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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Sleighting Tangleroot

Q: Can Whim of Volrath, Crystal Spray, Mind Bend, or Alter Reality change the wording of Tangleroot to adds "U" to his or her mana pool?

Sleight of Mind kind of has me confused with its last line: "Sleight of Mind cannot change mana symbols."

The 8th edition rulebook defines {G} as one green mana. So wouldn't green be a color word?


A: You cannot change the ability of Tangleroot to make another color mana. The cards listed can only change a color word that is printed on the card. There are no color words on Tangleroot, so there is nothing to change. Even though {G} = one green mana, green is not printed on the card, and that is what the listed cards care about.


Q: I have a Recycle and a Verduran Enchantress in play and cast Eureka. I put 5 permanents from my hand into play 3 of which are enchantments. How many cards must I draw and how many cards, if any, may I draw?

A: The only card you can (and must) draw is from playing Eureka (from Recycle). See Mantra 6.


Q: If I have a Mindslaver in play, can I activate the Mindslaver during my opponents Clean Up step thereby getting their NEXT turn?


A: Yes.


Q: My friends always talk about priority and checking for "state based effects." What exactly are these, and how do they interact with each other?

-Brandon M.

A: State Based Effects are listed in the rulebook, rule 420. State Based Effects are checked whenever a player would receive priority. If a condition for a State Based Effect is true, it happens, and then a player would receive priority again. (This means State Based Effects are checked again.)


Q: I got Chalice of the Void with one charge counter, my opponent plays Boomerang, in response I use Power Conduit to move a charge counter to the Chalice. Does the Boomerang get countered?

A: No. From the Mirrodin FAQ:

-The number of counters on Chalice of the Void matters only at the time the spell is played. Changing the number of charge counters on Chalice of the Void after a spell has been played won't change whether the ability counters the spell. If the Chalice had the correct number of counters when the spell was played, it counters the spell. If the Chalice had too many or too few counters when the spell was played, the Chalice's ability didn't trigger.


Q: If I play Coffin Purge can I remove itself?

A: Only if you are playing it via flashback.


Q: Spellweaver Helix says, "You may copy the other and play the copy without paying its mana cost." How long can I keep the copy or do I have to play the copy immediately? And if I do so, does the copy resolve before the card played?


A: From the Mirrodin FAQ:

-You play the copy while this ability is resolving, and still on the stack. Normally, you're not allowed to play spells and abilities at this time. Spellweaver Helix's ability breaks this rule. (The card that triggered this ability is also still on the stack.)


Q: If I have 13 cards in my library, and use Mind's Desire with 15 copies, do I lose?

A: No. Mind's Desire does not ask you to draw cards.


Q: If I want, can I cast Promise of Power with the entwine cost and put the token into play and then draw the cards, or do I have to do it in the order it's written on the card?


A: From the Mirrodin FAQ:

-If you pay the entwine cost, you draw five cards, then lose five life, then put the Demon token into play. The five cards you draw count toward the Demon's power and toughness.

And from the Comprehensive Rules:

502.32b If the entwine cost was paid, follow the text of each of the modes in the order written on the card when the spell resolves.


Q: If I play Erratic Explosion and turn over an X spell like Syncopate or Fireball, how much damage would be dealt by Erratic Explosion?

-Ray C.

A: From the Comprehensive Rules, definition of X:

If a card in any other zone [other than the stack zone] has {X} in its mana cost, the amount [X] is treated as 0.

So if you flip a Fireball or Syncopate with an Erratic Explosion, you will deal 1 damage.


Q: My opponent has a Dragon Tyrant in play and he attacks (and does not increase its power):

-If I block with a 6/7 flyer, will I take any damage?

A: Yes. The Tyrant will do 6 damage in the first strike damage step, and will be able to assign 6 more during the normal damage step. Since your creature has 6 damage on it, he only needs to assign 1 damage to it, and can assign the rest however he likes. Most likely, you will take 5 damage.


Q: Will the Tyrant die? Will my flyer die?

A: Yes to both. After damage is dealt in the normal damage step, both creatures will have lethal damage, and so they will be put into the graveyard.


Q: What if I blocked with a 4/4 flyer? Will I lose 2 points or 8 points?

A: Most likely, 8. You will take a minimum of 6 damage, as the Tyrant has no blockers assigned to it during the normal damage step, and so it has to assign that 6 damage to you. During the first strike damage step, it assigns 4 to the creature, and can assign the other 2 damage however your opponent likes. Most likely, your opponent will assign it to you, so you will take 2+6=8 damage.


Q: Finally, If I didn't block, Would I lose 6 points or 12 points?

-Dennis F.

A: 12. You will take 6 damage during the first strike step, and another 6 during the normal damage step, for a total of 12.


