Bill Guerin
Level II Judge



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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Pariah'd Angels, Legends, and Nishobas, oh my!

OK … now why aren't you guys writing to me when I make a mistake in the CotD section? Or are you just not reading it?

For yesterday's card, Pariah, I wrote…

>>>A nice idea. If you manage to get it on an Iridescent Angel, they can't kill you. (Think: Enchantment Alteration or similar effects.) <<<

I was really thinking about Aura Graft there.

However, the Angel has protection from white. This means it can't be enchanted by white enchantments (among other things). As a result, you can't even attempt to move that Pariah onto the Iridescent Angel, because it can't enchant the Angel.

(Thanks to BIGred on #PojoMagic [server:] for helping me find the error.)

Anyway, on to our regularly scheduled programming…


First off, a few Legendary Questions…

Q: I have a question about legends, particularly Thriss. If my friend has a Thriss, Nantuko Primus out, and I play another Thriss, which one would be sent to the graveyard, since they are both the same legend?


A: 420.5e If two or more Legends or legendary permanents with the same name are in play, all except the one that has been a Legend or legendary permanent with that name the longest are put into their owners' graveyards. This is called 'the Legend rule.' In the event of a tie, each Legend or legendary permanent with the same name is put into its owner's graveyard. (If two permanents have the same name but only one is a Legend or is legendary, this rule doesn't apply.)

So the one you just played would be sent to the graveyard.


Q: Can my opponent use Chainer, Dementia Master's ability to bring back a Chainer from my graveyard to give his nightmares +2/+2 or would he have to sacrifice one because he has two legends out?

A: The second Chainer would be put into the graveyard as a state-based effect. See above.


Q: Would Chainer's ability make the returned Chainer a Nightmare?

-Joe A.

A: Yes. For the very brief period of time that the second Chainer is out, he is a Creature - Nightmare Legend.


Now playing in the graveyard …

Q: My friend plays a Terminate targeting my Mahamoti Djinn. I respond by playing Grip of Amnesia. He has no cards in his graveyard. Can he remove his graveyard to prevent the Grip of Amnesia from countering the Terminate?


A: Yes. From the Judgment FAQ, under Grip of Amnesia:

* You can choose to remove your graveyard from the game even if there are no cards in it.


Q: I was playing about a week ago. It was my land destruction Deck vs. my friends Squirrel Deck. I had out a Burning Sands and a Petravark.

A: Burning Sands
Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, that creature's controller sacrifices a land.


Q: He had out four Squirrel tokens. I attacked with my Petravark, so he'd be forced to sacrifice his Squirrel Nested forest and his other forest, and I'd have to sac a mountain. Now I read a question you had a little bit ago, about tokens and graveyards; if I read it right, tokens go into your graveyard, then disappear. If I'm correct, wouldn't he have had to sacrifice his Forests? 


A: He would have had to sacrifice two lands if he blocked your Petravark with 2 Squirrels and all of his creatures died, yes. However, make sure you stack the triggered abilities right, or he could possibly keep the Squirrel Nested Forest. (Put the Petravark's leaves play trigger on the stack before the Burning Sands triggers, so the land will come back after he has to sacrifice 2 other lands.)


Q: It is my opponent's turn. He pays for Accumulated Knowledge and plays it when no others are in his library. Then he places it in his library while using it to draw one card. He then draws another since Accumulated Knowledge is now in the graveyard. 

I have a feeling that he should count the cards in his graveyard before it enters it. However, Aether Burst says to count the cards before it enters the graveyard, so he feels you do not unless it says so. Is my opponent correct?


A: You are correct. The Accumulated Knowledge wont go to the graveyard until it has completely resolved. By that time, it has already checked the number of Accumulated Knowledges in all graveyards, so it won't count itself.

From the Nemesis FAQ, under Accumulated Knowledge:

Accumulated Knowledge is still on the stack while it's resolving, not in a graveyard.


Calling all Nishobas …

Q: What happens if I Liberate my Phantom Nishoba and he has say 2 counters left on him. Does he come into play with 7 more totaling 9 or does he lose the first 2 and come back in with 7 or does he lose all of them and die? 

A: He comes back into play with 7 counters. It's just like it's a freshly cast Nishoba. 

217.5c Whenever a card enters the in-play zone, it's considered a brand-new permanent and has no relationship to any previous permanent represented by the same card.


Q: Does Liberate place the card in the phased-out zone?

-Robert Hilliard

A: No. Liberate places the card in the removed from game zone.


Q: My friend and I were wondering if you were to play Violent Eruption, then targets, let's say, a Phantom Nishoba with 4 1/1 counters on it. Can you target it 4 separate times so it kills Phantom Nishoba?


A: No. If a card asks you to choose multiple targets, you can't choose the same target twice.

409.1c If the spell or ability requires any targets, the player first announces how many targets he or she will choose (if the spell or ability has a variable number of targets), then announces the targets themselves. A spell or ability can't be played unless the required number of legal targets are chosen. The same target can't be chosen multiple times.


Odyssey Block Mechanics Reviewed …

Q: My friends and I are trying to figure out if you can use Narcissism or Wild Mongrel's pump-up to discard
a card from your hand to play madness on Arrogant Wurm during combat phase? 

-Michael B. 

A: Here's your madness review …

502.24a Madness is a keyword that represents two abilities. The first is a static ability that functions while the card with madness is in a player's hand. The second is a triggered ability that functions when the first ability is applied. The phrase "Madness [cost]" means "If a player would discard this card from his or her hand, that player discards it, but may remove it from the game instead of putting it into his or her graveyard" and "When this card is removed from the game this way, until that player passes next, the player may play it any time he or she could play an instant as though it were in his or her hand by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost. When the player passes next, he or she puts it into his or her graveyard."

