Judge Bill



Card Price Guide

MTG Fan Articles
Single Card Strategy 
Deck Tips & Strategies 
Tourney Reports 
Peasant Magic 
Featured Articles

Featured Writers
The Dragon's Den
Rumblings From The Ass
The Heretic's Sermon
Through The Portal

Deck Garage
Aaron's School

Message Board 
Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews



Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Alter Your Angel?

Well, the good news is, Friday Night Magic is back on. The bad news is, the score pad with all my notes from Friday is with most of my stuff, in my new place (I’m moving Thursday). So this means I can’t write a tournament report for you. Sorry. I’ll have one again next week.


Short Answers:

-To find out when you can play spells or abilities, look for “players may play spells and abilities” in section 300 of the Comprehensive Rules.

-Removing the source of an ability will not stop that ability from happening.

-If there are two (or more) legends in play at the same time, then all but the one who has been a legend the longest are put into their owners’ graveyards. If there is a tie for longest, you put all of them in their owners’ graveyards.

-Remember Mantra #3: "If the card doesn't say 'TARGET,' it doesn't target." (31 May 2002) (The only exception to this mantra is local enchantment spells that are being played (cast).)

-You can’t prevent loss of life with a Circle of Protection. Loss of life is not damage.


Full Answers:

Q: My opponent casts Iridescent Angel. Can I play Alter Reality on it as it comes into play to get rid of one of its color protections, or does the color actually have to be printed on the card for Alter Reality to work?

A: That wouldn’t work. The color word has to be physically printed on the card for it to work.


Q: I control Cryptic Gateway. Can I tap two creatures of different types to play a third creature who has both types? For example, can I tap Gustcloak Runner (soldier) and Suntail Hawk (Bird) to play Aven Brigadier (bird soldier)?

A: Yes, and yes. (Onslaught FAQ)


Q: Similarly, can I tap two creatures who share a type but have different secondary types to play a third creature who matches the first type? For example, tapping Phantom Tiger (cat spirit) and Phantom Nomad (nomad spirit) to play Phantom Nishoba (beast spirit)?

A: Again, yes, and yes.


Q: If I bring a Hypnox into play via Cryptic Gateway or Elvish Piper, will its comes-into-play ability trigger, or will it be ignored because it came into play through another card's ability instead of being played directly from my hand?

A: It will be ignored. Hypnox’s ability will only trigger if you play (cast) it from your hand.


Q: Can Cryptic Gateway be used at any time, or only when I could play a sorcery?

A: Since it doesn’t give a limitation, you can play it any time.


Q: Does Iridescent Angel's protection from all colors ability protect it from artifacts?

A: No, unless the artifact has been laced or hit with a similar effect. Artifacts have no color.


Q: If a creature has protection from a color, is it protected from multicolored cards that include that color? For example, would a pro-red creature be protected from Terminate?

A: Yes, and yes. A card color or colors is all of the colors in its mana cost.


Q: Can a Mirari's effect only be used once per instant or sorcery, or can you copy it as many times as you can afford the mana cost?

A: Only once, since the Mirari only triggers once per spell.


Q: Can the copies of the original be copied with the Mirari?

A: No, since you are not “playing” (casting) them.


Q: If a creature with fading is removed from the game from play and returns to play later (for example, from a Faceless Butcher), does it regain its original number of fading counters, or does it only keep the amount it had when it left play?

A: It is a new creature, so it comes back with the full number of fading counters.


Q: If a creature played face-down with morph is removed from the game, will it return to play face-up or face-down?

A: Face up. (Onslaught FAQ)


Q: Concerning Coat of Arms; if a creature has two creature types, will it gain separate bonuses for each type? For example, if there are three Phantom Tigers in play, will they each get +4/+4, since for each there are two other cats and two other spirits?

A: No. They will only get +2/+2 in this situation.

The easies way to calculate the bonus for a creature is to take that creature, and ask “How many creatures share a creature type with this creature?” The number you get to this answer is the bonus that creature will get.


Q: I attack with Tephraderm. My opponent blocks with Phantom Nomad. Does the Tephraderm's ability trigger after combat damage is assigned and cause the Phantom

to lose two counters, or does it do both damage sources at the same time and only cost the Phantom one counter?

A: It will be 2 separate sets of damage, since the Tephraderm’s ability is a triggered ability. So the phantom will lose 2 counters.


Q: Does Contested Cliffs ignore first strike?

A: Yes, since the creatures are not dealing damage as a result of combat.


Q: I attack with Butcher Orgg. My opponent blocks with a creature. Can I use the Orgg's ability to assign all of the Orgg's damage to the opponent, or does it have to assign lethal damage to the blocker first?

