Home Again

Posted in Feature on August 27, 2005

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.

After weeks on the road, let's launch right to the questions…

Blood Clock
Q: When Blood Clock's ability triggers, is there any way to choose to return a Sensei's Divining Top to your hand, then tap the Top to draw a card and cause the return ability to be countered? --Winston T.

A: Blood Clock's ability isn't targeted, so any decisions about how you'll handle the triggered ability aren't made until the ability resolves.

*Extra*: For comparison, Culling Scales does target, so the target would be chosen as the triggered ability is put on the stack, and you could respond to the Scales by drawing a card with the Top and causing the Scales ability to be countered.

Q: Couldn't you Twincast in response a Quash? Wouldn't it put Twincast on the stack above Quash, resolving first with a duplicated spell, and then Quash would counter the original one? --Mark

A: Yes, you could Twincast a spell and after the Twincast resolves, Quash the original.

*Extra*: Last week we talked about Quashing and then Twincasting an instant or sorcery played with mana from Boseiju, Who Shelters All. Since Boseiju makes the spell uncounterable, it'll be around for Twincasting after the Quash resolves, but this isn't the usual turn of events. The usual scenario is to Twincast the spell first, and then Quash it because Boseiju isn't sheltering it.

Q: My opponent plays a sorcery or instant with Boseiju, Who Shelters All. I play Power Sink targeting the spell. Do I still tap his lands until X is paid? --Tobias F.

A: Yes, the land tapping effect looks for the player paying {X} and doesn't care if the spell is actually countered.

Q: I was starting to play a game with my friend and we were cutting to see who would go first. I cut a Mox Jet and he cut a Forest. I was under the impression that I went first since land is less than 0. Is this true for land? --Chris M.

A: Cutting decks to see who goes first is a house rule, so the best thing to do would be to confirm with your group. For reference however, when the game looks at converted mana costs, it sees lands as having a converted cost of 0, just like Mox Jet [CR 203.3a].

Q: If I play Hideous Laughter at the beginning of my opponent's turn, what happens if he plays a new creature with toughness of 2? --Octavio N.

A: Anything played, that comes into play, or is animated after Hideous Laughter resolves will not be affected.

*Extra*: An easy way to think of things that grow or shrink creatures is that with targeted spells and abilities, you'll know as it's stacked what will be affected. Spells and activated abilities that affect a set of creatures without targeting will be determined as the spell or ability resolves [CR 418.3b].

For example, if the play and resolve Overrun and then play a creature or animate a land, the new creature wasn't in the set that was determined by the Overrun as it resolved, so the new creature won't get the +3/+3 and trample.

Q: Mycosynth Golem says, "Artifact creature spells you play have affinity for artifacts." This could make an extreme combination with Myr Matrix. You could make a huge number of Myr! Is it possible? --Andre

A: No, Myr Matrix's mini-Myr-making is an ability, not a spell.

Q: My friend had Starlit Sanctum, Daru Spiritualist, and another cleric in play. My friend attached Lightning Greaves to the Daru Spiritualist and the other cleric back and forth until one was 1/1000001, and then he used Starlit Sanctum's ability for him to gain 1 million life. Does this work? --Jonathan L.

A: It works fine (though technically it'd be 1,000,001 life).

*Extra*: This particular combo became very popular during the last Extended PTQ season in a deck called “Life” (a nod to Extended combo decks being named after cereals). The pieces are still Extended legal even after the November rotation, and since Betrayers of Kamigawa, Shuko has been around so a second creature isn't necessary.

Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo
Q: If I have Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo enchanted with a Freed from the Real, could Opal-Eye absorb damage from multiple attackers before damage is calculated by untapping it several times? Also, if I had Opal-Eye enchanted with a Heart of Light, would this combo be all the greater? --Lucas

A: Yes, and yes. Using Opal-Eye and Freed from the Real together would allow you to choose multiple sources to have damage redirected to Opal-Eye. Since combat damage all resolves at the same time (assuming no double or first strike), the Opal-Eye will take all those sources at the same time.

*Extra*: Be careful though, if Opal-Eye goes away before the damage is dealt, it won't be redirected, and it'll be dealt as originally assigned.

Q: I have a Patriarch's Bidding deck that is supposed to put four Kokusho, the Evening Star into play for an instant win, and it occurred to me that my opponent might play a False Cure in response to my Bidding. In that case, is the game a draw or does one of us lose first? --Nick

A: Your opponent will lose. False Cure will trigger off the life gain from Kokusho, but the game will end before the False Cure trigger gets stacked.

Q: My opponent plays a Future Sight and reveals an Ascending Aven, which he morphs. He then reveals a Dermoplasm, which he also morphs. Can he then mix up the two morphed creatures rapidly so that I won't be able to tell which one is which? --Matan

A: No, morphed creatures must be clearly differentiated. Players often do this my marking the creatures with coins or dice as “morph 1”, “morph 2”, and so on. Even if the creatures are moved around, your opponent must indicate which came first.

