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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Future Card Questions

Ah yes, it's that time again, where I start getting rules questions based on cards in a set that hasn't been released yet. Here are the ground rules for asking questions about Onslaught (and any set that hasn't had a pre-release yet, for future reference):

1) You must provide me with the full rules text of the card. I will answer the question based on the rules text you give me. If the rules text you give me turns out to be different that the actual rules text, then it may change the ruling.
2) I will not answer questions that deal with a block or set mechanic until the FAQ for the set has been released, unless the mechanic has been seen in another set previously, in which case I will rule based on what we currently know about the mechanic. I don't know exactly how Morph works, so you'll have to wait for the Onslaught FAQ, which will answer all our questions. The Onslaught FAQ should be out in approximately 4 weeks.

Now that that is out of the way, let's get to the first question…


Q: The wording on Smother according to Sideboard Magazine:

Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can't be regenerated.

Can Smother destroy an Arrogant Wurm that was played for its madness cost? I thought the 'mana cost' for a permanent is what's written on the upper-right corner, period.

-Bernard Ng

A: No, Smother cannot destroy an Arrogant Wurm, no matter how it was played. You are correct in your statement that the mana cost of a permanent is what is in its upper left hand corner. So Arrogant Wurm's mana cost, no matter how it was played, is {3}{G}{G}, which gives it a converted mana cost of 5. Thus, Smother cannot even target an Arrogant Wurm.


Q: I have out a Mesmeric Fiend holding my opponent's Flametongue Kavu. I also have a Cabal Therapy in my graveyard. Can I cast Cabal Therapy by saccing my Mesmeric Fiend and force my opponent to discard the Flametongue Kavu that the Fiend was holding?


A: Yes.


Q: If I had one creature in play and two Wonders in my graveyard, and my opponent tapped a Walking Sponge to make it lose flying, would it still have flying from the other Wonder?

A: Walking Sponge
Creature -- Sponge
{T}: Target creature loses flying, first strike, or trample until end of turn.

If your opponent used Walking Sponge to remove flying from your creature, it would not have flying, as …

407.3. Effects that remove an ability remove all instances of it.


Q: Would it be any different if the creature had flying and I had one Wonder?

A: No.


Q: What if I had Wonder and Brawn? Would it remove both abilities?


A: No. Walking Sponge can only remove one ability, so your creature would either lose flying or trample, but not both.


Q: I'm not sure how everything in Magic works. My question is, through Mirari, can you copy a card when playing it from your graveyard through flashback?

A: Yes. As long as the spell is an instant or sorcery, you can copy it with Mirari. It does not matter how the spell is played, it is played; thus, Mirari will trigger.


Q: If so, how many Wurms can you get with Crush Of Worms, Parallel Evolution, and Mirari?


A: Let's see - I have to make a couple of assumptions here. First, you want to maximize the number of Wurms produced. Second, I will assume you have 4 of each in your deck. Thus, this will make us cast (and Mirari) (and flashback and Mirari) the Crushes first before we cast the Parallel Evolutions.

Crush of Wurms
Put three 6/6 green Wurm creature tokens into play.
Flashback {9}{G}{G}{G} (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

Parallel Evolution
For each creature token in play, its controller puts a creature token into play that's a copy of that creature.
Flashback {4}{G}{G}{G} #(You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)#

Legendary Artifact
Whenever you play an instant or sorcery spell, you may pay {3}. If you do, put a copy of that spell onto the stack. You may choose new targets for that copy.


Crush x4 = 12 Wurms
Mirari the 4 Crushes = 12 more Wurms
Flashback and Mirari the 4 Crushes = 24 more Wurms

Total so far = 48 Wurms

Each Parallel Evolution will double the number of Wurms. So there will be 8 castings of Parallel Evolution, each Miraried, for an effective total of 16 Parallel Evolutions. Thus, the maximum number of Wurms will be:

48*(2^16) = 48*65536 = 3,145,728 Wurms.


