Almost Gone

Posted in Feature on February 26, 2005

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.

February's almost over, and that means one thing: March. And what does March mean? March 1st is one of four times a year the DCI reserves to make changes to the banned and restricted lists. And in case you missed last week talking about a whole new environment or Aaron Forsythe's article comparing Standard and Extended, there are big changes around the corner.

Goblin Cohort
Q: I have a Goblin Warchief in play. If I play a Goblin Cohort, can the Cohort attack? --George S.

A: Yes, Cohort can attack if he has Haste (via Warchief) and was played that turn. The only thing the Cohort cares about is if somebody was played-- who doesn't worry him.

Q: Q: I have heard the argument that the Glasskite ability is only based on targeting, and not spell specific. Your thoughts? --Judi E.

A: Glasskites only counter the first spell or ability played. It doesn't matter how many times a given spell can or did target it.
The Glasskite ability is "Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time in a turn, counter that spell or ability.” This can be dissected into "Whenever someone becomes somethingsometime, do something else."
Having dissected the wording, let's ask some questions. The questions to ask are:
Who? This Creature
What? Becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time
When? This turn
If you play Shock targeting such a creature, the trigger goes on the stack. If you respond with a Terror, the ability recognizes that its creature has already become the target for the first time and does not trigger for the Terror.

Q: I have a Shinka Gatekeeper out with a Ragged Veins enchanting it. What would happen if the Gatekeeper were dealt 2 damage? --Kyle Stallman

A: The Gatekeeper and Veins both would trigger. The Gatekeeper would be destroyed as a state-based effect. You'd lose 2 life from the Veins and take 2 damage from the Gatekeeper.

Q: If I use Awe Strike on Heartless Hidetsugu, will my opponent still take damage dealt to him by Hidetsugu? --Jopee

A: Awe Strike reads in part "The next time target creature would deal damage…" Since Awe Strike doesn't include something like "to you", it will prevent all of the Heartless damage, and you'll gain that much life (half of your life rounded down plus have of your opponent's life rounded down will be added to your life).

Q: If I have Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker in play and a creature with power 1 goes to my graveyard, then I play Otherworldly Journey on Shirei, can I stack the "at end of turn" effects in such a way to bring back the little guy? --Daniel V.

A: No, once Shirei leaves play the game loses track of who he was. The Shirei that comes into play after his Journey is not considered the same as the one that left.

Q: I was curious if a Kiki-Jiki copy of a Teardrop Kami would trigger my Teller of Tales? --Steve F.

A: No, putting a copy of a Spirit creature into play isn't the same thing as playing a Spirit spell.

*Extra*: Teardrop Kami and Kiki-Jiki would combo with Auriok Champion just fine though. The Auriok triggers of creatures entering play rather than being played (ie: played as a spell). You won't have huge amounts of creatures at once, but you could generate a huge amount of life from the Auriok triggers.

Q: Do Guiltfeeder and Ninjutsu interact as I think they do? --Jared

A: Well, do you think that Guiltfeeder's "fear" makes it easier to sneak him past blockers and thus make your Ninja more likely to spring forth? Do you think that once the Guiltfeeder is unblocked its ability will trigger causing life loss in your opponent, and that you also have an unblocked creature that would be available for Ninjutsuing someone like Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni into play early enough to also be able to hit your opponent for five damage and trigger Ink-Eyes' ability? Do you think Ink-Eyes reanimating creatures from your opponent's graveyard makes Guiltfeeder less effective next time? If so, then they do.

Q: If my opponent plays Blessed Reversal, and I use Ninjutsu to return my two unblocked creatures, will he gain 3 life for each of the creatures I returned to my hand? --Offer Z.

A: No, he won't gain life for those creatures. However, he will gain life for the Ninja that show up. There are multiple results possible…
You could Ninjutsu one unblocked creature for another and have the same number of creatures attacking. The life gain will be the same.
You could Ninjutsu one unblocked creature and respond by revealing the same Ninja to Ninjutsu another creature (you'll have to spend the Ninjutsu cost twice). The Ninja will be put into play by the last ability, and the first ability will "do nothing" since the Ninja is already in play, but you have one fewer creature, so your opponent won't gain as much.

