Summer Is Upon Us

Posted in Feature on June 3, 2006

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.

Dissension is now available online and rounds out the Ravnica block in cyberspace. The paper world of Magic saw no changes from the DCI this June, but Magic Online's Prismatic and Tribal formats both got significant overhauls. Read the announcement here, or head on to this week's questions.

Q: Does Plaxmanta's trigger grant untargetability only to creatures I already controlled when it came into play, or all my creatures until end of turn, even those I played after Plaxmanta entered play? --Sergio T.

A: Your second guess is right: it affects the creatures you control at every moment.

*Extra*: This is different from the way many similar cards (e.g. Flame-Kin Zealot) work, because Plaxmanta doesn't change the characteristics of the creatures - it just changes the rules of the game for a turn.

Q: If I have Leyline of Singularity in play and use Omnibian on two creatures, do they both go to the graveyard due to the legend rule? --William K.

A: No. Their creature types becomes Frog, their power and toughness become 3/3, but their names remain unchanged. The legend rule is looking for things with the same name that are legendary - matching other things doesn't matter.

Q: I'm guessing that opponents are not permanents and thus Simic Guildmage can't move Psychic Possession, but thought I'd ask anyway. --Todd

A: Opponents are not permanents. Neither are teammates. You're not either.

Q: Can you use the Simic Guildmage's ability to move a Faith's Fetters from one opponent's permanent to that opponent's Simic Sky Swallower or Kodama of the North Tree? --Daniel T.

A: Yes, only the Aura is targeted, and an Aura in play isn't a spell or ability trying to target the Simic Sky Swallower or North Tree, so the Aura will move. Moving won't retrigger it, but it will give the big nasties that warm fuzzy feeling.

*Extra*: Protection includes untargetability, but it also includes "can't be enchanted." If your North Tree had protection from white, then it wouldn't be a legal permanent for the Fetters to move to.

Q: Can I move a counter to Simic Sky Swallower with Simic Guildmage and then regenerate it with Sporeback Troll? --Mark

A: The Guildmage's counter moving and the Sporeback's regeneration both target. You can't do either to Simic Sky Swallower.

*Extra*: Graft, however, doesn't target. So you can move counters with graft onto a Simic Sky Swallower. The activated abilities that target a creature with a +1/+1 counter still wouldn't work though.

Q: My husband puts out a Sporeback Troll. I put out Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, and he transfers a +1/+1 counter to Momir Vig. He then proceeds to pay every time before my combat phase to regenerate Momir Vig, thus tapping him. Is this legal? My personal opinion is no, and my hubby says yes. --Hanna

A: "Legal" is a tricky word here. Hubby can indeed create the regeneration shield before every combat - that's legal. However, making a shield doesn't cause the creature to tap; it's using up the shield - the act of actually regenerating - that taps the creature. So shortly after he so nicely shields Momir, you can just as legally tap it to attack and enjoy the look on hubby's face just before it gets crushed in. Have fun.

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
Q: My opponent claims that since Momir Vig, Simic Visionary and its ability come into play at the same time, it allows him to search and draw when Momir Vig hits the field. Is this correct? --Rufus

A: Momir's ability applies while it's in play, and the ability is looking for spells being played. Since Momir isn't in play until long after its already been played, it will never trigger itself.

*Extra*: Momir's controller has two triggers to stack if a creature spell is played that's both green and blue. Stack them in the reverse of the way you want them to resolve. Usually this means you'll search for a creature card and put it on your library (the green part) and then reveal said creature card and put it into your hand (the blue part).

Q: I have a Stampeding Serow, Trusted Advisor, Patagia Viper, and both its tokens in play. At the beginning of my upkeep, can I return one of the tokens to my hand to satisfy both Serow and the Advisor? --Jeff

A: Neither the Serow nor the Advisor target, so you don't pick which creature to return until the trigger resolves. You'll have to return two separate creatures.

Q: My opponent plays Lava Spike targeting me, and he then copies it with Izzet Guildmage's ability. I Voidslime the original Spike. My friend says I still take three because the Guildmage's effect immediately copies the spell. --Allan Z.

A: Izzet Guildmage's ability, like all non-mana activated abilities, uses the stack. Furthermore, the ability targets the spell. If you counter the targeted spell, the Guildmage ability will be countered for lack of target.

Palliation Accord
Q: If I have a Loxodon Gatekeeper and Palliation Accord in play, do I get a shield counter for each creature my opponents play? --Jason S.

A: No, the creatures come into play already tapped. Abilities that trigger on something becoming tapped look for the object to go from being untapped to tapped. Pre-tapped doesn't apply.

Q: My opponent has three graft creatures in play and plays a 1/1 creature. Does each graft counter go on the stack and resolve one at a time or would the creature just become 4/4? I'm asking when the best time to use my Lightning Bolt would be. --Darren

A: Each graft creature will trigger separately. Those triggers resolve one at a time. If you Bolt the new creature (just after the second trigger resolves is most beneficial for you), any remaining triggers won't move counters since the creature is no longer there.

