CR and UNH Sign Historic Agreement

Posted in Feature on November 13, 2004

By John Carter

Send your rules questions to Magic Rules Manager John Carter. Can't find the answer to your question somewhere else, like the Magic Comprehensive Rules? Maybe he's already answered it! Try the Saturday School Searchable Rules Database.

Next Saturday is Unhinged Release Events Day! I would launch into cool stories about the utter brokenness of Unhinged, but this is a rules column, and frankly, Unhinged makes me lose sleep. You see, as R&D's resident rules developer, I'm the last line of defense between sanity and Mark Rosewater, and that line runs pretty thin in silver-bordered land. So let me just say this now: the Comprehensive Rules and Unhinged have signed a ceasefire. If you think you're in no man's land somewhere between Magic and reality, it's probably because you are. Bring a helmet.

That being said, let's hit some real cards while we can…

Q: If I splice Soulless Revival onto Devouring Greed, will I be able to return one of the sacrificed creatures to my hand? --Richard

A: No, you'll have to target the creature card in your graveyard for the splice before you begin paying costs for the Greed [CR 409.1c, 409.1h]

Q: My opponent has five spirits in play and wants to play Devouring Greed and sacrifice them all because I am at 12 life. Can I respond to the announcement of the spell and bounce one spirit to his hand in order not to lose? --Nikos P.

A: No: the sacrifice is an “additional cost” to play the spell, which means he sacrificed them as part of the announcement. By the time you can respond, the spirits are already gone.

*Extra*: On the plus side, if you can counter the spell somehow, he will have sacrificed all those creatures for no effect.

Q: What if use Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker on some random creature. Then I play Parallel Evolution, which will make a copy of the token that is copy of my creature. Will I have to sacrifice the copy of the token at the end of my turn? --Andrew M.

A: No, the sacrifice only applies to the token made by Kiki-Jiki.

Q: Say I have two different creatures in play that both have the trigger "whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell… If I play an arcane spell and trigger both effects I can chose the order in which they resolve? --Mickey K.

A: Yes, you stack them in order with the first one you want to resolve stacked last [CR 410.3].

Q: If I have Yosei, the Morning Star and Horobi, Death's Wail in play. If I put Yosei in the graveyard, does it destroy enemy creatures I target? --Arthur P.

A: Yes, Yosei's triggered ability will let you tap up to five target permanents. If those permanents are creatures, Horobi will trigger and destroy them.

Q: Does Horobi, Death's Wail still trigger if my opponent counters the spell that targets one of his creatures? --Jeremy

A: Yes, the creatures were targeted while the spell was announced [CR 409.1c]. Countering the spell or killing Horobi after the spell's announcement doesn't stop the triggers that would be placed on the stack right after the announcement [CR 402.6].
(In fact, when Horobi is in play, almost all spells that target creatures get countered. Horobi usually kills the creature before the spell resolves, and the rules will automatically counter a spell that has no remaining targets.)


Nighteyes the Desecrator
Q: Say I have a Nighteyes the Desecrator (the flip of Nezumi Graverobber) in play and then I play Horobi, Death's Wail. My friend says that when I use Nighteyes' ability the creature gets destroyed again because of Horobi. Please help. --Dave

A: Your friend is incorrect. Nighteyes targets creature cards in graveyards (dead creatures), and Horobi's ability only affects creatures — live ones in play that Horobi makes dead. Since the desecrating only targets a creature card, the corpse will come back and become a creature.

Q: If my opponent has a flipped hero card Dokai, Weaver of Life, and then I play a nonflipped Budoka Gardener, will they both put into graveyard or not since mine is not a legend yet? --Andik

A: None of then would be put into the graveyard yet. If you can flip yours into Dokai, then they'd both die because they're both Legendary.

Q: I have Kumano, Master Yamabushi, Tok-Tok, Volcano Born (a flipped Akki Lavarunner), and Furnace of Rath. I activate the Yamabushi's ability and target an opponent with 1 damage. Would the Furnace double it then Tok-Tok adds 1 for a total of 3, or does Tok-Tok add his 1, then it's doubled for a total of 4?

A: It's up to the opponent. The player who is getting hit, or the controller of the permanent getting hit is the one who decides the order of replacement abilities (Furnace and Tok-Tok are both replacement effects) [CR 419.9a].

Q: Say you have a flipped Akki Lavarunner (aka Tok-Tok, Volcano Born) in play and you play a Lava Spike and splice a Glacial Ray on to it also targeting the player. Now Tok-Tok says that a spell deals one extra damage, we where wondering which part of the spell would deal the extra damage: the original text three damage or the spliced text that Glacial Ray added? --Scott S.

A: Both, the source is dealing damage twice. The text of the spell is now: ”[this spell] deals three damage to target player. [this spell] deals two damage to target creature or player.”
Since Tok-Tok looks for every time a source deals damage, it will apply for the original dealing and for the splice dealing.

