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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Phage, the Turncoat

Short Answers:

-A creature cannot attack unless it (or the permanent it was before it turned into a creature) has been under your continuous control since the start of your turn (when you untapped), unless the creature has haste. This is commonly called "Summoning Sickness."

-All permanents have summoning sickness. Only creatures are affected by it.

-If no creatures attack, the game skips right to the End of Combat step of the Combat phase. This means the Declare Blockers step is skipped.

-The following are all the times you are allowed to play instant spells and abilities during a turn (assuming all of the phases and steps aren't skipped):

Upkeep Step

Draw Step

First (Precombat) Main Phase

Beginning of Combat Step

Declare Attackers Step

Declare Blockers Step

Combat Damage Step

End of Combat Step

Second (Postcombat) Main Phase

End of Turn Step

(You are occasionally also allowed to play instant spells and abilities during the cleanup step, but only if something triggers or a state-based effect happens.)

-Only when the stack is empty and both players pass in succession does the game move to the next phase or step.

-The only times you can play sorceries, enchantments, artifacts, lands, and creatures is during one of your main phases (either pre or postcombat) when the stack is empty. (This includes abilities that say "Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.")

-Creatures deal exactly their power in combat damage, no more, no less. So if an Avatar of Might is blocked by two 6/6 Wurm tokens, the Avatar can kill at most one of them.

---

Q: My opponent attacks with Phage, The Untouchable and I use Captain's Maneuver to redirect all the damage that Phage would deal to me this turn to my opponent instead. Does this redirected damage still count as combat damage, and thus cause my opponent to lose the game, or do I still have to deal with Phage?

-Christopher

A: Redirected damage retains all of its properties (including that it is being dealt in combat). So your opponent will have to deal with the "lose the game" trigger (and you are safe from it, since Phage doesn't deal any damage to you).

---

Q: I'm about to play a Clone, and my opponent plays Bind does it cancel everything including its power and toughness?

-Erik

A: Bind can only counter an activated ability. An activated ability is an ability that has a colon (:) separating the cost and effect.

Therefore, Clone's ability is not an activated ability. So it is not a legal target for Bind.

---

Q: I play a Sulfuric Vortex followed by a Transcendence. Am I unable to die by damage or loss of life unless either enchantment was removed?

-Henry. N

A: Correct.

---

Q: I have out an Astral Slide and my opponent has a creature and chooses to attack with it. I cycle Krosan Tusker before damage is dealt. In what order do I draw my card off cycling, search for my basic land, and remove his creature?

-Justin

A: The draw for cycling will be on the bottom of the stack. Since the other two abilities are triggered abilities, you decide the order they go on top of the card draw from cycling. So the card draw will happen last, that's all I can definitely say. The other two abilities will happen in the inverse order that you put them on the stack.

---

Q: If I have creature enchantments on my opponent's creatures, and I cast Dimensional Breach, when the enchantments come back into play through selecting them during my upkeep, could they then enchant different creatures if I wanted them to?

-Aaron L.

A: Yes. You select the creature they enchant when the enchantment is returned to play.

---

Q: Am I allowed to bluff? For example, I attack with a morphed Serpentine Basilisk and act like I didn't mean to, and then he blocks with a Forgotten Ancient and I turn it face up?

-Edward P.

A: This may be technically legal, if the creature was actually declared an attacker. However, I would also require that you be very technical from that point on, in which creatures have been declared as attackers, when you are done declaring attackers, et cetera, or I would apply a penalty for Unsporting Conduct - Major for failure to follow the instructions of a tournament official. (Game Loss at REL 1 or 2, Match Loss at REL 3+.)

---

Q: My friend attacked me with 2 Foothill Guides. I can only block one because I only have one creature, a Benalish Trapper. My question is, can I block a creature, then, if it doesn't die, still use its ability?

-Martin S.

A: Yes. However, the creature you didn't block will do damage to you, even if you tap it after you block. This is because once a creature is declared as an attacker, tapping (or untapping) it does not remove it from combat.

---

Q: I was playing in a draft, and my opponent is plainscycling and then after he dumps his land on the table he let me cut the deck. Then he accidently flips my morph creature up, thinking it was his land, what kind of penalty does he get?

