So This Is Betrayal

Posted in Feature on January 29, 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.

The Betrayers of Kamigawa prereleases were last weekend, and the in-store Release Events are this weekend. But what better place is there to be during the Kamigawa block than in Japan? This weekend is also a Pro Tour weekend, and Magic's finest have assembled in Nagoya, Japan for the chance to Rochester draft for more than $200,000. I'll be judging at PT Nagoya and plan to have a few PT tidbits for next week's column. Let's get started:

Q: What will happen if I discard an Engineered Explosives to Blazing Shoal? Will the creature get +0/+0 ? --Israël B.

A: Engineered Explosives isn't red and can't be discarded to Blazing Shoal.
In general, if a card has X in its cost, X is 0 any time you're not playing it. So for instance, you could discard Enrage to Blazing Shoal. The Enrage's converted mana cost will be 1 (that's {0}+{R}), so the Shoal has X = 1 and the target will get +1/+0.

*Extra* It's is possible to give the target +0/+0: if you discard a Kobold (a rarity in that it's red but has no colored mana in its mana cost), you could use it to help play Blazing Shoal. The spell itself would do nothing, but this could be a useful way to trigger abilities like Horobi's.

Quicksilver Fountain
Q: I have a Quicksilver Fountain in play and enchant an Island (originally a Mountain) of my opponent with Genju of the Falls. Then I pay 2 to make a creature and play Eradicate to remove this creature from the game. Can I remove all Mountains from my opponent's library, hand and graveyard? --Thomas S.

A: Yes, when you Eradicated the animated land its land type was “Island”, but its name was still “Mountain”, and Eradicate lets you remove cards by card name.

Q: If I have a Toshiro Umezawa in play, and I Hanabi Blast an opponent's creature, can I replay it if I discard it? --Bob R.

A: Yes, and better yet, you can potentially keep Blasting. Here's how: A random creature an opponent controls gets put into the graveyard from play to kick-start the process (Umezawa triggers)…

  • Put TU's trigger on the stack targeting Hanabi Blast
  • As the trigger resolves, play Hanabi Blast targeting a creature or player (perhaps a 2/2 creature)—TU's tracking the Blast
  • As the Hanabi Blast resolves, the card goes from the Stack to your Hand (TU loses track of the Blast [CR 217.1c]), and then you discard a card at random

If you happen to have killed a creature and discarded the Hanabi Blast, then you'll have another trigger from Umezawa and an Instant in your graveyard to target…

Q: If I have a Patron of the Orochi with a Dragon Breath on it, and on play Flicker targeting the Patron, does the Dragon Breath return to the patron? I say no, because the Breath doesn't go into the graveyard until SBEs are checked; so when the Patron comes into play the Breath isn't in the graveyard, but I'm not sure. --Adam

A: Be more sure, Adam—you've answered your own question. Dragon's Breath sees its old Patron go away and this new Patron arrive while Flicker resolves. Just after Flicker resolves state-based effects put the Breath into the graveyard [CR 420.5d], but the trigger event it's waiting for has come and gone… this time.

Mistform Ultimus
Q: If I have Coat of Arms, Mirror Gallery and a Mistform Ultimus in play and I play another Mistform Ultimus, what would the power and toughness of both Mistform Ultimuses? --Will

A: The Mistform Ultimuses (Ultimi?) would be 4/4s. Coat of Arms only checks for a shared creature type, not how many are shared.

*Extra* As of Betrayers of Kamigawa, Mistform Ultimus is a Legendary creature with 395 creature types.

Q: My question concerns the line on the card "Mistform Ultimus may attack as though it weren't a Wall". Isn't this line redundant now due to the Defender ability? Or is the creature type Wall intimately linked to Defender? --Brendon S.

A: Yes, it's redundant, and the card's Oracle text no longer includes it.
Walls are almost always Defenders, and Ultimus is why we have to say “almost”. When the Defender keyword ability debuted all Walls (and some related cards) received errata. Most had Defender added, but Mistform Ultimus never received this erratum. Rather than give it Defender for being a Wall and remove it for being the Ultimus, it wasn't given either ability. Mistform Ultimus attacks like any other regular creature.

Q: Jade Idol is in play. I announce an Arcane spell (say Glacial Ray) and my opponent counters it. Does the Jade Idol still trigger? --Dale

A: Yes, the Idol triggered once you were done playing the Arcane spell—just before your opponent had the chance to counter the spell. The Idol will be animated regardless of what happens to the spell after the ability triggers.

