Worlds and Questions and Champions, Oh My!

Posted in Feature on September 11, 2004

By John Carter

Send your rules questions to Magic Rules Manager John Carter. Can't find the answer to your question somewhere else? Maybe he's already answered it! Try the Saturday School Searchable Rules Database.

2004 World Champion Julien NuitjenCongratulations to our new World Champion, the Netherlands's Julien Nuijten. Congratulations also go to our Player of the Year, France's Gabriel Nassif. Here's a quick taste of some of the questions fielded by the busy staff last weekend in San Francisco…

Q: My Panoptic Mirror triggers. I imprint a card on it. After the imprint and before the trigger resolves, my opponent Oxidizes my Mirror. Do I still get to copy an imprinted card?

A: Yes. The Mirror's ability will use the last known information for the Mirror, which does include what was imprinted on it.

Q: My opponent plays Thirst For Knowledge with Future Sight out. Do I get to see all the cards drawn?

A: Yes. When drawing multiple cards, the action of drawing is handled one at a time until done [CR Glossary: Draw]. No one can play anything in between the draws, but you will see all of the cards. Once the draws are completed, the fourth card down will be revealed. All players will see the fourth card before the Thirst discard is required.

Q: I play Tel-Jilad Justice with Future Sight in play. What happens when I scry?

A: The key here is that Scrying doesn't remove the cards from the library, it just (potentially) reorders them [CR 502.36]. Future Sight reveals the top card before and after scrying but not while scrying.

*Extra* Let's say you play the Tel-Jilad Justice from the top of your library. Once the Justice is announced, you'll reveal the top card of your library [CR 217.2e]. When the Justice resolves (remember, if the target is gone, the Justice is countered!), then you'll look at the revealed card and the next card—opponents won't see the second card. When you put the cards where you want them, whatever the top card is at that time will be revealed.

For example, you might reveal a land before resolving, scry and see a Mana Leak. You could then put the Mana Leak on top and the land under it at which point you'll reveal the Leak. If you don't play it, you could draw the Mana Leak on your next turn and then play the land off your library. If you scry both cards to the bottom of the library, you'll reveal the third card down. You could even scry the second card to the bottom, and your opponent would never know what it was.

Q: I have a Rust Elemental and two Myr Servitors in play. If I sacrifice a Servitor to the Elemental, will I get the Servitor back?

A: It depends on how you stack the abilities. The Servitor trigger will check to make sure they are in play when their return trigger resolves. If you sac a Servitor, its own trigger can't return it. If you resolve both Servitor triggers, then they'll be gone before the Elemental can put one into the graveyard. The key is this: stack the abilities so that the Rust Elemental's trigger resolves first or second. If the Elemental trigger resolves first, then when the other Servitor's trigger resolves, it'll return the sacrificed Servitor. If your triggers resolve one with Servitor first, then the Elemental, make sure it's the Servitor whose trigger resolved that gets sacrificed. Otherwise, you've just sacrificed the guy who needed to be in play to return his friend (and that trigger will do nothing).

Into the Mailbag We Go

Q: I know that playing a land doesn't use the stack. But does playing a land require an empty stack? –Hesiod

A: Yes, the stack must be empty in order to play a land. This includes land drops granted by cards like Exploration or Fastbond.

Zombie Trailblazer
Q: If an artifact land gets turned into a swamp using Zombie Trailblazer, the land is still an artifact land with the type "Swamp", right?
--Conrad Corbett

A: Yes. The type line would read “Artifact Land – Swamp”. It's not basic, and it can still be Shattered.

Q: What's the difference between 'Equip'-ping and 'Attach'-ing an equipment? –Ethan

A: They're functionally the same. We use “equip” for the ability that attaches equipment to a creature following the rules specific for equipment. We use “attach” for a spell (Magnetic Theft) or ability (like the ability on Horned Helm) that puts the equipment onto a creature.

