Title: Kingly Jewelry
Q: (Regarding my
Lion's Eye Diamond question from Tuesday ... a
reminder of the wording of Lion's Eye Diamond for
those who didn't pay attention then:
Lion's Eye Diamond
Sacrifice Lion's Eye Diamond, Discard your hand: Add
three mana of any one color to your mana pool. Play
this ability only any time you could play an
It seems that, with the errataed wording, I cannot
announce the Charbelcher, have it on the stack and
then pay the cost to activate the Diamond to pay for
A: Correct, since you can't play instants while you
are announcing the Charbelcher.
Q: I have a deeper question, though, that has become
a little confusing. When does mana ABSOLUTELY have
to be in your pool to play a spell-before or after
announcing the spell?
A: There is a step during the announcing of a spell
that lets you play mana abilities (it is right
before you pay for the spell). So you can actually
play a normal mana ability during the time you
announce a spell. (The errata on the Diamond
prevents the Diamond from being used this way).
You have to have the mana when you get to the step
during the time you announce the spell when you
actually have to pay for the spell. A VERY ROUGH
outline of the announcing of a spell (taken from
409.1 of the Comprehensive Rulebook, note that all
steps my not apply for a given spell) is:
1. Say that you're going to play the spell.
2. Determine which mode(s) of the spell you will be
using (Modal spells are denoted by "Choose One -
..." or "[A Player] Chooses One - ...." Entwine
allows you to select both modes for an additional
3. Determine the value of X.
4. Choose targets and how those targets will be
affected by the spell.
5. Determine the cost of the spell (cost printed on
the card, minus any cost reducers [like the
Planeshift Familiars], plus any additional [like
Entwine, Kicker, or an effect like Sphere of
Resistance] or alternate [like Flashback or Force of
Will] costs [and then applying Trinisphere if
necessary]). The cost is "locked in" and can't be
changed after this.
6. Play mana abilities.
7. Pay for the spell.
Q: Does Culling Scales have to hit itself if all the
permanents are higher casting cost than it?
Q: Say I have 1 Myr Servitor, 1 Arcbound Ravager and
1 Disciple of the Vault in play. At the beginning of
my upkeep, can I have the Servitor's ability of
having all Servitors return to play if 1 is in play
go on the stack? Then while still the beginning of
my upkeep, sacrifice it to the Ravager, giving it 1
+1/+1 counter, and having my opponent lose one life
from the Disciple?
A: First of all, Myr Servitor's ability returning
all Myr Servitors to play isn't based on having A
Myr Servitor in play, it is based on having THAT
SPECIFIC Myr Servitor in play (the one the triggered
ability came from).
(And having it leave play and return to play before
the trigger resolves won't work. Even though it is
the same card, it is a new permanent, and not the
one that triggered the ability. So the Servitors
You can do this with multiples if you make sure one
is still in play (and has not left play and
returned) when its ability has resolved.
Q: I have a Silklash Spider in play and my opponent
has two Thieving Magpies. If I activate the Spider's
ability to destroy the Magpies and my opponent uses
Echoing Truth on the Spider, does it still deal
A: Yes. See Mantra 8.
Q: I have a deck using Nefarious Lich and Avarice
Totem, and my friend is trying to tell me that when
you use Avarice Totem you are exchanging control of
the Totem with one of the other players target
cards. I am telling him that I am exchanging the
totem AND one of MY cards (Nefarious Lich) so that I
can bounce it from play making him lose the game.
Can you please give me the official ruling on this
A: It takes two exchanges to make this work (and
your opponent not having 5 mana to "interrupt" the
process in the middle. Mark Gottlieb did a very good
job explaining exactly what to do in last Thursday's
column ... I'll cut and paste the procedure, with my
comments in [brackets].
"You also need 10 mana to make the trade (that's
what the Invasion sac lands are for—once you start
going down this path, you better be committed to
it), and you need your opponent to have less than
five mana available. Activate the Totem targeting
your Lich while holding the CTRL key [Holding the
CTRL key on Magic Online lets you keep priority to
play another spell or ability ... normally, once you
play a spell or ability on Magic Online, the program
thinks you're done and automatically passes priority
to your opponent. Also, there is no targeting
restriction that says you have to target a permanent
you don't control with the Totem.]. Then, while
that's on the stack, respond to it by activating the
Totem targeting one of your opponent's permanents.
