Text-Changing Effects

I decided to write this article because I was inspired by the “Splice onto Instant or Sorcery” cards from Modern Horizons, and I want to build a Commander deck around the ability. Along with Modern Horizons came a rules change, which made Splice into a text-changing ability. I didn’t know what that meant, so I decided to dig into the topic and write this article in the process! Let’s learn something together.

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Attrition

Hey everyone, it’s Jordan. This week, I’m taking over Eye of the Stack and trying something different with it; rather than the nitty-gritty rules breakdowns, I’m going to explain a strategic concept! Today I’ll be talking about the concept of attrition, and how to use it to your advantage.

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Replacement Effects

A few weeks ago, Jordan wrote an article about Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. In that article I added an editor’s note that said you could stack Torbran’s ability with Furnace of Rath so that he would add four additional damage instead, but a sharp-eyed reader informed us that that’s not actually true: The player who would have the damage dealt to them chooses how to stack those abilities! While looking for the rule behind this ruling I found several strange rules about replacement effects, which gave me some ideas for how to abuse them! Let’s get started.

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Protection

In the family of long-lasting keywords, Protection has a tumultuous relationship with Magic. If Trample and Flying are our favorite siblings and Scry is our adorable younger cousin, then Protection is our uncle who is fun to have around, but he has a bad habit of making strangers uncomfortable at parties. In this article I will explain the basics, as well as the finer details, so that you can play with Protection and know how to handle any edge case the game throws at you.

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Zones

Magic: the Gathering has a set of rules unlike almost any other game in existence. Its rules have to cover every conceivable interaction between every card, like a piece of software needs to be thoroughly tested to make sure its users can’t exploit a bug in the code. One of the most important rules features for keeping things comprehensible is the concept of “zones.” Zones divide the cards in a game of Magic into several areas which each have their own rules. To understand why this complicated-sounding system actually makes things simpler, we first need to understand what the system is. Let’s dive in!

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Adventures

Throne of Eldraine is finally here, and with it comes a whole slew of new cards that people are hyped to brew around. Some of those cards have a brand new mechanic – Adventures! An Adventure is a special kind of instant or sorcery spell which is attached to a creature card. They work a lot like split cards, but there are a few differences. Let’s jump in:

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Mana Abilities

Last time on Eye of the Stack, I broke down exactly what it means to “cast a spell,” from the moment you announce it until all the costs are paid. In paper Magic, most players I know create their mana before casting their spells, and while this certainly isn’t wrong I think it comes from not knowing that they can activate mana abilities during the casting process. This time, I want to talk a little more about mana abilities, what defines them, and the implications of being a mana ability.

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Casting a Spell

Casting spells is one of the essential aspects of Magic: the Gathering. It’s something that every player does in nearly every game, and it generally occurs without issue. However, few Magic players know how casting a spell actually works from beginning to end. Knowing these minutia can help to understand a wide variety of otherwise-confusing situations, so I’m going to break it down for you. Let’s get into it!

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Madness

Continuing our streak of articles about Commander 2019, today we’re going to break down the mechanical theme of 2019’s red-black Commander deck: madness! This mechanic doesn’t create many crazy situations, and when played intuitively it rarely creates issues, but not many players understand how the rules actually handle it. That’s what we’re going to learn today (and I’m going to try to break it a little).

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Face-Down Creatures

Welcome back to Eye of the Stack! With Commander 2019 spoilers in full swing, I want to take this opportunity to dig into the rules about my favorite of the new decks: the face-down themed Sultai deck. This deck looks like it is mainly focused on Morph and Megamorph, but it also features cards with Manifest and Ixidron. All of these abilities use cards that are face-down to represent creatures, and today we’re going to explore exactly what that means. Let’s dig in!

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