Show and Tell has probably been mentioned in every article related to permanents entering the battlefield in some way. But despite the clear and simple instructions on the card, its relationship with players is clouded by ignorance of the rules. We'll take care of that now.
At the academy, “show and tell”
too often becomes “run and hide”.
Show and Tell flavor text.
Here’s some theory: If multiple players are supposed to make a choice or perform an action (this is our case — to choose a card in hand and put it onto the battlefield), the first one to make the choice is the active player (the one whose turn it is), then all other players do it in turn order. After the choices have been made, the action is performed simultaneously. This is the rule referred to as “APNAP” or “Active player, Non-active player”.
If players would choose a card in a hidden zone (such as hand or library), the chosen card is kept face up. Each player must know that that card has been chosen.For open zones, all players can see the decisions made by their opponents who were supposed to choose before them.
Since Show and Tell suggests to choose a card from hand, a hidden zone, the card is concealed. Only after the choices are made, all cards are put onto the battlefield simultaneously. You cannot know for sure what the opponent is putting until it actually happens.
Pretty obviously, the list of the card types that it’s possible to put onto the battlefield is given crystal clear on the card: artifact, creature, enchantment or land. You cannot put Gideon Jura just because it can become a creature. Naturally, the word “may” in the text of Show and Tell indicates that you don’t have to choose anything. But if a choice has been made, you will have to put the card. Even if you change your mind in such a short period of time.
Finally, let us mention the three most common questions about Show and Tell. If you suppose that the opponent is going to slam something like Emrakul at resolution of Show and Tell, then:
Now let’s repeat a few things.
You can respond to Show and Tell being cast. Take Gather Specimens, a great example of a spell that will influence what the opponent will do on Show and Tell’s resolution. But that needs to be done before Show and Tell begins to resolve. Note that two passes in a row will result in the top element of the stack resolving:
AP: Show and Tell? (pass)
NAP: Sure (= pass)
And that’s it. Time to choose cards.
And until those cards have been put onto the battlefield, all SBA have been checked, none left to perform, and all triggered abilities have been put onto the stack, nobody gets priority to cast or activate anything. Not even mana abilties, unless there is an effect that requires mana payment.
AP: Show and Tell? (pass)
NAP: Gather Specimens! (pass)
AP: Oh wow, ok. (= pass)
Gather Specimens resolves.
AP: Do nothing. (pass)
NAP: No effects. (pass)
Time to choose cards. If AP chooses a card, it will enter the battlefield under NAP’s control.
In a multiplayer game (in team multiplayer game with more than 2 teams), it is required that all players pass in turn order in sequence before the top element of the stack can resolve.
Translated by Witas Spasovski