*Extra*: If your opponent wanted to make sure you don't pull Ninja tricks, he or she could play Blessed Reversal before declaring blockers. Since blockers have yet to be declared, you won't be able to use Ninjutsu yet.

Q: When Yukora, the Prisoner is unblocked, and I return him to play via Ninjutsu, would his ability make me sacrifice the Ninja put into play, or can I arrange the triggered abilities on the stack so the Ninja lives? --Chad

A: You don’t get a choice about arranging Yukora's triggered ability and the activated Ninjutsu ability-– the Ninja will always live.

You announce Ninjutsu, putting the ability onto the stack and returning Yukora to your hand as part of the cost to play the ability. This triggers Yukora’s ability, which goes on the stack on top of the Ninjutsu ability. The triggers resolves before the Ninja enters play.

Q: I was thinking: do multiple Overblaze effects stack? --Scalemx

A: "Stack" isn't the best word. Yes, they multiply. So one makes damage x2. Two would make damage x2 and x2 (x4). The big jump starts after the second one-- a third would make the damage x2 x2 x2… for a total of x8!

Genju of the Fields
Q: If you activate Genju of the Fields multiple times, does the Plains become a creature with multiple Spirit Link abilities? --Paul G.

A: Yes, if you repeatedly activate Genju of the Fields, it will get the “Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life” text multiple times. A Plains that has that text twice and deals two damage will make you gain four life. (Three times will be six life.)

Q: How does Dokai, Weaver of Life's Elementals token creatures work? Are they */*s where * is equal to your lands all the time or just the number when you made the token? --Pat T.

A: Each token will be X/X according to how many lands you controlled as it was being made. You could have an 11/11 token, play two lands, and then make another token. The second one would be 13/13 while the first is still 11/11.

Q: If I imprint Cloudcrest Lake on Extraplanar Lens. It would seem that I could now tap another Cloudcrest Lake for colorless mana, then add a or , and still untap normally next turn. Right? --Dan H.

A: No, Extraplanar Lens adds extra mana "of any type that land produced". Since only was produced, you'll only get extra.

*Extra*: If you had a land like the Odyssey ones that produce two colors at once you can get either color. Tapping a Mossfire Valley for will let the Lens produce either or

Q: Is Uyo, Silent Prophet able to use her ability on spell copies that are made by Spellweaver Helix? --Brad P.

A: Yes, Uyo copies spells and copies of spells. Uyo isn't picky about the how it got on the stack.

Q: Does having a Samurai of the Pale Curtain in play prevent regeneration because the creature is not sent to the graveyard? --Stefan A.

A: No, Samurai of the Pale Curtain does not stop regeneration. Regeneration replaces destruction, and since the creature never was destroyed, it would never be sent to the graveyard.

Pre-Kamigawa Block Questions

Q: Is there a rule that says Gaea's Cradle taps for one green mana even if you have no creatures in play? --Sam

A: No, there isn't. To figure out how much you get multiply it by the number of creatures you control. Mathematically, multiplying anything by 0 results in 0.

Words of War
Q: If my opponent puts my library into my graveyard, then in my upkeep I activate Words of War once, what happens in my draw step? --Scott F.

A: Your normal draw is replaced by the Words effect, and you'll get to deal two damage to a target creature or player. An activated Words of War means the draw that would kill you never happens.

Q: What happens when an Ageless Entity has a Spirit Link on it and is blocked by another 4/4? --Denny P.

A: Both the creatures will be destroyed the right after the Spirit Link triggers. The Ageless Entity doesn't live long enough to grow from the Spirit Link.

Q: My opponent has played a Forest with an enchantment on it that says whenever this land becomes tapped, put a 1/1 squirrel token into play (sorry forgot name). He also has a card that states: tap an untapped creature: untap target land (forgot name too). He taps the forest and taps the squirrels and creates about 150 of them. Would he die because of mana burn from the Forest? --Joe

A: No, he's not going to burn at all. You're thinking of Squirrel Nest and Earthcraft, a combo that is popularly referred to as "Squirrelcraft". The key is that the squirrels aren't made by tapping the Forest for mana; they're made by tapping the land for the Nest rather than tapping it for mana (you can't do both).

