Brave New Worlds

Posted in Feature on February 19, 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.

The Betrayers of Kamigawa questions keep rolling in now that more and more people are getting their hands on more cards. People seem quite excited by Aaron Forsythe's hinting at announcements for March 1st to Standard's banned list. It's a brave new world just around the corner, but ignorance is not strength.

On to the questions!

Q: I'm attacking with an x/2 creature, and my opponent uses Hanabi Blast on it. Can I use Ninjutsu to save my x/2 creature and avoid/or replace Hanabi's effect? --Amadeusz

A: Depending on when the Hanabi Blast is played, yes. Remember, Ninjutsu can be played only if a creature is unblocked. If blockers have not been declared, or if the creature being Blasted is blocked, the Blast will win. If the player left the creature unblocked and then tried to Blast it, Ninjutsu will swap the creatures, and the Blast will be countered (it won't return, and they won't have to discard for the Blast).

Scalding Salamander
Q: If I equip Umezawa's Jitte to and attack with a Scalding Salamander and activate my lizard's ability, will the Jitte get counters for each creature dealt combat damage? --Erik

A: Not all of the damage dealt during combat is “combat damage”. Activated and triggered abilities cause plain old non-combat damage, so the Jitte will not get counters. The only thing that gives the Jitte counters is normal combat damage -.when the Salamander deals damage to a creature it’s blocking or blocked by to the defending player.

Q: How do the Shoals interact with Isochron Scepter? --Karan

A: They don't interact well. You'll get to play the Shoals, but since the Scepter is paying for the card's mana cost, the X is going to be 0. You can't remove colored cards in your hand to pay the cost because the Scepter already has that covered.

Q: Can I play Phantom Wings on my opponent's creature and then sacrifice the Wings to bounce the creature?

A: Yes, the Wings can go on your creatures or your opponents'. You can then use the Wings to bounce that creature.

Q: I have a Student of Elements flipped into Tobita, Master of Winds. My opponent played his own Student, and he used a Phantom Wings on it. Because of that we both had to destroy our Tobias, but then he sacrificed Phantom Wings to return Tobita. Is that right? --Daniel

A: Your opponent has two choices: let the Student's flip trigger resolve and watch both Tobita be put into the graveyard as a state-based effect (followed by the Phantom Wings), or activate the Wings to return his Student. You cannot do anything between resolving the flip trigger and checking for state-based effects.

Q: Do tokens go to graveyard (or are they removed from the game) when they die? I'm asking this because of Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang. --F. P.

A: Tokens do indeed go to the graveyard. This will trigger "leaves play" and "go to the graveyard" style effects, and then state-based effects cause them to cease to exist.
In the case of Tatsumasa, destroying the token will return the Fang. Bouncing the token (Phantom Wings) or removing the token from the game (Eradicate) will not make the Fang return.
In the case of Kiki-Jiki tokens of things like Zuberas, the destruction effect from Kiki will send the token to the graveyard and cause their triggered ability to trigger.

Q: With the Shuriken already equipped on a non-Ninja, pay 2 mana to equip another creature, and then respond to that by tapping the equipped creature to deal 2 damage. My opponent gets control of the Shuriken, but does the equip still resolve? --Paul S.

A: Yes, the equip ability will resolve, and you'll wind up with a tapped non-Ninja and another creature wearing the Shuriken that your opponent now controls.

Q: I just want to confirm my understanding of the interaction between Toshiro Umezawa, Forbidden Orchard and Night of Souls' Betrayal. Can I tap my Orchard in response to a spell, floating a blue mana and producing a dead 0/0 Spirit creature (because of NoSB) thus triggering Toshiro and have enough time to counter my opponent's spell using cards in my graveyard? --Marcelino Q.

A: Yes, the token's death would send Toshiro into an instant-from-the-graveyard blood frenzy, and the blue you produced could conveniently help you pay for that instant's cost (which you'll still have to pay).

Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker
Q: Can I sac my Bile Urchin infinite times during my opponent's end turn when I have a Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker? --Enishi

A: Technically, there's no infinity in Magic-- just very, very large numbers. And no, Shirei is only going to bring back a creature once each turn. If you sacrifice the creature again, Shirei's "return" ability must wait until the next time the End of Turn step starts in order to trigger.

Q: I have both Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar and Shared Fate out. It's now my draw phase, do I do both of the cards effects or just one, or do the card's effects cancel each other out? --Jase

A: Both cards cause replacement effects, and since you're the player affected, you decide which effect to apply first [CR 419.9a]. Whichever one you use (look at three and keep one or remove an opponent's card), you don't wind up "drawing a card", so the other would no longer apply.

Q: If I had out a Mirror Gallery and two That Which Was Taken, could I put a divinity counter on each Taken using the other one? Also, if the Mirror Gallery got destroyed, the Legend rule would still overwrite the indestructibility, right? --Daniel S.

A: Yes, when a card refers to itself by name, it means "this card right here". And yes, the Legend rule beats indestructible-- Legendary permanents go directly to the graveyard ( no "destroy" effect, no passing GO, no $200).

Q: My friend has a 4 cost Moonfolk on the board, he then sacrifices that Moonfolk in order to play Patron of the Moon and pays the difference of 3 mana. I play Disrupting Shoal and spend and 3 colorless to attempt to counter the spell. Does this counter the spell because its converted mana cost becomes 3? Or does the converted mana cost stay the original cost? --Jeremy S.

