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CardName: Bandersnap Cost: 3GG Type: Creature - Frumious Pow/Tgh: 4/4 Rules Text: If Bandersnap is blocked but there are no creatures blocking it, Bandersnap has +4/+4 and trample. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: My Universe, My Rules Uncommon

Creature – Frumious
If Bandersnap is blocked but there are no creatures blocking it, Bandersnap has +4/+4 and trample.
Updated on 27 Jan 2011 by Vitenka


History: [-]

2011-01-27 10:49:03: Vitenka created the card Bandersnap

"Creature Land - Plains"? And that ability needs to read "{t}: Add {w} to your mana pool." Old-style wording like Firebreathing's "{r}: +1/+0" doesn't work any more. (In fact, since it's a Plains, it can have that ability in reminder text, like on Mistveil Plains.)

The last ability is the most interesting one, and needs to be phrased quite carefully because it doesn't want to be something that only triggers at declare blockers. I'll have a go at finding a phrasing.

Something like "If ~ is blocked but there are no creatures blocking it, ~ has +4/+4 and trample" would work, because that's just a static effect that's continually updated. It's not the kind of thing Wizards normally do, but it works.

The plains was just because I couldn't think what it ought to be, and "Planeshark" came to mind, so I gave it the plains ability.

And, um, yes, as worded it gains +4/4 an infinite number of times. Oops!

Does your wording work if a creature dives in the way and then commits suicide? Because that's the main intention, not just defeating "T:Target creature is blocked"

Oh, and no, it's not meant to be a land. Just a shark. And possibly a mafiosa.

Yes, it does. That's why I worded it that way. Anything triggered would have problems with instant-speed removal/bounce of blockers. This static ability will work in every case (unless something removes the static ability itself).

It might be nicer to make it somehow modify the damage-dealing event, but that'd also be nastier (as well as nicer), so maybe let's not do that.

If it's not a land, then it can't be type Plains... sorry.

2011-01-27 11:27:19: Vitenka edited Bandersnap

I hereby declare that it can, and is :) And whilst I'm at it, I'll make the mana line nastier, and then nastier still because why not?

2011-01-27 11:28:07: Vitenka edited Bandersnap

Not that it's nasty any more, since M10 removed mana burn!

See my other cycle :) The nasty part is "Target mana pool" Since when are they targetable objects? Well, they are now dammit!

2011-01-27 11:43:55: Vitenka edited Bandersnap

My God, this is still so confusing. I guess that's the point.

  1. If this is blocked, and you Starstorm for 4, do you kill it then (as opposed to at end of combat)? I think so, but I'm not positive.
  2. It's an amazing combo with arid mesa or any other plainsearch card (I think?)
  3. But not with "search for a land card with a basic land type" because they all say "land card" just in case :)
  4. It has one mana-like ability, but that isn't a mana ability because it targets, so you have to remember to add the mana before casting a spell.
  5. And it targets something that's never been targeted before: I don't think this makes any difference other than making the ability use the stack.
  6. It doesn't have the normal plains ability of "{t}: Add {w} to your mana pool" {?} but it does if it's somehow turned into a land {?}.
  1. Um. I think it takes 4 damage, dies at the same time as the thing blocking it, then gains +4/+4 but is still dead. That's the intention anyway (though yes, if someone blocks it and I kill JUST the blocker it becomes awesome and that is intentional. Double chump it, just in case.)
  2. Yes, yes it is. Intentional.
  3. Heee! Intentional.
  4. Ugh. Unintentional.
  5. Intentional and silly. (Could just word it 'to any player's mana pool' otherwise)
  6. Unintentional, but fantastic. Kept :)

I know you don't really want to, but are you sure you don't want to separate this into two separate creatures, one with the super-trample ability, and one with the plains ability? If you made the equivalent of "tribal creature -- plains 2/2" it might just be printable.

Currently I'd put in a deck with:

4x Arid Mesa
4x Flooded Strand
4x Marsh Flats
4x Windswept Heath
4x Plainshark
40x whatever

And mulligan until I have 2-3 lands in hand, then play this for 1 life on turns 1, 2, 3. Which isn't degenerate for extended, but dual lands need to be MORE overpowered? :)

Coming in with the Rules Advisor perspective:

1) Actually, surprisingly, it lives. It takes 4 damage, but the static ability kicks in before the state-based action of lethal damage is checked. (EDIT: Of course this is rubbish. It's still blocked by a creature at this point, so it dies. Thanks Jack!)
2) is somewhat undefined since V is breaking the rules for land subtypes anyway. This goes however V wants it to.
3)-4) are accurate.
5) I think is inaccurate. Just because something targets, doesn't make it use the stack. Wizards are consistent about only putting the word "target" on things that do use the stack because duh. But V's breaking that guideline here, but it still doesn't use the stack. It's a mana ability just like Spectral Searchlight's.
6) I had to go check the Comp Rules for, but you're right. Wow. 305.6 only gives the mana ability to lands with basic land types.

