GP Brisbane Field Trip

Posted in Feature on November 20, 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.

Today is the day where Rules Developers duck for cover. I've printed off a copy of the Comprehensive Rules and spirited it away for safekeeping far from the fallout. Why all the fuss? Because today is Unhinged Release Events Day, and sanity is a distant memory. I'm going to hold out just a little longer, but fear not, Dr. Ev… I mean Mr. Rosewater (there's a reason Scott keeps our columns on opposite sides of the week.) will be fielding a few early Unhinged questions in his Monday column. Turns out even Fifty pages of FAQery was not enough for a set as crazy as Unhinged. In the meantime, here are two that are worth knowing going into this weekend's Release Events.

Quick Unhinged Clarifications for the Release Events

Cheatyface
Q: How cheaty can I get with Cheatyface?

A: Probably not as cheaty as you want. For example, you can cheaty Mr. Face into play only if he's in your hand.
The game you're in can't see the text on hidden cards (ones in your library, for example) or cards in piles near your game. So no, playing Pandemonium and then pulling out a nine inch stack of Cheatyfaces is not going to work. Sorry, (h34tx0r.

Q: What's up with Frazzled Editor?

A: Amusingly enough, he could have been written better. Frazzled Editor only cares about the rules text on cards. Reminder text and flavor text (both of which Frazzled Editor has), which are in italics, the editor ignores.

Back to Black-Bordered World

Q: My opponent has a Kashi-Tribe Reaver in play and 2 Forests untapped. I play a Swallowing Plague for two with a Glacial Ray spliced on both targeting the Reaver. He responds by regenerating the Reaver. Does the creature die because there are 2 distinct phrases or the creature survives because the regeneration saves it from the entire spell? --Rossi S.

A: The Reaver lives. The Plague swallows for two, and then it rays for two. After resolving the entire spell, state-based effects (SBEs) are checked, and the game sees 4 damage is greater than 2 toughness. This would destroy the Reaver, but the regeneration replaces the destruction. The key is that SBEs aren't checked until a player gets priority, when the spell has finished resolving.

Q: In a tournament I was in, I had an unflipped Orochi Eggwatcher in play. During my opponent's turn, he played Blind with Anger targeting the Eggwatcher. Still during his turn he was able to flip him. Would he still control the Shidako, Broodmistress, or would it be returned to my control at the end of his turn and why? --Ben

A: You'll get a Broodmistress back at the end of turn as normal. Flipping a card only changes which half of the rules texts applies to the current game state. The effect on the Eggwatcher doesn't end or become permanent just because the Angry guy flipped out.

Q: If I have a Tobita, Master of Winds in play, and my opponent then plays Otherworldly Journey on my Tobita, when my Tobita comes back into play is it Tobita or Student of Elements. –Robert

A: You'll get a Student of Elements back. Removing and returning a creature erases whatever memory it had. When the card returns to play its flip state is the default: unflipped.

Q: My opponent has Pain Kami in play, and no cards in his graveyard - he sacrifices his Pain Kami and tries to do 1 damage to my Nezumi Graverobber. Can I target the Pain Kami now in his graveyard paying when the damage is on the stack in order to flip my Nezumi Graverobber and save him? --Daniel T.

A: Yes, you can. Here's how it goes down.

  1. Your opponent plays the Pain Kami's ability. He puts the ability on the stack, and pays its costs: “, Sacrifice Pain Kami”. This puts the Pain Kami into his graveyard.
  2. You put Nezumi Graverobber's ability on the stack, targeting the Pain Kami card that was just put in the graveyard.
  3. The stack resolves last-in first-out, so Nezumi Graverobber's ability resolves first. It removes the Pain Kami from the game, and the Graverobber turns into Nighteyes the Desecrator.
  4. Finally, Pain Kami's ability resolves, dealing 1 damage to Nighteyes, who laughs. Or perhaps chitters.

Hanabi Blast
Q: Regarding Hanabi Blast, I was told by a card vendor that if you were to have only Hanabi Blast in your hand, you could play it as many times as possible, before going into the phase of discarding it. Is it true? --C.S.Y.

A: You only get one Hanabi Blast at a time. While a spell is resolving, nobody has a chance to play any other spells. So it will deal damage, return to your hand, force you to discard something, and then (if it's still in your hand) you can play it again.

Q: When do you declare the number required for Mindblaze, during casting or when the Mindblaze resolves? --Bert

A: You chose the card and the number on resolution. The only part of Mindblaze that must be done on announcement is choosing the target player.

Q: Can I Hallow any damage Triskelion causes the same turn I cast Hallow?

A: If you play Hallow on the Triskelion as it's being played, you will gain life if it gets used that turn. The same thing applies to creatures with haste or have come into play damage effects (like Flametongue Kavu).
Do note that Hallow can only target spells – after Triskelion has come into play, you can't Hallow it.

