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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Revised 409.1f

With the new Comprehensive rulebook, we have a different answer for one of my questions. The question was on 20 March, and had to do with a Spike Weaver and Phyrexian Tower. The question came up on the judge list, only it used a Spike Feeder. The answer is the same for a Spike Weaver. I'll present the question and answer, right off of the judge's list…

First, the new rule, in section 409, Playing Spells and Activated Abilities…

409.1f …Once the total cost is determined, it becomes "locked in," and the player then has a chance to play mana abilities (see rule 411, "Playing Mana Abilities"). Once the player has enough mana in his or her mana pool, he or she pays all costs in any order…

Q: > So is it still possible to pay mana from Phyrexian Tower (by
> sacrificing the Spike Feeder) to move a counter (the last one) from
> Feeder onto a different creature?

A: No.

First you determine the cost (2 mana, remove the counter).
You may use mana abilities to get mana (tap, sacrifice the Feeder).
Then you pay the costs.
The counter went away along with the Feeder when you got the mana, so
you're not able to pay that part of the cost anymore.
The game sees an illegal action, and backs up.

Rune Horvik, DCIJUDGE-L NetRep

The new wording of the rule also solves the Vengeful Dreams discarding Riftstone Portal as part of the costs situation. You now have to have the mana in your pool before you can discard the cards, and thus, you can't discard the Portal to get the white mana.


As a note, the Krovikan Horror/Wall of Roots situation still works, since you get the mana from the Wall first.


Now, on to our regular programming…

Q: If there is an Overabundance in play that I control and I tap a Forest for G, than get G from Overabundance, than use G to tap a Darkwater Catacombs (or any filter land), what type of mana does Overabundance add to my mana pool when I tap the Catacombs?

A: You can choose to have the Overabundance add either B or U to your pool.

411.3a If a triggered mana ability adds mana "of the same type" to a player's mana pool, and the mana ability that triggered it produced more than one type of mana, the player to whose mana pool the mana is being added chooses which type of mana the triggered ability adds.


Q: Also, is it possible to play Bind on any of the filter lands abilities?

-Diane M.

A: No. The filter lands' abilities are mana abilities, and mana abilities can't be countered (406.1e).


Q: My friend uses the Goblin Taskmaster's ability to give it +1/+0 at end of his opponent's turn. Then he untaps, and then pumps the Taskmaster again. He announced that it is now a 3/1 creature. But his opponent didn't trust him.

A: Goblin Taskmaster
Creature -- Goblin
{1}{R}: Target Goblin gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
Morph {R} (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

The Taskmaster would only be a 2/1 at that point. It is an "until end of turn" effect, so it wears off during the cleanup step, which is after the end of turn step, which is (usually) the last time you can play any spells or abilities. So there is no way to have a pump from the Taskmaster carry over between turns.


Q: Here's a situation:

1) At the end of my opponent's turn, I played a Rootwalla via madness using Wild Mongrel's ability.
2) The Mongrel gets +1/+1.
3) When it's my turn, is the Mongrel a 3/3 creature or just a 2/2 creature?


A: Wild Mongrel
Creature -- Hound
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

Since Wild Mongrel's effect is an "until end of turn" effect, it would be 2/2 on your turn.


Q: What happens when a bird token with an Elephant Guide attached gets dealt lethal damage and when there is a Soulcatcher's Aerie out in play?

Basically I'm asking if a token can be enchanted, and if ever hits the graveyard.
Also can a token be destroyed by smother?

A: In order: You get a 3/3 Elephant, and a counter goes on the Aerie.

If the token is a creature, then you can do anything you can do to a creature to it. So yes, it can be enchanted.

Tokens go to the graveyard when they are killed, and then immediately get removed from the game as a state-based effect. But the token did go to the graveyard, so any effects that trigger on the token going to the graveyard will trigger.

Yes. Tokens have a converted mana cost of 0.


Q: Me and my friend were playing a casual game of magic one day and we ran into this problem: It was his combat phase and he wanted to play cauldron dance which would bring back a creature from his graveyard to play and put a creature from his hand into a play. We were wondering since he had no creatures in play at the beginning of his combat phase if he could actually cast the spell and attack. Because, doesn't the game check itself for creatures to declare as attackers and blockers and then if he has none at the beginning of his combat phase doesn't it skip that phase and continue on to his 2nd main phase


A: Before attackers are declared, there is a space at the beginning of the combat phase to play spells or abilities (307). So he does have a chance to use Cauldron Dance before he has to declare his attackers.