Q: I turn my Spawning Pool into a creature until end of turn and then I play a Wormfang Drake and remove Spawning Pool from the game. When Wormfang Drake leaves play, does the Spawning Pool return to play as a creature or a land? Does it come into play tapped? –Phil

A: The Spawning Pool will return to play as a tapped non-animated land.

Q: If I have an Etched Oracle in Play with 4 counters on it, and my opponent uses Avarice Totem's ability to try to gain control of it, can I sacrifice the Oracle once the Totem's ability has been stacked, draw 3 cards, and still gain control of the totem? --Lance Grant

A: You can sac and draw, but you won't get the Totem. Avarice Totem says, “Exchange control of…” In order to exchange things, all the things must be present.

*Extra* Longtime players might remember Phyrexian Infiltrator. Avarice Totem and the Infiltrator both have a trick to them—activate it once targeting your own low-value-item and respond by activating it again targeting the opponent's delicious-item. So long as they can't exchange in between the resolutions, you get their delicious thing, and they'll get the Totem; then the first activation resolves and exchanges your junk for the Totem (or Infiltrator). This works because you can target things regardless of controller, and it's only when the exchange would happen that the game is concerned with who controls what.

Q: When activating Goblin Charbelcher's ability, I think I first reveal cards and then choose the target, because this is the order of actions written on the card. However, most people say I have to choose the target first. What comes first? What happens if there are no lands left in the library? --Hagai R.

A: You chose targets first. “Activation” is also called “announcement”. One of the parts of announcement of any spell or ability is choosing any and all it's target(s) [CR409.1c]. When the ability resolves you'll reveal cards. If you're out of land, your whole library will be revealed, you'll get to stack your library when putting those cards back, and the target will take damage equal to that number of cards.

Harsh Mercy
Q: Does Harsh Mercy require you to choose the creature types as it goes onto the stack? If so, does that mean if I control an Imagecrafter and my opponent has, say, an Akroma, Angel of Wrath and a Soldier token in play, I can play harsh mercy destroying them both? --Nick H.

A: Players don't choose the creature type(s) until Harsh Mercy resolves. In short, if something doesn't show up in [CR 409], you wait until resolution [CR 413]. You might use your Imagecrafter to make one of your guys an Angel in the likelihood that your opponent will choose Angel (remember… “Legend”s are soon to be “Legerndary” which is a supertype, not a type).

Q: I know that if an enchantment is put on a creature, and then that creature gains the ability 'cannot be the target of spells or effects' (such as Advanced Hoverguard's built-in ability) then the enchantment would be put in the graveyard. My opponent had a Vulshok Gauntlets out to go with his Advanced Hoverguard, and no one (aside from him) was sure if the ability would make the gauntlets fall off or die or what. --Cliff D.

A: Let's correct a big misconception: making a permanent unable to be the target of spells or abilities does not make equipment or enchantments fall off of that permanent. So for your question, no, Advanced Hoverguard doesn't make the Vulshok Gauntlets fall off.


Q: I have a question, if I have Mycosynth Lattice, Leonin Abunas, and Darksteel Forge all in play, will this basically make all of my cards completely "un-touchable"? -Dan, and friends

A: All your permanents will be artifacts (Lattice) that are indestructible (Forge) and cannot be the target of your opponent's spells and abilities (Abunas).

*Extra* Cards like Chainer's Edict could still force you to sacrifice your creatures though, cards like Mutilate could put your creatures into the graveyard (zero-toughness), and Upheaval would also throw a wrench into your plans, so you're not entirely unstoppable.

Q: You said something that I found odd, leading me to believe that I didn't understand part of the rules for sunburst.

"If you do spend (compliments of the Fist) to play the Prism, your Pentad Prism will come into play with five counters."

I was under the impression that, with Pentad Prism, you could spend at most two mana, regardless of whether or not more colors were available. –Lawrence

A: Fist of Suns reads “You may pay rather than pay the mana cost for spells that you play.” Thus, you can either spend (the mana cost), or you may pay (the Fist cost). If you Fist the cost, you just spent 5 colors to play the Prism, and therefore the Prism gets five counters.