Q: A 2/2 double strike creature is blocked by a Grizzly Bears. The Bears die during the first strike step. Does the attacking creature still deal damage to the player during its second damage step or does it deal no more additional damage because it was considered blocked (assuming the creature doesn’t trample)?

-Dan S.

A: It deals no more damage, since it has no blocker to assign damage to.

310.2c 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.


Q: My opponent has a Mana Maze out, and casts a blue sorcery; to which I respond with a blue instant spell....


A: That is an illegal play. When your opponent plays the blue spell, it prevents both players from playing blue spells. So you can't even play the blue instant (unless, of course, you play a spell of another color first).


Q: I have a Megatog in play and I attack with it, my opponent then blocks it using a Troll Ascetic. Before combat damage is put on the stack, I cast a Starstorm for 2 damage and my opponent regenerates his Troll. Is the Troll removed from combat?

A: Yes. Regeneration removes a creature from combat.


Q: Will the Megatog deal combat damage to the Troll?

A: No. When combat damage is put on the stack, the Troll is no longer blocking the Megatog.


Q: If I sac an artifact, how much trample damage will go through?


A: Since no creatures are blocking the Megatog, if the Megatog has trample before combat damage is assigned (meaning, you sacrifice an artifact before combat damage is put on the stack), Megatog will deal its full power to your opponent. If you do not sacrifice an artifact before damage would be put on the stack, Megatog will deal no damage.


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


MBC, v3.0

4 Consume Spirit

1 Decree of Pain

3 Diabolic Tutor

3 Grid Monitor

3 Infest

4 Mind Sludge

4 Oblivian Stone

3 Phyrexian Arena

3 Promise of Power

1 Scrabbling Claws

4 Terror

1 Visara, the Dreadful

1 Barren Moor

22 Swamp

2 Stalking Stones

1 Temple of the False God


4 Cabal Interrogator

1 Duplicant

1 Grid Monitor

2 Grim Reminder

1 Infest

1 Persecute

2 Scrabbling Claws

2 Stabilizer

1 Withered Wretch

We end up with 29 people, so it's 5 rounds to a top 8...

Round 1 - Sean S - UW Scepter Mill

Game 1 - I win the roll, and throw away a hand of 2 Swamp, 2 Mind Sludge, Scrabbling Claws, Diabolic Tutor, and Consume Spirit into a hand of Swamp, Temple of the False God, Oblivion Stone, Decree of Pain, Mind Sludge, and Diabolic Tutor. I miss my turn 4 and turn 6 land drops, but he's just imprinting Brain Freeze and another spell on Scepters. I hit an Arena turn 7, and draw into more control. A Grid Monitor hits once before it is Wrathed. I serve with a 1/1 Stalking Stones (Infest), and then make a 10/10 with Promise of Power. It swings once, I Consume Spirit for 4 (burning for 1 since I used a Temple), and he scoops after drawing his next card.

Sideboard: In: 4 Cabal Interrogator. Out: 2 Infest, 2 Terror.

Game 2 - I play turn 4 Grid Monitor, and draw some cards with Promise of Power turn 5. Meanwhile, he's set up Brain Freeze and Gilded Light on a couple of Scepters. Unfortunately for him, he frequently taps out, letting me Consume Spirit pretty much at will. 2 attacks and 2 Consume Spirits finish the match.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Terrance A. - Goblins

Game 1 - He wins the roll. I keep a hand of 4 Swamp, 2 Arenas, and Infest. It takes me a bit to play the Arena, since I have to Infest all but one of his creatures (since he had a Sledder out). I drop an Arena, and take a couple of hits, along with Arena damage, before I Consume Spirit him, and then attack with a 9/9 to put him out.

Sideboard: In: Grid Monitor, Infest. Out: 1 Mind Sludge, 1 Promise of Power.

Game 2 - I keep a hand of 4 Swamp, Oblivion Stone, Grid Monitor, and Terror. He comes out just as fast as last game, and I hit a land clump, so he takes me out.

Sideboard: In: Withered Wretch. Out: 1 Mind Sludge.

Game 3 - I keep a 2 Swamp, Visara, Consume Spirit, Grid Monitor, Infest, and Oblivian Stone hand. I get a slow start, and he drops a Sulfuric Vortex, sensing the kill. I drop a Grid Monitor, and Infest his team. The Grid Monitor beats on him, and the Consume Spirits act as Blazes, and I end the game at 8 life, while his Vortex takes him out.

Games: 4-1, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 - Miguel D. - Slide

Game 1 - He gets out an early Rift, but I get out a Stone and blow it. I activate a Stalking Stones, and Mind Sludge him before I cast an entwined Promise of Power. It is Wrathed, and I have to wait for a Consume Spirit to finish him off.

