Is That Your Final Answer?

Posted in Feature on June 24, 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.

Last weekend the largest Pro Tour in the ten-year history of the Pro Tour hit Charleston like a hurricane. Actually, it was more like a tsunami, with two Japanese teams making the Top 4, and Kajiharu80 taking home the triple trophies. First a few questions from the Pro Tour floor, and then on to questions from mere mortals.

Q: What happens when I Mimeofacture a Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and replicate once?

A: State-based effects will check after resolving the replicated copy, and both Nivs will be put into the graveyard. Then the original Mimeofacture fails the check for legal targets and is countered.

*Extra*: Mimeofacture targets permanents, so you could go digging for land. Just be sure to specify what the new targets for the replicate copies are.

Q: If I activate Scorched Rusalka by sacrificing Burning-Tree Shaman, does the Shaman trigger?

A: No, the cost for playing a spell or ability is paid immediately prior to the spell or ability is officially considered "played." Since the Shaman is sacrificed by then, it won't trigger.

Q: What happens if my opponent steals my Bottled Cloister if some of my cards are currently removed by the Bottle?

A: Bottled Cloister received a facelift via errata, so it only affects cards owned by the controller of the triggered ability. Your cards will remain removed from the game until after you control the Bottle when it triggers.

*Extra*: Effects that try to put cards into the library, hand, or graveyard of anyone who isn't their owner put the cards into the owners library, hand, or graveyard (accordingly) instead. [CR 217.1a] The Bottle never would put your cards into an opponent's hand.

Q: What's new with the team communication policy?

A: There's quite a bit new with the policy. In the past, teams could only ask very specific questions. Now, players can communicate in any way they want. This means talking, gesturing, using foreign languages, notes from that match, and even offering advice is allowed. However, notes from outside the match, touching your teammate's cards, and slowing down a game to discuss a decision still is not allowed. Waiting for your teammates' matches to finish is fine, but once you leave the table, you can't come back. All in all, team events suddenly feel more team-y and make for a more enjoyable event experience.

Q: If I have a Tidespout Tyrant in play can I play a zero-cost creature, such as Ornithopter, and then immediately return it to my hand? --Simon

A: No, a (creature, artifact, or enchantment) spell doesn't become a permanent until it resolves. The spell that will be a permanent isn't a permanent yet while you are choosing the Tyrant's target.

Flash Foliage
Q: Can a token from Flash Foliage block a creature that is unblockable? --Dave B.

A: Yes - putting the token into play blocking the targeted creature avoids the legal-block check that is made when blockers are declared. Creatures that can't be the target of spells or abilities or that have protection from instants or from green can avoid the Foliage - because the spell won't resolve if its target isn't legal.

*Extra*: Flash Foliage can also cause the following to be blocked: creatures with flying, creatures with protection from creatures, creatures that can't be blocked except by (various conditions), as well as unblockable creatures.

Q: If my opponent plays Demonfire with no cards in hand, can I use Boomerang on one of his permanents and then counter Demonfire with Mana Leak? --Eijneb

A: Yes, the hellbent ability constantly checks the player's hand size. If that hand size is greater than zero when Mana Leak resolves, Mana Leak will work like normal.

Q: If I have Pride of the Clouds in play with a couple flying 1/1's and my opponent plays Pyroclasm, does Pride of the Clouds die? --DJ S.

A: Yes, the Pride will be destroyed by state-based effects. First, the Pyroclasm resolves, and the tokens are destroyed. This reduces the Pride's stats down to the normal 1/1 size, and when SBEs recheck, the Pride is destroyed, and the dead tokens cease to exist.

Q: If I were to Cytoshape a Student of Elements into an Akki Lavarunner and flip it into Tok-Tok, Volcano Born, would red sources deal 1 more damage until the end of turn (when Cytoshape wears off)? --Sirus T.

A: Yes, the Cytoshaped Student-turned-Lavarunner would flip into Tok-Tok until the end of turn. Once the Cytoshape wears off, you'll have a permanent that's still flipped (flipped is a status, like tapped or attacking). Your Student emerges from the Lavarunner-Volcano-Born plasma as Tobita, Master of Winds.

Celestial Kirin
Q: Does Celestial Kirin destroy Homura's Essence (a flipped Homura, Human Ascendant) if you play Yosei, the Morning Star? --Ryan

A: Yes, the converted mana cost of a flip card is the same regardless of the flipped status.

Q: I attack with a Stinkweed Imp, and my opponent blocks. After damage goes on the stack, if I sacrifice Stinkweed Imp to another ability, does the blocking creature still get destroyed? --Brandon

A: No, the Imp must still be in play as the damage resolves for the ability to trigger.

Q: I'm curious how a creature with haunt would interact with Sigil of the New Dawn. Would I be able to choose which ability resolves first? --Devin

A: If you control both the haunt creature and the Sigil, you can stack the triggers to either haunt or return. If the opponent stole your haunt creature (and thus controls that trigger when it dies), then it's up to APNAP (Active Player, Non-Active Player) to determine the victor - the NAP wins. In either case, if the creature card is returned before the haunt trigger resolves, then the haunt trigger does nothing.

