An Update on the UNH Truce, and Questions Questions Questions

Posted in Feature on December 4, 2004

By John Carter

A Word About Unhinged

So far we've been very good about letting my esteemed colleague Mr. Rosewater go crazy only once every half-dozen or so years. And boy, does he ever have a soft spot for silver-bordered land. Meanwhile, some of us have to keep the rest of Magic from being overrun with questions about stacking shoes and if adding cheeseburger to your belly pool is a mana ability. It's not hard (if you brought a helmet), but Maro does love having an excuse to talk about Unhinged every week. So for the remainder of 2004 we're letting him field the Un- questions in his Making Magic articles. Think of it as Monday School with Maro.

Yes, in time you'll get a dose of Un here at Saturday School, but separating a wild animal from its young is unwise. And I am unwilling to lose a limb coming between Mark and the Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug. After New Years we'll distract Maro with bits of string and shiny objects, and you can expect some Un here then.

Until then, on with our regularly scheduled show!

Q: A flipped Bushi Tenderfoot is in play as Kenzo, equipped with an Oathkeeper. If Kenzo is on his way to the graveyard for one reason or another, does the Oathkeeper bring him back? Furthermore, does this interaction use the stack? Would it return Bushi Tenderfoot if he had a bushido counter from Sensei Golden-Tail? Does a samurai returned with Oathkeeper retain any counters, local enchantments or equipment? --Aaron T.

A: Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho will not return a flipped Bushi Tenderfoot (ie: Kenzo the Hardhearted) or a creature trained by Sensei Golden-Tail. The "if it's a Samurai" trigger refers to the card, not to the creature that left play and it only returns the card if it's naturally a Samurai.

When a card leaves play, it forgets everything about its previous life. Counters, effects, enchantments, and equipment will not return or be reattached. Sensei Golden-Tail's effect will end, and Kenzo will return to play as a plain Bushi Tenderfoot.

Q: I have a Bushi Tenderfoot with bushido: 1 in play (courtesy of a Sensei Golden-Tail). If I flip it, does the flipped version keep bushido: 1, or does it loose it because of the flip card rule? --Vasco

A: A flip creature will retain all counters, equipment, local enchantments and continuous effects when it flips. In fact, a flip doesn't change anything except the underlying card text. The Sensei's training effect will still apply, so any of the flipped creatures would also get bushido: 1 and additionally be a Samurai.

Long-Forgotten Gohei
Q: I was playing a Soulshift type deck; I had a Long-Forgotten Gohei and several Kami. If a Kami went to the graveyard, would I be able to return the Kami to my hand because of the Long-Forgotten Gohei?

--Russell G.

A: No. The Gohei reduces your cost to play Spirits, but it doesn't change what their mana cost and converted mana cost are. For example, a Thousand-legged Kami has a converted mana cost of 8 regardless of whether the cost to play would wind up being 7.

Q: I was playing in the PTQ in West Chester this past weekend, watching a game where a player had a Jade Idol and a Kami of the Waning Moon in play. He then played an Arcane spell, and thus both abilities triggered. He stacked the Kami first and the Idol second, saying the Idol resolves first and the Kami ability can give the Idol Fear. I pointed out (after the game) that I didn't think that worked, so can the Kami of the Waning Moon give a Jade Idol fear with only one Spirit / Arcane spell being played? I meant to ask one of the judges there between rounds, but I forgot. --Duke S.

A: Your instinct is sound—the Idol is not a legal Waning Moon target. With multiple spiritcraft creatures, you'll have to pick targets when the trigger gets stacked [CR 410.4.]. This happens before any of the triggers resolve, so the Jade Idol won't be a creature at the time you choose targets.

Q: You answered a question where sacrificing a creature in effect countered a Peer Through Depths (with Glacial Ray spliced on) because the "target" of the Glacial Ray part no longer had a legal target. What if the same scenario happened with one "targeting spell" spliced on to another "targeting spell"? –Dan

A: The key is that the Peer Through Depths with added Glacial Ray text is a targeted spell, and all of the spell's targets (only one) became illegal. If you were to have a targeted spell with another targeted spell spliced onto it, then you'd have a spell with two targets. In that case, both targets (ie: all of the targets) would have to become illegal in order for the spell to be countered. If only one target were illegal, the spell would ignore that target but otherwise resolve normally for the other target and any untargeted parts [CR 413.2a].

