Betrayed Today

Posted in Feature on January 22, 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.

Welcome to Saturday School. I hope your prerelease went well. What? You haven't been yet!? Ok, if you haven't been to your local Betrayers of Kamigawa prerelease, I'll wait… Go on… Back yet? This week's Saturday School is all about Kamigawa, both Betrayers and Champions. Let's get started.

Betrayal is Good for You

Q: Say Toshiro Umezawa trades with a 2/2 in combat. Does his ability still trigger? --Doug B.

A: Yes, Toshiro's ability will see the other creature dying long enough to trigger and eventually be able to target an instant in your graveyard.

Q: If Toshiro Umezawa's ability triggers, is the targeted instant card playable indefinitely or until end of turn. --Chris C.

A: The answer is more like "right then". Toshiro's ability allows a player to play an instant in his or her graveyard as his triggered ability resolves. Once Toshiro's ability finishes resolving, either an instant has been played, or it won't be getting played at all.

Q: With Offering, could I sacrifice two snakes to reduce it even more? --Jason K and many others

A: No. Offering allows a player to sacrifice one creature to kickstart the process of playing the card with offering. Offering doesn't allow multiple sacrifices.

Q: I was able to use Neurok Transmuter's (or Memnarch's) ability to turn the Cunning Bandit into an artifact; would I be able to use Coretapper's ability to add charge counters to that flip card. If so, would those counters be counted as Ki counters? --Frank M.

A: No, "charge" counters and "ki" counters are different. Counters are given specific names or values so that you can tell the differences among them. A charge counter on Magistrate's Scepter doesn't care whether it's from a Coretapper or from the Scepter itself, but it doesn't know what a ki counter is or how to use it. Cunning Bandit (and the other ki-countering creatures from Betrayers of Kamigawa) doesn't do anything special with counters unless they're "ki" counters.

Q: Can you put more ki counters on Cunning Bandit after it flips into Azamuki, Treachery Incarnate?

A: No, the BOK flip cards have triggered abilities that put ki counters on them only while they're unflipped. Once the card flips into its Legendary Spirit form the ki-counter-giving ability doesn't apply.

Q: If I play That Which Was Taken and put a divinity counter on a Myojin, will the Myojin regain its certain power? Like if I put a divinity counter on Myojin of Life's Web after I have used its effect, will I be able to remove the new counter to play creatures from my hand? --Hollywood

A: Yes, and yes. Myojin treat all divinity counters the same. That Which Was Taken can help you reuse your Myojin's activated ability, and will meet the requirement for its indestructibility.

Q: Can I use Tallowisp's ability to search for a Confiscate?

A: No, an "enchant creature card" specifically has "enchant creature"-- "enchant permanent" is different.

Q: When one of my attackers is unblocked, and I use the ninjutsu ability of a ninja in my hand, will he be automatically unblocked as well?? --Helge R.

A: Yes, Ninja use ninjutsu to jump into play tapped, attacking, and unblocked [CR 502.43a, 502.43c].

*Extra* Mark Rosewater says that Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug isn't really a Ninja in disguise though the similarities are striking. Mark's a sneaky one though, so you might not believe him. Rocket-Powered Turbo Ninja may or may not jump directly out of your deck and into play.

Q: Is it possible to counter a ninja my opponent tried to bring out with ninjitsu? --William R.

A: You can counter the ninjutsu ability with something like Stifle or Squelch because it's an activated ability, but it's not a spell, so Counterspell and Remove Soul will do you no good.
Also note, that the ability is ninjutsu with "u", not "i". This is the appropriate and formal spelling. "Ninjitsu" is a colloquial spelling that does not appear in Magic.

Higure, the Still Wind
Q: Once you determine which creature isn't being blocked, do you pay the to put an Ninja such as Higure, the Still Wind into play, or do you have to pay the , and the for his mana cost? Also, does he come into play before or after the damage has been resolved, so that he could trigger and you could search for a ninja? --Stephen L

A: The only mana you pay is the ninjutsu cost (). You also have to return an unblocked creature as part of the cost for the ability. Whether the new Ninja triggers is based on whether you used the ability before or after you put damage on the stack. In most cases, it's best to specify that you're using the ability before stacking damage.

