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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Q: If I played a Phantom Centaur, and it was dealt damage by a creature during combat or by a spell, then is the damage automatically prevented no questions asked or is it optional to prevent the damage or not?

A: The damage will be prevented using the Centaur's ability and it will lose a +1/+1 counter.


Q: Also, another question is, if I enchanted Phantom Centaur with Seton's Desire (I don't have threshold), making it a 7/5 creature, and then after a while, it lost it's three counters, it would become a 4/2 creature. Even if I don't have any counters on Phantom Centaur, would damage still be prevented on Phantom Centaur?

A: Yes.


Q: One more question. My opponent was playing a Green/Blue deck where he only played one Horseshoe Crab and kept enchanting it, making it stronger and stronger. After a few turns, he played an enchant creature that says, "Enchanted creature can't be target of spells." Does this remove all of the other enchantments from his creature and prevent any further enchanting of Horseshoe Crab?

-Charles Lee

A: No. The only time an enchantment targets a creature is when it is being cast. So all of the other enchantments will stay on the Crab.


Q: I have a Spiritmonger out. It's my opponent's turn. He casts a Mutilate for -5/-5. In response I put a regeneration shield on the Monger. Then my other opponent plays Urza's Rage in response to the Mutilate. I put the regeneration shield on after the Mutilate but before he played the Rage. What happens? 


A: Let's walk through the stack:

-Mutilate (played by opponent)
-Regeneration ability activated on Spiritmonger
-Urza's Rage, targeting Monger.

I will assume no other spells or abilities were played throughout this stack.

So the last spell played resolves first. Urza's Rage does 3 damage to the Spiritmonger. The Spiritmonger is now a 6/6 with 3 damage. Nothing special yet, so we move on to the next thing to resolve, the regeneration shield. The Spiritmonger now has a regeneration shield on it.

Now on to the Mutilate. When the Mutilate resolves, you look at the number of swamps your opponent controls (which, in this case, is 5). So Mutilate gives all creatures -5/-5 until end of turn.

The Spiritmonger is now a 1/1 with 3 damage. Damage is greater than toughness, so the Monger would be destroyed … except that it has a regeneration shield on it. So we regenerate the Monger, and it lives.


Q: I have a question about Chainer, Dementia Master's ability. It says that when he leaves play, remove all nightmares from the game. Does it mean that he will remove all nightmares (Mesmeric Fiend, etc) from the game or only those nightmares generated by its ability? Does his ability to give all nightmares +1/+1 is also the same situation, nightmares or only those which generated by his ability?


A: In both cases, it means all creatures with type Nightmare, not just those that Chainer himself created.


Q: I have Morphling in play, my opponent casts Swords to Plowshares and directs it towards the Morphling. I use Morphling's ability to make it "can't be the target of spells or abilities." Does the Swords of Plowshares fizzle and the Morphling survive?


A: The Swords to Plowshares, seeing that its target is illegal, is countered on resolution. (Fizzle is the old word to describe this situation. I may use it from time to time, but on this point, I usually prefer to use the correct game term, as it does matter with at least one card - Multani's Presence.)


Q: I have a Sylvan Safekeeper in play.

A: Sylvan Safekeeper
Creature -- Wizard
Sacrifice a land: Target creature you control can't be the target of spells or abilities this turn.


Q: My opponent casts Repulse on my Mystic Enforcer. I use the Safekeeper's ability to make my Enforcer untargetable.

Does my opponent draw the card?

A: No. All of the targets are illegal on resolution, so the Repulse is countered. He won't get to draw the card.


Q: Does my opponent need to declare a target once he/she casts repulse or does he/she 1) cast repulse, 2) asks me if I have any effects, then 3) choose the target.

A: Targets are declared when you cast the spell (409.1c).


Q: My opponent can only declare a target ONCE right? For example, he/she cannot change the target from Mystic Enforcer to another creature since my enforcer is untargetable because of the Safekeeper, right?

-Kelvin Fong

A: Unless a spell or ability gives you the option to change a target, once you've declared the target, you can't change it. So the Repulse is stuck targeting the untargetable Enforcer.


Q: If I have Caustic Tar out, and my opponent has Circle of Protection: Black, can he prevent the 3 life loss with the COP?


A: No. Loss of life is not damage.


Q: Suppose I play Natural Affinity, and I attack with all my lands. Then, my friend uses Mageta the Lion's ability. Since my lands are still counted as creatures, do they die?


A: Yes.


Q: Does a text saying "Destroy target creature" mean the same thing as "Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated?" 

A: No. For the first phrase, the creature can regenerate and stay in play.

419.6b Regeneration is a destruction-replacement effect. The key word "instead" doesn't appear on the card but is implicit in its definition. "Regenerate [permanent]" means "The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it's in combat) remove it from combat."


