Guildpact Goodies

Posted in Feature on January 14, 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.

We're almost to the point where you can count the hours until the Guildpact prerelease. Being a junkie for blue-red, the Izzet guild has me salivating just thinking about it (not that the Gruul and the Orzhov are slouches!). If you've been reading the previews this week, chances are you're salivating, too. This week and next, Saturday School will be answering questions on previewed cards. The week after the prerelease I'll be able to talk about any Guildpact rules questions.

Q: With replicate, do the copies resolve at the same time, or are they put on the stack separately? If I play Mimeofacture targeting my opponent's Kokusho, the Evening Star replicating once, what happens? --Adrian

A: Replicate allows two things--1) paying mana many times over on announcement and 2) getting copies of the spell once replicate's trigger resolves. The original and any copies will resolve one at a time. So if you Mimeofacture Kokusho and replicate it, the replicate triggers (since replicate was paid), and when the trigger resolves, you'll get a fresh copy of Mimeofacture. The copy resolves and puts Kokusho into play. State-based effects put both into the graveyard (the Dragon triggers are handled). Now you have a Mimeofacture with no legal target, and it gets countered.

*Extra*: With Mimeofacture in particular, you don't have to actually find what you're searching for. If you Mimeofacture a permanent, and he or she doesn't have another one in the deck, that copy of the spell does nothing.

Q: Do spell copies count as a "spell being played" for things like Kraken's Eye? How do replicate and storm compare? --Dan C.

A: It depends on what copies are being made. Spell copies are played if the ability that creates them says they are. For instance, Isochron Scepter and Eye of the Storm make copies that can than be played. Storm and replicate just copy the spell--that puts it directly on the stack without it "being played." [CR 503.10] Both storm and replicate have triggers when the original spell is played. Storm makes copies as the trigger resolves based on previous spells. Replicate makes copies as the trigger resolves based on times that replicate was paid. Both storm and replicate let you pick new targets for the copies if you wish. Both avoid re-triggering their own ability because the copies aren't played, just put on the stack.

Q: How does replicate interact with Eye of the Storm? --Max

A: Replicate (if you paid) and Eye of the Storm both trigger off playing the spell. You'll get the replicate copies regardless of what happens to the original spell. The Eye removes the original spell and makes a copy that you can play. When you play that copy you can spend extra to replicate also. The Eye pays the spell's cost, but you'll have to pay full price for the replicate.

Q: How does Djinn Illuminatus interact with splice onto arcane? --Craig

A: Djinn Illuminatus loves splice. Replicate copies the spell, including choices such as additional splices. The Djinn lets you copy the fully-spliced spell for just the cost of the base spell. For example, if the play Kodama's Reach and splice on Glacial Ray and Horobi's Whisper, the Djinn will allow you spend (as many times as you can) to make a another Reach-Ray-Whisper.

Q: If you choose to replicate a Force Spike with Djinn Illuminatus, would you have to pay or ? --Howard F.

A: The Djinn requires paying the mana cost, not the converted mana cost. Pay the cost in the corner--.

*Extra*: If you're replicating a spell with half-half mana symbols in the cost, you can spend either of the colors for each of those symbols. You could replicate Gaze of the Gorgon twice by spending .

Q: I play Chord of Calling using convoke with X=2. Can I use Djinn Illuminatus to replicate for free, or would the replicate cost be ? --Aaron M.

A: Convoke reduces the cost to play a spell. Replicate increases the cost to play a spell. Neither one changes the spell's mana cost; it's still . The good news is that convoke can reduce any part of a spell's cost--including replicate's additional cost. You could tap six green creatures and four other creatures to play Chord of Calling for 2 replicated once without spending any mana if you control Djinn Illuminatus.

Q: If Teysa, Orzhov Scion and Darkest Hour are both in play, and another black creature in control is put into a graveyard, what color is the 1/1 Spirit token? --Jim

A: The token is black. If the Darkest Hour goes away, it will revert to being white.

Q: Would Teysa, Orzhov Scion, Darkest Hour, and Goblin Bombardment make a combo? --S.D.

A: Once you toss in another creature, yes. The Hour will make the creature black; the Bombardment sacrifice will send it to the graveyard; and Teysa's trigger will make a fresh creature. Wash, rinse, repeat, kill.

Q: Since the whole "successfully cast" clause has been taken off of cards, wouldn't Eye of the Storm remove the instant or sorcery card from the game upon announcement, not upon resolution? A played spell is a played spell. A countered spell is still a played spell. --Aaron D.

A: Eye of the Storm removes cards when the Eye's triggered ability resolves. If that card is no longer on the stack, the Eye's triggered ability won't know where to find the card and will do nothing. [CR 217.1c] Abilities like Kraken's Eye will trigger (at the same time Eye of the Storms did), and they'll resolve as normal since they don't care what happens to the card once it's played.

Q: Can I transmute a Perplex to put Maga, Traitor to Mortals in my hand? --Adam S.

A: Yes. [CR Glossary: "X"]

Q: When you gain life, can you use Searing Meditation by paying 6 to deal 6 damage? --Jon H.

A: No. Searing Meditation triggers once when you gain life. As that one trigger resolves you may pay. To pay , or not to pay , that is the question.

Q: What happens if I Terashi's Grasp my own Lich? --James K.

A: You're dead, Jim. You start out with no life and a Lich. You Grasp the Lich. Lich is destroyed and triggers from leaving play; you gain 4. You now have 4 life to live on, but you have to stack the "lose the game" trigger.

Q: What is considered an activated ability? Does it have to tap for it to be considered "activated"? --Robert T.

