Does Master of Cruelties and Kaalia of the Vast work?

Asked by DemMeowsephs 3 weeks ago

In my commander edh deck that wins with Liliana's Contract, I have Master of Cruelties and Kaalia of the Vast. In my playgroup, I attacked with Kaalia, placing master of cruelties out tapped and attacking. Yet he can only attack alone? So does it become an insta kill with my opponent's life total becoming one and then killing them with the two damage from Kaalia, or does their life total just become 1? Can I even use master of cruelties in the deck?

Kogarashi says... Accepted answer #1

Please link cards using double square brackets to make the question easier to understand, like so:

[[Liliana's Contract]], [[Master of Cruelties]], [[Kaalia of the Vast]]

Liliana's Contract , Master of Cruelties , Kaalia of the Vast

Master of Cruelties has an attacking restriction (can only attack alone) and a triggered ability. The attacking restriction is only checked when it's declared as an attacker as part of the Declare Attackers step. Kaalia's ability bypasses this. He's a valid choice for Kaalia's ability.

The triggered ability triggers during the Declare Blockers step, and only checks that (1) the creature was attacking (whether officially declared as such or placed on the battlefield attacking by an effect) and (2) wasn't blocked. As long as your opponent doesn't block Master of Cruelties , its ability will trigger.

It's important to note that there's nothing about Kaalia's ability that prevents blockers from being declared, so it isn't a guaranteed win.

From the Gatherer rulings on Master of Cruelties :

  • An ability that triggers when something “attacks and isn’t blocked” triggers in the declare blockers step after blockers are declared if (1) that creature is attacking and (2) no creatures are declared to block it. It will trigger even if that creature was put onto the battlefield attacking rather than having been declared as an attacker in the declare attackers step. (2013-04-15)
August 28, 2019 4:33 p.m.

DemMeowsephs says... #2

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind!

August 28, 2019 4:36 p.m.

Chesu says... #3

It will kill, but only if it isn't blocked.

August 28, 2019 5:07 p.m.

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