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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Advocates and Kicker

Again, I'll put a notice here for those of you who might not have read/remembered it from a few weeks back. If you don't see your question(s), it is because I have already answered them several times. Take the time to look through the archives and read up.


Q: I was wondering about two cards, Pulsemage Advocate and Desolation Angel. If I use the Advocate's ability to return a creature to play, could I target a Desolation Angel in my graveyard, pay the kicker cost, and destroy all lands?

-Jacob Trihart

A: No. Since you are not casting the Desolation Angel, you cannot pay the kicker. Therefore, only your lands will be destroyed.


Q: I have a question about Soulcatcher's Aerie's ability. For instance, I have 3 Soulcatcher's Aerie in play and a Suntail Hawk. My opponent kills my hawk so it goes to the graveyard. When it goes to the graveyard, does it trigger one of the Soulcatcher's Aerie ability? Or all 3 of them? Thank you.

-Alex Cain

A: All 3 of them. Each will trigger separately.


Q: If an opponent wants to burn away Skywing Aven, can I discard Arrogant Wurm
and play him even though it isn't my turn?


A: Yes.


Q: My friends and I have been wondering and arguing over a certain type of card ability, tapping. Icy Manipulator and Twiddle are to 2 leading cards that are irritating us. We wish to know if you can "counter" a spell with one of these. Here's how: I tap a mana source, a mountain (land), Birds of Paradise (creature) or Sol Ring (artifact) to cast a spell. My friend says he taps any of them before I tap them so my spell is, in effect, countered cause I don't have the mana. It doesn't go to the graveyard but I can't cast it do to lack of mana. We are frustrated because my friend and I have used new rules (7th) and we have 2 old friends who played a while ago and say that you can't counter a spell by tapping something with by these methods. It would be much appreciated if you explain who is right and how it works. Thank you.


A: The rules are still the same. When you tap the land for mana, you don't give priority up, so you can use the mana before your opponent can tap the land. Also, you can "float" mana. For example, your friend announces he is going to tap the mountain with his Icy Manipulator. In response, you can tap the land for mana, putting it into your mana pool; and then, when the stack empties, you can cast your creature/sorcery.

Basically, your opponent can't interrupt you while you're in the middle of doing something, because he doesn't have priority to do so. Only the play with priority can play a spell or ability.


Q: I have a question regarding card interaction between Squee, Goblin Nabob and Nether Spirit. Assuming that these are the only two creatures in your graveyard at the beginning of your upkeep, could you return Squee to your hand first and still have the Nether Spirit return to play as it is now the only creature in the graveyard?


A: No. Since Nether Spirit isn't the only creature in the graveyard at the beginning of upkeep, his ability won't even go on the stack.

Nether Spirit
Creature -- Spirit
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Nether Spirit is the only creature card in your graveyard, you may return Nether Spirit to play.

410.8. Triggered abilities with a condition directly following the trigger event (for example, "When/Whenever/At [trigger], if [condition], [effect]"), check for the condition to be true as part of the trigger event; if it isn't, the ability doesn't trigger. The ability checks the condition again on resolution. If it's not satisfied, the ability does nothing. Note that this mirrors the check for legal targets. Note that this rule doesn't apply to any triggered ability with a condition elsewhere within its text.


Q: If I have a Howling Mine in play and Island Sanctuary in play, can I draw one card instead of drawing two cards so that only creatures with flying and island walk can attack me?


A: Yes. This is a combo from long ago that still works fine.


Q: My friend made a combo deck. He plays Kavu Monarch and Aluren. Aluren
lets him play a Horned Kavu for free. He bounces the Horned Kavu to itself
and then plays it for free a billion times. This puts a billion +1 +1
counters on Kavu Monarch. Does this work?


A: Yes, this works too.


Clarification (last time for this one):

Q: I have been reading your articles for some time, and you seemed (at least to me) to contradict yourself concerning the advocates. Recently, I read:

>>>Q: I need a little clarity on a couple of questions you answered recently.
Forcemage Advocate says '{tap}: Return target card in an opponent's graveyard to his or her hand. Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.<<<

You recently answered that should this activity be activated, and the opponent's graveyard is emptied before it resolves, then the first half of Advocate's ability doesn't happen, but the second half does.

A: Correct. This is because all of the targets aren't illegal there is still one legal target, the creature you're putting the +1/+1 counter on.<<<

I am confused because according to this it looked like you do not need cards in an opponent's graveyard to activate it. However, you later said:

>>>Q: Can I use Spurnmage Advocate's ability even though my opponent has less than 2 cards in his/her graveyard?
A: No. Your opponent must have 2 cards in his or her graveyard, otherwise, you can't target everything you need to, and so you won't be able to play Spurnmage's effect.<<<

Which looks like the opposite, to me. Also, the official rulings at the crystal keep only have notes about not being able to use it on an empty graveyard on SOME of the advocates, not all. Please explain.


A: The first question you cite, the person had the appropriate number of cards in his opponent's graveyard to be able to activate the ability. The second question, his opponent did not have the appropriate number of cards in his opponent's graveyard to be able to play the ability. Therefore, the first player could play the ability.

Then (first example throughout here), in response to the ability being played, after the ability was on the stack, he played another spell or ability that removed that card from the graveyard. So once the ability resolved, it couldn't return the card any more (since it wasn't there to return). But since there was still a legal target (the creature that got the +1/+1 counter), the ability wasn't countered. It just did what it could to the remaining legal targets.

Key point here: When you announce the ability, you have to have the appropriate number of cards in the graveyard, or you can't announce the ability, as you don't have the required targets. This applies for ALL of the Advocates.

After the ability is announced, if one or more of the targets are made illegal, but there is still a target that is legal, the ability will affect only the legal targets.


Again, promoting my tournament. There will be a tournament July 14, 2002, in Garden Grove, at Mile High Comics. The information:

Date: July 14,2002 (Sunday)
Time: starts at 12 noon
Address: 12591 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone Number: (714) 741-2096
K-Value: 16
REL: 2
Head Judge: Me
Format: Standard (Type 2) - Judgment will be legal for this tournament.
Modified Swiss format, rounds dependant on attendance, with a cut to the top 8. (Top 4 if less than 16 people).
Other notes: The Ultra Pro Gold and Silver Metallicized sleeves are banned from this tournament, due to their reflective properties leading to a greater probability of cheating with those sleeves.

Hope to see you there!!

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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