Back in Session for 2006

Posted in Feature on January 7, 2006

By John Carter

Send your rules questions to Level Four Judge 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.

I hope everyone has enjoyed his or her new year's holiday. Now that 2006 is underway, it's time for us to crack the books once more while we wait for the Guildpact previews starting Monday! Have a seat, and get your notebooks ready…

Golgari Brownscale
Q: If I dredge a Golgari Brownscale and one of the cards dredged is Gaea's Blessing, will the Brownscale go into my hand or be shuffled back into my library? --Bhavael

A: The Brownscale is returned to your hand, and then you stack Gaea's Blessing's trigger. Remember, if a trigger happens while doing something else, you let that thing finish before you get to handle the trigger.

Q: My opponent has an Eye of the Storm with a Dizzy Spell on it. During combat, I played Shred Memory, and my opponent countered the Shred. Does Eye of the Storm trigger and remove the Shred Memory? Does it count as being played if it's countered? Do I still get to use the Dizzy Spell? --Kent S.

A: Countered or not countered it counts. Eye of the Storm does trigger, and you will get to play the Dizzy Spell. What happens with the Shred Memory depends on your opponent…
Your opponent can counter the Shred before the Eye trigger resolves. In this case, you get only the Dizzy Spell, and the Shred Memory is in your graveyard. But if your opponent lets the Eye trigger resolve (removing the Shred and making copies) and then counters the copy of the Shred the Eye makes, the Shred will be there for any further Eye triggers.

*Extra*: Chances are that the counter your opponent plays is an instant as well. This means you're likely to wind up with a Dizzy Spell, a counter of some sort, and--depending on how your opponent responded--a Shred Memory all removed by the Eye and waiting to be copied.

Q: I was just wondering how Sunforger's effect would work with instants that have a kicker cost. Specifically, can I pay the kicker on Orim's Thunder, since the converted mana cost of the card would only be 4? --Ben L.

A: Sunforger only cares if the card is a red or white instant with converted mana cost 4 or less. Kicker doesn't affect a card's converted mana cost. So Orim's Thunder's converted mana cost is always 3, regardless of whether kicker has been paid. When you play Orim's Thunder using Sunforger's effect, the mana cost is paid for you. You do have the option of paying the kicker as you play the Thunder if you have to spare.

*Extra*: You can even use Sunforger to play split cards like Fire/Ice. You can find Fire/Ice because of the Fire half, and when you play it, you can choose either half.

Belltower Sphinx
Q: How does Belltower Sphinx work when it blocks a creature with power greater than 5? --Duncan

A: The Sphinx effect puts cards into a graveyard based on the damage dealt to the Sphinx, not the Sphinx's toughness. A Sphinx that blocks a Grozoth will mill Grozoth's controller for nine cards.

*Extra*: Be careful with trample though. Trample is specifically assigned to creatures and/or players, it doesn't "hit and spill" or actually "trample over." So if a Belltower Sphinx blocks an Autochthon Wurm, the Wurm's controller can assign from five to nine damage to the Sphinx and assign the remainder (likely 4) to you. If the Wurm's controller assigns seven to the Sphinx, you'll take two damage, and he or she will be milled for seven.

Q: My opponent plays Brightflame targeting Savra, Queen of the Golgari, when X is 2. He says that green creatures take 2 damage, black creatures take 2 damage, and green-and-black creatures take 4. How does radiance work in cases like this? --Marcus M.

A: The creatures will only be taking two damage at most. Basically, radiance has a little chat like this…

Radiance- Savra, you're awfully gold, what colors are you, really?
Savra- I was just on my way to a rave with the Elves of Deep Shadow, but in my mana cost I'm really just green and black.
Radiance- Thinks. Is anyone else here green? …Or black? Just raise your hand. [dramatic pre-carnage pause] Savra, and you guys with your hands raised, take two. Have a good day.

Q: Can I sacrifice a Dimir House Guard to regenerate himself? (IE: put the ability on the stack, target himself, then pay the cost.) --Stefano B.

A: You can, but it won't save the House Guard (also, the ability doesn't target). While it's legal to activate the House Guard's ability by sacrificing itself, the sacrifice puts it into the graveyard, and regeneration won't b bringing it back.

*Extra*: You may want to do this if in some cases--such as while an opponent is playing Lightning Helix on the House Guard because he or she needs to gain three life.

Q: How does Heartbeat of Spring interact with cards like Golgari Rot Farm? Will it produce only one extra mana or two? --David O.

A: The Heartbeat will add one additional mana. The player who tapped the Rot Farm can choose either or for the extra mana.

Woodwraith Corrupter
Q: Why does Woodwraith Corrupter's effect say "it's still a land"? Does that mean that I can still tap the Forest for mana? --Max. K.

A: Yes, a Corruptered land can still do its normal land things. "It's still a land" is on Woodwraith Corrupter and similar cards so that they produce a creature that is also a land.

*Extra*: Compare that to Soul Sculptor which changes a creature into an enchantment… just an enchantment.

Q: If a player wants to put an enchant creature Aura on Darksteel Brute, does the Brute have to be a creature at the time? Does the enchantment lose its effect after the Brute turns back to an artifact? --Justin F.

A: Yes, Darksteel Brute would have to be animated at the time in order for an enchant creature Aura to target the Brute. Once the Brute stops being a creature, any enchant creature Auras would be put into the graveyard.

*Extra*: Something like Faith's Fetters is an enchant permanent though. You could play it on the Brute whether it's animated or not. If Darksteel Brute is animated, the "can't attack or block" part of Faith's Fetters would apply, and the Brute wouldn't be able to do either.

