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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Q: If I have 4 Nether Shadows in my graveyard, would it be possible for me to bring 1 Shadow into play, sacrifice it to a Goblin Bombardment, bring another and so forth? Or are all Shadows checked at the same time? Can I stack the checks to do 4 damage (stack the topmost first, then the second and so on)? 


A: Assuming the Nether Shadows are the top four creature cards in your graveyard, then only one will come back. At the beginning of your upkeep, each Nether Shadow will check if there are three creature cards above it. The three top Nether Shadows' will see that there aren't and their abilities won't go on the stack.

If there are at least three creatures above all of the Nether Shadows, then they will all go on the stack at the same time and come out one at a time. However, if all of the Shadows go to the graveyard during your upkeep, they won't start coming back again, since it is past the beginning of your upkeep.

404.3. A triggered ability may read "When/Whenever/At . . . , if [condition], [effect]." The ability checks for the stated condition to be true when the trigger event occurs. If it is, the ability triggers and goes on the stack. On resolution, the ability rechecks the condition. If the condition isn't true at either of those times, the ability does nothing. This rule is referred to as the "intervening 'if' clause" rule. Note that the word "if" has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an "if" that immediately follows a trigger condition.


Q: For creatures that have pumping abilities such as Basking Rootwalla and Nantuko Shade. Does that ability go on the stack and can I respond to it?

For example: My opponent attacks with a Nantuko Shade and I do not block at which time my opponent taps all his mana to give the Shade +10/+10, can I respond with a Shock to kill the shade before it grows?

-Kenneth S. Farris

A: If your opponent tapped all his mana and activated the abilities all at once, then yes. If your opponent was pumping once, letting it resolve, and then pumping again, etc, then you wouldn't be able to kill it.

This may seem off topic, but I have to bring in a message from the judge list here, and I will tie it into this afterwards. The message is by Michael Feuell, the judge list netrep, on shortcuts.

"There is no such thing as an "acceptable" shortcut that only one player knows about.

I'll repeat that, it's important.

There is no such thing as an "acceptable" shortcut that only one player knows about.

"Shortcuts" are a convention that players use to smooth games. We cannot *ever* allow shortcuts be used to blur what the current game state is.

Shortcuts are never acceptable if they cause either player to not know what the current state of the game is."

So in the example above, you say he "tapped all his mana to give the Shade +10/+10." I would take this to mean that he activated his Shade 10 times in succession before passing. Thus, you will be able to kill the Shade before the Shade gets bigger.

If your opponent instead intended to pump it one at a time (and letting each pump resolve before pumping again), he needs to do that. He can't just say "I'll give my Shade +10/+10" meaning that he is pumping one at a time unless he asks you if that is an acceptable way to play (to save time) and you agree that it is.


Q: If one of the possessed creatures goes to the graveyard and you already have seven cards is it black or the original colour? I ask this because I participated in a draft tournament and in the finals one player removed a Possessed Aven for an Ichorid saying it was black since he already had Threshold. 

-Leandro Wen

Q: I have in my hand a Possessed Aven. I have Threshold. My opponent plays Persecute, targeting me. What color would he/she have to name to force me to discard the Possessed one?

-Mark G. Smith

A: Abilities of cards only apply when they are in play (unless the ability says otherwise). So the Possessed Aven, while it is in your hand, your graveyard, your removed from game zone, in your library, or in any other zone other than the in play zone is blue, regardless of whether you have threshold or not. 

So you could not remove it from the game to bring an Ichorid back, and your opponent would have to name blue for Persecute to get it out of your hand.

402.8. Abilities function only while the permanent with the ability is in play unless the ability states otherwise.

502.23a Threshold is a static ability, written "Threshold - [text]."


Q: If I cast Llawan, Cephalid Empress, then played Alter Reality and changed the text in Llawan, Cephalid Empress to a color e.g. Black, will my opponent's Black creature be bounced? 
The local judge told me that the Alter would not work for the 'bounce' effect, only the "can't play black creature spells". 


A: It depends on when you played Alter Reality. John Carter (from my last column) briefly explained this, but I will go over the two scenarios again.

If you play Alter Reality before Llawan, Cephalid Empress resolves (when Llawan, Cephalid Empress is still on the stack), then the colors will be changed on Llawan, Cephalid Empress before she comes into play, and you will bounce the changed color as well as stopping the changed color from being played.

