Regionals Wrapped Up

Posted in Feature on July 2, 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.

Last weekend thousands of players competed all around the world for their chance to represent their region in their country's national championships. The number of Regionals locations here in the United States was doubled to accommodate the tournament's increasing popularity. Mark Poole and I were in Memphis, Tennessee for their first Regionals, and here are a few of the questions players in the river city were asking:

Q: If I have Birds of Paradise equipped with Umezawa's Jitte without a counter, and I attack with the Birds, will I get counters?

A: No, dealing 0 damage is equivalent to dealing no damage-- the Jitte won't trigger.

*Extra*: The same is true if your Bird is wearing a Sword of Fire and Ice and your opponent uses his Jitte to temporarily turn your 2/3 Bird into a 0/1 again.

Eight-and-a-half Tails
Q: My opponent has a creature with Sword of Light and Shadow on it. Can I use Eight-and-a-Half Tails to remove the Sword?

A: Yes, you can use 8.5's second ability to turn the Sword white. Then the protection from white granted by the Sword will cause it to become unattached. Protection gives four things (DEBT): Damage is prevented, Enchantments/Equipment fall off, can't be Blocked, and can't be Targeted. The equipment falling off part is why the Sword gets dropped.

Q: What happens when I Duplicant a Duplicant?

A: Your Duplicant with be, well, a 2/4 Shapeshifter. Whatever characteristics the removed Duplicant had will be lost once it leaves play, and the new Duplicant only looks at the power, toughness, and creature type of the object it removed.

Q: What happens to a Duplicant if it removes an animated land?

A: The Duplicant would remove the animated land, and then it would have a land card imprinted on it. Duplicant's wording specifically refers to a creature card, so the Duplicant remains a 2/4 Shapeshifter.

*Extra*: If you remove a creature that's 0/0, such as many of the modular creatures, your Duplicant will become a 0/0 regardless of any counters the targeted creature had. Likewise, effects from enchantments (which are put into the graveyard as a state-based effect just after the creature they were on is removed) such as Blanchwood Armor are not copied.

Now Back to Kamigawa and Before

Q: Could you please explain to me the difference between "at end of turn" and "until end of turn"? --Jeremy

A: The end phase is made up of the end of turn step and the cleanup step. "At end of turn" is on triggered abilities that trigger as the turn goes from the second main phase to the end phase. "At end of turn" won't retrigger once the end of turn step starts. "Until end of turn" effects last until halfway through the cleanup step, and then they wear off. An "until end of turn" effect won't last beyond the current turn.

Q: What is cumulative upkeep"? --Rafael P.

A: At the beginning of each upkeep you put an age counter on the permanent with cumulative upkeep, then you pay the cumulative upkeep for each age counter. So if the cumulative upkeep is , and you have three age counters, you have to pay . If you don't pay the upkeep, then you have to sacrifice the permanent.

O-Naginata
Q: I have a Hand of Cruelty attack, and it gets blocked, making my guy a 3/3 from the bushido. If I equip it with O-Naginata after combat will it stay there after end of turn when he becomes a 2/2 again or just drop off? --Mark Knight

A: The O-Naginata stays equipped. During the cleanup step your Hand of Cruelty went from 6/3 to 5/2. O-Naginata counts its own effect when the game checks to see if it should become unattached. An effect like Shrink or Humble could make the O-Naginata unattach though.

Q: I have a Cloudhoof Kirin in play and I play a Consuming Vortex. My opponent counters it with a Hinder and chooses to put it on top of my library, can I mill myself with the Kirin so I don't draw it? Or where in the stack would the Kirin's ability go? --Don

A: The Cloudhoof triggers once the Consuming Vortex becomes played (right after you pay for it). Since you played the most recent spell or ability, you get priority, but anytime someone gets priority all triggered abilities are put on the stack (in active player / non-active player order), so you'll have to stack the Kirin's ability before you can pass to your opponent. The Cloudhoof's ability is targeted, and that means you'll have to decide who gets milled as you stack the ability. Your opponent will know who is getting milled when they play the Hinder. They can even wait for the Kirin ability to resolve and then play the Hinder after seeing what was milled.

