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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Today we have some clarifications from two readers. One didn't put a name, so I signed it as I usually do in that instance, that is, with the first part of their email address (dropping the domain). The second is a series of clarifications from John Carter, a level 3 judge and part of the team that makes the Delphi test - a series of questions designed to gauge your rules knowledge. 

As far as I was able to research, the latest version of the Delphi Test is available at http://www.magicadvisor.com/delphi/delphi2.html . (John - if there is a later version out there, let me know and I will post the URL when I get it from you.) 

The Delphi test is tough. Don't be discouraged if you miss a lot of questions … I did too when I first took the test. 

Anyway, on to the clarifications. Any comments I need to make will be in brackets like this … {my comments}.



I noticed in your Judges Corner for 3/4/02, you have:
"Q: If I play a creature such as Llanowar Elves, can I use its ability immediately?
A: No. Creature's abilities can't be used until they have started your most recent turn under control (409.3)."

This could be misleading since it doesn't explicitly say "tap" as per the actual rule:

<<409.3. A creature's activated ability with the tap symbol in its activation cost can't be played unless the creature has been under its controller's control since the start of his or her most recent turn. Creatures with haste may ignore this rule (see rule 502.5). >>>

It can only be inferred from the "creature such as Llanowar Elf" which isn't really clear (since creature such as Llanowar Elf could mean a lot of things: a green creature, a 1cc creature, a creature with an ability of any kind, a creature with a mana-producing ability, a creature with an ability requiring tap, etc.) It should be stated that this only applies to abilities that require tapping.

I've had to explain this many times to newer players who've argued when I've done things like play a Mogg Fanatic and after it successfully resolves, sac it to do 1 damage immediately.



Hi. My name is John Carter. Sometimes I read through rules posts and occasionally make comments. I saw your post on Pojo and have a few things to add if you don't mind. All in all your answer were good. I'm just offering minor tweaks (constructive criticism). I'll quote your answer (and sometimes the question with my comments [in brackets]. Related primary source quotes will have a ~description~ to designate them. I am being a tad lazy with the editing, but you should get the drift. I hope this helps.


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...

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

Constructed (each Constructed format...

1. Standard/Type 2 -...

2. Block Constructed -...

3. Extended -...

4. Type 1 and Type 1.5 -...

[If you check out the Floor Rules, you'll find there are three groupings (plus two for teams)-- Constructed, Limited, and Vintage Constructed. Most people forget about Vintage Constructed.

~Floor Rules~
101. Format and Ratings Categories
The DCI sanctions the following formats. They may be sanctioned as single, two-person team, or three-person team events.

Constructed Formats:
o Standard
o Extended
o Block

Vintage Constructed Formats:
o Type 1
o Type 1.5

Limited Formats:
o Sealed Deck
o Booster Draft
o Rochester Draft]

{I purposely put Vintage Constructed and Constructed together, as the only time it really makes a difference is for ratings.}

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

[And the differences in sideboarding.]

{Good point. 

Sideboarding is where you switch cards in your main deck with cards in your sideboard after the first game of the match, to make your deck stronger against your opponent's specific deck.

Constructed: You may have a sideboard of 0 or 15 cards. Any sideboarding you do must be one for one, that is, for each card you put in, you have to take one out.

Limited: Any cards that you do not play in your main deck are your sideboard. You do not have to sideboard an equal number of cards in and out … the only requirement is that you have 40 cards in your deck when you start the next game.}

...If you have a couple of other slivers out like Clot Sliver (sliver gain 2 to regenerate) and Muscle Sliver (slivers gain +1/+1) do these effects become nullified by the crystalline slivers ability?

A: You're in the right place.

[You actually told him that the "nullify" idea was right, but you did give the correct answer in the extended reply.]

Q: Can I use an Alter Reality (Torment) on a Llawan, Cephalid Empress (Torment), as the Llawan is being cast, so that it would hit any color I want? thanks, Ian

A: You may. Note that both instances of "blue" will be changed to the color you choose, so, for example, if you choose red, your opponent will be unable to play red creature spells for as long as that Llawan is in play.

[You might clarify that using Alter Reality _after_ Llawan hits plays won't bounce a different color though it would lock the color out. (The trigger already being separate.)]

A: Shadow was a mechanic in the Tempest block,...

...Slivers typically have a low toughness (2 or less), so red direct damage will do the job...

[Slivers? Opsie. };->]

{Oops indeed. Typos are fun =\}

A: The phases are as follows:

1. Beginning Phase (containing untap, upkeep, and draw steps)
2. First Main Phase
3. Combat Phase
4. Second Main Phase
5. End Phase (containing end of turn and cleanup steps)

[No steps in combat? That's favoritism. };-P]

{Laziness … that's all that was =\. Of course there are steps in combat.}

...You can change the creature type of the legend, ...a legend is buried...

[Buried? How very not technical of you. };->]

{Personal habits are hard to break. For those of you that are scratching your head at "bury," put in "put into its owner's graveyard." I liked bury so much better.}

...the Chainer that you turned into a penguin (or whatever

[Not nightmare? Pish! };->]

· The trigger is put on the stack, and the active player receives priority to play spells or abilities.
· (…time passes by,

[While the Unnatural guy quickly makes your whole team into Nightmares... };-P]

{I think you mean my opponent's team … So they're removed from the game when Chainer's ability resolves.}

· Both players pass on an empty stack in the cleanup phase
· Another cleanup phase starts, in the same player's turn.

[D'oh! Phase? You got it right earlier.]


Q: If you tap a static enchantment does it still effect the environment? Say for instance Crusade, which gives all white creatures +1/+1, if I Twiddle and tap it, does it still give +1/+1 or no?

-Chris Plunkett

A: White creatures would still get +1/+1. Tapping an enchantment doesn't make its' ability stop happening.

[And Twiddle can't target non-artifact/creature/or land enchantments... };-> Ah, and the possessive form of it is its (no apostrophe). How retentive.]

{Point taken. Substitute Ice (from Fire/Ice) to tap the enchantment instead.}

A: A level 3 judge can test/mentor as many judges as he wishes to become judges. In fact, this is one of the important duties you get when you become a level 3 judge … to make new judges.

["is one of the important duties..." should be "is the MOST important duty...". Lots of areas don't have Level 3s and run events with Level 2 Head Judges. It takes a Level 3 to certify people though, and that's not ever open to Level 2s. This is partially my own opinion, but it is a good attitude for a potential Level 3. A lot of judges hate the paperwork of testing, but growing the games requires that the pool of reliable judges grows also.]

{I almost wrote "most important" also. I was in Utah long enough to know why. L}

Q: And if you have a creature in play as well as Worship,...

A: No. You can only spend your current life total ... Worship only prevents damage, not loss of life.

[Where is the word "prevent" on Worship? Worship generates a replacement effect that modifies how damage affects your life total.]

A: The Spike Weaver would die from it being a 0/0 as soon as you removed the counter. So you could either play the Weaver's ability (and let him die) or return him to hand for the Wildebeests' ability.

[This is a fine answer for the question. However, "as soon as" is a poor choice of words. Consider Phyrexian Tower tricks with the Weaver or 0/1 Wall of Roots and Krovikan Horror for example.]

{I will, but in my next article.}


Anyway, this took way longer than I'd originally planned-- I was only going to write a few quick things. So I'm going to shut up now. Keep up the good work. Be well.

--John Carter

DCI Certified Level 3 Judge
Delphi Group Editor
The Delphi Tests-- Do you Guru?


-Bill Guerin




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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