Q: I have been trying to find a good answer to the rise of Confinement decks out in the OBC world, and I figure I ask you this. Can Flaring Pain affect Solitary Confinement? I know it can affect the phantom creatures, but I am still unsure about it stopping the prevention part of Solitary Confinement.


A: Flaring Pain says, "Damage can't be prevented this turn." This is all damage. So if Flaring Pain resolves, you opponent will take damage this turn even though he has Solitary Confinement out.


Q: If my opponent attacks with a Werebear (4/4 thanks to threshold) and I block with 2 2/2s (lets say Diving Griffin and Battlewise Aven), who determines which blocker takes damage?

A: 310. Combat Damage Step

310.1c A blocked creature will assign combat damage, divided as its controller chooses, to the creatures blocking it. If no creatures are currently blocking it (if, for example, they were destroyed or removed from combat), it will assign no combat damage.

310.1d A blocking creature will assign combat damage, divided as its controller chooses (no fractions), to the attacking creatures it's blocking. If it isn't currently blocking any creatures (if, for example, they were destroyed or removed from combat), it will assign no combat damage.

So, whoever controls the creature decides how its damage is dealt.


Q: What is banding?

A: Banding is complicated. Basically, it does 2 things: it allows creatures to attack together, and it changes how combat damage is assigned.

The complete rules for banding follow …

502.10. Banding

502.10a Banding is a static ability that modifies the rules for declaring attackers, declaring blockers, and assigning combat damage.

502.10b As a player declares attackers, he or she may declare that any number of those creatures with banding, and up to one of those creatures without banding, are all in a "band." (Defending players can't declare bands but may use banding in a different way; see rule 502.10h.)

502.10c A player may declare as many attacking bands as he or she wants, but each creature may be a member of only one of them.

502.10d Once an attacking band has been announced, it lasts for the rest of combat, even if something later removes the banding ability from one or more creatures. However, creatures in a band that are removed from combat are also removed from the band.

502.10e If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature.

Example: A player attacks with a band consisting of a creature with flying and a creature with swampwalk. The defending player, who controls a swamp, can block the flying creature if able. If he or she does, then the creature with swampwalk will also become blocked by the blocking creature(s).

502.10f Banding doesn't cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents.

502.10g If one member of a band would become blocked as the result of a spell or ability, the entire band becomes blocked.

502.10h A player who controls a banding creature chooses how combat damage is assigned by creatures blocking or blocked by that creature. If the creature had banding when it attacked or blocked, but the ability was removed before the combat damage step, damage is assigned normally.

502.10i Multiple instances of banding on the same creature are redundant.


Q: If I play Avatar of Fury for RR thanks to my opponents 7 lands, can my opponent sac a forest with Sylvan Safekeeper to drop his total lands to 6 and make me either spend 6 extra or let my Avatar be countered or return to my hand or what ever if I can't afford 6 extra?

-Ledian Warrior

A: No. Once the cost to play the Avatar has been determined and paid, nothing can make the Avatar become "unplayed" (except for a counterspell, but that removes it from the stack completely). If your opponent has 7 lands when you play the Avatar, it will only cost {R}{R} to play. It does not matter if your opponent manages to drop his land count to less than 7 afterward … the Avatar is cast and will resolve as normal.

409. Playing Spells and Activated Abilities

409.1f The player determines the total cost of the spell or ability. Usually this is just the mana cost (for spells) or activation cost (for abilities). Some cards list additional or alternative costs in their text, and some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay. Costs may include paying mana, tapping cards, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana or activation cost, plus all cost increases and minus all cost reductions. __Once the total cost is determined, it becomes "locked in," and the player then pays all costs in any order. Partial payments are not allowed. If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.__ If the cost includes mana, mana abilities can be played at this time. (See rule 411, "Playing Mana Abilities.")


Q: My opponent declares the end of his turn and passes to me. I respond by declaring, "At the end of your turn, I'll cast Aether Burst targeting your Basking Rootwalla.

