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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

6.17.02 - Verdant Succession and Last Laugh 

Q: I control a Bird of Paradise, a Nantuko Tracer, Last Laugh, and Verdant Succession. I play Diabolic Intent and sacrifice my Bird of Paradise. 

Now what happens? 

The Last Laugh deals 1 point of damage to everything and the Tracer dies, but I put a new Tracer into play. 

Now, does the new Tracer (as well as everything else) receive 1 point of damage because the former Tracer was put into the graveyard? If I use the new Tracer's ability to put the old Tracer on the bottom of my library, can I trigger a machine gun effect from the Last Laugh?

Thanks for your help,

-Andreas Henker

A: Verdant Succession
Whenever a green nontoken creature is put into a graveyard from play, that creature's controller may search his or her library for a card with the same name as that creature and put it into play. If that player does, he or she then shuffles his or her library.

Last Laugh
Whenever a permanent other than Last Laugh is put into a graveyard from play, Last Laugh deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
When no creatures are in play, sacrifice Last Laugh.

Time to set up the stack…I am going to assume that neither player wants to play anything else than what you have described.

-You cast Diabolic Intent, sacrificing the Birds of Paradise.
-2 triggers go on the stack: Verdant Succession (VS1), and Last Laugh (LL1). Since you control both triggers, you can put them on the stack in any order you like. To keep it simple, I'll put the VS1 on the stack first, then LL1.
-LL1 resolves, killing the Nantuko Tracer. 

*We have 3 triggers to deal with here … Verdant Succession (VSn), Last Laugh's deal 1 damage ability (LLDn), and Last Laugh's "sac me because there are no creatures in play" ability (LLSn). There are 6 ways to order these:

-VSn, LLDn, LLSn: This is probably the least complicated of the choices. Last Laugh will be sacrificed, then 1 damage will be dealt to everything, then Verdant Succession will let you get another Tracer. VS1 will then resolve, letting you get another Birds. Then you go fetch a card for the Diabolic Intent, ending the stack.
-VSn, LLSn, LLDn: No noticeable difference from the previous choice - only thing different is you'll do the damage before sacrificing the Last Laugh.
-LLDn, VSn, LLSn: The least desirable of the 6 choices. You'll sacrifice the Last Laugh; go get another Tracer (and put something on bottom), then do 1 damage to everything, killing the Tracer. Then you'll resolve VS1, then the Intent. End of Stack.
-LLDn, LLSn, VSn: Very similar to the one we just described (LLDn, VSn, LLSn), except you'll go get a Tracer before sacrificing the Last Laugh.
-LLSn, VSn, LLDn: Last Laugh does one damage to everything, then you go get another Tracer, then you sac Last Laugh, then get another Birds, then resolve the Intent. End of stack.
-LLSn, LLDn, VSn: This is the one you want to use to create the "machine gun effect." Verdant Succession gets you another Tracer, and the Tracer's trigger resolves next, putting the old Tracer on bottom. Then Last Laugh deals 1 damage to everything, killing the Tracer, and sending the loop back to *. You can keep coming back to this choice as often as you like until you have either won or died.

Hope this helps!


Q: If I play Teroh's Faithful and my opponent counters it, do I gain the 4 life or not? Teroh's Faithful would have been put into play, but then removed.

-Joe A.

A: You will not gain the 4 life. When a spell is countered, it is removed from the stack. So Teroh's Faithful won't make it into play.

414.1. To counter a spell is to move the spell card from the stack to its owner's graveyard. Countering an ability removes its pseudospell from the stack. Spells and abilities that are countered don't resolve and none of their effects occur.


Q: If I have Holistic Wisdom in play and play Shaman's Trance, could I remove cards in my hand to pull stuff out of my opponent's graveyard?


A: No. The only thing Shaman's Trance allows you to do is to play spells out of your opponent's graveyard. It does not allow you to do anything else with those cards.


Q: I have a 4/2 trampler and Attrition in play. My opponent has a 2/2 bear and a 1/1 flyer. I am at 1 life and my opponent has 3 life.

I attack with the trampler, putting the 4 damage on the stack, then sack the trampler to attrition to kill the 1/1 flyer. Does my opponent take 2 trample damage or not?

Put another way, does "trample" go on the stack, or does merely "damage" go on the stack, and trampledness determined later?


A: Trample is determined when damage is assigned. You'll assign 2 to the bear, and 2 to the opponent, and then you can sac the trampler to kill the flier.


Q: If I attack with a Mogg Fanatic, and my opponent blocks with a Llanowar Elves, can I sacrifice the Mogg and put its ability on the stack before the combat resolves and do 1 damage to my opponent? Or does sacrificing the Mogg remove it from combat, nullifying its combat damage?


A: Put the damage on the stack and then sac the Fanatic to your opponent. You'll do 1 to your opponent and kill the Elf.


Q: Can you explain what banding is? I have seen many cards with banding and none of them says what it is.


A: The cards don't say what banding is because "banding" is what is called a keyword. The rulebook explains banding as follows…


502.10. Banding

502.10a Banding is a static ability that modifies the rules for declaring attackers, declaring blockers, and assigning combat damage.

502.10b As a player declares attackers, he or she may declare that any number of those creatures with banding, and up to one of those creatures without banding, are all in a "band." (Defending players can't declare bands but may use banding in a different way; see rule 502.10h.)

502.10c A player may declare as many attacking bands as he or she wants, but each creature may be a member of only one of them.

