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Judge's Corner

Words of Enchantress

Q: I have a copy of Words of Wind out, as well as several permanents, and my opponent has several permanents out. If I trigger Words of Wind during my turn, who returns a permanent first?

A: The active player chooses which permanent he or she is going to return, then the non-active player chooses (knowing what the active player chose). Then both permanents are returned at the same time.


Q: I have a Verduran enchantress out, which my opponent has enchanted with Errant Minion or Insubordination. If I play an enchantment, and use the ability of Words of Wind, choosing to return my Enchantress, would he be able to return the enchantment that's on it, or would it go to the graveyard before he gets a chance?

-Andrew E.

A: He would be able to return it to his hand.


Q: With multiple Gratuitous Violence out, how do you go about doubling the damage?

A: If you have multiple copies of a card out, each will trigger separately. So you so what each of them say. separately.


Q: If I use Trap Runner to block a trample creature, can they trample over?

A: Yes. You first assign lethal damage to the creatures blocking it. Since there are no creatures, you've already done that. Then the Trampler can (and in this instance must, since there is no creature to assign extra damage to) assign the rest (in this case, all) of its damage to the defending player.


Q: Can Trap Runner Block Tidal Kraken with its ability?

A: Yes. [Foo] is unblockable simply means that the creature can't be blocked by creatures. Other spells or abilities may block the creature, however.


Q: If I want to play Meteor Shower to do 6 damage, how much mana do I have to pay?


A: Meteor Shower



Meteor Shower deals X+1 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players.

If you want to do 6 damage with Meteor Shower, that will make X=5. Since there are 2 X's in the casting cost, you have to pay 5+5+R=10+R.


Q: If my opponent controls a Sacred Ground, does he get his lands back from cards like Braids, Epicenter, and Misguided Rage?


A: If you control the Braids, Epicenter, or Misguided Rage, yes.


Q: If my River Boa is hit with a Lightning Bolt, do I have to regenerate it one or three times?


A: Once. River Boa is taking 3 damage one time, so one regeneration shield will deal with the one instance of lethal damage.


Q: On the card War Tax, it apply to my creatures to, when I am the caster of War Tax?

A: If you play the ability of War Tax on your turn, then yes, it can affect you.


Q: Can I change the cost of X any time I can, or during my turn? or I can't change the value of X?

A: You choose the value of X when you play the ability of War Tax. It is not chosen when you first play it, and it can change from turn to turn. Only when you play the ability of War Tax does the ability come into pay, and only for that turn.


Q: If my all opponent creatures have power greater than 2 and I attack him with Sneaky Homunculus enchanted with Lure, what happens?

-Juan R.

A: Since Sneaky Homunculus can only be blocked by creatures with power 1 or less, and your opponent doesn't control any, Sneaky Homunculus can't be blocked. Therefore, even with a Lure on it, your opponent can declare no blockers to the Homunculus. (This means he can block other attacking creatures if he likes.)


Q: When I tap Dark Supplicant for its scion ability, but lose one of the 2 other potential cleric sacrifices to instant damage, or even to my own sac-ing to my Starlit Sanctum, what will become of the Supplicant's ability?

-Ben H.

A: When you announce the Supplicant's ability, nobody can do ANYTHING until you've fully paid for it. This means if you have 3 clerics when you announce the ability, you sacrifice the 3 clerics before anything else happens. If you don't have 3 clerics when you would announce the ability, this means you can't play the ability.


Q: Regarding Riptide Survivor's triggered ability, suppose I have no cards in hand and I flip him over, what happens?

A: Since you have no cards to discard, you just draw 3 cards. If you had 1 card in hand, you would discard it before drawing 3 cards.


Q: If a creature with trample has Fog Patch cast on it, blocking it, how must the damage be assigned, assuming the Trampler is only blocked by Fog Patch?

-Nizar K.

A: You first assign lethal damage to the creatures blocking it. Since there are no creatures, you've already done that. Then the Trampler can (and in this instance must, since there is no creature to assign extra damage to) assign the rest (in this case, all) of its damage to the defending player.


Q: In regards to Reward the Faithful: "Any number of target players each gains life equal to the highest converted mana cost among permanents you control”

I believe that the “you” in the sentence refers to the group of target players. IE. If I my highest converted mana cost is 3 but yours is 10, I can include you in the group of target players to gain the benefit of more life. This would be excellent in multi-player games, not so good in duels.

The other possible way of reading it is that it can only give life equal to the highest converted mana cost among permanents controlled by the player casting it, to any number of players (of course).

Which is it?

-Colin B.

A: You=you, and only you. Not any of your opponents that may be targeted by this spell. The second interpretation (it can only give life equal to the highest converted mana cost among permanents controlled by the player casting it) is the correct interpretation.


Q: My buddy and I were arguing about enchantments. I say that as long as they have something to enchant, they are still in play. If they are no longer enchanting something, that is when they're put into the graveyard.

