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Conflux FAQ

The Conflux Frequently Asked Questions (word 'doc' format) just went up this afternoon. Out thanks to Mark Gottlieb and the MTG rules guru crew for putting this together. Make sure you give this 26 page tome a read before you head into your Pre-release event or Launch party.

Following is a quick summary of the new keyword mechanics / abilities. As well, there is some very interesting rules around a particular creature's ability which will make you chortle with evil mirth . . . buckle up and let's go.
Returning Mechanics
Some abilities and mechanics introduced in the Shards of Alara set appear in the Conflux set. For more information about the five shards and their mechanics (the Bant shard's keyword "exalted," the Esper shard's colored artifacts, the Grixis shard's keyword "unearth," the Jund shard's keyword "devour," and the Naya shard's "5 power matters" mechanic), see the Shards of Alara FAQ.

Ability Word: Domain
Domain is an ability word. It appears in italics at the beginning of an ability that counts the number of basic land types among lands you control. (An ability word has no rules meaning.) domain ability has a different effect. Read each card carefully.

Returning Keyword Ability: Cycling
New Keyword Variant: Basic Landcycling

If you have a card with "cycling" in your hand, you can pay its cycling cost and discard it to draw a new card. If you have a card with "basic landcycling" in your hand, you can pay its cycling cost and discard it to search your library for a basic land card. Cycling (and, thus, basic landcycling) is an activated ability. Effects that interact with activated abilities (such as Stifle or Rings of Brighthearth) will interact with cycling. Effects that interact with spells (such as Remove Soul or Faerie Tauntings) will not.

Theme: Color Matters
Many Conflux cards have abilities that check to see whether you control a permanent of a certain color. There are three different forms these abilities can take. Six of these cards (Bloodhall Ooze, Kederekt Parasite, Mirror-Sigil Sergeant, Parasitic Strix, Rhox Meditant, and Sedraxis Alchemist) are creatures that have triggered abilities with "intervening 'if' clauses". If the permanent with this ability has itself become the color that its ability checks for, then it can count itself as the permanent it's looking for. These abilities continually check the colors of permanents you control. As long as at least one of them is the specified color, the ability will "work" and grant the permanent the bonus. Otherwise, the permanent won't have the bonus.

Check out these Card-specific notes . . .

Charnelhoard Wurm
Creature -- Wurm
Whenever Charnelhoard Wurm deals damage to an opponent, you may return target card from your graveyard to your hand.

* If Charnelhoard Wurm is dealt lethal damage at the same time it deals damage to an opponent, Charnelhoard Worm will be in your graveyard by the time you put its ability on the stack. In that case, you can target it with its own ability. ( ! ! ! OMG ! ! ! )

Mirror-Sigil Sergeant, {5}{W}
Creature -- Rhino Soldier
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a blue permanent, you may put a token into play that's a copy of Mirror-Sigil Sergeant.

* Normally, when a token is created by this ability, it will simply be a Mirror-Sigil Sergeant, so it'll also have the token-creating ability. (See below for weird exceptions.) At the beginning of your next upkeep, if you still control the original Sergeant, the token copy, and a blue permanent, you'll get two more token copies; the turn after that you'll get four; then eight; and so on. ( ! ! ! Epic Win ! ! ! )

Exotic Orchard
{T}: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.

* The colors of mana are white, blue, black, red, and green. Exotic Orchard can't be tapped for colorless mana, even if a land an opponent controls could produce colorless mana.
* Exotic Orchard checks the effects of all mana-producing abilities of lands your opponents control, but it doesn't check their costs. For example, Vivid Crag has the ability "{T}, Remove a charge counter from Vivid Crag: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." If an opponent controls Vivid Crag and you control Exotic Orchard, you can tap Exotic Orchard for any color of mana. It doesn't matter whether Vivid Crag has a charge counter on it, and it doesn't matter whether it's untapped.
* Lands that produce mana based only on what other lands "could produce" won't help each other unless some other land allows one of them to actually produce some type of mana. For example, if you control an Exotic Orchard and your opponent controls an Exotic Orchard and a Reflecting Pool, none of those lands would produce mana if their mana abilities were played. On the other hand, if you control a Forest and an Exotic Orchard, and your opponent controls an Exotic Orchard and a Reflecting Pool, then each of those lands can be tapped to produce {G}. Your opponent's Exotic Orchard can produce {G} because you control a Forest. Your Exotic Orchard and your opponent's Reflecting Pool can each produce {G} because your opponent's Exotic Orchard can produce {G}.

Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer, {1}{W}{U}
Legendary Creature -- Human Rogue
{W}{U}, {T}: Put a bribery counter on target creature you don't control. Its controller draws a card.
Creatures with bribery counters on them can't attack or block.

* If Gwafa Hazid leaves play, any bribery counters will remain where they are. However, without a Gwafa Hazid in play, creatures with bribery counters on them can attack and block as normal. If another Gwafa Hazid comes into play, its ability will affect all creatures with bribery counters on them, including the ones that received counters from a different Gwafa Hazid.
* Creatures with bribery counters on them can't be declared as attackers or blockers. However, if a bribery counter is put on a creature that's already been declared as an attacker or blocker, that creature will continue to attack or block that combat.

Magister Sphinx, {4}{W}{U}{B}
Artifact Creature -- Sphinx
When Magister Sphinx comes into play, target player's life total becomes 10.

* This ability is not optional.
* For a player's life total to become 10, what actually happens is that the player gains or loses the appropriate amount of life. For example, if the targeted player's life total is 4 when this ability resolves, it will cause that player to gain 6 life; alternately, if the targeted player's life total is 17 when this ability resolves, it will cause that player to lose 7 life. Other cards that interact with life gain or life loss will interact with this effect accordingly.

Master Transmuter, {3}{U}
Artifact Creature -- Human Artificer
{U}, {T}, Return an artifact you control to its owner's hand: You may put an artifact card from your hand into play.

* Returning an artifact you control to its owner's hand is part of the cost of Master Transmuter's activated ability. Paying a cost can't be responded to (with Naturalize, for example).
* Since Master Transmuter is an artifact, you may return Master Transmuter itself to your hand. If you do, the rest of the ability will still work normally.

Shard Convergence, {3}{G}
Search your library for a Plains card, an Island card, a Swamp card, and a Mountain card. Reveal those cards and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

* You don't have to find all four cards.
* Shard Convergence checks for cards with the subtypes Plains, Island, Swamp, and Mountain, not for cards with those names. You may find nonbasic land cards this way, as long as they have appropriate subtypes.
* You may find "dual lands" with Shard Convergence. The Plains card you find, for example, can have a second subtype. What subtypes it has won't impact what other cards you can find. For example, you may find a Hallowed Fountain (which has subtypes Plains and Island) as the Plains card, and another Hallowed Fountain as the Island card.

Voracious Dragon, {3}{R}{R}
Creature -- Dragon
Devour 1 (As this comes into play, you may sacrifice any number of creatures. This creature comes into play with that many +1/+1 counters on it.)
When Voracious Dragon comes into play, it deals damage to target creature or player equal to twice the number of Goblins it devoured.

* Voracious Dragon can devour any type of creatures, not just Goblins.
* "The number of Goblins it devoured" means "The number of Goblins sacrificed as a result of its devour ability as it came into play." For each creature that Voracious Dragon devoured, this ability checks its creature type as it last existed in play to see if it was a Goblin at that time.

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