Turning of the Leaves

Posted in Feature on November 5, 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.

Another great LA Pro Tour becomes a leaf in the history books. Check out all the coverage online right here for the highlights and inside scoops.

Golgari Thug
Q: If your graveyard is empty, and Golgari Thug dies, does the Thug put itself on top of your library? --Michael E.

A: Yes, the Thug's ability would have only the Thug's corpse to target.

Q: Necroplasm and Hunted Horror: combo or bombo? --Ted

A: Depends-o. If the Necroplasm has any +1/+1 counters, it won't slime the tokens. But if the Necroplasm has no counters, tokens (generally-- Soul Foundry and Kiki-Jiki break this) and animated lands will be destroyed. This includes all the tokens made by the Hunted creatures.

Q: How does Suppression Field affect the madness ability? --Dustin E.

A: It doesn't. Madness isn't activated; it's static and triggered. [CR 502.24a]

Q: If I were to sac Shambling Shell during my upkeep, would that count as the "sacrificed" creature for Woebringer Demon? --Micah

A: No, Mr. Woebringer is not going to sit idly by and let you feed a tasty morsel to someone else and tell him how good it tasted. Demons don't do leftovers.

Q: If I equip Pariah's Shield to Phytohydra, will all damage to me make Phytohydra stronger? --Will Y.

A: The temptation is to blurt out a yes (which is true 99+% of the time), but there is a corner case you should be aware of.
Pariah's Shield and Phytohydra both generate replacement effects (the word “instead” is used for most replacements). [CR 419.1a] If damage would happen to you and the Phytohydra simultaneously (like with Earthquake), you have two replacements (damage Phyto instead, put counters on Phyto instead) that are trying to apply to one event. Each replacement gets to affect the “stuff takes damage” event only once. [CR 419.6a] The optimal choice would be to apply the Pariah's Shield replacement first, and then let the Phytohydra get counters for all of the damage. However, you could apply the Phyto replacement and get counters and then apply the Pariah's replacement giving your damage to the Hydra (which the Hydra's replacement won't apply to).

Q: When Dimir Doppelganger copies a creature, do "comes into play" effects occur? --Ken P.

A: No. Dimir Doppelganger can't be activated until it comes into play, so any activation would be after the event a comes-into-play trigger would be looking for.

*Extra*: Yes, this means Dimir Doppelganger loves to live the lives of Ravnica's Hunted creatures.

Q: If I have two Mindmoils in play and I play a spell, how do their triggers resolve? Can I play spells between the two triggers, or only after they both resolve? --Kevin

A: You can respond to the triggers by playing another spell, or you could resolve one trigger and then play a spell, but this works only if the spells are instants (or Vedalken Orrery is your friend). Otherwise, you're stuck with waiting for both triggers to resolve before playing sorceries and whatnot. Of course, playing something between resolving the two triggers means you're drawing one fewer card for the second trigger.

Q: Since Chorus of the Conclave states that the additional mana is an additional cost, can I use mana from Metamorphosis for it? --Adam L.

A: Yes. Paying additional costs or an X value in a creature spell's cost works perfectly well with Metamorphosis mana.

*Extra*: The same is true for mana from Food Chain and for paying additional costs such as kicker.

Q: I had a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in play, as well as a Doubling Season. Do the extra tokens created by Doubling Season stay? --Patrick O.

A: No, they'll be sacrificed as well. The key is that Doubling Season makes the effect produce more; they're not made by the Season. So Kiki will make two doomed token instead of just one.

Mnemonic Nexus
Q: Since Mnemonic Nexus practically reshuffles your graveyard, where does it go when resolving? --Kevin

A: When resolving any sorcery or instant, you start by following the direction on the spell (shuffle graveyards into library). Then the sorcery or instant is put into the graveyard. Mnemonic Nexus will be the only card in your graveyard sitting next to a recently filled and shuffled library.

Q: What happens if Eternal Dominion is imprinted onto Panoptic Mirror? If Eye of the Storm is in play, will the epic spell copy itself for each player that triggers the Eye of the Storm's ability? --Hank

A: Epic spells are next to useless with Panoptic Mirror. Like Panoptic Mirror, Eye of the Storm makes copies of cards and then allows you to play the copy. If you've already resolved an epic, you won't be allowed to play any copies you make. If an epic card has been removed with the Eye, the person who triggers the Eye could choose to not play the epic (once they resolve an epic, they won't be able play spells either).

*Extra*: Eye of the Storm doesn't trigger off copies of spells. The Eye specifically says spell cards. A player who is already following and epic won't trigger an Eye of the Storm that enters play after the original epic spell was played.

Q: If you play Eternal Dominion and you copy it with Mirari, would you be getting two cards during your upkeep? --Anthony

A: Yes, Mirari copies a spell when you play that spell if you spend . First the Mirari copy will resolve, and then the original epic will resolve (the epic effect doesn't stop spells already on the stack). Each of your upkeeps you'll be producing two copies of the epic.

*Extra*: Mirari won't be able to copy those epics because they go directly on the stack--like a Mirari copy; they are not played--like a Panoptic Mirror copy.