If you play Alter Reality after Llawan, Cephalid Empress resolves (when she is in play), then only blue creatures your opponent controls will be bounced, although the Altered color creature spells won't be able to be played in the future. This is because the ability on the stack is separate from the card.


Q: I attack with an Avatar of Might, and my opponent blocks with a Beloved Chaplain...does the trample make the damage go through, as with Fog Bank, or is the damage nullified? 

A: Depends on how you assign the trample damage. You must assign one damage to the Chaplain, and then you may assign the other seven damage to either the Chaplain or the player (or split in any amount you desire). Ideally, you will assign all seven to your opponent, and he will take 7.

Q: My Opponent has made 9 saprolings with Nemata, Grove Guardian ... he then attacks with all 9 saprolings...I block 3, and the other six go through. He sacrifices them all, and says that they each deal 10 damage...but is all damage nullified since he sacrificed them ALL?


A: You will either take 0 or 6 damage, depending on when he sacrificed the saprolings. If he sacrificed the saprolings before damage is put on the stack, you will take 0 damage, since they are not around to deal their damage. If he sacrificed the saprolings after damage was put on the stack, you will take 6 damage, as increasing creatures' power after damage is put on the stack won't make them do the extra damage.


Q: I think I know the answer to this but I just wanted to check.

I have a shifting sky in play, set to blue. I also have a Llawan, Cephalid Empress in play.

If my opponent plays a black creature spell, once it hits the table it becomes blue so it's too late for Llawan, Cephalid Empress to have any effect on it, right?

I think I just answered this myself but I just wanted to check

Thanks much!

-Mr. Warburton

A: You are correct.


Q: I activate my Cephalid Coliseum, targeting myself. I draw the three cards. Can I cast them even before I have to discard?


A: No. You cannot play any spells in the middle of the resolution of a spell or ability. You will have to discard the cards before you can play any spells.


Q: Can a Sorcery with Flashback only be played during a player's Main Phase or does the Flashback ability allow the card to be flashed back anytime a player has priority?

-Nobody Knows

A: You can only play a Sorcery with Flashback (using the Flashback ability) when you could play a normal sorcery, that is, only in your main phase, when the stack is empty, and you have priority. The only thing Flashback lets you do is play the spell from your graveyard for the Flashback cost. It does not change when you could normally play the card.


Hey Bill,
I run a red direct damage deck which features Masticore. I also use Urza's Incubator - is that an infinite damage and regeneration combo?


A: No. First of all, Masticore doesn't have a creature type ("artifact" is not a creature type). Second of all, if Masticore did have a creature type, then Urza's Incubator would only affect the amount of mana it would cost to play Masticore. Urza's Incubator doesn't affect the cost of abilities on creatures of the chosen creature type.


Q: Say if someone casts a fireball at me and I take it. Then, later that turn, he does another thing - say, put down a creature during his second main phase. If I use Orim's chant will it cancel the creature and the fireball earlier from the same turn?


A: No. When Orim's Chant resolves, it only prevents the targeted player from playing any more spells this turn. Any spells that have resolved previously and any spells that are currently on the stack will resolve as normal. Say it with me now "Orim's Chant is not a counterspell."


Q: Can the effect of a Shambling Swarm target a Mystic Enforcer, or any other pro black guy? I'm not sure on it because it doesn't say that Shambling Swarm targets anything, it just says you do. 


A: Let's look at Shambling Swarm for a moment, shall we?

Shambling Swarm
Creature -- Horror
When Shambling Swarm is put into a graveyard from play, distribute three -1/-1 counters among one, two, or three target creatures. Remove those counters at end of turn.

The creatures are what are being targeted. Mystic Enforcer has protection from black, meaning that it can't be the target of black spells or abilities (among other things). Thus, you won't be able to put any of the Shambling Swarm's counters on a Mystic Enforcer.


Q: I was wondering if I were to play Scouting Trek and put 18 lands on top of my library, the next turn would Rowen allow me to draw all 18 or just reveal the 1st and allow me to draw another card.

-James Allenchey

A: Rowen reads as follows:

Reveal the first card you draw each turn. Whenever you reveal a basic land card this way, draw a card.

So one Rowen will only allow you to get two of the lands that you put on top of your library (your base draw, and the extra card for the top card being a land).

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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