Convoke and Other Rules Questions

Posted in NEWS on July 15, 2014

By Matt Tabak

Senior editor. Game designer. Writer. Bon vivant. Matt wears many hats inside Magic R&D, but they're hard to see as he's so tall.

Ask Wizards is a monthly feature that gives you a chance to ask us questions and have them answered. If you'd like to submit a question, please email it to We aren't able to answer every question we receive, but if we can, it might show up in the coming months!

This month, Magic Rules Manager Matt Tabak answers a number of rules-related questions.

Q: If I have a way to untap a creature, can I use that same creature multiple times for convoke? I don't think so, but I'm not sure. —BR

A: No. Tapping creatures is done at the same time as paying mana, and it's all done at once. There's no opportunity to use other effects.

Q: Is it possible to both tap an Eldrazi spawn for convoke and also sacrifice it for one mana to help pay the cost of Chord of Calling? Could I tap two Forests and a Tinder Wall to cast Chord, since it's green, then choose to sacrifice the wall for RR to look for a 2-CMC creature?—Nathan

A: You can't sacrifice an Eldrazi Spawn for mana and tap it to help pay for a spell with convoke. You have a chance to activate mana abilities before you start to pay any costs. So if you sacrifice the Eldrazi Spawn for mana, it won't be on the battlefield to tap when you're paying costs. Similarly, if you sacrifice the Tinder Wall for mana, it also won't be around to tap.

Q: Do the tokens produced by Akroan Crusader and Launch the Fleet count as Humans? If I attack with a Cavalry Pegasus and Akroan Crusader then play Launch the Fleet, would the tokens gain flying?—Pete

A: A token only has the creature types mentioned in the spell or ability that creates them. The tokens made by Akroan Crusader and Launch the Fleet are just Soldiers. Bonuses that apply to Humans won't apply to them.

Q: If I have Epic Experiment + Zombie Apocalypse in my deck and I cast Epic Experiment, when are the other cards put into the graveyard? After the instants and sorceries are cast (merely put on the stack) or after they all resolve? If I Experiment for X=6, and five of those cards are Zombies (that won't cast) and one Zombie Apocalypse, will those Zombies be in the graveyard when Zombie Apocalypse resolves?—Eric

A: When Epic Experiment resolves, first you exile the X (in this case, 6) cards. Then you cast the appropriate instant and sorcery cards. This just means to put them on the stack, choose targets, and so on. Normally, you'd have to pay their costs, but Epic Experiment has your back here. If there were multiple spells, you could cast them in any order, but in this case it's just Zombie Apocalypse. Then, Epic Experiment continues resolving so all the cards that weren't cast are put into your graveyard. Now that we followed all of Epic Experiment's instructions (did you know that I've typed Epic Experiment five times, including this parenthetical and I've had typos each time?), it heads to the graveyard. Then Zombie Apocalypse resolves, and all those Zombie cards you just put in the graveyard are headed to the battlefield.

Q: Hi, I just got back into playing Magic again! Can Turn // Burn be used to kill indestructible creatures?—Michael

A: Welcome back! When fused, Turn // Burn is a great weapon against creatures with indestructible. Here's how it works: first the creature loses its abilities, including indestructible, and becomes a red Weird with base power and toughness 0/1. A Weird? Weird. Then the spell deals 2 damage to it. Since it no longer has indestructible and only has 1 toughness, this is usually enough to destroy it. Remember that only the base power and toughness is changed to 0/1. If there's anything else affecting its toughness (Auras, Equipment, +1/+1 counter, or other spells like Giant Growth), the 2 damage might not be enough.

Q: When Academy Rector dies, can any player respond to its trigger ability to exile it first before its controller chooses to exile it, to stop its finding enchantment card, and why? Thank you.

A: Just after Academy Rector dies, its triggered ability triggers and goes on the stack. Each player does have the opportunity to respond before this ability resolves. If someone responds by removing Academy Rector from the graveyard, then it won't be there when the ability resolves. That means you can't fulfill the instruction to exile it, and you won't get to search for an enchantment. This is because you can't exile Academy Rector yourself until its ability starts resolving.