Q: If I use Reversal of Fortune to copy the Tooth and Nail in my opponent's hand, can I entwine it or do I only get one of the effects? --Sam R

A: Reversal lets you play a copy of the card, and since you're playing it, you have the chance to entwine it as well.

Q: I played a Tangle Golem. My opponent responded by playing a Condescend with X=0, then countered his Condescend with Fold Into AEther. When Fold Into AEther resolved, he put a Hoverguard Sweepers into play. He said that he was sending my Tangle Golem back to my hand. I told him he couldn't because it was still on the stack. Who is right? --L. T.

A: You're right. The Tangle Golem is still on the stack, so it's not available to be bounced.

Q: My friend and I were playing magic. He had an Isochron Scepter with Echoing Truth imprinted. I played Mycosynth Golem. As soon as it resolved, he said he bounces it before I can play any artifact creatures with the golem's affinity. I think that I get priority after it resolves and I can play something before he can bounce it. Who's right? --Nick Smith

A: You're right. After a spell resolves, the active player is the first person to get priority, so (assuming you didn't do something tricky to play the Golem on your opponent's turn) you've got time to play one artifact creature before he can respond.

Squelch
Q: Squelch can counter the abilities of cards in the graveyard, such as Necrosavant, whereas Interdict cannot. Do I have that right? --Tom M.

A: Correct. Interdict affects only activated abilities from permanents (which means things in play), but Squelch isn't so picky.

*Extra*: Squelch can also counter the abilities of cards in hand, such as Cycling.

Q: Regarding Sensei Golden-Tail, if my opponent plays Natural Affinity on my turn, and during my next main phase, I play the Golden-Tail's ability on one of my animated lands, I know at the end of turn, it becomes a land with a training counter on it. But next time that land is animated, is it still a land with bushido 1? --JR

A: Yes, it would be a “Land Creature – Samurai” with bushido 1 if it were animated again.

Q: How does Horobi, Death's Wail effect cards that have a constant ability targeting them? For instance if I have several Relentless Rats out they are all affecting each other with an ability so does Horobi immediately kill all of my rats when it comes into play?

A: Horobi is triggered by targeting – i.e. it only notices spells and abilities that use the word “target”. Relentless Rats (and all other static abilities) don't use the word “target”.
Obviously Horobi is wailing too loud to hear any chittering noises.

Q: If you played a Brain Freeze after three other spells had been cast, and then used Uyo to copy the Freeze, just how many copies will you end up with? One more? Four more?
--Kevin A.

A: You get a total of five Freezes. You get the original Freeze and the three Storm copies. And you'll get one copy from Uyo. Since Uyo isn't playing anything (just making a copy-- much like Storm itself does), them the Uyo-copy-Freeze will not trigger Storm. Storm requires the specific action of playing—putting directly on the stack isn't good enough.

Q: My opponent has an army of bears (2/2s), and I have a Night of Soul's Betrayal in play. If I play another Night of Soul's Betrayal, will it give all creatures -2/-2 and kill all the bears at the same time the legend rule sends the enchantments to the graveyard? --Daniel L.

A: Yes, the game checks all state-based effects at once, so the 0/0 bears and the two copies of the same Legendary enchantment are all put into the graveyard at the same time.

Shivan Wurm
Q: Friend #1 plays a Shivan Wurm, choosing to return a Flametongue Kavu to his hand. Before the Shivan's come-in-to play effect resolves, Friend #2 Lava Spikes the Kavu, killing it. This is the problem: I say that the Shivan is fizzled because the target was removed. Friend 1 says the Shivan stays on the field because it has already come into play; he just needs to return a different creature. Friend 2 says the Wurm is returned to the hand. Who is correct? --JP G.

A: The friends are, mostly. There are two big points with the gating ability. Point #1 is that the ability does not target anything (because it doesn't use the word “target”). Since it's not targeted, you don't pick a critter to bounce until resolution. Point #2 is that the gaters return creatures of their colors, so the gating creature itself is naturally available to return. If the player has no Llanowar Elves or Ancient Hydra to return, the Shivan Wurm is still the right colors.

*Extra*: If you use Tidal Visionary to change the gating creature's color in response to the trigger, you could chose a color that won't be gated. For example, you could make the Shivan Wurm blue, and when the Wurm's gating resolves it finds no red or green guys to return, and so the ability does nothing, and you keep your temporarily blue wurm.

Q: I recently purchased four Soulcatchers' Aerie for a deck I have built around falcons. I assumed they were birds after all. Yet, players point out the Aerie clearly states 'bird' while cards such as Duskrider Falcon, Bay Falcon, Freewind Falcon, Zephyr Falcon all state “Creature – Falcon”. Is there errata to indicate falcons are indeed birds? --Adam D.

