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King of Jank

Fertilid Question: Is the ability a must?

Question

Hi Everyone,

I'm prepping for a return to video making and have a cool deck lined up to showcase in a deck tech/gameplay video. However, I ran into an issue. 

Now I was playing on Xmage (I can't play MTGO because I use a Mac), so I don't know if it is the rule or a mess up in the program.

The issue is Fertilid (card below) now from reading its ability, I see it as a "must" as it doesn't use the word "may" and have always played it as such. But recently in a game, an opponent was given the option to not search for a land when I targeted them (they did have to shuffle their library). Looking into it on Gatherer I found the rule:

"Although the targeted player doesn’t need to find a basic land card if he or she doesn’t want to, that player must shuffle his or her library."

So here are my 2 questions: 
1. Does the targeted player need to search their library for a land?
2. Even if the player doesn't choose to find a basic land, does that still count as searching their library?

Thanks in advance 
 

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On 8/12/2017 at 11:45 AM, King of Jank said:

So here are my 2 questions: 
1. Does the targeted player need to search their library for a land?
2. Even if the player doesn't choose to find a basic land, does that still count as searching their library?

1. Yes they have to search. No, they don't have to actually find the basic land. Failing to find is legal in Magic. Apparently in YuGiOh!, if you fail to find, you automatically lose which is funny.
2. Yes, it does count as searching their library for the purpose of effects like Archive Trap.

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1. "Technically" they have to search their library, however I don't think there are any clear rules about what "searching" means.  So, if you are playing a physical game in paper, presumably a player could look over at their deck on the table and say "There, I searched."  Technically, that's searching.

2. Yep, technically they have "searched."
 

Also, they have to shuffle regardless, too.  The "Then that player shuffles their library" is it's own rules text, so in paper, even if someone glances at their deck and says "I searched" they still have to pick it up and shuffle it.

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1 hour ago, Affinity for MTG said:

1. "Technically" they have to search their library, however I don't think there are any clear rules about what "searching" means.  So, if you are playing a physical game in paper, presumably a player could look over at their deck on the table and say "There, I searched."  Technically, that's searching.

2. Yep, technically they have "searched."
 

Also, they have to shuffle regardless, too.  The "Then that player shuffles their library" is it's own rules text, so in paper, even if someone glances at their deck and says "I searched" they still have to pick it up and shuffle it.

Ok, that's what I understood as well. I guess it was a bug, I encountered. I had another card that hurt them for searching their deck, which didn't trigger upon them searching.

Thanks for the reply!

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