Friday, February 11, 2011
A General in the hand is worth 3 cards…in the hand.
Sometimes a tutor is more than just a tutor. Take, for example, the fresh new Distant Memories the Mirrodin Besieged set has brought us. Karn, wracked by his own personal demons. Urza's always in there. Venser, too. Nag Nag Nag Nag Nag.
The response from the peanut gallery has been fairly negative. A previous post examined the card as blue's response to Browbeat. A card that would give you whatever your opponent deemed least dangerous.
What I completely failed to grasp at the time was the EDH ramifications of this card. Because when you add all kinds of screwy rules, things are bound to get screwy.
Generals have a nasty habit of coming right back again as soon as their owning player hunts down 2 additional mana. That's why cards like Spin into Myth are so good, because they hide your General in the one place you normally can't easily get to them.
What Distant Memories does in the case of your "decked" General is find him and put him in the "command" zone. Then your opponent can either stick him in your hand, or allow you to draw three cards. Suddenly, Distant Memories is a pretty good tutor!
I am no genius. I didn't wrangle this little interaction out of the aether.
Instead, I read about it in Cranial Insertion, perhaps the best rules-lawyerly column in existence in this modern age.
Would your opponent even have the choice to put the General in your hand? Technically the General goes to someplace called "The Command Zone," not exiled or removed-from-game as the card asks you to do.
"Distant Memories talks about "that card," not "the exiled card," so it's irrelevant whether the card actually ends up in the exile zone. Distant Memories tracks the card wherever its effect puts it, and the command zone replacement effect changes where the card goes, but it doesn't change the fact that the card goes there due to Distant Memories' effect. This means that Distant Memories can find the card and put it into your hand if that's what at least one of your opponents wants."
Food for thought, and something I definitely wouldn't have come up with on my own.
As seen here.