhelming positive feedback — not only showing how Legacy exploits a full 100% of the rules, but also helping people understand certain interactions for their next Legacy tournament.
Obviously, since Legacy is such a big and wide open format, there are so many more interactions to cover. We will continue writing these articles until we have covered most, if not all, common Legacy interactions — so if you have any more suggestions that aren’t covered here, let us know!
Counterbalance, Dark Confidant, and Split Cards
Split cards (namely Fire / Ice) are often used for the versatility — it’s a burn card when you need it, can stall for a turn, or even act as a cantripping Rishadan Port. Often times the interactions with split cards are as though they are, well, individual cards: when a player casts Fire, you treat it as though Ice doesn’t exist, so it can be Hydroblasted, but not Pyroblasted. A Stand (split card Stand / Deliver) can be Mental Misstepped (in theory, since Mental Misstep is banned), but not a Deliver.
However, the interactions get a bit trickier when the split cards aren’t on the stack. Here is the relevant rule from the comprehensive rules (you can skip this if you don’t want to read this):
708.5. An effect that asks for a particular characteristic of a split card while it’s in a zone other than the stack gets two answers (one for each of the split card’s two halves).
Example: Infernal Genesis has an ability that reads, “At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top card from his or her library into his or her graveyard. He or she then puts X 1/1 black Minion creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is that card’s converted mana cost.” If the top card of your library is Assault/Battery when this ability resolves, the game sees its converted mana cost as “1, and 4.” You get five creature tokens.
So the interactions between the following are:
1.) Counterbalance + Split cards: Say your opponent plays a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and off your Counterbalance trigger you reveal an Assault / Battery (as in the example above). Counterbalance will receive two answers from the converted mana cost: 1 and 4. Because at least one of those conditions are true, Jace will be countered. Keep in mind that the values are not added together; they’re kept separately. This is relevant for the next example.
The comprehensive rules about the Counterbalance and Split cards are here:
708.6a An effect that performs a positive comparison (such as asking if a card is red) or a relative comparison (such as asking if a card’s converted mana cost is less than 2) involving characteristics of one or more split cards in any zone other than the stack gets only one answer. This answer is “yes” if either side of each split card in the comparison would return a “yes” answer if compared individually.
2.) Dark Confidant + Split cards: If you reveal an Assault / Battery off of a Dark Confidant, you will lose 5 life. So why doesn’t Counterbalance revealing a Assault / Battery counter a Force of Will? This is because although the values aren’t added together, Dark Confidant gets two answers from the Assault / Battery: 1, and 4. So you lose 1, then 4 life, for a total of 5 life. The different is subtle, but important.
Credit – Nonex on MTGTheSource
Show and Tell and Clone effects
Since the printing of Griselbrand, Show and Tell decks have become increasingly scary. A walking, lifelinking Yawgmoth’s Bargain is nothing to scoff at. It has made Show and Tell a more popular deck, though the results haven’t exactly proven the deck as tier one quite yet.
Thankfully, despite the fact that Wizards actually printed a Yawgmoth’s Bargain on legs as well as a 15/15 annihilator in the past couple years, they’ve printed them as legendary, making them vulnerable not only to Karakas but to clone effects as well, giving a lot of decks a way to fight these game ending creatures. These can include Phyrexian Metamorph, Phantasmal Image, or Clone.
However, there is something about these clone effects that you should know, especially if you haven’t faced these Show and Tell decks yet.
Clone effects will not be able to copy a creature put into play with Show and Tell if you use Show and Tell to put the clone creature into play.
What? That’s ridiculous! No, unfortunately that’s the way it works.
It’s because of the way the replacement effect of the clone creature works. The effect replaces the event of “this creature enters the battlefield” with “this creature enters the battlefield as a copy of a creature on the battlefield”. Since the clone effect has to enter the battlefield AS the creature, it has to determine the creatures it can copy JUST MOMENTS BEFORE it enters the battlefield. This is why you get the “enters the battlefield” triggers when you clone a creature; it’s because it actually entered the battlefield as that creature. It didn’t enter the battlefield as nothing, THEN turn into that creature.
So because the clone effect has to determine the creatures it could copy BEFORE it enters the battlefield, it can’t copy the creature put into play with Show and Tell because the creature put into play isn’t on the battlefield yet. It’s in the same zone as the clone creature, which I presume is still technically in the hand.
