Dissension Weekend

Posted in Feature on April 22, 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.

Dissension is upon us! The best place to get in on the end of Ravnica is at your nearest prerelease. It's bound to be a party to shake the Guilds to their core. This week we really get to dig in to the last set of the block, and next week anything in Dissension is fair game.

Q: Rakdos Pit Dragon attacks, and I have no cards in hand. If a card is put into my hand after first strike damage goes on the stack, does he still deal normal combat damage? --David

A: Rakdos Pit Dragon (or any creature with double strike) will not deal damage doing the normal combat damage step if it loses double strike before that step begins.

Q: The split card Odds/Ends is imprintable on Isochron Scepter, correct? Once imprinted, can both halves be played? --Mason S.

A: At least one half (Odds) is both an instant and has converted mana cost of two or less. You can imprint the card (Odds/Ends) and play either half when the Scepter's activated ability resolves.

Q: Can you use Sunforger to search for Odds/Ends? If so, would you be able to play Ends? Or would you be forced to play Odds? --Nop J.

A: Like questions about Isochron Scepter with Odds/Ends, at least one half qualifies for Sunforger's ability. You can search for the card because the Odds half is valid, and then as you play the card you'll choose which half is being played.

Q: Does Rakdos the Defiler's ability mean there are Demon lands that are permanents? --Gilberto R.

A: Not normally, but it is possible (Conspiracy + Living Lands, for example). The important part to remember is that anything that's in play - artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands - is a permanent. If all you control is Rakdos and six lands, you'll sacrifice half of those lands when Rakdos attacks.

*Extra*: If you have those six lands plus the previously mentioned Living Lands and Conspiracy (set to Demons, of course), your lands will be safe. However, when Rakdos attacks, it'll see the two enchantments that aren't fellow Demons, and one of them will be sacrificed (leaving for your lands vulnerable again at the next attack).

Q: If I put Rakdos the Defiler into play through Yore-Tiller Nephilim's ability, do I still sacrifice half my non-Demon permanents? --Matthew

A: No, Rakdos won't trigger if put into play already attacking. "When dude attacks" looks for the dude to go from being peaceful and hanging out to being announced as an attacker as normal.

*Extra*: In this regard, Rakdos would make an excellent Ninja - a whole race of creatures that show up in the midst of attacking.

Q: What happens if I activate Rakdos Augermage and I have no cards in my hand? Does my opponent still have to discard? --Richard

A: You'll reveal the nothing you have in hand (and discard the nothing), and then your opponent will reveal his or her hand, and you'll pick which card he or she will discard.

*Extra*: If you're bent on hellbent, you can activate the Augermage when you have a card in hand and your opponent has none - all that's actually needed is a targetable opponent.

Q: Could I use Simic Guildmage to move an Aura with enchant creature to something that's not a creature? --W. D.

A: No, you can't move an Aura onto 1) something that doesn't fit the "enchant" description such as an enchant creature moving onto a land that's not a creature or 2) something that has protection from the Aura's color such as Galvanic Arc onto a creature with protection from red.

*Extra*: Also note that moving an Aura doesn't cause the Aura to come into play. Moving Galvanic Arc or Faith's Fetters doesn't cause either to trigger.

Q: Using Simic Guildmage's second ability, could you move a target Aura onto a creature that otherwise couldn't be targeted (for example Blastoderm)? --Jeff C.

A: Moving an Aura isn't quite the same as playing an Aura spell, so yes, you can use the Guildmage to attach an Aura to a creature that "can't be targeted by spells or abilities."

*Extra*: Protection from the Aura's color or an ability that says the permanent can't be enchanted (Tetravite tokens and Anti-Magic Aura, for example) will still stop the Guildmage from working though.

Q: If you use Simic Guildmage to more an Aura off a Bramble Elemental, can you put it back on the same Bramble Elemental? --C. M.

A: No, the Guildmage specifies "another permanent."

*Extra*: You can move Auras between a pair of Bramble Elementals to trigger the Elementals. The Elementals trigger off the attaching of the Aura, not the Aura coming into play.

Q: Is it possible to damage a creature that has a Frozen Solid on it, and then with the trigger on the stack, move the Aura to another creature with Simic Guildmage? --Seif

A: Yes, the Frozen Solid will move, and then the trigger will destroy the previously Frozen creature. The Aura needed to be on the creature only long enough to trigger.

*Extra*: If the damage is great enough to lethally damage the creature, state-based effects will put the creature and then the Aura into the graveyard before the then useless trigger ever stacks.

Q: How does Experiment Kraj interact with Kamigawa flip creatures? Does Kraj flip into anything? --Joseph K.

A: It depends on which flip creature has the +1/+1 counter. A Kitsune Mystic means nothing to Experiment Kraj since the Mystic's ability is triggered. However, if the Mystic flips into Autumn-Tail, Kitsune Sage, that +1/+1 counter is still there, and both the Sage and the Kraj will be able to move Auras. Then you have a flipper like Nezumi Graverobber... Kraj would copy the Graverobber's ability as long as the Graverobber has a +1/+1 counter on it. If Kraj uses the graverobbing ability to remove the last card in an opponent's graveyard from the game, Kraj will be "flipped," but this means nothing to a creature that doesn't have a flip side, so it will function the same as before flipping.

