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The rules for Steel Hellkite say any nonland permanent with converted mana cost X gets destroyed if I deal combat damage this turn. The second ruling states "It doesn't matter who controlled those permanents at the time Steel Hellkite dealt combat damage, or if those permanents were even on the battlefield at that time."

Does this mean if I make the X cost 2/2, all my opponent's 2/2 cards, even in his library are destroyed?

  • @Alex oops, I thought it was 'damage' not 'combat damage'... Doh! – corsiKa Oct 25 '12 at 21:48
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    Don't forget to come back and mark a Best Answer. – VolleyJosh Oct 2 '14 at 22:55
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The key word here is "permanent", which in the game of Magic essentially means "a card or token that's on the battlefield". Cards in someone's library are never counted as being "permanents".

MTG Comprehensive Rules, 110.1:

A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. A permanent remains on the battlefield indefinitely. A card or token becomes a permanent as it enters the battlefield and it stops being a permanent as it's moved to another zone by an effect or rule.

Also note that "converted mana cost" has nothing to do with being a 2/2 creature. There are quite a number of things that cost 2 mana that are also 2/2 creatures, but not all 2/2 creatures "have a converted mana cost of 2", by any means!

  • Ah yeah that's true. But what about tokens? How do you tell their converted mana cost? – James Oct 25 '12 at 20:53
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    A token that's a copy of a creature also copies that creature's converted mana cost. But in any other case a token's CMC is 0. – thesunneversets Oct 25 '12 at 20:55
  • Wow that's awesome. So if I fight a token heavy deck like the one my friend has, I can pay 0 mana and if my steel hell kite deals dmg to him, he will lose all his tokens? (they're not copies) – James Oct 25 '12 at 20:56
  • @James, yup, what will kill all tokens that weren't given a mama cost. – ikegami Oct 25 '12 at 21:15
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    Part of the reason for the OP's confusion was the ruling that said that the permanents don't have to be on the battlefield at that time (when the combat damage was dealt). That's referring to the fact that you can use the ability at any time during the turn, so things could've come into play since combat damage was dealt, not suggesting that permanents might not be on the battlefield. – Cascabel Oct 25 '12 at 22:28

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