Q: In an article during red week a misconception about the interaction between Ball Lightning (6/1 Trample), Furnace of Rath, and Wall of Wood (0/3) was mentioned, but it did not say how the damage is actually dealt. How much damage is dealt to the defending player? --Daniel Z.

A: The damage multiplication occurs when the damage resolves. So a Wall of Wood is assigned three damage, and the player is assigned three. When the damage resolves, Furnace of Rath (which was just voted in to 9th Edition) will double each assignment to six and six.

Q: I use Sensei's Divining Top to draw a card, and in response, my opponent Naturalizes it. Do I draw the card?

A: Yes. Drawing the card happens regardless of what happens to the Top. Bouncing or destroying the Top in response will not stop the draw, and you will not have to put the Top onto your library either.

Q: Shouldn't Kaldra be a Creature Type? Since Helm of Kaldra makes "Kaldra Legend" Tokens. Every other token generated with a name like this would have it as a creature type, but this one does not. --Damon

A: The ability includes “put a 4/4 colorless Avatar Legend creature token named Kaldra into play…” The Helm breaks the rule about tokens having the same name and types [103.1]. For the record, Kaldra is just the creature's name. After the Legend/Legendary change, the wording will be “put a legendary 4/4 colorless Avatar creature token named Kaldra into play…” Thus Kaldra will be a token with independent name, supertype, type, and subtype (Kaldra | Legendary Creature – Avatar).

Q: If I had Goblin King in play, would it power up Spikeshot Goblin? If I also equipped a Spikeshot with Fireshrieker would it deal 4 damage when I use its effect? --Jordan C.

A: Yes and No. Yes, the Goblin King would make Spikey into a 2/3 (mountainwalker), so he'd deal 2 instead of 1. No, Fireshrieker gives double-strike, and double-strike is for combat damage, not other sources of damage.

Q: I have a Goblin Sharpshooter in play and my opponent has an Arcbound Ravager with 1 counter. I activate my Sharpshooter shooting at the Ravager. In response, my opponent turns his Blinkmoth Nexus into a creature and sacrifices it to his Ravager in order to put a counter on the Nexus. My Sharpshooter untaps, and I tap it again to deal 1 damage before it gets the counter. But my opponent says the nexus will get the counter before the sharpshooter deals the damage and it will survive. Is it so? -- Todor G.

A: The Ravager dies as a 1/1. Here's how the stack looks: (Y = you, H = him, + = announce/put on stack, - = resolve)
Y +Sharpshoot targeting Ravager
H +Animate Nexus
H – Nexus becomes an artifact creature
H +Sac Nexus to Ravager [Shooter triggers from creature going to graveyard]
Y +Shooter trigger to untap
Y –Untap Shooter
Y +Shoot#2 targeting Ravager again
Y –Ravager takes 1
*Ravager dies as a state-based effect [Shooter triggers from creature going to graveyard]*
Y +Shooter trigger to untap
Y –Untap Shooter
H –Nexus sac does nothing
Y –Shoot#1 countered for lack of target

*Extra* If the Blinkmoth Nexus were an Arcbound Worker, then the Worker's modular trigger would add a layer of complication. Simply put, you'd stack the Shooter untap and the Worker modular as active player (person whose turn it is) and then non-active player [CR 103.4]. Thus the Shooter would be finish off the Ravager on the opponent's turn but not on his own.

A Few Tournament Questions

Q: What is the first set in which cards was printed in foil? --Aske O.

A: Urza's Legacy was the first foil set. Urza's Saga did have the first foil prerelease card. For the record, there were fifteen stand-alone or expansions before Legacy. Mirrodin marked the fifteenth stand-alone or expansion after the release of foils. (I'm not counting base sets or Chronicles here.)

Q: I have been trying all summer to find a way to contact a level 3 or higher judge in my area. Can you send me some contact info for any of the judges near me? --Matthew Jones

A: There is a list of L3 judges, but for contact information the fastest way is often via your local premiere tournament organizer. If you go to the Championship of Kamigawa prerelease next weekend, check with the organizers there for help.

