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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Buyback the Runes

Q: How does Read the Runes actually work?


A: Let me show you by giving you an example. You cast Read the Runes, with X=5. When Read the Runes resolves, you draw 5 cards, and then you follow the command "You may sacrifice a permanent. If you don't, discard a card from your hand" for each card drawn (in this case, assuming none of the draws were replaced with another effect, you will do it 5 times). So in essence, you will discard cards or sacrifice permanents in any combination that add up to 5.


Q: Suppose I Spelljack a Capsize. Then can I cast it for no mana and use buyback to return it to my "hand" thereby setting up a loop by which I can return all my opponent's permanents to his hand?


A: No, for two reasons. First, Spelljack only pays the base cost of the Capsize. You would need to pay the 3 additional mana to play the Spelljacked Capsize with Buyback. Second, the phrase “Buyback [cost]” means “You may pay an additional [cost] as you play this spell. If you do, put the spell into your hand instead of into your graveyard as it resolves.” (502.16a) Since the Capsize is not going to your graveyard (it is going to your opponent's graveyard), the buyback effect won't be able to return the Capsize to your hand.


Q: I have an Unnatural Selection. Can I name the creature type "land" or "Forest"?

A: No. Land and Forest are not creature types.


Q: I have a Living Lands in play. Can I Eradicate a Forest?

A: Yes. The Forest is a creature, and is a legal target for Eradicate.


Q: Can I play Extinction, naming lands? Or do I name something else in order to destroy Forests?

A: You will not be able to destroy Forests with Extinction, unless the effect that animated the Forests gave them a creature type (for example, with Ambush Commander). Animated lands in and of themselves have no creature type.


Q: with Blinding angel, can a player be attacked by two of them, and have to skip the combat phases of his next two turns?

A: The player will be forced to skip his next two combat phases, no matter what turn they come in.


Q: If so, will this be effected by Relentless Assault?


A: The player will be forced to skip his next two combat phases, no matter what turn they come in. If the player plays Relentless Assault during his next turn, he will skip both combat phases that turn, and be free to attack his next turn (unless the Blinding Angels hit him again).


Q: Can you tap a creature that was just played to pay for another creature's ability?


A: Yes. The only things freshly played creatures aren't able to do are attack or use activated abilities (on that creature) whose cost includes the tap symbol (unless the creature has haste).


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA

For a final change of pace before 8th Edition rotates in, I chose to play ...

Goblin Bidding

by: Several Japanese players at GP Bangkok

4 Bloodstained Mire

1 Shadowblood Ridge

4 Sulfurous Springs

2 Swamp

12 Mountain

4 Skirk Prospector

4 Goblin Sledder

4 Sparksmith

4 Goblin Piledriver

4 Goblin Warchief

4 Goblin Matron

3 Goblin Sharpshooter

1 Gempalm Incinerator

2 Siege Gang Commander

4 Firebolt

3 Patriarch's Bidding


1 Patriarch's Bidding

1 Shadowblood Ridge

1 Siege-Gang Commander

1 Gempalm Incinerator

3 Smother

4 Sulfuric Vortex

1 Stabilizer

2 Flaring Pain

1 Coffin Purge

Round 1 - Aaron D. - U/G Cheap deck

Game 1 - He wins the roll, and goes first. I keep a hand of 4 land, Gempalm, Sharpshooter, and Prospector. His deck is filled with creatures with converted mana cost 6+, though, so I am able to neutralize the Krosan Drover he puts out, along with another 1/1, before I just attack and kill him. I draw Bidding on the last turn, So I could have gone well into overkill range.

Sideboard: In: 3 Smother, Gempalm Incinerator, Siege Gang Commander. Out: 4 Sparksmith, 1 Bidding.

