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Rock Hydra
    Color= Red Type= Creature - Hydra Cost= XRR A(R)/B(R)/U(R)/R(R)
    Text (RV+errata): 0/0. ; ~this~ enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. ; For each 1 damage that would be dealt to ~this~, if it has a +1/+1 counter on it, remove a +1/+1 counter from it and prevent that 1 damage. ; {R}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to ~this~ this turn. ; {R}{R}{R}: Put a +1/+1 counter on ~this~. Activate this ability only during your upkeep. [Oracle 2009/07/08]
  • Removing a +1/+1 counter is a replacement ability that happens when the damage would become successfully dealt, if the damage was not prevented by some other means. For each counter removed, the damage is never actually dealt to the Hydra. You have no choice about this ability. It must be played if the Hydra has any counters. [D'Angelo 1998/11/16]
  • Since the Hydra loses counters due to damage before accumulating damage points, instants like Giant Growth are not totally useful with a Rock Hydra. A Hydra with 4 counters and a Giant Growth is 7/7, but after taking 4 damage (without paying the mana to keep the counters) it will lose all of its counters and die once the Giant Growth wears off. [bethmo 1994/05/01]
  • If brought into play without playing it from your hand, X will be zero. See Rule 107.3. So if brought into play it will be a 0/0 creature and will die unless something, like Castle, increases its toughness. [PPG Page 92]
  • Once in play, the X is considered to be zero when calculating its mana cost. See Rule 107.3. [PPG Page 56]
    This means that Metamorphosis on a Hydra gives only 3 mana.
  • If damage to a Rock Hydra is unpreventable (i.e. Whippoorwill or Lava Burst), you cannot spend {R} to prevent damage or remove heads to prevent damage. [Duelist Magazine #11, Page 57]
    The removal of counters is a replacement ability and is not damage prevention, so Whippoorwill will not stop that from happening. [D'Angelo 1998/11/16]
  • Extended tournaments (see Rule 913) have banned this card since 1999/10/01.
  • Note - Also see X Costs, Rule 107.3.
  • Note - The Alpha printing version of this card had 'R's where the red mana symbols are on all further printings.
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This search based on the Oct 23, 2009 release of the Rulings.

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