One Week and Counting

Posted in Feature on July 23, 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.

Ninth Edition hits stores on July 29th-- that's next Friday. Many stores all over are hosting special Release Events that Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to celebrate the latest generation of the Core Set. Of course Wizards of the Coast has hooked them up with goodies for the players who want to join the party. For now, on to the questions…

Celestial Kirin
Q: If I have Celestial Kirin and play an Arcane spell with Panoptic Mirror, would the converted mana cost be 0 and ergo all lands would be destroyed? --Sperry P.

A: Playing the copy will trigger the Kirin. And the Mirror covers the mana cost for the copy of the spell you played, but the converted mana cost of the spell is the same regardless of how much mana you actually spent. For example, a Glacial Ray from a Panoptic Mirror costs you nothing, but it's converted mana cost is the mana cost of converted into 2.

Q: Can I let a creature with double or first strike deal its damage, and then ninjutsu something into play in its place and still have the Ninja deal damage? --Travis D.

A: Yes. If there's first strike or double strike to deal with, you don't put regular damage on the stack until after you've resolved the first/double strike and both players pass on an empty stack.

*Extra*: You could even give first strike to a Ninja of the Deep Hours, have it deal its 2 points of first strike and draw a card from the trigger. Before passing after the trigger resolves, use a some other Ninja to return the Ninja of the Deep Hours, and then ninjutsu the fresh back in return for the Ninja of the Deep Hours to draw another card. Just don't pass on the empty stack while pulling this off.

Q: If I have an Ogre Marauder with Lure on him, and I attack, what happens?! --Erick W.

A: The Ogre Marauder's ability will trigger. As that ability resolves, the defending player will either sacrifice a creature or not. If a creatures is sacrificed, then all the defending players other creatures that can block must block. If no creature is sacrificed, then the Ogre gains the text "Ogre Marauder can't be blocked," so no creatures will be able to block it, and they can block elsewhere as desired.

Q: Can I play Tooth and Nail (entwined) to search for Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro and Sosuke, Son of Seshiro, then put Sachi and an Eternal Witness and into play from my hand? --E3

A: Yes. There's no requirement that the creatures you search for be the creatures you actually put into play.

Before There Was Kamigawa

Pristine Angel
Q: What happens if I have both a Serra's Blessing and a Pristine Angel in play? Would the enchantment affect her or not? --Murphy

A: Yes, your Pristine Angel is now that much harder to kill. The Blessing effect doesn't Damage, Enchant/Equip, Block, or Target (DEBT) her, so it works fine.

*Extra*: The same would be true for enchantments like Orcish Oriflamme or Crusade. Something like Captive Flame wouldn't work (unless the Angel is tapped) because it would have to target the Angel.

Q: With Tsabo's Decree, does the spell fizzle if the target opponent has none of the chosen creature type in their hand because of the word 'then', or does the second part still work? --Andrew S.

A: The spell wouldn't be countered on resolution (the technical term for "fizzle"), and the second part works fine. The only target is the player. You don't even name the creature type until you're resolving the spell-- just before you look at the player's hand. If the spell were to be countered (because something like Gilded Light made the player untargetable), it would have been countered before you ever named the creature type. Even if the player has no cards in hand that match the chosen creature type, the creatures in play with that creature type will still be destroyed.

Q: My friend has a Sorceress Queen in play, and I have an Arcbound Slith with three +1/+1 counters on it. I attack with the Slith. If Sorceress Queen taps to make my Arcbound Slith a 0/2, would he still deal 3 damage because of the three counters on him, or does Sorceress Queen cancel out the counters as well? --Firewing1

A: The Queen's ability is applied in the same layer as the counters' effect [CR 418.5a], however, the effect of counters within that layer is applied first, then continuous effects are applied [CR Glossary: Counter (2)]. Even if you added counters after the Queen's effect, the result remains a 0/2 creature until end of turn.

Q: If my opponent has a creature in play with a Loxodon Warhammer attached to it. I copy it using Clone, does the Clone copy the power bonus and other abilities from the equipment? --Ben B

A: The effects from the Loxodon Warhammer aren't copied. Copiable values are an objects normal characteristics plus copy effects (and face-down values if the object is face-down and choices made while playing the object if it's on the stack). Since the Warhammer bonuses aren't copy effects, they're not copied.

*Extra*: In case you haven't been keeping up with the Countdown to Ninth Edition, Clone is back in the Core Set, and Loxodon Warhammer introduces equipment to the Core Set.

Q: What exactly is the difference between damage and combat damage? --Tommy

A: Damage can refer to any kind of damage. Combat damage is damage, but it's specifically the damage that creatures deal to creatures or players that is put on the stack as the first action taken during the combat damage step [CR 310]. Being in combat when something deals damage doesn't make it "combat" damage.

*Extra*: The distinction is important when considering a card like Ninth Edition's old-school king of discard, Hypnotic Specter, versus Invasion's hastey Blazing Specter. The Blazing Specter must deal combat damage to force the discard. Good ol' Hyppie isn't so picky. You can put a Viridian Longbow on Hypnotic Specter and poke your opponent for a point and a card because the Hypnotic Specter doesn't care if the damage he deals is combat damage or any sort of damage.

