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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

10.17.02  New Rulebook

A reader comments on my answer…

>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.

C: Thanks for answering my question!

I had been looking at the comprehensive rule in exactly the same section that you had quoted. The version of the rules that I had is dated September 24, 2001. It looks like they added the "If damage would be dealt... by two or more sources" sentence since then!


A: Well, you are not in the minority in not having a current rulebook. I just downloaded a new rulebook just before I started to answer that column's questions. The rulebook is dated October 7, 2002, and you can download it at http://www.wizards.com/dci/oracle/MagicCompRules_100702.txt.

(For reference, I believe you were one rulebook behind before that one came out, as the rulebooks were dated 9/24/01, 2/20/02, and 10/7/02.)


Q: With the card Words of Wind, could I tap my Merfolk Looter, pay 1 for the Words, return a Basking Rootwalla, then discard it and put it back into play with madness, while forcing my opponent to return a permanent?


A: Sounds good. The replacement will bounce a permanent back to your and your opponents hand, then you can discard the Rootwalla and play it for madness.


Q: My friend has a creature that has the creature enchantment "Serra's Embrace" on it. (The creature is Mageta the Lion) He enters his combat step and moves to the declare attackers phase. During the declare attackers phase after Mageta has been declared as an attacker but before blockers are declared, he uses Mageta's ability. Can he do this and still attack?


A: Again, sounds good. Since Mageta's ability does not destroy Mageta, he will still be attacking.


Q: I have a question about sacrificing. I read in an old-school rulebook (ice-age I think) that you can't interrupt a sacrifice; it said if you sacked an enchantment your opponent couldn't Disenchant it as a fast effect. I think I have an idea of how this works. If the sacrifice is mentioned before the colon on the card, indicating that it is part of the cost it happen immediately, like you tap mana for a spell but your opponent counterspells but the mana is still tapped. It would really be great if you could clear this up for me. Thank you.


A: Sacrifice itself doesn't have a speed. Sacrificing a permanent can either be done as a cost to play a spell or ability, or as an effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability. If the sacrifice is a cost (generally denoted by either "Sacrifice XXX:" [this form can also have a mana payment in addition to the sacrifice] for abilities of permanents, or "As an additional cost to play YYY, sacrifice XXX" for spells), you perform the sacrifice as part of announcing the spell or ability. If the spell or ability is countered, you don't get your sacrificed permanent back.

If it is an effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability, you sacrifice the permanent when the spell or ability resolves.


Q: If you accidentally shuffle your sideboard into to your deck, do you lose? I didn't understand why I got a warning at my last tournament for this.

A: I'm assuming this was either at the start of the game, and you presented the deck to your opponent, or during the game. If it is before the first game or between games and you haven't presented your deck yet, then there should be no penalty.

Either way, it is disruptive to the game state, but easy to correct. Even if you are in the middle of a game, you were shuffling due to a legal effect, so you can just shuffle again anyway after correcting the error.

The reason you are getting a penalty is that you messed up the game, and are having to do something to correct it. The warning lets both the people at the tournament and the people at the DCI keep track of your errors, so if you decide to "accidentally" shuffle in your sideboard at 10 tournaments, or multiple times in the same event, further action can be taken.


Q: Let's say that my opponent and I have a whole swarm of creatures, and he attacks with his fatty he has out (Elf Avatar.) So, I begin to choose blockers. I chose two, but I need to chose a last one, so I tell him, "Hang on I need to chose another blocker... One of these, so hang on," I said that as I pointed to a couple of my choices. Then, he declares that since I chose my blockers, he will cast a spell preventing the damage... But I hadn't finished declaring blockers... So I blocked with four more creatures. I told him that he needed to wait and asked if I had declared all my AND ASKED ME about it, but he just chose to concede the game instead. My question is, was I right, or had I been wrong when I said.


A: Well, generally, if he tried to play the spell, I would back up the game, and remind him that blockers hadn't been declared yet, since you had told him you weren't done yet. I might also issue him a caution, so that other judges at the tournament could be informed of the situation.


Q: When you morph a creature, is it considered to be just summoned? If so, does it still deal its damage to the opponent?

i.e. if I play a Haunted Cadaver facedown, and then morph it before it deals damage, can I activate its ability?


A: When you morph a creature, it is the same card as it was face down. So it can attack the turn you morph it (unless you played it face down that same turn), any enchantments on the creature stay on it, and any spells targeting the creature still target it when it is turned face up.

So yes, you can activate its ability.


Q: What is it called whenever a spell loses its target and goes into graveyard?

A: We say that spell was countered (due to lack of a legal target).


Q: I played a Hystrodon face down in morph mode and my opponent cast a Smother on it, so in response to the Smother I said I'd pay the morph cost to turn my Hystrodon face up. Since the morph does not goes on the stack, that not mean the Smother will lose it's target since the Hystrodon now is a 5 mana casting cost creature or it means it will die?

A: It doesn't lose its target. The Smother still targets the Hystrodon, even after it is morphed. However, Smother can only target creatures with converted mana cost 3 or less, and since the card that was targeted now has a converted mana cost of 5, Smother will be countered on resolution, since its target is now illegal.


Q: What if someone stacks his or her deck (like 2 spells 1 land)? What can a judge do?

A: A judge should issue a warning, as the deck is not randomized.


Q: And what can an opponent do to the deck that has been stacked?

-bahamut o.

A: At REL 3+, absolutely nothing. Just call the judge over for the penalty. If the table judge doesn't give a penalty, appeal to the head judge.

AT REL 1 or 2, my answer is officially the same - do nothing.

However, as a player, as an unofficial answer at REL 1 and 2, if I know the judge won't do anything to the player who didn't randomize the deck (except for shuffling it), I'll "Un-Weave" it. If the deck is in a perfect distribution of 2 spells, 1 land, repeating, I will perform a 3 pile shuffle. This unrandomizes the deck and sticks all 20 lands right together, forcing a mulligan and real shuffle. Similar procedures can be performed for most mana weaves.

I say that very unofficially because, if you do that and your opponent calls a judge over and points out you did that, you would also receive a penalty for insufficient randomization. I only do that with judges I know won't give the penalty to the opponent, because they won't bother to penalize me either. They'll just tell the guy to take his medicine and mulligan.

(And if he does give you the penalty, you can argue further, "How did he know the deck wasn't randomized? If the deck was randomized when he gave it to me, then the pile shuffling would only keep it randomized. Therefore, he must have handed me a stacked deck.")

Again, do not take this action, except at lower level tournaments, and only when you know the judge won't penalize your opponent for not shuffling properly.


Q: Just out of curiosity, how long have you been a judge?


A: I have been a judge since approximately Summer 1996. I don't know the exact date, as there were some issues that held up a decision on my certification. I know that it was right around Origins 1996, however.

See you Monday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge





Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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