States, Provinces, Territories, and Crazyville

Posted in Feature on October 29, 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.

If it seems like I went insane for a bit two weeks ago, it's because I did. Boros Fury-Shield played with red mana will indeed kill your opponent if their life is equal to or less than the target creature's. The Fury-Shield deals its damage as the spell resolves, not when the prevention shield is used unlike Honorable Passage, for example. Snap back to reality.

Last weekend was the debut weekend for the new world of Standard and Extended, but all eyes were on Standard. In case you've been in la-la land, too, last weekend was the State, Province, Territory, and Island Championships-- aka "Champs." As tradition has it, the Champs format is Standard, and with no big events before the dance itself, the deck tech was still untold and untested until events from the weekend cool down. But let's concern ourselves here with rules rather than metagame...

Q: I would like to know what exactly does "at end of turn" mean. Gleancrawler states MY turn. Does this mean I will only get back the creatures that die during my turn and not the opponent's turn? --Chris

A: Your “at end of turn” comes just after your main phase ends and just before you discard. Each player has an end of turn step, but Gleancrawler only works on its controller's turn.

Q: I get attacked with a hoard of Saproling tokens. I play Boros Fury-Shield (using red mana) and Radiate it. Does my opponent take damage for all those tokens? --Luke H.

A: No, you've only prevented their damage. The copies made by Radiate didn't have any mana payment associated with them, so the mana color bonus doesn't apply.

Q: Does the Bloodbond March's effect trigger from Vigor Mortis? --Michael E.

A: No, Vigor Mortis is a sorcery. Sorceries and instants that revive corpses or make tokens aren't creature spells.

Q: I have Bloodbond March in play and have two Kokusho, the Evening Star in my graveyard. I play a Kokusho from my hand. What happens? --Jonathan B.

A: When you play Kokusho, the March triggers. When the trigger resolves, the two Kokusho corpses are put into play. They promptly notice that something has gone horribly awry and get legend-ruled right back into the graveyard. You'll drain and gain five life for each, and then the Kokusho you played will come into play all by its lonesome (assuming the game is still going on after ten points of Dragon suction).

Q: I have Kokusho, the Evening Star in play. My friend plays Dimir Doppelganger, then uses its ability to remove a Kokusho from my graveyard. Does the legend rule apply to them? --Toby S.

A: Yes, name and supertype are copied, so the two Kokusho will be put into their owners' graveyards. [CR 503.2] Since it's your friend's turn, your Kokusho trigger will stack on top of his and resolve before his.

Vulturous Zombie
Q: My opponent controls a Vulturous Zombie. I play Wildfire. Does Vulturous Zombie gets counters and survive the Wildfire? --Tian Y.

A: No. Vulturous Zombie will trigger many times, but it dies before any of the triggers resolves. Here's what happens… Wildfire begins resolving, and each player sacrifices four lands (four triggers). Then each creature takes four damage (still four triggers). Wildfire finishes resolving and is put into the graveyard (fifth trigger). And the state-based effects are checked and sees a 3/3 Plant Zombie (don't ask why undead shrubbery can fly) with four damage on it, so the lethally damaged Zombie is destroyed. Five triggers and no bullets.

Q: Can I use Boseiju, Who Shelters All's ability to play a sorcery or instant with a Blood Funnel in play and not sacrifice a creature without the spell being countered? --John

A: Yes, Boseiju will protect your sorceries and instants from Blood Funnel. That's where the “abilities” in “spells and abilities” comes in handy.

Q: If you have two Privileged Positions in play, how can they be destroyed? --Ockie

A: Untargeted enchantment removal such as Tempest of Light can still destroy the Positions.

Q: Does ninjutsu count as an activated ability? Will Suppression FieldHinder ninjutsu? --Onihana

A: Ninjutsu is activated (notice the colon in the reminder text). Each Suppression Field will make ninjutsu cost more.

Q: The reminder text on transmute says, "Play as a sorcery." Does it mean that it is played as a sorcery spell? Or is it merely an activated ability that can be played at sorcery speed (i.e. can be countered by Squelch, played after resolving Enduring Ideal, have its cost increased by Suppression Field, etc.)? --Alan G.

A: I wouldn't say “speed,” but you have it right in that it's just an activated ability with a timing restriction. Reminder text can take shortcuts sometimes to fit onto cards, and “play as a sorcery” is much shorter than “activate this ability only during your turn, during your main phase, if the stack is empty, and only if you have priority.”

Q: If I Plagiarize my opponent during his upkeep, can he dredge to replace his draw and thus keep me from drawing a card? --Ryusei

A: Yes, your opponent will have the choice of milling cards and getting his dredge card, or doing nothing and letting you draw instead of him. This works because both are replacement effects, and the person affected makes the choice of which to apply first, afterwards, the other no longer applies.

Drake Familiar
Q: I'm confused about how Drake Familiar works. --Wira P.

A: Drake Familiar comes into play and triggers. When the trigger resolves, you either choose an enchantment-- anyone's-- and put it back into their hand, or you sacrifice the Familiar.

Q: Can I prevent Necroplasm from getting destroyed by playing Humble targeting it during the turn it gets its third +1/+1 counter? --Dominic K.

A: Yes, if the Necroplasm doesn't have the “at end of turn” triggered ability (because Humble made it go away) when you enter the end of turn step, you won't have to destroy the Necroplasm.

