Kamigawa Kontinued

Posted in Feature on September 18, 2004

By John Carter

Send your rules questions to Magic Rules Manager John Carter. Can't find the answer to your question somewhere else? Maybe he's already answered it! Try the Saturday School Searchable Rules Database.

Champions of Kamigawa's prerelease is September 18th and 19th, so if you're reading this Saturday morning, just print it out, and head to the nearest prerelease event. Better yet, grab some buddies so you can drive while they read (or vice versa—just don't try both). Are we there yet? Are we? Good. Don't forget to snag one of those nifty prerelease promotional foils. Like I mentioned last week, Urza's Saga (the first prerelease with a promo) had a dragon promo, too.

Last week we covered several things Kamigawa brings to the Magic universe. Bushido pumps a guy who blocks or is blocked. Players everywhere will be flipping out for the “heroes” of Kamigawa—creatures that flip into bigger, badder guys when they activate and meet certain conditions. And of course there's the change in the Legend Rule. This week we'll cover Soulshift, Defender, Vigilance, and Splice. Let's start by recapping last week with some fresh questions.

Legendary Critters

The biggest shift in the rules is synchronizing the Legend / Legendary dichotomy. As of Saturday, September 18th all “Creature—Legend”s will become “Legendary Creature”s. When Kamigawa arrives, there will be only one word to refer to fabled permanents… Legendary.

Q: With " Creature—Legend " becoming "Legendary Creature” this will it seems create the first group of nonartifact creatures with no creature subtype. Do you plan to introduce appropriate subtypes for such creatures when the transformation takes place? --Maritn T.

A: Yes, the update means Karn, Silver Golem is now a “Legendary Artifact Creature—Golem”, and Gerrard Capashen is just a “Legendary Creature” with neither race nor class. No, there is no plan to update all the creature types of every “Legend—Creature”.
If my count is correct, there will be 133 “unemployed” Legends… from Adun Oakenshield to Zuo Ci, the Mocking Sage. If a Legendary Creature gets hired for Magic again, R&D will take another look at editing their creature types. Here's a list straight from the unemployment office.

Q: I am wondering about Mistform Ultimus and the Legends Rule. Is Legend still a creature type for the Ultimus, with no rules baggage? --Rick B.

A: No. Legend is no longer a creature type at all. The supertype “Legendary” has replaced the creature type “Legend”. No creature types have intrinsic rules baggage as of September 18th, 2004.

The updated text of Mistform Ultimus is:

Mistform Ultimus

Legendary Creature -- Illusion
Mistform Ultimus is every creature type (even if this card isn't in play).

Do note the MU is still a Wall, but he/she/it does not have the Defender ability. Thus, Ultimus can attack even those he's a Wall (most Walls have been given the Defender ability).

Q: I'm wondering how the Legendary Rules applies if I have 3 or more copies of the same flip card when a second one becomes the legendary version. Does the Legend Rule put all three in the graveyard, or just the legendary two? --Mark H.

A: If two flip cards are Legendary, only those two will be put into the graveyard(s). While flip cards have two sets of characteristics, only one set applies at any given time.

Q: Under the new Legend Rule if someone were to cast Soul Nova on an attacking Kaldra and the player responded by paying a colorless mana and creating a new Kaldra, would the equipment still be removed from the game upon resolution of the Soul Nova?

A: No, the equipment would not be removed from the game. Let's look at Helm of Kaldra (post change, of course): “: If you control Equipment named Helm of Kaldra, Sword of Kaldra, and Shield of Kaldra, put a legendary 4/4 colorless Avatar creature token named Kaldra into play and attach those Equipment to it.”

When the Kaldra-making ability resolves, Kaldra #2 is put into play, and Kaldra #2 gets a bunch of equipment attached to it. Once that's done, the active player will get priority [CR 408.1c]. When that player would get priority [CR 420.3], state-based effect will invoke the Legend Rule [CR 420.5e] and put both Kaldras in the graveyard. State-based effects will check a second time [CR 420.3], and this time they'll make the Kaldra tokens in the graveyard cease to exist [CR 420.5f]. End result: the Soul Nova is countered because the target is invalid (and for the record wasn't even equipped when it left).

Q: I see you using "supertype" and "type" often; "Supertype" referring to instances such as "Legendary", "Artifact", and "Creature". You use "type" to refer to "Arcane," "Hound", and "Rat". I was under the impression that a card's "type" was what you call a "supertype", and your "type" was called "subtype." Some clarification, please? --Isaac

A: No problem. We'll start big and go small.

First off, the supertype [CR 212.1d] I've been talking about lately is “Legendary”. Legend and Legendary have been around a long time, but it's only with Kamigawa that the two were melted together and Legendary made into a supertype. Supertypes always appear to the left of the dash on the “type line”. Another famous supertype is “basic” as in “Basic Land—Forest”.

In the example given, “Land” would be the card's type. Types are those familiar categories… artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, or sorcery. A subtype is the part that appears after the dash. In the example, Forest would be the subtype of the land. This gets confusing because a subtype is often referred to as a “type type”. For example, Forest is a “land type” [CR 212.6c]. The same thing comes up with creature (sub)types as well. [CR 212.3c].