The Totem will swap itself for that thing, then it
will swap itself for your Lich [since the Lich and
Totem are now controlled by different players]. (You
have to be sure your opponent can't activate the
Totem himself in the brief window he has it or the
Lich swap will never happen. [If the Lich and Totem
are controlled by the same person when the Totem's
ability resolves, you can't "exchange control,"
since the same player already controls both
permanents.]) Then bounce that Lich."
Q: If a 5/5 creature attacks and a 7/7 creature
blocks, what happens to the 7/7 creature - does he
lose some of his defense or what?
A: His toughness does not change - he is simply a
7/7 with 5 damage on him. The game keeps track of
how much damage a creature has. So if you do 2 more
damage to the 7/7 after combat in the current turn,
it will be destroyed. If you don't do any more
damage to it this turn, the game "erases" all damage
during the cleanup step of the current turn.
Q: And how does regeneration fall into this
A: Regeneration replaces a destruction effect (which
includes damage) with "remove all damage, tap this
creature, and (if it's in combat) remove it from
So if you managed to do 2 more damage to the 7/7,
but your opponent used a regeneration effect, you
would have to do 7 more damage to kill the 7/7,
since all damage was erased.
Q: I'm using flashback on a Cabal Therapy on my
opponent and he plays Stifle to counter it.
A: He can't do this. Flashback is a static ability,
not a triggered or activated ability.
Q: I play Terror on my opponent's creature, then my
opponent plays Condescend on the Terror. If I
respond by playing another Terror on the creature,
does my opponent scry 2?
A: Yes. The second Terror kills the creature, and
then Condescend counters the first Terror and lets
your opponent Scry.
The other Terror doesn't see that it's countered
until it goes to resolve, so since it is still on
the stack, it is still a legal target for
Q: What does trample mean?
A: Trample is explained in section 502.9 of the
Comprehensive Rules. It is also the subject of
Mantra 5, which debuted in my 26 September 2002
column. That column gives a few good examples.
Q: what is the converted mana cost of Chalice of the
Void when it is in play?
A: No matter how many counters it has on it, the
converted mana cost of Chalice of the Void when it
is in play is 0, since X anywhere but the stack is
treated as 0 (definition, X).
Q: How do I properly explain to players that you can
use a Nomad or Shaman en-Kor's redirect damage
ability at anytime even when damage is not present?
A: Looks like your players have some left over rules
in their head from Fifth Edition rules (or some
other ruleset previous to Sixth Edition).
WARNING: THIS IS A STATEMENT ABOUT OLD RULES. THESE
RULES DON'T APPLY ANY MORE.
In rulesets previous to Sixth Edition, when damage
was dealt, you had a window where you could prevent
or redirect damage before creatures were affected by
the damage. So, when these cards were printed, you
would wait until the damage was actually dealt, and
then play the ability redirecting the damage.
THIS IS THE END OF THE DISCUSSION ABOUT PREVIOUS
RULES. NOW BACK TO PRESENT DAY MAGIC.
Today, we don't have the opportunity to play any
spells or abilities while damage is being done. So,
we have to set up the "shield" beforehand. Since we
have to set up the shield beforehand, and the game
doesn't "know" that a spell or ability is going to
deal damage until it is actually dealt, you have to
be able to use these abilities at any time.
Hopefully, by seeing what's changed, and knowing how
your players think better than I do, you can put it
in a way they can understand.
(A lot of things changed when we went to Sixth
Edition Rules. A player coming back seeing the new
rules for the first time may be overwhelmed by all
the changes - I know I was the first few games I
played under Sixth Edition rules. Some concrete
examples, like with cards like Healing Salve or
Redeem (printed with the new wording, so use a 7th
or 8th Edition card) may help them see the light.
Also changes in how regeneration is played might
I see I'm starting to ramble here, so I'll move on.
Let me know if you need more help, and I'll try to
answer the best I can privately.)
