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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Preventing Damage

Well, it seems my column got delayed again. However, I want to get back on track here, so hopefully this will go up on Tuesday, and we can be back to normal.

And as for my tournament reports ... I seem to be really burnt out on the game right now. So, I won't have my usual tournament reports for the next month, as I will be playing no paper events until at least Grand Prix: Anaheim. Not to worry, though, I will still be answering your rules questions as normal during that time.


Q: I attack with some goblins and then respond to the damage on the stack with Goblin Sharpshooter's ability. My opponent then activates Circle of Protection: Red once. Does the COP automatically prevent the next red source of damage (Sharpshooter) or does my opponent choose any red source and COP prevents the next damage dealt by that source?

A: When your opponent plays the ability of CoP: Red, he chooses a source, and the next damage from that source is prevented.


Q: Does this also apply to Story Circle and Circle of Solace?


A: Story Circle, yes. Circle of Solace, no. Circle of Solace just prevents the next damage from a creature of the chosen type ... it doesn't allow you to choose a source like the CoPs and Story Circle.


Q: If I play an Extraplanar lens and remove Gimmervoid from the game, does the Glimmervoid's "sac if no artifacts" ability go away or get transferred to the Lens?


A: The Glimmervoid is no longer there, so it goes away. Extraplanar Lens does not copy the Glimmervoid - it just allows other lands named Glimmervoid to tap for one extra mana.


Q: I'm a little unclear about how echo really works. If a permanent has echo, do you have to pay the echo cost every single upkeep or just once at the next upkeep that the permanent came into play?

-Jonathan C.

A: Just the next upkeep after the permanent came under your control.


Q: I have a Festering Goblin and my opponent attacks with his Nantuko Shade. I block with the Goblin and he pumps his Shade twice. I choose to put the -1/-1 on the Shade. At his cleanup step, would the pump end first and the -1/-1 kill the Shade, or would the effect leave first and the Shade live?


A: Neither. All damage and "Until End of Turn" effects wear off at the same time. So the Shade will live.


Q: If I attack with a creature like Treetop Scout, Treetop Rangers, or Elven Riders, can my opponent block with a creature that can block as though it had flying (like Spitting Gourna)?

A: Yes. See the definition for "As Though" in the Comprehensive Rules.


Q: My opponent has 2 life and 3 cards in his hand (one is an Unburden). He has an Ensnaring Bridge in play. I attack him with a 2/2 and in response, he Unburdens the remainder of his hand.

A: He can't do that. Unburden is a sorcery.

(To answer the remainder of this question and the next, I will PRETEND Unburden is an instant.)

Also, once a creature has been declared as an attacker, nothing will make it stop attacking, except dealing lethal damage to it (which includes the possibility of regeneration) or removing it from play. To make the creature be unable to attack, he would have had to have less than 2 cards in his hand at the time you declared attackers (for example, discarding them in the Beginning of Attack step.)


(Remember, we are still PRETENDING Unburden is an instant. For this next question, his opponent played (our PRETEND instant) Unburden in the Beginning of Attack step, clearing his hand.)

Q: Can I then play Wheel and Deal to refill his hand, attack with my creature, and win the game?

A: Assuming he can't discard 6 of his freshly drawn Wheel cards before you attack, then yes.


(OK, we're done pretending. Thanks.)


Q: When 2 Teferi's Puzzle Boxes are in play, do the effects stack on each other, and your hand cycles twice, or does it occur once because of you having only one "beginning of upkeep"?

A: Each Puzzle Box will trigger separately, so your hand will cycle twice.


Q: Can I use Tel-Jilad Stylus to put a permanent I sacrifice (like a creature to the Nim Shambler) on the bottom of my library?

A: No. Sacrificed permanents are no longer in play the moment you sacrifice them. If you put it on the bottom first, then you can't sacrifice it. So it's one or the other, but not both.


Q: My opponent has a face down morph creature with Flight on it. I attack with my face down Soul Collector. He blocks, and I turn Soul Collector face up. Do I get the creature back face down, or can I put it face up?

A: You get the creature face up. (You can not get it face down, even if you want to.)


Q: I have a Platinum Angel in play, and one in my hand. My life total is -12. I have a Vernal Equinox in play and a standby Platinum Angel in my hand. My opponent Electrostatic Bolts my Angel. Can I play my second Angel to stay alive?

A: As long as you play it before the other Angel leaves play, then yes.


Q: I have a Pentavus and a Disciple of the Vault, can I split the Pentavus into 4 Pentavites, sacrifice them, and make my opponent lose 4 life?

-Ray C.

A: Yes. (As shampoo bottles would say, "Lather, Rinse, Repeat.")


Q: Do landcycling abilities (i.e. Islandcycling on Shoreline Ranger) count as a trigger for Astral Slide?

A: Yes.


Q: When a Shrieking Drake is played, can it be the target of its own ability when it comes into play (return target creature you control to owner's hand)?

A: Yes. It is a creature by the time its triggered ability goes on the stack.