Q: My friends claim that by playing Laquatus's Champion, I lose 6 life, and in response to this they can sacrifice the Champion to an Ashnod's Altar, therefore preventing me from gaining the life back. They claim that because the wording on the Champion says "that player" is on the part of the card that would resolve first and being that I am not targeted until later in the stack, I can't gain the life. Please straighten this out for me. --Greg M.

A: Your "friends" can respond to the trigger-- as a matter of fact, they can't sacrifice the Champion until after the trigger has been stacked. However, when they stacked the trigger, they also had to pick a target-- you. When the Champion gets sacrificed, it will know that you are the target for the life loss, and it will grant you six life. The only thing sacrificing the Champion in response to the trigger is reverse the normal lose-gain order.

*Extra*: A similar maneuver that is effective with Nightmares is the same type of thing but with the Nightmares that remove objects. Let's use Faceless Butcher, for example. Play Faceless, and when its ability triggers, target your opponent's Rhox. In response to the trigger, sacrifice Faceless Butcher to your Phyrexian Plaguelord to give something (even the Butcher) -1/-1. Since the Butcher left play, the leaves-play triggers and goes on top of the comes-into-play trigger. The leaves-play trigger returns nothing (since nothing has been removed), and then the CIP trigger removes Rhox from the game forever.

Dross Crocodile
Q: My brother keeps insisting that when he equips his Dross Crocodile with Whispersilk Cloak, that the Arrest that is already enchanting is destroyed because the equipment says that the Crocodile can't be the target of spell of abilities. Is he right? --Brandon M.

A: No, the Arrest is a permanent, not a spell or ability, so it's not going anywhere.

*Extra*: People often think that untargetability removes enchantments like protection does. While untargetability is a part of protection, there's another part that specifically makes enchantments and equipment fall off if they're have the characteristic that the permanent is protected from. That rule has to exist in addition to the untargetability because enchantment and equipment attached to a permanent aren't spells and abilities.

Q: A argued with B about regenerating artifacts. A sacrificed his Sunbeam Spellbomb to gain five life and tried to get it back from the graveyard by using the ability on Auriok Salvagers. B said he couldn't because he scarified it. How does regeneration work on creatures and artifacts? Does it mean getting it back from the graveyard? --Googi O.

A: Regeneration means saving something from ever going to the graveyard. Getting something back from the graveyard is often referred to as "regrowing," based on the Alpha card Regrowth. Regeneration won't stop a sacrifice, and things in the graveyard can't be regenerated, but they can be regrown.

Q: If I have a Dralnu's Crusade and a Ruby Medallion in play, will my Goblin spells (assuming they are red) still cost one less mana to play? --Brendan

A: The Goblin spells you play (such as Goblin King once his Ninth Edition wording becomes legal!) are still as red as ever as will still be affected by Ruby Medallion.

*Extra*: With the new wording from Ninth Edition, any Goblin King would cost only in this scenario and would come into play as a 3/3 black Goblin Lord Zombie that gives other Goblins +1/+1 and mountainwalk.

Q: With Lava Zombie, does a player need a red or black creature to return to his hand to play the Zombie? --Don C.

A: You don't need any creatures to play Lava Zombie, but you'll find that as the gating trigger resolves, you do have a red or black creature to return-- the Lava Zombie itself.

Prohibit
Q: I played Fireball paying five mana for the X, so six total. It would have killed my opponent, but he used Prohibit on it claiming that the X wasn't part of the mana cost, is this legal? --Matt

A: The X is part of the converted mana cost of a spell on the stack. In any other zone you'd ignore the X, but a Fireball with X= 5 on the stack has a converted mana cost of 6. Prohibit won't be very effective against it.

*Extra*: Notice the Prohibit has an if clause referring to its target. Your opponent can play the Prohibit on the Fireball because it is a "target spell," but since the converted mana cost is six, the spell does nothing with or without the kicker.

Q: If I use Auriok Windwalker's ability, would it be like using an equip ability or an attach ability? Would the equipment be permanently attached or attached until end of turn? --Kohl

A: Let's clarify a few things first. One, theirs is no "attach ability." There are abilities, like Auriok Windwalker's, that have the effect of attaching something. Fifth Dawn even had a cycle of equipment, such as Cranial Plating, that had a normal equip ability and a secondary ability that could attach the equipment. They're similar, but equip abilities have restrictions that attaching doesn't worry about. Unless an ability says otherwise, the effect is permanent. Auriok Windwalker can attach one of your equipment to one of your creatures until something unattaches that equipment (such as the creature leaving play or you using the equip ability elsewhere).

Q: If I have four copies of a certain card in my deck, and a I play a Cunning Wish, can I search and get a fifth one? --Tony D.

A: No. While resolving a Wish, you can retrieve only cards that would keep your deck legal. Casual players tend to be more relaxed about their rules, but it's generally accepted that a fifth card, or a second copy of a restricted card (for Vintage) is off limits. If you're playing with friends, just double-check how your group handles Wishes. In sanctioned tournaments players can wish only from their sideboard or from their removed from the game zone.

Don't forget about the Release Events starting next Friday to celebrate the latest in Core Set technology. While Eight Edition brought back cards from all of Magic's history, Ninth Edition is packing fistfuls of powerhouses plucked from the choicest of Magic's past and present. Keep an eye on magicthegathering.com for more details, or hit your local store next week for goodies more than a decade in the making.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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