The card Alms Collector has this ruling:

Alms Collector’s replacement effect applies to an instruction to draw more than one card before any replacement effects apply to individual cards drawn. For example, if you have a card with dredge in your graveyard, you can’t dredge it before the effect of Divination is modified by Alms Collector’s replacement effect.

But is that correct? Rule 616.1 states

If two or more replacement and/or prevention effects are attempting to modify the way an event affects an object or player, the affected object’s controller (or its owner if it has no controller) or the affected player chooses one to apply, following the steps listed below. If two or more players have to make these choices at the same time, choices are made in APNAP order (see rule 101.4).

So in the situation given in Alms Collector's ruling, can't the active player choose to apply the Dredge replacement effect first, leaving Alms Collector's effect with nothing to replace?

  • While I'm not saying it isn't possible, I would find it incredibly unlikely a gatherer ruling was inconsistent with the official rules.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 25, 2021 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


It's explicitly stated in rule 121.2a:

121.2a An instruction to draw multiple cards can be modified by replacement effects that refer to the number of cards drawn. This modification occurs before considering any of the individual card draws. See rule 616.1f.

So no, the active player can't choose to have Dredge apply before Alms Collector. If you had 2 different replacement effects that applied to drawing multiple cards, then you would apply them according to 616.1.

  • It might also be worth quoting the referenced rule 616.1f, which is the more general general rule that applies to this situation and other similar ones.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 23, 2021 at 21:43

This is a case of one event being made up of multiple contained events. Drawing multiple cards is an event, which is made up of drawing single card events, and is the most common example of events within events in Magic. Applying replacement effects on these nested events are laid out in Rule 616.1f in the Comprehensive Rules:

616.1f While following the steps in 616.1a–d, one replacement or prevention effect may apply to an event, and another may apply to an event contained within the first event. In this case, the second effect can’t be chosen until after the first effect has been chosen.

Alms Collector affects the container event, drawing multiple cards, while Dredge N affects one of the nested events, drawing a single card - replacement effects on the container need to be applied first.

The other vey common event that has multiple events within another is creating multiple tokens - but it's less common to have multiple replacement effects on token creation where this order matters as much.

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