Q: If I Copy Enchantment a Confiscate, do I get to choose a new permanent for this new 'Confiscate' to enchant? What if the enchantment is a Dream Leash? --Shayne

A: Yes, you'll put a Confiscate into play and be able to choose a permanent to attach it to. [CR 212.4e] This includes permanents that can't be targeted by spells or abilities, because Copy Enchantment is creating a permanent that needs a place to go-- the spell itself doesn't target.
The same is true for Dream Leash. Dream Leash's restriction about tapped permanents only cares about playing the Dream Leash. Putting a Dream Leash into play with Copy Enchantment or even Enduring Ideal doesn't worry about tapped or untapped. “Enchant foo” is a constant restriction on what an Aura can be played on or enchant; “play only bar” only applies when playing the Aura spell.

Nikko-Onna
Q: I control a Nikko-Onna enchanted with Flickerform. My opponent plays Confiscate on Nikko-Onna. On my turn, I activate Flickerform. When Nikko-Onna and the enchantments on her come back into play, who gets to decide the target of Nikko-Onna's ability? Is the Confiscate a legal target? --Phil

A: Flickerform's effect will return Nikko-Onna to play under your control, and then the Flickerform and Confiscate will be put into play attached to Nikko-Onna, giving control of the creature to your opponent. However, Nikko triggers upon entering play, and at that time-- by nanoseconds-- you controlled the creature. So you will be the one who controls the triggered ability and choose its target. Once everything is back in play you'll stack the trigger, and Confiscate would be a perfectly fine target at that time.

Q: Is it possible to copy over and over as long as you have the mana/lands with Uyo, Silent Prophet or Mirari or is it a one shot per spell you want to copy? --Andy B.

A: It is possible with Uyo if you have mana and lands because you activate Uyo as much as you desire. Mirari is a triggered ability though. With Mirari, you get only one trigger per sorcery or instant, so you only get the chance to pay for Mirari one time.

*Extra*: You could return two lands for one activation of Uyo. Then use two Sakura-Tribe Scouts to put those lands back into play, tap them, and return them again for another activation. If you've copied a Call to Glory, the copy would let you untap the Scouts before the original resolves-- plenty of time to use them again to make another copy. Feel free to add in Frostwielder for hideous amounts of damage in between the Call to Glory untaps.

Q: If I imprint a Celestial Gatekeeper into my Soul Foundry, what happens when the copy dies? Can I get two birds from my graveyard? Would I get counters for Soulcatchers' Aerie? --Tobias L.

A: The token Gatekeeper goes to your graveyard and triggers Soulcatchers' Aerie as well as its own ability. Then the token ceases to exist. [CR 409.5f] Then you stack the Aerie and the Gatekeeper triggers as you see fit. You'll get a feather for the Aerie and two Birds from your graveyard. The key is that the Gatekeeper's ability doesn't say, “If you do,” meaning that you'd have to remove the Gatekeeper from the game in order to return Birds (as opposed to something like Promise of Bunrei).

Q: Does Aether Charge trigger when I unmorph a Beast? --Cypress

A: No, the Beast was already in play, not coming into play like Aether Charge wants it to be. Phasing in a Beast also won't trigger Aether Charge.

Ill-Gotten Gains
Q: When a player resolves Ill-Gotten Gains does each player reveal the returned cards to all players? Would it be up to the other player(s) to remember what was in the other graveyards to begin with? --John

A: Each player discards his or her hand, and then they select and return cards (starting with the person whose turn it is). You don't have to remember exactly what's in the graveyard because the players have to indicate what they're returning.

Q: How does Zirilan of the Claw's activated ability interact with Worldgorger Dragon? Does the Dragon remain in play because Zirilan was removed? --Peter B.

A: Zirilan puts the Worldgorger into play, and then the Worldgorger removes everything except itself. However, the effect for Zirilan still applies to the Worldgorger which will be removed at end of turn and cause the removed objects to return (untapped but summoning sick).

Q: I told my friends that I'm unaffected by the damage of a Pestilence if I control an Urza's Armor. Am I living my whole life on a trick? My opponent has Paladin en-Vec enchanted with Pariah. Is the redirected damage prevented? --Karyna R.

A: You and the Paladin are fine. Because Pestilence damage happens one point at a time, Urza's Armor negates all of it. With the Paladin, the amounts don't matter; just the fact the damage is coming from a black source. Pariah doesn't change the source of the damage, just the destination. The Paladin's protection from black will prevent both the normal damage and the damage redirected by Pariah.

*Extra*: Since each of these is damage prevention, effects like Flaring Pain's will shut down both Urza's Armor and the protection prevent effect.

Q: Since Eladamri says Elves can't be the target of spells or abilities; does this make Elves immune to Engineered Plague? --Jamison

A: No, Engineered Plague doesn't target, so untargetability won't help.

Q: If I have Vedalken Orrery, is it possible to off my opponent with Sway of the Stars if I have a 7-point Fireball on the stack? --Ash

A: It's still the Fireball that will kill your opponent, not the Sway. But yes, the Sway in response to the Fireball will conveniently set your opponent's life to seven just before your opponent take seven. All you need is for Orrery, for Sway, and for Fireball-- twenty-two mana, what a bargain!

That's everything for this week. This weekend features the all new Extended format at Pro Tour Los Angeles. I am in the city of angels for the event, and if you're in the area, I'd suggest a visit, too. Besides the big show itself and the Duel Masters North American Continental Championship, there are artist signings as well as plenty of open events for players of all types and styles. See you there.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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