East Coast Trippin’

Posted in Feature on May 7, 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.

May is a busy month for Magic. This weekend has the best players in the world coming together to battle with Kamigawa block constructed decks at Pro Tour Philadelphia. If you make the trip to Philly, feel free to stop in and say hello.

Horizon Seed
Q: My friend has Horizon Seed. If he plays an "Instant — Arcane" during combat he can regenerate one of his creatures, but what good will that do him if he plays a Spirit card during his main phase? --Penguin

A: Regeneration is two things: creating the regeneration shield, and the act of actually regenerating. Horizon Seed creates regeneration shields, and these shields last for the rest of the turn [CR Glossary " Regenerate"]. Playing a Spirit or Arcane spell in the first main phase will let you make a shield around a creature that it will keep for the rest of turn or until the shield is used to regenerate the creature.
The second part is using up the shield to regenerate. When a creature is destroyed (by lethal damage or by something that says "destroy"), you'll remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it's in combat) remove it from combat.

Q: I have Yukora, the Prisoner and I play Mark of the Oni on my opponent's Myojin of Cleansing Fire then I remove the counter from the Myojin. Will the Myojin die because of Yukora's ability or the Mark of the Oni's ability will trigger first? --Matteo

A: Mark of the Oni triggers "at end of turn", so it's not going anywhere yet. What happens is the Myojin's ability wipes out all other creatures including the Prisoner. This triggers the Prisoner, and that ability makes you sacrifice all non-Ogres you control. That leaves a Mark of the Oni floating around on nothing, so state-based effects sweep it into its owner's graveyard.

Q: When a card flips, does it untap? When a card flips do I have to wait another turn to attack with it because I haven't controlled it since my upkeep? --Josh

A: Flip cards do not untap when they flip-- they're just cooler versions of what they used to be. And (assuming they're not tapped, of course), you can attack with them that turn if you've controlled it since the beginning of your turn.

He Who Hungers
Q: I have two cards in my hand and two Frostwielders in play. My opponent has just played He Who Hungers and has an Ashen-Skin Zubera ready to sac to the Hungers' sorcery-style ability. After Hungers resolves and the stack is empty, who gets priority first? Can I kill the Hungers before he can empty my hand? --Benedict C.

A: After a spell or ability resolves, the active player gets priority-- normally this means the Hungers player is going to get a shot at your hand.

*Extra*: You could alleviate some of the suffering by using the Frostwielders on the Zubera in response to the He Who Hungers spell. The Frostwielder's remove-from-game ability will get rid of the Zubera without triggering it, and the Zubera won't be around once Mr. Hungry arrives in play.

Q: If I use Goryo's Vengeance to animate a legend, can I use Otherworldly Journey to extend this legend's life? --Iainwb

A: Yes, the Vengeance's gift of impending doom would lose track of the legendary creature when it goes off on its journey. The returned creature will be bigger and not get sacrificed.

Dance of Shadows
Q: My opponent plays Dance of Shadows and splices another Arcane spell onto it. I play Time Stop. Do the spliced cards get removed from the game as well, or only the Arcane spell? --Ari

A: Only the spell that was on the stack will be removed. The spliced cards are reveled as you play the Arcane spell, but they are safely tucked in your hand the whole time.

Q: A resolved Sway of the Stars goes into the graveyard after all the shuffling and drawing takes place, correct? --Jamie H

A: Correct. Sway of the Stars is on the stack until it resolves, then while resolving the card's directions are followed in order, and then the spell finishes resolving and Sway is put into the graveyard.

Q: I would like to know how Ghostly Prison affects a Ninja coming into play using its ninjutsu ability. --Barry

A: Ninja, being sneaky, won't get caught in the Prison when they hop into play. Paying the Prison dues only happens while attackers are declared, and at that time the Ninja looked amazingly like a Ravenous Rat or an Ornithopter.

Q: Can you play a Rancor on a still-a-land Genju since the card says it's a creature and a land? --Slasher

A: You can play Rancor on a Genjued land only after you activate the animation ability. The "it's still a land" applies to the animation ability so that you know the land is both a land and a creature, not just a creature. During the cleanup (after the "at end of turn step"), the animated land will de-animate, the Rancor will fall off, and then the trigger to return the Rancor will go on the stack. Eventually the Rancor will return, and the turn will end normally.

Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo
Q: If I attack with a Darksteel Colossus and my opponent taps Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo to redirect the Colossus' combat damage, will I still get to assign trample damage to my opponent?

A: Where you have or will assign the trample damage won't matter once the Opal-Eye ability is used (assuming Opal-Eye sticks around). The Colossus is one source, so Opie will pull all that damage onto itself.

*Extra*: If you can kill the Opal-Eye before the Colossus' damage resolve, then the damage won't be redirected, and it will be dealt as you originally assigned it.

Q: If I have a Castle and a Mannichi, the Fevered Dream in play. When I switch his power and toughness would he be a 4/1 or would be a 2/3? --Alex

A: Mannichi will be a 4/1. Generally, the way to figure things like this out is to take the base P/T and add (or subtract) in the order things entered play (if static, like Castle or Glorious Anthem) or else when the spell or ability created them resolved (like Leonin Sun Standard or Shield Wall). With Mannichi, we take 1/2, then we do +0/+2 (1/4), and then we swap (4/1).

*Extra*: Take the same Mannichi + Castle + swap. Now let's add Parapet. Since Parapet is last, our math looks like this:
1/2, then +0/+2 (1/4), then swap (4/1), then +0/+1 from Parapet= 4/2.
If we activate Mannichi again after all this, then just tack that onto the equation at the end, and that 4/2 swaps to 2/4.

Q: I have a Tainted Aether, Night of Souls' Betrayal, and Forbidden Orchard. If I tap the Orchard for mana, is my opponent able to sac the token for the Aether, or is it already gone because of the Betrayal? Must he sac another creature or land? --Mark V.

A: By the time the Aether trigger goes on the stack the token creature will have been put into the graveyard and then ceased to exist entirely. Your opponent will have to sacrifice a creature or a land he or she has left over.

Vedalken Shackles
Q: I use my Vedalken Shackles on my opponent's Genjued land that became a creature. What happens at the end of turn, when it becomes a land again? The Shackles will be controlling an illegal target then, so I have to return his land right? --Sonny J.

A: Checking the Shackles target only matters when announcing and resolving the ability. (Not legal on announcement means you made a mistake and back up. No legal on resolution means the ability is countered.) After those two times, the Shackles doesn't care what happens. You could lose all your Islands, or the animated land could de-animate (like it will during the cleanup step). Your Shackles will keep holding the now non-creature land just fine.
Of course, since it's the Genju that animates the land, and all you took was the land, you won't be able to use the Genju to re-animate the land.

Q: My opponent takes control of my creature with Bribery. I use Vedalken Shackles to take control of the creature at the end of my opponent's turn. If I untap my Vedalken Shackles, who gains control of it? --Mike P.

A: Your opponent does. Like other effects, we can pile up control effects and then see who winds up where. In this case we have Critter. Critter = yours. Critter + Bribery = His. Critter + Bribery + Shackles = Yours. Taking the Shackles out of that equation would like to return the critter to you, but the equation still has that Bribery in it, so the Critter winds up on the opponent's side. Adding or removing any one item from a pile of control effects doesn't undo any others.

*Extra*: Let's try the same thing, but we'll add another player, and she has Persuasion.
Critter = Mine. Critter + Bribery = His. Critter + Bribery + Persuasion= Hers. Critter + Bribery + Persuasion + Shackles = Mine again.
Now let's blow up the Persuasion… Critter + Bribery + Shackles = Mine still.
And then we'll untap the Shackles… Critter + Bribery = His.
Taking the Persuasion out of the middle of that didn't change the fact that my Shackles came last, and thus I was holding onto the critter.

Q: I tap my land, reveal the spell card to be played, and my opponent uses his Zuran Enchanter to make me discard before the spell resolves. I've got nothing else to use the mana from the tapped lands. Do I get burnt? --Brian B.