A: This one is highly dependent on the judge. I personally first would give him a warning for Procedural Error - Major. Second, if he had one or more morphs on the table, I would let you look at one of your choice. Finally, if you can remember the exact order your morphs came into play both before and after I allow you to do this, I would allow you to pick up all your morphs, and then put them back on the table in any order. You still must tell your opponent the exact order they came into play if he asks.

---

Q: If the judge's ruling is obviously false, can I get a rule book and then overrule him?

-Hellist K.

A: No. The only recourse you have is to appeal to the head judge. If he is the head judge, then you're out of luck. The Head Judge is always "right" by default. Even when the Head Judge is wrong, he is right.

---

Clarification:

>>>Q: I am unclear on the interaction between creatures that aren't always creatures and enchantments on them. I know that once a creature stops being a creature, any enchant creature cards fall off. But if the enchantment takes control of the creature, who gets to keep it?

Example: I have a deck built around animated lands, Chimeric Idols, and Wrath effects. My friend has a deck built around counters and steal creature effects. If I make a Treetop Village into a creature, and he activates a Dominating Licid to steal it, what happens at end of turn?

A: During the cleanup step, when Treetop Village "deanimates," the Licid sees it isn't enchanting a creature anymore, and is put into the graveyard. Then, since a state-based effect happened, you get priority. (Another cleanup step will happen when this one finishes.)

To keep the Licid, your friend would have to pay to stop its effect before it deanimated, so the latest point he could do that would be in the end of turn step.

---

Q: Is it the same with the Chimeric Idol?

-Eric

A: Yes.<<<

Q: Thanks for the ruling, but my original question was "Who gets to keep the creature?"

When it "de-animates, does the Treetop Village/Chimeric Idol return to my side or remain on his?

-Eric

A: I thought it would be rather obvious what happened, but I will spell it out more clearly now. Since the Licid falls off, the effect that allowed your opponent to control the creature is no longer there. Therefore, it is returned to its original controller (you).

---

Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA

I make more changes to my deck than I thought I would. Here's what I ran Friday:

Secret Desire

4 Careful Study

2 Chain of Vapor

3 Cunning Wish

4 Early Harvest

1 Flash of Insight

2 Future Sight

4 Mind's Desire

2 Nostalgic Dreams

4 Rampant Growth

4 Sleight of Hand

4 Trade Secrets

4 Wild Growth

10 Forest

12 Island

Sideboard:

2 Envelop

4 Stifle

2 Mana Short

2 Chain of Vapor

1 Reclaim

1 Hibernation

1 Brain Freeze

1 Moment's Peace

1 Counterspell

Changes from last week:

+1 Cunning Wish

To be able to Wish for more stuff early, like a Chain or Moment's Peace.

+1 Early Harvest

From Sideboard. With anything less than 4 Wishes, all 4 should be main.

+2 Future Sight

An experiment. I wanted to see how effective they actually were in the deck.

+1 Island

60th card added last week when I had a 59 card deck, and I failed to take it out instead of one ...

-2 Temporal Fissure

One of these should still be in the deck.

-1 Chain of Vapor

Put in sideboard so it was Wishable, and to fit the 2 Future Sights in the deck.

-1 Far Wanderings

I never had threshold before I went off.

Sideboard:

+3 Stifle

An experiment this week. I sideboarded them in a couple of matches. More comments later.

+1 Mana Short

Crucial against decks with Counterspells.

+1 Chain of Vapor

To have in the matchups where I don't want Future Sights.

+1 Reclaim

Kind of a placeholder. I didn't know what else to put in here.

+1 Hibernation

Which should have been there last week, but since I put the Harvest there, it wasn't.

-1 Envelop

Didn't have a use for these last week, but still wanted a couple for mono black.

-2 Future Sight

Moved to main as an experiment.

-3 Counterspell

Not something that I would ever want to bring in, after last week's experiment.

-1 Early Harvest

Moved to main.

Round 1 - Adam S. - Wizards

Game 1 - I fail to draw much card drawing, and he gets out a Raven Guild Master. I Chain it, and he plays Kai, and that, and always has UU up with a spare wizard. He swings with the Raven Guild Master, and I scoop so he doesn't get any idea of what my deck's about.