A: You are correct so far. Local enchantments stay on the permanent they enchant until the permanent they enchant leaves play or the game ends, whichever comes first (Or until they are Disenchanted, for example). If the thing they're enchanting leaves play, the enchantment is put into its owner's graveyard.


Q: i.e. - my Giant Growth's target creature goes to the graveyard after its 4th turn, the enchantment goes with it.

A: Giant Growth is NOT an enchantment. Local Enchantments have "Enchant [foo]" on the type line. Giant Growth is an instant. Therefore, Giant Growth is put into the graveyard as soon as it's done resolving.


Q: I argued that because global enchantments such as, say, Veiled Apparition or Standstill don't sit on anything that is removeable, they stay in play until the opponent casts a spell and breaks them.

A: Global enchantments stay in play until someone (or something - in Standstill's case, the card itself) makes it leave play.


Q: What about enchant lands, like Caustic Tar or Psychic Venom?

-Ben G.

A: Enchant Lands are Local Enchantments. They stay in play as long as the land they're attached to does (or until they're gotten rid of by something like Naturalize).



From last Monday's column:

>>>Q: I have a Future Sight in play, revealing a Smother on the top of my library. If I only have an Island and a Polluted Delta in play, is there a way to play that Smother?

-Tam N.

A: No.<<<

Q: Forgive me if I'm wrong, but can't you sac the Polluted Delta, grab a swamp, and play the Smother?


A: You're wrong. When you use the Polluted Delta's ability, the library is shuffled before you can do anything else. (See Mantra 1.) So the Smother will be shuffled into the deck, and a new top card revealed for Future Sight, and then you can do stuff again.


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA - Top 4

Finally, a top 4. Only not with the Desire deck. I thought about what would be good for our local metagame, and came up with the following:


4 Cabal Therapy

4 Chainer's Edict

3 Corrupt

4 Diabolic Tutor

4 Duress

1 Mind Sludge

1 Mirari

4 Mutilate

2 Skeletal Scrying

2 Smother

4 Undead Gladiator

1 Visara, the Dreadful

23 Swamp

3 Cabal Coffers


1 Corrupt

4 Engineered Plague

1 Haunting Echoes

1 Mind Sludge

4 Nantuko Shade

1 Riptide Replicator

2 Smother

1 Visara, the Dreadful

I went up to 4 Therapies main and down to 2 Smothers because I was worried about control more than I was worried about aggro. I could always bring in the aggro killers, but I'd rather start off with more of a tilt against control. There is supposed to be a Haunting Echoes in the main as a 61st card, I just forgot to put it in.

Anyway, we're playing 5 rounds tonight. One of the changes from last week is that the undefeated person after the Swiss rounds gets 4 packs, if and only if there is one person on 15 points (5-0-0). This is because the person who went undefeated last week lost in the round of 8 and got no prizes. (Prizes usually go to the top 4.)

On to the action -

Round 1 - Stephanie D. - Elves

As we get to talking, I find out that this is Stephanie's second sanctioned tournament, her first being the 8th Edition Global Celebration tournament in her area (Connecticut). She doesn't go to a sanctioned FNM in her area because the nearest one is an hour away.

Game 1 - She wins the roll, 18-6, and goes first. I keep a 5 land hand, and draw 4 land in the next 5 turns. Luckily the other draw was a Tutor, and I stabilize with a Mutilate. She drops Elvish Soultiller, and puts Alpha Status on it. I play an Undead Gladiator as a chump blocker, but she eventually puts Dragon Fangs on it. I can kill all her other elves, but I'm at 5, and only have a Gladiator out to block. So I scoop.

Sideboard: In: 2 Smother, 4 Engineered Plague, 1 Visara, 1 Corrupt. Out: 4 Duress, 4 Cabal Therapy.

Game 2 - Turn 4 Engineered Plague, Turn 5 Visara. That about sums it up.

Game 3 - Turn 3 Plague, Turn 6 Visara, turn 7 Mirari, and I Corrupt her out.

Games: 2-1, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Ryan R. - Test of the Bridge (win condition: play Ensnaring Bridge, Test of Endurance, and Words of Worship, and gain life to 50 with the Words.)

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 5-3, and plays. I kick out an early Skullcap with aa Duress, and he plays the combo. He draws for a few turns, and then decides to gain life. So I Mirari a Skeletal Scrying for 7, untap, and Mirari 2 Corrupts for 9.

Sideboard; In: Haunting Echoes, 2 Nantuko Shade, Corrupt, Mind Sludge, Riptide Replicator. Out: 2 Smother, 4 Mutilate.

Game 2 - I attack his hand early, and he uses 3 Life Bursts to go to 43, with an empty hand under the Bridge, so I can't attack with the Shade. I put out the Mirari, and Echoes him. He goes to lay out his cards, and just scoops instead, as he has both a Test and a Words in his graveyard.

Games: 4-1, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 - Lu C. - Wake

This is why I'm running the heavy hand disruption package.

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 6-1, and plays. I am able to do a blind Cabal Therapy, but miss. I draw a bunch of land, and he has Compulsion, Wake, and Mirari out by turn 6. I just scoop.