Q: I have Night of Soul's Betrayal and Forbidden Orchard in play. If I used Forbidden Orchard for mana does my opponent get the 1/1 creature token? --Eric A.

A: Yes, but not for long. When the Orchard's triggered ability resolves you'll put a 1/1 token into play under your opponent's control, but the Betrayal will make it a 0/0, and state-based effects will put it in the graveyard before anyone can play anything.

*Extra* Because the Orchard's token is created by a trigger, your opponent could respond to the trigger. If he or she gets rid of the Betrayal before the trigger resolves, the token will survive.

Q: I had a Shizo, Death's Storehouse out and one in my hand. I first tapped the one in play for a black mana then played the other Shizo as my land for the turn and tapped that for a black mana. My opponent tells me that mana is faster than anything in Magic, but is it faster than the Legend rule? –Ryan

A: The Legend(ary) rule [CR 420.5e] trumps both of you. It's true that mana abilities resolve on announcement, but in order to announce the ability, you have to have priority. You don't get priority after playing a land until after state-based effects (like the Legend rule) check [CR Glossary: Priority].

Q: I've got a question about Sensei's Divining Top. Can I use the ability of the Top to draw a card even when there are no more cards in my library? --Karsten

A: Sure, you can use the ability. Unfortunately you'll lose the game because no card was there when you tried to draw [CR 420.5g].


Uyo, Silent Prophet
Q: If I use Uyo to copy a spell played by my opponent without a target, such as Counsel of the Soratami, who draws the two cards from the copy? What if I played the Counsel of the Soratami and copied it using Uyo? --Matt Marino

A: You draw the cards either way. As the player who made the copy, you are the controller of the copy, so you follow the copy's instructions [CR Glossary: Controller].

Q: If I block a 2/2 creature with a Kabuto Moth, then tap the moth to give itself +1/+2, does the attacking creature die or does the moth deal no damage because it was removed from combat because it got tapped?

A: The attacking creature dies. Tapping or untapping a creature doesn't do anything to whether or not it's attacking.

*Extra*: Way back before 6th Edition came out, tapped blockers dealt no combat damage (they were still in combat though), but it was decided (rightly) that the rule was confusing and unnecessary. That change was in April of 1999.


Q: I play Cranial Extraction. In response my opponent plays Mana Leak. I pay the 3 mana, and my opponent Mana Leaks again, saying that the stack has only resolved up to the Mana Leak. Is he correct? – Adam

A: Yes, he is. When spells and/or abilities are on the stack and both players pass in succession, only the top spell or ability resolves. Once it has finished resolving both players will receive priority again before the next spell or ability resolves [CR 408.1c].

*Extra*: Prior to 6th Edition (April 1999), spells resolved in “batches”. Once a flurry of spells was cast they would all resolve one after the other without pausing. Nowadays we resolve spells and abilities one at a time and give you the opportunity to capitalize anywhere in the process.

Q: If I have Tangle Asp in play with a Regeneration enchanting it, can I equip Nemesis Mask to it causing all my opponents creatures to die and regenerate Tangle Asp? --Sam

A: Yes. The Asp destroys the blockers regardless of where you would assign his one point. Some cards like Lowland Basilisk are different in that they require damage to destroy things, but not Tangle Asp.

Q: I'm curious about how priority works. For instance, in MTGO I have played solitaire games against myself in which I am not able to counter my own spells. I suppose my question is in regards to whether or not a player can respond to their own spell or ability on the stack with Uyo, for example. --Matthew

A: Yes, you can respond to your own spells and abilities. As a matter of fact, you automatically get priority whenever you play a spell or ability regardless of whose turn it is [CR 408.1c]. Once you're done playing spells or abilities, you pass priority to your opponent. If you only play one spell and pass, and the opponent passes, then the spell will resolve.
In the case of Magic Online (MTGO), you can hold down the Ctrl key while playing a spell or ability to let the server know you want to respond.

Q: Why would Serra Angel be errataed to have "Vigilance", yet at the same time Chub Toad would not be errataed to have "Bushido: 2". Is there some guideline that is followed by R&D or Rules Management that determines when a card is updated? As a rule of thumb, are two abilities whose text or reminder text is worded the same way considered by the game to identical, or not? Or is this determined on a card-by-card basis? --Chub Angel Samurai

A: Chub Toad is a Toad, not a Samurai. Overall, if a creature has an ability like Fear or Vigilance, we'll update the wordings with errata as appropriate. Pre-Kamigawa cards didn't get errata for Bushido because Bushido only appears on Samurai. This is a design choice with Bushido in particular, not a reflection on errata in general.

Q: How did the targeting rules have to change in order to allow a spliced spell and the spell onto which it was spliced to have different targets? --Mark C.

A: The rules didn't change to allow different targets: they changed to allow splices to target the same target as each other. The targeting rule in [CR 409.1c] was adjusted. Rather than state that a spell cannot target anything more than once, the rule was adjusted so that a spell can target something once for each instance of the word “target” on the spell. Since splice copies on text, it will be adding extra occurrences of “target” onto the text.