Q: If Bosh, Iron Golem flings himself, since he is no longer in play, does he deal zero damage? --LCP

A: Bosh will bash for eight damage if it is sacrificed to its ability. As the ability resolves, it looks for the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost, and since the artifact (obviously, having been sacrificed) is no longer in play, it uses the value just before it left play. [CR 402.6] This is called last known information or LKI.

Q: If two Rising Waters are in the game, is it possible to untap the same land twice? Also, tapping a land as a consequence activating Chimeric Idol doesn't add any mana to my mana pool, yes? --Daniel K.

A: Yes, two Rising Waters in play could cause the same land to untap twice. Rising Waters' triggered ability stacks at the beginning of the upkeep. You could let one resolve, tap the land you just untapped for mana (or whatever), and then choose that land when the second trigger resolve. You'll have to use any mana before your main phase, or you'll lose life from mana burn though.
Yes, activating Chimeric Idol causes your lands to become tapped without making mana. This doesn't cause them to produce mana or activate any abilities they might have. It can trigger an ability like City of Brass' trigger.

Fever Charm
Q: Can Fever Charm target a player? Players are essentially Wizards, are they not? --Corey G.

A: While a player might be charming or have a fever, he or she can't be Fever Charmed. Ruleswise, players are just players--without any extra subdivision.

Q: What happens if I play Yosei, the Morning Star, and next turn my opponent plays Yosei, too. Whose Yosei triggers first? --Antje V.

A: They trigger at the same time, and then the active player (the one whose turn it is) stacks his or her trigger, and then the other player stacks his or her trigger. In this case, your opponent would be the active player, so he'd pick a player and up to five permanents, and then you'd pick a player and up to five permanents. The abilities would then resolve last-in, first-out.

Q: When you remove the top card of your library from the game with Moonring Mirror, are you allowed to look at it before you put it face down? --Frank

A: No. Removing something from the game face down doesn't allow you to peek at it unless it specifically says so (like Shared Fate).

Q: If I have two Tainted Aether in play, does my opponent have to sack two creatures or lands when they play a creature? --Kenneth

A: Not when they play the creature (ie: the creature spell)--when the creature comes into play. This can mean the creature that just arrived gets sacrificed. And to be entirely clear, they sacrifice either a creature or a land for each Tainted Aether. The player could choose to sacrifice a creature for one Tainted and a land for the other one.

Q: I have Engineered Plague naming Ninjas. If my opponent has a Ronin Warclub and uses ninjutsu to put a Mistblade Shinobi into play, what happens? --RK

A: The Mistblade Shinobi comes into play as a 0/0, triggers the Warclub, and then is put into the graveyard as a state-based effect. If the Warclub was attached to a creature, it stays there.

Q: If I hit a player with a Mistblade Shinobi and an Okiba-Gang Shinobi, do I get to return a creature card and then make him discard? --Daniel

A: They both trigger at the same time (combat damage is simultaneous), so you can stack them in either way. You could return a creature and make him discard two cards (especially good if he only had one card to start with), or you could do the reverse.

Q: Are token creatures considered creature spells? --Joe K.

A: No. Token creatures are permanents. There are spells and abilities that make token creatures. Among those spells, you'll find instants and sorceries. Though they generate creatures, they're not creature spells. Scatter the Seeds can't be touched by Remove Soul, but it can be stopped by Muddle the Mixture.

Q: What are "ki counters"? --Kiyana

A: Each effect that makes counters gives them a name (or a power and toughness). "Ki counters" are one example of named counters. They do nothing on their own, but other abilities can refer to them. Ki counters all come from Betrayers of Kamigawa. Check Gatherer to see what cards use ki counters.

*Extra*: The game sees counters with the same name or P/T as identical. Three charge counters from Dismantle's effect will help pay for a Magistrate's Scepter's activation.

Retraced Image
Q: What happens if I use Retraced Image and _____ to put a Lightning Bolt into play? --Olli

A: You don't put the Lightning Bolt into play. [CR 217.a] Specifically, you'll reveal the Lightning Bolt, leave the Lightning Bolt in your hand, and then put the Retraced Image in your graveyard.

Q: I have a card that says "remove it from your deck if you are not playing for ante." What does it mean by that? --Kostas

A: Richard Garfield's original conceptualization of Magic included players winning and losing some of each other's cards. This concept was called ante. There are nine ante cards. After Homelands, no new ante cards were produced, and ante in Magic became obsolete. Ante cards are banned in all sanctioned formats, but they do show up in the casual format known as 5-Color.

*Extra*: Homelands, as many may recall, didn't really fit with the Ice Age / Alliances themes the came before and after it. This summer we're going to get a little chilly with a Coldsnap in July. That won't make the Timmerian Fiends cease to exist, but it will redefine Standard and the Ice Age block.

Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves with thoughts of summer though, class. January once again brings us a prerelease. Guildpact prereleases are three weeks away (the 21st and 22nd), and the set itself goes on sale February 3rd with local release events all that weekend. The Ravnica cycle unfolds, as three more guilds are uncovered in the second installment on this colossal city-world, starting with previews on this Monday.

Class dismissed.


Latest Feature Articles


May 18, 2022

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Mechanics by, Jess Dunks

The beloved adventure of Dungeons & Dragons returns to Magic once more in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. This set visits one of D&D's most iconic settings, introduce...

Learn More


May 17, 2022

Collecting Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate by, Max McCall

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate is the crossroads of the Forgotten Realms—a place where you can find all manner of exotic goods, including the fanciest Magic cards. Arriving ...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All