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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Combat Problems

Short Answer:

-Meddling Mage's effect is only in effect while it is in play. If it leaves play, you can play the chosen card again.


Long Answers:

Q: I control a Basking Rootwalla and my opponent controls an Arrogant Wurm. I am at 1 life. If I have a Smother in hand, can I Smother my Rootwalla immediately after declaring him as a blocker to prevent myself from dying?


A: No. If there are no blockers to a creature that has trample, it will deal its full damage to the defending player. (502.9c)


Q: A friend of mine just cast Akroma. He attacks with it and I block with three creatures. (I have a Wonder in my graveyard and I play U/G Madness so I can block). I block with a 3/3 Basking Rootwalla, 2/2 Mongrel, 1/3 Aquamoeba. My question is since he gets to divide how the damage is spilt ... does he get first strike on each creature he is attacking ... and is there anyway I can kill his Akroma without powering any of my creatures any higher?

-Drew P.

A: He gets to deal 6 damage, however he chooses, before any of your creatures deal damage. So, assuming he assigns damage optimally, his Akroma will take only 1 damage (from the Aquamoeba).


Q: If I have a Ravenous Baloth and Contested Cliffs in play, and I activate the cliffs using by Baloth, targeting my opponent's 4/4 creature, can I sacrifice my Baloth to gain life after damage goes on the stack, killing my opponent's creature?

-Tam N.

A: No. Since the Baloth is no longer there, it is an illegal target. Therefore, the Cliffs can't make the non-existent Baloth deal damage.

413.2a ... If a target is illegal, the spell or ability canít perform any actions on it or make the target perform any actions...


Q: How many times can I "repeat the process" of the Scalpelexis's ability? Ex. On the first four removed cards, there is a matching pair so I remove another four cards from the top of his library. Again there is a matching pair of cards. Shall I stop here or shall I continue removing the top four cards of his library until there is no more matching pair?

-Eller D.

A: You keep removing 4 cards until there is no longer a matching pair.



>>>Short Answer:

-Once a permanent's ability has been placed on the stack, ***doing anything to that permanent will not affect the ability***. Abilities on the stack exist independently of the permanents that generated them.<<<

Q: The part of your answer I marked does TTBOMK not hold true. Changing a characteristic of a permanent e.g. its color DOES affect the ability. A blue Tim targets a Crimson Acolyte, in response Tim gets turned red, Tim's ability is countered on resolution as the target is now illegal.

-Martin Toggweiler

A: I am only referring to the pseudospell on the stack. When you change the color of the Tim, does anything happen to the pseudospell on the stack? No, the pseudospell on the stack is unchanged. True, in this instance, the ability checks the color of the Tim when it resolves, but it does absolutely nothing to the pseudospell on the stack.


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA

Well, I decide to take the Wish-less version of Tog for a spin ...

Wish-less Tog

The Kill:

3 Psychatog

2 Upheaval

Creature Removal:

1 Ghastly Demise

4 Innocent Blood

4 Smother

Card Draw:

4 Compulsion

2 Concentrate

4 Deep Analysis


4 Circular Logic

4 Counterspell

4 Force Spike


2 Darkwater Catacombs

8 Island

3 Lonely Sandbar

4 Polluted Delta

4 Swamp

4 Underground River


2 Callous Oppressor

4 Duress

3 Ghastly Demise

1 Haunting Echoes

3 Hibernation

1 Mana Short

1 Persecute

Round 1 - Paul G. - Mono-Black Zombies

Game 1 - He gets a couple of creatures down, and cycles a Gempalm Polluter. I then take control of the board, and have plenty of time to set up the Heave.

Sideboard: In: Persecute, Haunting Echoes. Out: Ghastly Demise, Innocent Blood.

Game 2 - I start out with no card draw for the first 7-8 turns, but he only gets one creature out, and I am able to slowly build up the advantage. In consecutive turns, I Persecute his hand away and Echoes him (same turn), then I execute the Heave kill.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Jimmy - MBC

Game 1 - MBC has absolutely nothing on this deck. He gets a Mirari out, but I just Heave/Tog the next turn.

Sideboard: In: 4 Duress, Persecute, Haunting Echoes. Out: 3 Innocent Blood, Ghastly Demise, Smother, Psychatog.

Game 2 - He mulligans once. He gets an early Corrupt in, and then the savage top decking starts. He has just Skeletal Scryinged for 5, and I rip Persecute to take out his hand. He has 7 Swamps in play, and I have to leave him a Swamp in hand. I'm at 8. He rips Corrupt.

Game 3 - We each mulligan once. He gets down the early Shade, and I don't see any removal to take it out.

Games: 3-2, Matches: 1-1

Round 3 - John B. - Zombies

Game 1 - I mulligan once. He plays an early Entrails Feaster, and I have mana struggles. I let a Tog go, and I forget the Feaster can dine on my grave too. I lose.

Sideboard: Didn't write it down. Maybe the same as round 1?

Game 2 - I draw only blue sources. He gets the quick zombies to beat on my head.

Games: 3-4, Matches: 1-2

Round 4 - Scott N. - Wish Tog

OK, so this is the best 1-2 match you'll ever see here, in terms of the skill level of the players.

Game 1 - Grok visits me again, or maybe I'm just too used to MTGO draws. I scoop early.

Sideboard: In: 4 Duress, Persecute, Haunting Echoes, Mana Short. Out: 4 Innocent Blood, Ghastly Demise, 2 Smother.

Game 2 - He mulligans once. I make so many misplays in this match, and Scott should have me rather early. Instead, he gets tentative, and I recover into the Short/Heave/Tog thing.

Game 3 - He gets down the Tog, and never has to Heave, as I don't draw the 2 removal left. I guess I shouldn't take so many out, eh?

Games: 4-6, Matches: 1-3

Round 5 - Philip - U/G Quiet Spec

Game 1 - He lets me choose to play first. He gets out a lot of creatures, but I just Heave/Tog at the last possible moment, and he doesn't have a counter.

Sideboard: In: 2 Callous Oppressor, 2 Ghastly Demise, 2 Hibernation. Out: Island, Psychatog, Upheaval, Innocent Blood, Counterspell, Concentrate.

Game 2 - He misplays again several times, casting Roar from the grave with a Roar token out before attacking. I get both Hibernations, and finish him off.

Games: 6-6, Matches: 2-3

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

Ask Judge Bill A Question 

DCI Level 2 Judge




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