Sideboard: In: Withered Wretch, 2 Scrabbling Claws, 2 Stabilizer. Out: 3 Infest, Decree of Pain, 1 Grid Monitor.

Game 2 - An early Angel on his side makes the score 36-4 before I can deal with it. I play a turn 2 Stabilizer, and cast a Grid Monitor. He Wraths, I Consume Spirit him, and cast an entwined Promise of Power. He Wraths, and I cast a Withered Wretch. He's run out of answers, and the Wretch goes all the way.

Games: 6-1, Matches: 3-0

Round 4 - Mark I. - Slide

Game 1 - I win the roll, and mulligan a one land hand into a hand with 2 lands and an Arena. I draw Promise of Power, Consume Spirit, and a Swamp just in time to cast the Arena. I draw (Sludge+Decree), (Grid Monitor+Oblivion Stone), and (Swamp+Tutor). I Tutor for a 5th Swamp so I can Sludge him out. Unfortunately, he casts a Rift and Jens before that happens, and 5 more cards from a Promise after I blow the Stone does nothing.

Sideboard: In: 2 Stabilizer, 2 Scrabbling Claws, Withered Wretch. Out: 2 Infest, Decree of Pain, 1 Promise of Power, 1 Grid Monitor.

Game 2 - I keep a hand with 3 lands, and draw an Arena. I activate Stalking Stones, and he Wraths. I Consume Spirit him for 7, and he fails to find a Gilded Light. Another Consume Spirit hits him for 8 next turn, and when he plays all his cards, I show him the other 2 Consume Spirits in my hand, and he scoops.

Game 3 - He mulligans. I attempt to Sludge a 5 card hand turn 5, but he has the Gilded Light. He draws Karma, and Shatters the Stone I play turn 7, my last chance to get out of the Karma lock.

Games: 7-3, Matches: 3-1

Round 5 - Ben H. - R/G LD

Game 1 - A long, drawn out affair. I get control, and go down to 1 before I Consume Spirit him to get back to a respectable number. I go to 2, and second time is fatal, because although I have another Consume Spirit, he has a Molten Rain for my Stalking Stones.

Sideboard: Nothing.

Game 2 - I mulligan a no land hand, and he plays turn 1 Spreading Algae, turn 2 Spreading Algae. I scoop.

Game 3 - I draw plenty of land, and 3 Promise of Power. I use the first for cards, and the other 2 for fliers. He doesn't have a Cliffs, so he loses.

Game 4 - He gets the quick start again, and I really have no notes other than I lose.

At this point, you're probably saying, "HUH?!?!? Didn't he beat you after game 2??"

Well, the real truth is, we had agreed to an intentional draw, as this week held the same situation as 2 weeks ago, and 1 ID was available while we still cut to a top 8. Nobody else drew, so it worked out. The games recorded above were just for fun.

Games: 7-3, Matches: 3-1-1

I make it in as the 6th seed, playing ...

Top 8 - Lu C. - Goblins

Game 1 - He gets out Piledriver + 1 other goblin. I drop a Stone turn 3, and try to play it for control, allowing him to hit me turn 5, and planning to pop the Stone at end of turn. Problem with that is, the attack took me to 3, and he had a Hammer of Bogarden.

Sideboard: In: Grid Monitor, Infest, Persecute. Out: 2 Mind Sludge, 1 Promise of Power.

Game 2 - He mulligans and drops a turn 3 Vortex. I Infest his team, and make a Visara. He can't handle it, and the Vortex takes him out.

Game 3 - He goes first, and keeps his 7 card hand. I keep my hand, and he draws a card. He is forced to mulligan a good hand into a suboptimal one, and Visara comes out to play again. Consume Spirit finishes it.

Games: 9-4, Matches: 4-1-1

Top 4 - Jose G. - Goblins

Game 1 - He wins the roll, and has to take a mulligan. Regardless, my life total goes 19-16-12-5-0 with little resistance.

Sideboard: In: Infest. Out: Mind Sludge.

Game 2 - A much closer game. I clear his team, and Sludge him with 3 cards in hand. Unfortunately, the 3 cards are Shocks. He gets in an attack for 3, and Arena drops me to 5. I play Visara, and he goes...

"Threaten Visara. Attack. Shock you."

Games: 9-6, Matches: 4-2-1

I take great exception to the Shock, as it is overkill. I have to go outside to cool off, and a funny thing happens when I come back in ... I am informed by the Judge that I have won the match, as Jose had 5 Stabilizers in his deck. I tell him he is not supposed to apply a penalty to a game that has been reported (and it has ... I put it in the computer before I went outside), and I keep my loss.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


Ask Judge Bill A Question



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