Note in the second triggered ability, "… the player may play it any time he or she could play an instant as though it were in his or her hand by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost." 

So yes, you can discard an Arrogant Wurm to Wild Mongrel and play him during your combat phase.


Q: I was wondering at what speed flashback is played? My friend questioned it when I was flashbacking my Acorn Harvest at the end of his turn so they wouldn't have summoning sickness. 

So is Flashback played as an instant, sorcery, or at the speed of the card you are flashing back?


A: Flashback is played at the speed of the card you are flashing back. So since Acorn Harvest is a sorcery, you can only flash it back whenever you can play a sorcery.


Other, nonrelated questions …

Q: I was just wondering about the Odyssey card, Decimate. Two questions:

1. Can I play it if there are no artifacts in play, meaning the artifact targeting part of the card has no legal target?

A: No. To play Decimate, you must target a land, a creature, an enchantment, and an artifact. If one of those 4 does not exist on the board, you can't play Decimate, as you can't choose all of the required targets.


Q: Let's now say that there is only one artifact in play, but I control it. Am I forced to target it when I play Decimate?

-Ryan S.

A: If you wish to play Decimate, you have to choose the 4 appropriate targets. If this means you have to target one or more of your permanents, that's fine. You just have to have the 4 required targets to play it.


Q: 2 Furnace of Raths out Triple damage or Quadruple Damage?


A: The damage would be doubled, Then doubled again, for a total of 4x the damage (Double Double … mmmm… :))


Q: Is the Card Lifeline from Urza's Block Global or Local? I've asked a lot of professionals on other message boards and have received both responses. Is this why the card is banned? 

-Kevin H.

A: First of all, Lifeline isn't banned in any DCI sanctioned format.

Second, this question caused a lot of confusion at the pre-releases, as it was _very_ poorly worded. Here is how it is worded on the card:

Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard and a creature is in play, return that creature from your graveyard to play at end of turn.

The "from your graveyard to play" is where the confusion lied. And nothing was said about this in the FAQ. 

This was discussed on the judge's list, and it was very quickly given new wording. The wording has been tweaked since then, and reads as follows in the present-day Oracle:

Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard and another creature is in play, return the first creature from that graveyard to play under its owner's control at end of turn.

So as you can see by the Oracle wording, it works for both players.


Q: I was playing my 5-color deck yesterday in my Magic League. The runner said it was illegal, but I feel he's wrong. I used World Championship cards in my deck, and I used BLACK cases. And no one could even tell which one was which. I'm writing to you, asking you, that if I were to go to a sanctioned tournament, would I be prohibited from using those cards?


A: You would not be allowed to use those cards in and sanctioned tournament, as this is specifically prohibited by the Floor Rules…

"102. Authorized Cards
… Participants may not use cards from any special-edition sets or supplements, such as Collector's Edition, International Collector's Edition, Pro Tour™ Collector Set, World Championship decks, or Unglued™ cards. Note: Unglued basic land cards are allowed in sanctioned Magic tournaments."


Q: I was just wondering, can you counter a Blastoderm?

-Maxx P.

A: Yes. Blastoderm's untargetability only works when he is in play.


Q: I was wondering if I would be able to time it right to maybe kill it before your opponent can pump for the kill. Now say they did like an Upheaval or whatever so they can pump up high enough to kill. Is there a way to hit it with some direct damage, like Shock or Fiery Temper or something? 

A: Not if they're smart. If they pump the Psychatog one point at a time, then they can get around it. However, If they pump it as many times as they can without giving you a chance to respond, then you can respond with a Shock to kill it. 

So the answer depends on how they play it.


Q: Would Urza's Armor prevent the 1 damage after tapping for color from a painland?


A: Urza's Armor
Each time a source would deal damage to you, it deals that much damage minus 1 instead.

So yes, that would work just fine, as the 1 damage you would have taken from the painland is reduced by 1, and you end up being dealt 0 damage.



Q: Please explain the mechanic of casting a spell after the discard step (a la "White Lightning"). Doesn't a state based effect have to happen?


A: There are two steps in the End Phase: The End of Turn and Cleanup steps. You can play spells in the End of Turn step, but not in the Cleanup step (unless, as you correctly noted, a trigger or state based effect occurs).

This is what happens in the End of Turn Step:

313.1. The end of turn step begins with the active player having priority. All "at end of turn"-triggered abilities trigger and go on the stack. Then players may play spells and abilities.

313.2. If "at end of turn"-triggered abilities are created or if cards with "at end of turn"-triggered abilities come into play after preexisting ones have already gone on the stack at the beginning of the end of turn step, those abilities won't go on the stack until the next turn's end phase. In other words, the step doesn't "back up" so new "at end of turn"-triggered abilities can go on the stack.

So the trick with Waylay was, you would play Waylay during your opponent's End of Turn Step. Since the time for "at end of turn" effects had gone by, the tokens wouldn't die until your End of Turn Step, allowing you to attack with them.

(Again, this is a discussion taken from an old wording of Waylay, which has since been changed to disallow this trick. The trick still works with many other cards that say "at end of turn" though.)


I hope to see you Sunday, at the following tournament, if you live in Southern California:

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.

I'll be back with a judge's report on that in my first column next week. See you then!!

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

Copyright 2001


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