The Middle of a GP Three-fer

Posted in Feature on November 19, 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.

I hope everyone enjoyed 2HG weekend last week. I was glad to see so much interest in such a fun and sociable format. Even with the added strategy of simultaneous combat and decks designed to work together, the rules questions that came up where I was generally were just me confirming what players expected--a sign that playing 2HG is easy to do, though it may be hard to master.

Induce Paranoia
Q: My opponent taps ten creatures to convoke Autochthon Wurm for five. I counter it with Induce Paranoia using . Does my opponent put five or 15 cards into his graveyard from his library? --Alec W.

A: The converted mana cost is still 15 even though the play cost was reduced. Your opponent will be milled for 15.

Q: If I used Kaho, Minamo Historian to remove from the game a card like Induce Paranoia, would I still be able to pay the second color of mana and get the additional effect? --David S.

A: Using Kaho allows a spell to be played without paying its mana cost. Thus, no color bonuses would be granted since no color was spent for the no mana used to play it.

*Extra*: Comparatively, Fist of Suns allows you to spend to play a spell instead of it's normal cost. In that case, you would be spending mana to play Induce Paranoia, so you would get the enhanced version of the effect. By my count only Flash Conscription and Dryad's Caress would be "cheaper" this way.

Q: How to kill Phytohydra? Can I use Last Gasp to kill it? --Alex J.

A: Assuming it's not larger than 3/3 already, yes.

Q: Stinkweed Imp has a destroy effect. Would Phytohydra die?! People have been telling me damage turns into counters. Judges at my shop are to hard to convince so I need more proof, please!! Help me1!! --Richard

A: Ok! We can see that "instead" means the Phytohydra's ability creates a replacement effect. [CR 419.1a] So instead of taking damage, the Hydra gets counters. The damage never happens. [CR 419.5] No damage from the Imp means no trigger. Looks like the proof isn't on your side for this one.

Q: My opponent attacks with a White Knight. I block with Llanowar Elves and then play Gaze of the Gorgon. Does the White Knight die? --James Waterbury

A: Yes. Protection from whatever doesn't stop untargeted destruction effects. All that the Gaze needs to see is what creature was blocking or blocked, and your Knight turns to stone at the end of combat (shortly after the Elf regenerates from two points of first strike).

*Extra*: Protection prevents damage, knocks off enchantments and equipment, makes the critter unblockable, and shuts down targeting (DEBT). The Gaze was targeting the Elf, and the destruction came from an effect, not damage that would have been prevented.

Q: With Eye of the Storm, can I play sorceries removed from the game by Eye of the Storm during my opponent's turn? --Jorge J.

A: Yes, if someone plays an instant on their opponent's turn, the Eye will trigger, and all spells--instants and sorceries--on the Eye will be available for the playing.

Q: Do Spellweaver Helix and Eye of the Storm combo with each other? --Jacob K.

A: No, both specify cards being played. What you play from their abilities are copies of cards. The copies won't cause a trigger loop.

Q: If you have a creature with Followed Footsteps and Flight of Fancy on it does the creature token have flying? --Tim Z.

A: Not unless the creature naturally has flying. The granted flying ability isn't a copiable value.

*Extra*: Copiable values (values copied by things like Followed Footsteps), are the object as printed (or originally created if it's a token) plus existing copy effects. For example, a Clone that copied a Rabid Wombat as it came into play will give you Rabid Wombat tokens out of a Followed Footsteps.

Q: Dimir Doppelganger copies a flip creature Kuon, Ogre Ascendant. Then the Doppelganger flips into an enchantment. Will the flipped enchantment retain its ability to copy? --Vladimir E.

A: The copiable values of the flipped Dimir-Essence are the printed values plus copy effects, so yes, you'll have a flipped Kuon's Essence that can turn into someone else.

*Extra*: Once you've flipped a Dimir Doppelganger, any new form it takes will also be flipped. For Serra Angel, this means nothing, but it does mean you could remove a Nezumi Shortfang with your Dimir-Kuon's Essence and get a Dimir-Stabwhisker the Odious. You could even use a Dimir-Stabwhisker to remove an Ascendant/Essence in response to a creature removal spell aimed at Dimir-Stabwhisker. The resulting flipped D-Essence wouldn't be a creature and would cause the creature destruction to be countered (if it had just D-S as target).

Q: I have a Dimir Doppelganger in play that has copied (removed) a couple creatures. Then it copies a Sisters of Stone Death. Can I put creatures removed with the Doppelganger ability into play with the Sister ability? --Joep V.

A: No, the Dimir removals are handled differently than the Sister removals. If an ability refers to removed cards, that ability must be either printed on the card with the ability that removed the cards, or both the remove and retrieve abilities must have been copied at the same time. [CR 217.7d]

Q: Since Warp World counts all permanents you "own" would this include tokens given to your opponent via Hunted Dragon or the like? --John H.

A: Yes, you own tokens created by your spells and abilities. [CR 200.4a] You'll get to reveal cards for Warp World even for tokens you gave to your opponent.

Q: What would happen if my opponent decides to dredge a card while I have a Nezumi Graverobber? --Robb

A: Your opponent will mill himself for the dredge number, and he'll put the dredge card into his hand. Because dredge is a replacement, you'll have to Graverobber the dredge card before your opponent would draw. You can't use the Graverobber in the middle of dredging.

Q: Can Selesnya Sanctuary be played on the first turn since there is no land to return to the owner's hand? --Joe P.

A: It can, but then you'll have to return Selesnya Sanctuary to your hand.

