|Magic: the Gathering
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Looking back to Magic2013, we can’t omit an awesome reprint from there! This is a wonderful card whose text hypnotizes players to the point they see nothing other than “return Rancor to its owner’s hand”.
Translated by Witas Spasovski
Rancor is an aura. It is an enchantment subtype that sets numerous conditions to its own very existence. I recommend reading about auras in general by taking Spirit Mantle as a muster before moving forward with Rancor.
Rancor has just three abilities.
Its first ability is specifically related to the Aura subtype. It is static and it tells us that only creatures may be enchanted by the Rancor permanent, and only creatures may be legal targets for the Rancor spell. It doesn’t matter who controls the creature.
I already held a lecture on Trample in the article about Titans. Make sure you read it and refresh your knowledge (or learn something new). Today I want to remind you that tournament shortcuts have had the default assignment of “all extra damage” to the defending player or planeswalker under his or her control removed. As it’s been a while since combat damage stopped going onto the stack, and, according to the tournament rules, players are supposed to declare any changes to life totals of either player outloud, the folks responsible for Magic tournament rules decided that this shortcut was outdated and removed it for good. What do we need to fear in connection with that?
Rancor’s third ability is a triggered ability. We can easily recognize it by the word “when”. This ability triggers when Rancor is moved from the battlefield to the graveyard. When the ability resolves, Rancor is returned to its owner’s hand if able.
Actually, this is where I would finish this article, but... alright, let us talk about a few fairly obvious things.
Rancor spell and illegal target
As all other spells, Rancor goes onto the stack. As part of the process of casting it, the player needs to announce a legal target. If by the time Rancor resolves the target becomes illegal (for instance, it was given protection from green or shroud; was bounced, exiled or destroyed), Rancor, being a spell with a single target, is countered. This is called “fizzling” in game slang. Under normal conditions, the card of a countered spell goes to its owner’s graveyard. Since the dislocation happens between the stack and the graveyard, it isn’t the triggering event for Rancor’s third ability, so it doesn’t trigger!
Rancor put onto the battlefield not from the stack
If Rancor would be put onto the battlefield in some way different from resolving the Rancor spell, the player in control of it must choose a legal object to which the Rancor permanent would be attached. If no such object may be selected, Rancor remains in the zone where it was before this effect.
This means in particular that if there is one sole creature on the battlefield that Rancor could legally enchant, the player in control of Rancor must choose that creature, even if it is an opponent’s Emrakul who is about to kill that player.
Rancor and Humility, or Layers again
It’s not so hard.
The part of Rancor’s second ability responsible for giving the +2/+0 bonus isn’t concerned with when Humility entered the battlefield, because Humility’s effect sets the power/toughness values to 1/1, it is applied at layer 7b, and Rancor’s effect is applied at layer 7c, which is always after Humility’s effect. Therefore, with no other effects involved, you get a 3/1 creature.
However, the part of the effect that gives Trample is concerned with what appeared on the battlefield earlier: Humility or Rancor. Why? Because both of these effects are applied on the same layer 6 and they do not depend on each other, so they are applied according to the timestamps.
If Humility was on the battlefield and then you enchant your creature with Rancor, it will have Trample.
If the creature was enchanted with Rancor and Humility enters the battlefield, the creature will not have Trample.
* Bounce — slang expression to describe an effect that returns a permanent to its owner’s hand.
** You will not be able to choose the creature being put by the opponent through the same effect. Same as with Cloning, we choose the object to attach an aura to not when it is already on the battlefield, but at the exact moment when it is entering there. The card that enters the battlefield along with Rancor isn’t on the battlefield at that moment.
Irina Samonova © 1999-2017
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