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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Steely Plague

Short Answers:

-For a description of the different formats, read my article dated 1/29/2002 ("Ask the Judge").

-All permanents have summoning sickness. Only creatures are affected by it.


Long Answers:

I normally would just use the "Delete" key on a question like this, and have in the past, since it is a Mantra answer. But since this is like the fifth time I have gotten this specific question, I will give each of you a nudge in the right direction.

Q: I have a question concerning Steely Resolve and Engineered Plague. Does the Steely Resolve negate the effects of Engineered Plague if both target the same creature type?


A: First, read Engineered Plague. Then, apply Mantra 3 for your answer.


Q: Can I use a Wooded Foothills to get a Savannah?

-Zach R.

A: Yes.



Savannah is a plains and a forest in addition to its land type.


Q: My opponent plays Tempting Wurm. I have multiple creatures with morph in my hand. Can I put them into play face down or do I have to put them into play it face up?

A: You have to put them into play face up. Morph allows you to play a creature with Morph face down. Since you aren't playing them, but rather putting them into play, you can't use the Morph ability to play them face down.


Q: Is there a specific time limit for shuffling effects? Say I sacrifice a Wooded Foothills to search for a forest. Is there a maximum allotted time for me to shuffle my deck before presenting it to my opponent to cut it? I find this quite crucial since some players who play multiple of these search lands may use the shuffling effect to stall in a game.

A: "24. Midgame Shuffling Time Limit

A reasonable time limit will be allowed for all shuffling and deck-searching that occurs during a game. In general, most simple searches should be allowed thirty seconds, but more complicated searches may be allowed more time at the judge’s discretion."

If the player is using the search time to "run out the clock," no matter how much time it takes, I would penalize them for Slow Play or Stalling, depending on the intent. The thirty seconds mentioned in the rule is more than generous for a fetch land search effect.


Q: What are the penalties (if any) if during a tournament (REL3) my opponent looks at notes which he had made prior to the game?


A: I would say this would best fit under "Procedural Error - Major," for which the penalty is a Warning at all levels.


Q: Can Spelljack target itself meaning that you can play it as though it were in you hand without paying it's mana cost?

A: No. A spell can never target itself. (Definition, Target)


Q: Can copies of Mirari be countered?


A: Yes. (Odyssey FAQ)


Q: I have a Fire Dragon and it says Summon Creature, not dragon. If I wanted to show this card from my hand for Kilnmouth Dragon's amplify ability would it count as a Dragon?


A: One of the great things about Magic Online is you can check the wording of any card. They have also given the Portal cards Oracle-ized wordings. In Magic Online, it has Fire Dragon as a "Creature - Dragon," So you could reveal it for Kilnmouth Dragon, yes.


Q: I have heard mixed rules regarding tokens. When you sac, destroy, etc. a token creature, does it ever go through the graveyard, or does it automatically leave play never touching the graveyard?

-Erik V.

A: The token is put in the graveyard, then removed from the game.


Q: I am playing w/ a slivers deck and I get 10 sliver tokens out from Brood Sliver. My friend, how has Unnatural Selection out, and makes them all legends. He says since they are all the same exact creature, so all but 1 of them die. But I say they have no name, so making them legends wont affect them. Who is right?

-Minh N.

A: A token's creature type is its name. So if Your friend does this, all but one of the slivers will die.


Q: What happens when I’ve got a Beacon of Destiny (Legions rare) in play and my opponent wants to remove it from the game or destroy it. Can I, as a respond to that tap it for its ability? Will the damage go to the removed Beacon and just disappear?

- Fuzz

A: The damage will stay where it was assigned.

419.6c Some effects replace damage dealt to one creature or player with the same damage dealt to another creature or player; such effects are called “redirection” effects. If either creature is no longer in play or is no longer a creature when the damage would be redirected, the effect does nothing. Likewise, if either player is no longer in the game, the effect does nothing.


Q: I attack with a Scion of Darkness and my opponent uses Spurnmage Advocate. In response, I target one of the cards he targeted with the Advocate and remove the card from the game. Since the Advocate's target was illegal, does my Scion live?

-bahamut o.

A: The Advocate's ability still has 2 legal targets ... the other card in your graveyard, and the Scion. So the Scion will still be destroyed.


Q: If I have a Chainer, Dementia Master in play and I put a Spirit Link on it, will Spirit Link give me back my life when I use Chainer, Dementia Master's ability?


A: Loss of life is not damage. Spirit Link will do nothing in this situation.


Q: If I have 3 Red mana left open I can sacrifice and pay Goblin Legionnaires's ability three times?


A: No. Part of Goblin Legionnaires's ability is to sacrifice the Legionnaires. Once you sacrifice him the first time, he is no longer around to sacrifice again, so you can't play the ability any more. (Besides, he's no longer there, so you can't play the ability, as it no longer exists.)