Q: I have a No Mercy out in play, and my opponent attacks with a Death Speakers. My friend says that the No Mercy can't kill the Speakers because of protection from black. --Matthew

A: The Death Speakers is going to die.
Protection from black does the following for Death Speakers:
Death Speakers can't be Damaged by black sources (the damage is prevented)
Death Speakers can't be Enchanted or Equipped by black things
Death Speakers can't be Blocked by black creatures
Death Speakers can't be Targeted by black spells or abilities
An easy way to remember this is to remember the word DEBT.
Since No Mercy is not trying to Damage, Enchant, Block, or Target the Death Speakers, No Mercy's ability will work fine.

Because No Mercy destroys the creature, indestructible creatures laugh at No Mercy.

You can play Ninja tricks against No Mercy though.
What you could do is stack the damage from a creature, let that damage resolve, and in response to the No Mercy trigger (since the creature is still unblocked), use Ninjutsu to return the creature. The fresh Ninja won't be who the No Mercy is looking for, and the creature to be destroyed will be safely in your hand.

Q: Would Vedalken Orrery affect a Proteus Staff? --KoryL

A: It doesn't. The Orrery effect only applies to spells of the given types, it does not change the time at which they would normally be playable, and that's what the Staff cares about.

Q: I have a Forest and a Tinder Farm in play and want to play Harrow. Is it possible to sac Tinder Farm to pay the additional cost of Harrow? --Jake A.

A: No, the Tinder Farm was sacrificed as a cost for the and isn't around to cover the added cost for the Harrow. Goodbye Forest.

Swirl the Mists
Q: Can Swirl the Mists change the Fear ability?

A: No. Fear is now a keyword, and even though it means that a creature "can't be blocked except by black or artifact creatures", the word "black" no longer appears on the card. Older cards were errataed to receive the keyword ability instead of their printed text. This includes older cards like Shadowmage Infiltrator and, well, Fear.

Q: What exactly is interrupt?

A: In Magic terms, an interrupt was a spell that could target other spells (or abilities). 6th Edition cleared up many rules nightmares like interrupts and the "Interrupt Window". Errata was issued to adjust cards for 6th Edition, and interrupts are now instants.

*Extra*: Oddly enough, Red Elemental Blast was misprinted in Alpha with the type "Instant". This was fixed in Red Elemental Blast to "Interrupt", but with 6th Edition, it regained the misprinted but now correct type-- instant.

Q: I have found some old cards with "phasing" or "phase out", but I don't know the meaning of it. Please, can you help me? --Paul

A: Phasing [CR 502.15] is an ability from the Mirage block that made permanents stay in play only half the time.
You start your turn with a phasing critter…
Before you actually untap, that creature and anything on it (equipment, artifacts, counters) gets set aside (in the "Phased-Out" zone). Then you untap, and your turn proceeds as normal.
On the next turn, you're about to untap. But wait! You have a phased out critter. Phase the critter back into play (including anything that was attached to it). Now you get to actually untap all your permanents-- including the freshly returned creature.
Other points to remember about Phasing:
Phasing in lets that permanent function as though it has Haste
Phasing in does NOT trigger "comes into play" triggers
Phasing out does trigger "leaves play" triggers
Phasing out removes all damage on the permanent
Permanents that phase in are considered the same permanent that left play (the game normally forgets about a permanent if it leaves play)

Q: During a recent game we encountered a problem deciding who won our match. Both of us have Platinum Angel but no way to remove the other one's Angel. So is it a draw or what? --Adam & Steve

A: Games that cannot be completed are a draw. It doesn't matter how I-should-be-dead you are or your opponent is when you both have Platinum Angels in play.

That's all for this week. Next weekend is Grand Prix Seattle. If you're in the Pacific Northwest and looking forward to throwing down with hundreds of your fellow Magic players, Seattle Center will be the place to be. The Extended action is sure to be red hot with the format as open as it is. I'll be seeing you there, and then it's off to Pro Tour Atlanta a week later.

Class dismissed.


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