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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner
3.22.02 Cleaning Steamy Vines

Q: Let's say I have threshold and a two Steam Vines out on my opponent's lands. He taps those lands for mana, plays a spell and moves the Steam Vines to two of my lands. In my next turn, I tap some other lands (lands not enchanted by the Steam Vines) to play Cleansing Meditation. Can I return the Steam Vines and put them where I want (i.e. on my opponents lands)?

Abstract Poetic

A: Yes. When the Steam Vines return to play, you will choose which land they will enchant.

214.8d If a local enchantment is coming into play by any other means {other than playing (casting) it}, the player putting it into play chooses a permanent for it to enchant as it comes into play. In this case, the enchantment doesn't target the permanent, but the player still must choose a permanent that the enchantment can enchant. If no legal permanent is available, the enchantment remains in the zone from which it attempted to move instead of coming into play. The same rule applies to moving a local enchantment from one permanent to another. The permanent to which the enchantment is to be moved must be able to be enchanted by it. If it isn't legal, the enchantment doesn't move.


Q: If you have an Aquamoeba enchanted with Strength of Isolation, and then flipped, is it a 5/2 or a 4/3?

A: 5/2. Aquamoeba's base power toughness is 1/3, then the other effects in timestamp order: Strength of Isolation makes is 2/5, and then the flip makes it 5/2.


Q: If you have an Aquamoeba, and you enchant it with Strength of Isolation when it is flipped, is it a 5/2 or a 4/3?

A: 4/3 until end of turn, and then back to a 2/5.


Q: If you have an Aquamoeba affected by Reckless Charge, and then flipped, is it a 6/1 or a 3/4?

A: 3/4.


Q: If you have an Aquamoeba, and you target it with a Reckless Charge after its flipped, is it a 6/1 or a 3/4?

Bohan Li

A: 6/1.

I explained how to find a creature's current power/toughness last column, so go read it if you have questions on any of my short answers.


Q: Hey, I have a question about Mesmeric Fiend. I was playing in a tournament and I already had one in play and I cast another. My opponent said he was putting the Fiend's ability on the stack, and then cast Fire and killed both Fiends. I was fine with it but I later realized that since the fiend's ability was still on the stack I should have been able to take a card from his hand and permanently remove it from the game, since the Fiend's leave play ability had already resolved. Is this correct or did I miss something?


A: You are correct. However, it sounds like it was much too late to do anything about it. Generally, once a turn has passed, judges won't back up the game to handle something like this, because decisions have been made based on the way the game has progressed. However, a judge may give warnings to one or both of you for misrepresenting Mesmeric Fiend (for him) and a Procedural Error (for you, for not noticing).


Q: I have read so many Osaka tournament reports, but some of them have people summon 2+ Braids. But Braids is a legend. Isn't there a rule that says you can only have one of a legend on the table, or can both players have the same legend?

Yoon Lee

A: Yes, you can only have one of a legend (by name) on the table at one time. However, the thing that probably happened is that the player who put out another Braids had already sacrificed the previous Braids to pay her own upkeep ability.


Q: There is a card in the Odyssey spoiler that reads "If you have more than 200 cards in your library, you win the game." Was this card specifically designed for a certain kind of rules, because from what I was told, you can only have 60 cards in a deck?

Sue Wong

A: A The 60 card per deck rule is a minimum. You could have 6,000 cards in your deck if you so desired, as long as any of them that weren't basic land were limited to 4.


Q: I have a question about the use of Breakthrough with Wild Mongrel or for that matter any card that can be pumped by discarding. Let's say I have only a breakthrough in my hand and I do it for 0. If I have a Wild Mongrel in play, can I discard those 4 cards to pump the Mongrel or do I have to immediately discard those 4 cards?

Anson Norman

A: It seems each judge has his rule that he needs to explain over and over again. My rule seems to deal with situations like this. The rule is as follows:

413.2e If an effect gives a player the option to pay mana, he or she may play mana abilities as part of the action. No other spells or abilities can be played during resolution.

I'll rephrase that so you understand it.

No spells or abilities (other than mana abilities, when the spell resolving calls for a mana payment) can be played during resolution.

Therefore, in the above situation, you cannot discard the four cards you get from Breakthrough to the Wild Mongrel, as Breakthrough has not finished resolving yet.



If you could please answer these questions it would be of great help in resolving some conflicts:

Q: If Nature's Revolt is in play and someone plays a land on his or her turn, can the land tap for mana that same turn, or does it have summoning sickness?

