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06.12.2016

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Melira, Sylvok Outcast100500 lifes? It's easy! Kitchen Finks and Melira will help you. You also can find here everything you should know about Infect and something about layers, counters and unpayable costs.

Translated by Lev Kotlyar


Melira, Sylvok Outcast

Just like any other lady Melira hates standing by a girl in the same dress. I mean that she is a creature affected by a so called "Legend rule": you can't control two or more legendary permanents with the same name. You must choose one of them and put others into the graveyard.

Before we proceed with Melira's rules text I'd like to leave our fair lady for a bit and refresh the meaning of a keyword ability called

Infect

Infect is a static ability that modifies the outcome of the damage dealing event from a source with Infect. So, a creature with Infect deals damage:

  • to players in form of poison counters;
  • to creatures in form of -1/-1 counters;
  • to planeswalkers… the regular way - removing the loyalty counters.

With the exception that a player doesn't lose life and creatures don't get damage marked on them (and isn't removed during cleanup step or regeneration), nothing changes about the damage:

  • damage stays either combat or noncombat;
  • the number of counters is equal to the damage dealt;
  • this damage can be prevented or redirected;
  • triggered or static abilities that care about the damaging events still trigger or work.
Flensermite Mogg Fanatic Gideon Jura

An unblocked Flensermite buffed with Giant Growth will deal you 4 combat damage, you'll receive 4 poison counters and its controller will gain 4 life

Mogg Fanatic that gained infect via Tainted Strike will deal damage with its ability in form of poison or -1/-1 counters (depending on the target). The last known information about the source is used to define whether it had Infect or not (CR 702.88d).

Damage dealt to a Planeswalker by a source with infect make that many loyalty counters removed from him or her.

If a Planeswalker is also a creature, he or she also receives that many -1/-1 counters.

None of the above happens if all damage is prevented.

Now, the time to read Melira's text box has come:

You can't get poison counters.

Creatures you control can't have -1/-1 counters placed on them.

Creatures your opponents control lose infect.

Let's start  from the end.

Creatures your opponents control lose infect.

This is the effect that removes abilities, we discussed this type of effects with Turn to Frog.

If a creature has Infect in its text then it doesn't matter whether it entered the battlefield before or after Melira did. It loses Infect anyway.

A creature that gained Infect as a result of copying or text-changing effect also loses it because Melira's effect lies on the Layer 6 while copying effect and text-changing effect lie on the Layers 1 and 3 respectively. The details of the layer system are here.

Cemetery Puca Ichor Rats Volrath's Shapeshifter

Both Cemetery Puca that copies Ichor Rats and Volrath's Shapeshifter that gained Ichor Rats' text lose Infect due to Melira's effect. Who has entered the battlefield first or when the copying or text-changing effect resolved doesn't matter.

Volrath's Shapeshifter contemporary Oracle text is different: "As long as the top card of your graveyard is a creature card, Volrath's Shapeshifter has the full text of that card and has the text "{2}: Discard a card." (Volrath's Shapeshifter has that card's name, mana cost, color, types, abilities, power, and toughness.)

{2}: Discard a card."

You can read why the Volrath's Shapeshifter's text has changed.

If there are two or more effects that add or remove the abilities, the one with the most recent time stamp "wins".

Tainted Strike Viridian Betrayers Inkmoth Nexus

If you control Melira and an opponent granted a creature he or she controls Infect with Tainted Strike, the creature will have Infect until the end of turn, because Tainted Strike's effect has a more recent time stamp

Time stamp of Viridian Betrayers' effect is not the moment you poisoned an opponent, but the moment they entered the battlefield. So, depending on whether it happened before or after Melira came in, the Betrayers either have or don't have Infect as a result. The moment an opponent was actually poisoned is irrelevant here.

By animating Inkmoth Nexus an opponent grants it Infect. If after that you successfully cast Melira (let's say an opponent decided to animate Nexus during your upkeep), the Nexus will lose Infect. If an opponent animates the Nexus again afterwards, it will have Infect.

So, if Melira is on the battlefield, it doesn't necessarily mean that creatures your opponents control can't have Infect.

You can't get poison counters

Poison counters are place on a player. If an opponent has 10 or more poison counters (or 15 for a 2HG team) he or she (or that team) loses the game.

