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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Q: I have a question about timing. This happened in a game I watched and was the subject of a heated debate. Player A has 4 life. It is Player B's turn and he has a single Laquatus's Champion in his graveyard (with some other things). If he plays Living Death, could Player A play Swords to Plowshares to remove the Champion from the game and keep from dying, or does the Champion's ability resolve and kill him before he can play it?


A: Player A will live. The stack will happen as follows:

Living Death resolves, bringing back the Laquatus's Champion (along with any other creatures both players may have in their graveyards). 
Laquatus's Champion's "target player loses 6 life" trigger is put on the stack. Player A is targeted with this ability.
Player A responds to the trigger with Swords to Plowshares, targeting the Champion.
Both players pass.
Swords to Plowshares resolves, removing Laquatus's Champion from the game and giving Player B 6 life.
Laquatus's Champion's second ability is put on the stack ("that player gains 6 life"), set to player A.
Both players pass.
Player A gains 6 life, putting him at 10.
Both players pass.
Player A loses 6 life, putting him back at 4.


Q: Does Mirari's ability go on the stack? 

I ask this question with counters in mind: i.e., if there are two copies of a spell on the stack before an opponent can respond, then he will have to use two counters if he wants to nullify the effect of the spell, correct? 


A: Yes, but if the original spell is countered before the Mirari ability resolves, Mirari will make the copy of the spell as it looked right before it was countered. So since countering the spell before the Mirari ability resolves will not stop the copy from happening, you will need to counters to stop both of them from hitting you.


Q: I was wondering about the term coming into play. This guy told me regeneration is not counted as coming into play. But this is coming from a guy who played a false prophet against a pure burn deck.

-jaideep patel

A: When a creature regenerates, it never leaves play, so it can't "come into play" again. So no, regeneration doesn't count as coming into play. I've included the definitions for regeneration and "comes into play" from the Comprehensive rulebook, so you can see exactly what they mean.

419.6b Regeneration is a destruction-replacement effect…. "Regenerate [permanent]" means "The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it's in combat) remove it from combat."

Comes into Play
A permanent comes into play when the card or token representing it is moved into the in-play zone.


Q: I just started playing Magic again after a two-year hiatus and had a few questions on a couple of cards, so if you could answer these it would be a big help. I'll try to make them short and to the point.

1.) Can a Vesuvan Doppelganger become a copy of an Iridescent Angel (protection from blue, among others) or an untargetable Morphling?

A: Let me check the Oracle wording … 

Vesuvan Doppelganger
Creature -- Doppelganger
As Vesuvan Doppelganger comes into play, you may choose a creature in play. If you do, Vesuvan Doppelganger comes into play as a copy of that creature except for its color and gains "At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have this creature become a copy of target creature except for its color. If you do, this creature gains this ability."

So it can only become a copy of an Iridescent Angel or untargetable Morphling when Vesuvan Doppelganger is first played (unless, in the case of the Angel, the Doppelganger is currently a creature with no color (either by being an artifact creature or with an effect like Thran Lens out)).

2.) If I name a certain Rebel (or mercenary) when using a Meddling Mage, does that prevent another rebel from using their activated ability to bring the named rebel into play? For example, I play a meddling mage and name defiant falcon. Can I pay two colorless and bring out the falcon with Lin Sivvi?

A: Yes, you can bring out the Falcon. Meddling Mage only prevents spells from being played (cast) … it doesn't prevent them from coming into play via other means.

3.) If I bring the original Nightmare (the horse on fire) out of a graveyard with Chainer's ability, does it get +2/+2, since it is a Nightmare twice over?

A: No. For the purposes of Chainer's ability, just ask, "Is this creature a Nightmare?" If you get an answer of yes, that creature gets +1/+1 (and will be subject to Chainer's remove from game ability).

4.) Do you have to play Orim's Chant before your opponent plays a spell, or does it work in a last to first order?

A: You have to play Orim's Chant before they play the spell. Orim's Chant is not a counterspell … it won't stop any spells currently on the stack from resolving. 

5.) If I have a Quirion Dryad in play and I play a Meddling Mage (or any other two colored non-green card) does the Dryad get two +1/+1 counters since I played a blue and a white spell at the same time?

A: No. The question to ask is, "Was the spell I just played white, blue, black, or red?" If the answer is yes, Quirion Dryad's ability triggers, eventually (when the triggered ability resolves) giving the Dryad one +1/+1 counter.

6.) Can I ping away at a creature with Masticore's one damage dealing ability if my Masticore is already tapped?

A: Yes. Masticore's ability doesn't include the tap symbol, so it can be used even when Masticore is tapped. 

7.) Do I have to return Rancor to my hand or can I leave it in my graveyard, say to maintain threshold?


A: You have to return Rancor to your hand.


Q: If first strike damage happens earlier than normal damage and also separate, could you prevent a creature's damage by waiting for another creature to put first strike damage on the stack, and then giving the creature you wanted to prevent first strike? Wouldn't that creature not do damage because first strike has already been done, and because it has first strike, it won't do damage with the other creatures?

--- spam man

A: Sorry, that won't work. Once the first strike damage step starts, the creatures currently with first strike will put their damage on the stack then, and all other creatures will put their damage on the stack in the regular combat damage step.

502.2c Adding or removing first strike after the first combat damage step won't prevent a creature from dealing combat damage or allow it to deal combat damage twice.


Q: I cast Reckless Abandon on my opponents Phyrexian Negator (he has 5 permanents total), sacrificing a kobold to deal 4 damage to the Negator. He put one damage on the stack to the Negator, sacrificed the Negator and than let the other 3 damage fizzle. Is he is allowed to do this?

-Diane Mariaschin

A: No. All 4 damage will resolve at the same time to the Negator, causing him to sacrifice 4 permanents.


Next column, I'm going to allow two people who have written in the opportunity to correct and clarify my past work. The question and answer session will resume in two columns.

-Bill Guerin 
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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