A: All permanents have summoning sickness. Only creatures are affected by it.

Therefore, in this situation, you would not be able to tap the land for mana.


Q: If Nature's Revolt is in play as well as Aether Flash are lands killed when they come into play?

A: Yes, barring some effect that may raise the toughness of that land creature.

The land will come into play as a 2/2 creature, and since a creature is coming into play, Aether Flash will deal two damage to it. Note that Aether Flash's ability uses the stack, so you could Giant Growth the land (or use some other effect to increase the land's toughness) to save it before it takes the two damage.


Q: If an Elvish Piper is tapped to use its ability and in response, someone uses his or her Puppeteer or Benalish Trapper's ability to tap the Piper, does the Piper's ability still resolve? What if the Puppeteer's or Benalish Trapper's ability was played first - can the Elvish Piper successfully use his ability in response?

A: Yes in both cases. 

In the first, the Piper would be tapped as a cost of playing its ability, and so the Puppeteer or Benalish Trapper would only be tapping a tapped creature.

In the second, the controller of the Elvish Piper is free to respond to the ability of Puppeteer/Benalish Trapper by playing the ability of Elvish Piper. This will most likely result in Puppeteer/Benalish Trapper tapping an already tapped creature again.

In both cases, the cost of the ability has already been paid; so doing something to the Piper after the cost of its ability has been paid won't affect the ability (which has already been put on the stack).


Q: If during a player's combat phase he taps a creature to attack, would it be a viable defense to use Puppeteer's ability to tap that creature in response to prevent it from attacking? What about Backlash, would that work in the same situation?

A: No. You would have to use Puppeteer's ability or Backlash before the creature is declared as an attacker for it to stop the creature from attacking. In addition, Backlash can only be played on an untapped creature.


Q: Can you play more than one instant or ability when responding to something, or is one response all you get? For example can I play an instant and a creature's ability when responding?

A: Sure. When you have priority, you may play as many spells or abilities in succession as you wish before you let the other player respond (409.1g). However, none of those abilities will resolve (happen) until that player has had a chance to respond.


Q: If a creature has haste can it attack OR use its activated ability on that turn, or only attack?

A: Either or. A creature with haste ignores the effects of summoning sickness.


Q: Can a player play Innocent Blood if he has no creature to sacrifice?


A: Sure. If he has no creatures when Innocent Blood resolves, he will be unable to sacrifice a creature, and therefore won't have to do anything.


Q: If I use Tahngarth's ability and it kills the targeted creature, does that creature deal damage to Tahngarth? 


A: Yes. Tahngarth and the creature it damages using its ability damage each other at the same time.


Q: If my opponent plays a spell, can I tap my Cephalid Looter, discard my Circular Logic, play it with madness, and counter my opponents spell? Will my opponent's spell resolve first? How about if their spell is at interrupt speed?

A: You can counter your opponent's spell just fine in this way. This is how the situation will work:

1. Your Opponent plays Big Nasty Spell. (He passes priority after playing that spell, hoping for it to resolve.)
2. In response, you play the ability of Cephalid Looter, targeting yourself. (Nothing happens with the Circular Logic yet, as you discard the card to Cephalid Looter on resolution.)
3. You pass. Your opponent also passes, wanting to get to his Big Nasty Spell as soon as possible.
4. Cephalid Looter's ability resolves. First, you draw a card.
5. Then, you discard Circular Logic. Instead of putting it in your graveyard, you announce you are playing it via madness. (There are specific steps to playing a spell with madness, but I am going to explain it how most people would play it in real life.)
6. You announce that you are targeting the Big Nasty Spell, and pay the one blue mana (the madness cost). You pass. Your opponent frowns and passes.
7. Circular Logic counters the Big Nasty Spell.

There are no more spells that are of type interrupt. Any spell that was of type interrupt is now an instant.


Q: Are multicolored spells considered to be all of the colors in their casting cost? I.e. will a Nightscape Familiar reduce the cost of a Psychatog? Can I use a Throne of Bone after someone plays a Shadowmage Infiltrator? Can I use Dark Banishing on a Psychatog?

A: Yes, multicolored spells are all of the colors in their casting cost. So Nightscape Familiar will reduce the casting cost of a Psychatog, you can use Throne of Bone when someone plays a Shadowmage Infiltrator, and Dark Banishing cannot target a Psychatog (barring a color change effect).


Q: Is Dark Ritual legal in type 1 (Vintage) format?