Q: If Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni damages my opponent while one of his creatures dies, can I return that creature?

A: Yes, Ink-Eyes triggers before state-based effects put the lethally damaged creature into the graveyard, but the trigger doesn't go on the stack until after those creatures are put into their graveyards. At this point any creatures just killed will be available for Ink-Eyes' nefarious targeting.

Q: Would the ability of the Patron of the Orochi untap itself? --Adria

A: Yes, Patron of the Orochi is green, so it does untap itself.
You'll notice that the ability reads "only once each turn". This means you could tap your green creatures on your turn, use the Patron to untap them and itself then repeat the process on your opponent's turn.

Q: Let's say I played a Sakura-Tribe Elder and sacrifice it in order to play Patron of the Orochi. Does the Sakura's sacrificial ability trigger? --Carlos M.

A: No, sacrificing the Elder to the Patron or to its own ability are separate actions. You can't use one thing to pay for two mutually exclusive actions.

Q: If I have a Snake token out from an Orochi Hatchery, can I sacrifice one of those for an offering to the Patron of the Orochi, even if they have 0 mana cost? --Timm

A: Yes, offering doesn't worry about whether the creature has a mana cost above 0 or not. You will have to pay the full price () for the Patron, but offering still gives you the "any time you could play an instant" bonus.

Patron of the Orochi
Q: Can you use Mirari to copy a Patron when you play it with offering? --Nick

A: No, ""any time you could play an instant" refers to when you could play the spell, not what type of spell it is. A Patron is always a creature spell which Mirari never notices.

Q: Regarding offering, since it doesn't say converted mana cost, does it mean that if you had an Emerald Medallion, you can pay 1 colorless less when you offer a Kashi-Tribe Reaver, or since the KTR's mana cost is reduced, is there no difference in their mana costs' difference since they're both green (for medallion)? --Vincent C.

A: Offering's reduction and a Medallion's or Familiar's reduction all apply to the total cost (ie: the "cost to play") a spell. Those reductions, and things like Helm of Awakening or Urza's Incubator, all factor in on their own towards determining the total cost of a spell. Kashi-Tribe Reaver's mana cost is always regardless of what it cost you to play the Reaver. Sacrificing a Reaver to play a Patron of the Orochi while you control an Emerald Medallion would make the total cost equation look like this: (Patron) - (Reaver) - (Medallion) = .

Q: How do multiple Krark's Thumbs interact with Mirror Gallery? --Jeremy S.

A: Mostly the Thumbs cling to the Gallery saying, "please don't leave us!" because then the state-based effects boogieman would send the Thumbs to the graveyard.
Let's say for a minute you're asking about how multiple Thumbs interact with each other. Here's a handy chart:
1 Thumb = 2 flips
2 Thumbs = 4 flips
3 Thumbs = 8 flips
4 Thumbs = 16 flips
5 Thumbs = 32 flips...
Yes, I wrote "5 Thumbs"-- Sculpting Steel, Copy Artifact, and a host of other ways can give you a hand at having way too many Thumbs.

Q: What happens if I play Heed the Mists and put a land into my graveyard?

A: Lands and (most) tokens are considered to have a mana cost of 0 [CR 203.1]. Drawing 0 cards means you'll do nothing.

Q: Could I play Genju of the Cedars on his Forest, animate it, and Eradicate all his Forests? -- Ty H.

A: Yes, Eradicate will remove the target Forest in play, all copies of Forest in that player's graveyard, and any card named Forest in his or her hand or library that you find while searching. It will not remove any other Forests that are in play nor will it remove cards that have the land type "forest" but are not named "Forest" (such as Taiga or Tropical Island).

*Extra* In non-public zones (the hand and library in this case), you can search for but choose not to find cards if you want. This is specific to the rules on "Search". You cannot fail to find cards in public or revealed zones.

Q: If I animate my Forest with Genju of the Cedars and my opponent activates Pernicious Deed once the Forest is a creature, do I still get the Genju back?

A: Yes, the Genju will return if the land goes to the graveyard before the Genju (from Stone Rain or whatnot) or along with the Genju.

Q: If I control Kodama of the Center Tree and many Spirits, is the Soulshift number equal to the Spirits I had before or after Kodama goes to graveyard?