Q: I have Izzet Guildmage and Wind Drake in play. Can I play Fiery Conclusion, sacrifice the Wind Drake as additional cost, and then copy the Fiery Conclusion with my Guildmage without sacrificing? --Peter G.

A: Yes, Izzet Guildmage covers all the costs of the copied spell.

*Extra*: Might I suggest a rendezvous between Izzy and his old friend Raze?

Q: If I play Warp World and my opponent has tokens in play, do they count as permanents? --Clayton

A: Yes, tokens are permanents and will up the count of how many cards to reveal for Warp World. I wouldn't recommend actually shuffling tokens into your deck though - coins and bits of paper are unwieldy while riffle shuffling.

Q: What's the interaction between Dovescape and cards free cards like Shining Shoal? --Jozer

A: Regardless of how it is paid for, Shining Shoal has X in its cost. That X is set as the spell is announced. You'll get tokens for the plus the .

Q: Can Spell Snare counter a Shining Shoal that has been paid for by removing a white card from the player's hand? --Martijn

A: No, the X is still there even if no mana was spent to pay for it. The white card remove would have a value that when added to the Shoal cost pushes the converted cost of the Shoal higher than 2.

*Extra*: Disrupting Shoal (or Blazing Shoal) paid for with Evermind (or a Kobold) could be countered with a Spell Snare - they're colored cards even though their converted mana costs are 0.

Q: I was wondering if you could quickly explain how Shining Shoal can interact with Wildfire. Can it redirect all the damage wildfire would deal to my creatures back at a single target? --Derek A.

A: Let's say you Shining Shoal with X = 6. If you have two 3/3s and two 4/4s, since the Wildfire is a single source, and the creatures are all included in “you or a creature you control,” you could choose two damage for the 3/3s and one damage each for the 4/4s to save all the creatures and send six damage at the hapless target.

Q: Can I use Remand to counter itself? If not, why? --Rick L.

A: No. [CR Glossary: “Target”]

Q: With multiple Stoneshaker Shamans in play, do the effects stack at end of turn? Can a player tap land and take burn without playing a spell or ability to avoid the destruction of land? --Aaron W.

A: Yes, multiple Shamans will cause multiple sacrifices (if you have multiple untapped lands). A player may tap a land for mana solely to save the land - there doesn't need to be a need for mana to justify the tapping.

Q: If I have several morphed creatures faced-down in play, and one of them gets turned faced-up, then gets turned faced-down again, can I “mix” my faced-down creatures? --Peter

A: No, players must be able to tell the relative order that face-down cards entered play. You can't try to hide which one was the revealed creature.

Death Pits of Rath
Q: I have Death Pits of Rath, Nightscape Familiar, and Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni in play. If I play Pyroclasm, can I regenerate Nightscape Familiar and Ink-Eyes? My opponent says I can't regenerate anyone because of Death Pits of Rath. --Antonio B.

A: You can activate the regeneration abilities, but the Death Pits won't allow the regeneration shields to actually do anything.

Q: f I play the Phage the Untouchable via Shifty Doppelganger, do I lose? --Luka C.

A: Yes, Shifty Doppelganger's effect puts Phage into play, and that's not the same as playing Phage.

*Extra*: Vesuvan Doppelganger, Dimir Doppelganger, and Volrath's Shapeshifter can all copy Phage after they are in play without killing their controller.

Q: Is dealing damage the same as losing life? My friend has a Circle of Protection: Black in play, and he says that he can stop the life loss from Bond of Agony. Can he do this? --Gunnar S.

A: Life loss and damage aren't the same. Life loss can't be prevented

Q: If I have Aether Charge in play and I play a Beast, can I allocate damage from the Aether Charge's ability before checking for bloodthirst? --A. M.

A: Bloodthirst applies as the creature comes into play. Coming into play triggers Aether Charge, but bloodthirst has already checked by the time the Charge resolves.

Q: I played Sacred Nectar. During my end of turn, my opponent hit me with Flames of the Blood Hand and stated that I don't gain life from the Nectar. Is this possible? --Devspar

A: No, that life was already gained. Flames isn't retroactive.

Q: If a Minotaur Illusionist has a Loxodon Warhammer attached and uses his sacrifice ability, is 3 or 6 damage dealt to the target creature, and is life gained or not? --Dan C.

A: The Illusionist would deal six damage because that was its power when it was sacrificed. However, no life will be gained because the ability ends before the damage happens.

Q: For Pandemonium and Deranged Hermit, does the combo deal 9 damage or 5 damage? --Dave

A: That depends. The Pandemonium triggers will deal damage equal to the related creature's power at that time (or as recently as possible). If the Hermit goes away, the tokens lose their +1/+1 bonus.

Q: I can't seem to find how many Pro points are awarded for team events. Where can I find that information? --Robert

A: There are several pieces of pertinent information in the Magic Premiere Event Invitation Policy document found on the DCI Document Center. The number of Pro points you'll get at a premiere event varies based on the event and your standing.

Q: Since Coldsnap will be tournament legal, when will the Kamigawa block rotate out? --Brad

A: Kamigawa will rotate out of Standard when Time Spiral becomes tournament legal in October.

Two weekends from now is the Coldsnap prerelease - July 8-9. Next week we wrap up Saturday School. It's officially summer in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the sun before the cold front rolls in.

Class Dismissed.


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