Got Surf?

Posted in Feature on February 18, 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.

February is quickly drawing to a close. Let's jump right into the questions before the month that unleashed Guildpact is gone.

Leyline of Lightning
Q: My friend plays Gigadrowse and then pays for Leyline of Lightning's effect. Can he do that? --Jamison L.

A: No, playing Gigadrowse, even with replicate, is playing only one spell and triggers Leyline of Lightning's ability once. When that ability resolves, the Leyline's controller can choose to spend or do nothing.

Q: With Leyline of Singularity in play, can there be only one token (regardless of creature type, color, power/toughness, etc.) in play at a time? --Chris P.

A: There can be only one token with a given name (which is often the same as the creature type). Tokens have their name specified by the effect that creates them. [CR 216.1] If the effect doesn't specify a separate name and a creature type (such as Tolsimir Wolfblood's companion), then the creature type and name are the same (such as the Saproling tokens from Fists of Ironwood).

Q: If my opponent has a Chill in play and I play Shattering Spree, will the replicate cost also be chilled, or does that remain the same? --Kai I.

A: Shattering Spree's replicate cost is regardless of the Chill. If you played it once with one replication, your total cost would be: Mana cost + replicate + Chill = .

Q: Can I use two Convolute on each other to trigger Tibor and Lumia twice? --Paul L.

A: You can't play a targeted spell unless there's a target. In other words, you can't play Convolute because you feel like it. However, once there is a spell to target, you could play both Convolutes targeting that spell.

*Extra*: You'll have to respond to your first Convolute with the second one if you must play both to trigger Tibor and Lumia twice. If wait for the first one to resolve before playing the second, your opponent might let the Convolute counter the spell, and then you'd be out of targets again.

Blood Moon
Q: Blood Moon is in play. When I play Sowing Salt on my opponent's Stomping Grounds, does it remove all Stomping Grounds, or all Mountains? --Dallas W.

A: You'll be removing Stomping Grounds from the game. A nonbasic land that's been turned into a Mountain by Blood Moon still has its original name. Blood Moon sets the land type to Mountain but doesn't change anything else.

Q: How does equipping a creature interact with Burning-Tree Shaman? --Justin T.

A: Each time the equip ability is activated the Shaman will trigger and deal one damage to the person that activated the equipment.

Q: Can Nezumi Bone-Reader be activated at instant speed if Quicken has been played? --Brent J.

A: No, Quicken only rushes the next sorcery spell that turn. It has no effect on abilities that can only be played when a sorcery could be played.

Q: Graven Dominator has been confusing me. I was under the impression that the ability was like Sorceress Queen and only affected power and toughness, but I was told that it acted like Humble and the creatures lost all abilities. Is this true? --Marvin T.

A: Graven Dominator sets power and toughness only. It has no effect on abilities.

*Extra*: If a creature has already taken damage, and it becomes a 1/1, then that one or more damage is lethal. If someone wanted to regenerate a damaged soon-to-be-1/1 creature, he or she would have to respond to the Dominator's triggered ability.

Q: Can I use a Djinn Illuminatus to replicate Seething Song over and over using the mana it produces from previous copies? Limitless red mana... or is it a bombo? --Brian

A: Djinn Illuminatus is a Seething Song bombo. Replicate requires mana when playing the spell. You won't get mana from a Seething replication until long after the chance to make replications has passed.

*Extra*: Compare this to the Lava Spike / Desperate Ritual combo from a few weeks ago. In that case, Izzet Guildmage was making and resolving copies with its ability over and over before letting the original resolve, not replicating the spell as it's being played.

Q: I assume I can Mind BendMeloku the Clouded Mirror to make Green or Red creatures instead of Blue ones, but could I Mind BendUlasht, the Hate Seed to get +1/+1 counters from Blue creatures instead of Green or Red ones? --Oliver B.

A: Mind Bend only targets permanents, and Bending Ulasht the permanent won't change the ability that put counters on Ulasht as it came into play.

*Extra*: Using Crystal Spray or Sleight of Mind to change the Ulasht spell will make the Hate Seed come into play looking for Blue creatures instead of Green (or Red depending on your text change) ones.

Q: How does Eye of the Storm react with Wee Dragonauts? If I play a Shock, do I get two triggers or one? --Aaron H.

A: You'll get one trigger from the original spell and another trigger for playing the copy made by Eye of the Storm. The key is the fact that you make copies and then play them (unlike replicate or storm that just puts them right onto the stack).

Q: What happens if there are two copies of Eye of the Storm in play? --Danny W.

A: Both Eyes will trigger from a sorcery or instant. If both Eyes are controlled by one player, that player will choose which one removes the card. If each player controls one Eye, the active player (person whose turn it is) will stack his or her trigger, then the other player stacks - the non-active player's Eye will remove the card. In any case, each Eye will make copies of whatever cards are on that particular Eye.

Wild Cantor
Q: Can a Wild Cantor be tapped for convoke and then sacrificed to pay the cost of the convoked creature? --Andrew

A: No, mana for a spell is put into your pool before you actually pay the costs. [CR 409.1g, h] Tapping creatures for convoke is done while paying costs.

Q: Why is the damage done by Living Inferno's ability locked in as soon as it is played? It seems to run counter to how other similar cards would work.

