Extended Week and PT Columbus Musings

Posted in Feature on November 6, 2004

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.

I'm fresh off the plane from PT Columbus, and I keep asking myself, what just happened to Extended? For the first time in Pro Tour history we have a Top 8 consisting of 8 different decks. If you love rock-paper-scissors, Columbus was not the place to be, but if you love playing Magic with or against everything but the kitchen sink, then there was no better place to be last weekend. Yes, Affinity won, but it was also otherwise shut out of the Top 8. As for the upcoming Extended PTQ season, your guess is as good as mine, but you can bet I'll be there to see what's what. For now, it's on to All Extended Week!

Glory
Q: What happens if an enchantment such as Arrest is on a creature, and you use Glory's ability from the graveyard to give that creature protection from white? --Eric

A: The Arrest is put into the graveyard as a state-based effect [CR 420.5d]. Protection from white includes the stipulation that it cannot have white enchantments on it.

Q: Will Zephid's Embrace remove previous enchantments on the creature? –Caroline

A: No, it makes the enchanted creature untargetable, but enchantments already on it are no longer targeting the creature like they were when they were played.

Q: If I had an ability that cost blue and one colorless would Heartstone make it cost blue? –Darkonus

A: Yes. The “total cost” math is “mana cost” + additions – reductions. + nothing – =

Q: I have a Palinchron in play and my opponent attacks with a Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer that's an 8/8. I block the Molimo with the Palinchron and return it to my hand. Do I get 3, 8 or 0 damage? --Stian J.

A: You take 3 or 8, depending on when you return the Palinchron to your hand. Assuming that you'd rather take 3, wait for combat damage to be put on the stack (3 points to you, and 5 to the Palinchron) and then use Palinchron's ability. The damage will be dealt based on the original assignment: 3 to you, and none to the missing Palinchron [CR 310.4c].

Q: I have a 2/2 Frogmite that I have equipped with a Cranial Plating (making it get +8/+0). I declare it as attacking, then my friend plays Humble on it, turning it into a 0/1... We couldn't figure out whether it then becomes an 8/1 due to the plating or not. --Joshua J

A: It's a 0/1. To figure out any creature's power and toughness, start with the base P/T. Then apply characteristic-setting abilities (there are none in this case). Then you apply counters [CR 418.5a and Glossary: Counter]. Then you apply the P/T modifiers in timestamp order [CR 418.5a]. For Frogmite, we get 2/2 then no CSA, then no counters, and then Plating timestamped first followed by Humble. So it's 2/2 with (+8/+0) = 10/2 then Humble = 0/1.

* Extra* Whenever the Plating becomes attached to a new creature, it gets a new timestamp [CR 418.5e]. So if you move it twice-- once to attach it to a different creature, and again to attach it back to the Frogmite – you'd apply same-old-timestamped Humble then newly-timestamped Plating and get an 8/1.

Q: I have a Phantom Nishoba in play with a Mirari's Wake. My opponent has a Suntail Hawk. When I attack with the Nishoba, he plays Humble, which turns my Nishoba into a 0/1, and then he blocks with his Hawk. My opponent says Humble makes my Nishoba a 0/1, and that Wake won't make it a 1/2. Is he right?
Assuming my opponent is right, would the Nishoba still live because of its "prevent all damage" ability or would Humble negate this advantage because of its an ability? --Nick M.

A: Your Nishoba is dead and stays that way. The base P/T is 0/0. Add the counters to get 7/7. Then adjust P/T in timestamp order: 7/7 to 8/8 from Wake and down to 0/1 from Humble. As for the prevention part, it is an ability, so Humble removes it.

Kiku, Night's Flower
Q: I use Kiku, Night's Flower's ability on a Wild Mongrel and my friend says that the Mongrel doesn't die because the damage to resolve... then discards a card so he says the Mongrel lives... why is that? --Tom K.

A: Your friend is mistaken, and his Mongrel is dead. When Kiku's ability resolves, the targeted creature damages itself based on its power right then. No one has priority to even activate the Mongrel much less wait for the activation to resolve. The Mongrel will be destroyed when state-based effects check after Kiku's ability resolves.

Q: If I play an Isochron Scepter and imprint it with the Night/Day would I be able to activate the Scepter for Day ability even though it costs 3? --Daynan

A: Yes, Night/Day imprint fine (since Night is less than 2), and you can play the Day half just as well. You pick the half you play when you announce the spell [CR Glossary: Split], and the Scepter doesn't evaluate the converted cost at that time—it just covers the cost for you.

Q: If I paid 8 to play the Chalice with 4 counters on it and then played Rush of Knowledge, how many cards do I draw if the Chalice is my only permanent? --Brad C.

A: You draw 0. X is defined [CR Glossary “X”] is being equal to 0 anywhere but on the stack. On the stack, X is the value chosen by the player while announcing the spell [CR 409.1b]. The converted mana cost of the card and permanent Chalice is {0} + {0}. The converted mana cost of the spell Chalice is {stated valued} + {stated value again}.

