I have a Laboratory Maniac and my opponent has a Platinum Angel and I have 0 cards in my library.

I can't win because of the Platinum Angel, but does this mean that I lose because the ability from Laboratory Maniac will be prevented or will only the part be prevented that wins me the game?

  • The [mtg:] link to Platinum Angel wasn't working so I submitted an edit to change it to a direct link. Hope that is helpful.
    – Pants
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:11
  • «"Can't" trumps "can"»
    – ikegami
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 14:22
  • I don't think you understand the question Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 14:24
  • 5
    To be honest, I do not understand the Q no... Considering the link for laboratory maniac includes a note answering your question in general terms (and even mentions plat angel), I do not see what is unclear :/
    – Patrice
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 15:50
  • wouldn't the opponent win at some point unless he has someway to block flying or creature removal? So if he can't remove the creature with the cards in his hand he would lose to damage at some point
    – Styxsksu
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


You neither lose nor win the game, and the game continues.

What would normally make you lose the game when drawing from an empty library is a state-based action.

704.5b If a player attempted to draw a card from a library with no cards in it since the last time state-based actions were checked, he or she loses the game.

Laboratory Maniac's ability creates a replacement effect. Replacement effects replace the original event - in this case the card draw itself - with something else. Since you never draw a card from an empty library with this card under your control, the state-based action will never apply.

With a Platinum Angel under your opponent's control, its continuous effect simply prevents you from winning the game. It does not, however, interact with Laboratory Maniac's ability in any other way, meaning its replacement effect will still replace the event of you drawing a card.

In the end, all effects combined could be summarized to something like this:

If you would draw a card from a library with no cards in it, instead nothing happens.

The game will go on normally until either your opponent wins, you lose the game in another way, or either creature is destroyed/stripped of it's ability - in the last case, the next time you would draw a card, you either lose or win the game (depending on the remaining creature).

  • 1
    I've added a sentence to the start to be extra clear about neither winning nor losing means. Does that sit OK? Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 12:42
  • @doppelgreener: I was in fact editing the last paragraph with the very same intention when you added that - I tried to merge our edits somewhat, but feel free to change it again if you feel that it can be improved. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 12:49
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    Looks good to me. :) "The game continues" was the important thing -- otherwise I could see a new player reasonably conclude the game must end anyway and with nobody winning or losing. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:00
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    Minor thing, but the way you word what the state-based action "effectively becomes" makes it sounds like Laboratory Maniac replaces the "loses the game" with "wins the game". But actually it replaces the card draw itself with "wins the game". So it doesn't replace what that state-based action does/says; instead it replaces all "draw a card" instructions.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:10
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    @GendoIkari: Well, the SBA itself it worded "if you attempted to draw", which I simply chose to reuse. Re-reading my answer though, you would be correct in the way I explained the replacement effect interaction, and I edited the answer accordingly. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:21

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