So, many people have been talking about (mostly being confused over Verorian Hydra) interactions that I figured I’d put together a post explaining common misunderstandings and/or bugs and explain what’s actually going on behind the scenes (according to my own testing) that causes these issues.
1. The Hydras Don’t Heal. Many people don’t realize that the Hydra’s ability does not technically heal it, but rather it increases its max toughness value. A quick Lightning Blast confirms this. Yes, the Hydra will go from 14/14 to 18/14. But if you zoom in on the card you will see that the toughness of the Hydra is actually written as 14/18. Which means instead of having healed to full health, the Hydra simply increased its max toughness. In this game, any increase or decrease of the max toughness causes a correlating change in that character’s current toughness. This is as intended because if you read the ability text on Verorian Hydra carefully, it says the Hydra gains +1/+1 per point of damage taken during the turn. This means healing abilities like Matriarch and Tribal Medicine can increase the Hydra’s toughness past 14 once it had been previously injured and its ability triggered.
2. Damage vs Toughness Reduction. This is a common one as players with little previous TCG/CCG/LCG experience don’t realize what the difference is. This issue arises when using the Demonic Corruption card on the Verorian Hydra. The card states that at the end of each turn the targeted character gets +4/-2. That -2 is not dealt as damage to the Hydra but rather it reduces its max toughness. As previously stated the decrease in max toughness causes a corresponding reduction in the actual toughness of the character. So while the Hydra’s toughness may have dropped from 14 to 12, it technically has not taken any damage and thus its ability does not trigger. As such, the previously mentioned healing abilities will also not work to increase toughness if the loss of toughness was the result of a reduction effect.
3. Poison/Immolate Damage; It Does Not Work. Poison and Immolate does do damage, but it will not trigger the Hydra’s ability. Why? As far as I can tell this has more to do with the order the abilities are resolved in relation to “end of turn” conditions. It would seem the game program first checks to see if any characters have innate “end of turn” triggers, then it goes on to check for any conditions that have “end of turn” triggers. So in essence what is happening is that the game reaches the end of a turn and starts checking for triggers. First it resolves the Hydra’s innate ability and gives it any stat increase according to all damage taken up to that point. Then afterwards, the game goes on to resolve any damage from Poison or Immolate conditions, which means damage from these would not have happened when the Hydra’s ability was triggered. And since the Hydra’s ability only applies to damage done “this turn,” the count will have been reset to zero by the start of the next turn.
4. Shirazius Combo Doesn’t Always Work! This is a weird one. The reasoning behind it is similar to the Poison/Immolate issue where Shirazius’s damage ability will trigger after the Hydra’s ability. But what some players have noticed is that this is seemingly very inconsistent. Sometimes one Hydra will not get buffed while at other times no Hydras will receive any buffs after taking the damage from Shirazius. The real question here is what is determining the order in which “end of turn” triggers resolve for characters in play and thus causing this chaos? I’m glad to say that this is NOT random and can be controlled and manipulated. The trigger order is actually based on the order the game loaded the cards when the match first starts. Cards that are loaded first have a higher priority when it comes to abilities being triggered first. And the order cards are loaded is determined by the order they were ADDED to the deck list in the deck builder, command zone first. Most Shirazius/Hydra deck players know already to have Shirazius in the first command slot. But the same logic applies to the rest of the deck as well. Add any extra Shirazius cards into the deck before adding your Hydras to the deck, otherwise the combo will not work properly. And also keep in mind that because the command zone is always loaded first, any extra Shirazius in the deck will never combo correctly with Hydras you’ve placed in the command zone.
5. The Hydra + Apparition Bug. Technically what’s happening here has more to do with how Apparition works rather than there being a bug. Some people have noticed that using Apparition to copy a Hydra will produce a Hydra with “double” power and toughness instead of actually making a perfect copy. It is actually not “double” power and toughness, and, in fact, exactly how much extra stats can be calculated. What happens is when Apparition makes the copy, it tries to make the copy as exact as possible, including the current actual toughness and max toughness. But how it goes about it is what causes the problem. It actually creates the copy first based off of the max toughness. Then it proceeds to subtract an amount of health from the copy to match the current actual toughness of the creature. This subtraction is done in the form of damage, which at the end of the turn triggers the Hydra copy’s ability. So if you copy a Hydra that has taken 4 damage, the original would have 18 power and 14/18 toughness, the copy will end up becoming 22 power and 18/22 toughness after its ability triggers at the end of turn. However using Apparition to copy a 14/14 Hydra that just came into play will result in another 14/14 Hydra.
Anyway hope at least some of this was helpful to you guys. Let me know if you guys have any questions regarding any of these findings.