Glacial Ray
Peer Through Depths

Q: I have an argument about Hikari, Twilight Guardian. I say you can play an arcane spell at the end of my opponent's turn and remove it from the game and the Hikari won't come back into play till the end of my turn making my Wrath of God all that more powerful - what is the ruling on this? --John O.

A: You're right. If a Hikari triggers and leaves play during the “End of Turn Step” [CR 313], it will not trigger its return until the next End of Turn step. This is mechanically the same as people using Astral Slide with Exalted Angel to avoid their own Akroma's Vengeance or even the post-Sixth-Edition pre-errata Waylay.

Q: What happens when my opponent steals my Kokusho, the Evening Star and sacs it with his Grab the Reins? --Andrew E.

A: Because he controlled Kokusho when it left play, he'll control the triggered ability. Chances are you'll be taking five from Grab the Reins and losing five from Kokusho's trigger as well as him gaining five from the trigger.

Q: Can't you technically use Mindslaver to make your opponent "choose" to concede the game? --Stephen

A: No. [CR 507.3b]

Q: How do 'come into play tapped' lands work with Blood Moon? –Som

A: The lands will come into play as tapped mountains.

Q: Can Kodama of the North Tree or Gaea's Herald be countered? --Khair L.

A: Yes. Their abilities don't apply until they're in play. By comparison, Blurred Mongoose cannot be countered.

Cinder Wall
Q: My friend has Cinder Wall in play and tries to attack with him. He says he can because it does not expressly state on the card that (walls cannot attack). I tell him that is just reminder text. Who's right?

A: A Cinder Wall cannot attack. This is why walls were given Defender when Champions came out—people forgetting that “Wall” had rules baggage. If your friend needs clarification, there's always Gatherer. You'll find both an Eighth Edition Cinder Wall that does have the reminder text as well as see the Oracle errata that has Defender with the reminder text.

Q: Does Megrim only trigger once for every "time" the opponent discards or for every card discarded? --John

A: Megrim triggers for each individual card.

Q: If my opponent Confiscated one of my creatures, and I cast Steal Enchantment on the Confiscate, I gain back my creature and, does the Confiscate fizzle? Or do I get to reassign targets with the Confiscate? --Lucas N.

A: You now control Confiscate (and thereby the Confiscated creature), but the Confiscate stays in play, and you don't get to move the Confiscate.

Q: In regards to a Duplicant, can he imprint himself? The wording says "When" so the trigger doesn't occur until he resolves, so he is a valid target, correct?

I ask because of this situation: With a Confusion in the Ranks in play, can I play a Duplicant, put the imprint trigger on the stack first, the Confusion trigger second, resolve the Confusion trigger to steal an artifact or creature from my opponent and then resolve the imprint trigger so the Duplicant removes himself from the game? --Marc C.

A: Yes, Duplicant can target himself. The Confusion trick works as well, but your opponent will have the chance to respond to the triggers, so you might not get what you want, but chances are you'll wind up with the opponent's creature (or artifact), and then the Duplicant trigger will remove the Duplicant from the game.

Q: Befoul is played on a Darksteel Colossus (or any indestructible nonblack creature), which of course is not destroyed. Now, let's say an effect occurs that causes the Colossus to lose indestructibility. Finally, a Shatter is played on the Colossus. Can the Colossus be regenerated from the Shatter? --Mark C.

A: Yes, regeneration will save the non-indestructible Colossus. When reading cards, players should consider the entire card as well as its individual pieces [CR 413.2b]. The “It can't be regenerated” on Befoul simply modifies the destroy effect; it is not an effect in its own right, and does not apply after Befoul has finished resolving. Compare that to the wording on Incinerate (“A creature dealt damage this way can't be regenerated this turn.”), and the difference becomes clear.

Crypt Sliver
Q: A friend of mine had a Crystalline Sliver and a Crypt Sliver in play. He thought he'd still be able to regenerate his Slivers, but I told him he couldn't because the regeneration targets. We had quite a discussion, so I'd be very happy for clarification! –Nick

A: The Crypt ability targets, so yes, Crystalline Sliver will disable it. “Regenerate target Sliver” uses the word “target”, and therefore it's a targeted ability. If you're ever in doubt about whether something is targeted, check Gatherer for the Oracle text, and look for the word “target”. In general, anything printed since 1999 should be clear with targeted right on the card though.

