Let's say I have The Ur-Dragon and a ton of dragons on the field. I attack with enough dragons to draw my remaining library (as per The Ur-Dragon's ability "Whenever one or more dragons you control attack, draw that many cards"), I draw Lich's Mirror and use Ur-Dragon's "put a permanent from your hand onto the battlefield" effect to play Lich's Mirror. Would I lose as soon as I draw my entire library? Would I get a chance to trigger Lich's Mirror?

  • 1
    Nit: Lich's Mirror's ability is a static ability that creates a replacement effect. It's not a triggered ability. – ikegami Nov 30 at 1:15
  • Nit: You lose if you try to draw more than your remaining library contains. – ikegami Nov 30 at 1:16
  • Fixed Ur-Dragon broken link, guess we can add it to the list of broken auto-cards.... – Malco Nov 30 at 15:10
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    @Malco probably because "Scion of the Ur-Dragon" contains the same card name. – ryanyuyu Nov 30 at 15:14

Lich's Mirror's would be on the battlefield to save you before you actually lose the game.


The pertinent rules are:

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, “Timing and Priority”), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. [...]

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, that player loses the game.

From that, we gather the following:

  • It's drawing more than the number of remaining cards that causes you to lose the game.
  • It doesn't happen immediately; it happens the next time a player would get priority. This means the ability finishes resolving first.

So, for example, let's say your library has two cards left, one of which is Lich's Mirror. And let's say you attack with three dragons.

The Ur-Dragon's third ability triggers, goes on the stack and (possibly eventually) resolves. During its resolution, you draw the remaining two cards and fail to draw the third one, then you place Lich's Mirror on the battlefield.

Immediately after the ability has finished resolving, an SBA would cause you to lose the game for having not being able to draw since the last time SBA conditions were checked. However, Lich's Mirror's replacement effect kicks in, keeping you in the game.

If you draw your whole deck and then some with The Ur-Dragon's triggered ability, you will still be able to put Lich's Mirror onto the battlefield with the second part of the same ability, and if you do it will save you from dying due to trying to draw from an empty library.

The key reason that this works is that most standard ways of losing the game, including losing due to drawing from an empty library, happen as state-based actions. State-based actions are not evaluated continuously; they are only checked after an ability entirely resolves. So, in this case, even though you draw the cards first, you won't lose immediately, and the Lich's Mirror will already be on the battlefield by the time state-based actions are checked. Then it can replace losing the game with its own effect.

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