Q: My opponent Shocks my Erayo, Soratami Ascendant. I Counterspell the Shock. Then, he Lightning Bolts it. If I stack Whispers of the Muse on top of the Lightning Bolt, what happens? --Matt

A: When you played Whispers of the Muse, Erayo triggered to flip. Once flipped, Erayo's Essence isn't a legal target for the Lightning Bolt, so it is countered on resolution. The Essence will counter the first spell an opponent plays starting with the next turn (since he or she has already played their first one this turn).

Q: My son, who is an 8-year-old Magic genius, put together this little combo: Elder Pine of Jukai and Loam Dweller in play; play Kodama's Reach. He asked me how to best use the cards together, and my knowledge of the stack simply crumbled. How do the spells and triggers interact, and how can they be stacked best for maximum land drawing and playing ability (assuming no land cards in hand)? --John

A: Things that trigger off of a spell being played will stack on top of the spell. With Elder Pine and Loam Dweller in play, you have two triggers from the same event, so you'll be able to stack them in any order, but they'll both be on top of the Reach. To maximize benefit, put the Loam Dweller trigger on the stack followed by the Elder Pine trigger. You resolve them last in, first out (LIFO). Thus, you'll reveal cards and potentially get a land from the Elder Pine, and then you get to put a land into play with the Loam Dweller's ability. Once the triggers have resolved, you'll get to use the Reach effect to put another land into play and another into your hand. You could potentially go from three lands in play and no cards in hand to five lands in play and three cards in hand.

*Extra*: The Champions of Kamigawa favorite, Sensei's Divining Top is especially good with Elder Pine of Jukai. Using the Top's sorting ability you can arrange the top three cards to draw spells and leave the lands on top of your deck. Once the time is right, play a Spirit or Arcane to reveal those cleverly ordered lands, and then you're back to looking at fresh cards with the Top.

Q: If I have Cloudhoof Kirin in play and then play a Glacial Ray spliced on another Glacial Ray, does the Kirin mill for 4 cards or 2? --Don

A: Your Cloudhoof mills for two. The Kirin ability looks at the converted mana cost of the spell-- the value in the corner converted into a single number. Splice is an additional cost and doesn't change what the base cost of the spell is. If you played Glacial Ray with Glacial Ray spliced and with a Chill in play, you'd spend , but the mana cost of the spell remains .

*Extra*: The only time a mana cost or converted mana cost is different is if 1) there's an in the cost, and 2) that spell is on the stack. Otherwise, a spell's mana cost and converted mana cost never change.

Ornate Kanzashi
Q: With Ornate Kanzashi, do you have to pay for the card that you removed from the game if you want to play it? If it is a land, and I have already played a land this turn, can I play it? -- Andrew S.

A: The Kanzashi lets you play the card, but you still have to pay the costs for the card. If you've already played a land, you won't be able to play one removed with the Kanzashi (unless an effect like Journey of Discovery's says you can play extra). Also, you've still restricted as to when you can play things-- removing a non-instant on an opponent's turn isn't very effective.

Q: For cards like Nezumi Shortfang and Orochi Eggwatcher that need to use a tap ability to flip, would they then become untapped upon flipping or would they be tapped and flipped? --Paolo V.

A: They become flipped and remained tapped until something untaps them. Changing the flip status does nothing to the tap status.

Q: Nezumi Graverobber is in the grave. If return him to play with Footsteps of the Goryo and remove the final card in my opponent's graveyard, and flip him into Nighteyes the Desecrator, do I still have to sacrifice him at the end of the turn? --Farley W.

A: Yes, the Footsteps' remove effect is tied to that object regardless of what happens to it in play. The only way to not sacrifice it at end of turn is to get it out of play before then either through killing, bouncing, or removing it proactively.

Q: I have two Sosuke's Summons in my graveyard. I put into play Sosuke, Son of Seshiro, so I pick up from my graveyard the two Sosuke's Summons. My opponent argues that I can only return one; who's right? --HES

A: If you have multiple Summons in your graveyard, they will each trigger and each return if you have a Snake come into play under your control.

Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang
Q: I have Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang in play a turn or so and you pay for its token ability. Will the token be able to attack? --Andre K.

A: No, the Dragon from the Dragon's Fang is a new permanent, so it's summoning sick just like any new creature.

*Extra*: Compare Tatsumasa to Darksteel Brute. With the Brute, it's the artifact being animated into a creature. With Tatsumasa, the artifact is disappearing, and a burly Dragon is springing forth.