A: The Center Tree's Soulshift trigger will use the number of Spirits you controlled just prior to KotCT leaving play. If you have KotCT and four other Spirits, KotCT's Soulshift will be 5, and you'd be able to retrieve KotCT with its own ability.

Back to the Champions

Orochi Eggwatcher
Q: When flip cards are played are they considered "Legendary" from the start and therefore only one allowed in play at a time or are they not legendary until they flip? If I can have two Orochi Eggwatchers out and I control ten creatures do both flip and the Legend rule kicks in, kicking both of them out of play? --Jay

A: A flip cards is Legendary only if 1) it's in play and 2) it's been flipped. Two Nezumi Graverobbers can peacefully desecrate the dead without flipping out (as long as the graveyard has more to dig).
An Orochi Eggwatcher flips if there are ten lands under your control as its activated ability resolves. The simple way to avoid this is to not activate the second Eggwatcher if you already control a Shidako, Broodmistress. A flip card like Student of Elements is not so lucky…

Q: My opponent has Matsu-Tribe Decoy in play, swings with it, and forces one of my creatures to block. If I were to play Candles' Glow, does the Decoy's tapping ability still trigger? That is, when damage is prevented, is it dealt but prevented, or not dealt thereby precluding effects that trigger when damage is dealt? --Mike

A: Prevented damage is never dealt [CR 419.5]. Candles' Glowing your creature would prevent the Decoy's damage, so the Decoy's triggered ability would not trigger.

Q: If Kuro, Pitlord were equipped with a Loxodon Warhammer, could I use his ability to kill off everybody without losing life at all thanks to the Warhammer? --Nick

A: No, paying life is not dealing damage, therefore the Warhammer won't trigger.

Q: Does splicing a card count as an Arcane spell?

A: No, a splice doesn't count as an Arcane spell. Splice onto Arcane applies only to Arcane spells, so there's one Arcane spell being played, but the spliced parts just add to the existing spell.

Q: My friend says that the Humble Budoka can be the target of spells and abilities when all creatures are the target like Night of Souls' Betrayal, is that so? --Niklas

A: Night of Souls' Betrayal affects all creatures; it doesn't target them. Thus, a creature like Horobi, Death's Wail wouldn't trigger, but Humble Budoka would get smaller.

Flower Powered

Kiku, Night's Flower
Q: Can I use Kiku, Night's Flower's ability to make a creature with protection from black destroy itself? --Michael

A: In short, no-- Kiku's ability targets the creature, and protection from black would mean you couldn't target the creature.
However…
Let's pretend Kiku turns blue. Could she then make a pro: black guy kill itself? Well, no again. But wait, that's not all.
If the pro: [something] creature is a [something] creature, it will try to damage itself-- Kiku's ability is targeted, but it doesn't make the creature target itself so that's fine. However, protection also prevents damage from that [something]. Thus, the creature would try to damage itself, but the damage would be prevented since it's protected from the [something] that it is.
So Kiku's not destroying pro: black because she can't target it with the ability, and the ability isn't going to destroy a red creature that's pro: red because the pro: red prevents the damage from the red source. Easy enough, right?
But wait! There's more!
Let's say Kiku targets a regular creature. Said creature deals lethal damage to itself. Did Kiku destroy the creature? Actually, it's state-based effects that destroys the creature, not Kiku.
Does it matter much? Sometimes. SBEs are controlled by no player, so Kiku whacking animated lands means the game rules and not "a spell or ability controlled by an opponent" are what destroyed the land. Thus, Sacred Ground wouldn't trigger from a Kikued, animated land.

That's all for this week. Next week I'll be on the floor of Pro Tour Nagoya, but that won't stop Saturday School from having plenty of the latest questions about Betrayers, Champions, and yes, Unhinged.

For added Betrayers of Kamigawa action a week before it's available for sale, look for a BOK Release Event at your local retailer's next Saturday. Release Events are special events like miniature prereleases, but they're held at local stores all over the place. More information on those will be posted on magicthegathering.com on Monday. Release Events are another great way to release your inner Ninja, but in the meantime, get out there to the prerelease events this weekend!

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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