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I have just started playing MTG and am really liking it. In the six games I have played, with a couple of people, the Quickling card keeps coming up.

We just don't understand under what circumstances this card would be a good thing? Why would I ever want to cast a card and then just sacrifice it straightaway? Or why would I want to spend mana to just swap out a card?

I'm sure there is a really good strategic use for this card I just can't work it out.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Quickling can and should be used on your own creatures for the same reason you would use Peel from Reality: to return a creature with a useful enter-the-battlefield ability such as (at least in M15) Frost Lynx, Reclamation Sage or Hornet Queen, more usefully, because it has Flash, you can use it to save a creature that opponent is trying to hit with any removal.

So not only do you get to reuse a useful creature or save it form being destroyed or otherwise rendered useless (i.e. with Encrust or Crippling Blight), but you also get a 2/2 flier out of the deal, which you can cast any time during your opponent's turn and attack with the next turn.

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So if an opponent is killing one of my creatures and I swap it out with a quickling then does whatever was happening to my first creature transfer to the quickling? – mattl Aug 30 '14 at 19:32
@mattl No. Different objects are, well, different objects. If you're blocking with a creature, or attacking with a creature, or if something is targeting a creature, that decision is already made. You're not really directly swapping a creature with Quickling, you're just playing Quickling and returning the other creature. – Jefromi Aug 30 '14 at 20:28
Also, as for why it's in general useful, it may well be better to you (at that moment or long-term) than the thing you're returning to your hand. For example, your opponent might be attacking with a huge flying creature that you really need to block; returning a 1/1 without flying is a small price to pay for getting the Quickling and being able to block the flier. Or maybe you can afford to replay whatever you return to your hand anyway, so you just pay a bit of extra mana and get the Quickling without really losing anything. – Jefromi Aug 30 '14 at 20:29
Thanks! So many things to get your head around! – mattl Aug 30 '14 at 20:30
You can also use it after blockers are declared to return the blocking creature to your hand and still prevent the damage to yourself. Bouncing or flickering (with cards like Momentary Blink) is one of the more powerful things you can do in Magic due to this rule. See the first ruling on Momentary Blink for more ideas. – VolleyJosh Sep 2 '14 at 17:38

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