Q: Could Experiment Kraj be bought back with Firemane Angel's ability, assuming the Angel has a token on it? --Will

A: No. Tokens and counters aren't the same - Kraj looks for counters on creatures. Creatures exist only in play; in the graveyard Firemane Angel is a creature card, not a creature. Additionally, cards in the graveyard don't have counters on them.

Q: If you have played Enduring Ideal and search up Dovescape, at the beginning your next upkeep when the epic copy goes onto the stack, does the Ideal get countered by the Dovescape and give you seven 1/1 Bird tokens? --Daniel

A: No, the epic copy is put directly on the stack - Dovescape won't trigger or give you Birds.

*Extra*: The key is if the spell (or copy thereof) is played, or if it is put directly on the stack. Isochron Scepter? Birds for the copy. Urza's Rage? Birds, but the Rage still happens. Obliterate? Birds, and then they all die in the Obliteration. King Cheetah? No Birds - it's still a creature spell no matter when it's played. Storm? Birds for the original spell, copies resolve as normal. Replicate? Same as storm - birds for the first, copies happen as normal. Eye of the Storm? Birds, Birds, Birds! Trigger order will matter for whether the spell is removed by the Eye or countered by the Dovescape though. Mirari? Birds for the original, but the Mirari copy is put right on the stack. Naturalize played with Boseiju mana? Birds, and then probably no more Birds once Naturalize resolves.

Q: If I have Erayo's Essence (a flipped Erayo, Soratami Ascendant) in play, and someone has a Dovescape out, will the spell be countered by Erayo's ability, or will they get Bird tokens? --Josh A.

A: The spell's controller will get tokens either way--Dovescape doesn't have to actually counter the spell to make the tokens. As for which ability counters the spell, just remember that triggers are stacked in APNAP (active player then non-active player) order.

Q: When a Man-o'-War comes into play, if its target is a Tar Pit Warrior, does it look for another target when the Warrior dies? --Gaijin

A: No, if a target goes away before an ability resolves, the ability won't go looking elsewhere.

*Extra*: The Jellyfish and its petroleum-based buddy are now available in the Visions release on MTGO. Trusted Advisor just got a new buddy.

Q: I have an Academy Rector and Chalice of the Void with two counters in play. My Rector gets sent to my graveyard, and I search for an Island Sanctuary. Would the Chalice counter the Sanctuary? --Richard

A: Academy Rector puts the enchantment directly into play. The Chalice won't trigger at all.

Q: I was playing Magic with my nephew, who hooked me on the game, and I played Call to Glory. Since I didn't have any tapped creatures at the time, my nephew told me I couldn't play the card. Can you help? --Florena

A: Call to Glory doesn't have any targeting or timing restrictions (beyond being an instant), so you can play it any time you have priority. Whether it will actually untap creatures doesn't matter.

Clock of Omens
Q: I have Clock of Omens and Howling Mine in play. Can I tap Clock of Omens and Howling Mine to untap Clock of Omens? --Valerio C.

A: Yes, you'll choose the Clock as the target for the ability and then pay the cost for the ability by tapping the Clock and Mine. This conveniently shuts off the Mine so your opponent doesn't get to draw from it.

Q: How does Enduring Renewal interact with Endless Whispers? --Hans G.

A: Enduring Renewal's replacement effect replaces the "put into graveyard" event with "put into hand," so the Whispers will never trigger.

Q: Am I allowed to sacrifice a creature to two different effects? --Mike

A: No. You can sacrifice one thing to pay two costs or for two effects that require a sacrifice.

*Extra*: Savra, Queen of the Golgari is clever in that she looks at each sacrifice and then triggers up to twice if the colors are right. This isn't two sacrifices, but her triggers will give you two options.

Q: If I had a Seismic Assault in play with a Crucible of Worlds, would I be able to discard lands from my graveyard as though they were from my hand? --Tim

A: No, discards can't come from anywhere except your hand. Crucible of Worlds only applies to the rule about playing lands; not playing abilities need lands.

Q: How much of a card needs to be visible to make it legal? If I draw on a card or erase some part of it, at what point does it become illegal in tournament games? --Dane M.

A: It's always best to confirm with the head judge of the event, but the rule of thumbs is that as long as the card is recognizable and the artistic modifications are tasteful and not strategic notes, then things are fine. Generally it's best to leave the key parts of the card uncluttered so most players can identify the card while standing near your table.

*Extra*: Modifying a card so that it's hard to identify or is misleading is never a good idea. Simple modifications or signatures are almost always fine.

Q: I play Char at a DCI sanctioned tournament. I'm at two, and my opponent is at four. Would we both get a win, or will it count for a loss for both of us? Or will we redo the game and the judge will give us more time? --Andrew

A: The game would be a draw for both of you. You won't "redo" the game, but you will play another game if there is time left in the round - even if that means you're starting a fourth game. You won't get any more time than the allotted amount everyone has for the round though, so play fast.

The Azorius, Rakdos, and Simic hit stores on May 5th. If you miss the prerelease, or if you enjoy go fun with your local players, check out the in-store Release Events that weekend (May 5th - 7th).

Class Dismissed.


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