Ninth Edition on the Horizon

Posted in Feature on July 16, 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.

July 29th is the release date for Ninth Edition. Scott Johns has been doing a series of "preview" feature articles here on, and in case you haven't been paying attention, it's hot. I'd get distracted if I started talking about the set (like the guy on the box!), so let's go right to the questions.

Iname as One
Q: If I play Tooth and Nail and bring out two Iname as One, will I get two Spirits for them coming into play? If I bring out two Kokusho, the Evening Star, will the legend rule kill the Kokusho before the Iname allowing me to bring both Kokusho right back from the graveyard with the 2nd part of Iname's ability? --Josh

A: Iname as One's come into play ability only works if you played Iname from your hand. That means only if you put Iname on the stack and resolved Iname like a normal creature spell. Putting something into play isn't the same thing as playing it.

*Extra*: Instead, let's imagine you have a Vedalken Orrery with tons of mana and you play the second Iname as One in response to the first one's come into play trigger. The second one comes into play (having been played from your hand) and triggers. When you would get priority to put that trigger on the stack (with one Iname CIP trigger already stacked), state-based effects are checked, and the Iname as One become the two Iname Are Dead. This triggers their leaves-play triggers. State-based effects (having done something) recheck, and are fine. So we wind up with the first trigger still quietly sitting on the stack, and by the time you get to stack anything else, you have the other CIP trigger as well as two leaves-play triggers to stack in any order. Since I-as-1's second ability targets, you can only return something that's already in the graveyard as you stack the abilities.

Q: I play Goryo's Vengeance with another Goryo's Vengeance spliced onto it. The two targets I choose are two different Kokusho in my graveyard. I then play Twincast copying my big spell declaring the same targets. What happens? --Ric E.

A: The copy that Twincast makes will return the two Kokusho. Right after the copy resolves, state-based effects will check and kill the Kokusho. The abilities trigger and are stacked on top of the original Goryo's Vengeance. Once the triggers resolve, the original Goryo's will be countered because the targets are all gone. It doesn't matter that the corpses look similar-- once the Dragons left the graveyard, the Goryo's lost track of them.

Q: Dose legendary landwalk apply to basic or non-basic or just to lands that are legendary? --Greg

A: Legendary landwalk refers only to lands with the supertype "legendary." "Basic" is another supertype, but you won't see it on a legendary land. "Non-basic" doesn't have a specific supertype. Non-basic merely refers to lands without the supertype "Basic."

Q: Can Shining Shoal prevent damage from Hand of Cruelty? --Todd Parker

A: It can prevent from pro: white creatures. It can even prevent damage that would be dealt to pro: white creatures. Only the creature or player where the damage redirected to has to not be pro: white, since Shining Shoal only has the one target.

Q: I had an Avalanche Riders and a Skull Collector in play as well as a Distorting Lens. Can I change the Avalanche Riders black before the Skull Collector ability triggers? --Ryan C.

A: You won't have to change them that soon, which is good because you can't. Skull Collector doesn't target, so you don't decide which black creature to return until the ability is resolving. Respond to the trigger by turning your Avalanche Riders black, and you'll be able to select it as your black creature.

Q: Is flashback considered to be an activated ability? If I play Pithing Needle naming Cabal Therapy, can my opponent still use the flashback ability? --Adam

A: Flashback is a static ability, not activated [CR 502.22]. Pithing Needle won't help against Cabal Therapy.

Q: If I have Leveler and Sensei's Divining Top in play, during the next upkeep after I remove my library, am I able to tap my Top to put my Top on top of my library so I don't lose? --Sam

A: Actually, using the Top will finish you off. The first part of the ability is drawing a card. After that you put the Top on top of the library. If you had no cards to draw, you'd fail to draw, put the Top on the empty library, and then lose.

Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang
Q: I have a Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang removed from the game and a 5/5 Dragon token in play. I then cast Sway of the Stars. What happens to the token and Tatsumasa? --Don

A: The token Dragon is shuffled in with everything else (though you can't draw or discard it since it's not truly a card). When state-based effects are checked, the token officially ceases to exist. The Tatsumasa sits out for the rest of the game wondering what happened to its pretty blue Dragon.

Q: I have Budoka Gardener out. I sacrifice a Sakura-Tribe Elder to put a tenth land into play. Obviously I want to flip my gardener thought my mates believed that in order to do so I needed to use his ability. --Steve

A: Your mates are correct. The "If you control ten or more lands" is part of the activated ability; it's not a separate ability.

Q: If I have a Spirit en-Kor and a Sakura-Tribe Elder, can I redirect five damage onto the Sakura-Tribe Elder and sacrifice the Elder for a mana? --David

A: You can create the redirection shields. You can even sacrifice the Elder to get a land (from whence mana comes), but since the Elder is not there to receive the damage, the redirection does nothing, and the Spirit takes the damage.

Q: I was recently in a game where I had True Believer out and my opponent had a Megrim and an Abyssal Specter out. He attacks and says I have to discard and take damage from the Megrim. I argue that I don't since True Believer protects me from spells and abilities. --Sam K.

A: True Believer says you can't be targeted by spells or abilities, but Abyssal Specter and Megrim aren't targeted. Neither one says "target" on the card.