Q: How does Eon Hub affect cumulative upkeep? For
example, Eon Hub is in play and I cast Illusions of
Grandeur. During my next upkeep, I don't pay the
cost because the upkeep step has been skipped.
During my opponent's turn he casts Shatter on my Eon
Hub and destroys it. What happens during my upkeep -
do I pay 2 or 4?
A: You will pay 2. Since the first upkeep was
skipped, the whole process of cumulative upkeep
(including putting an age counter on the permanent)
was skipped. The current upkeep, you put an age
counter on it, then take the number of age counters
(1) and multiply it by the cumulative upkeep cost
(2) to determine how much to pay.
Q: If I put Scythe of the Wretched on a Bloodfire
Kavu and sacrifice it to do 2 damage to each
creature thereby killing more then one of my
opponents creatures, do I choose which one gets
equipped when they return to play under my control
or is it defined somehow by graveyard order?
A: Neither - you won't get any creatures, since the
Scythe isn't on the Kavu when it deals damage. When
you play the Kavu's ability, it goes on the stack,
and the Scythe "detaches" from the Kavu. When the
damage is dealt, the Scythe isn't equipped on the
Q: If I sacrifice my Ghitu Fire-Eater equipped with
Scythe of the Wretched to deal 4 damage to a
creature, does it return to play under my control or
was the Scythe not equipped to the Fire-Eater when
the ability resolved?
A: The latter.
Q: Do any of the cards have a certain speed? For
example, is an instant faster than a sorcery?
A: Cards and abilities do not have "speeds." They
just have restrictions on when they can be played.
Once they are on the stack, all spells and abilities
will resolve in reverse (last in, first out) order.
Q: I was at 2 and it was my turn. My opponent
Shocked me then I played Tendrils of Agony.
A: You can't even play the Tendrils until the Shock
resolves, and you will be dead by that point.
Sorceries can only be played during your turn, when
the stack is empty.
If the cards were played in reverse order (you play
Tendrils and then your opponent responds with
Shock), the Shock will resolve first, killing you,
since it was played later than the Tendrils.
(Predicting the other question by your next
question: If you have Vedalken Orrery out, and play
the Tendrils in response to the Shock, the Tendrils
[and its storm copy] will resolve first, putting you
to 6, and then the Shock will take you to 4.)
Q: I have Vedalken Orrery in play. My opponent plays
Duress and in response I play a Duress. Who discards
A: Each of you will end up looking at each other's
hand and discarding a (nonland, noncreature) card.
Your Duress will resolve first (since it was played
last), so you will look and choose first, then your
opponent will look and choose.
Q: If you are drafting Fallen Empires how many packs
does each person need?
A: There is no specification for exactly how many
packs you must use in the Floor Rules. At a bare
minimum, you would need 3, but this would entail the
players playing all (or nearly all) of the cards
they drafted, since they would only have 24 cards
from the boosters to make a deck. I would recommend
you use 5 boosters, which would give players enough
of a pool to choose from (40 cards, compared to the
modern 45 from 3 15 card packs). 6 boosters would
not be a bad choice either, but you have to take
into consideration the cost of the product - would
players want to pay for the 6th booster?
Q: How many uncommons are in each pack?
A: This is a tricky question to answer. According to
the Wizards checklist for the set, there were 66
cards printed on an uncommon sheet. Some cards were
printed on an uncommon sheet multiple times, so some
uncommons were more uncommon than other uncommons.
(for example, there were 3 Soul Exchange printed for
every 2 Dwarven Ruins printed for every 1 Thrull
Champion printed. We say Soul Exchange is a "U3,"
Dwarven Ruins is a "U2," and Thrull Champion is a
Some people consider U1's to be a "rare". There are
36 U1's, 5 U2's, and 25 U3's.
Packs contained 2 cards taken from an uncommon sheet
(could be U1, U2, or U3 in any combination) and 6
cards taken from a common sheet.
Q: My Goblin Warchief attacks and is team blocked by
my brother's Myr Retriever and Arcbound Worker (both
1/1's) with no artifacts in the graveyard. Does the
Worker return to his hand?
A: He can return it, yes. By the time the ability
triggers, the Worker is in the graveyard, and is a
See you Tuesday.
DCI Level 2 Judge