Q: If I play two Ghostly Prisons, how much mana is my opponent required to pay for each creature he is attacking with? Does the effect stack? --Jordan Q.

A: Opponents will have to pay for each creature that attacks you-- the effect is cumulative.

Q: I have a question about end of turn effects. I've heard from a few sources that if you activate an "until end of turn” ability during the end of turn step, it doesn't end until the end of the next turn. I have been using this tactic several times with cards like Kiki-Jiki and the like, but some of my friends say that if you activate an end of turn ability during the end of turn step, it comes and leaves immediately. Who is right? --Bugle

A: Both are right, in a way, but be careful about which one you're thinking of.
If an effect lasts “until end of turn”, then it wears off in the Cleanup step, which is always the last step that happens in a turn. (Yes, even if Time Stop is played.) These effects don't carry over between turns.
On the other hand, Kiki-Jiki causes an “at end of turn” triggered ability, and those abilities only trigger once per turn. Using Kiki-Jiki after “at end of turn” triggers have occurred will let the token created live until the next “at end of turn” trigger—at the end of the next turn. [CR 313, 314]

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Q: Exactly when and in what order must "chump blockers" like Sakura-Tribe Elder block and be sacrificed to prevent the attack and get the effect? --Matt J.

A: You can block and sacrifice any time after declaring blockers (Declare Blockers Step [CR 309]), after stacking damage (Combat Damage Step [CR 310]), but before resolving combat damage [CR 310.4]. Most often people sacrifice creature for effects, “after damage on the Stack.”

Q: If my opponent attacks with a Nagao, Bound by Honor and a Nezumi Ronin, they both get the benefit from Nagao's ability. If I then Blind with Anger the Nezumi Ronin does it keep the plus +1/+1 from Nagao's ability or does it lose it because it is no longer under his control? –Chris

A: Nagao's ability only cares about which creatures are attacking as the ability resolves. Once the triggered ability resolves, the pump effect will stay with the Ronin until the Cleanup Step regardless of who its controller is.

Q: Natural Affinity specifies "all lands" would this not include cards of type “land”? (I.e.: land cards in the library, graveyard, and/or hand?) If so, if they enter play before the end of turn wouldn't they enter as 2/2 land creatures hence triggering the effect of Intruder Alarm? If not, why not?
The Wrath of God analogy doesn't fly in my opinion because it is a single effect targeting specifically lands "in play" that occurs, resolves and is over. Natural Affinity targets all lands (doesn't specify in play) and the effect continues until the end of the turn then ends. --Todd B.

Wrath of God
Natural Affinity

A: Lands played after Natural Affinity, just like creatures played after Wrath of God, will not be affected. A land anywhere except in the “In Play” zone is a “land card”. By saying “all lands” rather than “all land cards” Natural Affinity naturally only applies to lands in play.
In looking at Wrath of God, we see neither “target” nor “in play” specifically. This is because “Destroy all creatures” doesn't have to use extra words. “All” does not mean something is targeted, it's just all, and “creatures” are creatures because they are in play or else they'd be “creature cards”. You'll notice that Natural Affinity doesn't say “target” or “in play” also.
Wrath of God not killing creatures played later is easier to understand because Wrath is a one-shot effect—it goes off and is done [CR 417.1]. However, Natural Affinity creates a continuous effect that continually is making lands into 2/2 creatures (that are still lands). The key rule for why NA's continuous effect ignores lands played later is in [CR 418.3b]:

“418.3b Continuous effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that modify the characteristics or change the controller of one or more objects don't affect objects that weren't affected when the continuous effect began…”

Is NA's effect a continuous effect? Yes. Does the effect modify characteristics? Yes. Therefore, the continuous effect does not affect lands (objects of type land) that are played later (after “the continuous effect began”).

Q: Does that mean if I put Goblin King into play, and my opponent has her own goblins, they get the bonus as well? --Aaron A.

A: Yes. “All” really does mean “all”. If it were referring to a specific subset of [foo], then a similar card would read “all [foo] you control” or “all other [bar]”.

Q: If you have Geth's Grimoire in play and you play Wrench Mind, do you draw one card or two? --Won Ly

A: You'll draw as many cards as the opponent discards. The trigger is in cards discarded, not the number of effects that caused the discard(s).

Chromatic Sphere
Q: My opponent declares playing Thoughtcast, and counts up the amount of artifacts he has and he has 4. So then he says he "locked in the price" and he sacrifices his Chromatic Sphere to pay the blue. Can he do that? --Gary T.

A: Yes, the total cost (in this case ) is locked in before mana abilities are played [CR 409.1].