Q: Mistform Ultimus + Konda's Banner makes the Ultimus a really big creature, because he shares every creature type with himself, and he is every creature type in Magic. Plus he gets +1/+1 for being blue. And everything else you control gets +1/+1 for every creature type it has, and another if its blue. Or maybe not? --Hank S.

A: Take the “not” option. Konda's Banner asks two questions:
1) Does a creature share a color with the creature I'm equipping?
2) Does a creature share a creature type with the creature I'm equipping?
How many colors and or creature types doesn't matter for either question. In the case of Mistform Ultimus, the answers are 1) “yes” and 2) “yes”. So he'll get +1/+1 twice.

*Extra* While Mistform Ultimus might have every creature type, that doesn't mean he gives every creature a type-related bonus. After all, poor Gerrard Capashen is still unemployed (he has no creature type since “Legends” turned “Legendary”).

Q: Can Threaten target untapped creatures? I think it can, but whenever I play it that way, I get objections from my opponent. –Matt

A: You can Threaten tapped or untapped creatures. The wording on Threaten reads, “target creature”. The fact Threaten untaps the creature means nothing as far as what you can or can't target.

Q: I target my Mogg Fanatic with Seething Anger and pay the buyback cost. My opponent removes the Goblin from the game in response. Does Seething Anger go back to my hand? –HolgiR

A: No, it's countered for lack of target [CR 413.2a]. When a spell with buyback is countered, the whole thing is countered—including the buyback part.

Q: If I play Rancor on a creature while Cowardice is in play, when the creature is returned to its owner's hand, do I get my Rancor back? --Ben Frost

A: No, you won't. Playing Rancor requires you to target the creature. This triggers Cowardice. That trigger goes on the stack on top of the Rancor. The trigger resolves, and the targeted creature bounces. When Rancor tries to resolve, the game realizes that the target is gone, and the Rancor is countered [CR 413.2a].

Q: If I use Sneak Attack to bring a creature in play during my "end of turn"-phase, do I need to sacrifice it? –Tume

A: No right away, but you will during the next end of turn step. Putting a creature into play with Sneak Attack sets up a delayed triggered ability [CR 404.4]. When the “at end of turn” event occurs next, you'll be required to sacrifice the creature [CR 404.4b].

*Extra* As we covered in similar cases before, playing Time Stop before the trigger occurs doesn't help—it'll still be waiting for the event. But if you Time Stop after the trigger goes on the stack and before the trigger resolves, you'll have used up the trigger and saved the doomed creature from the resolution of the trigger. Stifle can use up the trigger in the same way.

Q: When using cards like Arc Lightning, can you target more than 3 creatures and do 0 damage to some of them if you wish to activate the ability of Horobi, Death's Wail? –Alfred

A: No, you must divide damage up so at least one point goes to each target [CR 409.1e].

Q: I have a Sacred Ground in play and a land with Wild Growth on it. If my opponent plays land destruction on the land would I lose my enchantment?
I think I do but I wanted to make sure and couldn't find a ruling in the Saturday School archives. --David H.

A: You'll get you land back, but you'll lose the enchantment. What happens is this:
1) The land is destroyed and goes to your graveyard, triggering Sacred Ground.
2) State-based effects put enchant land into the graveyard on top of the dead land.
3) Triggered ability goes on the stack. (Let's assume players both pass.)
4) Resolving trigger puts the land back into play without anything attached to it.
Thanks for checking the archives; sorry I don't have better news.

Q: What is my hand size if I have Spellbook and Recycle in play at the same time? --Liam S.

A: The answer depends on timestamp order. Timestamp is basically the order in which things entered a zone (with three exceptions [CR 418.5e]). Here's what we get with Spellbook and Recycle:
Spellbook and then Recycle: No maximum and then 2 = 2.
Recycle and then Spellbook: 2 and then no maximum = no maximum.

Q: My friend attacked me with a Moss Kami and I have Defensive Formation out. I block with two 1/1 creatures. Can I then choose not to pass the damage onto the next creature? Can I choose not to deal trample damage to myself? --AW

A: Yes, and yes, you assign all the damage where you want it to go. Trample doesn't require you to spread damage to creatures or players if there's any blockers, so you can assign all the damage to the soon-to-be-very-dead 1/1.

Goblin Marshal
Q: If I have a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in play and I make a copy of a Goblin Marshal. Would it bring two 1/1 red goblin creatures into play? If so, at the end of turn would that token copy of the Marshal then hit the graveyard causing another two goblins to come into play? Also would this combo also work with the abilities of Siege-Gang Commander? –Kent

A: Your Kiki-Jikied Marshal would make goblins when it came into play and when it went to the graveyard. Putting a copy of Siege-Gang Commander into play would make tokens in the same way; and yes, they would benefit from things like Goblin King and be sacfrificable for Siege-Gang Commander.