Sideboard: In: 4 Engineered Plague (soldiers), 4 Nantuko Shade, Mind Sludge, Haunting Echoes. Out: 4 Mutilate, 3 Chainer's Edict, 2 Smother, 1 Visara.

Game 2 - I drop a turn 2 Shade. He then misses a land drop, and never gets a blue mana, as he has 2 Verges, a Plains, and a Forest when I run him over.

Game 3 - He comes out firing. He casts turn 5 Wake, and I draw Therapy. I decide, "Now or never," and blindly name Mirari. His one card in hand was indeed a Mirari. (I had Sludged him earlier.) He Compulsions a bunch of counterspells away, and Compulsions some more before playing a Mobilization, with Wake out, and an Island, Forest, and Plains untapped. I have Corrupt and Swamp in hand, Gladiator and Therapy in the grave, and 12 Swamp and a Coffers on the board, and he was at 10. I return the Gladiator to my hand, play him, Therapy him to see he doesn't have a counterspell, and Corrupt him for 12. He Compulsions twice and scoops.

Games: 6-2, Matches: 3-0

Round 4 - Robert R. - Elves

Robert has really turned it around this week, as he went 2-3 this week, but is 3-0 right now.

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 19-4, and plays. I mulligan a one land hand. I get turn 4 Mutilate, 5 Mirari, and Mirari a Tutor to get a total of 3 Corrupts in hand (I already had one). I Corrupt him out over 2 turns, although he could have made it close by casting the Coat of Arms in his hand.

Sideboard: In: 4 Engineered Plague, 2 Smother, 1 Visara, 1 Riptide Replicator, 1 Corrupt. Out: 4 Duress, 4 Cabal Therapy, 1 Mind Sludge.

Game 2 - I again mulligan a one land hand. I drop turn 3 Plague, and by the time he's dropped 2 Coat of Arms, I've run him over with a Visara.

Games: 8-2, Matches: 4-0

Round 5 - Mark I. - W/R Slide

Before the match, we agree to split the undefeated prize, 2 packs each.

Game 1 - I win my first roll of the night, 17-15. He has a subpar hand, as he gets stuck at 2 land for a bit. He plays a face down Angel, I cast Mirari. He tries to slide out the Angel, and I Smother it. I Mind Sludge him, and play a couple of copied Corrupts to take game 1.

Sideboard: In: 4 Nantuko Shade, Mind Sludge, Haunting Echoes, Corrupt. Out: 4 Mutilate, 2 Chainer's Edict, 1 Undead Gladiator.

Game 2 - I get turn 2 Shade, turn 4 Gladiator, and he finally gets turn 4 Slide. I always keep a mana open for a Slice and Dice, which he eventually cycles. He taps out to play a face up Angel and Rift, and I Corrupt him and send the 2 Shades for the win.

Games: 10-2, Matches: 5-0

We cut to a top 8 at this point. From what I remember, it was:

1: Me - MBC

2: Mark I. - Slide

3: Lu C. - Wake

4/5: Ben B. (Aqualube) vs. Adam (MBC)

6: Alex V. - ?

7: Robert R. - Elves (he lost his last round as well, but had the best tiebreaks of the 3-2's)

8: ...

Top 8 - Eric L. - Mirror Match

... which makes 3 MBC decks in the top 8. We have a prize split where winner gives one pack to the loser (3rd/4th place gets 2 packs).

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 4-1. He fires his Corrupt at me early, along with an attack from a Nantuko Shade. I grab my Mirari, and since I've attacked once with a Gladiator, and he Scryed for 5, after I find a Corrupt by cycling Gladiator like mad, one copied Corrupt is enough to take game 1.

Sideboard: In: 4 Engineered Plague (Insect or Shade for the Nantuko Shades), Corrupt, Mind Sludge, Haunting Echoes. Out: 4 Mutilate, 1 Chainer's Edict, Visara, 1 Cabal Therapy.

He sideboarded in: 3/4 Braids, 3/4 Megrim, 2 Haunting Echoes. (He told me he sided in 9 cards, and 2 of them were Echoes. I saw he had Braids and Megrim too, although I don't remember how many of each at this point.)

Game 2 - I mulligan a 6 land hand into a 5 land + Tutor hand, which is promptly Duresses away. He Tutors after missing a land drop, and I ask for the number of cards in his hand. He replies 5, which is just good enough for me to drop a 5th Swamp and Sludge his hand away. He plays Shade, I play Plague (naming Shade). I cycle a Gladiator like mad again, get the Mirari, and Echoes his grave. He has nothing left that can save him, and I copy a Corrupt to move on.

Games: 12-2, Matches: 6-0

I wait around for Ben and Adam to finish, and Ben wins. All of the top 4 ends up making a prize split, and I get my one pack (and one to Eric makes the 3/4 place pack prize) and a foil Smother, and he gets 11 packs. Mark and Lu are given 12 packs and the other foil Smother, and they split them.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


Ask Judge Bill A Question



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