Shadows Over Innistrad: Remastered went live yesterday on MTG Arena. As one of the most anticipated steps to truly having Pioneer available on the client, a lot of Arena players are excited that it has finally been included. Some of these cards were truly difficult to add, with the renowned Emrakul, the Promised End being the most problematic. Unfortunately, one new card has changed the way that a specific subset of MTG Arena cards interact with the board, which has caused some bizarre spells to sacrifice your entire board when their abilities are activated. Devs are working on a patch, but, for now, try to avoid these cards in your MTG Arena games!
Citizen’s Crowbar Will Get You Arrested
It seems that the fantastical aspect of MTG has been forced to take a cold drink of reality. Taking a crowbar to destroy something in real life is an unquestionable offense, and the same is now confirmed for using the Citizen’s Crowbar in MTG Arena. The card is quite good, considering it has a similar effect to Living Weapon. While a 2/2 creature isn’t going to change the world, you can sacrifice your Citizen’s Crowbar to destroy an artifact or enchantment. With the amount of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker cards running around the Standard format, it’s not difficult to find a valuable target for this card to deal with.
If you want to see some examples of entire boards being sacrificed, you can check out the embedded tweet above or check out this Reddit thread.
Unfortunately, if you choose to sacrifice Citizen’s Crowbar, you will, quite literally, have your entire board confiscated. For whatever reason, Citizen’s Crowbar has been confirmed to cause your entire board to sacrifice itself whenever you activate the ability it grants to an equipped creature. There have been some reports that equipment artifacts that act in a similar way, like Ninja’s Kunai, have also been deemed illegal by the bug authorities, and will have your entire board confiscated. It seems the trigger is having the equipment artifact be sacrificed as a cost for an ability off a creature’s activated ability that it grants to the creature.
A more pressing issue is that the ability of these cards seems to be copied for each sacrificed permanent. Since Ninja’s Kunai can deal direct damage to opponents with this ability, players are reporting that the Kunai is consistently killing players as early as turn three. The same thing is happening with Courier’s Torch.
Update: Abusing This Bug Can Get You Banned!!!
Author from the future here! If you’re considering exploiting the Ninja’s Kunai glitch to climb the ladder or win events with prizing, you may want to think twice. MTG Arena just Tweeted that abusing this glitch on ranked ladder or in events with prizes can temporarily suspend your account. Additionally, any rank gained or prizes won this way may be revoked. If you want to try this bug, sticking to unranked play or playing against Sparky is the best way to go about it!
Why is This Happening?
Players started reporting this bug in droves after MTG personality Crokeyz posted a video showcasing the unfortunate glitch against Sparky. This started occurring right after the Shadows Over Innistrad update, so it’s not too unreasonable to speculate that this bug had something to do with the update. That is precisely what happened.
While Emrakul, The Promised End hasn’t caused any issues yet, regardless of how difficult it was to program, one bizarre Shadows Over Innistrad inclusion has changed the way that the Crowbar works. Taking to Reddit, Wizards of the Coast member Ben Finkel has responded to players, confirming that the current version of Citizen’s Crowbar is bugged:
“I’m afraid Citizen’s Crowbar is currently bugged, yes. We’ll have a fix out as soon as we can.” – WotC_BenFinkel
Players then began asking various questions about why the Crowbar suddenly became glitched. Searching for apostrophized phrases in the MTG Arena deckbuilder was problematic until recent updates, so some believed that the apostrophe in the name of Citizen’s Crowbar was to blame. It turns out that it has nothing to do with the name of the artifact but instead has to do with a new-to-Arena card called Gutter Grime:
“It has nothing to do with the particulars of the card title. It was a regression issue due to the implementation of Gutter Grime, which changed the logic of how a card title inside of an ability that card confers is interpreted.”
In other words, the way that cards grant abilities to other cards was changed, which somehow makes it so effects like Citizen’s Crowbar and Ninja’s Kunai now sacrifice your entire board.
Could This Be a Good Thing?
This has 100% been confirmed as a bug by Wizards of the Coast staff that will be patched in the coming days. Until then, however, there are some uses for this bizarre sacrificial bug. This could create a death combo with the popular sacrifice payoff Mayhem Devil.
As pointed out by many MTG content creators, sacrificing your entire board with a Devil out can efficiently deal ten or more damage to close the game explosively. A similar combo is actually responsible for a tier 3 Modern deck that uses the land Tomb of Urami to sacrifice all of your lands for one big punch.
That said, players doing this would be abusing a bug which, at least on Magic Online, can lead to an account ban. If you do decide to toy around with this glitch, it may be better to do it in unranked as a result.
Either way, whether you get pinged to death by Mayhem Devil with this Crowbar, or accidentally sacrifice your entire board yourself, know that this is a glitch that is getting a lot of exposure in the community and, besides knowing about the glitch, there’s not much you can do about it until MTG Arena fixes it.