A: Yes, old falcons have been given errata. This was part of a move to consolidate creature types years ago. You can always look for the most recent card wordings by looking up things in Gatherer. As of this writing, there are 92 cards with the type “Bird” including all of the cards you asked about. Here's a quick link to the bird list.

Q: I played a guy that had a Beacon Of Creation / Blasting Station combo that I think was a little questionable. With Blasting Station and seven Forests in play, he played Beacon of Creation. He said that all the 1/1 creatures he put into play came in individually, thus he could respond to each one by untapping Blasting Station and then taping it to deal 1 damage. I would think that all the tokens would come into play simultaneously with nobody gaining priority to do anything in response.
The other question was whether or not Beacon gets shuffled into his library if I counter it. --Rafael F.

A: Second things first this time: countering a Beacon means it won't get shuffled back in.
As for Blasting-Beacon, you're both right and wrong, but your opponent's plan was valid. Let's break down the details:

  • Beacon of Creation puts all its tokens into play at the same time.
  • This can cause multiple triggers.
  • No one has priority to do anything while the Beacon resolves or until after all the triggers are stacked.
  • However, once all those triggers are stacked players can respond to each trigger before it resolves—this is where your friend's view comes in.

So seven tokens come into play, and seven triggers are created. Seven triggers get stacked, and the active player receives priority. Players can respond (by using Blasting Station, for instance) and then let the top trigger resolve. The top trigger untaps the Station, and then players can respond again (tapping the station) before the second trigger resolves, and so on.

*Extra*: Some sort of instant or activated ability can solve your problem with minimal fuss. Mirrodin block alone has things like Oxidize or Echoing Decay that could break up this combo. You'll take a point, but the pending triggers will do nothing, so the other six tokens won't get tossed at your head.

Q: I have a Lifespark Spellbomb and Intruder Alarm in play, along with Forbidden Orchard. Can I tap Orchard for green, put the "opponent gets a spirit" trigger on the stack, sacrifice the Spellbomb to animate the Orchard, and have the Orchard untap as a result? --Uber O.

A: Yes. The spirit-making ability and Intruder Alarm's untap ability are both triggered, so you have a chance to animate the Orchard in response to each one.
Animated Orchard + Intruder Alarm means you can generate as much colored mana as you'd like. Your opponent will have quite the army though if you don't have a plan for that mana.

Q: If I attack with Pristine Angel, and at the end of my declare attack step I cast an instant, say... Pulse of the Fields, my Angel would untap, and hence be unblockable... does that sound right? --Arnold

A: Sounds close enough for most situations. Two little details… First, it's just during the declare attackers step—not at the end. The first thing you do is declare your attackers, and only after that do you get to play spells or abilities. Secondly, Pristine Angel could be blocked if you have a non-colored and non-artifact flying creature. A Forbidden Orchard Spirit token would fit the bill if you could get it to fly.

Visit to the Land Down Under

Here in Seattle, it rains. A lot. Well, it really just drizzles. But it drizzles a lot. So when I had the chance to head judge GP Brisbane in November, I started swimming early. After all, Australia in November is in their spring / summer.

Congrats to Brisbane's own Will Copeman on his GP victory. And now for a few bits and pieces that came up during the event.

Q: Grand Prix are “REL 4”. What does REL 4 mean?

A: REL stands for “Rules Enforcement Level”— it's the level of expectation judges have about how well players know the rules. REL 1 is for Friday Night Magic and other local events. REL 5 is for the highest level events like the Pro Tour and Worlds. REL 4 means the judges will expect you to know the rules and tournament procedures in almost every case. Of course, if you don't know, you can always ask a judge for clarification, no matter what REL you're playing at. Judges are there to avoid problems; it's only after there is one that REL comes into play.

Q: My opponent uses Sensei's Divining Top and looks at four cards, what happens?

A: In technical terms judges call that “Looking at Extra Cards”. The first thing a judge should do is decide if the error was intentional. If he or she believes the player did it intentionally, that player is disqualified. Otherwise, the “Looking at” penalty is a warning. If it happens again, the warning would be upgraded to a game loss.

Q: My opponent plays Peer Through Depths and splices on Glacial Ray targeting my creature. In response, I sacrifice my creature. What happens?

A: The Peer Through Depths is countered. Once the Glacial Ray was spliced on, it became a targeted spell. The first thing that happens when resolving spells or abilities is checking for legal targets. Since all the targets are illegal (having been sacrificed), then the entire spell is countered.

That's all for this week. Next week we'll have follow up from the Unhinged release events.

G'day, mate.

--Carter

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