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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

A Drought of Additional Costs

To start off, if you happened to read my last [24 July] column in the first few hours it was posted (before about 9am Pacific Time Thursday), go back and read it again. I had 2 incorrect answers that were corrected when the article was reposted. The article, as it is up on the site now, has all of the questions completely correctly answered, except for one (the Dream Halls answer - the base answer is correct, but the reasoning isn't ... that will be addressed shortly).

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Short Answer:

-You can only regenerate from lethal damage. If the creature or creature card is going to the graveyard IN ANY OTHER WAY, regeneration will not save it.

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Q: My friend has a Drought and he says that I can’t use the black mana once I activate the swamp so I can’t cast the spell. Is sacrifice faster than Mana Sources?

-Joe M.

A: Drought

{2}{W}{W}

Enchantment

At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Drought unless you pay {W}{W}.

As an additional cost to play spells with {B} in their mana costs and activated abilities with {B} in their activation costs, that spell or ability's controller sacrifices a Swamp for each {B} in that cost.

When you announce a spell or ability, you first determine the total cost of the spell or ability. Then, you have to actually have the mana in your mana pool before you pay the costs of the spell or ability (410.9h). The game gives you an opportunity as you are announcing the spell or ability to play mana abilities before you make the payment of the spell or ability (410.9g). So you will already have the mana in your pool before you have to sacrifice the Swamps.

Let's take an example. You are playing me, and you have Drought out. I announce Phyrexian Arena (casting cost: 1BB). I determine the total cost (1BB plus sacrifice 2 Swamps for Drought). I have an opportunity to play mana abilities, so I tap 2 Swamps and one other land to get the three mana I will need. I then pay for the Arena. I use the 3 mana in my mana pool, and sacrifice the 2 Swamps I tapped for mana. Phyrexian Arena then goes on the stack.

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Q: If I have a Faceless Butcher, can my opponent remove it from play if he plays a Faceless Butcher next turn?

A: Yes.

202.2. Text that refers to the object it’s on by name means just that particular object and not any other duplicates of it, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects.

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Q: If I have two Gratuitous Violence in play, and I use Flamewave Invoker to do 5 damage, does it do 20 due to the 2 Gratuitous Violences, or does it do a different amount?

-Carlos G.

A: Gratuitous Violence

{2}{R}{R}{R}

Enchantment

If a creature you control would deal damage to a creature or player, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead.

It will deal 20. One of the Violences will double the 5 to 10, and the other will double the 10 to 20.

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Q: If I use Necropotence's ability while I have Spellbook in play, does this mean I will never get the cards I set aside?

-Orrie F.

A: You're looking at the Exodus version of Spellbook. This is the current wording of Spellbook:

Spellbook

{0}

Artifact

You have no maximum hand size.

and the current wording of Necropotence:

Necropotence

{B}{B}{B}

Enchantment

Skip your draw step.

If you would discard a card from your hand, remove that card from the game instead.

Pay 1 life: Remove the top card of your library from the game face down. At the end of your turn, put that card into your hand.

Since you still have your End of Turn step (unless an effect is making you skip it or the End phase), you will get the cards from Necropotence.

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Q: If I put Dragon Wings and Sandskin on an Ironfist Crusher, does that make me immune to being attacked (since I can just block anything, and the Sandskin will prevent the damage)?

A: As long as the attacking creatures don't have anything like Trample, Shadow, Horsemanship, or unblockability, then yes, you've pretty much stopped any creature assaults.

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Q: Can you cycle a card anytime you could play an instant?

-Jeff B.

A: Yes. In fact, unless it says otherwise, you can play any ability any time you can play an instant.

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Q: I recently played in a tourney with a borrowed Psychatog deck. I was holding a Cunning Wish and, being unfamiliar with the deck as I was, began to search the sideboard for a wish target. The judge then informed me I could only search the sideboard between games but didn't penalize me. My question is, should I have been hit with a penalty for this?

-Landon

A: Outside of a Grand Prix or Pro Tour, no. The first time, you'll generally just be informed of the rule. If you do it again, though, expect to be hit with a penalty.

(By the way, you can also look at the sideboard while you are resolving a Wish, although that may go without saying :).)

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Q: I am playing with a squirrel deck, and my friend has a mono-green beatdown. I have 18 Squirrels, a Nut Collector, and an Epic Struggle in play. At the beginning of my upkeep, do I put a Squirrel Token in play because of Nut Collector, and then win because of Epic Struggle's effect?

-Jeff H.

A: You get to put the squirrel token into play, but you'll have to wait until you next upkeep to win the game. Since you didn't control 20 creatures at the beginning of your upkeep, you didn't match the trigger condition on Epic Struggle, so its ability wasn't put on the stack.

Epic Struggle

{2}{G}{G}

Enchantment

At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control twenty or more creatures, you win the game.

404.3. A triggered ability may read “When/Whenever/At . . . , if [condition], [effect].” The ability checks for the stated condition to be true when the trigger event occurs. If it is, the ability triggers. On resolution, the ability rechecks the condition. If the condition isn’t true at either of those times, the ability does nothing. This rule is referred to as the “intervening ‘if’ clause” rule. Note that the word “if” has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an “if” that immediately follows a trigger condition.

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Correction:

C: You obviously received my previous email or realized the errors in your column as originally published.

A: Yes. Thanks for helping me see that the two answers I corrected (about Dream Halls and Library of Leng) were completely incorrect. I just didn't take the time to look them up in the Oracle.

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C: However, the new answer given in the Dream Halls question is not quite correct. You wrote:

>>>Q: In regards to Dream Halls: does the effect apply only on me, or does my opponent get to use the effect too?

-Gilbert L.

