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Recently, I had a reader send me an email. He had a series of questions about a fun card for a Legacy deck with a lot of potential.  Sneak Attack can make some explosive things happen, and this reader wanted to know about some ideas that he had.

(Judge!) After playing Sneak Attack, can I play Yawgmoth's Will and use the Sneak Attack to put creatures from my graveyard into the battlefield?

Yawgmoth's Will is a very powerful card. It allows you to play all the cards in your graveyard as if they were in your hand. However, those cards are not actually in your hand. So those cards cannot be snuck into play.

(Judge!) What happens if I use Sneak Attack to put a Viashino Sandstalker on the battlefield? At the end of the turn it is sacrificed or does it comes back to my hand?

Both the Sneak Attack trigger and the Viashino trigger happen at the start of your end step. So you would get to choose the order that they are put onto the stack. They would then resolve in the opposite order. Long story short, you would get to decide if the creature gets sacrificed or returns to your hand.

(Judge!) If I use Sneak Attack to play a Thopter Assembly at the beginning of my upkeep does the Thopter go back to my hand and I get 5 1/1 Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying?

Thopter Assembly triggers at the beginning of your upkeep. The first opportunity you have to sneak it into play would be after this trigger would go off. There is no way to make this happen by sneaking the assembly into play during your upkeep. (See BONUS RULES STUFF for more info on this)

(Judge!) What happens if I use Sneak Attack to put a creature on the battlefield during my opponent’s turn and he uses Control Magic on it? Does it still get sacrificed? What if I Disenchant the Control Magic in the same turn?

Sneak Attack’s delayed trigger will go off at the end of your turn weather you control the creature you snuck into play or not. If you don’t control the creature when it resolves you can’t sacrifice it. If you do control the creature you will have to sacrifice it, regardless how many times it may have switched sides.

A side note: the delayed trigger will only happen once. If you regain control in a later turn that creature will remain in play.

(Judge!) Can I use Sneak Attack to put an attacking creature on the battlefield right after declaring attack (like the effect of the Hero of Bladehold)? What is the latest moment after declaring attack when I can sneak a creature and still attack with it?

Unfortunately, the name of Sneak Attack lends itself to this idea. Since there are other cards that have this type of effect, you might think that Sneak Attack would put attacking creatures into play, but it doesn’t. The last opportunity you would have to put a creature into play on your turn and still attack with it is the Declare Attackers Step in your Combat Phase, before you declare your attackers.

(Judge!) If I announce I’m using Sneak Attack to sneak a creature, it is possible to use some spell with split second that prevents me from actually doing it?

Technically, no. Unless that spell is Trickbind. Split second prevents you from putting spells or activated abilities onto the stack on top of the spell with split second. It doesn’t affect the things on the stack beneath it. Trickbind, though, counters activated abilities, and it would put a wrench in your Attack plans.

However, it only stops a single activation. Since you don’t announce which creature your Sneaking into play until the ability resolves, the only thing you really lose in this exchange is one red mana. You can Sneak another creature into play right after the Trickbind resolves with no problems.

(Judge!) Do you have any suggestions of creatures to use with Sneak Attack to have fun effects and play fun games? I don’t use Emrakul, the Aeons Torn because it makes every game the same boring game.

This one I’m not so good at. Building decks has never been one of my strong points in magic. If you’re reading this and have some suggestions, please leave a comment with some awesome creature ideas. Maybe a cool combo you can think of. This is for a Legacy deck, so pretty much anything goes.

As always, Keeping it Fun

Kyle Knudson

Level 2 Judge

Allon3word at


“At end of turn” triggers are interesting. They sound like they should happen at the very end of your turn, and they do... sort of.

“At end of turn” really means “At the beginning of your end step.”  Sneak Attack requires you to sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step. If you Sneak a creature into play during the end step, however, it will stay in play until the beginning of the next end step.

This is a neat trick within the rules that would allow you to get your Thopter Assembly's tokens. If you Snuck the Thopter Assembly into play during your opponent's end step, it would stick around during the beginning of your upkeep and trigger as normal.

There are a lot of cards that use this wording that can take advantage of this rule. The unearth mechanic uses this wording, as do Elemental Mastery, Incandescent Soulstoke, and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.

Can you think of any other cards?

8 thoughts on “SNEAK ATTACK!

  1. Fun things to sneak attack in:
    Persist creatures (Especially Woodfall Primus, and to a lesser extend Puppeteer Clique)
    Creatures with upkeep costs you don't want to pay (Crater Hellion, Lord of the Pit, etc)
    Creatures with ETB or LTB abilities, or preferably both (Sundering Titan is devastating, the aforementioned persist guys and Crater Hellion, Wurmcoil Engine, Iona, Novablast Wurm (not an ETB, but still good)

    Basically, just look through gatherer for any ridiculously expensive (mana cost) creatures and go wacko bananas. Oh yeah, Nicol Bolas. That's a pretty damn good one.

  2. Thanks for the article!
    I will keep two Thopter Assembly main deck (as well as 2 Wurmcoil Engine), because I can play them in case I don't draw a Sneak Attack or some tutor, and it is also a nice combo with the 3 Skullclamp I already use (Skullclamp + Sneak Attack = good creature flow). I'm also considering adding a Mimic Vat, to use each creature twice and to hold the board if I don't draw a Sneak Attack.
    I use Nicol Bolas, but he is not that good, I wish he had trample. 😉

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