Q: My opponent attacks with a creature. I have no blockers. He declares and pays for ninjutsu with Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. I play Time Stop. What all is removed from the game? --Paul

A: The creature that attacked is in his hand. The Time Stop and ninjutsu ability are removed from the game. Once the ninjutsu ability leaves the stack, the Ink-Eyes that was revealed is no longer revealed, but it does stay in the player's hand.

Q: How would Trinisphere interact with something like a Blazing Shoal? --Travis B.

A: Trinisphere is strange in that it looks at what the player is actually going to spend. If you Blazing Shoal by paying mana, and X is 1 or more, Trinisphere doesn't notice. If you pitch a card to pay for Blazing Shoal's cost, you haven't paid any mana, so Trinisphere will make you spend . Let's say you pitch a card to pay the mana cost and also splice on Glacial Ray. When Trinisphere takes a look, it sees you actually spending , so it'll tack on an extra to make you spend three.

Q: Can I play Bribery to take control of my opponent's Eternal Witness to return the same Bribery from my graveyard to play? --Chris K.

A: Yes; you'll put the Witness into play, put the Bribery in the graveyard, and then you stack the trigger.

Pristine Angel
Q: My brother puts Vigilance on it while his Pristine Angel is tapped. Can he do that? --Johnny

A: Yes, but it won't last long. While tapped, Pristine Angel won't be protected, but once it untaps, the protection will kick in and put the enchantment in the graveyard.

Q: If I play a card like Snap or Rewind in a Mesmeric Orb deck, do I have to untap my lands, or can I untap my opponent's lands? --Mazgo

A: Yes, you can untap any player's lands.

*Extra*: The phrase "up to blah" means you can choose any number from blah all the way down to zero.

Q: If you imprint Phyrexian Dreadnought onto Soul Foundry, do you have to sacrifice creatures when making copies? --Robert

A: Yes, the Dreadnought makes you sacrifice creatures as it comes into play-- whether it's a regular or a token Dreadnought. If the Dreadnought said "As an additional cost…" then the Foundry tokens would have been able to avoid sacrifices.

Q: With Browbeat, do players decide to have the damage dealt before or after the target for the spell is chosen? --Kristian K.

A: Targets are chosen on announcement, so all player will know who would draw cards before any player decides to take damage or not.

Q: What happens if my friend plays Coalition Victory (with a creature and land for each color) and I have Platinum Angel in play? --Jeff

A: Nothing happens. The Platinum Angel's "your opponents can’t win the game" ability means the Coalition Victory doesn't do anything. That's why the Angel specifies both not losing (you) and not winning (them).

From the Tournament Scene

Kodama of the North Tree
Q: It was my turn, I had active Kodama of the North Tree while my opponent was at 5 life and has Kokusho, the Evening Star. I attacked with my Tree and the Dragon blocked it. Before combat damage I played Sickening Shoal for four targeting the enemy Kokusho. It became 1/1. We both passed putting damage on stack, then had it resolved. I didn't say how I assigned damage so my opponent said that I assigned all 6 damage to the 1/1 Dragon. No one can assign combat damage for me and even if I didn't say how I do it my opponent should ask for it. --Michal S.

A: Typically a judge needing to make a call is going to have to gauge what players have done versus what they're optimally trying to do. In your case, the best play would be to assign five to the opponent, but a judge can't assume that. Since there's a lack of clarity, and since you played things that materially affect the game, the optimal approach would be to put the game state back where players last agreed on what was going on and then go forward. In any case, the best thing is to clearly state what you're doing without assuming that everyone understands.

Q: Can I play my Odyssey version Concentrate at a sanctioned Standard tournament? It would work nicely in my wisdom deck, but I don't have the Eighth Edition version. -- Justin

A: Yes, all versions of a card (with regular backs) are legal so long as any version is legal. With Eighth Edition in Standard, earlier versions of those cards are perfectly legal.

Speaking of the Core Sets, Ninth Edition hits stores in less than a month. July 29th is the debut of the new Core Set. On August 20th, Ninth Edition will replace Eighth Edition in Standard. Scott Johns has already started the Countdown, and you can expect plenty more from magicthegathering.com in the upcoming weeks.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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