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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

I failed to consider a set of questions from two columns ago, so I'll start off with them …

Q: Can I activate a Spike Weaver with one counter left on it using a Phyrexian Tower to prevent all combat damage?

A: Sure. You can pay all costs for an ability in any order (409.1f). So you remove the counter to pay that portion of the cost, and then get the mana by activating the Phyrexian Tower, sacrificing the Spike Weaver to get the mana you need. You can use the Phyrexian Tower at this time because the ability of Spike Weaver is asking for a mana payment (409.1f, 411.2).


Q: How about a Wall of Roots with 4 -0/-1 counters on it … can I use that to do one damage to something with a Krovikan Horror?

A: Sure. Announce the Krovikan Horror's ability. To pay for the ability, first play Wall of Roots's ability to give you the one mana the Horror requires, and then sacrifice the Wall of Roots for the other part of the ability.

Both of these situations work because the game doesn't see that the creatures are 0/0, as that is a state-based effect, and no one has priority until the creature is gone, having been used to pay the cost for the ability.


Q: Would a Circle of Protection prevent a spell or ability from taking effect?

A: If a spell of the appropriate color would damage you, you can use the Circle of Protection to prevent that damage. That's all Circles of Protection do - prevent damage to the Circle of Protection's controller. They will not stop anything that is not damaging you from happening.


Q: How does one become a certified judge?

-Brandon Watson

A: First, you have to study and know the rules. Read the Comprehensive Rulebook and the floor rules. Then, you have to find a level 3 judge to be able to work a couple of tournaments under him/her and to test you. Your best bet is to go to the local Pro Tour Qualifier or Prerelease tournament. Pro Tour Qualifiers usually have level 3 judges running them. If there is no level 3 judge in the area, they will be able to let you know your best bet for being able to be tested.

You have to work two tournaments under that level 3 judge, and get a 70% on the test to be able to become a level 1 judge.

Good luck!!


Q: When Still Life becomes a creature, can you cast spells on it like Swords to Plowshares or anything that kills creatures? If so, what happens to the enchantment?


A: When Still Life is made into a creature, it is both a creature and an enchantment. Therefore, it can be targeted by spells that target either creatures or enchantments. 

When Swords to Plowshares resolves, (assuming Still Life is still a creature) it will remove the Still Life card from the game and give Still Life's controller life equal to its current power.


Q: My opponent has in play Standard Bearer, and a common 4/4 creature. Can I play Violent Eruption, targeting both the bearer and the 4/4 creature, but assigning 0 damage to the bearer, and 4 damage to the 4/4 creature? I guess the answer to this question comes down to how you define "divide". Can you divide a number into parts where 1 part is zero? 

A: No. When a spell allows you to divide damage among multiple targets, you must assign at least one damage to each of the targets you choose.

409.1e If the spell or ability requires the player to divide an effect (such as damage or counters) among a variable number of targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided (for example, damage or counters); this doesn't apply when the player isn't given a choice.


Q: Aquamoeba is in play. I pay 1W to play Strength of Isolation targeting Aquamoeba. The spell resolves. I now use Aquamoeba's ability. Is Aquamoeba now a 4/3 creature, or a 2/6 creature? 

A: Aquamoeba would be 5/2: Aquamoeba is a 1/3 creature, putting the Strength of Isolation on it makes it 2/5, and then playing Aquamoeba's ability makes it a 5/2 until end of turn.


Q: Aquamoeba is in play. I activate its ability, discarding Strength of Isolation for its cost. I now play Strength of Isolation for its madness cost of W, targeting Aquamoeba. The stack empties. Is Aquamoeba now a 4/3 creature, or a 2/6 creature? 

A: Last in, first out… first, the Strength of Isolation resolves, making the Aquamoeba 2/5, and then Aquamoeba's ability resolves, making the Aquamoeba 5/2 until end of turn.


Q: I play Howl from Beyond targeting Aquamoeba, paying 2B. The stack empties, and I activate Aquamoeba's ability. Is it now a 5/1 creature, or a 3/3 creature? 

A: Howl from Beyond makes the creature 3/3, and then Aquamoeba's ability would change the power/toughness until end of turn, making him a 3/3 until end of turn.


Q: Aquamoeba is now a 3/1 creature after using its ability. The stack is empty. I play Strength of Isolation, paying 1W. Aquamoeba is now a 4/3 creature. After my turn is over, does it become a 3/4 creature? 

A: No. Aquamoeba would be a 2/5 creature.


Q: I guess all these Aquamoeba questions can be answered by asking "Does an enchantment (or effect from a spell/ability) affecting a creature's power and toughness change the card text, or does it change the power and toughness when you would check them?" 


A: To find the current power and toughness of any creature, do the following:

a) Start with its initial values (usually what is on the bottom right hand corner, or defined by the effect that made the creature).
b) Apply any pluses or minuses from counters.
c) Apply any pluses or minuses from other effects, in timestamp order.


Q: If my opponent casts Fact or Fiction can I respond with a Plagiarize and get to keep all five cards?

A: Read Fact or Fiction. Nowhere on Fact or Fiction does it say "draw," so Plagiarize would not affect it.


Q: What if I target him with Cephalid Coliseum do I draw the cards and does he have to discard?


A: If Plagiarize is in effect and you target your opponent with Cephalid Coliseum, you would draw three cards and your opponent would discard three cards (or his whole hand if he has less than three cards).



Q: Regarding the Judge's Corner from 3/15/02... Since the Beloved Chaplain has "Protection from creatures" then isn't it impossible for the attacking creature (with trample) to deal it "lethal damage", which is required before assigning any remaining damage?


A: From the Comprehensive Rulebook:

502.9e Assigning damage from a creature with trample considers only the actual toughness of a blocking creature, not any abilities or effects that might change the final amount of damage dealt.

So the Avatar of Might doesn't care that it won't actually kill the Beloved Chaplain when it is assigning its damage. It just assigns it what would be "lethal damage" before moving on to assigning trample damage to the player.


There is one question left, but it asks about information on the site for Pro Tour: Osaka, and as I am unable to get into that site as I type this, it will have to wait for the next column.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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