From Seattle to Atlanta

Posted in Feature on March 12, 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.

Microsoft might be the giant of the software companies, but it's Silicon Valley in California (and industrialists in Japan) that often get credit for innovations in the industry. Likewise, while Seattle is the home to Wizards of the Coast and Magic, it's often the East Coast of the US (and more Japanese mad scientists) that pushes the limits of old and new Magic tech. This past weekend was no exception as 390 Extended players battled in the shadow of the Space Needle at Grand Prix Seattle. Check out the great coverage of the event for details of Philadelphia's Ernie Marchesano's victory and Tsuyoshi Fujita's wackiness. Eight lucky players now have invitations to head to PT Philadelphia in May (Philadelphia being where Richard Garfield came up with the idea for Magic). But this weekend is going to be about team limited at Pro Tour Atlanta.

First, a few questions fresh from the Grand Prix floor:

Q: Does a Chalice of the Void set to 2 counter a flashedback Deep Analysis?

A: No, the converted mana cost is still 4 even though you're only paying (and three life) to play it.

engineered plague
Q: When do you name the creature type for Engineered Plague?

A: The choice is made while the card is being put into play. The Plague has errata to read, "As Engineered Plague comes into play," not "When…" The Urza's Legacy versions don't match the 7th Edition ones, but all copies should be played with that wording (the 7th ones are fine as is).

*Extra* Because the choice is not a triggered ability, Stifle won't keep a player from choosing a creature type.

Q: I have Sapphire Medallion and played Cloud of Faeries. I play Snap on the Faeries, my opponent Smothers, so I Snap again. Tapping two lands and untapping lands each time, I should have more mana than my opponent says I do, what happened?

A: Chances are you counted on the first Snap untapping two lands. However, the second Snap (played in response to the Smother) returned the same target, so when the first tried to resolve, it was countered for lack of target, and you never got to untap those two lands.

Q: I have a Humility in play, and my opponent has a Wonder in the graveyard; do the 1/1 creatures have flying or not?

A: It depends. The key is that Wonder grants an ability, and Humility takes them away. Thus, we have to figure out what order they apply in. What we use is something called "timestamp"-- the point at which something entered a given zone (usually in play). For Humility and Wonder we take the time Humility entered play and compare that to the time Wonder entered the graveyard. If Humility is second, then any flying granted would then be taken away. If Humility showed up first, then you'd first take away abilities, and then Wonder would grant flying (if you control an Island).

Q: My opponent plays Brain Freeze targeting me. In response to the storm trigger, I play Gilded Light and make myself untargetable. Does he have to Freeze himself?

A: No, storm spells that are targeted keep the same target as the original, and the player may choose a new target. In this case the player will likely not choose a new target, so they'll all be countered because of Gilded Light's effect.

Things Back to Normal

Q: I have a creature with an enchant creature on it. It gets ninjutsued into a Ninja; will the ninja still have the enchant creature attached? I figured it should, since the creature was effectively the ninja in disguise as the creature all along? --Tiang W.

A: No, the enchantment was put into the graveyard as a state-based effect just after the ninjutsu ability returned the original creature. If you want to go with the disguise analogy, then assume that the enchantment was torn off with the rest of the disguise as your 5/4 huge Ninja master guy hopped out of a… Saproling.

Q: If I play a creature spell that is countered can I still attack with a Goblin Cohort? --Patrick

A: Yes, the Cohort doesn't care if the creature spell resolves, just that it was played.

Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar
Q: What happens if you activate the ability of Sensei's Divining Top when you control Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar? --Fernando O.

A: You'll look at the top three cards, put one in your hand, put the rest on the bottom of your deck, and then put the Top on top of your deck.

Q: When you use the effect of Ornate Kanzashi, do you have to pay the mana costs to pay for the card? --Ronin

A: Yes. It let's you play a removed card, but it doesn't pay the cost for you.

Q: If a Clash of Realities is in play, the tokens from a Honden of Life's Web each get the triggered ability. Am I right? --Nick W.

A: Yes, a token Spirit will trigger and get to deal 3 damage to a target non-Spirit creature.

Q: If a Genju of the Fields makes a 2/5 no matter how many times you activate the ability, how is it that the creature gets the Spirit Link ability for each activation?

A: Activating a Genju of the Fields does two things. First, it makes the enchanted land into a 2/5 white Land Creature-- Spirit and secondly, it writes the Spirit Link text onto the creature. Now you can't get whiter than white or 2/5er than 2/5, but having the Spirit Link line multiple times does mean there are that many triggered abilities when the Land Creature deals damage. So a Genju of the Fields on a Plains activated three times would mean the Plains' rules text would look something like this:

Q: Some people think that the separate sentence on cards like Nezumi Shortfang and Orochi Eggwatcher means it flips when the condition is met and not necessarily when the activated ability is activated. I'm under the impression that their flip ability works only when their ability is activated and then the condition is met. Who's right? --Bugle

A: You are. The creatures have separate sentences, but they both are parts of one ability. Looking at Nezumi Shortfang in particular, the "then" line break comes at an unfortunate place, but that's merely a spacing issue. If you look at Gatherer for the Oracle wording it's clearer that the sentences are part of the same ability.