A: You can assign all the damage to the player.


Q: If the opponent blocks it and the blocker leaves play before combat damage resolves, does the Orgg still have the chance to deal damage through its ability, or is all of the damage cancelled?

A: Since there is no blocker for Butcher Orgg, the Butcher Orgg deals no combat damage (310.1c). Since there is no combat damage to divide, its ability is useless.


Q: My opponent controls a Wild Mongrel. I cast Llawan, Cephalid Empress, and use Alter Reality before her comes-into-play ability resolves, changing it to green. My opponent responds by discarding a card to change his Wild Mongrel's color. Will the Mongrel remain in play normally, or will it be bounced when its color changes back at the end of the turn?

A: It will stay in play. Llawan’s bounce ability only happens once. (However, your opponent won’t be able to play any more green spells.)


Q: Can cycling be played as an instant, or only at any time you could play the card being cycled?

A: Again, since it doesn’t say, it can be played at any time.


Q: Can a creature who just came into play be tapped for another card's effect (Cryptic Gateway, the Onslaught lords, etc)?

A: Yes. Summoning sickness only affects abilities on that creature that have “tap” in their cost.


Q: Is a creature with protection from creatures (such as Commander Eesha, or any creature enchanted with Unquestioned Authority) effectively unblockable?

A: It is unblockable by creatures, yes. However, it still can become blocked by something like Choking Vines.


Q: I control Intruder Alarm and five untapped elves, including Voice of the Woods. I tap the elves for the Voice's ability and put a 7/7 token into play. Does this trigger the Alarm and untap the elves (and create a potential infinite-token parade, since the elves can be tapped again to play more tokens, each one causing the elves to untap in an infinite loop)?

A: Yes.


Q: I play Traveler's Cloak. Since the Cloak doesn't specify that the chosen land type has to be a basic land, can I give the enchanted creature a non-basic landwalk (for example, can I choose Grand Coliseum as the land type)?


A: Yes. A land’s type is its card name (Comprehensive Rules, definition of “Land Type”).


Q: I was judging one of the local tournaments and a situation arose. Both players presented their deck to other, that's use player A & B. A cut B’s deck and B shuffle A's deck and make a mark on A's cards, so there is no way this game can go on, no one brought extra deck, so we let the game go on after provide them the protector.

First, can Player B shuffle Player A’s deck?

A: Yes (UTR 21).


Q: If he damages someone’s card what kind of penalty will he receive?

A: I, personally, would make one of two rulings:

If Player B damaged Player A’s cards on purpose, I would give Player B a match loss. He then has until the start of the next round to replace what he damaged (for example, buying new sleeves if he damaged the sleeves, or replacing the cards if he damaged them. If replacement cards/sleeves are unavailable, I would let Player B pay Player A the value of the sleeves/cards instead). If he does not, I issue Player B a disqualification without prize, and send a report in to the DCI. (This does not relieve Player B of the legal liability he incurred when he damaged Player A’s sleeves/cards.)

If Player B did not do it on purpose (and this is more likely), I would issue Player B a warning, and tell him that if he wishes his opponent’s deck to be shuffled, to call over a judge and have the judge shuffle the deck instead. If this occurred again in this tournament or in a future tournament, I would impose a heavier penalty.

In either case, if Player B damaged Player A’s cards, and the cards are unable to be played in the tournament, you may issue proxy cards for use in the rest of that tournament (UTR 34).


Q: When can a player shuffle his or her opponent’s deck?

A: Any time a player shuffles his or her deck, his or her opponent may shuffle it.


Q: What sets are in extended now?

-bahamut o.

A: 6th Edition, 7th Edition, and all Expert-Level sets (expansions) from Tempest forward.


Q: If I had a Puzzle Box out (you put your hand on the bottom of your library and then draw that many cards) but my opponent doesn't have any cards in her hand, would she be unable to draw unless she had a spell saying so?

A: No. She will still draw her normal card for the turn.


Q: If I cast a Shimmer (any land type that I choose all gain phasing) what would happen to the lands?

A: If they are in play at the beginning of your turn, they phase out. If they are phased out at that time, they phase in. See section 502.15 for the complete rules on phasing.


Q: Do a player and his creature get damage from Skirk Commando or just only the creature or player?

A: An unblocked Skirk Commando will eventually damage both the defending player and a creature he or she controls.


Q: Can I pay the morph cost to make a faced-up in play morph creature faced-down?


A: No.


Q: My opponent has a Silvos out and I proceed to ghastly demise it. Can he regenerate to save it or not?

-Alex W.

A: Yes, since Ghastly Demise doesn’t say that the creature it destroys can’t be regenerated.

See you Thursday.

-Bill Guerin


DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.