10

Guttersnipe's ability states:

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Guttersnipe deals 2 damage to each opponent.

Now, Planeswalkers are classed as "Players". I found this ruling that someone's interpreted:

306.7. If noncombat damage would be dealt to a player by a source controlled by an opponent, that opponent may have that source deal that damage to a planeswalker the first player controls instead. This is a redirection effect (see rule 614.9) and is subject to the normal rules for ordering replacement effects (see rule 616). The opponent chooses whether to redirect the damage as the redirection effect is applied.

Does this mean Guttersnipe can hit a Planeswalker that opponent's controlling instead?

  • 1
    The footnote of this answer shows some intricacies of the player-planeswalker distinction when it comes to targeting. – ikegami Apr 6 '14 at 4:25
27

As of the Dominaria rules update, no. The planeswalker redirection rule you cite has been removed, and so dealing damage to "each opponent" means literally that, just player(s), no planeswalkers involved.

It now reads:

306.7. Previously, planeswalkers were subject to a redirection effect that allowed a player to have noncombat damage that would be dealt to an opponent be dealt to a planeswalker under that opponent’s control instead. This rule has been removed and certain cards have received errata in the Oracle card reference to deal damage directly to planeswalkers.

In that spirit, many cards which said "target player" have been changed to read "target player or planeswalker", many which said "target opponent" now say "target opponent or planeswalker", and many which said "target creature or player" now say "any target".

Cards like Guttersnipe that wouldn't be so trivial to update have generally been left alone.


For posterity, the original pre-Dominaria answer follows.

Yes, you can redirect Guttersnipe's damage to a planeswalker, due to the rule you cited. (That's an actual rule, not a ruling or someone's interpretation.) Guttersnipe is dealing noncombat damage to a player, you are that player's opponent, you control the Guttersnipe, and you may therefore redirect the damage.

But saying "planeswalkers are classed as 'players'" is only going to get you into trouble. They are not players. They're, well, planeswalkers. There are a few things you can do that make them feel like players: you can redirect damage like this, and you can choose to attack them or your opponents with your creatures. But they aren't players. If a card actually says "player", it means a player, not a planeswalker.

Some examples:

  • A burn spell like Lightning Strike ("...deals 3 damage to target creature or player") can only target a player. You may end up redirecting the damage, effectively using it on their planeswalker, but you still have to target your opponent. If they have a Witchbane Orb ("You have hexproof"), you can't target them, so you can't cast the spell in the first place.
  • Gray Merchant of Asphodel ("...each opponent loses X life...") doesn't do anything to your opponents' planeswalkers - you can't redirect loss of life. Similarly, you can't somehow use life gain on a planeswalker.
  • Dreadbore ("Destroy target creature or planeswalker.") doesn't do anything to players.

Most of the time things are pretty obvious anyway - for example you're not too likely to think a planeswalker can draw cards and try to use Opportunity on it. But you can avoid the chance of confusion by just remembering what you can do (attack and redirect damage) rather than thinking of planeswalkers as players.

  • @ikegami I am still not seeing it, all I said was that as the redirect happens you can still pick the planeswalker to take the damage. And without sufficient knowledge of rule 306.7, the last sentence basically amounts to you can never damage a planeswalker with a card that sais target player. – Lyrion Apr 7 '14 at 15:02
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    Re "without sufficient knowledge of rule 306.7", you mean if you ignore the first half of the answer? – ikegami Apr 7 '14 at 15:18
  • I'm not sure what the comment discussion here was about, but I tried to add some of the more common player vs planeswalker things that might come up, in case the "player means player" part was confusing. – Cascabel Apr 7 '14 at 17:56
  • @Lyrion Yes, without knowing the rule that you can redirect noncombat damage from a player to a planeswalker, you won't know that you can use a card that deals noncombat damage to a target player (but not a planeswalker), and redirect that damage to a planeswalker. – Samthere May 31 '17 at 16:56
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    Is there a good way to deprecate this answer with the new rule changes? I'm not sure an edit would actually work for this answer. – ryanyuyu May 2 '18 at 19:13
8

With the release of the Dominaria set, the answer to this question has changed: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/dominaria-oracle-changes-2018-04-13

There is no more "planeswalker damage redirection"; spells and abilities must now either specify planeswalkers specifically (as on this Scuttling Doom engine) or specify "any target" (as on this Shrapnel Blast).

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Here is the current oracle text for Guttersnipe's ability:

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Guttersnipe deals 2 damage to each opponent.

Since this ability does not reference planeswalkers specifically and does not call for "any target", you can no longer deal damage to a planeswalker with Guttersnipe's ability.

-5

My answer is no, I know as does everyone who plays magic enough that the ruling changes between a target (singular) and each/all opponents (plural) you find this a lot in hexproof cause it states: you/creature with hexproof can't be "the" target of spells and effects but if the effect targets opponents as in multiple/any hexproof pretty much goes numb. This being said the rules state a player not multiple and the card effect states each as in multiple therefore the ruling would have no effect on how you want to use it. A suggestion though, find a section on how multiple opponent targets would work with Planeswalkers and reply. I would like to see it turn out the way I think it might where the way this article was phrased didn't.

  • Welcome to the site. I would recommend that you include some relevant rules citations supporting your position, "I know, and as does everyone who plays magic enough" isn't really great supporting evidence. Your point that Guttersnipe can't Target a Planeswalker is correct, but the OP seems to be asking if Guttersnipe's ability can be redirected to a Planeswalker; which is slightly but significantly different. – Malco Aug 4 '17 at 18:21
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    Ruling 306.7 doesn't say anything about targets. All it says is that damage that will be dealt to a player can be redirected to a planeswalker. Whether the damage comes from a source that targets a single player or affects all opponents is irrelevant. – BJ Myers Aug 4 '17 at 18:21
  • @BJMyers don't forget the distinction between combat and noncombat damage, with the old 306.7 it specified only noncombat damage could redirect that way, combat was declared directly at the player or walker. – Andrew Dec 19 '18 at 15:01
-5

The correct answer is yes. Any spell that can target a player, can also target a planeswalker.

Source - http://magic.wizards.com/en/game-info/planeswalker-cards

If a spell or ability you control would deal damage to an opponent, you may have it deal that damage to a Planeswalker that opponent controls instead. So while you can't target a Planeswalker with a Shock, you can have a Shock that targets your opponent deal 2 damage to one of his or her Planeswalkers instead of to the player.

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    You are mostly correct, but saying "can target a planeswalker" is both misleading and very wrong. All though you clarify after that what you mean, the fact still remains that it can NOT target a planeswalker, and that distinction matters for various things. – GendoIkari May 31 '17 at 15:45
  • This answer is no longer current, and it is not correct (and never was). The planeswalker redirection rule being cited here has been removed from the game rules as of Dominaria. The new rules and corresponding errata mean a lot of old spells that once only targeted players now also target planeswalkers, but there are many spells old and new which target only players and never planeswalkers. – doppelgreener Jan 4 at 13:44

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