Q: The land Adarkar Wastes says it deals 1 damage to you when you tap for or . Does this damage target you? If so, could it be prevented by Ivory Mask? If not, could it be prevented by Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo? --Kelly G.

A: The "pain" lands don't target anyone, and because it's part of the mana ability, the ability doesn't use the stack. You'll have to use Opal-Eye's ability before you tap the pain land for mana.

*Extra*: City of Brass' damage comes from a triggered ability based on being tapped rather than as part of producing mana, so it does use the stack. You can respond to City of Brass' trigger with Opal-Eye, or even Stifle.

Gate to the Aether
Q: What happens if a Gate to the Aether comes into play from the effect of Gate to the Aether, do I get the second Gate's effect immediately?
--Rusty B.

A: No, the second Gate wasn't in play as your upkeep began.

Q: I was playing a 4 player multiplayer game. I enchanted an artifact creature with Coalition Flag, giving him the flagbearer ability, and my opponent has a Goblin Welder. I was wondering what sort of interaction occurs if I have no artifacts in my graveyard. --Jacob O.

A: Without a "target artifact card in that player’s graveyard" the player couldn't legally use the Welder on the Flagged creature. If you had an artifact in your graveyard, the Flag would kick in only if your opponent tried to weld something in your graveyard without welding the Flagbearer, too.

Q: After my opponent attacks me and we begin playing spells, I play Ray of Command on one of his creatures that he has declared as an attacker. What exactly happens? Does it stop attacking? --Derek M.

A: The Ray of Command untaps the creature, gives you the creature, and gives the creature haste. Since the creature has changed controllers, it is removed from combat. You may then reintroduce it to combat by blocking with it as you wish.

*Extra*: Creatures are removed from combat when they change controllers. They're also removed from combat when they use up a regeneration shield (but not when the shield is created), when the creature leaves play, or when a spell or ability specifically says it is removed from combat. Tapping or untapping a creature by itself does nothing to change whether or not a creature is attacking.

Q: Mageta the Lion's ability doesn't have the ":" after the tap sign so we thought it can't be played as an instant. My question is does a "," after the tap means it's not an instant? --Travis

A: It doesn't matter if there's a colon (:) or a comma (,) after the tap symbol. The colon is an easy way to determine if something is an activated ability. Unless the ability says otherwise, like on Disrupting Scepter or He Who Hungers, activated abilities are played like you would play an instant. The comma in Mageta's ability merely signifies that is part of the cost along with discarding two cards in order to get the effect. Activated abilities are always written as [cost] : [effect]. Deathmark Prelate, for example, has a mana cost, tap cost, and a sacrifice cost as well as the limitation that you can play the ability only when you could play a sorcery (during your main phase when you have priority and an empty stack).

*Extra*: The other punctuation that is a clear giveaway is the long dash (—) in the rules text. That long dash normally separates a card's type and subtype on the type line, but in the rules text it denotes a choice of modes for a spell. Cards as far back as the Red and Blue Elemental Blasts in Alpha were modal, and the entwine mechanic lets you choose multiple modes.

Q: If my opponent plays a Wrath of God and I have a creature with Sword of Light and Shadow equipped to it, does it die? --Edward

A: Yes. Protection from white would prevent damage and make it untargetable to white, but Wrath doesn't damage or target.

Q: Can you use Treva, the Renewer's ability more than once from one attack? --Pengyi L.

Q: No, the Invasion Dragons trigger off dealing damage, and one attack generally means only one damage event.

*Extra*: If you equipped Treva with a Fireshrieker, then Treva would deal damage twice, and you could use the ability each time.

Q: If I sacrifice Mindslicer to Skulltap, do I discard my hand and draw two cards or do I draw two cards first and the discard my hand? --Hans G.

A: Sacrificing the creature is an additional cost. You put the spell on the stack and pay the cost to play the spell. This triggers Mindslicer when it was sacrificed while paying the cost. Then you resolve the ability, and everyone discards his or her hand. Then you resolve the spell and draw two cards.

Q: If I have both Candelabra of Tawnos and Dormant Volcano, have I got infinite mana? I tap Volcano for , and then I use Candelabra's power and to untap the Volcano… --Fabrizio

A: Look at your Candelabra of Tawnos again. See the phrase "Mono Artifact"? When Magic first started, the didn't exist. The phrase "Mono Artifact" meant you could use it only once. Since then, all Mono Artifacts have been errataed to be just artifacts with a in the cost of the ability. When you spend to untap Dormant Volcano, you need to also tap the Candelabra. Check for the latest in card wordings.

Q: Will the new Goblin King being a Goblin make prior printings of Goblin King into Goblins or will they still just be Lords? --David

A: When a card is reprinted with new text all versions of that card are considered to match that text. All Goblin Kings will be played like they're functionally equivalent to the Ninth Edition one.

*Extra*: Do note that only Ninth Edition cards are receiving the [Creature] Lord update. Lords not appearing in Ninth Edition are still just Lords. Sorry, Kobold Overlord.

Speaking of Ninth Edition, elease events are coming up in two weeks. Check your local store's schedule to figure out when they're being held. Since the events can be on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you can even go to multiple events if the schedules don't conflict between stores. Be one of the first to bring a friend, and get hooked up with a very sweet Serra Angel deck box featuring the new art. Good luck, and have fun!

Class dismissed.


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