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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Q: I have a question about Morphling: 

Can I use his -1/+1 ability as many times as I want even though he has no power to lose?

A: The answer can be found in the rulebook, under the definition of "Number:"

If a creature's power or toughness, a mana cost, a player's life total, an amount of damage, or an amount of life loss would be less than zero, it's treated as zero for all purposes except adding to or subtracting from that total. 

Example: A 0/2 creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. It is now a -1/1 creature, which acts exactly like a 0/1 creature except for things that would change its power further. If it is later given +2/+0, then it becomes a 1/1 creature, not a 2/1 creature.

So, if you've activated the -1/+1 ability of Morphling twice already, and he is a 0/5, activating that same ability again will make him a -1/6, which is exactly like a 0/6, unless you try to raise his power. If, after you make him a -1/6, you activate his +1/-1 ability, he becomes a 0/5, not a 1/5.


Q: I had 6 cards in my graveyard. I cast a Wearbear. My friend Suffocating Blasts the Wearbear and targets the 3 damage to my Anurid Barkripper. After the Wearbear is countered I have threshold. I say that the Barkripper lives because I have threshold and he becomes a 4/4. Who is right? Does the Barkripper die or live and which target from Suffocating Blast resolves first?


A: The Barkripper will live, because it will only check if it has lethal damage after Suffocating Blast has resolved. At that point, it is a 4/4 with 3 damage, so it lives.

Both targets resolve at the same time. The spell is countered, and the 3 damage is dealt to the target creature on resolution of Suffocating Blast.


Q: As you know, if damage is being dealt to a phantom creature, it's prevented and the phantom creature loses a +1/+1 counter. If my Phantom Centaur was being dealt damage by a spell or a creature, then do I have to let it prevent the damage or is using Phantom Centaur's ability optional?

The text reads: If damage would be dealt to Phantom Centaur, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 counter from Phantom Centaur.

Does the removing a counter count as a cost to playing its ability, making it an activated ability? Or is the removing a counter just an effect of the phantom's ability and the phantom's ability HAS to be used unless I used a damage prevention spell or something?

-Charles Lee

A: The Phantom ability is a static ability that changes what happens when a Phantom would be dealt damage. The Phantom ability replaces the damage that would be dealt to the Phantom creature with preventing that damage and removing a +1/+1 counter. Unless you can prevent the damage another way, you'll be removing a +1/+1 counter.

Note that if you increase the base toughness of a Phantom creature (for example with Elephant Guide), when all the counters are gone, the damage will still be prevented, and then when the Phantom goes to remove a +1/+1 counter, it won't be able to. But the damage dealt to it will still be prevented.


Q: I have a question about the card Kyren Archive from the Mercadian Masques set. 

A: Kyren Archive
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove the top card of your library from the game face down.
{5}, Discard your hand, Sacrifice Kyren Archive: Put all cards removed from the game with Kyren Archive into their owner's hand.


Q: Do I look at the card before choosing to put it removed from the game? I think yes, but my friends say no. 


A: No, you won't get to look at the card. The library is a hidden zone (meaning you can't look at the cards in it), and since the card is being removed from the game face down, you won't be able to look at it there either. Since the card is going from one hidden place to another, you can't look at it at all, not even while you are removing it.


Q: When you enchant a creature and the creature is bounced, where does the enchantment go? (Assuming that the enchantment doesn't have any wicked side effects.) 


A: The enchantment, seeing it is enchanting nothing, goes to the graveyard as a state-based effect (420.5d).


Q: I have a question about creatures like Horned Kavu, who when they come into play, you return a creature to your hand. My question is can I bring the Horned Kavu into play if I have no legal creatures to return to my hand?


A: If there are no legal creatures to return, then the gating ability won't happen. HOWEVER, 99% of the time, the creature with gating is a legal choice to return to your hand. So if you don't have another red or green creature out, for example, you'll be returning the Horned Kavu back to your hand.


Q: What happens if you play a counterspell on a spell that has been Mirari'd? Would you have to counter the Mirari version and the original separately, or would countering the first one cancel the second one out? I think if the counter goes on the stack after the player with Mirari pays {3}, both the original and the copy are countered, but my friend thinks I have to counter them separately. Who's right?


A: You have to counter them both separately.


Q: Would a kicked Kavu Titan survive a two point Pernicious Deed, or does kicker cost not count towards converted mana cost?


A: The only thing you look at for converted mana cost is the symbols in the upper right hand corner. Kicked or not, the converted mana cost for a Kavu Titan is 2, so it would be destroyed by a two point Deed.



Q: In your Pojo article from May 31st, you wrote: 

"Only if Blind Seer's ability resolves before the cards goes to the graveyard…." 

The answer was in response to a question regarding Blind Seer and Compost. I believe you made a mistake. Compost states "whenever a black card is…." I don't know if a color of a card can be changed, but rule 214.4 states that a card's type cannot be changed. But I do know that a permanent is different than a card. 

So even if the card's color is changed, doesn't it stop being a permanent when it leaves play, and before the card is put into the graveyard, triggering Compost? 


A: I knew I might confuse some people when I said that. Let me go through an example to show you what I mean.

I have a (green) Grizzly Bears out. You have a Compost and Blind Seer out. You cast Lightning Bolt on the Grizzly Bears. In response to that, you play Blind Seer's ability on the Grizzly Bears. (You don't say which color you're making it until Blind Seer's ability resolves.)

Now I, seeing that you're going to probably make the Bears black (so you can draw a card off the Compost), cast Fling. As part of the cost of playing Fling, I sacrifice the Grizzly Bears. We check the color of the Bears now, since they're going to the graveyard, and they are green, so you won't get to draw. (The Fling will deal its damage, and the Blind Seer's ability and the Lightning Bolt will be countered on resolution [since their target is gone].)

So as you can see by the example, I was referring to someone responding to the color change ability.

Also, 214 only refers to the type. A permanent's type is given in the one line between the picture and the text box. There are only 4 types of permanents - Creature, Artifact, Enchantment, and Land. And you correctly know that you can change a _permanent's_ type, as it states in 214.4 …

214.4. When a permanent's type or subtype changes, the new type(s) replaces any existing type(s). This changes only the permanent type-the card type doesn't change. Counters, effects, and damage affecting the permanent remain with it, even if they are meaningless to the new type.

The color of a card is a characteristic of the card, not part of the card's type. 


Again, a tournament plug …

Every Sunday afternoon (excluding holidays), Otherworld Comics in Placentia holds a Classic Restricted (Type 1.5) tournament. Registration at 1pm, starting at about 1:30. $5 entry fee, packs to top 3 players, based on attendance. 3-4 rounds of Swiss, with a cut to top 4, rounds also dependant on attendance.

Otherworld Comics
1876 N. Placentia Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870-2303
(714) 985-0661

Use Mapquest for directions, or feel free to email myself, or the tournament coordinator (Ken Collier, from StarCity: kennethcollier@msn.com) for more info.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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