Now let's put it all together:

Isamaru, Hound of Konda is a “Legendary Creature—Hound”. It has a supertype (Legendary), a type (Creature), and a subtype that's also referred to as a creature type (Hound). And Taiga's wording is “Land— Mountain Forest”. It has no supertype (thus it's not Basic), its type is land, and its subtype (or “land type”) is both Mountain and Forest. Having these land types lets you landcycle for a Taiga, but not having the Basic supertype is why you can't Rampant Growth for a Taiga.

Q: Assume a Lifeline, a Legendary creature, and another creature is in play. If a second copy of the Legendary creature is put in play and both are destroyed, would they come back into play for an instant at the end of the turn? And then what would happen after that? –Alex

Yosei, the Morning Star
A: Each turn will have a moment with two Legendary copies being mutually destructive.

Review Lifeline's wording (Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play and another creature is in play, return the first creature from that graveyard to play under its owner's control at end of turn.). Now let's scale down Alex's scenario. After all, if you have two Legendary creatures in play, Lifeline will apply even though they're both going away at the same time. Now, let's pick a Legendary creature. Oh, I like Yosei, the Morning Star.

So I play a second Yosei, and Yosei #2 comes into play, and the two guys are both put into the graveyard. That triggers the Lifeline for each. Oh yeah, and that's two triggers of “When Yosei, the Morning Star is put into a graveyard from play, target player skips his or her next untap step. Tap up to five target permanents that player controls.” So I'll target… let's say you… and tap five of your things… twice over. When my end of turn step comes around I put two triggers on the stack. Resolve the first one and get a Yosei back. Resolve the second one and whoopsie—tap ten more things and skip two more turns. Now you take your turn—don't forget, you're skipping this untap and the next three. When we get to your end of turn, here come the Yoseis… ten more permanents and two more skipped untaps. I'll take my turn now… Thanks!

Stop It

Q: Time Stop says to remove all spells and abilities from the stack. Is this considered countering the spells? For example, what happens when Obliterate is cast and in response I cast Time Stop. --Michael S.

A: No, they're not countered. Obliterate (and whatnot) will be removed from the stack. They never get to resolve. The turn skips to the cleanup step.

Q: Time Stop says remove everything on the stack from the game. Does that mean that if someone is playing a Darksteel Colossus, and I play Time Stop in response the Colossus, regardless of being indestructible and his shuffle ability, is removed from game? --Chris

A: Yes, the Colossus is removed. Perhaps he could visit his buddy, Mr. Obliterate.

Q: Concerning Time Stop, you said that someone will mana burn if there's mana in his mana pool. Does that mean that I can play it right after my opponent taps his mana but before he plays a spell? --Andre G.

A: No. You cannot play Time Stop unless you have priority to play spells. If your opponent is just tapping mana (playing mana abilities), then they will still be able to announce a Tooth and Nail (or whatnot) before you can play Time Stop.

*Extra* Spells like Dark Ritual and Seething Song aren't mana abilities. If someone needs 7 mana and wants to tap , play Seething Song, resolve it and use of that for another Seething Song, you could Time Stop in between the two. This works because Seething Song is a spell, not a mana ability. Unless the opponent can use the leftover from the first Seething Song, he's going to burn for two.

Q: You confused me with the Final Fortune/Time Stop thing. It seemed like you were trying to avoid the question. So, DO I LOSE? Yes or no, lay it straight. One word.

A: No.

Q: What's up with last week's Time Stop / Waylay thing?

A: Ok, here's how it works… Things that say “at end of turn” will trigger the next time the game reaches the end of turn step [CR 313.1]. Permanents tend to have a triggered ability that will apply regardless of the turn. Spells (like Waylay) and abilities (like Sneak Attack) tack on a trigger but only once. If you Time Stop early, that delayed trigger is still ready to go off [CR 404.4b]. If you let the trigger event occur and Time Stop before it resolves, the delayed trigger will have gone off and not trigger again—you'll keep the tokens (or the Sneak-y creature).

Q: My Defiant Elf got pumped and it would be a 9/9 until end of turn. My question is: can I play Time Stop in response to my creature loosing the +8/+8 to make it a permanent 9/9? --Nick B.

A: No. You can play the Time Stop before losing the pump, but then the turn will skip to the cleanup where the pump goes away and the turn itself ends.

Champions of the Last Week

Tide of War
Q: Excuse me but I was wondering something about the preview card Tide of War? If you have only one creature block and you win the flip, he loses his entire army correct, not just the one you blocked?

Also can you react to losing the flip with Spore Frog? --Larry C.

A: The card says “the blocked creatures”—so only one. And no, if your frog gets caught by the Tide (ie: you let the flip resolve), then the frog will either get squashed or live happily ever after.

*Extra* Block with the frog and then sacrifice it in response to the trigger. The blocked creature is still considered blocked even though the frog croaked.

Q: Can I use the Sensei's Divining Top's “: Draw a card, then put Sensei's Divining Top on top of its owner's library” ability in response to using it's “: Look at the top three cards of your library, then put them back in any order” ability. If so, does the Top return to the library in time for the reordering of the three cards to take place? Will it be one of those cards?

