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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Trying to Kill Stuff

A light column today only 9 questions let's get started.

Q: I was playing in a Sealed Deck last weekend and I came up on a small problem. I had a Mongrel, and two other creatures out. He plays Shower of Coals, no threshold.

I'm not seeing any problems, as I have enough cards in hand to save the Mongrel, but then he says he'll target the Mongrel twice with the Shower. I say he can't, as it says two damage to each target. After about thirty seconds of arguing, we eventually settled on my side of it. Who was correct: Me, only do two damage, or him, target it twice?


A: You were.

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.


Q: There has been some incorrect play at Grand Prix Trial events with Anurid Brushhopper and Mutilate, could you possibly address the way a Mutilate works and how the Hopper dies even though he is not in play when the Mutilate is cast, because he hops back at end of turn, and please explain the type of effect the Mutilate generates for the entire turn. Some seem to think creatures cast the same turn after a Mutilate resolves will survive, because the Mutilate only resolves once.

- Robert Hilliard.

A: And the people who think that are correct. You have an incorrect perception of how Mutilate works. Mutilate generates an effect that effects the creatures currently in play when it resolves. If another creature comes into play later in the turn, it won't be affected by the Mutilate effect.

418.3b Continuous effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that modify the characteristics or change the controller of one or more cards and/or permanents don't affect cards and/or permanents that weren't affected when the continuous effect began. Note that these work differently than continuous effects from static abilities. Continuous effects that don't modify characteristics of cards and/or permanents modify the rules of the game, so they can affect cards and/or permanents that weren't affected when the continuous effect began.


Q: Can you cast Faceless Butcher even though there are no other creatures in play?

A: Yes.


Q: Can Faceless Butcher be cast if there is only one Faceless Butcher in play?

A: Yes, and the Faceless Butcher will remove the other Faceless Butcher from the game.

202.2. Card text that refers to the card it's on by name means just that particular card and not any other duplicates of it, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects. Also, if a card has an effect on or grants an ability that includes that card's name to another card, the name refers only to the card generating the effect or granting the ability, not to duplicates of cards with the same name.


Q: What happen if I have Malevolent Awakening in play, and I cast Faceless Butcher; then in response, I sacrifice it to return a creature from my graveyard. Does the target creature removed by Faceless Butcher return?


A: The creature removed by Faceless Butcher will stay removed from game until the end of the game. This is because the return to play effect that would return that creature has resolved before the remove from game effect. Thus, it has no way to return.


Q: If I use Spelljack on my opponent's Fiery Temper, do I get to use Fiery Temper as many times as I choose, or does it go my opponents graveyard the first time I cast it?


A: You only get to use it once. As the final step of the resolution of a spell, the spell goes to its owner's graveyard.


Q: Regarding Aboshan's Desire ... When you gain threshold, does it fall off, since the creature now "Can't be the target of spells or abilities"?

A: No. Local enchantments only target the creature when they are being cast.


Q: Regarding Pernicious Deed ... My opponent plays Disenchant on my Pernicious Deed. In response, can I sack Pernicious Deed and then it will resolve before Disenchant?


A: Yes.


Q: If a Faceless Butcher picks a worm, or for that matter any token, when it comes in play does it destroy because tokens cease to exist?

-Jesus D.

A: When the Wurm is removed from the game, it ceases to exist. This is not a destruction effect, the token is simply taken out of the zone it moved into.


Tournament Report - City of Industry, CA - 8/3/2002 - 19th

Anyway, I've had way too many decks I've wanted to play, so I decided to play the tournament at the Frank and Son show. This is the deck I played:

4 Corrupt
4 Duress
4 Mutilate
4 Innocent Blood
4 Chainer's Edict
3 Mind Sludge
4 Phyrexian Arena
4 Soul Burn
2 Soul Feast
2 Mirari
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Skeletal Scrying

20 Swamp
3 Cabal Coffers

4 Addle
4 Cremate
2 Ghastly Demise
2 Soul Feast
3 Caustic Tar

I wanted to experiment with this once, and felt this was the best place to do it. They say these tournaments are sanctioned, but they haven't been for 2 months now, due to problems with prior tournaments. So I knew I didn't have to worry about my rating.

So I get to bed the morning of at 3 am, and wake up at 9. Sucky. Anyway, on to the tournament...

Round 1 - Mike Larsen - B/U Reanimator

Game 1 - I roll 6, he rolls 2, and I play. He puts up no resistance, as I am able to drop 2 Arenas, A Mirari, and then I Soul Burn him for 11 and Mirari it.

Sideboard - In: 4 Cremate. Out: 2 Mutilate, 2 Innocent Blood.

