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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Let's get right into the questions this week…

Q: I think I know the answer but can you counter a counterspell? I mean can there be a chain of 8 cards (or more) countering each other? It seems really weird. Thanks.


A: Sure. A counterspell is a spell, which would make it a legal target for another counterspell.

Q: When I play Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu (which says to return a green or red creature I control to my hand) when I control no other creatures, must I return Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu to my hand when
the spell resolves?

A: Unless there is an effect that has changed the color of Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu, then they are green and red creatures, and a legal choice for the gating ability. Therefore, they would have to be returned to your hand.

Q: Here's the scenario for question 2:

*) I have only 1 green creature in play
*) I play Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu.
*) My opponent plays Unsummon on my green creature in response.

Must I return Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu to my hand?

Thanks in advance.

-J. C.

A: Again, unless an effect changes the color of Sparkcaster or Horned Kavu, then you will have to return them to your hand.

Q: I have a question you might be able to help me with. My friends and I are wondering how Orim's Chant works on the stack. If I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be as I have only been playing for a few months) once someone taps a land for mana, that mana is in their mana pool until the end of their turn. What I mean is that they can't untap and undo the mana. So, if I play an Orim's Chant in response to a 15 point Death Grasp, the Chant would resolve first, making it so he couldn't play the Death Grasp. Thus, he would lose 17 to mana burn. This is what one of my friends says, but another older magic player says that isn't so because the spell is already being played. What happens? I think I would have read about it somewhere, if it was possible of doing a lot of damage for just one W, every deck would run it. If you could help us out, we would really appreciate it.

Thanks for your time,

A: OK everyone, repeat after me: Orim's Chant is not a counterspell.

The scenario you describe unfortunately wouldn't work, because your opponent has already cast the Death Grasp. Orim's Chant only prevents a person from playing any more spells that turn - it does not stop any spells that person may have already cast. The only way to stop a spell that has already been cast is with a cards that reads "counter target spell."

Q: OK, I have a quick question. Would it be a waste to have 2 copies of Elfhame Sanctuary out at the same time? Would I still get to search for 2 lands by skipping my draw phase? Also, if I have 2 Teferi's Puzzle Boxes out, would they both trigger or would only one?

Thank you for your time.


A: No, it would not be a waste. Each card would trigger separately, and you would be able to get two lands; and in the case of the Puzzle Box, you would have to do it twice.

Q: Ok, if I have 2 Mirri's Guile in play, can I look at the top 3 cards of my library with one, then with the other look at the top 3 again and get 6 cards deeper? Thanks.


A: Unfortunately, you would only get to look at the top three cards twice. Each card is handled separately, so you would look at the top three cards, and then look at the top three cards again.

Q: Could you please tell me what limited, constructed and sealed deck mean when it comes to tournament format?


A: I could almost see this coming when I mentioned it in my last article … so here we go.

There are two major styles of tournament Magic: Constructed and Limited. All of the formats you may hear about are subsets of these two. For constructed tournaments, you bring your own premade deck and play with it, and in Limited, you play with a small set of cards given to you at the tournament.

For Constructed tournaments, new sets become legal on one of two given dates:

1. If the set is released on the 1st-15th of the month, it will be legal the 1st of the next month.

2. If the set is released on the 16th or later of the month, it becomes legal on the 1st day of the 2nd month following its' release.

So Torment, with its' release date of February 4, will be legal in Constructed tournaments on March 1. If Torment were released on February 16th, it would be legal on April 1.

For limited tournaments, new sets are legal as soon as you can obtain the product. So, for example, if you won a box of Torment at the prerelease Saturday or Sunday, you could run a sanctioned tournament with it today.

Here is how all of the formats you may be familiar with fit into the two styles:

Constructed (each Constructed format has a list of cards that are banned (you can't play with any of those cards) or restricted (you are limited to one of each of these cards in your deck)):

1. Standard/Type 2 - This format consists of the last two blocks and the last basic set printed. Right now, Type 2 consists of 7th Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, and Odyssey. Sets leave the Type 2 environment when the next block becomes legal. So Invasion, Planeshift, and Apocalypse will leave Type 2 on November 1 (when Onslaught becomes legal).

2. Block Constructed - This format consists of one block … for example, Invasion Block consists of Invasion, Planeshift, and Apocalypse; Odyssey Block consists of Odyssey, (and when they become legal) Torment, and Judgment.

3. Extended - Currently, Extended consist of all expansions from Ice Age forward and all basic sets from 5th Edition forward, and the 10 dual lands (Badlands, Bayou, Plateau, Savannah, Scrubland, Taiga, Tropical Island, Tundra, Underground Sea, and Volcanic Island).

4. Type 1 and Type 1.5 - Type 1 and Type 1.5 consist of any Magic card that has been released to the general public. Any card restricted in Type 1 is banned in Type 1.5.


1. Sealed Deck - this is the format that was used at the prereleases this past weekend. You receive one starter and a certain number of boosters, and build a deck out of this.

2. Booster Draft - in this format, you sit in a circle with (six or) seven other people. Each of you receives a certain number of boosters (usually three). You open your booster, pick a card out of that booster, and then pass that booster to your left. Then you take the booster from the person to your left and take a card out of that booster and so on. Once you finish the first booster, you open the second and pass it to the right instead of the left, and repeat the process. You alternate going left one booster and right the next until all boosters have been drafted. You then build your deck with the cards you have drafted.

3. Rochester Draft - in this format, you get in the same circle with (six or) seven other people, with a certain number of boosters (again, usually three). This time, the person in position 1 opens the booster and spreads it out on the table. The group looks at the booster for a preset amount of time (usually 20-30 seconds). Then the person in position 1 takes a card, followed by the person to his left, until everyone has drafted a card. Then the person who took the last card takes another, and it goes back down the line toward position 1 until (a) all of the cards are gone, or (b) everyone has drafted two cards. If there is a card left over, it is removed from the table. Then the person in position 2 (the person to the left of position 1) opens the booster, and you repeat the process until you get to the person in position 8. Then, you go the opposite direction in both opening and picking, similar to booster draft.

One other difference is that in Constructed, you have a minimum deck size of 60, whereas in Limited, your minimum deck size is 40.

Hope this answers your question!!

Keep those questions coming!!

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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