Unfortunately, that means that you’ll have to wait until your turn to cast the clone effect or use some other way to get your clone creature into play. Good luck in not getting it countered :(
Credit – Koby on MTGTheSource
Knight of the Reliquary and Maze of Ith
Knight of the Reliquary is probably the strongest creature in Maverick. Not only for its ability to go completely out of hand if not answered (it’s common for Knight of the Reliquary to become a 10/10 or bigger), but its ability to access one of Maverick’s strong points — its land toolbox. Maverick runs many lands as silver bullets such as Karakas to stop opposing legendary creatures (or saving its own Thalia or Gaddock Teeg), Wasteland to mana screw your opponent, Horizon Canopy to draw cards in a pinch, or Maze of Ith to stop damage from your opponent’s biggest creatures.
Knight of the Reliquary might be scary to face, but you know what’s even scarier? A Knight of the Reliquary with vigilance. Well, “vigilance”.
The following steps during the combat phase are:
- Begin Combat
- Declare Attackers
- Declare Blockers
- Combat Damage
- End of Combat
Spells and abilities can be cast during each step outlined above, after the respective game actions have been taken (declaring attackers during the Declare Attackers step, etc).
The thing is, a creature its controller declared as attacking is considered an attacking creature from the moment the game action of declaring attackers ends to when the end of combat step finishes — so a creature is still an “attacking creature” during the end of combat step. Players are allowed to cast spells and activate abilities during this step; so yes, this means that you can use your own Maze of Ith on your Knight of the Reliquary after it has dealt damage. So you can block with it next turn as well as activate the Knight again to fetch out another silver bullet, or just to fuel the Knight’s power and toughness.
This can also work with other creatures; for example, you can attack with a Noble Hierarch for 1 damage, then use the Maze of Ith to untap it so you can still use its mana during your second main phase or on your opponent’s turn.
Credit – Koby on MTGTheSource
Golgari Grave-Troll and Dread Return
More recently, Dredge decks are eschewing the ever-so-popular Dread Return targets such as Iona, Flame-kin Zealot, and other creatures in favor of Golgari Grave-Troll. The logic is that because Dredge kills your opponent with zombie tokens most of the time anyway, having a Dread Return target that could affect the consistency of your dredges isn’t necessary (if any other Dredge players would like to chime in on this, feel free to post in the comments).
So, here’s the interaction: when Dread Return (or any other reanimation spell like Unburial Rites) returns a Golgari Grave-Troll from the graveyard to the battlefield, Golgari Grave-Troll’s ability actually counts itself when determining the number of +1/+1 counters it enters the battlefield with.
Counter intuitive? Sure, but when you see the logic in why it does, it begins to make sense.
This is very similar to the Clone and Show and Tell example above. Basically, the replacement effect of the Golgari Grave-Troll needs to determine the number of counters the Grave-Troll enters the battlefield with before the Grave-Troll actually enters the battlefield. Otherwise it would die when it enters the battlefield. And where is the Grave-Troll when the replacement effect needs to determine that? Yes, in the graveyard. The Grave-Troll is not “in between” the graveyard or the battlefield when its replacement effect determines the number of counters; it’s simply in the graveyard.
Credit – barrozo on MTGTheSource
Scavenging Ooze and Sword of Light and Shadow
So this interaction actually isn’t mind blowing like say, the Show and Tell vs. Clone effects, but it is one that we didn’t learn until it became relevant at the StarCityGames.com Open: Phoenix. And it seems like it will be common enough in the Maverick mirror match, since some Maverick decks are still running the Sword of Light and Shadow.
Basically, say your opponent has a Scavenging Ooze, and you control a creature with a Sword of Light and Shadow on it. Let’s say that you swing and successfully hit your opponent with the equipped creature. Then you target that Qasali Pridemage that’s been sitting in your graveyard so you can take out that Sylvan Library your opponent’s been using. But, your opponent exiles it with the Scavenging Ooze. Not only will the Ooze gain the benefits from exiling the Pridemage, but you also won’t gain 3 life, because the target was made illegal; the whole ability is countered, not just the return-a-creature-from-the-graveyard portion of the ability. So unfortunately you’ll have to choose zero targets for the Sword of Light and Shadow’s ability if they have an Ooze with open green mana so you’ll at least get the life. Although this does seem like common sense, there aren’t that many abilities with two related-but-different abilities. The other Swords typically have an interaction that isn’t targeted (Sword of Feast and Famine) or one where there’s usually no way to really counter the triggered ability anyway (Are you going to Lightning Bolt your own guy in response to a Sword of Fire and Ice to stop him from drawing a card? Rarely.)
Again, nothing too complicated, but an interaction that can be relevant for the Maverick mirror.
Anyway, there are five more interactions that you may not heard about. Read them, know them, and make sure you remember them! Again, if you have any common Legacy interactions that you want us to go over, post here! We want to continue writing as much as possible.