Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pithing Needle - doubts

Return to Ravnica brings a well-known for older players card named "Pithing Needle". However, I noticed some players find this card troublesome, because of its wording "As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card. Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities." Some players doesn't know what in fact activated ability is. This article will answer many questions and resolve your doubts.

To start with, let's focus on first sentence of wording. You may name any card you want to. A card without activated ability as well. To make it clear the activated ability are written as [cost]:[effect], and whatever you will see in this form it is the activated ability. It's not complicated at all, but imagine that you are playing on tournament and somehow you forgot the name of one card which your opponent is currenly using. What happens then? Do you look up for the name in your binder or check up in the Internet? No, you don't because it's forbidden during tournament and you may get match loss for such action. The only one solution is to ask judge. The names of the Magic cards are public information. As long as you can uniquely identify the card in question by describing it, you have the right to know its exact name for the purpose of naming it for an effect such as Pithing Needle's. Okay, now we can move on to second sentence of wording " Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities". You may name a card as Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, but it doesn't prevent players from using its mana ability, but it does keep players from using the drawing ability. Furthermore, Pithing Needle affects cards regardless of what zone they're in. This includes cards in hand, cards in the graveyard, and exiled cards. For example, a player can't cycle Eternal Dragon or return an Eternal Dragon from his or her graveyard to hand if Pithing Needle naming Eternal Dragon is on the battlefield. Also it will block Scavenge mechanism from Return to Ravnica.

Nevertheless, the biggest problem with this card is naming the right card in the right moment.

If you have doubts how any other cards work, leave a comment with name of card and I will do my best to explain the rules.

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