Q: I've seen it stated about other creatures that it's illegal to sacrifice a creature in order to activate its own ability. Then I saw the Saturday School about Bosh, Iron Golem being able to fling himself. Which is it: can creatures be sacrificed in order to activate their abilities, which require a sacrifice, or can't they? --Jamal F.

A: Perhaps there was some misunderstanding. There's nothing wrong with sacrificing something to its own abilities. The key is that you can't sacrifice anything to pay two costs – so you can't sacrifice Bosh to his own ability while also sacrificing Bosh to a Krark Clan Ironworks to get the mana for his ability (or other such multiple sacrifice attempts).

Q: I have an Intruder Alarm in play, and I play Natural Affinity; do my lands untap if I play another land or search for one? --Rage

A: No, the new lands will not be animated. As Natural Affinity resolves, it figures out which group of permanents it will apply to, and that group doesn't change. This is true for all spells and all activated and triggered abilities. It's the same idea as to why Armageddon doesn't destroy a land played after the Armageddon resolves.

Q: If Darksteel Colossus is in the field and an opponent plays Living Death does Darksteel Colossus go from the field or not? --Dennis

A: Living Death makes players sacrifice all their creatures in play. “Sacrificing” a creature is not the same as “destroying” it, so indestructibility doesn't have any effect here. The Colossus will be sacrificed (and shuffled into your library).

Snap
Q: A while ago a buddy of mine and I were playing and he hadSnap on an Isochron Scepter with two lands untapped. He later plays Snap from his Isochron on my Goblin King and then untaps two lands and counters my Goblin Warchief with a Counterspell. Does that work? --David

A: Yes, it does. In the old days, Counterspell was an ‘interrupt' – it had to be played straight after the spell it was countering, before there was any time to play instants like Snap. These days Counterspell is simply another instant, so spells can be countered any time before they resolve.

And Snap doesn't have the “from your hand” errata that many Saga-era cards received. Compare this to Cloud of Faeries to see the difference.

Q: Since you said Uyo only makes the copy of Brain Freeze and doesn't make the storm, wouldn't that go the same for Isochron Scepter, too? --Hans

A: No, they're similar but not the same. The key is that storm triggers “When you play this spell”. It needs the action of being played in order to go off.

Scepter says “copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy”.

Uyo simply says “copy target instant or sorcery spell”. Since Brain Freeze is on the stack, the copy automatically appears on the stack too, without actually being played.

Q: My friend and I were wondering this: Player A casts Cranial Extraction and in response Player B casts Shunt - who names the card? Also, if Player A names the card first, can Player B Shunt it? --Michael P.

A: Second things first… You don't name the Cranial card until the Extraction resolves. The onus is on the Cranial player to make sure the spell is resolving before naming anything. If a player rushes the spell and names something too early, an opponent who was not given time to respond should be given time. Often times the Cranial player will be stuck with whatever they named the first time. Just be careful and ask before it resolves…

As for Shunting a Cranial Extraction, this is legal, but it only changes the spell's target (which is the “target player” who loses the cards). A Shunted Cranial Extraction will resolve just as if Player A had cast it on himself: first Player A names a nonland card, and then Player A searches for cards with that name. He is allowed to name a card he doesn't have, and he isn't required to find anything if he doesn't want to.

Q: In the latest version of the rules released in .doc format it says players are allowed to make one last cut after the opponent has shuffled your deck. So does that include if your opponent has shuffled and cut your deck? --Chrisy

A: If an opponent shuffles your deck (regardless of if they ended with a cut), the player always gets the opportunity to make one cut. This does not apply if you opponent only cut your deck (but did not shuffle) nor does it allow you to shuffle any more—just one cut.

What you were reading was the Magic Floor Rules for use with DCI sanctioned events. Specifically, you saw, “If the opponent has shuffled the player's deck, that player may make one final cut” [MFR 114]. These rules help keep Magic played consistently no matter where you go in the world. They're technically only required at sanctioned events, but most local stores use the DCI model as their standard as well.

That wraps us up for this week. I hope everyone has a good holiday season to look forward to even if there is a Final Exam just around the corner.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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