Q: Panoptic Mirror with a sorcery that has buyback imprinted... what happens if I pay the buyback cost of the copy? --Markoz

A: You'll return a copy of the sorcery to your hand instead of putting it into your graveyard, and then the copy will cease to exist.

Q: I was wondering whether storm counts accumulate. For example, if someone plays a Mind's Desire with 13 other spells played that turn, he reveals 13 cards from the top of his library. If he reveals one Mind's Desire but the rest lands, when he plays the next Mind's Desire, does it storm for 14 or 26? --Ross C.

A: No, storm itself doesn't make the storm count go up. Storm counts only played spells, not spells that were copied but not played (like storm itself). Be careful though--in your example you Mind's Desired for 13, but you forgot the Mind's Desire itself. The first Desire would have itself and thirteen copies (14 reveals), and the second Desire would have itself and fourteen copies (15 reveals). The key with copies is if they just make a copy (like storm, epic, and Mirari) or if they make a copy that someone plays (like Panoptic Mirror, Isochron Scepter, and Eye of the Storm). Storms get bigger the more things get played.

Hidetsugu's Second Rite
Q: I heard that when a player plays Hidetsugu's Second Rite you can tap a land to burn yourself for 1 damage. Is this true? --Xian

A: No, mana burn doesn't happen until the phase ends (and it's loss of life, not damage).

*Extra*: You may have heard someone talking about the Ninth Edition painlands that do a point of damage when they make colored mana. That would work, but it's not the same as mana burning.

Q: Will playing Sway of the Stars while I have an Underworld Dreams in play kill my opponent(s)? --Glenn W.

A: No, when the Sway resolved, it shuffled your Underworld Dreams back into your library. It wouldn't be around to trigger as your opponents drew cards.

Q: If I play Hideous Laughter splicing Goryo's Vengeance targeting Kokusho, the Evening Star, does Kokusho receive -2/-2? And if I play Goryo's Vengeance splicing Hideous Laughter, is it the same? --Olavo

A: It's not the same. Follow the directions in order starting with the original spell and then do the splice portions in the order you announced. [CR 502.40b] Goryo's on Laughter gives you a 5/5 Dragon. Laughter on Goryo's gives you a 3/3 Dragon.

Q: If a sorcery has a flashback cost, can it be played anytime you can play an instant, or can you only play it only when you can play a sorcery? --Jonathan C.

A: Flashback doesn't change when something can be paid-- just how much it costs and that it's coming from the grave.

Q: If I play Living Lands and have Forests in play, can I use Wooded Foothills to fetch Mistform Ultimus, because there are now creatures with the type "Forest"? --Nathan M.

A: No, you have land creatures with the land-type Forest but with no creature-type. Wooded Foothills is only looking at land types, and Mistform Ultimus only cares about creature types.

Q: I have a Betrayal on my opponent's creature. I take the creature using a Rootwater Matriarch. Do I have to sacrifice my Betrayal? --Kris J.

A: Essentially, yes. The creature will come under your control. State-based effects will put the Betrayal into your graveyard. Then the no-longer-enchanted creature will return to your opponent.

Q: My opponent plays a card I do not want to come into play. I play Counterspell. My opponent plays Last Word. Our interpretation is Last Word ends the thread of counterspells and the initial spell is still on the stack. Can I start a new thread and attempt to counter the original spell yet again? --Joe F.

A: You could let the Last Word resolve and then re-counter the spell, or you could just play a counter targeting the original spell. You don't have to wait for the Last Word to resolve to play more spells, and only the Last Word says it can't be countered by spells or abilities.

Phyrexian Infiltrator
Q: My friend used the Phyrexian Infiltrator to exchange control of itself with itself and then put that ability on the stack to take my Avatar of Might. Does he get back the Infiltrator? --Marcelino

A: Not quite--the Infiltrator needs another target creature, not just itself. Let's use a Spirit token, for example. I target my Spirit token, and in response I target your Avatar (the response is key). The Infiltrator will swap with the Avatar. If nothing happens to the Infiltrator or token before the next ability resolves, the pending swap will give you the token, and I'll get back the Infiltrator.

Q: I was wondering if the card Stifle would work against Gempalm Polluter? Would this require two Stifles? --James H.

A: Stifle could work on either the activated cycling draw or the life loss triggered ability. You'd need two Stifles if you wanted to stop both effects.

Q: In a multiplayer setting, I play Razia's Purification. In what order does everyone select their three permanents? --Erik Z.

A: Start with the active player (the person whose turn it is), and then go around the table in turn order. [CR 103.4] You might hear this often referred to as APNAP (Active Player, Non-Active Player).

Q: Is it possible to have five colors in one deck? --Faisal

A: Absolutely. Some formats, such as Prismatic and Rainbow Stairwell on Magic Online as well as 5-Color in the world of paper Magic require players to have all five colors.

Speaking of multicolored worlds, it's not just leaves that have exploded with color lately. Magic Online just released Ravnica to the digital world. With half-half mana symbols and a ton of great lands for smoothing your mana base, multicolored decks can be played like never before. If you haven't given Prismatic a shot or have an Extended deck idea you just have to try, stop by online, and check out the gold new world.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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