A: Activated abilities are written "[cost]: [effect]." [CR 403.1] The easy way to spot them is to just look for the colon (:). Activated abilities may or may not include . A creature that has in an ability's cost can't use that ability if it's summoning sick.

Q: Can I remove Scatter the Seeds from the game with Kaho, Minamo Historian and then play it using the convoke ability? --Pedro L.

A: No, Kaho demands equal to the converted mana cost. Convoke shenanigans don't trick Kaho.

Lunar Avenger
Q: During a combat my husband attacked with Lunar Avenger (with two +1/+1 counters) and Arcbound Fiend (3/3). I blocked and thought it was an even match and that everything dies, but my husband took the counters off the Avenger when it went to the graveyard, put them on the Fiend, and said I was now blocking a 5/5. Is that correct? --Leesa

A: That might be what he said, but that's not what happens. Combat damage all resolves at the same time. The Fiend and Avenger would be damaging their blockers (and vice versa) at the same time, and all the creatures would be going to the graveyard at the same time, triggering the modular abilities. If there are any artifact creatures left in play, then the Fiend's and the Avenger's counters could go onto that creature. Sounds like he's got some 'splainin' to do.

Q: Can protection absorb all damage of trampling creature? Can I choose artifact as a color for protection? --Ricardo F.

A: Protection will prevent whatever damage (from the right source) is assigned to the creature. However, only lethal damage needs to be assigned--so a player need only assign 2 to a Paladin en-Vec that's blocking a Gutwrencher Oni, and the player would be assigned the other 3. "Artifact" is not a color.

Q: Can I tap Elvish Piper to play Iname and trigger the effect or not? --Todd B.

A: Which Iname? Putting Iname into play with an effect isn't the same thing as playing Iname from your hand (playing the spell). Since two of the Iname are concerned about how they enter play, they'll behave differently. Iname, Death Aspect will trigger. Iname as One will not.

Q: If I have a Kodama of the North Tree in my graveyard, can I target it with Zombify? --Colin

A: Yes, untargetability only functions while the North Tree is in play. [CR 418.4b]

Q: I play a Crypt Rats / Spirit Link combo in our big multi player games. If I pump into the Rat, do I gain 1 or 3 for killing a creature with one toughness? --Glen B.

A: You'll gain 3. Spirit Link gains life of damage dealt--excessive damage is fine.

Sterling Grove
Q: My friend controls two Sterling Groves. Please explain to me what can and can't be done. Btw: I still killed him. --Paul

A: No one can target any enchantment your opponent controls. He may activate either enchantment. Any player can play something to destroy the enchantments if it's not targeted (Tempest of Light perhaps). PS: Congrats.

Q: I have an Elephant Guide in my graveyard. There are no other enchantments in either graveyard. What happens to my Cantivore if I play Replenish? --Zimu Z.

A: You'll pick a place to put the Elephant Guide. If you put the Guide on the Cantivore, you'll have a 3/3 Cantivore. If you put the Guide elsewhere, your 1/1 Cantivore will become 0/0 and be put on top of the Replenish in the graveyard.

Q: My teammate in two-headed giant plays Enduring Ideal. Am I bound never to play another spell for the rest of the game as well? --Daniel

A: No, only the person who resolved the epic spell is limited by the epic ability.

Player Turned Collector

Q: I've turned from playing to collecting Magic, so I was wondering if you have a legend of time periods and symbols on the cards. I would like it to be as far back as possible. --Jeff

A: Last year I wrote out a list of Magic's set releases. I'm updating for this year and now including the expansion symbols. Once again, I'm not going to include promotional sets (Anthologies, the Beatdown Box, etc.). One of the first things a collector needs to learn is how to recognize Alpha and Beta cards. Alpha cards have very round corners. Beta cards have corner rounded like they are on cards today. Next is distinguishing Unlimited, Revised, Fourth, and Fifth Edition cards (the expansion symbols in Gatherer were created to differentiate them online. All of the Core Sets are white bordered after Beta. Unlimited have dark color with a "bevel" line going around the edge. Revised cards have a washed-out color with no bevel or copyright. Fourth Edition has a copyright for 1995. Fifth Edition has a copyright for 1997. Otherwise, expansion symbols should help you determine a card's set. Beginning with Exodus, color-coded expansion symbols will also tell you a card's rarity.

Set NameYearMonthSymbol
Dissension20065
Guildpact20062
Ravnica200510
Ninth Edition*20057
Saviors of Kamigawa20056
Betrayers of Kamigawa20052
Unhinged^200411
Champions of Kamigawa200410
Fifth Dawn20046
Darksteel20042
Mirrodin200310
Eighth Edition*20037
Scourge20035
Legions20032
Onslaught200210
Judgment20025
Torment20022
Odyssey200110
Apocalypse20016
Seventh Edition*20014
Planeshift20012
Invasion200010
Prophecy20006
Nemesis20002
Mercadian Masques199910
Starter*19997
Urza's Destiny19996
Portal Three Kingdoms*19995
Classic (Sixth Edition)*19994
Urza's Legacy19992
Urza's Saga199810
Unglued^19988
Exodus19986
Portal Second Age19986
Stronghold19983
Tempest199710
Weatherlight19976
Portal19976
Fifth Edition*19973
Visions19972
Mirage199610
Alliances19966
Homelands199510
Chronicles*19958
Ice Age19956
Fourth Edition*19955
Fallen Empires199411
The Dark19948
Legends19946
Revised*19944
Antiquities19943
Arabian Nights199312
Unlimited*199312
Beta199310
Alpha19938

* = White bordered, ^ = Silver bordered

The Guildpact prerelease is next Saturday! I'll have more answers about previewed cards, but there's no better place to see the set yourself than at the prerelease itself and the release events after that. See you there.

Class Dismissed.

--Carter

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