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Death's Shadow is a 13/13 that gets -X/-X where X is your life total.

If one I control is exiled by Swords to Plowshares, then last known information is used to tell us how much life should be gained, but this happens before the life gain from the Swords, right? I would not necessarily gain 13 life, but rather the current size of Death's Shadow?

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Yes, this is exactly what happens, so barring any other side effects*, you'll always end up with 13 life.

*: e.g. a card which doubles any life gained, like Boon Reflection (thanks @MichaelSnook)

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    You hypothetical life gain doubling card actually exists: Boon Reflection Sep 10, 2018 at 13:42
  • also killing one death shadow (with swords) will always kill all the deaths you control?
    – Neil Meyer
    May 15, 2020 at 19:36
  • @NeilMeyer barring any other effects, yes
    – Glorfindel
    May 15, 2020 at 19:57

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