Q; If a multicolor creature attacks, and is blocked by a creature with protection from one of its colors, is damage prevented? For example, my Sliver Queen is stopped by anyone with a color protection. Is that right? --Mark S.

A: Yes, protection from any of a creature's or spell's colors will cause damage from that source to be prevented.

Q: If I were to use Mind Bend on Ascendant Evincar, would both the black and nonblack be changed to say blue and nonblue? --Erik H.

A: Yes, bending “black” into “blue” also changes the negative (non-) version of black as well.

Q: If I played Otherworldly Journey on Hokori, Dust Drinker during my opponent's end of turn step, would I bring him back at the end of my turn and therefore I'd be able to untap all my lands? --Jake

A: Yes, playing Otherworldly Journey during your opponent's end of turn step would keep Hokori out of play until your own end of turn step and allow you to untap as normal.

Q: Is it legal to play Sever Soul on a black creature so you could gain life without destroying it? Or does the spell absolutely have to target a nonblack creature? --Teddy S.

A: The target absolutely has to be nonblack.

Q: I'm writing you from Bogota, Columbia (so excuse my English). If I use Enduring Ideal, and my opponent has a Kodama of the North Tree, can I bring a Confiscate to take it? Thanks for your attention; we always read your columns in the Hobbie Center! --Walter A.

A: With Enduring Ideal and any permanent that can't be target of spells or abilities, you can Confiscate them with Enduring Ideal-- the Ideal puts a permanent into play, not a spell or ability. The thing to remember is that you can't put an Aura on something that can't have that Aura on it (such as a Genju on the wrong type of land or a white Aura on a protection from white creature).

*Extra*: Hello to everyone in Bogota at the Colozosdel Magic Hobbie Center!

Q: When does a spell (meaning the actual card) go to the graveyard-- when it's put on the stack or on resolution? --James F.

A: A card is put into the graveyard as the last part of resolving the spell.

Pithing Needle
Q: Does Pithing Needle also stop channel and splice abilities on named cards? --Shannon K.

A: Pithing Needle stops channel but not splice. The thing to look for is a colon—colons divide the cost and effect in an activated ability.

Q: Can any of the cards in my hand still count as permanents and trigger the Patron of the Nezumi even if they aren't in play? --Jason E.

A: No, permanents, by definition are in play. Cards in your hand are just cards, not permanents.

Q: Can you play Gifts Ungiven, find two cards that you want to go to your graveyard, and then fail to find the other two, even if there are more than four cards with different names in the deck? --Brian C.

A: Yes, you can fail to find cards with Gifts Ungiven. If a card uses the word “search”, you'll look for either a number of cards or a number of cards (often one) that meet a criteria or quality. If any quality (such as names that don't match) is included in the search, then you may choose to search and not find the card. If only a quantity is needed, then you must find that many cards or as many cards as are in your deck.

For example, Demonic Tutor searches for “a card” so you must find one card, but Mystical Tutor searches for an “instant or sorcery card,” so you can fail (intentionally or not) to find a card.

*Extra*: The reason searches work differently when using quality versus quantity is to let players play without needing to be interrupted by judges. If you were required to find four different cards for Gifts Ungiven, then a judge would have to verify that doing so is impossible. Instead, players are allowed to decide when they're not going to search anymore. When the search is just for a number, no one has to look through a deck to count how many cards are found or available.

Q: If I were to equip a Dead-Iron Sledge on a Tel-Jilad Outrider, would Tel-Jilad Outrider's protection protect it from the destructive properties of the Sledge? --Grant R.

A: The Outrider's protection means the Sledge can't be equipped to it, and if the Sledge were attached somehow, then it would be unattached the next time state-based effects are checked. That said, if your Outrider is blocked by a creature (non-artifact, of course) that has the Sledge attached, both creatures will be destroyed. Protection doesn't save creatures from untargeted destroy effects.

Q: My question is about Temple Garden from the new set from Ravnica: City of Guilds. One of my friends says that you can search for it with a Sakura-Tribe Elder. I say that you can't and that you would have to use a card like Gift of Estates. What is the correct way? --Brian S.

A: Since Temple Garden is a “Land—Forest Plains,” but doesn't say it's basic, you won't be able to use Sakura-Tribe Elder. Gift of Estates or even Wood Elves (both conveniently in Ninth Edition) can search for Temple Garden though.

Q: Why exactly is "instead" needed for Temple Garden's wording? Why is it not needed for the 8th Edition taplands? --Rich G.

A: The Eighth Edition taplands don't have any option of coming into play untapped. The wording on Temple Garden allows a player to either put the land into play tapped like an Elfhame Palace, or you can pay 2 life to avoid having the land start out tapped.

Thanks to Magic Arcana's special preview we got an early peek into the city world of Ravnica. In the upcoming weeks, we can look forward to plenty more previews. However, as we'll see with the previews, Ravnica is so full of tasty goodness that nothing short of the prerelease (starting September 24th) will sate the appetites of Magic players everywhere.

Class dismissed.


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