Q: If I have an Island Sanctuary, and a Howling Mine in play, during my draw step, I skip drawing a card (the one for my turn) and then draw for the Howling Mine, right? --Mike B.

A: That works fine. Since Island Sanctuary has you skip drawing a card during your draw step, it doesn't actually matter which one you skip. You could even skip both if you wanted to.

Q: If my opponent plays Blanket of Night making all my Plains also Swamps and then I play Celestial Dawn, what happens? –Rodney

A: Your lands are Plains. In most cases, continuous effects are applied one after another in timestamp order, which is the order they come into play. First the Blanket makes each land “a Swamp in addition to its land type”, and then Celestial Dawn says, “Lands you control are Plains” which removes all previous land types.

Q: If a spell or permanent becomes another color from an ability, does it retain its original color? For example, if I turn a Disciple of the Vault white via Eight-and-a-Half-Tails' ability, can I Terror it? --Vinchenzo

A: No, it will not retain its previous color(s). You can Terror an Eight-and-a-Half Tailsed Disciple.

Q: I have a Bösium Strip on the table and the top card of my graveyard is a Capsize. I activate the Strip and play the Capsize, paying its buyback. Can I put the Capsize into my hand and keep it? It looks like the Strip and buyback are trying to replace the same event - going to my graveyard - so I can replace it with buyback and ignore Bösium Strip's replacement. Is this right? --Jon A.

A: Yes, buyback will let you retrieve cards played off Bösium Strip.

Q: It is the end of my turn. I have a Myr Servitor in my graveyard. My opponent has 2 in play and 1 in his graveyard. Do I return my Myr Servitor to play, and do I do it at his next upkeep, or do I have to wait until my upkeep? --Derek B.

A: You don't have to wait. If a player has Myr Servitor in play, then its ability will trigger at the beginning of his or her upkeep. When the ability resolves, it states that each player returns all Servitors to play.


Q: How are Trinisphere and splicing meant to interact with one another? If I play Lava Spike with Glacial Ray spliced onto it, will Trinisphere overlook that, or do I need to pay for Lava Spike itself? --Joel S.

A: Lava Spike with Glacial Ray spliced on is fine for Trinisphere without costing extra. Trinisphere waits until the total cost to play a spell is calculated (mana cost + additions – reductions) and then adjusts the cost if the total is less than three. If you spliced Blessed Breath instead of Glacial Ray, the Trinisphere would see that + = 2 and would increase it to .

Q: Can you Orim's Chant in response to your opponent playing Dark Ritual or any of the other mana producing one shot spells to cause them to mana burn, assuming they have no ways to get rid of the mana? --Steve

A: Yes, you can. One of the 6th Edition changes was removing “mana source” as a card type. This means Dark Ritual and Seething Song use the stack, and it means you can't play them while announcing a spell or ability.

Q: How does Cheatyface work? --Andy H.

A: Let's use an example: if my editor doesn't notice, then this question gets posted. If the page goes up as is, then it's out there, and he can't do much about it. Then again, that's assuming he doesn't want you to see it, and given what we've said in other columns this week we know that's not true. Plus, you clearly are reading this. Where does that leave you? That's not really a rules question, so I'm afraid I can't help you.

Q: What exactly does Bureaucracy do? (Oracle, please.) --Arthur

A: Here you go, fresh off Gatherer:

Pursuant to subsection 3.1(4) of Richard's Rules of Order, during the upkeep of each participant in this game of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game (hereafter known as “PLAYER”), that PLAYER performs all actions in the sequence of previously added actions (hereafter known as “ACTION QUEUE”), in the order those actions were added, then adds another action to the end of the ACTION QUEUE. All actions must be simple physical or verbal actions that a player can perform while sitting in a chair, without jeopardizing the health and security of said PLAYER.
If any PLAYER does not perform all the prescribed actions in the correct order, sacrifice Bureaucracy and said PLAYER discards his or her complement of cards in hand (hereafter known as “HAND”).

Seems pretty clear. Right?

If I were in a hurry, I might say,

At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player does a physical or verbal action after doing all previous actions done in this way. If that player does not, sacrifice Bureaucracy, and that player discards his or her hand.

But that just kills the joke, doesn't it?

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on States for last week. Here are the results:

If you went to the event, how did you find out about your State (Province, Island, Territory) Champs?
Friends 408 23.3%'s front page 367 20.9%
Local store 324 18.5%'s tournament center 286 16.3%
Tournament organizer who runs PTQs, etc. 235 13.4%
Saturday School very late that Friday 81 4.6%
At the prerelease 53 3.0%
Total 1754 100.0%

That's all for this week from Down Under. Next week: GP Brisbane and trips into silver-bordered land. Good luck next week at the release events. Enjoy your whuppin's.

Class dismissed.


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