A: The mana cost of a Patron (and thus it's converted mana cost) always stays the same. "Reduced to 3" and "becomes 3" are not the same, and in Magic terms we increase or reduce costs (and Trinisphere taxes then in its own way, but the cost is still based on what was printed).

Q: Does a Crypt Rats kill itself when activated for one damage when a Mephidross Vampire is in play or does it gain the +1/+1 counter and not die? --Brandon

A: The event that triggers the life-sucking +1/+1 counter is the same event that causes state-based effects to see a dead Rat. SBEs check and finish before triggers are even stacked, so the Rat's a goner.

Q: Do instants and sorceries cast through Panoptic Mirror count for the purpose of splicing onto arcane? --Matthew

A: Yes, the "copy and play" effects from Mirrodin will allow you to splice onto them as you play the copy.

Crucible of Worlds
Q: Crucible of Worlds and Land's Edge…The Crucible says to treat the land as though it were in your hand...--Adam P.

A: Not so fast. Crucible says you can "play land cards…" "Playing" a land means putting it into play-- using it to pay a cost of some sort is not playing it and cannot be done with the Crucible.

*Extra* What you can do is discard the land to Land's Edge to deal damage and then play the discarded land from your graveyard with Crucible. You'll get a little more mileage that way, but it won't be an auto-win.

Q: I'm new to MtG so my question is what is double strike? And what does it mean when a card says you have protection from a color of your choice? –Benji R.

A: Double strikers deal their damage twice during combat: once before regular creatures (alongside first strikers), and a second time alongside regular creatures. So a 1/1 double striker will deal one damage and then one damage again in combat [CR 502.28].
Protection from a color of your choice means you pick one of the five colors of Magic and that effect grants protection from that color [CR 502.7]. Let's use “red”. Protection from red (pro: red) means:
Damage: from red sources is prevented
Enchantments and equipment: that are red fall off
Blockers: red creatures can't block pro: red creatures
Targeting: red spells and abilities can't target pro: red creatures

Q: Sundering Titan… What exactly does it do? More specifically, whom does it affect? –Andrew

A: The person who controls the Titan's triggered ability will stack the trigger and wait for resolution (remember: ST doesn't say “target”, so you don't do anything extra besides stacking the ability). On resolution, that person will “choose a land of each basic land type”. The ability says nothing about “land you control”; so choosing an opponent's lands is fine (and recommended!). Once all five types have been chosen, or as many as can be, then the chosen lands are destroyed. Usually the controller tries to choose as many lands that the opponent controls as possible, but sometimes they are forced to choose their own lands.
Let's say you and I each have Forests and Islands, you also have Swamps, and I have Mountains. I play Sundering Titan. As the triggered ability resolves, I'm going to choose a Forest and Island of yours (so mine are safe) and one of your Swamps, and because Mountains haven't been dealt with, I'll have to choose one of my own Mountains. Seeing as how neither of us has a Plains, I don't choose a Plains. Then your three lands and my Mountain are destroyed.

Q: If my opponent attacks with a 2/2 and I block with my Festering Goblin and then give the 2/2 creature -1/-1, does that creature die of damage or from the -1/-1, and can that creature be regenerated? --Stuart

A: It's dying from damage and can be regenerated.
This might seem weird because the lowered toughness came last, but there's a simple way to tell if the creature is dying from damage or lowered toughness—is the toughness greater than 0? If the toughness is 0 or less, regeneration won't help. However, if there is toughness greater than 0, then “lethal damage” (damage greater than or equal to toughness) is what's killing it. This is why [CR 420.5b and c] appear together (they're very similar) and why they refer to 0 or less and greater than 0 toughness respectively.

Teferi's Puzzle Box
Q: I own four Teferi's Puzzle Box. If I play more than one so I can make the most of Underworld Dreams does the effect stack? --John B.

A: Yes, multiple Puzzle Boxes will each trigger resulting in potentially large sums of Underworld damage.

Q: We all know that Obliterate can't be countered, right? But my question is, if you have a Thwart in hand, can you play it by paying its alternate cost of returning three Islands to your hand and then declaring Obliterate as your target although its ILLEGAL?!? Of course, your motive in doing so is to spare your Islands... --Daniel P.

A: Yes, you can try to Thwart an Obliterate. Illegal is such a harsh word—perhaps “not entirely effective” would be a better way to say it. After all, it's legal to target Obliterate, and it's legal to try and counter Obliterate; you just won't do anything when the counter resolves. It does let you save Islands for the post-Obliterate board though.

Q: I was playing Magic Online, and used Candles' Glow when my opponent attacked with many creatures, but one of my opponent's creatures triggered. Can't I choose which damage to prevent?

A: Assuming the prevention effect can prevent enough damage, yes. The way MTGO handles prevention shields based on points of damage (as opposed to from a Circle of Protection that prevents all damage) is to bring up a window that lets you decide. On the left you'll see a prompt that says, "Apply your damage prevention effects. Click OK to automatically choose." On the right, you'll see the prevention window. If you click on that window, several options will appear if there are multiple sources to divide the prevention among. Clicking on the pseudo-card you'll be able to select which source and how many points from it that you want to prevent.

That's it for this week from Renton. As a reminder to tournament players out there, Betrayers of Kamigawa is tournament legal in constructed formats starting on Sunday, February 20th.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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