Worlds Weekend

Posted in Feature on December 3, 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.

This weekend wraps up the 2005 Magic World Championship in Yokohama, Japan. Last year's champion was literally buried in Wizards cash, and this year is bound to be full of new drama. To properly fulfill your tournament coverage addiction, check out the details right here.

Q: Say I grab an appropriate instant with extra costs like Grab the Reins with Sunforger. In order to pay for the extra cost, I sacrifice Chromatic Sphere. I draw the card immediately (out of a searched-through and unshuffled deck). Now that the instant is played, I finally shuffle the deck. --Jeremy P.

A: Be careful; that "unshuffled" deck is technically still random. Of course the only way to replicate drawing a card from a non-sorted deck with Chromatic Sphere while resolving Sunforger's ability would be to make a quick shuffle. Otherwise, your opponent (and event staff if in a tournament) could be concerned that you stacked what you'd draw off the Sphere. Looking at and manipulating your deck to draw a card is cheating, so it's in your best interest to make sure it's clear that the randomness of the deck is obvious while handling the Sphere draw.

*Extra*: The problems with drawing a card while playing a mana ability is why Ravnica's Terrarion has a graveyard trigger to draw instead of drawing while making mana.

Q: Does Honden of Cleansing Fire trigger once during my upkeep or multiple times (once for each Honden)? I'm wondering because of Searing Meditation.

A: Each Champions of Kamigawa Honden triggers once. As the trigger resolves it counts the Shrines you control at that time and multiplies the effect by that number.

Q: How does Followed Footsteps work with morph? --Brad

A: You'll get a 2/2 creature with no name and no abilities. The morph effect doesn't apply to these "vanilla" creatures.

Q: Does the Followed Footsteps' token coming into play trigger other comes into play abilities, such as the ability of Halcyon Glaze? --Russell M.

A: Halcyon Glaze triggers off of playing a creature spell, not the creature coming into play. The Footsteps token will trigger comes into play abilities the token might have or of other permanents such as Soul Warden.

*Extra*: "Play" can mean several things in Magic. The verb "play" means playing a spell (previously called "casting") or ability, or putting a land into play. The most commonly misunderstood use of play is for the zone "in play." Being put-into-play means taking something from somewhere and putting it into the in-play zone. This action is merely transporting the object from one place to another; the object isn't being played. Play used in the phrase comes-into-play and leaves-play refers to triggered abilities that look for something entering or leaving play--whether that thing was "played" from your hand or "put into play" by an effect usually doesn't matter for such abilities. When looking at triggered abilities, make sure you're looking for whether the ability is checking for the action of playing something or the event of something entering play, and you'll often be able to decipher things without trouble. For a quick practice lesson, try comparing Hidden Stag to Lifegift.

Hidden Stag
Lifegift

Q: My brother had a Story Circle in play, set to blue, and I had Szadek, Lord of Secrets in play. Can Story Circle prevent Szadek from milling his library? Story Circle prevents damage, but technically Szadek never dealt damage to him. --Hank

A: The player that would be damaged chooses which effect to apply. [CR 419.9a] He can prevent the damage with the Story Circle, or he can make Szadek bigger and get milled. (Then the other effect will no longer apply.)

Q: I have a Psychatog in play and a Stinkweed Imp in my graveyard. Then I sacrifice my Cephalid Coliseum for cards. Can I dredge the Imp to my hand instead of drawing a card, discard it to Psychatog, and use Imp's dredge ability again? --T.T.

A: You can dredge the Imp for one of the Coliseum's draws, but you won't be able to activate the Psychatog until after you've finished with the Coliseum effect.

*Extra*: Don't forget that you can dredge any of the three draws with the Imp. If the Imp's dredge puts another dredge card into the graveyard for one of the early draws, you can use the later draw to dredge that card into your hand.

Q: My friend tried to dredge two cards off of one draw. I told him that he couldn't do that. He however claimed that he could put one on the stack and then put the other one on right after it. Which of us is right? --James

A: Replacement effects (like dredge's) don't "stack" like activated or triggered abilities. Within the effect that would draw a card the draw portion is replaced with milling and putting a card into hand. [CR 419.1] Once you apply one dredge to a draw, other dredges wouldn't be able to apply because the draw has been entirely replaced with a non-draw event. [CR 419.9a]

Tolsimir Wolfblood
Q: When I activate Tolsimir Wolfblood and put a legendary Voja into play, what happens to Tolsimir? --Guilherme A.

A: The legend rule only applies if the permanents have the same name. Tolsimir Wolfblood and Voja have different names.

*Extra*: As long as Tolsimir is around, Voja will get bonuses for being green and for being white, making it 4/4.

Q: If I play Master Warcraft on my turn, can I choose to have my creatures go unblocked? If a second combat phase is created, do I still get to choose how creatures attack and block for the second phase? --Andrew H.

A: Declaring no blockers is fine (unless something "must block"). You'll be able to choose attackers and blockers for all combat phases that turn.

Q: If Crown of Convergence and Shambling Shell are in play and there is a Shambling Shell on the top of my library, would the Shell in play get +1/+1 or +2/+2? --Matt

A: +1/+1. The Crown is asking, "Does this creature share a color?" The answer is either "yes" or "no," and the bonus is applied based on that answer. The number of colors shared, beyond that "yes" answer, doesn't matter.