A: Your opponent can use the effect too. Dream Halls sets up a replacement effect - it replaces paying the mana cost with discarding a card of the appropriate color. Since that card says “its controller,” and both players can control cards that are played on the stack, both players can use the effect.<<<

C: Dream Halls does not have a replacement effect, it's ability does not use the word 'instead' or 'skip.' It does not replace how you play spells, but offers you another way to pay for them. Nothing is replaced, however another option is added. If is were a replacement effect then you could not play spells in the normal way by paying their mana cost. Dream Halls has a static ability that creates a continuous effect.

-Chris

aka kriz_riktr

DCI Level II Judge

Moderator MTGNews.com

A: The correction was a hastily written reply, and this error crept in, as I was quickly correcting the column to be republished. Thanks for helping me hit it right on the head.

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Now, on to the ...

Clarifications:

First, someone writes in about a question I answered on Thursday (which happened to be the other answer I had to correct):

>>>Q: If I use Nefarious Lich, Confessor, Zombie Infestation and Library of Leng, could I create infinite creatures - because I would discard for Infestation, which would go to the top of my library because of the Library, then I would gain life from the Confessor, but draw that many cards instead because of the Lich and draw what I discarded and therefore make infinite creatures?

-Justin

A: No. This does not work. Library of Leng only allows you to put cards on top of your library for cards that are discarded due to an effect, not to pay a cost. So you can’t discard to Zombie Infestation and put the discarded cards on top of your library.<<<

Q: What if you used the Confessor, Nefarious Lich and Zombie Infestation, but instead of the Library of Leng, you use two copies of Legacy Weapon?

-Justin

A: Legacy Weapon

{7}

Legendary Artifact

{W}{U}{B}{R}{G}: Remove target permanent from the game.

If Legacy Weapon would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Legacy Weapon and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.

This would work. When you discard the 2 Legacy Weapons, you shuffle them in instead of putting them in the graveyard as part of discarding them. Then the Confessor's life gain triggers, which is replaced by drawing 2 cards under the Lich. Eventually, you will get down to just the 2 Legacy Weapons, and enter into a loop where you can make as many Zombies as you want.

(Unless you give the tokens haste, though, you'll have to find a way to get a card back into your library, or you'll die due to not being able to draw a card before you can attack with them.)

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And now on to some readers that need a fuller explanation of previous answers:

Q: I was reading your answer to a question (Thursday [24 July]'s column):

>>>Q: I have a question...I was playing my friend and he placed a card face down. The next turn he attacked with that creature and I didn't block. So he put combat damage on the stack, and then unmorphed it and it was an Ebonblade Reaper. Do I lose half my life?

-Kathy W.

A: Yes. When damage resolves, Ebonblade Reaper has the "lose half your life if I hurt you" ability, so you will lose half your life.<<<

Q: I have to call you on it. the card was not an Ebonblade Reaper when it attacked, and its effect says when I hurt you so it should not take half the life regardless of when it got morphed.

-Random Writer

A: You are incorrect. All the game cares about is what the creature is when the damage is dealt. It could have been a Llanowar Elf, a Grizzly Bears, or anything else when the damage was assigned. When the damage was dealt, though, it was an Ebonblade Reaper, and it had the ability. So you will lose half your life.

310.4. Combat damage resolves as though it were an object on the stack. When it resolves, it’s all dealt at once, as originally assigned. After combat damage finishes resolving, the active player gets priority.

310.4b The source of the combat damage is the creature as it currently exists, or as it most recently existed if it is no longer in play.

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Q: On last Thursday [17 July]'s column you wrote:

>>>Q: I have Mirari on the board and 10 mana available, and my opponent is tapped out. I played a Renewed Faith earlier that turn and he Counterspelled it. I drop Hunting Pack and Mirari it. I should get:

The original beast

2 beasts for the Faith and Counterspell

The Mirari'd beast

3 beasts for the original Hunting Pack, the Faith and the Counterspell

For a total of 7 4/4 Beasts

Correct?

-Raed R.

A: Incorrect. You will end up with 4 beasts. When you play the Hunting Pack, its Storm ability gives you 2 more copies. But when you copy Hunting Pack with Mirari, the Storm ability doesn't trigger (since you didn't play the copy - it was simply put onto the stack).<<<

Q: I think you made a mistake on Mirari's ability, Mirari copies all aspects of the instant or sorcery in question (503.5 and 503.10) including the Storm (Storm is copied at its original spell-count) characteristic of Hunting Pack, so the player in this case should get 7 4/4 beast tokens for their trouble...

-Jon

A: Let me repeat the definition of Storm ...

502.30a Storm is a triggered ability that functions while the card is on the stack. “Storm” means “When you play this spell, put a copy of it onto the stack for each other spell that was played before it this turn. If the spell has any targets, you may choose new targets for any number of the copies.”

Look at the first five words of the definition again: "When you play this spell". Since you are not playing the copy that Mirari is putting on the stack, but simply putting the copy on the stack with Mirari, the Storm ability won't trigger. (See Mantra 6.)

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Finally, a couple items of business. First, the tournament report that is usually here. I only ended up playing one round on Friday, and dropping early in the second round, as I had a family emergency. The one round I did play didn't reveal much, other than (a) the base configuration of the deck as I have it now is good, and (b) Stifle is very very good.

Next, I am playing in the 8th Edition tournament in Diamond Bar on the 27th (today as I finish writing this, but yesterday when you read this). I hope to have a tournament report from that event Thursday to make up for the lack of a tournament report today.

Last, as a side note, so you know, I write and submit my Thursday column on Wednesday night. I write most of my Monday column on Saturday night, and check for any last questions Sunday morning before I submit it, before I leave for the day.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge

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