Q: My opponent's Faceless Butcher comes into play, removing my Chainer, Dementia Master. By removing Chainer, the Butcher is removed. Because the Butcher leaves play, I say Chainer comes back. My opponent disagrees. Please help. --Bill

A: You get the Master back. Here's how:
1) Butcher comes into play and removes Chainer, triggering Chainer (since he left play)
2) Chainer's leaves-play trigger removes the Butcher, triggering the Butcher
3) The Butcher's leaves-play trigger resolves and returns Chainer
Simply put, Nightmares should not mess with the Master.

Q: The non-active player controls Akroma, Angel of Wrath. The active player plays Exhume. Both players put a Gilded Drake into play from the Exhume. The active player targets the opponent's Angel, and the other targets the opponent's Drake. What happens? –Miyaken

A: As you hinted at, both triggers stack (active player, non-active player). Now we begin resolving the stack, but first let's review Gilded Drake's wording:

Flying
When Gilded Drake comes into play, choose one — sacrifice Gilded Drake; or exchange control of Gilded Drake and target creature an opponent controls. If you can't make the exchange, sacrifice Gilded Drake. This ability can't be countered. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)

So the non-active player (NAP) will follow the instructions and exchange control by trading one Drake for the other. So we have both Drakes switch sides. When the AP tries to exchange the Drake for the Angel, two things happen: first, we realize that both the Drake to be exchange an the Angel are controlled by the same player and therefore can't be exchanged [CR Glossary: Exchange], and second, we realize that since his Drake is now controlled by another player, he can't sacrifice it either [CR Glossary: Sacrifice]. Short Version: Akroma watches while the Drakes switch sides… nothing more.

Meddling Mage
Q: I was reading the coverage for PT Columbus and I saw that Pierre Canali used Meddling Mage via AEther Vial to effectively counter Circular Logic. In the article it said that this worked because Circular Logic was still in the madness zone. I was wondering if Meddling Mage could be used to "counter" other spells then those using Madness. –Josh

A: No, Meddling Mage isn't so useful against non-Madness spells. The key is that in order to play the Madness spell, you have to wait until the Madness trigger resolves. This window of opportunity exists because of the way Madness works, and it's that window that let Pierre sneak the Mage into play in time to effectively meddle.

Q: While playing with some of my friends I had a Myr Landshaper change one of my opponents' Swamps into an artifact. Then I used Splinter on it. And since it says remove all instances of the card from library I assumed that the game was over since my friend was playing mono black. But my friend said that that combo was voided my MTG. --Chris B.

A: The combo works, but the game's not over yet. Your opponent will still have the other Swamps he or she had in play at the time, and the library could still contain non-Swamp lands (like Vault of Whispers). True, the opponent might not be in good shape, but they might pull off a comeback anyway. As for voiding combos, the people that make those decisions don't void “combos”, they ban cards, and Splinter and Myr Landshaper are both far far far away from being banned (trust me… very far).

Q: I am wondering if all versions of Dark Ritual, both the instant and the mana source, are banned in tournament play. --Gaabriel T.

A: Dark Ritual is banned in Extended. It's legal in several other formats (you can just check the autocard window or Gatherer, but remember that the official source is always the Magic: The Gathering Floor Rules). It does not matter if the card you're asking about was printed as an Interrupt, Mana Source, or Instant.

I do have one little story to share from PT Columbus that is much too amusing to pass up. Ryuichi Arita is playing at table #1 in round three. I am patrolling the floor when I see Ryuichi with Plains, Brushland, and Starlit Sanctum as his only lands. He has a Daru Spiritualist in play and nothing else. Sensing strangeness, I stop to watch. No sooner do I stop by than the following happens:

The Plains pays for a Nomads en-Kor. Ryuichi vigorously pokes the Spiritualist over and over again and says with his Japanese accent, “Million! Millions!” He pauses all of the sudden and taps the Brushland for white. Holding up a solitary finger he announces with emphasis, “One.” The Spiritualist is promptly sacrificed to the Sanctum while Ryuichi chants, “Millions, millions, millions!” His opponent quietly offers his hand in defeat.

It says a lot to me—a long time Pro Tour judge-- to see a player enjoying himself so openly even at the highest levels of play. The fact he was being so polite with opponents and made $7,500 while doing it is just icing on the Extended cake. Best of luck to all you players out there when you decide to grab a slice.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

The guys here in R&D go to States each year, and we're interested in hearing more from you about the event. Over the next weeks I'll be asking a series of questions to help us understand what's on your mind.

If you went to the event, how did you find out about your State (Province, Island, Territory) Champs? FriendsLocal storeTournament organizer who runs PTQs, etc.At the prereleaseMagicthegathing.com's front pageMagicthegathing.com's tournament centerSaturday School very late that Friday

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