If an effect would have you search your library for a specific card, say Elvish Aberration's forestcycle has you search for a forest, and you can't find it in your library, but it turns out later that there was a forest in your library that you just did not look hard enough, how do you resolve this issue?

  • The link that you gave has this at the bottom "You can choose to find any card with the Forest land type, including nonbasic lands. You can also choose not to find a card, even if there is a Forest card in your library." Jun 12, 2018 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


You are never required to actually find a specific card when you search your deck, so if you don’t find it when you look, you have simply missed your chance.

701.18b If a player is searching a hidden zone for cards with a stated quality, such as a card with a certain card type or color, that player isn’t required to find some or all of those cards even if they’re present in that zone.

So there is no difference between simply choosing not to find any Forest, or being unable to.

Note that this works differently if a card has you search for cards in general, such as Demonic Tutor. In that case you actually must choose a card.

  • To be honest though, if you're casting a DT, you probably want to find something (that Lotus, perhaps?) in your library, eh?
    – J. Sallé
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:32
  • What happens then if I cast Demonic Tutor with an empty library? Do I lose the game? Jun 12, 2018 at 14:54
  • 3
    @FedericoPoloni No, you lose the game for trying to draw from an empty library. Demonic tutor doesn't make you draw the card, it just puts it in your hand. Or not, if your library is empty, in which case nothing happens.
    – Hackworth
    Jun 12, 2018 at 14:57

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