It’s a Whole New Year

Posted in Feature on January 8, 2005

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.

The collective insanity known as the holidays is finally behind us, and we're off into 2005. The snow is quietly falling here in… well, I'm in Seattle, and snow doesn't really exist in Seattle. Well, it's not supposed to normally, but that's another story. So let's skip the wintery theatrics and dive right in (careful though, the water is bound to be chilly).

Q: I know that the Hondens count the other Hondens in their "for each shrine you control" ability. My question is about the shrines from Odyssey. Do the Hondens count all of those as shrines, or does this ability ONLY count Hondens? –Michael

A: “Shrine” is a sub-type of Champions enchantments.
The CHK Shrines all have type lines that read “Legendary Enchantment—Shrine” just like a creature such as Nagao, Bound by Honor reads “Legendary Creature—Human Samurai”… Shrine, Human, and Samurai are all sub-types of their respective types. The Odyssey enchantments have “Shrine” in their name only and so won't be counted for the Hondens. Time will tell if more Shrines will be seen.

Brothers Yamazaki
Q: Does the Legend Rule apply to Brothers Yamazaki? If they don't could I play four of them? –Benji

A: The Brother ignore the Legend Rule, but only if there are two of them.
“If there are exactly two permanents named Brothers Yamazaki in play, the “legend rule” doesn't apply to them.”
Triplets or quintuplets means the Legend Rule will apply and send them all to the graveyard.

Q: I have a question about Cage of Hands. It says ": Return Cage of Hands to its owner's hand“ rather than "return it to YOUR hand". Does this mean that the opponent can also activate the ability and return cage of hands to my hand? --Kostas L.

A: Only the controller may activate the ability, but this isn’t necessarily the same person as the owner. If your opponent Confiscates your Cage and plays its ability, it will be returned to your hand. That's why “its owner's” was used instead of “your”.

Q: Regarding the use of Kiki-Jiki on a Forbidden Orchard that has been animated through a Lifespark Spellbomb while an Intruder Alarm is in play… The Forbidden Orchard has been in play since last turn. The Kiki-Jiki ability is used, targeting the animated Forbidden Orchard. What is the product of the Kiki-Jiki ability resolution? – FoF Staff

A: The end result is a tapped Kiki-Jiki and a non-animated copy of a Forbidden Orchard. Kiki-Jiki can copy the Orchard because that Orchard is a target creature, it doesn’t copy the animation effect [CR 503.2], so the fresh Orchard is just a land (which makes Intruder Alarm irrelevant).

Q: When Cowardice is in play and I want to play for example Takeno, Samurai General, must I return all my samurai back to my hand? And how does it work with Nagao, Bound by Honor or Call to Glory? –Martin

A: Takeno, Nagao, and Call to Glory do not include “target” and would not trigger Cowardice or Horobi, Death's Wail. Since 6th Edition in April 1999 (and also largely before 6E) cards that target have specifically included the word target—the only exception being the playing of a local enchantment, which is targeted as a game rule.

Q: Regarding the rulings on "each" in wordings of cards, I have a friend who claims that cards such as Bloodfire Colossus target the aforementioned creatures for purposes of Horobi, Death's Wail or for cards that can't be targeted. He claims "cards that say 'each' target and cards that say 'all' do." Can you please clarify the difference? --Joshua J.

A: “Each” and “all” do not mean a spell or ability is targeted. As noted before, a card is targeted only if its Oracle text includes “target”. Most modern cards (especially since Urza’s Destiny and 6th Edition) are obvious in this regard. For older cards, or if you're unsure of the exact wording, feel free to check and look at the “Rules Text (Oracle)”.

Uba Mask
Q: I have no cards in hand and an Uba Mask in play. I tap Thought Courier to activate his ability - what happens? Am I allowed to draw even though I have no cards in hand? --Esben N.

