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My opponent controls an Aven Mindcensor.

If an opponent would search a library, that player searches the top four cards of that library instead.

I have a Panglacial Wurm in my deck.

While you're searching your library, you may cast Panglacial Wurm from your library.

I cast a Rampant Growth (or any other card that allows me to search my library).

What is the ruling on my ability to cast the Panglacial Wurm?

I can see one of three possible answers.

  1. You cannot cast Panglacial Wurm. You aren't searching your library, you're searching the top four cards of your library.
  2. You can cast Panglacial Wurm, but only if it's in the top 4 cards of your library. Aven Mindcensor prevents you from looking any further into your library, and if you can't find Panglacial Wurm then you can't cast it.
  3. You can cast Panglacial Wurm, regardless of where it is in your library. It's in your library, and you're searching your library.

I have a feeling it's either 1 or 3, but I'm unsure. What is the correct ruling?

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    For the downvoter, mind explaining your downvote? – DenisS Mar 4 at 14:43
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It is option 2, you can cast Panglacial Wurm if it is in the top 4 cards.

701.18f If searching a zone is replaced with searching a portion of that zone, any other instructions that refer to searching the zone still apply. [...]

Because Aven Mindcensor uses the word "search" in the replacement, it is still searching. It is just now searching a sub-set of your library.

The regular event of searching your library never happens in this case, so a Wurm somewhere else in your library won't do anything:

614.6 If an event is replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. Note that the modified event may contain instructions that can’t be carried out, in which case the impossible instruction is simply ignored.

The reason number 3 doesn't work is that you don't have the Wurm available to cast. If you aren't seeing it while searching, you have no way of "knowing" that it is even in your library. You wouldn't be allowed to rely on having your deck list memorized to know that. And even if you do know for sure that it's in there, you aren't allowed to search the rest of your library to find it in order to cast it.

This was addressed and confirmed by a judge here.

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    @DenisS I tried finding a specific comprehensive rule that would explain why it's not #3, but couldn't find a specific rule. I think mostly it would fall into trying to do something impossible, covered by 101.3. You can choose to try and cast it; but you would fail to do so because you don't have actual access to the card to move it to the stack. – GendoIkari Mar 2 at 16:51
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    Now that I think about it, it's possible to remove the wurm from my library without me knowing it. Thieving Amalgam allows you to manifest from your opponent's library. Any number of cards that make me exile cards from my library face down. I know that Wurm was in my deck at the beginning of the game, but I can't prove that he's in there at any given point. – DenisS Mar 2 at 17:20
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    Specifically, this ruling on Mindcensor "Each search works exactly the same as normal except that the opponent doing the searching sees only the top four cards of that library. They can’t look at the other cards in that library at all. Cards not in the top four cards of the library can’t be found in the search, even if they’re identifiable in some manner." I can't prove Wurm is in there because I can't look at the rest of my library. It's not just that I cant find a card in the rest of the library, I literally can't look at it. – DenisS Mar 2 at 18:25
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    To note it, I'm sympathetic to the interpretation that effects that trigger when a card is in a searched zone are intended to trigger when that card is found via search of that zone. But as written, Rule 701.18f appears to specify the opposite: that cards that trigger when a zone is searched still trigger whenever that zone is searched, even in part, mooting whether the relevant card is within the partial search area. – Nat Mar 3 at 3:41
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    @Andrew Also worth noting, if it were a triggered ability, then it would only go on the stack the next time a player gets priority... which would be after the searching is completely done. So you would fully resolve Rampant Growth, and only THEN would the Wurm's triggered ability go on the stack, allowing you to cast it. But that this point, the Wurm would be shuffled somewhere randomly in your library. It simply wouldn't ever be possible to cast it. – GendoIkari Mar 3 at 16:14

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