Speaking of the prerelease


Next weekend is the Champions of Kamigawa prerelease. Rather than send you all into the confluence of Magic fantasy and Asia's rich culture unprepared, let's start our Kamigawa Q&A early. Any objections if we fudge the rules on answering rules questions early? Excellent.


The biggest thing in Kamigawa is the prevalence of legends. The first taste of this was in Mark Rosewater's introductory piece for Kamigawa. The big thing is that they're not really legends anymore. Kamigawa ramps the power up on legends so much that creatures aren't Legends anymore. These super-powered creatures now have the supertype “Legendary”. This change ripples all the way back to the first legends. Anything that was a Legend is now Legendary. Legendary will now be applied consistently across all relevant cards.

The official update is this:

420.5e If two or more permanents with the same name have the supertype legendary, all are put into their owners' graveyards. This is called the “legend rule.” If only one of those permanents is legendary, this rule doesn't apply.

Basically legendary things are now mutually destructive. This is a state-based effect, so regeneration, protection, untargetability, and being indestructible are useless when the same legendary creature shows up twice.

Q: I have a question about the card Clone. With the new legendary rules, if I try to Clone Jareth, Leonine Titan, will the 2 of them die from it? --Ian

A: Yes. Cloning a legendary creature will cause [CR 420.5e] to apply right after you've chosen the creature. The next time a player gets priority both the original and the copy will be put into their graveyards. Who said blue never got elimination?

Q: How does Karakas work under the new Legend rule? Can it be used to bounce other Legendary supertypes, or is it going to be re-worded to only affect creatures. --Bill M.

A: Karakas (a legendary land from Legends) will get a new coat of paint. The card itself stays functionally the same though. The updated wording will be: ”: Add to your mana pool. : Return target legendary creature to its owner's hand.”

Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Q: Konda, Lord of Eiganjo states that he is indestructible. But the new ruling states that if a legend is in play and another player plays the same name legend card both will be destroyed. But the card is indestructible. What happens? --Boaz K.

A: The guy Rei Nakazawa previewed? Being indestructible doesn't stop the legend rule. Konda is a Legendary creature; two of him in play at once will wipe both of them out.

Q: I have a rules question about the card previewed by Mark Rosewater. Given the new Legend rule, if I were to have this White dragon in play and then I were to play another, would I then tap up to 10 permanents and cause my opponent to skip 1 untap phase or 2?
--The Atog Master

A: Yosei, the Morning Star reads “When Yosei, the Morning Star is put into a graveyard from play, target player skips his or her next untap step. Tap up to five target permanents that player controls.” Both Yosei would die, and so there are two triggers to apply. If you targeted the same player twice, you could tap up to ten of his or her permanents, and he or she would skip their next two untaps [CR 419.6f].

Q: Under the new legend rule if I have a Tolarian Academy in play and my opponent plays his Tolarian Academy to destroy mine (while killing his in the process). When he plays it and the effect of both being destroyed goes on the stack, am I able to bounce my Academy (using Capsize say) to my hand and still have his Academy destroyed?

A: The effect that puts them both in the graveyard doesn't use the stack. If your opponent puts a Tolarian Academy in play while there's another one in play, they both go to the graveyard before either one of you can do anything [CR 420.3, 420.5e].


Bushido is a triggered ability that occurs when a creature blocks or becomes blocked. The trigger occurs only once regardless of how many creatures are blocking or being blocked. Having multiple occurrences of Bushido will cause multiple triggers though.

Q: I block a creature during combat with Konda, Lord of Eiganjo, and my opponent plays Seize the Day after combat. If I block with Konda again, how big will he be?

A: He'll be 13/13. Konda starts out as a 3/3. The first time he blocked he went to 8/8 (because of the Bushido 5). The second time he blocked he was given +5/+5 again.

