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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Samite Healer and Combat Damage

Before we get started, I have to note that there will be no tournament report this week. Sorry. I forgot my pad, and so I couldn't take notes on what happened; and thus, I can't remember enough of the matches to make a report.

Anyway, on to the questions for the week.


Q: My opponent attacks with a Thieving Magpie and a Wind Drake. I have no blockers. I activate my Samite Healer and target myself before combat damage is resolved.

Since all combat damage is put on the stack as a single pseudo spell, and the Healer's ability doesn't specify a source, how do you handle this situation? Does my opponent draw a card? Where is this handled in the comprehensive rules? I can't find anything in it that would cover this case.

The most logical conclusion I've come to is that my opponent would draw a card. I think all damage assigned to a player is lumped together, and if any of this damage gets through, it will trigger the "Whenever {attacker} deals damage..." clause. Am I correct?

A: No. If there is a damage prevention shield in effect for a specific amount of damage, you can choose which damage to prevent if more than one thing damages you. So you can either prevent the damage from the Magpie, and you're opponent won't draw a card (since the Magpie didn't do any damage to you), or you can prevent 1 from the Wind Drake, in which case your opponent will draw a card.

419.7b Some prevention effects refer to a specific amount of damage-for example, "Prevent the next 3 damage to target creature or player this turn." These work like ablative shields. Each 1 damage that would be dealt to the "shielded" creature or player is prevented. Preventing 1 damage reduces the remaining shield by 1. If damage would be dealt to the shielded creature or player by two or more sources at the same time, the player or the controller of the creature can choose which damage the shield prevents first. Once the shield has been reduced to 0, any remaining damage is dealt normally. Such effects count only the amount of damage; the number of events or sources dealing it doesn't matter.

419.5. If an event is prevented or replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. Note that the modified event may contain instructions that can't be carried out, in which case the player simply ignores the impossible instruction. If a source would deal 0 damage, it does not deal damage at all. That means abilities that trigger on damage being dealt won't trigger…


Q: Taking this logic further - my opponent attacks with 2 Thieving Magpies, and I have no blockers. I can activate my Samite Healer to prevent 1 of that damage, but my opponent would still draw 2 cards. Am I correct?


A: No. He will only draw 1 card. See 419.5 above.


Q: I played Crafty Pathmage's ability targeting Aquamoeba. Can I then discard a card from my hand to make it an unblockable 3/1 creature?

-Wesley C.

A: When Crafty Pathmage's ability resolves, if the creature it is targeting has power 2 or less, it will be unblockable that turn. Further changes to its power won't change its unblockability. So yes, you can do this.


Q: If I attack with 2 creatures, can an Avatar of Woe block one and then tap to kill the other so no damage is dealt?


A: Yes. Blockers that tap after they block but before damage is put on the stack still deal combat damage.


Q: If I have a Terravore in play, with 2 lands in the graveyards, then I cast Wildfire, does it die? (Assume each player has 4 lands to sac.)

-Ian W.

A: No. You don't check if a creature has lethal damage in the middle of a spell, so when we check after Wildfire has resolves, Terravore is a 10/10 with 4 damage. Thus, it will survive.


Q: My opponent had Voice of the Woods and 3 other elves. Can he tap all 4 cards, use another card to untap one of the elves, then tap it again to count as the 5th elf to get the 7/7 elemental? To me, it seems like he's tapping 4 elves, just happens to tap one of them twice.

-Michael D.

A: He can't do this. He has to tap 5 different elves, at one time, to put the ability on the stack. (Also, remember Mantra #1.)


Q: Does the Skirk Fire Marshall survive if you activate his ability?

-Gandall G.

A: Yes, because it has protection from red.


Q: If I declare that I'm going to use my Cephalid Looter's ability, can my opponent then in response tap it using nomad decoy?

A: Sure. But that won't do anything to the ability already on the stack.


Q: Also, if I attack with a creature like Wild Mongrel, can he tap it using Nomad Decoy?

-Dewitt D.

A: Depends on when your opponent uses the Decoy's ability. If he taps it before you declare attackers, then you won't be able to attack with it. If he taps it after Wild Mongrel is declared as an attacker, then it is still attacking.


Q: I was building a land deck on Apprentice today and was wondering; if I have a Horn of Greed and a Manabond out, can I put all the lands from my hand into play, discard the rest of my hand, draw cards for each of the lands I played, and then do it again with the lands I just picked up, or do I have to wait until the end of my next turn?

-Andrew H.

A: Manabond
At the end of your turn, you may reveal your hand and put all land cards from it into play. If you do, discard your hand.

Horn of Greed
Whenever a player plays a land, that player draws a card.

With Manabond, you are not playing lands, you are putting the lands into play. Therefore, you won't draw cards for Horn of Greed for putting lands into play with Manabond.

214.9b A player may normally play only one land card during each of his or her own turns, only during a main phase, and only when the stack is empty. Spells and abilities may allow the playing of additional lands; playing an additional land in this way doesn't prevent a player from taking the normal action of playing a land. Players can't begin to play a land that an effect prohibits from being played. As a player plays a land, he or she announces whether he or she is using the once-per-turn action of playing a land. If not, he or she specifies which effect is allowing the additional land play. Spells and abilities may also allow you to "put" lands into play. This isn't the same as "playing a land" and doesn't count as the player's one land played during his or her turn.

(Note the last two sentences.)

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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