Q: I played Char targeting Godo, Bandit Warlord. My opponent sacrificed it to Miren, the Moaning Well. Since Godo is no longer a valid target do I still take the 2 damage from Char? --Patrick

A: No, the whole spell is countered for lack of target. This includes the untargeted two damage.

Rally the Righteous
Q: After dealing combat damage to the opponent with my creatures, I used Rally the Righteous to untap my creatures. Can I attack again that turn? --Gino C.

A: No, untapping creatures doesn't allow additional combat.

*Extra*: Godo, Bandit Warlord's ability allows an additional combat. If you have creatures that aren't Samurai, they won't untap from Godo's ability, but the extra combat will be there for them. That would be an excellent time to use Rally the Righteous on your non-Samurai. They'd be angrier and untapped so they can join in Godo's second attack.

Q: What are the effects of using Rally the Righteous on a hybrid mana creature like Boros Recruit? What happens if I play it on a two mana creature like Thundersong Trumpeter? --Ben

A: Both creatures are multicolored, and the radiant effect will apply to all other creatures that are either white or red in whole or in part.

*Extra*: You can think of hybrid mana as squeezing multicolored into just one mana symbol.

Q: How does Thundersong Trumpeter work? Are attacker and blocker declarations only placeholders until you pass priority? --Michael K.

A: Attack and block declarations are checked for legality, and then the attacker gets priority. There is no time in between choosing and attacker and checking the legality to use Thundersong Trumpeter. You'll have to activate him in the step either before attackers (beginning of combat step) or before blockers (declare attacker step) are declared based on what you're trying to control.

Q: If I have a Bloodbond March in play, and I play a Clone., do I get Clones back from my graveyard, or do I get whatever it is I have Cloned? --John F.

A: You'll get Clones from the graveyard. As you put them into play, you'll pick what each Clone is copying.

Q: In a 2HG game, can I play Master Warcraft and have my opponent attack my teammate? --Eric McD.

A: No, you control attacker and blockers, but the "head" that gets hit with combat damage is decided by each attacking creature's controller as that creature's damage is stacked.

Q: Can I tap a tapped creature when using convoke? --Bram B.

A: No, it's impossible to actually tap an already tapped thing. (An effect might try, but that effect will do nothing with the tapping.)

*Extra*: You can tap creatures that are summoning sick for convoke. You can also tap creatures that have been Arrested or Faith's Fettersed. Tapping for convoke isn't an ability of the creature you'd be tapping.

Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
Q: I killed a Circu, Dimir Lobotomist with a Volcanic Hammer. Because Circu left play, I thought I could again play cards he lobotomized, and I was told that I couldn't. How is this different than the example of Boomerang on a Circu? --Shawn B.

A: The two examples aren't different. If Circu leaves play--whether by bounce or by burn--the effect that kept nonland cards with the same from being played has ended. [CR 217.1c]

Q: How do Gleancrawler and Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker interact? Can I choose where a creature goes? --Joe S.

A: On your turn you'll have a choice about creatures with power 1 or less by stacking the two abilities in either order. Be careful though--Gleancrawler's ability isn't optional, so if you want your 1-power creatures put into play, you have to stack Shirei triggers on top of the Gleancrawler trigger.

Q: I have a Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker in play. My Carrion Ants, pumped +4/+4, is sent to the graveyard. Do I get it back at the end of the turn? --Michael E.

A: No, while the corpse might have 0 power, the Ant that died had a power of 4.

Q: Can I use Lifespinner's ability to sack it, Haru-Onna, and Forked-Branch Garami and then use the Forked-Branch Garami's soulshift to bring back the other two cards? --Hector

A: Yes. All three will be put into the graveyard, and Garami triggers. As you stack that trigger, Haru-Onna and Lifespinner will be legal targets for the soulshifts.

Q: Is "each" the same as "target"? --Zyqox

A: No. Only "target" means target. Magic is very particular about the importance of the word target. As for "each," the normal rules of English apply to each.

Q: Can Gigapede be enchanted by Auras? --Thomas McC.

A: Somewhat. Can it have Auras on it? Yes. Is it easy to do? No, because Aura spells target. In order to get an Aura onto Gigapede, you'll need something like Enduring Ideal or Show and Tell that puts the Aura directly into play. You choose the place to put the Aura as it comes into play.

Q: What's the difference between +X/+X and */* on creature's toughness and power? My friend says +X/+X is static while */* is dynamic. --Vince

A: A spell or activated ability that grants +X/+X will lock in the value of X as it resolves. The * in a creature's power and/or toughness will be defined by some ability that creature has (dynamic is a good word here). For example, if you have four cards in hand, Maro is a 4/4. If you play Strength of Cedars targeting Maro, Maro drops to 3/3. With five lands in play as the Cedars resolves, Maro gets +5/+5. If you then play a land, Maro's */* drops to 2/2, but the Cedars stays at +5/+5.

Q: I have an Illusions of Grandeur and an Avarice Totem in play. It is the start of my upkeep. What happens when I stack the upkeep trigger of Illusions and then "donate" (spend swapping Totem for Illusions and then Totem for something of theirs in response) Illusions to my opponent? --Don L.

A: Not much. You'll put an age counter on the Illusions, and then you'll either pay or not pay for the upkeep. However, since you don't control the Illusions, you won't be able to sacrifice it.

Last weekend GP Philadelphia showcased the hottest decks in the Legacy format. This weekend and next weekend are Extended GPs on opposite ends of the world. This weekend is GP Bilbao. Bilbao shares a bit of trivia with Magic's home, Seattle--both cities have eye-catching landmark buildings by famed architect Frank Gehry. Next weekend is GP Beijing. The format is also Extended, and you can bet that Asia is going to keep a close eye on what comes out of Europe this weekend.

Class Dismissed.

--Carter

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