Q: If a creature with regenerate and that's a 6/3 pays for its regeneration. Will a spell that does "-5/-5" send it to the graveyard? Or will it stay in play?

-Alex Cain

A: It will go to the graveyard.

420.5b A creature with toughness 0 or less is put into its owner's graveyard. Regeneration can't replace this event.


Q: I was wondering if you could change or add a target to Morality Shift? Something like Divert, Deflection, or Radiate?


A: Last one on this line of questions. No. Go read last Friday's (May 31) column for the Mantra.


Q: I see on Pojo that you advertise a game store that holds magic games, my questions is, why? Are you doing it as a favor, or just being nice to the people there by doing so? Or are you getting paid? 


A: I usually don't touch questions not having to do with the rules, but this is a fair question, and one that probably needs to be answered anyway.

I am advertising the tournament that I have been advertising for several reasons. First, I consider the tournament organizer to be a good friend of mine. Second, it's not often that you see a Classic Restricted (Type 1.5) tournament being run, and I think it's a really good format, especially for all those cards you will have after Extended rotates in November. Third, the more players you can get at any given tournament, the better. We've barely been scraping up 8 to run it, and I'd like to see a much higher number. 

No, I am not getting paid to advertise the tournament.

Also, I'm going to be advertising a different tournament in a couple of columns. It's going to be Standard (Type 2) on July 7; the first Sunday Judgment is legal, in Garden Grove.


More Clarifications:

First, continuing on the Blind Seer/Compost thread, J.C. writes…

Q: Thank you for responding to my inquiry on Monday's article, but your response does not address my confusion about the difference between a "card" and a "permanent". Please correct me if I'm wrong.

A: OK. Let's define both "card" and "permanent," from the rulebook:

This is specifically a Magic card, and is always considered a card regardless of which zone it's in. Tokens aren't cards. See section 2, "Cards."

A permanent is any card or token in the in-play zone. See rule 214, "Permanent Type."

The main distinction between a permanent and a card is that a permanent exists only in the In-Play zone, so it is both a permanent and a card in the In-Play zone. All other places, it's only a card.


Q: Let's take your most recent example:

I have in play Compost and a Blind Seer. I cast Lightning Bolt on your Bear, and in response, use Blind Seer's ability on the Bear. If you do nothing and let the spell and ability resolve, do I draw a card?

I don't think so. While the Bear may have been a black "permanent", it is still a green "card", therefore will not trigger Compost. Am I correct on this?

A: Compost
Whenever a black card is put into an opponent's graveyard, you may draw a card.

You will draw a card. The Compost sees a black card going to the graveyard, and will therefore trigger.


Q: If I am wrong, at what point does the Bear stop being a black "permanent"?

A: The Bears will stop being both black and a permanent once they are put into the graveyard.


After writing the previous to him in an email, he writes back…

Q: I think I understand now. Thank you.

I had a misconception about effects on permanents. Now I understand that - while there is a distinction between a "card" and a "permanent", anything affecting a permanent's characteristics also affects that card's characteristics, however counter intuitive this may be.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work. I always enjoy reading your column.


A: The effect affecting the permanent only affects the same card while the card is in play. When the card leaves play, it stops being a permanent, and therefore usually will lose all of the changes made to it while in play. 

Compost specifically refers to the card and not permanent mainly because it looks at cards coming into the opponent's graveyard from anywhere. If you make your opponent discard a black card, for example, you will draw a card. 


And now a reader writes in regarding my card of the day snippet for Tuesday, June 4:

Q: I believe that you are incorrect with your statement regarding Wormfang Manta. You stated that

"This+(Vanishing or Vodalian Illusionist)=One more turn for your opponent this game. (The first extra turn that you get is offset by the turn you lose when he comes into play.)"

Really? One more turn?

The Manta comes into play, effects resolve, you lose your next turn. Your opponent now has two turns in a row. Now, if you phase out the Manta, by the Illusionist say, you "take an extra turn after this one." Which should mean, you take the next turn, then your opponent takes two turns.

Since you take that turn though, you phase the Manta out again, ad nauseum.

How does your opponent get another turn?

I suppose that if you misplayed the Manta, he could, but otherwise, it's a soft lock.

-Abe Sargent

A: You have 2 effects: "skip your next turn" and "take an extra turn after this one." The extra turn is created upon resolution of the triggered ability, and is placed directly after the current turn you are taking. The "skip your next turn" effect waits around until the next turn you should take, and then skips it. You do not mark the turn you are skipping until you actually get to it, and then you skip it. So once you end this turn and go to take the extra turn, you have to skip it. So your opponent will get the next turn, and then you can do stupid Manta tricks for the rest of the game. So unless you can phase him back in and out again to get a second extra turn (see Time and Tide), your opponent will get one more turn. 


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




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