Saturday School #62

Posted in Feature on January 24, 2004

By Rune Horvik

Darksteel Preview Questions

Q: If a card is indestructible, such as Myr Matrix, can it be targeted by a destruction spell such as Disenchant, or is it not a legal target?
-- Joshua Eddy

A: You are allowed to target the card with Disenchant, but when it resolves, it will fail to do anything, as the Reactor can't be destroyed. Being indestructible doesn't make the card untargetable by destruction effects.


Sword of Kaldra

Q: As far I understand, creatures that are indestructible can't be destroyed with lethal damage; however, can damage still be assigned to them? For example, can a 5/5 trampler still trample over a 2/2 indestructible blocker? Can a creature equipped with the Sword of Kaldra remove and indestructible creature from the game? Can a Horned Cheetah blocking or blocked by an indestructible creature still gain its controller life?

A: The answer is “yes” to all your questions. Being indestructible just means that the card can't be destroyed, and none of the things you mention depend on the card being destroyed.

When assigning trample damage, you only consider the toughness of the creature and damage the creature has already taken or damage that is assigned in the same combat step – damage prevention, protection and indestructible are not considered here.

Sword of Kaldra removes the creature directly from the game. If the creature isn't destroyed from the damage, the Sword's ability will remove it from the game.

Horned Cheetah gives you life equal to the amount of damage the Cheetah deals to the other creature. The damage is still dealt to the indestructible creature, it just fails to destroy it.

Q: After I read the definition of Indestructible it made me think back to the days of the card Crumble. My copy says “bury” rather than destroy. It simply sends a artifact to the graveyard without the possibility of regeneration. Would this work on an "indestructible" artifact? If so, are there any legal cards that bury artifacts or permanents in general?

A: The keyword “bury” has been removed, and any cards that say “bury” now says “destroy without the possibility of regeneration” in the Oracle, and since this is still a destroy-effect, it will still fail to destroy the indestructible artifact.

Mirrodin Questions


Psychogenic Probe

Q: I have 2 Psychogenic Probes in play. When I play Reminisce to a target player, does he lose 4 life?
-- Jovan Latag

A: Yes, he does. Each Psychogenic Probe has a triggered ability (starting with the word “when”) that looks for a condition to trigger. Both the Probes see that the library is shuffled, and go on the stack separately. Each will cause the player to lose 2 life on resolution.

Q: If there's a March of the Machines in play , will Isochron Scepter retain its ability of copying a spell imprinted on it?
-- Adriano Ferreira

A: Yes, it does. March of the Machines makes all noncreature artifacts artifact creatures, but doesn't say that it takes their abilities away, so nothing happens to the artifacts, except that they are now creatures as well. March of the Machines works differently from Titania's Song, a similar card that specifically says that the artifacts lose their abilities.


Clockwork Condor

Q: I have a Clockwork Condor in play, with 2 counters, and I attack, dealing 2 damage to my opponent. He responds during damage dealing with his Spikeshot Goblin, dealing 1 damage to my Condor. Does my Condor die at end of combat when it loses the counter, or does damage resolve before end of combat, and then it loses a counter, and the Condor lives?
-- Scott McMahon

A: The Condor dies at the end of combat, as it will be a 1/1 creature with 1 point of damage on it. Damage on a creature remains until the cleanup step at the very end of the turn. The game checks if a creature has lethal damage (damage at equal to or higher than its toughness) every time a player gets priority, not just when the damage resolves. See the rules for state-based effects in section 420 of the Comprehensive Rulebook.

Q: When I play a Dross Harvester, will I lose 4 life only in the first turn or will I lose 4 life every turn while it is in play?

A: You will lose 4 life at the end of each turn. The Harvester has a triggered ability (starting with “at”) that triggers at the end of each of your turns, not just the turn it came into play.

Q: My oppenent is at 0 life, but is being kept alive by a Platinum Angel he controls. During my turn, I play a Proteus Staff and activate it targeting the Angel. The Angel leaves play and is put on the bottom of his library, but the card he reveals out of his library and puts into play from the Staff's effect is another Platinum Angel. Does my opponent die at any point from having 0 life?
-- Greg Burkett

A: No, he doesn't. The game doesn't check for state-based effects such as dying from having zero life or less during the resolution of a spell or ability, and in this case, getting the second Angel into play before the ability has finished resolving will keep you alive the next time the game checks your life total.

Older/General Card Questions

Q: Does a land get a sub-type for every color of mana it can produce, such as City of Brass, for the purposes of landwalking?
-- Dan Carr

A: No, it doesn't. A land's subtype (its "land type") is listed after a long dash on the land's type line (under the picture). It can also gain subtypes from various effects from spells and abilities. Having a basic land type makes the land able to tap for the corresponding color of mana, all lands with the type “swamp” can tap for black mana, but the reverse is not true – not all lands that tap for black mana are Swamps.


Allied Strategies

Q: In a recent question, you said that snow-covered lands are basic lands. Does this mean that with ten lands in play, one of each basic and one of each snow-covered, that Allied Strategies would let me draw 10 cards?
(Dan Hoffman)

A: No, it doesn't. Snow-covered is just a keyword some effects look for, it's not a type of its own. For example, a snow-covered swamp only has the land type swamp, and the property snow-covered. There are only five basic land types in the game (forest, island, mountain, plains and swamp).

