Q: Back during Time Spiral block, you answered the question of what a plain vanilla 1/1 sliver would look like if every other sliver were in play. Lorwyn block seems like a good place for a twist on that question. Here it is: If I had every card from the Lorwyn block in play that affected a creature type and I played a plain (french?) vanilla 1/1 changeling, what would happen and what abilities would the creature have?
–Sebastian, San Diego, CA, USA
A: From Kelly Digges, editor of magicthegathering.com:
It's been a while since we've done a laborious "count 'em up" Ask Wizards... too long, if you ask me! Let's start with a couple of caveats.
First, you said "Lorwyn block," but for right now Morningtide isn't out yet. I decided to answer the question anyway because it's fun, and perhaps revisit it later taking Morningtide and all of its class creature types into account.
Secondly, this question is interesting for what it doesn't ask. It doesn't ask what happens when I play other spells with this 1/1 token with changeling in play (such as with Peppersmoke, Nova Chaser, Spellstutter Sprite, Fodder Launch, or Thundercloud Shaman), in the graveyard (relevant for Boggart Birth Rite or Warren Pilferers), in my hand (to reduce the cost of Silvergill Adept or Squeaking Pie Sneak, for instance), or in my library (to search out with Faerie Harbinger or any of the other harbingers). Note that this means that it misses tribal instants and sorceries entirely.
So. You have one of every Lorwyn permanent card that cares about creature types in play, and I play an imaginary 1/1 changeling with no other abilities. (As it happens, there's a card in Morningtide that comes very close to fitting the bill; it has another ability, but not one that really affects this example—unlike, say, Shapesharer or Mirror Entity.)
The first things that happen are triggered abilities that trigger when you (or other players) play a [creature type] spell: Battlewand Oak gets +2/+2, and you'll have the options to pay to gain 2 life with Bog-Strider Ash, put a +1/+1 counter on Elvish Handservant, put a 1/1 Elf Warrior creature token into play with Lys Alana Huntmaster, tap something with Merrow Reejerey, have a player lose one life with Quill-Slinger Boggart, and give something +3/-3 with Thorntooth Witch. Not bad for one spell!
Then, the spell will resolve and your changeling will come into play. Interestingly, there are zero creature type-based "comes into play" triggers in Lorwyn—the reasoning being that "when you play a [creature type]" triggers interact better with tribal instants and sorceries.
Once your changeling is in play, it will make your Jagged-Scar Archers and your Dauntless Dourbark bigger (and no, I'm not going to calculate how big—I leave that as an exercise for you, the reader). Oh, and don't worry, your Dauntless Dourbark already has trample, just as your Kithkin Greatheart, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, and Blind-Spot Giant were already "on."
The changeling itself will be an indestructible 10/10 with shroud, trample, and deathtouch thanks to the eight "race lords" (Imperious Perfect, Incandescent Soulstoke, Mad Auntie, Merrow Reejerey, Scion of Oona, Timber Protector, Sunrise Sovereign, and Wizened Cenn) and that other "lord" in the set, Wren's Run Packmaster. Not too bad.
Meanwhile, of course, Nath's Buffoon and Warren-Scourge Elf will have protection from your changeling. Good thing they're on your side (although since it has trample, one doesn't suppose you'd mind too much).
Now, of course, you'll have a lot of options. Elvish Branchbender, Harpoon Sniper, Silvergill Douser, and Immaculate Magistrate all just got a little bit better (again, I'm not going to give hard numbers here—sorry). Unfortunately, you're also going to find a number of abilities that are useless because of the shroud granted by Scion of Oona. You won't be able to regenerate your changeling with Mad Auntie or give it protection with Sygg, River Guide. You also won't be able to give it another +1/+1 and islandwalk with Streambed Aquitects, lifelink with Nectar Faerie, or +1/+0 and flying with Lowland Oaf, but those three would only have been relevant this turn if you were somehow able to attack with it. If Scion of Oona weren't in play, you could have held Goatnapper in your hand to give it haste... or use Shapesharer to turn it into a copy of Changeling Berserker and go to town. Curse you, Scion of Oona!
If you do find a way to attack with your changeling (up to and including waiting a turn), it can pump up Cenn's Heir, and it will have to be blocked by two or more creatures thanks to Caterwauling Boggart. If it connects, you'll get a 1/1 Goblin Rogue token courtesy of Boggart Mob. If it somehow manages to die on the way in (not an easy thing for an indestructible 10/10 with shroud to do), you'll draw a card thanks to Kithkin Mourncaller.
On the other hand, if you don't want to attack, there are other options. You could tap it and another Merfolk to give Benthicore shroud; it and two other Kithkin to give Cloudgoat Ranger +2/+0 and flying; or just it to put the top card of target player's library into their graveyard with Drowner of Secrets.
If you do tap it, whether to attack or to use an ability, you'll be able to gain 1 life with Judge of Currents (though not prevent damage to the changeling with Wellgabber Apothecary because of Scion of Oona and then untap it at the end of your turn with Merrow Commerce. (Funny, those last three are all Merfolk...)
All that said, the magic may not last. If you get tired of your shiny new changeling, you'll have numerous options for sacrificing it. Remember, though—you can only sacrifice it to one effect, so choose carefully. You could sacrifice it to give Facevaulter +2/+2, to give any Giant +3/+1 with Hearthcage Giant, to make Marsh Flitter a 3/3, or to deal 2 damage with Tar Pitcher. You could also pay and sacrifice it with Guardian of Cloverdell to gain 1 life. If none of those excite you, you could always attack with Wanderwine Prophets and sacrifice the changeling to take another turn after this one.
Of course, when your changeling goes to the graveyard, some other things are going to happen. You'll be able to put a +1/+1 counter on Knucklebone Witch, deal damage to a player with Boggart Shenanigans, and get a 1/1 Elf Warrior token from Prowess of the Fair (yes, Elves show up coming and going). Once it's in your graveyard, you'll be able to gain more life from Elvish Eulogist, then either remove your changeling from the game to pump Scarred Vinebreeder (yawn) or play it again with Horde of Notions (fun!).
Finally, of course, if you do leave it in there (perhaps you're out of mana?), you can start everything again on your next upkeep... by returning it to your hand with Wort, Boggart Auntie!