Saviors of Saturday School

Posted in Feature on May 21, 2005

By John Carter

Send your rules questions to Magic Rules Manager 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.

Like most every Magic judge I know, I love prerelease weekends. How cool is it that three times a year the Magic community gets together to have fun and look at wild new cards while testing our skills with unexpected situations? This week I'm filling up Ssaturday School with only Kamigawa block questions, and since Saturday is the prerelease, I can finally answer all the Saviors questions I want. This is somewhat challenging since the set's not out as I'm writing, but that doesn't stop me from offering several Saviors-related suggestions in the answers. If you're reading a little early, perhaps I can whet your appetite for the new hotness, but nothing beats smashing face with a few hundred close friends.

Q: Ever-what!? --Dusty the Bunny

A: Yes. The mana cost in Evermind is non-existent; in text form, we indicate the absence of a cost like this { } just so you know we really did leave it blank. And unless a card is a land, a card without a mana cost can't be played. (Kobolds have a mana cost of .)

*Extra*: You can splice the "Draw a card" onto your Arcane spells with no trouble though. You can even pitch Evermind to a Disrupting Shoal to counter a Mox (the absence of a mana cost is treated like 0-- not quite the same as actually having a mana cost of , but Erratic Explosion and Disrupting Shoal don't mind).

Q: Does Sakashima the Impostor trigger going to the graveyard effects (i.e. as a legendary Dragon)? Secondly, if you try and copy something such as Sekki or Shimatsu, does he come into play with the same number of counters, or as a 0/0? --Justin

A: Sakashima will generate triggered abilities just an original of the Kamigawa Dragons. However, if you Sakashima your Kokusho, the Evening Star, you'll have a creature named "Sakashima the Impostor" and one named "Kokusho, the Evening Star". The Legend Rule won't kick in unless they're both named the same thing (such as two Sakashima copying a Kokusho).A copy of Sekki will come into play with the full set of eight counters (regardless of how many the original has at that time). A Imposter version of Shimatsu the Bloodcloaked will allow you to sacrifice permanents to get counters.

Q: I was wondering about the interaction of Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker and Vassal's Duty. Lets suppose I block a Troll Ascetic with Michiko and activate Vassal's Duty three times. Does each activation trigger Michiko's sacrifice ability? --Ron

A: Your opponent will have to sacrifice, but he or she will sacrifice only once. All three of the Vassal shields will be used at once resulting in one occurrence of damage.

Q: I play Veil of Secrecy on my Ninja of the Deep Hours making it unblockable. My opponent plays Curtain of Light on it (not in response). Is the creature then blocked? It's unblockable, but the card isn't actually doing the blocking... I would think that you couldn't do it because the creature can't become blocked... --Stephania F.

A: The Curtain of Light can't be played because Veil of Secrecy also makes it untargetable. Also, if Veil of Secrecy is played before blockers are declared in order to make the creature unblockable, Curtain of Light couldn't be played even in response because creatures aren't "unblocked" until after blockers have been declared.

Q: If my opponent has an Oblivion Stone out and he uses its destruction ability would I get my tokens from Promise of Bunrei? --Kyle

A: No, the Promise will trigger, but you won't be able to sacrifice it (because it will be gone at that point). The thing to remember is that whenever a group of things leave play, they'll all see each other going away. The Promise will trigger, but its ability includes "if you do", referring to actually sacrificing the Promise. So as that ability resolves, you can't sacrifice the enchantment (since it's gone already).

*Extra*: You could try Obliterate instead. It blows up everything except enchantments. When the Promise trigger resolves (assuming you blew up one of your creatures-- perhaps a Rukh Egg), the enchantment is still in play, so you will be able to sacrifice it and make tokens.
Blowing up multiple creatures won't give you more tokens though-- once you sacrifice the Promise to a first trigger, that tricky "if you do" kicks in and knows you didn't sacrifice for other triggers.

Q: Will a flipped Erayo, Soratami Ascendant counter spells made by Enduring Ideal's epic ability? --Christian

A: No, epic copies aren't "played”, they're put directly on the stack (like copies from Mirari's ability).