A: The difference between Living Inferno and something like Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit is that the Inferno needs its damage divided. If something specifies damage that should be divided, that division is announced at the same time the spell or ability is played. [CR 409.1e] Since Ben-Ben isn't trying to do math, it doesn't worry about how much damage it does until that ability resolves.

Q: If Mindleech Mass damages an opponent and its controller plays a creature spell from the opponent's hand, is the creature permanently controlled by the controller of the Mindleech Mass? --Antonio

A: The Mindleech player will control the spell played from the opponent's hand as well - and the resulting permanent if it's something like a creature spell.

*Extra*: Phage the Untouchable played in this way, although played from someone's hand, was not played from your hand. That's not a wise idea.

Q: If I attack with Excruciator and my opponent blocks with an Akroma, Angel of Wrath, does the Akroma die? --Sven K.

A: Yes, protection from red won't be able to prevent the damage because of Excruciator's ability. Akroma will take seven and be destroyed.

Q: If there is a Wizened Snitches or Crown of Convergence in play, and I draw multiple cards, must I reveal each card as I draw it? --Greg P.

A: You'll reveal the top card of your library and then draw that card. Anytime you have multiple draws, break that effect down into sequential individual draws. "Draw three cards" is handled as "Draw. Draw. Draw."

Q: Concerning Copperhoof Vorrac, does "permanents" mean lands, artifacts, and enchantments? --Adam

A: A permanent is a card or token (add "creature" to your list) in play. [CR 200.6] Permanents exist only in play. A "creature" is a creature card or creature token in play. A "creature card" could be the same card, but it wouldn't be in play if referred to with the word "card" tacked on.

Wizard Mentor
Q: Can I respond to Reiver Demon's comes into play trigger by activating Wizard Mentor and returning both to my hand? --Todd

A: Yes, responding to the deadly trigger will put the Mentor and his Demon friend back in their owner's (likely yours) hand. Then your Mentor and Demon can come back later for more fun and games.

Q: Does Twincast with Exhaustion make the opponent lose the ability to untap their creatures and lands twice? --Kevin K.

A: No, Exhaustion doesn't skip the untap step. You'll just really, really not untap creatures and lands.

*Extra*: By comparison, Yosei, the Morning Star does use the word "skip." Once something is skipped, it's gone, so two Yosei triggers will mean two untaps that are skipped.

Q: If I have a Raging River in play and I attack with a Yore-Tiller Nephilim, which side of the river is the returned creature on, if any? --Steve D.

A: The "east" and "west" decisions are made at the beginning of combat for opponents, and as creatures are declared as attackers for the attacking player. The River wouldn't affect a creature that comes into play attacking after the original declaration of attackers. Eastern or western creatures could block a Yore-Tillered creature with no difficulty.

Q: I recently played a sealed deck event. A better build I missed. My plan was to change the deck to the better version after game one. I decided to put a series of dots on my cards to indicate what cards were in which deck to facilitate changing things around between games. I do know that drawing designs on your cards is a time-honored tradition in tournaments. Thoughts?

A: Let's take a look at the Universal Tournament Rules for the exact relevant wording about taking notes versus modifying cards. [UTR 28]

Cards used in a tournament may not have writing on their faces other than signatures or artistic modifications. Modifications may not obscure the artwork so as to make the card unrecognizable. If modifications to a card are deemed by the head judge to constitute outside notes or unsporting conduct, the player using such cards will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.

Cards are allowed to have artistic modifications or signatures on them because players often enjoy having artists or other players sign or draw on their cards turning them into personalized keepsakes, and the DCI appreciates that aspect of the game. The concern is when artistic crosses the line into strategic. The DCI frowns on things that give players an advantage outside of their own mental skills.

In your particular case, I'd have to say that designating cards for changing your deck configuration does cross that line. After all, the modifications weren't artistic; they were to reminders after turning in a sub-optimal build.

Before anyone gets to wondering, using artistic modifications to mask strategic information on a card is just as bad if not more so than writing advice on your cards in plain sight.

This begs the question: what sort of notes are you allowed to take and reference at a sanctioned event?

Within a given match you can take notes on whatever you want so long as it's done in a timely fashion. Taking a shorthand note of your opponent's hand when you play Distress is fine. Writing out your opponent's deck list while resolving Cranial Extraction is not fine (not timely). You could jot down comments about cards you spotted on the opponent's turn while he or she is thinking though. You are allowed to look at any notes you've taken in that match. You can't look at notes from any other match or from somewhere outside of the event during a match.

The first weekend of March brings us Pro Tour Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The format will be Standard including Guildpact. Guildpact is legal in Constructed events on Monday, February 20th. There will be plenty of coverage on in case you're not going to detour over to Hawaii. If you're looking for something a little closer to home between now and the Pro Tour, Guildpact is available for Magic Online on February 27th.

Class Dismissed.


Latest Feature Articles


May 18, 2022

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Mechanics by, Jess Dunks

The beloved adventure of Dungeons & Dragons returns to Magic once more in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. This set visits one of D&D's most iconic settings, introduce...

Learn More


May 17, 2022

Collecting Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate by, Max McCall

Editor's Note: We wanted to provide a clarification that the card Faceless One does not come in the foil-etched or traditional foil treatments. Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gat...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All