What can a Standard (M12, Scars, Innistrad) Red-Green werewolf deck use, either in the main deck or the sideboard, to handle a deck with Ratchet Bomb?

Some back story: When a werewolf is in its transformed state, its CMC is 0. So an opponent can cast Ratchet Bomb, then tap and sac it for 0 and destroy anything with a CMC of 0, which hits all transformed permanents (and all non-land 0 cost permanents).

  • The tokens deck has the same problem, but worse. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:12
  • Also, a flipped werewolf has a CMC of 0? For most purposes, a flipped card is considered the same game object as an unflipped card, so I'm very surprised to hear that the CMC changes. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:13
  • Actually the tokens aren't that bad. Usually you are getting more than a single creature from each spell, plus you have to spend a turn not playing spells to make the werewolves flip. The werewolves require more investment.
    – rahzark
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:35
  • 4
    @JSBᾶngs The flipped side has its own separate creature types, power and toughness, and color. It may be the same game object, but it has none of the same characteristics - and sure enough, the comprehensive rules specifically indicate that the back face doesn't have a mana cost (and thus its effective CMC is 0). See rule 711.2b (and 202.3a) in the comprehensive rules. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:42
  • @rahzark You can cheat with Moonmist. Also draw-go decks have to change how they play spells in order to keep you from transforming (although arguable that's only in the early game). Tokens can get multiple tokens per card, but Glissa or Sun Titan recurring Ratchet Bomb is just a nightmare for you. I definitely think W/B/(g) Tokens is going to be a "real" deck and Werewolves isn't, though.
    – Alex P
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:44

4 Answers 4


On color


  • The obvious choice in your situation is Full Moon's Rise. It buffs all your werewolves while it's in play and you can sacrifice it to save all of them from a Ratchet Bomb.
  • Another direction is Withstand Death, but this only provides the means to save creatures on an individual basis and is a sideboard card at best.
  • Asceticism gives you the option of regenerating creatures and hexproof on top of that. However, regenerating a large number of werewolves could get expensive.


  • Phyrexian Revoker is another great way to ruin Ratchet Bomb's day, but it has its own limitations and weaknesses as a creature.
  • Sundial of the Infinite would work as long as they are trying activating the Ratchet Bomb on your turn.

Off color

For others who might have the same concerns in a different mana base.

Blue: Obviously any counter is going to prevent Ratchet Bomb from ever entering the battlefield.

  • Steel Sabotage would be a good one specifically for countering Ratchet Bomb.


  • Memoricide can remove any Ratchet Bombs that are not in play thus preventing them from ever being used.
  • Surgical Extraction could be used for a similar effect, but unfortunately can only be used if a Ratchet Bomb is already in the Graveyard.


  • Stony Silence can prevent the activation of a Ratchet Bomb.
  • Nevermore can be used to ensure that Ratchet Bomb is never cast.
  • 1
    Don't put all your eggs in the Revoker basket, though: 1 toughness is rather a liability when everyone's running Gut Shot and Geistflame to kill off Delver.
    – Alex P
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:08
  • @AlexP - Right. Like I said, Full Moon's Rise is the obvious choice here. It's the closest thing to being mainboard viable (even though I would still SB it) Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:29

Full Moon's Rise is a card you're likely to run maindeck anyway, so you might as well go to four-of. It also partially protects against sweepers (Immerwolf is still going to die, and if there's a competitive-viable werewolves deck, he's pretty much the centerpiece; also Black Sun's Zenith still wastes you).

W/B Tokens is likely to play Stony Silence in the sideboard to deal with Ratchet Bomb. You could do that as well if you're already splashing white for other reasons.

  • I'm currently splashing white (via shimmering grottos) to flash back travel preperations, but that'll probalby change with Dark Ascension
    – DForck42
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 17:13
  • 2
    Full moon's rise is a good answer. But I'm afraid your point about delaying a turn even though he has removal for ratchet bomb is wrong. I play ratchet bomb, let it resolve. Then play removal in your full moon, you sac in response and I sac the bomb in response. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 17:16
  • @AndSoYouCode Good catch. Removed!
    – Alex P
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 17:23

This doesn't work at all... Ratchet Bomb will not kill the transformers.

When a flip card flips to it's alternate side, it does NOT become a brand new object. It gains the abilities and stats from the second side, but keeps it's converted mana cost from the face side of the card, as well as it's color, author, etc.

A ratchet bomb would not instantly kill a flipped werewolf. I'm pretty sure they thought that through, as who the hell would want to play a deck that can be countered by one card so harshly?

The card's flip side keeps it converted Mana cost, color, author, etc. when it flips from it's front side. You're good. :-)

709.1c A flip card's color, mana cost, expansion symbol, illustration credit, and legal text don't change if the permanent is flipped. Also, any changes to it by external effects will still apply. <--- From the rule book.

  • 2
    Welcome to B&CG! You've got the right idea looking in the comp rules, but the wrong card type: "flip cards" look like this, with two text boxes upside-down on one side; werewolves are "double-faced cards". See 709.1 and 711.1. (This is annoying terminology. I blame whoever designed flip cards.)
    – Alex P
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 23:10
  • Yup, the distinction is "double faced" cards (cards that have a face on both sides of the card) and "split cards", cards that are split down the middle that rotate (kamigawa block)
    – DForck42
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 14:21

Couldn't I Ancient Grudge the ratchet bomb in response to it coming out before its ability goes on the stack? I might be wrong but I thought that it being an instant (and red/green double artifact kill is really a great mainboard card in my opinion.) would beat its ability.

  • 2
    I don't believe you can. Sacrificing the Ratchet Bomb is part of the cost of the ability, which means by the time priority passes to you, the Bomb is no longer there for to Ancient Grudge target.
    – Jadasc
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 13:17
  • 1
    Any time you try to destroy the Bomb, its controller could activate its ability in response; if you wait until she's already activated the Bomb, it's too late to prevent the ability from going on the stack (also the Bomb sacrifices itself, so there's no permanent in play). Even a split-second card like Krosan Grip can be played around: when your opponent's Ratchet Bomb resolves, she gets priority and can activate it immediately, before you get a chance to lock up the stack with Grip's split-second ability.
    – Alex P
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:00
  • This sounds like a great question and you should ask it separately. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:22

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