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I'm building an Exalted deck, and I've been looking for a card that would completely break the mechanic and make my creatures nearly unstoppable. So far I've had no luck, but here's where I'm hoping you guys can help. I don't know whether it would be an enchantment, creature, artifact, or whatever, but here's a basic description of what I'd like the card to do.

"Whenever a creature you control would get +X/+X, it gets X +1/+1 counters instead."

This would essentially make the Exalted bonus permanent and not just till the end of the turn. If you know of any cards (or combinations of cards, for that matter) that can do something like this, please let me know. Thanks!

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    I'm pretty sure that that specific replacement effect does not exist, but I think i might have heard of other things such as the ability to sacrifice creatures and put +1/+1 counters equal to their power and such. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica May 11 '15 at 22:13
  • I don't know, but if there is it would be extremely powerful, so it would have to cost a LOT. – GendoIkari May 11 '15 at 22:14
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    The Unhinged card, "Staying Power", does what you are looking for. – Hao Ye May 12 '15 at 0:00
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This sounds like a very powerful effect. I wouldn't expect it to be easy to muster.

I could find only two cards that come close: Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter and Ooze Garden. Of course, these cards are the ones that get bigger permanently, not the attackers. The Ooze Garden is a bit problematic because it requires the creature to survive combat.

You might find an easier way to abuse the Exalted mechanic is to use something like a Blood-Chin Fanatic. But really, you're overthinking it. The way to make an exalted attacker nearly unstoppable is to ensure it has hexproof and evasion. Hi Invisible Stalker!

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    Cards with similar effects to Ooze Garden's include Kin-Tree Invocation, Miming Slime, and Reign of the Pit. – murgatroid99 May 11 '15 at 22:45
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There are a few cards that do something similar to what you're looking for. However, most of them require your creatures do actually deal damage first and are outside of the most dominant Exalted color, White:

  • War Elemental: "Whenever an opponent is dealt damage, put that many +1/+1 counters on War Elemental."

  • Necropolis Regent "Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, put that many +1/+1 counters on it."

  • Shaman of the Great Hunt: "Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it."

  • Sakiko, Mother of Summer "Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, add that much Green to your mana pool. Until end of turn, this mana doesn't empty from your mana pool as steps and phases end." You could spend that mana and another card to spread +1/+1 counters around.

  • Gleam of Battle: Whenever a creature you control attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Soul's Might be what you are looking for. It places a number of +1/+1 counters on a creature equal to it's power. Sadly, it is a sorcery.

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What you're suggesting basically can't work. Adding +1/+1 counters is a one-shot effect, but giving a creature +X/+X (temporarily) is a continuous effect.

Basically, when an effect is created that gives a creature +X/+X, it doesn't really count as an event. It can't trigger abilities (directly), and it can't be replaced. It's just a continuous effect that wasn't there before, and is there now.

  • I totally agree they'd never actually print this, but for what it's worth, the definition of "event" is actually really broad. "700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event." I think in practice this means that an event is something that can be clearly explained in card text, for example as part of "[When/Whenever/At] [trigger event], [effect]." There are explicit examples of some kinds of events in the rules (destruction, dealing damage, becoming blocked, etc) but they definitely don't cover everything. – Cascabel May 11 '15 at 22:44
  • I know that event isn't strictly defined like that, but I'm nearly positive that there no cards have ever been printed with abilities that trigger directly on the creation of a continuous effect (or replace the creation of continuous effects). – murgatroid99 May 11 '15 at 22:48
  • Yup, definitely agree with that. ("If a continuous effect which increases the power and toughness of a creature would be created, put X +1/+1 counters on that creature instead, where X is the minimum of the power and toughness increases.") – Cascabel May 11 '15 at 22:49
  • I actually think that the definition of "event" can be interpreted to exclude those sorts of things, but that goes into how you define "happen", and it doesn't really matter because they either will print cards like that, or they won't. – murgatroid99 May 11 '15 at 22:51
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Consumptive Goo allows you to do close to what you want, but it's pretty expensive:

{2}{B}{B}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Put a +1/+1 counter on Consumptive Goo.

You could attack with it alone, then target it with its own ability to effectively eat the +1/+1 from the exalted and turn it into a +1/+1 counter.

(Yes, it's ridiculous that it can grow permanently by gnawing on itself.)

Or you could attack with something else, then after combat damage (assuming it doesn't die) use Consumptive Goo on your other creature, effectively eating the +1/+1 from exalted while leaving the creature alive.

  • Note that, as the ruling on the card mentions, you can do that even if it's not buffed. And if you have 8 mana to spend the turn after you play it, you probably have something better to spend it on. – murgatroid99 May 11 '15 at 22:41
  • @murgatroid99 Yup, definitely - I don't think this actually "breaks" exalted, but it's the only thing I could find that would let you turn the extra power/toughness into a counter without entirely sacrificing the creature or requiring extra conditions (like dealing combat damage to a player). – Cascabel May 11 '15 at 22:45
  • This is certainly what the question is asking for, though this ability seems better spent killing opposing creatures. – Zags May 12 '15 at 0:59
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Heroes' Bane is a great Exalted target. It effectively doubles in power when activated, so activating it after your exalted triggers resolve will result in a permanent boost.

There are other ways to take advantage of the creature's temporary power bonus though, beyond making it permanent. (And the nice thing about Exalted is, you can just attack again the next turn!)

Prime Speaker Zegana and Greater Good are good examples in Exalted colours. Casting Zegana or activating Greater Good after attacking will get you more cards to build up your board, or help you recover from board wipers, which are the nemesis of Exalted decks.

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