• Artist: Pete Venters
  • Card Name: Pithing Needle
  • Card Number: no 338
  • Card Text: As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card. Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can’t be activated unless they’re mana abilities.
  • Community Rating: 4 to 4.99
  • Converted Mana Cost: 1
  • Expansion: Tenth Edition
  • Mana Cost: [1]
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Types: Artifact

It finally dawned on me how apt it is that the card Pithing Needle is a perfect answer to a Planeswalker: Back in 1999, in The Thran, Yawgmoth himself uses a pithing needle to disable a planeswalker. This couldn’t be more perfect if they had planned it from the start.

youdontknowshitaboutcats-deacti asked:

Can you explain how Pithing Needle works?


Pithing Needle stops players from activating abilities of the named card. An activated ability is anything written in the form “[Cost]: [Effect].”

Pithing Needle only stops activated abilities. It doesn’t stop spells from being cast, and it doesn’t stop any other kinds of abilities that aren’t activated abilities (such as triggered abilities, static abilities or replacement effects).

Pithing Needle stops all activated abilities that aren’t mana abilities. An activated ability is a mana ability if it A) produces mana, B) doesn’t have any targets, and C) isn’t a loyalty ability. Any activated abilities that don’t meet all of these criteria aren’t mana abilities, and can be turned off by Pithing Needle.

Some common things you might use Pithing Needle for include:

  • Stopping planeswalkers from using their abilities (planeswalkers’ loyalty abilities are activated abilities because they’re written in the form “[Cost]: [Effect]”)
  • Stopping lands like Kessig Wolf Run from using their non-mana-producing abilities (Their mana-producing abilities will remain unaffected)
  • Stopping Boros Reckoner from using its second ability to give itself first strike (Pithing Needle won’t stop Boros Reckoner’s first ability, because it’s a triggered ability and not an activated ability)
  • Stopping Equipment like Ring of Kalonia from equipping a creature (The equip keyword is an activated ability. However, casting Pithing Needle after the named equipment is already attached to a creature won’t unattach it)

Hope this helps! If you’ve got any specific questions about how Pithing Needle works in a given situation, feel free to ask.

EDH 100 Day Challenge: Brago, King Eternal

#4: Pithing Needle

I feel like a monster whenever I play this card. I’m tempted to take it out, but Brago is sort of my spike-y EDH. I pull out Brago when I really want the win or someone really wants the challenge. I generally try not to take people’s commanders out of the game because that just ruins their day, but if people are trying to get too cute with combos, the needle comes out.

kr-studios asked:

A Pithing Needle can shut down a planeswalker right? Also, planeswalkers are destroyed when there are two of the same subtype on the battlefield? (like two Jace cards). So a set of four Pithing needles, or even just two in the sideboard would be a good defense against planeswalkers right?

Yes, Pithing Needle works against planeswalkers, and as sideboard answers to planeswalkers go it’s not bad. (Planeswalker abilities are activated abilities, so you if resolve a Pithing Needle and name “Gideon, Champion of Justice,” then your opponent’s Gideon can’t use any of his abilities.)

Regarding your other question, if two planeswalkers that share a subtype (such as two Jaces) are on the battlefield at the same time, they’re both put into their owners’ graveyards as a state-based effect. This isn’t the same as being destroyed (regeneration and indestructible can’t stop it), but it is another way to deal with enemy planeswalkers.

listen teacher I know you were planning on giving us an essay on death of a salesman but after you end your turn I tap and sacrifice my black lotus to add 3 colorless mana to my mana pool and then use one of them to play pithing needle and I name you as it comes into play

good luck assigning me that essay when activated abilities of sources of the chosen name can’t even be activated unless they’re mana abilities and in case you weren’t reading I named you so that means you!


A different take on MUD

Can we ramp up into Ugin or Karn in Legacy? If 12-Post can get 10-12 mana easily, I wonder if MUD could take a similar approach by playing Pithing Needles and Expedition Maps to assemble the pieces. It’s too bad Candelabra is too expensive.

Creatures - 10
4 Metalworker
4 Batterskull
2 Wurmcoil Engine

Spells - 26
4 Expedition Map
3 Pithing Needle
4 Grim Monolith
4 Karn Liberated
4 Crystal Ball
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 All is Dust
2 Candelabra of Tawnos
1 Voltaic Key

Lands - 24
4 Cloudpost
4 Vesuva
4 Glimmerpost
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
4 Cavern of Souls

4 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Trinisphere
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Lodestone Golem