Game 2 - He chooses to play. I keep a hand with 2 lands, and don't draw another for like 7 turns, but am able to control the 2 Laquatus's Champions that hit the board. Late in the game, he taps 4 mana, and puts Insidious Dreams in his graveyard, casting it. I take the Insidious Dreams out of the graveyard, place it in the middle of the table, and say, "Discard the cards?" He then re-places the Dreams in the graveyard, and then tries to discard the cards. I call a judge, noting that I gave him ample chance to discard the cards, and I argue (and the judge [Seth, from yesterday] agrees) that he just cast Insidious Dreams for 0. I pull a couple of land, but he casts Twilight's Call, and is able to counter my Mutilate. I die to the 2 Champions next turn, so I scoop.

Sideboard - No changes.

Game 3 - I choose to play. I get down a couple of quick Arenas, but he is able to Buried Alive just as quickly. I Corrupt him for 6 a couple of times, and then he Twilight's Calls 2 Champions and a Hypnox out. I have 2 Edicts in hand, and Coffers and 8-9 land on the table, so I Edict, flash it back, and cast the second Edict to clear his side of the board. He is able to cast another Chainer, but I deal with it and drain him out of the game.

Games: 2-1, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Michael O. - U/G Threshold

Game 1 - He rolls 10, I roll 4, and he plays. He gets some quick attacks in, and then builds up to threshold and really starts going to town. I have to try a last ditch Mutilate, but he Fact or Fictions into a Circular Logic, so I scoop.

Sideboard - In: 4 Addle, 2 Ghastly Demise. Out: 2 Mirari, 2 Soul Feast, Skeletal Scrying, 1 Phyrexian Arena.

Game 2 - I choose to play. I do get 1 Corrupt for 6 off, but again, he overwhelms me, and I take a loss.

Games: 2-3, Matches: 1-1

One of the main problems of this version of the deck is counterspells. I have seen versions of my deck that run 4 Duress, 4 Addle, and 4 Mesmeric Fiend. I don't like the Fiend, as it doesn't work well with Circular Logic, and I made the wrong metagame choice, as I thought there would be more aggro than control. Given a chance to go back in time, I would main deck the Addles, and move the 2 other Soul Feasts to the board, also taking out the Skeletal Scrying and one Soul Burn and put in 2 other Ghastly Demises in the board.

Anyway, on to round 3...

Round 3 - (Forgot to write down his name) - U/G Heaving Bears

His deck was built around Upheaval, Bearscape, and a lot of control.

Game 1 - I roll 9, he rolls 4, and I choose to play. I take a mulligan. These seem to be the only things we can agree on, as early in the game, we have a couple of disagreements about game state.

The first was an instance where he put a Merfolk Looter and Standstill on the board. I played a removal spell for the Looter, and he immediately plays a counterspell, and then tries to argue that he gets the cards. I tell him he played the counter in response to the Standstill trigger, and so I get the cards. Right after that situation, I play a Mirari. He says nothing for like 5 seconds, so I put out something else (an Arena, I think). He then goes to counter the Mirari, saying I didn't give him a chance to respond. I at this point have had enough of his crap, and call for a judge to sit through the remainder of the match. The head judge (Ali) comes and sits through the match.

He quickly makes a Bear token, but I am able to Corrupt him once and Soul Burn him twice to quickly take the first game.

Sideboard: In: 4 Addle, 2 Ghastly Demise. Out: 2 Mirari, 2 Soul Feast, 1 Phyrexian Arena, 1 Skeletal Scrying.

Game 2 - Early in this game (or late in the last one, I don't remember), I cast Duress on him. He casts Divert on the Duress. Since Duress is a legal target for the Divert, I make him stick with the play.

He quickly puts down a Merfolk Looter and a Standstill, and I allow the Looter to beat on me for 10 turns before I get rid of it and trigger Standstill. He plays Standstill properly this time.

He casts a couple of random Predicts on me, both naming Swamp. The second time he hits my Haunting Echoes. It all goes downhill from there, as he heaves and starts to make 2 Bear tokens a turn.

Sideboard: No changes.

Game 3 - He starts to beat on me with random Bear tokens again. I manage to keep them under control, and Soul Burn to gain some of the life back. He gets me down to 4 with 2 Bear tokens, and, as I am dead the next turn, it is finally time for me to take action.

He has 1 card in his graveyard at the start of the turn. I try to Duress him, but he Memory Lapses it. He then tries to jump in and Predict while I am thinking, but I remind him I haven't passed priority, and make him wait. The making him wait was mainly to try to make him forget what was on top of the library. If it had been a normal match, I would have let the Predict go, as it really doesn't matter when it is played. But the tone of this match dictated him waiting on the Predict.

I calculate the mana situation, and leave 6 mana open as I Soul Burn him for 10. The reason I chose to Soul Burn him for 10 is that it would give me an extra turn to play with that casting it for 8 would not have, and I still survive through a Divert and a Circular Logic. He is at 14, and I have another Soul Burn, but I want another chance to top-deck something in case he top-decks a counterspell.

