PT London Weekend

Posted in Feature on July 9, 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.

Pro Tour London is already in full swing. Saturday marks day two of Kamigawa block booster draft with hundreds of the best players in the world vying for the coveted title of Pro Tour Champion. You can check out all the action, from card pools to match coverage right here on

Q: Rending Vines is the third card in my hand. Can I target a 3 cost enchantment with it? --Rquetzal

A: Yes. The enchantment won't be destroyed because you'll have only two cards in hand as the Rending Vines Resolves, but you will get to draw a card from the second part of the effect.

*Extra*: Using an if clause after the target description doesn't mean that clause limits the targeting. A restriction like that would be written as "target artifact or enchantment with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of cards in your hand." You can target any artifact or enchantment regardless of the number of cards in your hand with Rending Vines. As the ability resolves the if-clause will determine if the spell does anything to the target.

Oboro Envoy
Q: I have a question regarding how Oboro Envoy's effect works, since it doesn't state that it ends at end of turn. Please clarify this for me. --Long N.

A: The ability should state that the effect lasts "until end of turn," and the card has received an official correction, referred to as errata, to fix the oversight. Errata comes from either printing problems or from changes in how the rules are worded. When in doubt, check Gatherer for the Oracle text of the card in question.

Q: During my opponent's turn, he attacked with a 2/2 creature. I block with a Skull Collector. During his second main phase, he played Hideous Laughter. I responded by activating the Collector's regeneration. He said that it wouldn't save it because I didn't do it before the damage went on it. --Chris E.

A: Creating the regeneration shield before the Skull Collector's toughness drops low enough to make the resolved damage lethal works fine. It doesn't matter if the damage or the toughness reduction happens first. The only question that really matters is "is the creature's toughness greater than zero?" If the answer is no, then no amount of regenerating would save it.

Q: I have Erayo, Soratami Ascendant (unflipped) and my opponent plays Yukora, the Prisoner. Can I respond by playing three other spells so Erayo's Essence counters the Yukora? --Tran

A: You could play spells to flip Erayo, but Yukora won't be countered. The key is that Erayo must be flipped at the time the spell is played. Yukora, though still on the stack, isn't constantly being replayed-- that's the one-time event that started by putting Yukora on the stack.

Q: I have Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar, and then I play Leveler. On the next turn, do I lose the game for not drawing a card, or does Tomorrow's ability save me? --Brennan D.

A: As long as you apply the replacement effect from Tomorrow's ability, you can't be forced to draw a card. Tomorrow's ability won't net you anything, but you won't be dead-- generally a good idea.

Q: My opponent attacked me with a 1/1 creature. I blocked with Dosan the Falling Leaf. He announced Giant Growth, which kills Dosan the Falling Leaf. I argued that he couldn't play an instant because of Dosan's ability. --CN

A: Your opponent is attacking, so it's obviously his turn. The only one Dosan is stopping is you.

*Extra*: A player's turn is composed of five phases (Beginning, Main, Combat, Second Main, and End), and Combat is composed of five steps (Beginning of Combat, Declare Attackers, Declare Blockers, Combat Damage, and End of Combat). A simple way to help remember this is noting that there are five for the phases of a turn and the steps in combat-- just like there are five colors in Magic. Another mnemonic device is noticing that both those lists start and conclude with Beginning and End.

Q: I have Task Force with a Shuko attached. Can I retarget the Task Force with the Shuko, thus giving it an extra +0/+3? --Remy H.

A: Yes. The equip ability only needs a creature you control and an empty stack during your main phase while you have priority. Re-equipping the same creature is perfectly fine.

Kitsune Mystic
Q: I have a flipped Kitsune Mystic, and a Pariah on another creature. If I take damage that is enough to kill my Pariahed creature, could I let damage go on the stack, then move my Pariah to another of my creatures with Kitsune Mystic, therefore saving my Pariah when the ex-Pariahed creature dies? --John E.

A: The damage will be redirected to the Pariahed creature as it resolves, and that's when the Pariah tells the damage where it's going. Moving the Pariah to a new creature before that time means the newly Pariah creature will be the one to die. The previously Pariahed creature won't take damage at all.

Q: My opponent has a creature with Umezawa's Jitte on it. The Jitte has no counters. I block with a creature big enough to kill his. Once the damage goes on the stack the Jitte gets its counters and… [*screech*] --Harley

A: Whoa there, speed-o. Umezawa's Jitte gets counters for damage dealt, not damage assigned. There is no ability that triggers off assigning damage.

Q: I attack with a 5/3 creature with trample and my opponent blocks with a 2/2 creature. I play a Ragged Veins on his creature. How much damage does the player take? I thought 8. --Bart

A: Normally a player would assign 2 to the creature and 3 to the player. Thus, the player would take three damage and then lose two life from the Ragged Veins. You could assign all five to the creature, and the player would lose five life from the Ragged Veins (to get around a Circle of Protection, for example).

*Extra*: A common misconception is that trample damage "spills over" the creature. This hasn't been true since October of 1998 when Urza's Saga updated the trample rules-- even before the Sixth Edition rules update. Instead, a player says how much damage goes to the creatures blocking a trampler and how much damage goes to the player. The only caveat is that the trampler's blockers have to have lethal damage (damage equal to or grater than toughness) assigned before the any remaining damage gets assigned to the defending player.

