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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Hunting For Snakes

Q: Last weekend, I played against a Green/White/Blue deck playing counterspells and Hunting Grounds, vs. G/U/R Madness. My opponent has Hunting Grounds in play. I Flame Burst him for 7, thanks to Pardic Firecats, but in response to my Burst, he drops a Mystic Snake and counters my spell. But, I tap my Merfolk Looter, discard Circular Logic and counter the Mystic Snake. However, he says that since it wasn't cast, the snake cannot be countered. Is he right? Does Mystic Snake + Hunting Grounds equal and uncounterable counterspell?


A: Pretty much, yes. Since Mystic Snake isn't being cast, it's not a spell. So cards that let you counter spells won't let you prevent Mystic Snake from coming into play.


Q: I have Anurid Brushhopper in play. My opponent casts Wrath of God on his turn. In response, I phase the Brushhopper out of play and discard 2 Basking Rootwallas, but I place them on the madness stack. I wait for Wrath of God to resolve and them play them for their madness cost. Is this legal? Or do they resolve before the Wrath of God and die?

-Paul Feldman

A: Their madness triggers will resolve before the Wrath of God does, so they'll either be in play or in the graveyard when Wrath of God resolves. Either way, they end up in the graveyard.


Q: If have a Nomads en-Kor and Task force in play can I activate the en-Kor's ability to target the Task Force without any damage being dealt to it to so I can activate the Task Force's ability?

A: Yup. Add Worthy Cause or About Face and you've got yourself Life.


Q: Is a kicked Urza's Rage still uncounterable or just "damage cannot be prevented". Because it says instead, which I take as instead of the text before it and does this instead?

A: It still can't be countered by spells or abilities. The instead just refers to the amount of damage its doing.


Q: I play Flametongue Kavu. My opponent has a Sylvan Safekeeper and 2 other creatures. Does he have to sac lands first for all his 3 creatures to be untargetable or can he wait for Flametongue Kavu to come into play (and I target Sylvan Safekeeper), put the ability into the stack, and he responds with Safekeeper's ability, countering the Flametongue Kavu's ability?


A: He can do it either way. If he sacs the lands in response to the Flametongue Kavu spell, making all of his creatures untargetable, you will have to target one of your creatures. If he waits for you to play the Flametongue Kavu's ability (once it is in play), and then sacs a land to protect that creature, nothing is killed.


Q: If Lands are changed into 2/2 or 1/1 creature via Nature's Revolt, Do they die from blocking or state-based effects? And are these lands considered the color they supply? (I.E. Swamps not being effected by all nonblack creatures get -2/-2)

-Joe A.

A: Lands are colorless. So Swamps would be affected by a spell that affects non-black creatures. If, while they are creatures, they take lethal damage, they will be put into the graveyard like any other creature.


Q: Can my opponent play Curiosity on one of my creatures, then draw a card every time I damage him?

-Nick T.

A: Curiosity
Enchant Creature
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage to an opponent, you may draw a card.

Since you control Curiosity, it won't trigger if the creature damages you, since you are not an opponent of yourself.


Q: My friend has out Forsaken Wastes and Transcendance. His life is at -3, and he plays an Infernal Contract. Since his life is negative, how exactly does he lose half his life?


A: Let's look in the rules, under "Number:"

If a creature's power or toughness, a mana cost, a player's life total, an amount of damage, or an amount of life loss would be less than zero, it's treated as zero for all purposes except adding to or subtracting from that total.

So for the purposes of Infernal Contract, your friend's life total is 0. Therefore, he will lose 0 life (1/2 of 0).


Q: If I cast a Stone Rain on an opponents land, in response, can he use Daze's alternate cost and return the targeted island to his hand?

A: Yes.


Q: If I cast Duress on my opponent and he let's it resolve and I choose a card from his hand can he put that choosing on the stack and discard the targeted card with an ability of a creature?


A: See Mantra 1.


Q: Lets say I have Phantom Centaur in play with no +1/+1 counters and Armadillo Cloak. My opponent Shocks the Centaur. Does the Centaur die because there are no more counters, or is the damage prevented making the +1/+1 counter removing ability fizzle?

- Sean

A: From the Judgment FAQ:

* A Phantom's ability prevents damage even if there are no more +1/+1 counters on it. So if a Phantom's toughness is raised by some other effect, it becomes impossible to destroy with damage unless an effect like Flaring Pain (see the "Card-Specific Notes" section) states that damage can't be prevented.


Q: I play a Parallax Wave early in the game, say, turn five, and remove 2 of my own creatures and one of my opponents over a couple of turns. Then, later in the game, after the first Parallax Wave has faded, I play a second one. When this fades out will the creatures I targeted earlier return to play?


A: They will already be there, since they came back when the first Parallax Wave left.


