With Magic 2014 right behind the corner, one can’t simply ignore a new Hydra. Disputes over how powerful this card is have been out on the forums for days already. Everybody agrees that Hydra is broken in limited play. Some mages foresee it seeing some constructed play. Pro players have already started building their decks. Now it’s our turn to study Hydra-logy 101.
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many heads.
So, a green Creature вЂ“ Hydra is waiting for us with base power and toughness values 0/0, this particularly means that Imperial Recruiter can easily find it in the library and Reveillark can reanimate it. However, don’t exile it with your Duplicant, or do if you don’t care, since an exiled Hydra is a 0/0 creature card, and Duplicant will die the next time SBA are performed.
No matter how Kalonian Hydra appears on the battlefield its own ability gives it 4 +1/+1 counters. This means that you may not only cast it and resolve, but also reanimate it, use effects that put it from the graveyard on the battlefield.
There is no such moment in time when Hydra is already on the battlefield, but the counters haven’t been placed on it yet. This means that normally Hydra enters the battlefield as a 4/4 creature. All abilities that may trigger when such a bully enters the battlefield do so, as for example, Evolve.
Grim Return of Kalonian Hydra will also go as planned: Hydra will come under your control with four +1/+1 counters.
Change of control or characteristics of the object already on the battlefield are not the same as entering the battlefield.
If you borrow an enemy Hydra, this action won’t increase the number of counters on it.
If Lazav turns into a Hydra, he’ll become a 0/0 creature that will die the next time SBA are performed.
Let’s have a look at the Hydra’s triggered ability.
“WheneverKalonian Hydra attacks, double the number of +1/+1 counters on each creature you control.”
- “Whenever” tells us that this is a triggered ability.
- “Kalonian Hydra attacks” is the triggering event.
- This wording means that Hydra must be declared as an attacking creature. If an effect (such as Yore-Tiller Nephilim) prescribes you to put it on the battlefield attacking this ability won’t trigger. An example of such trigger we have already studied with Hero of Bladehold.
- The ability triggers during the declare attackers step and resolves (if it happens) before the blockers are declared.
- “double the number of +1/+1 counters on each creature you control” is the ability effect that we get when the ability resolves.
- The counters are doubled, this means that if there were none, none would pop up.
- The counters are doubled only for the creatures you control.
- The counters are doubled for each creature you control, including Hydra!
How does this work?
Do you still think that the Rat is better? Reconsider!
- ⇑ Armed doesn’t give creature a +1/+1 counter.
Translated by Lev Kotlyar