Q: If I was reduced to zero life by Chain of Plasma, and my opponent still had 3 life lift, would I still be able to discard and play a copy of it as it says on the card?

-Ryan J.

A: Yes. But you will immediately die right after the copy is placed on the stack, long before your opponent will be hit with the damage from it.


Q: I once read an article that if you were playing a goblin deck and had 2 goblins out - one being a Goblin Warchief and one being a Skirk Prospector and you also had two Mountains in play you could actually cast a Siege-Gang Commander by announcing the casting of the spell - this sets its cost to 2RR and then you could sacrifice both goblins for mana and tap both mountains to play it.

A little explanation on this would be cool as to how this works...

A: You announce the spell, the cost is "set in stone", and then you can play mana abilities. The ability of the Skirk Prospector is a mana ability (since it produces mana), so you sacrifice the two goblins (Warchief first of course) to get the two mana, and tap the mountains for the other two mana you need.


Q: Can this also work with affinity? In play I have 2 artifact lands, a Chromatic Sphere, and 2 other random nonmana producing artifacts like Frogmites. So I draw a Myr Enforcer and play no additional land this turn. Can I set its cost to 2 because there are 5 artifacts in play, and then tap both land and sac the Sphere for a card and still play the Enforcer?


A: Yep. You've got it exactly.


Q: Re - creature played via Illusionary Mask...

A: Illusionary Mask



{X}: Put a creature card with converted mana cost X or less from your hand into play face down as a 0/1 creature. Put X mask counters on that creature. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery. You may turn the creature face up any time you could play an instant by removing all mask counters from it.


Q: When the creature is hidden under the Mask what is its power and toughness?

A: 0/1. Read the card (illusionary Mask).


Q: How exactly does it work in relation to Phyrexian Dreadnought?

A: Since Phyrexian Dreadnaught doesn't have any abilities when it is played face down via the Mask, you don't sacrifice any creatures. When you turn it face up, it is already in play, so its comes into play replacement effect won't kick in.


Q: When you pay the mana and the creature is hidden you need to only pay the remainder of the mana for it to be flipped up?

A: No. You remove all Mask counters and turn it up. When you play the ability to put the creature into play face down, you've paid all the mana you need to. Read the card.


Q: How does this work in relation to Morph? For example, can I hide a morphed creature, putting mask counters on it; then could I pay the morph cost to turn it face up?

-Jesse K.

A: If you play a Morph creature face down with the Mask, you can either turn it face up by removing all Mask counters, or by paying the permanent's Morph cost - your choice.


Q: Can Disintegrate target a player?

-Marc A.

A: Yes. Read the card.




Disintegrate deals X damage to target creature or player. That creature can't be regenerated this turn. If the creature would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.



From my November 10 column:

>>>Q: My opponent attacks with a creature. I block with my creature. Before damage is assigned, I cast Grab the Reins on my opponent's creature. I now have control of his creature. Is his creature removed from combat?

A: Yes. If a creature changes controllers, it is removed from combat (306.2).<<<

Q: So in this case, my opponent's creature would have been removed from combat (dealing and taking zero damage), but my creature would have still been in combat. However, since my creature was already blocked, it would not deal damage?

A: Correct. When combat damage goes on the stack, it tries to assign damage to something, but can't. So it doesn't assign damage at all (310.2c).


Q: Would it have dealt damage if it had trample?


A: Yes (502.9c).


From my October 24th column:

>>>Q: If I have a Chalice of the Void out with 3 counters on it, and I play 2 spells this turn, then attack. Can my opponent play Wing Shards?

A: Yes. Nothing is preventing him from playing spells.


Q: If so, do I have to sacrifice 2 of my creatures?


A: Yes. Although Chalice does counter the original, it doesn't counter the storm copies, because they weren't played, they were simply put onto the stack. See Mantra 6.

Chalice of the Void



Chalice of the Void comes into play with X charge counters on it.

Whenever a player plays a spell with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Chalice of the Void, counter that spell.<<<

Q: (Regarding the first question) Nothing preventing him? How about the Chalice of the Void, that will automatically counter the Shards since it has 3 counters on it and the Wing Shards costs 3 mana....

A: Nothing is preventing him from PLAYING Wing Shards. It is true that Chalice will counter the Wing Shards that is played, but nothing is preventing him from PLAYING it. The Storm will trigger as normal, and the storm copies will resolve, since the storm copies aren't played.

Chalice's counterspell ability is a normal triggered ability that triggers once a spell with the appropriate converted mana cost is played.


Q: Then, is it possible to counter the storm copies separately?

Say, if I play 1 spell, then a Mind's Desire... Can you counter both copies with 2 separately played counterspells, or can the triggered storm copy never be countered at all?


A: From the Scourge FAQ:

A copy of a spell can be countered, just like any other spell, but each copy has to be countered individually. Countering a storm spell won't counter the copies of it.

So you can use 2 counterspells - one for the original Mind's Desire and one for the storm copy.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


Ask Judge Bill A Question



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