What happens if you search for nothing?

Asked by Deadz0512 6 years ago

What will happen if you search for something in your library for something that does not exist?

For example, I'm using a WUBRG Gate deck and my opponent controls an Ob Nixilis, Unshackled . I use Maze's End to search for a Mountain , but then suddenly, I realize that all of my Mountain s are on the field. Would I lose 10 life? Or will using Maze's End be an illegal move?

I know it's a weird example, but I'm just curious if it would work.

Boza says... Accepted answer #1

First, you cannot use maze's End to search for a mountain. The ability specifically states "Gate card". Lets say you do not have any gates left in your deck, but not enough on the field to win the game.

You will search your library, but fail to find anything. You will still lose 10 life from Ob, since you searched. Anytime you search, you can also intententionally fail to find something if it would be disadvantageous to do so.

September 12, 2014 3:52 a.m.

BboyGeologic says... #2

You can't search for basics with Maze's End , but that doesn't really matter. You activated the ability and that ability states that you are searching even if you decide to not physically pick up your deck and search thru it, so you will sacing a creature and taking 10 damage , then you'll shuffle your library.

Just because you don't have what you're supposed to search for doesn't mean you can't still search- Failure to find is a thing.

September 12, 2014 3:55 a.m.

Deadz0512 says... #3

@Boza Oh yeah, sorry I must've mistaken Maze's End for another card (Gatecreeper Vine I think) Anyway, thanks for answering

September 12, 2014 3:57 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #4

To account for a player not remembering what's left in the deck, or not noticing something when searching through a deck, it's okay not to find something if an effect is telling you to search for a card with specific qualities. Examples: "an instant or sorcery card", "a Gate card", "four cards with different names", etc. As an extension of that, it's legal to start searching even if you know there's nothing to find, and it's legal to search and not find anything even if you see something.

If the effect just tells you to search for "a card" (Diabolic Tutor , etc.) with no particular specific qualities then you do have to find something, unless there are literally no cards left in the deck.

September 12, 2014 1:15 p.m.

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