502.10d Once an attacking band has been announced, it lasts for the rest of combat, even if something later removes the banding ability from one or more creatures. However, creatures in a band that are removed from combat are also removed from the band.

502.10e If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature.
Example: A player attacks with a band consisting of a creature with flying and a creature with swampwalk. The defending player, who controls a swamp, can block the flying creature if able. If he or she does, then the creature with swampwalk will also become blocked by the blocking creature(s).

502.10f Banding doesn't cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents.

502.10g If one member of a band would become blocked as the result of a spell or ability, the entire band becomes blocked.

502.10h A player who controls a banding creature chooses how combat damage is assigned by creatures blocking or blocked by that creature. If the creature had banding when it attacked or blocked, but the ability was removed before the combat damage step, damage is assigned normally.

502.10i Multiple instances of banding on the same creature are redundant.


Basically, banding does 2 things. First, it allows any number of creatures with banding and up to one creature without banding to attack together. However, if one creature in the band is blocked, then the entire band is blocked.

Secondly, banding changes who chooses how damage is assigned to creatures during the combat damage step. If one member of a set of blockers has banding, then instead of the attacker choosing how damage is assigned amongst those creatures, the defender chooses how damage is assigned to those creatures. A similar thing happens to a group of attackers (typically in a band) … instead of the defender choosing how damage is assigned, the attacker does.


Q: I was just wondering when are State-Based Effects checked?


A: State-Based Effects are checked any time a player would receive priority.


Q: My friend says that only one creature can be played a turn, is he right?

A: Unless there is an effect limiting how many creature spells can be played each turn, then you may play as many creature spells as you have the mana for.


Q: What is the difference between type1, type2, and extended?

A: The basic difference between those 3 formats is what cards are allowed. Type 1 lets you play with most any card, Extended (up until 10/31) lets you play with any card that was printed in the Ice Age set or after, and the 10 dual lands, and Type 2 lets you play with the most recent basic set (currently Seventh Edition), and the two most recent blocks and their expansions (currently Invasion block, containing Invasion, Planeshift, and Apocalypse; and Odyssey block, containing Odyssey and Torment. Judgment will be legal for tournament play July 1, and it will become a part of the Odyssey block.)


Q: Can you discard a card from your hand whenever you want?


A: No. You can only discard a card when an effect lets you discard a card.


Q: How would I go about being able to take a DCI judges test, so that I could possibly help out at my local tournaments?


A: First, study the Comprehensive rulebook, The Floor Rules, and D'Angelo's Rules files. Next, locate the nearest Pro Tour Qualifier or Prerelease in your area, and write to the organizer, inquiring on whether a level 3 judge will be running it. (Only level 3 or above judges are allowed to certify new judges.) If there will be a level 3 judge running it, write both the organizer and the head (level 3) judge, inquiring if you would be able to work the event that day and take the Level 1 judge test. You're writing the organizer because he controls who is able to staff the event, and the head judge because he needs to make a copy of the test to have for you when you show up. 

Assuming you are able to work the event, you'll be working the main event and at least one side event. This is because the level 3 judge is required to watch you work at least 2 events, to gauge how strong of a judge you are. Then, after you take the test, the Level 3 judge will sit down and interview you. This serves two purposes - first, it allow him to review the test with you, and tell you what you got wrong. Second, assuming you got a score of 70% or more, it gives him one final sense of whether you'll be a good judge.

Now to the other case, where the organizer writes back and says no level 3 will be available at his events. In this case, you should write the organizer back, inquiring on the nearest level 3 judge and any other places you might be able to be tested. Most organizers will be happy to provide this information, and they may have suggestions that I might not have thought of on how you could be tested. (Like Grand Prix events or Pro Tours, for example.)

Good Luck!!


Q: I play a spell and my opponent says that he will counter it with Grip of Amnesia, since I have no cards in my graveyard. Can I say that I will remove my graveyard even if I have no graveyard? Wouldn't the spell attempt to remove it, even though it doesn't exist?

A: You can still remove your graveyard, even if there are no cards there.


Q: I say that I will attack with Psychatog and my opponent says that in response to my declaring of attacker he will tap my creature with Nomad Decoy. Can he do that? I told him that the declare attackers step doesn't use the stack so he cant play it in response because the creature would already be tapped in order to attack. Who is right?

-Dimitris Tsementzis jr.

A: What you opponent is actually doing is tapping the creature during the beginning of combat step, before you declare attackers. However, he needs to be a little more careful with his wording, as if he said that at a Pro Tour Qualifier or higher, he could be stuck tapping the Tog after its already attacking. 



Q: This is concerning the Misdirection-causing-Counterspell-to-target-Misdirection questions you've been answering. I think you've explained pretty well why, if Misdirection is on the stack, its effect could target itself. My question is, is Misdirection actually needing only one target, or two, at the time you're announcing it?

From Oracle:

"Change the target of target spell with a single target."

Don't the terms "target spell" and "single target" each count as targets for Misdirection? If so, you don't have Misdirection on the stack as a target for Counterspell yet, because you can't legally play Misdirection, because you don't have the required number of targets for Misdirection.

-Bernard Ng

A: You're parsing the sentence incorrectly. What does Misdirection target? "target spell…" What does that target spell have to have? "…a single target." Counterspell has a single target, that is, the spell that Counterspell is trying to counter. Therefore, Counterspell is a "spell with a single target," and thus, Counterspell is a legal target for Misdirection.

-Bill Guerin 
DCI Level 2 Judge




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