Well, given the plainshark thing is a whole different thing to the general concept (A creature that says "Stay STILL dammit, if you block me, I'm GOING to hurt you one way or another") I see no problem with splitting that.

See if I can make a cycle of it.

2011-01-27 12:44:28: Vitenka edited Bandersnap

See Plainshark for the horible mana ability creature (now less horrible and indeed rather boring)

Alex - Thanks for rules knowledge :)

5) But don't the comp rules say that a mana ability is an activated ability that doesn't target? And only mana abilities skip the stack? (Eg. although I don't know if that's up to date.) Spectral searchlight says "choose a player".

6) LOL. Yes, although I think that description was probably the right one to use, given that it's simpler to follow as long as only lands DO have that subtype.

1) I'm still unsure. It seems the sequence of events is:

i) Mass-damage spell resolves. Damage is marked on both creatures. Bandersnap is still blocked by a creature. ii) Just before I receive priority, state-based effects are checked. Both creatures have lethal damage. Bandersnap is still blocked by a creature. "As a single event" both are put into the graveyard. iii) Just before I receive priority, state-based effects are checked again.

So my question is, in the middle of the resolution of checking state-based effects, no-one receives priority, and no state-based effects are checked, and static effects DO apply, but is there any time when the blocking creature is put into the graveyard, but bandersnap isn't? Even if so, aren't they both checked first, and then put into the graveyard afterwards, so even if bandersnap were 8/8 it would be too late?

2) True, but all of the most plausible ways of defining it make "plains" a subtype of the card, and I think "search for a plains card" means "search for a card with subtype plains" (though I'm not sure.)

1) Wow. Er, d'oh, you are of course completely right.

2) Well... yeah, true. :)

So the conclusion is that it works as intended? If blocked but blockers die before it hits them, it does power+4 to opponent (and gains toughness) and if blocked but everything dies, it dies?

Oh, hey, I got something right for once. It must be Friday!

Vitenka: Yes, as far as I can tell, that's right. I'm looking for a wording that will give it the pump until end of turn, so it doesn't die at end of combat, yet not trigger multiple times even if it's blocked and unblocked and then blocked and unblocked again, but I can't think of anything good. It could be made a little simpler by making it red and giving it +4/+0, so the toughness doesn't matter as much.

(To be honest, it will probably be much the same if it was just 6/4 trample, but that would sort of defeat the original intention.)

Mmm, yes, it unpumps as soon as it's not "Blocked but no creatures blocking it" doesn't it.

I wouldn't mind it getting +8/+8 if it somehow manages two combat phases, that sounds like a good kind of abuse for it. Are there many things that allow a player to do the block/unblock thing? This and a momentary flicker sounds hilarious though, so maybe just adding UEOT to its effect would work?

At the moment it's not anything that can accept UEOT, because it's a static ability that's either on or off. (This also means it can't apply doubly, for the same reason.) There are very few things that allow you to make a creature become blocked if it wasn't before: Flash Foliage, Trap Runner and Balduvian Warlord are it, I think.

I think there's almost nothing or actually nothing that will put a creature into blocking without using the declare blockers phase, it just felt cleaner that way.

Possible wordings:

"~ has +4/+4 and trample if it was blocked this turn but has no creatures blocking it." -- should give it the bonus for the whole turn, but may be confusing to read.

"If all creatures blocking ~ stop blocking it, ~ gets ... until end of turn." Triggers twice in the unusual case that it's reblocked.

"If the last creature blocking ~ is removed..." as above.

"If ~ becomes blocked by no creatures..." probably doesn't work rules-wise

BTW, I think momentary blink and similar will always return something to play not attacking/blocking.

I'd not even though of multiple combat phases. My intuition says if it should stay 8/8 but if it's blocked it should go down to 4/4 again, but I'm not sure.

ETA: Ah, good examples from Alex. Also, I'd forgotten that if it was reblocked we have to decide if the ability still applies or not: I think the original intention is that if it's reblocked it goes down to 4/4, which I think is only fair. (Although you could decide the reverse.) If so, it HAS to be a static ability.

A shame, but one I can live with. (Won't it currently also go down to 4/4 as soon as it deals its damage, since thenit's not blocked, or attacking, any more?)

Creatures are attacking in the Declare Attackers, Declare Blockers, Combat Damage, and End Of Combat steps. It's only once the game moves to Postcombat Main Phase that a creature stops being an attacking creature.

Jack: All of your wordings that are meant to trigger need a "Whenever". Anything starting "If" will not trigger, but defines a static ability instead. Anything starting "If" that says "UEOT" probably doesn't work.

Alex: Doh. Yes.

2011-01-27 15:47:46: Vitenka edited Bandersnap

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