A: Ok. Your opponent says that he wishes to pass priority through the end of his turn. You wish to play something during his end of turn step (since you can't play anything in the cleanup step in this situation so far, and you want to untap the mana you're using). So you cast the Aether Burst during the end of turn step, and it returns the Walla to his hand. Moving on …


Q: The Aether Burst resolves, increasing his hand size to a total of 8. He then announces that he's playing the Aether Bursted Rootwalla for its madness because he has to discard to lower his hand size to the maximum of 7. Can he do this?

A: Yes. He has to discard down to 7 during his cleanup step, which is after the end of turn step. Since he discarded a card with madness, a stack is opened during the cleanup step, and the madness trigger is put on the stack. (It eventually resolves, he plays the Walla, you both pass, and the another cleanup step happens.)


Q: I understand that madness spells can be played anytime they are discarded, including during cleanup phase... but hasn't my opponent already declared the end of his turn, after cleanup phase?

A: No. When you said you wanted to play the Aether Burst, you effectively backed him up to the end of turn step, when he passed priority to you. Then the Burst was played, and he gained priority again. If you choose to respond to your opponent being "done (with his turn)," he has a chance to play a spell or ability again.


Q: Say player A has either a Howling Gale or Sickening Dreams in hand. Both clearly state that ~this card~ deals X damage to each creature and/or player that meets the criteria (whatever that might be; i.e. flying). If player B has a bunch of 1/1 flyers or creatures that fall under the category to be dealt damage by the card, would Glory or something that would give the creatures "pro ~colour of Player A's card~" prevent the damage?

A: Let's review what "protection from (color)" does for a permanent…

Protection from (color) does four things for a creature (or any permanent) with that protection:

1. All damage dealt to that creature from a source of that color is prevented.
2. That creature can't be enchanted by enchantments of that color.
3. That creature can't be blocked by creatures of that color.
4. That creature can't be targeted by spells of that color. (502.7)

(An easy way to remember what protection does is the acronym DEBT: Damage, Enchantments, Blocking, Targeting.)

Since Howling Gale and Sickening Dreams both do damage, if the creature has protection from the appropriate color, the damage to that creature from that spell is prevented.


Q: And if player B were to control a Solitary Confinement would he/she be dealt damage from Sickening Dreams or Howling Gale?

A: No, because Solitary Confinement specifically says to prevent all damage to that player.


Q: And why are creatures that have protection from lets say black not enchantable by black enchantments... creature enchantment cards don't usually specifically state that the enchanted creature is "targeted."

A: Because the rules for protection say so.


Q: Can I play Keep Watch to draw cards off my attacking creatures anytime during the "combat phase?" Do the attacking creatures remain "attacking" for the duration of the entire combat phase?

-Alex W.

A: 308.5. A creature becomes an attacking creature when it has been declared as part of a legal attack and all attack costs have been paid, but only if it's controlled by the active player. It remains an attacking creature until it's removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. The nonactive player is considered to have been attacked that turn at this time if one or more creatures are attacking.

So, you can play Keep Watch and draw cards for the attackers anywhere from the declare blockers step to the end of combat step.



>>>Q: I have 4 creatures in play. My opponent has 4 tapped creatures in play. I attack with all four creatures. During my second main phase I play Seize the Day, and then Radiate it. The question is whether or not each of my creatures will get a separate additional attack phase, or will I get just one additional attack phase followed by an additional main phase. If the first scenario occurs, do I, as the active player, get to choose the order in which each copy goes onto the stack?


A: You end up getting 4 additional attack phases, each followed by an additional main phase. [...]<<<

C: If he Radiates a Seize the Day with eight creatures in play, no matter who they belong to, he will get eight additional attack phases.

-Keith Bogart

A: Correct. I forgot about the opponent's creatures. It is also worth noting the opponent's creatures will become untapped, so they can block in the subsequent attack phases.

Thanks for correcting me.

See you Monday.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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