Turns out the last 4 cards he drew were Memory Lapse, Predict, Divert, and Circular Logic (Divert and Logic off the Predict). Combine that with the Divert already in his hand, and I lose. (He could have drawn double Divert off the Predict and had Logic in hand ... I was just told he drew exactly what he needed to beat me, and I don't remember what it was at this point.)

Games: 3-5, Matches: 1-2

At this point, Scott (owner of www.shuffleandcutgames.com that runs a booth at that show that I help out at) comes over and passes along a message from the owner of the booth that runs the tournaments. It seems that the owner of that booth didn't appreciate me taking his employee away from the booth.

I voice to Scott (and he agrees with me) that I basically don't care. If you're going to run a tournament, you need to be prepared to handle that tournament in addition to whatever else you may need to do. If someone in the tournament needs a judge for an extended length of time to adjudicate a tough situation, tough. When you run a tournament, you are responsible for that tournament.

I think it is more anger from the owner's part though that he thinks I am trying to sabotage his booth operations, as I work for a competing booth. Again, tough. I was not trying to do that, but, after hearing that from him, if I did, so much the better.

Anyway, enough of the drama for a bit. On to round 4...

Round 4 - Ryan Ott - Mirror Match

Game 1 - I roll 4, he rolls 5 and plays first. He gets up to 6 mana and Last Stands me with 4 Swamp and 3 Crystal Quarry in play. That's the only damage I take all game, as his Arenas, 2 Soul Burns, and a Corrupt finish him off.

Sideboard: In: 4 Cremate, 4 Addle, 2 Caustic Tar, 2 Soul Feast. Out: 4 Innocent Blood, 4 Chainer's Edict, 4 Mutilate. This turns out to be a mistake, as...

Game 2 - He plays and drops a turn 2 Nantuko Shade. It finishes me quickly.

Sideboard: In: 4 Chainer's Edict, 2 Innocent Blood. Out: 4 Addle, 2 Soul Feast.

Game 3 - I choose to play. He mulligans and draws 7, so I thank him for mulliganing down to 5. He keeps his 5. I drop an early Arena, and Soul Burn his Shade while he is tapped out. Miraried Soul Feasts take out his life in 8 point chunks, and either a Soul Feast or Corrupt finishes the match.

Games: 5-6, Matches: 2-2

On to the final round ...

Round 5 - Shawn T. - R/U/B Tog

Game 1 - I notice he does a 10-pile shuffle, and only briefly riffles it after that. I do a 6 pile shuffle to return any bias that he had in the deck, but the last card stops on pile 5. I think, "Is he playing a 65 card deck or did he just present me an illegal deck?" I count pile 5, and it has 10 cards. I count pile 6, and it has 9 cards. Sure enough, he presented me a 59 card deck. I call for a judge, and Seth comes over. I tell him what is wrong, and start to count out the deck so he can see. As I get 20 cards in, Shawn remarks on how he has 16 cards in his sideboard. Seth originally gives Shawn a warning, but I immediately appeal that to Ali, and Ali tells Seth that it is a game loss.

Before the second game gets started, Seth asks me how I seem to know all the penalties. I tell him that I worked quite a few PTQ's a few years ago. Writing this column doesn't hurt either.

Game 2 - He chooses to play. I mulligan once. I get an Arena down, but I don't seem to draw anything of consequence. He is also attacking me for 1 with a Familiar. I get rid of the Familiar, and he heaves. I re-drop the Arena, and a Corrupt gets through. He finds another Upheaval, and makes it stick with a Tog this time. On to game 3.

Sideboard: In: 4 Addle. Out: 2 Mirari, 1 Skeletal Scrying, 1 Phyrexian Arena.

Game 3 - I choose to play. He takes 2 mulligans, and then ends up with a bunch of pain lands. He also takes a Corrupt for 6. I have 2 Arenas on the board, and he has 2 Togs and 2 lands in hand. I peel Cabal Coffers, Addle, and Haunting Echoes at this point. My eyes open wide, and I say, "Good game." I drop the Coffers, and then Addle him to make sure I had his hand right. I then Haunting Echoes him. He has 30+ cards in his grave at this point, so he pops his Cephalid Coliseum looking for a Counterspell. He tries to cast Fact or Fiction before he fully discards, but Seth is right there to remind him to discard. He does, casts Fact or Fiction, and he pulls Logic and Counterspell. But with only 1 mana open and no way to discard the Logic, he can't counter the Echoes, so he scoops.

Games: 7-7, Matches: 3-2. Final finish: 19th place.

If I were to play this deck again, the only changes I would make have already been described.

See you Monday with my FNM report and more questions.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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