Q: You play Global Ruin and your opponent has both nonbasic and basic lands in play. Would it kill all but one of each basic land, and ALL of the nonbasic lands, since nonbasic lands can't be chosen as a land type to save? Will it kill legendary lands like Gaea's Cradle as well?

A: Each player can choose one land of each basic land type to save, and the rest will be destroyed, and since most nonbasic lands, including legendary ones, don't have a basic land type (forest, island, mountain, plains and swamp), you won't be able to save them.
Note that the original dual lands, like Taiga, have two basic land types, so you can save them if you choose any of them for your basic land type.


Last Rites

Q: If I use Last Rites to make my opponent discard a Circular Logic which has Madness ability, can my opponent use that Madness ability in Circular Logic to counter spell my Last Rites?
-- Adila Alfa Krisnadhi

A: No, he can't. Last Rites causes the discard when it resolves, and at this time, it's too late to counter it since it has already started resolving. The madness-triggered ability won't go on the stack until after Last Rites has resolved, too late to counter it.

Q: I was wondering about the interaction between Masticore and Swords to Plowshares. Since the Swords isn't a destruction effect, as it doesn't say "destroy", wouldn't Masticore get removed from the game without ever having the chance to regenerate?
-- Christopher Chan

A: This is true. Regeneration only works if the permanent is destroyed, it replaces a destruction with “being removed from combat, removing all damage from it and tapping it”. It's not possible to regenerate from being removed from the game. The rules for regeneration can be found in section 419.6b in the Comprehensive Rulebook.


Ensnaring Bridge

Q: I have a question about the card Ensnaring Bridge, and how it interacts with attackers that are affected by other creatures, specifically the Goblin Piledriver. If I have two cards in hand, can my opponent declare an attack with the Piledriver and one other Goblin?
-- Mark Douglas

A: Yes, he can. Goblin Piledriver's ability is triggered, and triggers only when it has legally been declared as an attacker. When the game checks for legal attacks, the Piledriver's power is only 1, and it is allowed to attack. After that, the ability goes on the stack, and will increase its power. The game only checks for legal attackers right as they are being declared, once a creature is legally attacking, Ensnaring Bridge can't influence it anymore.

Q: My opponent cast a Urza's Rage (without kicker) targeting me, and I respond with a Mana Drain. I will take 3 damage since the spell is not countered, but will I get 3 colorless mana next main phase?
-- Michel Leduc St-Arnaud

A: You get the 3 mana. Mana Drain has two effects, countering the spell and giving you mana. Urza's Rage is a legal target for Mana Drain, so Mana Drain resolves. It fails to counter the spell, but you still get the mana, since the two effects are independent of each other, and the spell will still perform it's other effects even if one of them doesn't apply.


Library of Alexandria

Q: I have a Library of Alexandria out, 6 cards in my hand, and I'm drawing 3 cards from Ancestral Recall. Can I tap the Library in response to me drawing the second card?

A: No, you can't. You can't play any spells or abilities during the resolution of another spell, so you have to wait until the Ancestral Recall has resolved before you can do anything, and then you will have 9 cards in your hand, and can't activate it.

Q: I have a Zur's Weirding in play, and I cast something like Ancestral Recall that lets me draw multiple cards. Do I reveal the first card, allow my opponents to choose if they want to pay 2 life, and then proceed to the second card? Or are they allowed to see all three cards at once and choose which one(s) they want me to discard?

A: When you are instructed to draw multiple cards, they are drawn one at a time. With Zur's Weirding in play, you reveal the cards one at a time, and your opponents must choose if they want to pay to put the revealed card in the graveyard before the next card is revealed, and if they pass on paying for a card, they don't get the chance to pay for it later.



Q: Same scenario, but with Prosperity instead. Do they see the cards they draw before they make their choice? Or do we each draw one card at a time, we each choose, and so forth.
-- Dave Pression

A: With Prosperity, cards are still drawn one at a time, but all players draw their first card at the same time. With Zur's Weirding in play, the following steps happen:

  1. Each player reveals the top card of his or her library.
  2. The active player chooses whether or not to pay 2 life for each card.
  3. The non-active player chooses whether or not to pay 2 life for each card.
  4. Both players move the revealed card to their hand or graveyard (depending on if life was paid for that card).
  5. Repeat the above until X is reached

Q: Are the promo foil cards that are given away at Friday Night Magic, Arena League, and the Magic Player Rewards program tournament legal?
-- Jeff LaRue

A: Yes, they are. They have black borders and the regular card back as regular cards, and are fully legal for tournament play in any format the card is allowed in.

Q: How does Time Spiral let you untap your opponent's lands, like it said in Card of the Day a few days ago?

A: Time Spiral's effect says that “you untap up to six lands”. This effect doesn't say that you have to untap only your lands. The effect is not targeted, you simply choose up to six lands in play and untap them.

Next week will be all-Darksteel week!

Thanks to Lee Sharpe for feedback and proofreading.

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