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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

'I suppose it had to happen eventually…

First, I don't have a Pojo.com email address … the address is PojoMagicJudge@hotmail.com.

Second, a new, occasional section … I call it Corrections/Clarifications … it will deal with a previously answered question or questions that a reader either (a) thinks I'm wrong, or (b) needs me to explain an answer further. I will only do so once for each question in the column, however.

On to the questions…

Q: What happens if I use Mirari with a Drain Life? My assumption would be I would have to play the Black Mana cost twice (once for each target) as that would not be part of the spell that Mirari copies. In essence, using Mirari's ability would let me play as though I had another Drain Life, but I would have to come up with the mana a second time.


A: Actually, you would not have to pay the black mana again. The black mana in the text of Drain Life is an additional cost to play Drain Life, so Mirari will take care of that portion of the spell (503.10).

"503.10. When copying a spell, all information that is normally copied from a permanent is copied. In addition, all decisions made when the spell was played are copied. These include mode, targets, the value of X, and optional additional costs such as buyback. (See rule 409, "Playing Spells and Activated Abilities.") Choices that are normally made on resolution are not copied."

Q: Can I use foil cards in sanctioned tournaments? I just bought two boxes of Torment, and got two Skullscorch. Good, but one of them was foil. I was just wondering, because I don't want to pay 3 bucks for a non-foil one.


A: Yes, you can use foil cards in tournaments. In fact, some people try to make their whole deck foil.

Q: I read your article explaining the different Magic: the Gathering formats, and found it quite helpful. However, I was wondering how lands work in booster draft, as booster packs do not generally include basic lands. Thanks for your help.


A: Lands in a booster are just like any other card. This usually means that they'll be the last card picked.

Q: Someone casts Duress on me and chooses Circular Logic. As it's being discarded, I pay the madness cost and counter the Duress. What happens to the Circular Logic? Is it discarded or does it return to the hand?


A: Once a spell has started resolving, you can't play any spells or abilities until it has finished resolving (except for mana abilities … 413.2e). Therefore, when you discard the Circular Logic, its madness ability waits until Duress has resolved and gone to the graveyard. Thus, unless there is another spell on the stack (which is highly unlikely, since Duress is a sorcery), you can't even play Circular Logic.

Q: OK, I have a question about Transcendence and Chainer, Dementia Master. In Chainer's ability, the cost requires you to pay 3 life and Transcendence ability says that when you lose life you gain 2 life for each 1 life you lose. If you lose life by Chainer do you get twice as much life back by Transcendence?

-jaideep patel

A: Paying 3 life for Chainer will trigger Transcendence (Torment FAQ). So you will gain 6 life for activating Chainer's ability, gaining you a net of 3 life and a creature.

Q: If my opponent tries to play a creature that "can't be the target of spells or abilities" could I counter that creature?

Q: If I were to play an Ostracize on my opponent and the only creature card in his/her hand was a creature that "can't be the target of spells or abilities" would the Ostracize still remove it?


A: A creature (or other permanent) that says it "can't be the target of spells or abilities" only has that ability active when it is in play. So it can be countered or chosen for Ostracize just fine.


I received the following from fellow writer John Turpish … his comments and my prior answers will be marked by >>> and <<<.

>>>"Q: Since you sacrifice a creature as part of Malevolent Awakening's ability, does that mean that you can return that same creature to your hand? Thanks a lot.
-Justin Wu

A: No. You have to choose the target for Malevolent Awakening at the same time you sacrifice the creature, and thus, it will not be there to choose for the Malevolent Awakening."

I agree that a creature sacrificed by Malevolent Awakening cannot be targeted by the same activation. However, the sacrifice and targeting are actually two separate steps in playing the card, so while they happen at the same time as far as visualization of the game world is concerned, the choices are made sequentially, not simultaneously. Choose mode, then choose targets, then pay costs.<<<

I would agree that you are correct as far as the game rules are concerned. However, I was stating it in terms that most players would play the card. Would you not agree with me that more players would activate Malevolent Awakening…

Pay 1BB, sac the creature, use the sacced creature to point at the one you want to get back (or say which one you want back)


Announce Malevolent Awakening, say what you want to get back, then pay 1BB and sac a creature?

So if Justin was looking for a strictly correct answer, I apologize, and would point out that John is correct here. I was just trying to phrase my answer in the way that most people would play the card.

>>>"A: The Vampire will be black. You apply what's on the card first, and then apply any other outside abilities (418.5e). Note that the Vampire is never white, not even for a second - it will come into play black.

'418.5e The value of a permanent's characteristic is determined by starting with the printed or token value, then applying copy effects (see rule 503, "Copying spells and abilities"), then applying continuous effects generated by
type-changing abilities, then applying any power or toughness changes due to counters, and then applying all other continuous effects.'"

Here I completely disagree. By "printed" characteristic, I believe they are referring to the color of the mana symbols in the upper-right hand corner. If they intended it to mean what you seem to think it means, the rules describing
it would be worded the way they are for self-replacement effects.
"Some spells and abilities have replacement abilities that modify themselves. Any self-replacement is applied before any external replacements."<<<

Let's look at the rules for Threshold, shall we?

"502.23. Threshold

502.23a Threshold is a static ability, written "Threshold - [text]." The text can be a static ability, activated ability, triggered ability, characteristic-setting text, spell text, or any combination of the five. The phrase "Threshold - [text]" means "As long as you have seven or more cards in your graveyard, this card has '[text].'"

502.23b Cards and permanents with threshold have the threshold text only if their controller has seven or more cards in his or her graveyard. Otherwise, the text after "Threshold -" is treated as though it did not appear on the card or permanent."

So since the controller of the card has Threshold, the statement "Repentant Vampire is white … " (other threshold text omitted since it is not relevant to the discussion) is actually on the card itself. Thus, the initial characteristic of the Vampire is that it is white, which is overridden by Darkest Hour, making the Vampire black.

>>>No mention is made of what spell or permanent created the continuous ability. The fact that it is printed on Repentant Vampire doesn't mean it is the printed characteristic. If this rule actually told you to start with what was printed in the rules text, then it would be white even without threshold, and we know that isn't true. Instead, Repentant Vampire's ability falls under "all other continuous effects" (other because it isn't a type-changing ability, since it's still a creature, and it isn't a counter). So in this case it IS a matter of timestamp.

In this case it's Repentant Vampire's ability versus Darkest Hour's. They made it clear that Darkest Hour was in play when Repentant Vampire came into play, so the Hour is timestamped earlier. This means Darkest Hour is applied first, then his own ability, so he's white.<<<

Read the meaning of Threshold again. When the Vampire has Threshold, it has "Repentant Vampire is white …" on the card itself. If the controller of the Vampire didn't have Threshold, the text "Repentant Vampire is white …" does not exist, making it black, even without the Darkest Hour. Thus, timestamps have nothing to do with this situation.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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