A: No. Tsk, tsk—naughty opponent!
I got a little ahead of myself there. Let's go over this…
You tap lands, but you haven't given up priority, so your opponent can't use the Enchanter just yet (and even if he could, you could respond to the ability by playing whatever instant it is you were after—Enchanter can be used only on it's controller's turn, which means you must be referring to an instant of yours). Next, you show the card you're playing—this includes putting it on the stack and paying the cost for the spell). So not only is your card already out of your hand (so the Enchanter can't get to it), the mana you were worried about is already gone (you won't burn).

Q: If I play Natural Affinity do they have summoning sickness, and can they be destroyed like other creatures? --Todd C.

A: Lands you've controlled since the beginning of your most recent turn will not be sick. A land put into play since then will be sick. And a land played after Natural Affinity resolves will not be animated, so sickness doesn't matter.
Animated lands are subject to being destroyed just like regular creatures.

Sword of Kaldra
Q: A friend of mine equipped a Sword of Kaldra on a Taunting Elf and attacked into 15 creatures. He told me that the Taunting Elf was dealing at least 0 damage to all creatures, removing them all from the game. --Ryan

A: First, he can't "deal 0" to them all-- he has to deal 5 damage somewhere, and if that damage kills the creature, then it'll be dead before the Sword can remove it. Secondly, "deal 0" is a bit of a misnomer-- it should be "assign 0". The Sword doesn't care who was assigned what-- it's looking for dealing damage. Third, you can't slice up numbers to distribute as you see fit in Magic. The Taunting Elf can assign 1 damage to 5 creatures to hit the most creatures. (Yes, Unhinged has fractions, but here at Saturday School we're talking about non-silver-bordered land unless otherwise specified. Even in SB Land, the Elf could only whack 10 creatures at most.)

Q: I have a Chalice of the Void set to 1 and an untapped Coretapper. If my opponent plays a spell, can I tap the Coretapper to add a counter and counter his spell? --Daniel C.

A: No, the spell has already been played, so the Chalice won't notice it.

Q: If a creature equipped with Scythe of the Wretched kills more than one other creature at the same time, where does the Scythe go and do you gain control of all the creatures? --Joe

A: Yes, you get them all. The Scythe will wind up on the last creature brought back.

*Extra*: Don't forget that your previously Scythe-wielding just lost the +2/+2 bonus. Often times this means the creature's toughness will be low enough that the damage on it will finish off the used-to-be equipped guy.

Q: If I use Pendrell Flux on a creature with affinity such as Qumulox and my opponent has four artifacts in play, does he have to pay each turn or the full to keep the it in play? --Carl W.

A: Affinity doesn't change mana cost (just the cost to play), so Pendrell Flux will make him pay the full for the Qumulox or sacrifice it.

Q: Would Lightning Greaves on a Flagbearer make it a targeted spell counterer or an invalid target? --Tommy B.

A: The Greaved Flagbearer wouldn't be a legal target, so unless there's some other Flagbearer hanging around, the trigger won't do anything.

Phyrexian Negator
Q: I know when you Lightning Bolt a Phyrexian Negator they have to sacrifice three permanents, but what happens to it if you ping it three times with Triskelion. I would assume since it's three different abilities they resolve separately, and I could sac the Negator to the first resolve and the other two would fizzle. I'm pretty certain about this, but my opponent threw such an atomic hissyfit that I wanted to check. –Jan V

A: Non-proliferation treaties require me to verify the said atomic hissyfit was used only to generate electricity (or to complain)...
That said, yes, you can sac the Negator to the first ping to resolve, and the other pings would be countered.

*Extra*: However, your opponent could shoot the Negator just once and see what you sacrifice. If the Negator isn't sacrificed, they shoot it again. This way they can at least trade counters for permanents (if you insist on keeping the Negator), and the second and/or third shot won't get countered.

No sooner does the Pro Tour wind up than the 2005 Magic Invitational starts to loom large. The Invitational is from the 17th to the 20th and will be held at E3 and on Magic Online. But wait! That's not all… May 21st and 22nd are the dates for the Saviors of Kamigawa prereleases. And starting this Monday it's time for the Saviors previews!

That's all for this week.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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