Flip Cards

Mike Flores talked about flip cards on Wednesday. The full version of the flip rules will be in the CHK FAQ next week, but let's cover the high points here:

  • The flip cards have activated abilities. The cards flip if they meet their flip condition during the resolution of their ability. (You won't play a flip card and have it flip right away.)
  • Flipping a card is not optional. If you meet the condition when the ability resolves, the flip is automatic. Since the flipped creatures are all Legendary, you may have to play carefully.
  • Be careful to designate whether a card is flipped or not. (A bead makes a good reminder.)
  • The printed text is overwritten by the flipped text, but counters affect it normally. (A 1/1 with a +1/+1 counter that flips into a 2/2 will still get the +1/+1 and be a 3/3.)
  • Flipping a card doesn't end any effects that apply to the creature. This is much like turning a morph face-up with an enchantment on it—the enchantment stays.
  • If you name the card (such as with Meddling Mage), you name the unflipped name. For example, Nezumi Shortfang becomes Stabwhisker the Odious. The card's name is Nezumi Shortfang. The creature's name is either Nezumi Shortfang or Stabwhisker the Odious depending on if it's normal or flipped.

Other Champions Questions

Q: After Reading Mark Gottlieb's preview of Gifts Ungiven, I am wondering what happens if your opponent is untargetable, due to Ivory Mask or True Believer. --Scott C.
A: If your opponent is untargetable, then you cannot play Gifts Ungiven.

Q: I'm wondering what happens if I control Horobi, Death's Wail and a Cowardice? Can I choose which one triggers first, and what if I control Cowardice and my opponent controls Horobi? –Bradle

A: Both Cowardice and the king of skulkers trigger at the same time. If you control them both, then you can stack them either way. If different players control them, then the triggers will stack in APNAP order. If it's your Cowardice and their Horobi, target it on their turn to bounce it or your turn kill it.

Time Stop

Time Stop
One of the biggest buzzes surrounding Champions has come from Time Stop. “End the turn.” It's simple. And yes, it's oh so effective.

The official rules for ending the turn are as follows:

509. Ending the Turn

509.1. One card (Time Stop) ends the turn when it resolves. When an effect ends the turn, follow these steps in order, as they differ from the normal process for resolving spells and abilities (see rule 413, "Resolving Spells and Abilities").

509.1a Remove every object on the stack from the game. Remove all attacking and blocking creatures, if any, from combat. All objects not in play or on the stack that aren't represented by cards will cease to exist the next time state-based effects are checked (see rule 420, "State-Based Effects").

509.1b Check state-based effects. No player gets priority, and no triggered abilities are put onto the stack.

509.1c The current phase and/or step ends. The game skips straight to the cleanup step. Skip any phases or steps between this phase or step and the cleanup step.

509.2. No player gets priority during this process, so triggered abilities are not put onto the stack. If any triggered abilities have triggered between the spell or ability resolving and the cleanup step ending, there's a chance to play spells and abilities in the cleanup step. Then there will be another cleanup step before the turn finally ends (see rule 314.3).

509.3. Even though the turn ends, "at end of turn" triggered abilities don't trigger because the end of turn step is skipped.

Q: I was wondering about Time Stop, which was previewed a couple of days ago. If I play it on the extra turn I got from Final Fortune, will I lose or will I simply have gotten an extra turn –Arthur

A: Turn? What turn? Nope, your Final Fortune Turn ends long before your fortunes become final.

Q: Does Time Stop's effect works on un-counterable spells? --Vittorio G.

A: Yes. The spells aren't countered; they're just removed from the game.

Q: What about combat damage?

A: Damage resolved is removed from the creatures. Damage on the stack goes away.

Q: Does Time Stop combo with Waylay?

A: It depends. If you play TS before the at end of turn trigger happens, then no. If you respond to the trigger with TS, then the trigger goes away, and the tokens remain.

Q: Does Time Stop make you mana burn?

A: If a player has mana in his or her pool when Time Stop resolves, he or she will burn.

Q: Does Time Stop ever resolve?

A: The spell will finish resolving, but the card will be removed from the game in the process.

Whew! That's all for now, but be sure to attend next week when we cover more Kamigawa (yes, there's more!) as well as more reader questions.

Class dismissed.


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