Folks, I would like to know if an effect like "players can't draw cards" prevents/cancel effects like "if you would draw a card, instead do X".

Because I wouldn't draw a card anyway, the effect does not takes place?

For a concrete example, think on Maralen of the Mornsong with Forbidden Crypt.

  • I'm almost sure nothing happens (the effect does not takes place), I just want to confirm.
    – Kira
    Jun 30, 2016 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


The ruling on Maralen seems to support your conclusion that nothing happens:

4/1/2008: While Maralen is on the battlefield, replacement effects that instruct a player to do something instead of drawing a card won't work.


Can't beats can. So when something tells you to draw a card (say the beginning of your draw step), and Maralen telling you that you can't draw cards you do not get to draw a card. Since you are not drawing a card the Crypt's replacement effect doesn't have a chance to apply.

101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can’t happen, the “can’t” effect takes precedence.

614.7. If a replacement effect would replace an event, but that event never happens, the replacement effect simply doesn’t do anything.

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