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|Today we are going to get Mishra’s Factory under the microscope to talk about “land-animation” effects and repeat the card types.
Translated by Witas Spasovski
Mishra’s factory is a curious card because as a permanent it can be of three card types at once on any turn. It has been printed a while ago, so we visit the Oracle to look at its contemporary text:
The first thing we need to remark is that Mishra’s Factory is a nonbasic land. It is so because there is no word “basic” in its type line. This word may appear there, though it’s a very rare case, for instance if Mishra’s factory somehow becomes a copy of a basic land.
All three abilities of Mishra’s Factory are activated. Therefore, they may be activated at any time you have priority. But that’s not all. Two of them have a tap symbol in their cost. This immediately incurs limitations on their use. If Mishra’s Factory is a creature, you may activate such abilities only if it has been under your control continuously since the beginning of your most recent turn.
Mishra’s Factory’s second and third abilities may be countered (Stifle).
Mishra’s Factory’s first ability is a mana ability, which means that it doesn’t use the stack, and that it may be activated without having priority at the moment you need to make a mana payment. For instance, while casting a spell.
I would like to stress here for my newbie readers that tapping a land does not automatically mean any ability being activated. When the tapping is a cost, as with the first and third abilities of Mishra’s Factory, then this tapping is the result of activating any one specific ability. When we tap the permanent we pay the activation cost. If that ability is a mana ability with the tap symbol in its cost, such tap is defined as “tap a permanent for mana”. Mishra’s Factory’s first ability matches all these.
Mishra’s Factory’s second ability turns it into an artifact creature, preserving it as a land as well. After this ability resolves, Mishra’s Factory will have the following characteristics:
Not all of these are copiable values.
Mishra’s Factory’s name dosn’t change!
Mishra’s Factory becomes a card of three types, and therefore may be targeted by these spells:
In fact, Decimate may target it three times: as an artifact, a creature and a land.
As I’ve already mentioned, an animated Mishra’s Factory becomes a creature, which makes us wonder how long it has been under our control. It doesn’t matter when Mishra’s Factory became a creature; what matters is how long we have been controlling it.
If you put Mishra’s Factory onto the battlefield and then activate its second ability, which turns Mishra’s Factory into a creature, it cannot attack this turn, nor can you activate its first or third ability, unless it gains Haste.
If an animated Mishra’s Factory may attack and you would like it to, it should be animated before the Declare attackers step. The last chance to animate it is at the beginning of combat step. Players often make the mistake of misusing the “Ready to attack” shortcut*, which essentially means that the active player passes and promises to keep passing until the declare attackers step begins, which happens if the opponent accepts the shortcut and passes. If you say “Ready to attack” and the opponent answers with anything like “Fine”, you are in the declare attackers step. It’s too late to animate Mishra’s Factory. You may, but already after you declare your attackers. Mishra’s Factory isn’t a creature at that moment, so it doesn’t participate in the march.
If the opponent does take any action, you are not bound to keep passing:
— Ready to attack.
— Tap this, bounce that. Carry on.
— Animate Mishra’s Factory. Ready to attack.**
This one is alright. Since the opponent does take an action, you are still in your beginning of combat step, so you have the chance to animate Mishra’s Factory to declare it attacking.
I recommend to get closely acquainted with tournament shortcuts and priority system.
We shall now go back to control and the expiration of the effect of Mishra’s Factory’s second ability.
It’s an all different story when we deal with auras that cannot enchant lands:
Also worth of a note, any counters that appear on Mishra’s Factory whilst it is a creature do not go anywhere. They will cease to cause any effect on it if they only affect creatures, until the land becomes a creature again. These include +1/+1 counters, for instance.
Now, a crazy question about an animated Mishra’s Factory:
Let’s have one last example about the layers:
Mishra’s Factory’s third ability may target only creatures with subtype Assembly-Worker. It may target itself. It is perfectly legal to “animate” Mishra’s Factory with its second ability, block with it, then “pump” it with its third ability (as long as it isn’t “summoning-sick”, sure thing).
Those of you who speak some Russian may find interest in my seminar on alterations from the judge conference at GP Moscow 2012:
* Shortcuts — actions taken by players to skip some sequence of formal game actions without explicitly announcing them.
** You will hear such dialog very commonly in an actual game. But you need to understand that after you “animate” Mishra’s Factory, the opponent gets priority and may also do something before you get to declare attackers.
*** Manlands — slang term for lands that may be “animated”, i.e. turned into a creature.
Irina Samonova © 1999-2017
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