Q: If I have a Platinum Angel in play and have negative life, then my Angel leaves play, would I lose then or play until damage is done to me? --Alex R.

A: Generally, you'd be dead right after the Angel leaves play-- new damage isn't necessary.

*Extra*: An effect like Flicker would actually cause the Angel to leave play and immediately come back. The important part is that state-based effects don't check while resolving a spell, so the fact that Platinum Angel was gone briefly won't kill you because it'll be back for the next time state-based effects are checked.

Q: My friend tells me that if he plays a creature face-down, it can't be countered. Is that true? --Damjan Z.

A: Face-down spells can be countered just like any other spell.

*Extra*: Illusionary Mask has an ability that allows a player to put creatures into play face-down. That ability to put a creature into play can't be countered by things that target spells, and it's not the same thing as playing a creature (ie: playing a creature spell). Stifle and Squelch, among others, could counter Illusionary Mask's ability.

Story Circle
Q: The card text for Story Circle implies that the card remembers which color you choose. Does the chosen color actually become part of the rules text for the card? Can Mind Bend alter what the chosen color on Story Circle is? --Daniel W.

A: Story Circle remembers what color was chosen, but it doesn't become part of the rules text. Mind Bend has no effect on Story Circle.

Q: I have Monkey Cage in play. If I play Call of the Herd, do I get 0 Ape tokens and lose the Monkey Cage? --Pedro L.

A: Yes, tokens (unless otherwise specified) have converted mana cost 0, so the Cage breaks open with no Apes inside.

*Extra*: Kiki-Jiki makes tokens that copy a creature's attributes, including mana cost. If you have a Monkey Cage out and make a Kiki-Jiki copy of a Grizzly Bears, you'll get two Apes.

*Extra*: Monkey Cage doesn't need to be sacrificed in order to make Apes. If multiple creatures come into play at once, say from Living Death, the Cage will trigger many times and make Apes for each creature that came into play before the Cage was sacrificed.

Q: If I have two Sunscape Familiars and play Capsize with buyback, does the spell only cost and ? --Rob M.

A: Yes, cost reductions apply to any part of a spell's cost, regular or additional-- the value of X, buyback, and even splice onto arcane.

Q: My opponent plays a combo with infinite life and infinite mana, using Wirewood Channeler combined with Staff of Domination. Doesn't this become infinite mana burn, too? --Pedro

A: At some point or another your opponent will have to pick a number, so infinity doesn't quite apply. If your opponent uses Wirewood Channeler's ability to produce five or more mana, the Staff can be used to untap the Channeler and the Staff with mana to spare. How does a player get rid of a million or so extra mana? Run it through the Staff. Just the ": Untap Staff of Domination" is enough by itself to use up the mana-- drawing cards and gaining life is also encouraged.

Q: Horn of Greed says that when you put a land card into play, draw a card. Would that still work if you have Crucible of Worlds with Fastbond and Zuran Orb? --Alan F.

A: Yes, if you're playing the land. For example, you can play a land, draw from the Horn, sac the land to the Orb (gaining 2 life), and then play the sacked land from the graveyard (compliments of the Crucible). After taking a point from the Fastbond you'd be up one mana, one card, and one life.

*Extra*: Putting a land into play with an effect-- such as Kodama's Reach or Thawing Glaciers-- isn't the same as playing a land, so Horn of Greed won't trigger for those effects.

Coat of Arms
Q: If I use Coat of Arms, does each artifact creature get the bonus for each artifact creature with no specific type? How does it work with artifacts that have "Artifact Creature — Golem" and a creature that only has "Artifact Creature"? --Joan

A: Creatures without a creature type -- artifact or otherwise-- won't be affected by Coat of Arms. "Artifact" is a type, not a creature (sub)type. With Golems in particular, you'll want to check Gatherer for the most recent wording. Early artifact creatures didn't have creature types at all. Creatures like Karn, Silver Golem and Crystal Golem are now officially Golems.

Q: If I do damage to all my opponent's creatures, can he sacrifice his creatures I'm killing to his Fallen Angel's ability to save it? In other words, can a person sacrifice a creature that is dying to use for a "sacrifice a creature" ability? --Constance

A: Creatures you intend to damage aren't damaged immediately (spells and combat damage use the stack, so responses are allowed). If you Hurricane for three, your opponent can respond to the spell by sacrificing a flying creature to increase Fallen Angel's toughness over three. The creature was likely to turn up dead, but it wasn't actually damaged yet.

Q: When is a Magic tournament Type 1? When is it Type 2, and when is it Extended? --Mathijs

A: Vintage (Type 1), Legacy (Type 1.5), Extended, and Standard (Type 2) are constructed formats. Some events have requirements that specify the format-- such as Regionals always being Standard. Otherwise, choosing the format is something the tournament organizer (TO) does when he or she creates the tournament. If you have a preference in formats, let your local TO know. Most TOs chose event formats based on what his or her players want.

In fewer than three weeks Ninth Edition hits the stores. Ninth Edition will be added to most formats, but in Standard Ninth replaces Eighth Edition. That's all for this week.

Class dismissed.


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