Game 2 - He has another slow start and I have another explosive one. Toward the end, I am able to attack through a Shoreline Ranger for a bit of damage with the Piledriver, and he plays a Wirewood Guardian before I attack for the win.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Chris B. - Elves

Chris is Terrance's girlfriend (fiancee?). She is playing Terrance's elf deck.

Game 1 - I get a third turn Sharpshooter. That generally doesn't bode too well for elves. It mows down her army, and I go in.

Sideboard: In: 3 Smother, Gempalm Incinerator, Siege Gang Commander. Out: 2 Bidding, 2 Sparksmith, 1 Prospector.

Game 2 - Her Elvish Vanguard gets counters before my Sharpshooter goes active. She uses her Timberwatch aggressively to get me to 8, but with the help of a Sparksmith, I take out her army next turn and attack over 2 turns for the kill.

Games: 4-0, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 - Jose G. - Reanimator

Game 1 - I get the early advantage, and take him down to 14. He Zombifys a Bladewing, and it and a Dragon Tyrant attack for 16. I untap, and with the help of a Warchief and Siege Gang, I Attack and Sharpshooter him to 0.

Sideboard: In: Gempalm Incinerator, Coffin Purge, Siege Gang. Out: 3 Firebolt.

Game 2 - He has to take a mulligan before we start. I get out the early goblins, but he plays a Zombie Infestation. I play around the infestation for a while, and finally send everybody but a Sparksmith a couple turns later. He makes a token and attempts to get to block, but I back up and shoot it with Sparksmith before he can. He draws and scoops.

Games: 6-0, Matches: 3-0

Round 4 - Sam L. - Sligh

Sam is 2-1 right now. This is a coin toss matchup, so I look at the standings and see if we can draw and still both make it if we are both 3-1-1. Turns out if that happens, there will be exactly 4 people at 12 points or more, so the cut would be to the top 4. So despite my lousy tiebreakers (44.4% right now), I have to play it out.

Game 1 - I win the roll. I get the early Sparksmith advantage, and am able to keep his side clear of Sparksmiths and Lavamancers. I build to critical mass through his removal, and take him out.

Sideboard: In: Gempalm Incinerator, Siege Gang Commander. Out: 1 Sparksmith, 1 Bidding.

Game 2 - He plays turn 2 Sparksmith. I play WAY too conservatively as a result, and never get going.

Sideboard: In: 2 Bidding, 3 Smother. Out: 3 Sparksmith, 2 Piledriver.

Game 3 - I keep a hand of: Bloodstained Mire, 2 Skirk Prospector, Goblin Sledder, Piledriver, Sharpshooter, and Bidding. I don't draw a land until turn 4, and he's removed all of my creatures by that point. I try to play catch up, but the board is too great to overcome.

Games: 7-2, Matches: 3-1

Round 5 - Ian S. - Tog (?!?!?!)

I comment on how surprised I am to see Tog being played, as I haven't seen it played since I went to Regionals way back when.

Game 1 - I get a few early goblins, which he removes. I build up to a critical mass, and think, "Counter or no?" as I cast Bidding. He Compulsions once, and Bidding resolves. He immediately attempts to Smother my Warchief, but I sac it for R through the Prospector, and ask, "Resolve my Matrons?" (I had 2 Matrons that came into play). He scoops.

Sideboard: In: Patriarch's Bidding. Out: Firebolt.

Game 2 - I attack for a few in the first few turns, and turn 6 he casts 2 Engineered Plagues. I scoop.

Game 3 - It takes a little longer, but the end result is the same as he gets 2 Plagues again.

Games: 8-4, Matches: 3-2

So the round gets reported, and I get to immediately see the standings. Remember my comment about my bad tiebreakers earlier? Well, I did end up 9th, on a less that 1% difference. Not in the opponent's match win %, mind you, in the opponent's GAME win % (3rd tiebreaker). Myself and the 8th place player had the same Opponent's match win % and Game win %. (there were 6 players on 12 points, so the cut was to the top 8.)

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


Ask Judge Bill A Question



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