Melira's effect says that while she's on the battlefield under your control the poison counters can't be placed on you. This means that:

  • Parts of the effects that put poison counters are ignored:
Pistus Strike Steady Progress Ichor Rats

On resolution of Pistus Strike your flying creature will be destroyed, but you won't get a poison counter.

If you already have a poison counter an opponent may choose you to Proliferate but it won't do anything if you control Melira.

When the Rats enter the battlefield they'll poison everyone… except you.

  • If a creature with Infect deals damage to you, you don't lose life (because the creature has Infect) and don't get poison counters (because Melira forbids it). Any abilities that check if the damage was dealt register this damage nevertheless.
Flensermite Fallen Ferromancer

If an opponent's Flensermite somehow keeps Infect, then the damage it deals won't change anything for you, but its controller will gain 1 life.

A "ping" from Fallen Ferromancer with Infect won't change your life total or the amount of poison counters, but it will allow its controller to get 3 counters for Bloodlord of Vaasgoth. Cool, isn't it?

  • Naturally, Melira's existence on the battlefield doesn't remove the poison counters you already have.

An additional note for those who love Two-Headed Giant variant. Despite that when combat damage is distributed the attacking team chooses which head gets what, Melira's ability will affect the entire team, because poison counters is a shared resource. Thus, an effect that states that one head can't get poison counters is applied to the other head as well. With -1/-1 counters it's totally different. Each head controls its own permanents independently, so your Melira won't save your partner's creatures from -1/-1 counters.

Back to the game and let's talk about -1/-1 counters.

Creatures you control can't have -1/-1 counters placed on them.

Things happen the similar way as with the poison counters:

  • Part of the effects that would place -1/-1 counter on your creatures is ignored:
Black Sun's Zenith Kitchen Finks Carnifex Demon

The opponent's Black Sun's Zenith won't place -1/-1 counters on your creatures.

Dying Kitchen Finks with Melira will return to the battlefield due to Persist, but without counter. Viscera Seer turns it into a perpetuum mobile and allows you to gain a million lifes.

If you already have Melira under your control, Carnifex Demon will enter the battlefield without counters.

  • Note that while instructions of the effect that can't be complete are simply ignored, we can't pay the casting or activation costs by performing the forbidden actions:
Devoted Druid Scarscale Ritual Incremental Blight

You can't activate Devoted Druid's second ability if you control Melira.

You can't cast Scarscale Ritual, because its additional cost can't be paid if you control Melira.

Don't confuse different counters! Wall of Roots's ability's activation costs mentions -0/-1 counters. Melira doesn't care about those.

  • The damage dealt by creatures with Wither or Infect don't place -1/-1 counters nor are marked on the creatures. Abilities that check whether the damage was actually dealt still register that damage.
Boggart Ram-Gang Corrupted Conscience Phytohydra

Encountering Boggart Ram-Gang in combat isn't that bad - combat damage to our creatures won't be marked, no counters will be placed.

If Melira is on the battlefield and your cunning opponent have stolen one of your creatures with Corrupted Conscience, it will have Infect (see above), but your blockers won't care about it unless you block with Phytohydra. The damage will be replaced by putting that many +1/+1 counters on the Phytohydra. Not so cunning your opponent is, huh?

  • Naturally, Melira doesn't remove -1/-1 counters that your creatures already have.

That's it! After all, Melira doesn't really do anything spectacular, so I bail leaving a few bonuses for you!

Bonus for the curious:

Incremental Blight

What if Melira is chosen as a second target for Incremental Blight? Will the other two creatures get -1/-1 counters if Melira is basically 2/2?

Answer: No. Melira is a creature under your control as well. The -1/-1 counters can't be placed on her. And even if it was possible, her ability would still be active during the resolution of Incremental Blight, she would only die when the SBA are performed, when it would all be over.

Bonus for the rules freaks:

If you know what SBA are you'd notice one of them that refers to removing the counters of certain types if their number exceeds a particular maximum value.  Why doesn't Melira remove the -1/-1 counters from the creatures you control then? It's due to the wording of Melira's ability: "Creatures you control can't have -1/-1 counters placed on them". It refers to the events of placing a counter on your creatures that are already on the battlefield or on the creatures entering the battlefield with an effect that modifies how it enters the battlefield (CR 121.6). So, Melira's effect doesn't state that your creature can't have -1/-1 counters, they just can't get additional ones while the effect exists.

Melira Pod Primer by Valery Shunkov




Irina Samonova © 1999-2017

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