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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Q: I was wondering if this is legal. My friend has say 14 Saprolings out in play. He attacks will all of them and I; being at 50 life let them go through. He says that the damage goes on the stack then he sacs all of them to give them each +14/+14. I don't see how they get sacrificed and then still deal damage to me. Please clarify this situation.

-Tyler Willett

A: OK, you (speaking generally about all my readers, not just you) seem to have learned my first mantra ("I can't play any spells or abilities while something is resolving.") really well. And I've been getting a rash of questions like this. So it's time for another mantra.

"Increasing the power of creatures once their damage has been put on the stack won't make them do more damage."

Once damage has been assigned, doing anything to the creature (either getting rid of it or making it bigger) won't change the amount of damage it will deal.

So you take 14 damage, making your life total 36.


Q: I play Prophetic Bolt, targeting a creature for the four damage. In response my opponent plays Repulse on that creature. My opponent said that the Prophetic Bolt would do nothing, not even the other effect (the top four cards part). Do I still get to look at the top four cards of my library, and pick one of them?


A: No. All of the targets have become illegal (since they're no longer there), so Prophetic Bolt is countered (413.2a). You won't get to Impulse.


Q: So, with the way the rules work now, is Infernal Denizen actually a good card, or at least a better one? In response to the upkeep effect, can you tap it to take control of a creature, not pay the upkeep, and then nothing on the negative side happens? I know the rules used to not allow this, but what about now? I would assume the same-type ruling would apply to Demonic Hordes. So is it ruled differently now, or did the Oracle wording for these cards change?

-Random Anonymous Site Editor

A: Well, let's see the Oracle wording…

Infernal Denizen
Creature -- Infernal-Denizen
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice two swamps. If you can't, tap Infernal Denizen, and an opponent may gain control of the creature you control of his or her choice. That opponent retains control of that creature as long as Infernal Denizen remains in play.
{T}: Gain control of target creature as long as Infernal Denizen remains in play.

It looks like, at the worst, Infernal Denizen gives one of their creatures summoning sickness until they start their next turn (you take a creature, then the upkeep ability resolves, and if that's the best creature on the board, they are likely to take it back). Note, however, that you must sacrifice two swamps if you have them.

Demonic Hordes
Creature -- Demon
{T}: Destroy target land.
At the beginning of your upkeep, unless you pay {B}{B}{B}, tap Demonic Hordes and sacrifice a land of an opponent's choice.

Tremble, anyone? :) Again, you can activate the ability, but if you don't pay for the Hordes, you'll get hit with the penalty soon afterward.


Q: If Standstill is in play and I play Spell A, does my Spell A resolve first or does the other player get to draw 3 cards?

-tom kok

A: The other player will draw three cards first. Note that your spell won't resolve until he gets a chance to play something while Spell A is still on the stack (a counterspell, for example).


Q: If a creature with a green (or whatever color) enchantment on it later gains protection from green (or whatever the color of the enchantment is), does the enchantment get removed?

-Tom W.

A: Yes. One of the properties of protection from green is that it can't be enchanted by green enchantments.


Q: My friend and I were playing a game of Magic at school. I put an Angel of Mercy into play. If he plays a Mana Leak to counter it, but I pay {3}, can he put down another one?

A: Yes. Once the Mana Leak resolves and you pay the {3}, he once again gets a chance to respond to the Angel of Mercy.


Q: If he does, does it counter the first mana leak?


A: No. The first Mana Leak has resolved and gone away before the second Mana Leak makes an appearance. You'll have to pay another {3} if you really want that Angel.


Q: About three months ago, I managed to break both my wrists while in gym class (don't ask) and had to wear two casts on both my arms that covered my entire palms and thumbs. When I tried to play against a friend of mine in a friendly game of Magic, I discovered I was unable to hold the cards in my hand. I was quite annoyed because I knew there was going to be a small DCI tournament. I talked to my friend, and she agreed to hold and play my cards at the tournament. When I got to the tournament on Saturday, I talked to the judge beforehand. He said it would be unfair if I had my friend hold the cards because she could commit acts of "cheatery" and give me an unfair advantage. Even when I tried to explain that my friend thinks mana is some sort of musical group, the judge said I either had to hold the cards myself or not play at all. I was unable to play. My question is this: should I have been able to play? Although I understand where the judge was coming from, my friend was I no way capable a helping me cheat. She was only there to hold the cards and play them. What do you think?


A: This is a very gray area. There really is no standardized way that judges are told to handle this, but here's what I would have done:

First, I would have suggested you get a cardholder, sort of like those ones older people use for playing card games. In this way, you wouldn't have to have any help. Also, the Scrabble tile holders might work just as well (although I haven't tried it, so I wouldn't know).

However, if you just arrived at the tournament with your friend and a deck, or if you found any other method of holding your cards unusable, I would have let you play, but kept a watchful eye on you. I believe there is a fine balance between letting people play and the possibility of tainting the tournament (with cheating). However, I would always prefer to err on the side of letting people play.

Again, this is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.


Q: I was in a tournament, a guy used Psychatog to discard and play counterspells for madness, he later removed these madnessed cards from his graveyard to buff up Psychatog, But from what I've read in your articles, it seems madness removed the card from the game in the first place.

So can he play a madness card and put it into his graveyard if he paid for it with madness cost, or does it leave the game, so he can't use it for Psychatog?

-Carl Stroup

A: Once the madness cards resolve (either by them being played with madness and going through the normal life cycle, or by the player passing and not using the card via madness), the card goes to the graveyard, and can be used to pump it up.

The only time the madness cards are removed from the game is when they get discarded from your hand, and only for a short time.


Q: I had this problem with a Spiritmonger I had in play. My opponent has a CoP:Black out and I put a Sinister Strength on my Monger. What happens if I attack and I pay the mana to change the color? Or does the Strength make it impossible?


A: You will still be able to change the color of the Spiritmonger to avoid the CoP:Black. The timestamp on the color change will be later than the timestamp on the Sinister Strength, so the color change will make the Monger a different color.


Can Cards like Shackles or Volrath's Curse that have a certain cost and say return this card to owners hand
be paid off by your opponent if you played it?

-Brandon Watson

A: No. Only the owner of the Shackles or Volrath's Curse can play the ability. (403.2)



A writer wishes to get more in depth about Snakes at Equilibrium:

Q: You said that with the Equilibrium and Mystic Snake combo, you would have to have 2 Mystic Snakes in play to make it work. I get that, but say I play a Mystic Snake, pay the one colorless but the snake is countered. Do I still get to return a creature to a person's hand even though it was countered?

James Racine

A: Yes. Equilibrium triggers when you first play a creature, and the Equilibrium ability exists independently of the creature that came into play. So even if your Snake is countered, you will still get to bounce something.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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