Brainstorm says "Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order."

If I have no cards in my library when I cast Brainstorm, do I lose? I imagine so - it feel pretty weird if I don't - but apparently state-based actions aren't checked during spell resolution, and by the time Brainstorm resolves I no longer have an empty library, so just checking.

  • 1
    @JoeW that'd usually be the case, but by the time Brainstorm resolves I don't have an empty library anymore (?)
    – Allure
    Oct 20, 2020 at 0:22
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    Your loss isn't from an empty library but from attempting to draw cards and not being able too.
    – Joe W
    Oct 20, 2020 at 0:23
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    I don't think this is a duplicate, because even though the answer to the other question does also answer this question, this question is specifically dealing with the situation where your library stops being empty before state-based actions are checked. The rules could have been written in such a way that the 2 questions did have different answers.
    – GendoIkari
    Oct 20, 2020 at 0:37
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    Looking for a case where the answer turns out different: suppose I control Mirrodin Besieged with Phyrexian selected. I reach my end-step, I fail to draw because I have an empty library, then I discard a card. If I now have fifteen artifacts in my graveyard, my opponent loses (because Middorin Besieged's ability gets resolved in full before state-based actions are checked). Is that correct? Oct 20, 2020 at 23:43
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    @JamesMartin interesting question. Probably ask that separately!
    – Allure
    Oct 20, 2020 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


You will still lose, even though your library will not be empty when you lose.

You will fully resolve Brainstorm, including drawing as many as you can from your library (none in this case), and then putting 2 cards onto your library. After Brainstorm resolves, state-based actions will be checked, including this one:

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, he or she loses the game.

So because you had made an attempt to draw a card from a library with no cards in it, you will lose, even though your library now has cards in it.

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    I think the point is that even though SBAs are not checked during resolution, the game still remembers what happened, and 704.5b can access that.
    – Hackworth
    Oct 20, 2020 at 7:08

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