Sideboard: In: 2 Chain of Vapor, 2 Mana Short. Out: Didn't write it down, so don't remember.

Game 2 - He stalls on 2 mana, and I have no problems going off.

Game 3 - We play draw-go for a while, since he has a lot of Islands. He taps out for Future Sight, I cast a couple of spells and decide to wait another turn. He turns up and plays an Island, and it's followed by a Riptide Laboratory. He casts a couple of creatures, and I go off again.

Games: 2-1, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Ben H. - U/W

Game 1 - I get a bunch of my stuff countered, and Cast a spell, then Mind's Desire as a last ditch option. He decides to Logic one of them, and lets me have one. I shuffle, he shuffles and turns up ... another Mind's Desire. It doesn't help much though, as I fizzle soon thereafter and scoop.

Sideboard: In: 3 Stifle, 1 Counterspell, 2 Mana Short. Out: 2 Chain of Vapors, 1 Cunning Wish, 1 Careful Study, 2 ?

Game 2 - I draw both Shorts early, and finally get them both countered. I am unable to do much, though, until very late. I get a Future Sight down, and start to cast spell after spell. I get down to a couple of cards in my library, and there's no more Wishes. That's because I forgot I sided one out. So I can do nothing but scoop.

Games: 2-3, Matches: 1-1

One of the lessons for this game is to bring in the Brain Freeze into the main. That will make sure I have it when I'm ready to go.

Round 3 - Charles F. - Mono Green

Charles is 0-2 at this point, and is a very new player. Great. I get to explain how this deck works to a new player? =\

Game 1 - He gets a bunch of creatures down, and I don't find any card drawing. I fizzle at 4 spells, without a Mind's Desire.

Sideboard: Nothing.

Game 2 - He gets me down to 13, and I have to very slowly go through each of the steps of the combo as I combo him out.

Game 3 - See game 2. I finish him off as time is called.

Games: 4-4, Matches: 2-1

Round 4 - Sugrim - Land Destruction

I could go through this round, but let's just say I want at least the 3rd Envelop back, and Stifle is decent against Braids. I never had enough land for it to matter though. Besides, you have like a 0.01% chance of winning this match.

Games: 4-6, Matches: 2-2

Round 5 - Nathan G. - UG threshold

Game 1 - I turn 1 Careful Study, pitching a Chain and a Wish. He plays a Mongrel, preventing Trade Secrets, and I have no access to anything I need to go off. I die quickly.

Sideboard: In: 2 Chain of Vapor. Out: 2 Future Sight.

Game 2 - I have no problems going off this time, as I Wish for Moment's Peace to buy me a few turns to set up the combo, and it comes easily.

Game 3 - I mulligan once (Hand was 3 lands, Wild Growth, Nostalgic Dreams, Early Harvest, and Mind's Desire. You really need something that lets you draw cards to start). He gets a slower start, and I try to go off. I Trade Secrets, he Envelops. I Early Harvest and try to Trade Secrets again, and he has a second Envelop, so I lose. I look at the top 4, and I was going off otherwise. Such is life.

Games: 5-8, Matches: 2-3

Changes post-tournament:

+1 Cunning Wish

To have the full compliment main deck. That also allows me to ...

-1 Early Harvest

To the sideboard.

+1 Temporal Fissure

To have the alternate "Upheaval target player" out back.

-1 Island

To go back to 21 land.

Sideboard:

+1 Envelop

For Sugrim.

-1 Stifle

Nice to have, but I think 4 is too many right now.

-1 Reclaim

To make room for ...

+1 Early Harvest

From the main. With 4 Wishes main, I'm going to see how well this works again.

So, the new decklist:

Secret Desire

4 Careful Study

2 Chain of Vapor

4 Cunning Wish

3 Early Harvest

1 Flash of Insight

2 Future Sight

4 Mind's Desire

2 Nostalgic Dreams

4 Rampant Growth

4 Sleight of Hand

1 Temporal Fissure

4 Trade Secrets

4 Wild Growth

10 Forest

11 Island

Sideboard:

3 Envelop

3 Stifle

2 Mana Short

2 Chain of Vapor

1 Moment's Peace

1 Brain Freeze

1 Counterspell

1 Early Harvest

1 Hibernation

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge

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