*Extra* One of the simple updates to the Magic rules when Betrayers of Kamigawa came out deals with cases where players draw cards while announcing a spell or ability. If something makes you draw cards while playing a spell or ability you don't get to see what the card is until you're done playing the spell or ability [CR 217.2f If].
For example, a player with available and two Chromatic Spheres (plus four other artifacts) has a choice between using Chromatic Sphere to play Broodstar (reduced to because of Affinity for artifacts) or using the Spheres and hoping a Wrath of God is on top of his or her deck. They can't announce a Broodstar and then stop because Chromatic Sphere drew them a Wrath—they won't see if one of the cards is a Wrath until the Broodstar has been played.

Q: I played a Blinkmoth Nexus. I tapped a land to make it a creature and attack. My opponent states that I can't do this, because it has summoning sickness. I claim that because it is a land, it doesn't get summoning sickness. Who is right? --Kacey C.

A: Lands aren't affected by summoning sickness, but when you animated the Nexus, it became more than just a land. You'll have to wait until you'll controlled the Nexus continuously since your most recent turn started before you can attack with it.

Q: I can't take it any more. I've been trying to figure out how Unnatural Selection works with Standard Bearer. Can I send my opponent's burn spells back at their own creatures by making their creatures Flagbearers and my Flagbearer a Goat? --Chris M.

A: A Goat? Not a Ninja? Fine, fine, yes, you can play Ninja-esque tricks with a Flagbearer even if it's just a Goat. Here's how:

  • Flagbearers have an ability that reads “Whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls is put onto the stack, if that spell or ability could target a Flagbearer in play but doesn't, that opponent changes one of its targets to a Flagbearer.” (Yes, this is slightly different than the wording as printed on the cards. All Oracle wordings can be found in Gatherer.)
  • The ability is a triggered ability
  • No, being a “Creature- Flagbearer” doesn't automatically grant the Flagbearing ability, but the only Flagbearers printed so far (except for good old Goat/Ninja Mistform Ultimus) have that ability
  • Anyway… Respond to the triggered ability with Unnatural Selection (The trigger only happens if they don't target a Flagbearer to begin with, so thjis "tirck" is actually not so useful.)
  • Make all your Flagbearer(s) into Goat(s) or Ninja( )
  • Make your opponent's targetable Starfish (or whatever) into a Flagbearer
  • As the triggered ability resolves it'll see that a targetable Flagbearer isn't getting enough attention
  • The opponent will be forced to change one of the targets to the Flagbearer (a la Starfish)

Silver-Bordered Land

City of Ass
Q: I'm playing a sunburst deck and I tap a Forest and four City of Asses to add , and one and a half each of to my mana pool. I use five mana to play Clearwater Goblet and use the 4 half-mana (totaling two) to pay for Pentad Prism. Does Pentad Prism get 4 charge counters? --Warren E.

A: The Prism gets four counters. Four colors is four colors even one half at a time.

Q: How would Booster Tutor work in a draft or something? Would the booster be given to you or would you have to buy it? How would that have worked at the prerelease? --Richard B.

A: You'll have to provide your own boosters. In a draft, it's up to the group you're with—often any booster from the sets you drafted is fine. At the Release Events for Unhinged many but not all places limited the Booster Tutoring to just Unhinged (We did let Mark Rosewater Booster Tutor for Unglued though.).

Q: Booster Tutor allows you to open a sealed booster. Does it matter if I resealed it with duct tape or crazy glue? --Robert H.

A: “Sealed” means “factory sealed”, not “nefarious player sealed”. Tsk tsk.

Q: I've got a question about R&D's Secret Lair and the German misprint of Rath's Edge. If I have both in play, am I allowed to add two colorless mana to my mana pool? Does the same 'as written' count for the Japanese Cursed Scroll, which can be activated for two instead of three? -- Robert, Nuremberg, Germany

A: Yes, and yes. R&D's Secret Lair will let you play misprinted cards as they're written.

Q: This isn't exactly a rules question but a question non-the less that I hope you can answer. Exactly what IS a “Fat Pack”? –Herb

A: A “Fat Pack” is a bundle sold when a new set comes out. A Fat Pack contains a novel that elaborates on the story that unfolds on the cards, a Player's Guide that features full-color pictures of every card in the set and lots of added tidbits of information, six booster packs, and a Spindown life counter (a 20-sided die with the set logo instead of 20 and the numbers in order down to 1).

That's all for now. Enjoy the PT Nagoya coverage, and don't forget Betrayers of Kamigawa hits stores next Friday.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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