Pre-Kamigawa Questions

Simplify
Q: If I play Simplify, knowing I have no enchantment to sacrifice, will it affect my opponent or will it fizzle? --Paul F.

A: Simplify will still affect your opponent. Just because the card is symmetrical (it affects both players) doesn't mean it's always fair.
Despite it's name, Balance is the old school king of broken "symmetrical" cards.

Q: I noticed that the Gatherer Rulings for Forbid reads, "You actually have to discard the cards if you want to pay the buyback." Does this mean that I can't play madness? Does this mean that the card has to go to the graveyard?

A: You can play madness off a Forbid discard, and Forbid doesn't care if the discarded card never reaches the graveyard (Darksteel Colossus, Legacy Weapon, Serra Avatar). What the ruling is saying is that you must discard two cards; you can't discard only what you have and attempt to satisfy the cost. Compare that to something like Null Brooch. Null Brooch makes you discard your hand as a cost, but it doesn't care if your hand is 100 cards of if it's 0 cards.

Q: Can a Silklash Spider block a Treetop Scout? --Seraph

A: Yes, it can. The Scout attacks, and the Spider blocks-- when the Scout wonders if it's flying, it looks as though it is, so the game moves on.

Q: One article says that if a Slith Ascendant with Banshee's Blade and Fireshrieker gets its counters for first strike it can be applied for the normal attack but the other article said that the counters happen at the end of the damage phase. How much damage does the opponent actually take? --Rich

A: I wouldn't believe the article referring to the Combat Damage step as a "phase". The Ascendant will deal one in first strike triggering both the Blade and itself. Then for regular combat damage the Ascendant will deal 3 and trigger both again. The end result is four damage and a 5/5 Ascendant.

Q: When I have Slumbering Tora, can I discard more than 1 card each turn, if I pay the mana cost? For example I pay 4 and discard 2 cards each with converted mana cost 6, is Slumbering Tora then a 12/12 creature? --Towky

A: You can use the Tora repeatedly, but it's power and toughness will be equal to the last card's converted mana cost-- the ability overwrites itself; it doesn't accumulate.

Godo, Bandit Warlord
Q: I attack with Godo, Bandit Warlord and two Samurai. My opponent kills Godo. Do I still untap my Samurai for an additional combat phase? Can my opponent block each combat phase with the same creatures? --Jeff W.

A: Once you attacked with Godo his ability triggered. And once triggered, killing Godo won't stop the ability. The other Samurai will be able to attack a second time.
Yes, your opponent can block with the same creature in both combats (assuming it survived the first one, of course).

Q: If an instant like Blessed Breath is used to give a non-black, non-artifact creature Protection from Black can that creature then block a Nezumi Cutthroat who has the Fear ability? --Chris R.

A: Protection has to do only with four things that something you're protected from can't do (Damage, Enchantments/Equipment, Block, Target-- DEBT). It has nothing to do with what a protected permanent can do. Having a Pro: Black creature has no interaction with declaring that creature as a blocker. Protection from black does not stop you from being afraid.

Q: I have just learned that should someone tap my land on my upkeep I can tap the land for mana in response and I will not burn when I move from upkeep to draw to main phase. Am I correct in what that I won't mana burn moving from upkeep to main phase? --Dave B.

A: Actually you're only half right. It's true that you can "float" (leave mana in your pool) mana between steps (such as the Upkeep step and Draw step), but you can't float mana between Phases (such as the Beginning phase and Main phase). You'll burn as your Draw step / Beginning phase ends.

Q: How will Horsemanship be played in Vintage and Legacy formats? Will it function as flying and or interact w/ flying? Or will it be a separate entity, like the Shadow ability? --Eric L.

A: Horsemanship is its own keyword much like shadow. Perhaps this will cause Vintage to turn on its ear, but Goblin Welder doesn't have flying, horsemanship, or shadow, so I'm betting things will work out.

Q: If I have Bronze Tablet in my sideboard, can I take it to my hand with Ring of Ma'ruf? Can I play ante cards that way? --Tollo P.

A: Sanctioned events don't allow ante, so Bronze Tablet and other ante cards are banned from sanctioned play. This included your main deck and your sideboard. (Sideboards are for cards to handle different decks, not for cards that would make your deck illegal.)

Q: I was just wondering if there are any specific cards that are banned from tournament play. I am going to take part in the Magic Regionals so I just wanted to make sure I know as much as I can about the rules before hand. --Brandon S.

A: Regionals information can be found right here.
In the United States and Canada Regionals is on June 25th.
The legal sets at that time will be:
8th Edition
Mirrodin, Darksteel, Fifth Dawn
Champions, Betrayers, and Saviors of Kamigawa (SOK goes legal on 6/20)
All cards in those sets and cards with the same name (such as a Shatter from Ice Age or Revised) from earlier sets are legal.
However, the following cards are banned: Arcbound Ravager, Disciple of the Vault, Skullclamp, Ancient Den, Darksteel Citadel, Great Furnace, Seat of the Synod, Tree of Tales, and Vault of Whispers.

If you haven't caught any of the action, coverage is available for Pro Tour Atlanta as it happens. Check the Tournament Center for more details.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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