Haphazard Bombardment says:

When Haphazard Bombardment enters the battlefield, choose four nonenchantment permanents you don't control and put an aim counter on each of them.

At the beginning of your end step, if two or more permanents you don't control have an aim counter on them, destroy one of those permanents at random.

Note the last line says "have an aim counter". It doesn't say "have at least one aim counter".

Does this mean that if a target somehow gains two aim counters (e.g. via proliferate, or because the creature gained more aim counters from Hankyu), it cannot be destroyed by Haphazard Bombardment?

  • 1
    Duplicate; although the other question was closed: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/49420/…
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 1:39
  • @GendoIkari admittedly, that question was closed because the OP was asking about why the phrasing was that way, not the interpretation of the rules. He was asking that the card's text should be changed to be clearer and ended his question with "What do you think about it?"
    – DenisS
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 14:52
  • You could also theoretically get multiple counters from another Haphazard Bombardment; although it would be nonoptimal to put the counters from the second one on the ones that got them from the first, there's no rule against it. Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 6:43
  • Checks aren't exclusive in MTG. "has a counter" => "has a counter (and possibly others)". "white creature" => "a permanent that is white (and possibly other colors) and a creature (and possibly other types)". "with flying" => "with flying (and possibly other abilities)".
    – ikegami
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Permanents with multiple aim counters can be destroyed by Haphazard Bombardment.

In standard English, "has an aim counter" means "has at least one aim counter", not "has exactly one aim counter". If someone asks "do you have a dollar?", you don't say "no" because your wallet is full of them.

I can't find any rulings that address this directly, but Gladehart Cavalry has this ability:

Whenever a creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it dies, you gain 2 life.

and a corresponding ruling that says

You gain 2 life per creature, not per +1/+1 counter.

which is only meaningful if creatures with multiple counters can trigger it.

  • 1
    I think in English, it's contextual as to whether it mean 'at least' or 'exactly'. For instance; 'I have seven dollars' could mean 'at least', while 'I have seven fingers' would be a strange thing to say if you have ten. Although I do think that the difference between 'a' and 'one' has something to do with it. Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 1:14
  • 6
    Another argument: When MtG demands an exact number, it will say so: gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/…
    – Hackworth
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 6:07
  • @MatthewJensen, "How much money do you have?" -- "I have seven dollars". That sounds exact enough to me, it would be weird to say that if you had a tenner in hand. On the other hand, "Hey, I need some money, do you have seven bucks?" -- "Yeah, here's a tenner" seems a bit saner.
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 9:44
  • @MatthewJensen Look at Grice's maxims en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_principle if you want to find out more about how and why this works.
    – DRF
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 11:16
  • I feel like they are between multiple rocks and hard places. They probably don't want multiple templates for this, but some cards where space is a premium probably pushed them toward brevity (and away from "at least one * counter" or "one or more * counters"). The briefest options are either "a * counter" or "* counters" with both options being ambiguous. If they used "* counters" people would be coming here asking if abilities like this still work when there is only one counter. I think by choosing a shorter template, they were doomed to some level of ambiguity.
    – CALEB F
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 15:44

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