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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Wrath of Martha Stewart

Q: I have a question about Braids. This is how it goes...all of my friends tell me that if during your upkeep, if you cant sacrifice an artifact, creature, or land then you lose the game. Now when I go to tournaments, other people always tell me that if you cant sacrifice anything, then you just donít sacrifice anything and you donít lose the game because you cant sacrifice. Please tell me who is right? My friends or the other people.

-Necromancer 82

A: Your friends are wrong. If you can't do something, then you basically ignore it.

416.3. If an effect attempts to do something impossible, it does only as much as possible.

Since you can't sacrifice a permanent of one of the given types, you've done "as much as possible." Move along people, nothing to see here.


Q: I have a question on additional costs. My friend plays Tendrils of Despair, targeting me, and he sacrifices Noble Benefactor. I only have 1 card in my hand. Will I have to discard the card I search for (if I search)?

A: Noble Benefactor


Creature -- Cleric


When Noble Benefactor is put into a graveyard from play, each player may search his or her library for a card and put that card into his or her hand. Then each player who searched his or her library shuffles it.

A: The Tendrils effect will finish being cast and be put on the stack. Then the triggered effect from the Benefactor will be put on the stack. The Benefactor is on top, so you resolve that first, then the Tendrils effect. So yes, if you search for a card, the Tendrils will make you discard it.


Q: My friend was playing a local tournament and something came up. He has a Goblin Sharpshooter out and his opponent have a Crypt Creeper in play. His opponent sacrifices his Crypt Creeper to removed a card from the game so my friend response by using Sharpshooter to pain his opponent for one and untap by the Crypt Creeper entering the graveyard. I think nothing is wrong here, but my friend say that his opponent claims that a sacrificing effect can't be response to, so the Sharpshooter will stay tapped. I believe my stack order is right...

Sac Crypt Creeper -> S/S pain for one -> Crypt Creeper resolved and S/S untap

-bahamut o.

A: You have it in concept, yes. The Crypt Creeper being put in the graveyard will trigger Goblin Sharpshooter's ability, and the "Sharpshooter untaps" ability will be put on the stack above the Crypt Creeper's ability. Your friend can then use the Sharpshooter's ability before the trigger resolves and untaps it.


Q: Morph doesn't use the stack. What happens if I turn a Grinning Demon face-up at the end of turn step of my opponent, and he wants to turn his Skirk Marauder face-up targeting the unmorphed Grinning Demon as a reaction? Which one goes first as they both don't use the stack?

A: The opponent won't be able to target the face down Grinning Demon "in response to turning it face up." Morphing is one of two abilities in the game that doesn't use the stack. (Tapping lands for mana is the other.) Once you have priority to turn the Demon face up, he won't be able to flip his Marauder face up until long after the Demon is face up.


Q: And what happens if the situation is reversed - He wants to turn his Skirk Marauder face-up at the end of turn step of my turn targeting my unmorphed Grinning Demon., which I want to morph in reaction?

-Erik V.

A: The ability to do 2 damage to a target that the Marauder has is a normal triggered ability, which does use the stack. So Skirk Marauder's triggered ability is put on the stack, and you can both respond to it before ti resolves. So you do have time to flip over Grinning Demon before it takes the 2 damage.


Q: I have a deck that uses Rotlung Reanimator, Doomed Necromancer and Anger to make a lot of zombie tokens. My friend thinks that I only need one Doomed Necromancer in play, and that I could sacrifice it, and then return it to play, triggering Rotlung etc. etc. I'd like this to be true, but I'm not sure that the Necromancer can target itself if it's still in play.

-Jacob T.

A: You are correct. You'd need 2 Necromancers to pull this off.


Q: If I have an Aluren, Wirewood Savage, Soul Warden and a Wild Mongrel in play and a Cavern Harpy and Brawn in my hand, can I play the Harpy and return it to my hand X times to draw X cards and gain X life, Then dumping X cards to give the mongrel +X/+X to trample over my opponent? I tried this trick recently and my opponent said I couldn't because I have to return a blue or black creature when it comes into play. I thought you could return gating creatures after playing them and still trigger comes into play abilities. Could you clear this up for me?

A: The Harpy is both blue and black, and it is a creature when its gating ability resolves. So you can do what you described just fine.


Q: When a card says at the beginning of your upkeep does that mean before you untap? For example with Undead Gladiator or Pyre Zombie. My friend plays with a red/black deck that uses the gladiator and Fiery temper. Sometimes he'll dump the temper and pay the costs to return his gladiator be fore he untaps and sometimes he does it after. Is this legal? I guess I'm just not sure what at the beginning of your upkeep is.

-Josh P.

A: The beginning of your upkeep is exactly that, the beginning of your upkeep. All abilities that say at the beginning of your upkeep go on the stack at the beginning of your upkeep, active player's follower by non-active player's, before either player can play anything.

Upkeep is after you untap. So he couldn't tap some mana, discard the Temper to get back the Gladiator, and then untap that mana again that turn, since his untap has already passed.


Q: If I have 4 creatures in my graveyard at my upkeep and 2 Oversold Cemeteries in play, can I "stack" the abilities of the Oversold's to get back 2 creatures? It sounds to me that this is similar to the Genesis problem, but I'm not all that sure. Can these abilities even be "stacked" so that in response to one being played, I activate the other?


A: Both abilities will go on the stack. But when the second Oversold's ability resolves, it won't return anything (unless a creature has been put into the graveyard since the first Oversold resolved), since there aren't now 4 creatures in the graveyard.


Q: I have a Mishra's Factory, I pump it to become a 2/2 factory worker. If I enchant it with a Quicksilver Dagger, what happens the enchantment at the end of the turn?


A: It will see that is no longer enchanting a creature, and fall off.


Q: Just getting back into MtG since Alice. (Bill's note: For those of you who haven't been playing that long, "Alice" is what we called Ice Age block. It stood for ALliances+ ICE age [Homelands wasn't a part of the block back then].) Back then, Alpha cards could only be used in decks composed solely of Alpha cards, do to their corners being a different shape then Beta and later. Is this still true?

-Nathan Z.

A: You either have to play a deck of all Alpha cards OR you can put your cards in opaque sleeves. If you choose the latter option, I would be really careful about checking for sleeve wear, as you can see the difference through the sleeve after a while, which would make then marked.


Q: Does protection from all colors offer protection from colorless/artifact creatures?


A: No.



C: The following question in (Monday)'s column was answered incorrectly, I believe.

>>>Q: My opponent has Rotlung Reanimator and some clerics in play, and I have Havoc Demon in play. I cast Wrath of God. How will Rotlung and Demon's abilities resolve?

-Michael J.

A: All the new Zombies will live. Rotlung's triggers will go on the stack first (since you are the active player), then the Havoc Demon's trigger. So the Demon's trigger will resolve first, giving -5/-5 to all of the 0 creatures, followed by the zombies coming into play.<<<

The Havoc Demon's trigger will go on the stack first (410.3: "If multiple abilities have triggered since the last time a player received priority, pseudospells controlled by the active player go on the stack first...") followed by the Rotlung triggers. The effect, of course, is the opposite of what you described. The Zombies are created and live until the Demon's trigger resolves.

-Seamus Campbell

A: You are correct. My mind read it the other way.

See you Monday.

-Bill Guerin


DCI Level 2 Judge




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