A: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Q: My question is about the new flip creatures: after the creature has flipped to become the legendary creature, can an Engineered Explosives with zero counters destroy it?
--Ryan Carper

A: No. The mana cost (and thus, the converted mana cost) remains the same. [CR 508.1c A flip card's color, mana cost, expansion symbol, illustration credit, and legal text don't change if the permanent has been flipped. Also, any changes to it by external effects will still apply.]

Q: I was blown away by the "flip" card Nezumi Shortfang / Stabwhisker the Odious. My question: How does Duplicant interact with "flip" cards? Or, in other words, which power/toughness does Duplicant take on? --Ian B.

A: Duplicant uses the unflipped characteristics. [CR 508.2]

Shifting Gears

Now that we've caught up some, let's move on to the Kamigawa mechanics we didn't cover last week. First up: Soulshift. Kamigawa is full of Spirits. Several of these Spirits have a triggered ability named Soulshift. When a Soulshifting creature goes to the graveyard from play, you may return a less expensive Spirit creature card from your graveyard to your hand. This is written as “Soulshift: X”. When you put the trigger on the stack, you target a Spirit card (“Spirit” will appear on the type line) that has a mana cost of X or less. When the ability resolves, you return the targeted card to your hand.

Defender and Vigilance

Defender and Vigilance are updated terms for old mechanics.

Defender is a new keyword, and the keyword is what carries all the baggage that “Wall” used to have. If a creature has Defender, then it cannot attack.

Q: I was playing against my friend, who had Aurification out. I attacked with my Mistform Ultimus, and got through for damage. My friend said that Mistform Ultimus could not attack anymore, but I said he could-- who is right? --Jared S.

A: The Ultimus can't attack. Check out Aurification (post Legendary / Defender change). “Whenever a creature deals damage to you, put a gold counter on it.

Each creature with a gold counter on it has defender. (Those creatures can't attack.)

When Aurification leaves play, remove all gold counters from all creatures.”

Getting Aurified doesn't change your creature type, it now gives you a new ability—the ability to defend… only defend.

Easy? Of course. And Vigilance? Also easy:

Vigilance is the keyword for an ability that's been around since 1993. Back in the day we'd say, "Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.” Well, no more! Now our Serra Angels and Steadfast Guards are vigilant.

Splice and Dices

Glacial Ray
Splice is an ability of a card. It allows you to graft the text of a spell onto another spell without using up the original. Using splice is similar to using buyback or kicker. When you play an Arcane spell (Instant—Arcane or Sorcery—Arcane) you may reveal cards with “Splice onto Arcane”. If you do, you'll chose targets for the splice and pay the cost for the splice. Here's a quick blurb from the Kamigawa FAQ:
"Splice onto [type or subtype] [cost]" means "You may reveal this card from your hand as you play a [type or subtype] spell. If you do, copy this card's text box onto that spell and pay [cost] as an additional cost to play that spell."

With the Kamigawa update, the rules now allow for a spell with multiple instances of the word target to target the same thing for each instance. So a Glacial Ray with another Glacial Ray spliced onto it can target the same creature twice. However, spells that say “target creature and another target creature” still have to target separate creatures.

Other key points to remember are:

  • You may splice multiple spells onto one spell
  • You cannot splice the same spell onto a spell multiple times
  • Splicing onto a spell adds a copy of the text box onto the text of the spell
  • The original spell is what is doing the work, so splicing a Glacial Ray (a red spell) onto a green Arcane spell would let you deal damage (from the Ray splice) to a Protection from Red creature because it's a green spell dealing the damage

Q: When you splice a spell like Glacial Ray, you reveal it, pay the splice cost, then it returns to your hand, correct?

A: Mostly, yes. You'll reveal the Glacial Ray and chose targets as applicable. When you pay the cost for the spell, you'll also pay for the splice.

*Extra* If something reduces the cost to play spells (such as a Helm of Awakening or Nightscape Familiar), it can reduce the mana needed for a splice. It won't reduce the mana cost and the splice— reductions apply after adding increasers.

Q: Can you choose different targets for the splice effect and the original spell?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you splice a single spell on to an arcane spell multiple times?

A: No. When you chose to splice one or more cards onto a spell you reveal all of the cards at once. (This is much like revealing cards for Amplify from Legions.)

Q: Does splicing use the stack, or is it like Entwine, where opponents don't have an opportunity to respond to it?

A: Splicing is part of announcing a spell. Opponents can't respond to the splicing, but they will always have a chance to respond to the spell that's being announced when you splice onto it.

Q: If a spliced spell is countered, then the spliced effect is countered as part of that, correct?

A: Yes. Splicing doesn't make multiple spells, it makes the one spell do more.

*Extra* As a matter of fact, if you splice a targeted spell onto a non-targeted spell, and then the target goes away, then the whole spells is countered [CR 413.2a].

That about wraps us for now. Next week we'll cover any little things that come up about Kamigawa. Additionally we've got a pile of questions waiting to be answered. Next week—catch up time on the “normal” questions.

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