Q: I had a Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang token in play. My opponent Cytoshaped it into a Birds of Paradise, and it died. Will Tatsumasa come back into play or not? --Boruko

A: The effect that created the token is what is looking for the token going to the graveyard, not an ability on the token. Even though the token that was a Dragon goes to the graveyard as a Bird, the effect will be tracking that token and will return the Fang.

*Extra*: Removing the token from the game or returning the token to its owner's hand will leave the Fang removed forever.

Q: If I have Rain of Gore out and use Beacon of Immortality on an opponent, would it turn into a Beacon of Mortality? --Nathan E.

A: Yes, Beacon of Immortality and Rain of Gore is a fatal combo, but only for yourself. Doubling a life total makes a player gain that much life. Rain of Gore replaces gaining that much life with losing that much life - cleverly equal to your life total. Rain of Gore doesn't affect players gaining life from someone else's spell or ability.

Q: How do Sprouting Phytohydra and Wojek Embermage interact? --Anthony

A: The Embermage will damage the Sprout and trigger it's ability; at that same time, the radiance will be damaging all other green creatures. Then the Sprout trigger will resolve and give you yet another green creature. If you Embermage on the next turn, the damage and radiance will be hitting two Spouts - giving you two more.

*Extra*: For tons of fun, try Pestilence. One activation turns one Sprout into two. The next activation makes two more Sprouts but kills the first one (two damage total). The third activation makes three new Sprouts and kills the oldest one left. Beyond that I'll leave as an exercise for the student.

Q: At Regionals, a player wanted to use Voidslime to counter the "return it to play" trigger from Ghost Council of Orzhova. Was this correct? Does the delayed triggered ability trigger again at the next end of turn? --Aren M.

A: Voidslime can counter the delayed return to play trigger. The Ghost Council will be left removed from the game forever.

Cytoplast Manipulator
Q: My opponent controls a Cytoplast Manipulator. I attack him with a creature that is unblocked. If I bring out a creature with ninjutsu, can my opponent put a graft counter on it and control my creature with no damage taken? --Simon

A: Graft triggers for any creature that comes into play. Your opponent could move a +1/+1 counter from one of his grafters onto the Ninja and then use the Manipulator to take it.

*Extra*: Of course, if you have another Ninja, you could respond to the Manipulator's ability by using ninjutsu to return the Manipulator's target and hit him with the new Ninja. Sneaky!

Q: I have Future Sight in play and the top card of my library is Okiba-Gang Shinobi. Can I ninjutsu? --Matt

A: Ninjutsu only works while the card is in your hand. [CR 502.43a] You can play it like a normal spell via Future Sight, but you can't ninjutsu it from the library.

Q: Grifter's Blade says that it comes into play equipping a creature you control, and Giant Solifuge can't the target of spells or abilities. Would this "equipping" target? --Eddie

A: Grifter's Blade's ability puts it into play already equipping a creature. This doesn't target. The normal, activated equip ability does target, but that's not the same.

Q: Is it obligatory to sacrifice Promise of Bunrei, as soon as a creature hits the graveyard? Or is this just an option as the "if" suggests? --Sven B.

A: Yes, the sacrifice isn't optional. "May," not "if," is used for optional actions. The if clause means that you can't get multiple batches of tokens from multiple triggers since you can break the Promise only once.

Q: My opponent attacks with a 2/2 double strike creature, and I block with a 1/1. The first strike hits my creature. What happens to the other 2 damage? --Walter R.

A: Double strike creatures will not deal any regular damage if all their blockers are killed by the first strike damage. Only if a creature has trample would extra damage be assigned to the player. Double strike does not equal trample.

Q: A friend and I were discussing the nuances of the game... Multiple instances of first strike are redundant, and multiple instances of double strike are redundant. Would having both first strike and double strike on a creature upgrade the "normal" damage of a creature so that it deals two first strike damages as a result? --Dustin W.

A: No, having first and double strike doesn't offer anything more than having just double strike would offer.

Ideas Unbound
Q: What if you play Ideas Unbound and play all your cards before you discard? --Patrick D.

A: With no cards in hand you'll discard nothing and continue on.

Q: I heard that Mycosynth Lattice will not let you get the full number of counters on sunburst cards because the "as though it were mana of any color" doesn't mean the mana actually is any color, and thus doesn't help sunburst. Is this true? --L. D.

A: You won't get any more or less counters because of the Lattice. Though you can use any mana to pay for the colored costs of a spell, sunburst will see what mana was actually spent and give counters as appropriate. If you spend colored mana, you'll still get the counters like you normally would, but none extra.

Q: I have Chronatog in play and Stasis in play. It's my opponent's turn, so I use the ability of the Chronatog to grow it and I skip my next turn. When my opponent finishes his current turn he starts a new turn, so I can skip another turn. I won't have to pay Stasis' upkeep cost because I don't take any turns, yes? --Aleksandar

A: Yes, skipping your turn would save you from paying for Stasis with this classic combo. Unless your opponent can deal with you or one of those combo pieces, he or she is likely to draw to death eventually.

Pro Tour--Charleston is less than two weeks away. It's bound to be hot in the Carolinas, and Magic's best and brightest will be slugging it out for the big bucks. Check for the latest coverage as always.

Class Dismissed.


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