A: When you would draw, the Uba Mask will remove that card face up. That card isn't in your hand, so you wouldn't be able to discard it (if your hand did have a card in it you'd have to discard). For the rest of the turn you could play that card (following the normal restrictions as applicable). Essentially Uba Mask makes Thought Courier into an almost free way to dig deeper—if you don't mind not having those cards on later turns.

Q: I have two lands in play and use the ability of Merfolk Looter, I draw a land and discard an Arrogant Wurm. Can I play the land and pay the madness of the Arrogant Wurm? --Diego O.

A: Yes if it's your main phase and you haven't played a land yet. The key is that a card discarded with madness can be played any time after the first madness trigger resolves until you pass priority. (The second trigger occurs when you pass, and resolving that trigger puts an unused madness card into the graveyard where it belongs.) In this case, you'll resolve the first trigger that allows the Wurm to be played. You play your land—this doesn't use the stack or cause you pass priority—and then you have enough mana to play the Wurm.

Q: If I cast Carbonize on a Darksteel Colossus, then I Irradiate it for -11/-11; what happens to it?

A: The controller of the Colossus chooses where the Colossus goes. In this case, you'll have competing replacement effects (replacements are typically accompanied by the word “instead”). Looking at the effects we see: “If the creature would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.” [Carbonize] and “If Darksteel Colossus would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Darksteel Colossus and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.” [Darksteel Colossus] Any time there are replacements trying to replace the same event (being put into the graveyard in this case), the player affected or controller of the object affected decides which one to apply first [CR 419.9a]. Once one of these replacements is applied, the other would no longer be applicable.

Q: My friend said you could have more than one Goblin King on the same field at once. Is that true? --Mike

A: Yes, Goblin King is a Lord, not Legendary.

Q: Since Vigilance allows a creature to attack without tapping does that mean it can attack the turn it comes out since it doesn't need to be tapped? –Alex

A: Vigilance is not haste. The summoning sickness restriction on attacking still applies even if the tap requirement isn't necessary.

Q: I have a question about "Doomsday" Stack decks. They usually have a 5-card stack like Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Mind's Desire, Dark Ritual, and Beacon of Destruction… They Mind's Desire for multiple storm copies with only Beacon of Destruction in their deck. Since the card is removed from the game can you legally shuffle it back into your deck? --Justin L.

A: This works fine if you understand timing rules.
The deck this is most widely seen in is like the one reviewed this week called “Meandeck Doomsday”. The key is that the storm copies do not resolve at the same time, and Beacon of Destruction is an instant. What happens is you resolve one of the stormed copies and reveal BoD. Before letting the next storm copy resolve, you play the BoD. This means the BoD resolves and will be shuffled back in (in so much as "shuffling" one card is possible). Amazingly enough the next storm copy produces… Beacon of Destruction. Three storms plus the original Mind's Desire is a total of twenty damage.

Q: My friend is having a little difficulty understand how the card Book Burning functions. His belief is that the card checks to see if there is a Book Burning in the opponent's hand, then if there isn't one, he takes 6 damage and mills 6 cards. An official declaration on this will mean I don't have to kick him out into the streets. --Aaron T.

A: Players decide if they want damage or milling, not both, and no one's hand needs to be seen.
This question is the result of an unfortunate line break on the English version of the card.

Book Burning

Some people read this as “Unless a player has Book Burning, deal…” The comma doesn't come until later (after him or her). Once people realize this fact, the card becomes much clearer. Essentially, the effect is “Any player may choose to be dealt 6 damage by Book Burning. If nobody does, you put the top six cards of target player’s library into his or her graveyard.” There's no need to kick anyone onto the streets.

The Oracle wording is: “Unless a player has Book Burning deal 6 damage to him or her, put the top six cards of target player's library into his or her graveyard.”

Q: Can you sacrifice a card that is indestructible to a card like Bosh, Iron Golem --William B.

A: Yes, you can sacrifice indestructibles to spells and abilities. Sacrifice effects don’t use the words “damage” or “destroy”, so indestructibility has no effect on them.