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA

Well, it's time for some sealed deck. I open a deck with Dragon Roost and Visara, but don't get it back. This is the deck I got back instead:


Akroma's Blessing

2 Aven Redeemer

Daunting Defender

Deftblade Elite

Disciple of Grace

Gustcloak Runner

Piety Charm


Shieldmage Elder


Cephalid Pathmage

Disruptive Pitmage

Echo Tracer


Mage's Guile

Mistform Mask

Mistform Mutant

Mistform Sliver

Riptide Chronologist

Sage Aven

Slipstream Eel

Trickery Charm

Voidmage Apprentice

Warped Researcher


Accursed Centaur

Anurid Murkdiver

Aphetto Vulture

Bane of the Living

Blood Celebrant

Corpse Harvester


Embalmed Brawler

Gempalm Polluter


Hollow Specter

Misery Charm

Noxious Ghoul

Screeching Buzzard

Severed Legion

Shepard of Rot

Spewsmoke Invoker

Vile Deacon



Bloodstoke Howler

Crown of Fury

Goblin Firebug

Goblin Grappler

Goblin Taskmaster

Hunter Sliver

Lay Waste

Macetail Hystrodon

Nosy Goblin

Searing Flesh


Skirk Marauder


Spurred Wolverine

Wave of Indifference


Birchlore Rangers

Elvish Guidance

2 Enormous Baloth

Krosan Vorine

Leery Fogbeast

Nantuko Vigilante

Patron of the Wild

Ravenous Baloth

Run Wild

Silvos, Rogue Elemental

Timberwatch Elf

Vitality Charm

Wall of Mulch

Artifact/Nonbasic Land:

Riptide Replicator

Secluded Steppe

Tranquil Thicket

Well, time for you to see what you would build. The obligatory black space follows:

There are many different ways to build this deck. None of them include the white or blue. Now try it, please.

I want feedback on the difference between your build and mine. So if you haven't built your deck, please do so. Then, after you read my build, comment on the differences between your build and mine, and send it in to me. Please.

My build:


Bane of the Living

Blood Celebrant

Corpse Harvester

Embalmed Brawler

Hollow Specter

Screeching Buzzard

Severed Legion

Shepard of Rot

Spewsmoke Invoker


Goblin Grappler

Goblin Taskmaster

Macetail Hystrodon


Skirk Marauder


Wave of Indifference


Krosan Vorine

Leery Fogbeast

Patron of the Wild

Ravenous Baloth

Silvos, Rogue Elemental


Riptide Replicator

Tranquil Thicket

3 Forest

6 Mountain

8 Swamp

That was the build I played. If I built it again, I would take out the Shepard of Rot, and add Nantuko Vigilante and a Forest. the heavy green in my 2 rares needed at least the one more Forest.

Sideboard Cards I played:

Anurid Murkdiver (I had too high of a curve already. He came in against the black mages.)

Gempalm Polluter (Again, a curve issue, and although I can always cycle it, I don't like going above 40 cards for stuff that is basically just card drawing.)

Nantuko Vigilante (Should have been main deck.)

Timberwatch Elf (I only have 1 elf in the deck, so I didn't feel it would have been good. Sided it in against a guy with a lot of elves.)

Round 1 - Scott Nguyen - RGu

Game 1 - I win the roll, 6-5, and choose to draw.

(Being 3 colors, and with a highish mana curve, I always chose to draw. You may say that you would want to play to keep the turn up, but I wanted the extra card.)

We trade shots with his Thoughtbound Primoc and my Severed Legion. He gets out a Timberwatch Elf. I have a face down Bane, which I finally activate for 6. He activates the Timberwatch Elf on the Primoc, and then flips a Patron of the Wild. I draw a card and scoop.

Sideboard: In: Timberwatch Elf, Forest. Out: Shepard of Rot

Game 2 - He gets out an early Sparksmith. I get Skirk Marauder, and flip it to kill the Sparksmith, and he kills the Marauder. He gets out a Kilnmouth Dragon, and Clones it. I have Macetail Hystrodon, and Sparksmith, which kills the Dragons in successive turns. With the help of 3/3 black beast tokens from the Replicator, I squeak this one out.

Game 3 - I have Severed Legion and Macetail again, but attack incorrectly a couple of times, and a Kilnmouth Dragon and his Clone do me in.

Games: 1-2, Matches: 0-1

Round 2 - Ryan Cocks - Brg

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 6-5, and plays. I keep a hand with 5 land, and keep drawing land. He casts Grinning Demon. It's pretty easy to lose when you don't draw anything but land.

Sideboard: In: Gempalm Polluter, Anurid Murkdiver, Forest. Out: Shepard of Rot, Macetail Hystrodon.

Game 2 - I choose to draw. I throw back a hand of 6 land and Ravenous Baloth, and then keep a hand of 5 land and Patron of the Wild. My draws are: Land, Land, Skirk Maurauder, Embalmed Brawler, Land, Land, Goblin Grappler, Land, Land, Gempalm Polluter. My life total goes quickly south, and I scoop to a Grinning Demon. Oh, I forgot to mention he got turn 2 Sparksmith this game. =\

Games: 1-4, Matches: 0-2

Luckily, I avoid the bye and get to play round 3.

Round 3 - Aaron Garcia - RG

I get land enough, and he stalls on 3 land. I put out a Leery Fogbeast, and then a Krosan Beast after he plays one. He doesn't attack, and I provoke his Beast so the Fogbeast gets through. I get Ravenous Baloth, and then Macetail Hystrodon. He finally plays his bomb, Centaur Glade, but is too far behind for it to matter.

Sideboard: In: Nantuko Vigilante, Forest. Out: Shepard of Rot.

Game 2 - He gets out the Glade early this time, but my Blood Celebrant lets me play a turn 6 Silvos. The Silvos goes all the way.

Games: 3-6, Matches: 1-2

Since I am out of contention of a prize (other than the random), I decide to go home, since I didn't get any sleep the previous night, and it was a 50% chance that I get the bye round 4.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin

Ask Judge Bill A Question

DCI Level 2 Judge




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