The Pithing Needle Guide (Updated 2/2018)

So have you ever wondered what one of the most power effect in the game of MTG is? It’s literally locking 4 cards in your opponents deck out of doing. Something. All without relying on any colored mana. Yes, I’m talking about an artifact. And one of my most favorite ones of all time.

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1 Generic Mana
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.

Key points
1: As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card.

This means that this is not a trigger, when you cast it just announce pass priority. Your opponent literally has no idea what your gonna say. This means you play the card from your hand pass priority. If you say “Cast Pithing Needle, name X card” You’re already doing it wrong. If anything it’s just to say “Cast Pithing Needle” and just STOP TALKING.

2: Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can’t be activated unless they’re mana abilities.

This is what the card itself does. Basically Pithing needle won’t let the card activate any abilities until Pithing Needle leaves play. Plain and simple right? Well it does have one exception. It won’t stop a mana ability ( Still not a bad thing for 1 mana right?
So uhh why is it so good? Ask MagicManSam aka Rhystic Studies.

But, alas what do we name?

That’s a good question. Basically you need to have some knowledge of the meta game and how some decks work. But, you can always just hold onto the needle in your hand and just take a “wait and see” style approach.

Well here’s a small cheat sheet for you for a few of the decks running around.
Arcbound Ravager
Cranial Plating
Inkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth nexus
Steel Overseer
Ghirapur Aether Grid (Not in game one though!)

Fetchlands (trick is that they have to fetch in response to you cast Pithing Needle)
Grim Lavamancer (if you really just want to name something)

-RG Tron
Oblivion Stone
Karn, Liberated
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Expedition Map
You cannot stop Chromatic Star or Chromatic Sphere, sorry those are mana abilities.

-Abzan Midrange
Liliana of the Veil
Shambling Vent
Other planeswalkers

-Jund Midrange
Raging Ravine
Liliana of the Veil
Olivia Voldaren
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Fulminator Mage
Scavenging Ooze

Aether Vial

Sakura Tribe Elder
(post board)
Inferno Titan
Engineered Explosives

-Eldrazi Tron
Expedition Map
Walking Ballista

-Abzan Counters Company
Devoted Druid (Needle only stops the untap ability)
Duskwatch Recruiter
Viscera Seer
Qasali Pridemage (name this first or your needle dies)
Gavony Township
Horizon Canopy (Stop the card draw ability)

-Living End (basically, just name creatures)
Faerie Macabre
Fulminator Mage
Deadshot Minotaur
Monstrous Carabid
Street Wraith
Pale Recluse
Jungle Weaver
Kessig Wolf Run
Brindle Boar

-Kiki Chord
Knight of the Reliquary
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Scavenging Ooze
Qasali Pridemage (name this first or your needle dies)
Kessig Wolf Run

Borborygmos Enraged (not Borborygmos, if you don;t remember the name ask a judge “whats the name of the legenday creature that that you discard lands to deal 3 damage?)
Griselbrand (name this second, after Borborygmos Enraged to prevent your opponent from just drawing an answer assuming they have one)

-Lantern Control (yeah this deck mainbboards needles)
Codex Shredder
Ghoulcaller’s Bell
Pyrite Spellbomb
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Academy Ruins

-Tooth and Nail
Arbor Elf
Voyaging Satyr
Nissa, Worldwaker
Garruk Wildspeaker
Kessig Wolf Run

Got a deck you want to suggest options for? Just leave a comment, or alternatively ignore me completely.


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