One With Nature
Q: If I enchant an opponent's creature with One With Nature, will I get to search my library for a forest each time that creature hits me? I assume this trickery wouldn't work with a card like Curiosity since I am not my opponent. --Michael L.

A: One With Nature works fine (so long as it's combat damage); it just looks for a player. Your Curiosity doesn't work on an opponent's creature; you've noticed you're not your own opponent.

Q: If my opponent plays a Broodstar and has nothing but artifacts and has no red permanents, and I play Swirl the Mists and declare "Red" does the Broodstar die because artifacts get turned red and it would become a 0/0 creature? --Mic U.

A: No, “artifact” is not a color word, so making all color words “red” wouldn't change Broodstar's text or the text of most artifacts.

*Extra*: Swirl the Mists could make Broodstar smaller if someone has a Dread of Night. Or you could make it bigger if someone has a Gauntlet of Might in play. In those cases the Dread could read “Blue creatures get -1/-1.” And the Gauntlet would read in part “Blue creatures get +1/+1.”

Q: I played Blood Moon in Magic Online against an affinity deck, and my opponent's artifact lands remained artifact lands as well as being Mountains, allowing him to sac them to his Disciple/Ravager combo. Is this is a bug in MTGO or the correct ruling? --Matthew G.

A: MTGO has it correctly. When a non-basic land is turned into a mountain by an effect (such as Blood Moon's), it loses any abilities and land types (subtypes) it might have had, but its name, type(s), and supertype(s) remain unaffected. [CR 212.6e]

Playing On

I regularly get questions that revolve around the difference between playing something and putting something into play. Let's look at a few such questions and then review the key differences between the two ideas.

Q: A Myojin that comes into play from your hand because of Tooth and Nail doesn't get a divinity counter. My question then is: what about other come into play combinations? An example would be the Tornado Elemental. Would it not deal 6 damage then? Or Phage. Would you lose if you were to play her with Tooth and Nail? --Byung P.

A: The phrase you want to look for is “if you played it from your hand” (or “didn't” in the case of Phage). When you see “if you played it from your hand” you can read that as rules-lawyerian for “if you played it honestly”. Things like Tornado Elemental and Viridian Shaman don't really care how they got into play. Myojin or Phage + T&N = bad. Tornado Elemental T&N = no worries.

Crucible of Worlds
Q: If I have a Crucible of Worlds in play, can I use Budoka Gardener's ability to play extra lands from my graveyard? –Greg

A: No. The “as though” only applies to playing lands, not to effects that put lands into play.

*Extra*: Use the Crucible to play your land for the turn from the graveyard, and use the Gardener to put lands into play from your hand to maximize both options. You could even put a sac land into play with the Gardener, sacrifice it to search, and later put that same land into play with the Crucible as your land for the turn.

The key in both these questions revolves around the word “play”. Play by itself means playing (previously called “casting”) a spell or ability or putting a land into play as your land drop. When used in the phrase “put into play”, the play part is referring to the in-play zone. Putting something into play does not necessarily mean you've played it (such as the creatures put into play with Tooth and Nail), but playing things can result in you putting them into play (such as playing a creature spell and putting the resulting creature into play after it's not countered).

Look at these examples:
: You may put a land card from your hand into play…
When Viridian Shaman comes into play, destroy target artifact.
…comes into play with a divinity counter on it if you played it from your hand.

You could read those as:
: You may put a land card from your hand into “the in play zone”…
When Viridian Shaman comes into “the in play zone”, destroy target artifact.
…comes into “the in-play zone” with a divinity counter on it if you “cast” it from your hand.

The first example drops something right into play (the verb is “put”). The second example looks for entering play but doesn't care how it got there. And the third example looks for entering play and also wants to know how something got into play (“if played from your hand”).

That's all for this week from Saturday School. Later this month is the prerelease for Betrayers of Kamigawa. Of course that means we'll be having new cards, new mechanics, and new conundrums as well. Over the holidays I sent Scott Johns the biggest fruitcake ever, and he said if I promised to never do that again he'd let us have another preview card. How cool.

Class dismissed.


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