A: Yes. You can check the banned (you can't have any cards on this list in your deck) and restricted (you can have a maximum of one of each of these cards in your deck) lists at http://www.wizards.com/dci/judge/main.asp?x=judge/resources/br_list.



>>>Is this one correct? 

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). 

I thought once a creature was at 0/0 or had sustained lethal damage it died instantly as a state based effect. From my understanding, there would be no weaver to sacrifice from which to get the mana with the Phyrexian Tower. 

If you could, explain in detail what happens in both of those situations. For some reason or another I am picturing the creatures being sacrificed, meaning that there is no chance to use abilities in either situation. Because don't you have to actually PAY the cost, not just ANNOUNCE that you are doing them? 


A: Sure. I will go over the Weaver situation first, followed by the Krovikan Horror situation.

Situation A: The Spike Weaver.

First, the cards for those of you that may not be familiar with them:

Spike Weaver
Creature -- Spike
Spike Weaver comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.
{2}, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
{1}, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.

Phyrexian Tower
Legendary Land
{T}: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.
{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B} to your mana pool.

You have a Spike Weaver with one +1/+1 counter on it and Phyrexian Tower on the board. You wish to play Spike Weaver's second ability (the one that prevents all combat damage this turn). 

You announce the ability. Nothing to do to get the ability on the stack except for having to pay the costs of the ability, of which there are two:

a) Pay 1 colorless mana.
b) Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver.

409.1f says we can pay the costs of an ability in any order we like, as long as we pay all of them. And, knowing I need a black mana for some other reason later this phase, I want to use the Tower's ability to give me {B}{B}, and I will use {B} to pay the cost of the ability, leaving {B} in my pool. So this is how we do it:

I choose to handle cost b first, and remove the +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver. This gives me a 0/0 Spike Weaver. The game doesn't see that the Weaver is 0/0 yet, as we are in the middle of playing the Spike Weaver's ability. (State-based effects are only checked when a player would receive priority.)

I still have to take care of the need for the one colorless mana. The game is asking for a mana payment, so 411.2 says I can play a mana ability here. I play the Phyrexian Tower's second ability. I tap Phyrexian Tower and sacrifice the Spike Weaver, and Phyrexian Tower gives me {B}{B}. I use {B} to pay for the Weaver's ability, and still have {B} in my pool.

Now the game sees that priority is about to be given, and checks for state-based effects. There are none on the board, and assuming there are no triggered abilities to deal with from the Weaver going to the graveyard, playing the Phyrexian Tower's ability, or playing the Spike Weaver's ability, you receive priority, with the Weaver's ability on the stack.

Situation B: Krovikan Horror.

Again, the cards for those of you who don't know what they do:

Krovikan Horror
Creature -- Horror
At end of turn, if Krovikan Horror is in your graveyard with a creature card directly above it, you may return Krovikan Horror to your hand.
{1}, Sacrifice a creature: Krovikan Horror deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

Wall of Roots
Creature -- Wall
#(Walls can't attack.)#
Put a -0/-1 counter on Wall of Roots: Add {G} to your mana pool. Play this ability only once each turn.

The question and answer previously given, for reference here:

>>> 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.<<<

So you have a Wall of Roots with 4 -0/-1 counters on it and Krovikan Horror on the board. You wish to play Krovikan Horror's ability and do 1 damage to your opponent.

Playing this ability is only slightly more complicated, as we have a target that we have to deal with this time. 

So to play the Krovikan Horror's ability, we first announce it. No modes or variable costs, so we move on to targets. You announce your opponent as the target of Krovikan Horror. Krovikan Horror doesn't have more than one target, so we don't have to worry about parts d and e of 409.1. So all that's left is to pay for the ability. We again have two costs, this time as follows:

a) Pay 1 colorless mana.
b) Sacrifice a creature.

We will choose to handle part a first this time. The game is asking for a mana payment, so we play the Wall of Roots ability, putting a -0/-1 counter on the Wall of Roots. We now have {G} in our pool, and we use that mana to pay for part a of the costs.

The Wall of Roots is now 0/0, but again, we're in the middle of announcing an ability, so the game doesn't see it yet, as state-based effects won't be checked until the ability is on the stack and you would receive priority.

Now on to part b of the cost. I choose to sacrifice the Wall of Roots, so I sacrifice the Wall of Roots.

The cost of the Krovikan Horror's ability is now fully paid for, and the ability is now put on the stack. The game checks for state-based effects, and sees none. Barring any triggers from the Wall of Roots going to the graveyard or from playing the Horror's ability, you receive priority again.

-Bill Guerin 
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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