Q: Does Erayo, Soratami Ascendant's flip ability count itself and spells played before it comes into play towards its flip trigger? For example, would Island, Chrome Mox with imprint, Erayo, Ornithopter, Ornithopter result in a flipped Erayo? --Bif

A: Yes, and yes. Erayo is essentially asking the game if each spell is the fourth spell. When the game says yes, Erayo flips out. Erayo doesn't mind if some of the spells were before his time as long as they were that turn.

*Extra*: Be careful though. Erayo will not flip if Erayo itself is the fourth spell or if the fourth spell was played before Erayo arrived. For example, if you played the Mox, then played both Ornithopters, and then played Erayo, the Ascendant wouldn't have been in play to see spell #4. And another spell that turn would be at least #5.

Epic epic everywhere, but not a spell to play

Eternal Dominion
Q: I just want to know what happens if I use Stifle on the epics? --Alex A.

A: Stifling the epic trigger will counter the ability that would put a copy of the epic on the stack. Essentially, you're safe for that turn, but come next turn, the trigger is going to happen again.

Q: Does the epic ability stop cards from being played via cards like Isochron Scepter and Panoptic Mirror? --Bugle and many others

A: Yes, Isochron Scepter and Panoptic Mirror makes copies and then let you play the copy. The key there is that "play" is still involved. Once something like Neverending Torment resolves, the epic ability won't let you play spells at all-- regular spells or copies of spells. Epic avoids its own restriction by putting its copies directly on the stack.

Q: How does a copy of an epic spell interact with a card that involves a spell's mana cost (Disrupting Shoal, Chalice of the Void... etc.)? Same as the original? Zero? --Brad M.

A: Copies of the epic spell are the same as the original. For example, a copy of Endless Swarm would cost to Disrupting Shoal.

Do note that Chalice won't trigger since the player isn't actually playing the epic copy-- they're putting it directly on the stack.

Q: What happens if I play Enduring Ideal, and then later my opponent hits me with a Skullsnatcher, removing the Ideal? Can I play spells now? --Felix

A: You still can't play spells, but you will keep making an epic copy during each of your upkeeps. Epic spells such as Eternal Dominion keep track of what they looked like as they resolved, and messing with the epic card won't change that.

Q: If I were to splice another spell onto an Enduring Ideal, would the spliced effect be copied on each of my following upkeeps? --Mitchell N.

A: Enduring Ideal and the rest of the epic spells are not Arcane-- you won't be able to splice things onto them. Changes to the spell such as Sleight of Mind will not be retained when the ability makes a copy of the spell [CR 503.2]. The only part that changes (besides the result of the spell) is the copy will let you choose new targets if it's a targeted spell (Undying Flames has a tendency to make targets go away).

Q: I play Enduring Ideal and go get Planeswalker's Mischief. I activate the ability and nab a card that isn't a land. Can I play it? --Dave

A: No, you can't play spells-- yours or anyone else's. Check the card or the Oracle wording on Gatherer and if you see "play" referring to a spell, you won't be able to do it after you've resolved an epic.

Q: If you play Enduring Ideal can you search for Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant and put her into play flipped? How in the heck can I get seven lands in my hand without waiting to draw them? --Tyler S.

A: No, Enduring Ideal (and Enlightened Tutor) will not let you find an Ascendant. Much like the Champions of Kamigawa flippers that aren't legendary until they flip, the Saviors of Kamigawa flippers aren't enchantments until they flip. Do notice that the Saviors flippers start out as legendary creatures, so you can Time of Need for them.
How do you get seven lands in your hand without waiting to draw them after playing Sasaya? Among recent options you'll find Meloku the Clouded Mirror (or any of the Moonfolk) helpful. In Saviors itself you could try any of the "Sweep" cards such as Charge Across the Araba.

Q: There is nothing talking about what happens when an epic spell is played during a subgame! What happens? I must know. I have a Shahrazad / Enter the Dungeon deck and it will have epic spells in it soon. --Mike R.

A: The epic effect stops you from playing spells within that subgame. The main game remains unaffected. And if anything bad happens to you when you play an epic under a table in the middle of a Fork-ed Shahrazad subgame, I'm going to say I saw nothing.

Back to the Champs and the Betrayers

Q: When playing the splice mechanic, is the spliced card counted as a card played or simply added in for its effect? --Ron H.

A: Only the Arcane spell that has stuff spliced onto it is played. The things you spliced on add their effect, but it's still just one spell.