Q: My opponent has a Sylvan Safekeeper on the board with two lands. I play Repulse targeting the Safekeeper. He sacs a land in response, making his Safekeeper untargetable. Do I still get to draw my card?

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


Q: I have three swamps in play and it's my turn. I cast Cabal Therapy. Then with two remaining mana I cast
Mesmeric Fiend and in response I sacrifice it to Cabal Therapy.

-Eugenio G.

A: Can't do that. Cabal Therapy is a sorcery.


Q: What happens when my opponent makes an "infinite" amount of Pegasus tokens using the
Earthcraft + Sacred Mesa + Wild Growth (on a Plains) combo,

A: Hold it right there. There is no such thing as infinity in Magic.

421. Handling "Infinite" Loops

421.1. Occasionally the game can get into a state where a set of actions could be repeated forever. The "infinity rule" governs how to break such loops.

421.2. If the loop contains one or more optional actions and one player controls them all, that player chooses a number. The loop is treated as repeating that many times or until the other player intervenes, whichever comes first.

So he chooses how many Pegasus tokens he makes in this loop. (Thus, your opponent will never control "infinite" tokens.) For the sake of the rest of the question, let's say he made 1000 Pegasus tokens.


Q: He attacks with the "infinite" tokens and I cast Blessed Reversal? His notion was that it should take 3 rounds of attacks, as the Blessed Reversal prevents the damage of a 1/1 Pegasus token from hitting me up to 3 times. Though my feeling is, since he attacked with an "infinite" amount of tokens, I gained 3 times
"infinite," which is still, infinite. Therefore, I feel that his attack has little effect as I have an infinite amount of life. How should we resolve this situation?

-Ken K.

A: He attacked you with 1000 Pegasus tokens, so you will gain 3000 life. So he will have to do 3000 damage to you to kill you.


Q: If I were to play spell with a kicker (Urza's Rage for example) and use Mirari's effect on it, would the effect generated by the kicker happen on Mirari's copy?


A: Yes. Mirari copies the spell exactly, including the payment of kicker costs. So the kicker cost for the copy will have been considered to be paid too, and both the original Rage and the Mirari copy will do 10 damage.


Q: I play Webs of Inertia in a deck that's based on getting at least one of those out then using Crypt Creepers, Steamclaws, and other instant graveyard removal so the opponent can't attack. What I want to know is, since the Web can only be deactivated by removing the card in the graveyard during the beginning of the opponent's combat phase, when I remove a card from the opponent's graveyard during his own turn, can he begin his combat phase and remove that card to shut down the Web in response to me attempting to remove it?


A: No. A phase ends only when both players have passed on an empty stack. Since you have played an ability, the phase won't end until that ability resolves.


Q: If a player casts radiate on a spell which deals x damage divided as you choose among any number of targets, how does that resolve?

-Alan B.

A: Radiate
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.

So you could only cast Radiate on one of those cards if the card was only targeting one permanent. You can't cast Radiate on a spell that is targeting more than one permanent.


Q: On the split cards (2 cards in 1)... Can I play both of them at once? Like pay the mana cost of both and cast them at the same time. Thanks again for your time.


A: No. When you play the split card, you decide which half you are casting, and pretend like that's the only thing on the card.


Q: Do creature enchantments constantly target a creature or does it only have a target when cast or does it even have a target at all?

A: Creature enchantments only target the creature when the enchantment is being cast.


Q: I have Cephalid Inkshrouder with Flickering Ward on it and I attack.

A: Prismatic Ward
Enchant Creature
As Prismatic Ward comes into play, choose a color.
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to enchanted creature by sources of the chosen color.

(All of the older enchant creature cards that say target have had their wording changed. Check the Oracle. I always use the Oracle wording to answer questions, as judges will to issue rulings in a tournament.)


Q: I also activate the Cephalid's ability to be unblockable and untargetable. Does the Cephalid's ability nullify the Ward's?

A: No. Once the enchantment is on the creature, it no longer targets the creature. So the Ward will stay on.


Q: If I have Silver Wyvern enchanted by Unholy Strength, what happens if I use
the redirection ability to change it to another creature, does it redirect the ability temporarily or transfers the actual card itself?

A: If the enchantment is already on Silver Wyvern, you can't use the ability to move it, since it is no longer targeting Silver Wyvern.


Q: If I have Nomads en-Kor and I redirect the damage to my Silver Wyvern, can I redirect that damage to an opponent's creature?

-Mark Y.

A: Nomads en-Kor
Creature -- Soldier
{0}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Nomads en-Kor this turn is dealt to target creature you control instead.

As you can see, you can only target a creature you control for the damage redirection. So you will be unable to change the target to one of you opponent's creatures, since it is not a creature you control.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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