Q: If I use Kaho, Minamo Historian's ability with Call to Glory and Brain Freeze, do invisible copies go on Eye of the Storm, or does it just act like nothing happened? --Steven C.

A: Let's first clear up a common misnomer with Kaho… When you play a spell with Kaho, put the card on the stack just like if you had played it like normal.
With Eye of the Storm out, you'll activate Kaho, take the card removed from the game with Kaho and put it on the stack, and since it's an instant card the Eye triggers. The Eye trigger will then remove the Kahoed card from the stack, and you'll get to copy and play everything on the Eye. If you start with Call to Glory, the Eye copy will untap Kaho, and then you can use Kaho to play Brain Freeze (triggering the Freeze's storm effect and which the Eye with RFG and copy). Maximizing the order, you'll have played Call twice (Kaho and Eye), then played the Brain Freeze with Kaho--triggering storm of two and removing the Freeze with the Eye--play Call and then Freeze (triggering the Freeze's storm for four) with the Eye. In total, you'll have two storms, the Eyed Freeze, and four storms--twenty-one cards milled.

Brightflame
Q: My opponent has a 1/1 Twilight Drover and five 1/1 white tokens. I Brightflame everything for one. Will all his creatures die? --Vince

A: Yes, the Drover's triggered ability won't save the Drover. It's destroyed as a state-based effect at the same time the tokens are destroyed.

Q: I have no lands untapped and my opponent goes to play a black creature. Can I declare I'm using Lifeforce and then use Patron of the Orochi to untap my lands? --Gary K.

A: Swap the order, but yes. Activate the Patron to untap your Forests (and green creatures), and once that resolves, announce that you're activating the Lifeforce targeting the black spell.

*Extra*: The key is that the stack resolves one item at a time and that you can add new items after resolving things.

Q: I no longer have a library and have Abundance out. Can I replace my draw, name a type, not find one, and stack a deck that doesn't exist, therefore stopping me from losing? --Matt F.

A: Yes, the Abundance effect replaces your draw, so you won't die.

Q: Someone I know claims that activated abilities that are on the stack all resolve before anything can be played from your hand. He claims that you can respond to an activated ability with an activated ability but you can't respond with something in your hand because they happen faster than instant speed. --Dan

A: Magic doesn't use "speeds," it uses a system of priority. [CR 408.1b] When a player has priority, he or she can play anything if the stack is empty, and it's their main phase. Otherwise, he or she can play only activated abilities (as your associate knows) and instants (which he seems to have overlooked). [CR 212.5a]

Q: I attack with my 1/1 double strike. Can my opponent take the "first strike" damage and block the "normal combat" with his 1/1 creature, making both creatures die? --Nathan G.

A: No, players either declare blockers, or they don't. They can't block in between the combat damage steps.

Q: Do the top three cards of your graveyard have to be black in order to play Spinning Darkness's alternate cost or do you basically just need a minimum of three black cards in your graveyard? --Bret L.

A: You need at least three black cards somewhere in your graveyard. The top three of those black cards are removed to pay the alternate cost. You can't skip one and remove the fourth black card.

*Extra*: Don't forget that multicolored cards that are partially black will satisfy the Darkness.

Teremko Griffin
Q: If I attack someone with a band of creatures, and he blocks with a creature that has banding, who gets to assign damage? --Mike K.

A: The easy way to remember is you assign damage like normal except the one with banding assigns damage to the band. Since your attackers are a band, you'll assign the damage from the blocker somewhere in the band. And since his blockers include a bander, he'll assign the damage from the attacking band to somewhere among the creatures blocking with that bander.

*Extra*: If one of you didn't have a band, then the person with the band would be doing both parts of the assignment. When both players have bands, the assignments are essentially reversed.

*Extra*Extra*: Don't forget that Mirage is available on Magic Online December 5th!

Q: I read that in Friday Night Magic, you can only use the two newest blocks and one newest Core Set. Does that mean that I could not use my cards from older sets? --Will

A: FNM uses either a limited format (you play with what you get when you get there) or Standard format--which is the two most recent blocks plus the most recent Core Set. You can play with older versions of cards in Standard, but only if that card name appears in one of those sets. For instance, you could play older versions of Nekrataal (Visions, Battle Royale, and Eighth Edition) because Nekrataal is in Ninth Edition.

Q: What are proxy cards? --Tom

A: Proxy cards, or just "proxies," are cards used to represent other cards. A proxy is usually an unwanted card with the text of the proxied card written on it. There are three groups of proxies--tournament, testing, and casual. Tournament proxies are proxies issued by a judge, and they are the only type of proxies allowed in a sanctioned event. A judge may issue a proxy if a card is damaged during a tournament--perhaps by slamming it a little too hard onto your pile of draft picks and bending it in half (not that I did that to a Call of the Herd). Testing proxies are used when trying to figure out what to put in your deck before you go shopping for the real cards. Casual proxies are used in some unsanctioned events (as advertised by the organizer) often in place of expensive or hard to find cards, but these wouldn't be allowed in sanctioned events.

Hot on the heels of the first class of Hall of Famers and a new World Champion, Mirage blasts out of the past and onto Magic Online. Starting Monday, the set that solidified the block format as we know it once again becomes available for cyber-enabled Magic players everywhere. It's looking like this year will have a very happy holidays indeed.

Class dismissed.

--Carter

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