Swirl the Mists
Q: What happens when two Swirl the Mists are in play? Does only the newest one effect color words, or do both change the color words at the same time? --Douglas P.

A: You'll change color words in the order the Swirls came into play. For example, if Swirl #1 says Red, and Swirl #2 says Green, then a Pro: Black guy would have been Pro: Red from the time #1 arrived until #2, and from then on, it'd be Pro: Green.

Q: I was once playing in a prerelease and gave a Student of Elements flying. In response to this my opponent tapped Matsu-Tribe Sniper to deal 1 damage to target creature with flying. They said that the Student of Elements would die because the effect takes place before the card flips. I thought that as soon as it got flying it flips and could survive. --Nick G.

A: The Matsu-Tribe Sniper couldn't ping the Student until it flew, but your opponent can respond to the triggered ability by shooting the now-flying Student. There's only a small window of opportunity (from the time it gains flying until the time the trigger resolves), but that's enough time for a skilled Sniper to ruin the Student's graduation.

Q: If I use Uyo's ability to copy Persecute, do I get to choose my opponent as a target and then be able to choose a different color then they did? --Chris S.

A: You do get to choose a new target, and you will get to choose whichever color you want for the Uyo copy.

*Extra*: Often people forget that you do not name the color for Persecute until it resolves. Playing a mono-colored deck may mean the color is obvious, but technically a Persecute player must wait until the spell is resolving to pick the color (just before looking at the player's hand).

Q: I have four Wrath of Gods in my deck-- a modified Kamigawa Way of the Warrior deck with four Konda, Lord of Eiganjo. My friends have told me Wrath of God destroys Eiganjo. Is this true? I thought he was indestructible? -Nate Z.

A: Konda is indestructible, and he shrugs off Wrath of God as though it wasn't even there. If your friends want vengeance on the man who started the Kami war, even Akroma's Vengeance isn't good enough. They'll have to hope for Final Judgment or an Apocalypse.

Q: The rules say: "... the following creatures can't attack… creatures the active player didn't control continuously since the beginning of the turn (except those with haste)." I have a Genju of the Fens and activated it during my upkeep step. Can I attack since I have controlled the creature continuously since the beginning of my turn? --Tristan M.

A: The rules about what we often call "summoning sickness" don't worry about whether the creature has been a creature continuously, just that whatever it is that is now a creature has been under your control since the start of your most recent turn continuously. You can attack with the Genjued Swamp-- you didn't even need to animate the Swamp as early as you did. Playing a Genju on a land you've controlled continuously, animating it, and then attacking with it are perfectly fine.

Q: I have Nagao, Bound by Honor and Eight-and-a-Half Tails. I remove enough counters from Umezawa's Jitte to kill Keiga, the Tide Star. I turn Keiga white before it dies. My opponent chooses Nagao with Keiga's ability, and I give Nagao protection from white. My opponent tells me I can't do that because when Keiga hits the graveyard it's no longer white. It actually no longer has a color at all. Is this right? --Ernesto

A: The Keiga in the graveyard is blue, not colorless. And beyond that, the Keiga that left play was white, so the triggered ability that was created by that Keiga is white as well. Doing things to the creature card in the graveyard won't change the ability that uses Keiga's information from just before it left play. Giving the target protection from white will cause the ability to get countered.

Q: If I have a Toshiro Umezawa out, and my opponent plays a spell, can I instantly destroy one of their creatures to copy a Hinder in my graveyard and counter the spell? --Brendan H.

A: Yes, but you won't be copying the Hinder, you'll actually be playing it from your graveyard (and it will be removed from the game as it resolves).

Q: Time Stop says, "End the turn" and lists a bunch of effects, but nowhere in the reminder text does it say anything about actually ending the turn. It doesn't actually end the turn. Or does it? --Sam A.

A: "End the turn" is all that needs to be there. Reminder text isn't intended to be thorough. It's just a quick version of what an ability is doing to help you remember (thus the name). Ending the Turn [CR 509] actually takes a little over 200 words to explain in the Comprehensive Rules (the long version of the rules). The text of Time Stop, including reminder text, is about 1/5th that long but takes up the whole rules text box.

That's all for this week. Start sending in those Saviors of Kamigawa questions, and look for even more answers next week. In the meantime, here's to the best of luck and best of fun at your local prerelease!

Class dismissed.


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