Q: My opponent has out 3 1/1 elves, and his 4/4 elf avatar. I play Bloodfire Dwarf on my turn, and sacrifice him there and then. My opponent argues "summoning sickness" and after a bit of a debate, he allows me to do it because it doesn't require a tap.

A: Since the Dwarf's ability doesn't have "tap" in its activation cost, you can play it immediately after he is summoned. So that was a legal play.


Q: Now, I kill all of his elves, and do 1 damage to the avatar. So...the avatar becomes a 1/1 with 1 damage. It is dead! But, my friend tries to argue with me again, saying it is still a 4/4 until end of the turn.

-Luke C.

A: It is a 1/1. The power and toughness of the avatars are continually adjusted when the creatures of the appropriate type leave play or enter play. So the avatar dies as a result.

(PS - tell your friend this NICELY, please.)


Q: If I have a Mobilization in play, can I use Gustcloak Skirmisher's ability?

-New player

A: Sure. The Gustcloak ability doesn't require the creature to be untapped for it to be used.


Q: I have out an Intrepid Hero and a Mobilization. My opponent only has Shivan Dragon to block. Can I declare my attack then tap my Intrepid Hero (Since he did not tap to attack) to kill the dragon and wail on him for 1 damage all in the same attack.


A: Yes, you can do this just fine.


Q: Let's say I have out a Sylvan Library and a Words of Worship. When drawing
the 2 extra cards with Sylvan Library, could I activate the Words of Worship and gain 5 life for each card instead? And if so, what would happen ... would I
have to put cards on top of my library or pay 4 life for each of the cards?


A: Since the normal draw for your turn goes on top of the Sylvan Library's ability (304.1), you also have to replace that draw for this to work. If you replace all 3 draws, you gain 15 life. Since you didn't draw cards off of Sylvan Library or your regular draw, you have no "cards in your hand drawn this turn." So you don't have to pay any life or put any cards on top of your library.

If you didn't replace your normal draw with the Words ability, then you would have one card in your hand drawn this turn when it comes time to put cards back, and you would either have to put that card back on top of your library or pay 4 life.


Q: I'm playing against my friend's white deck. I'm using green and I have an elf enchanted with Exoskeletal Armor. So my elf is now a 6/6, it was originally a 1/1. I attack and my friend responds by casting Humble on it, making it a 0/1. But I said it's a 0/1, but it's still enchanted with Exoskeletal Armor, so it should be a 5/6. But he says that it's just a 0/1.

Does Humble get rid of enchant creature effects on the creature?

A: It would be a 0/1. You apply all the effects on the elf in the order they happened, so it's a 1/1, with +5/+5 from the Armor, making it a 6/6, and then Humble sets the elf's power and toughness to be 0/1. The Armor is still there, though, so if it had another ability, the other ability would still work. (See correction below for an example of this.)


Q: Do you have to attack all at once with all of your creatures or do you attack with one creature at a time?


A: You attack all at once.


Q: I had a question on intentional drawings. This happened last night at a Friday Night Magic tournament.

A: I'm going to assume, since this was at a Wizards store (your next sentence below), that this was a sanctioned tournament. You probably had the foil Spike Feeders given out as prizes, right? If you did, then it was definitely sanctioned.


Q: My brother and I had come about 5 minutes late to the tournament at Wizards. The person running the tournament then told us that we were to play each other.

A: Unfortunate, but this is the best way to handle latecomers to round 1. It's either this or not allow you to play =\.


Q: So, not wanting to ruin each other's records, we told her that we were going to intentionally draw. She then said that she wasn't going to allow it because she "didn't like it" and thought it was "unsportsmanlike." I then asked her if intentional drawings were against the rules and then she told me that the tournament was run by her and "her own rules." Although this frustrated me very much, I had no choice but to play.

A: Well, although the head judge is the final stop for rules on a given tournament, she had no right to do this. Intentional draws are specifically allowed in the floor rules (UTR 27). I'll discuss what can be done later.


Q: We ended up drawing anyway because time had run out on us.....;-)

A: Heh. Nice.


Q: My question to you is this: This tournament was not sanctioned by Wizards or DCI or whatever and if it wasn't can she make up her own rules like this?

A: Answered above. It was Friday Night Magic, and to give out the foils, it has to be sanctioned. And having the tournament at a Wizards store pretty much guarantees it being sanctioned.

If by some chance it wasn't sanctioned, though, then there's nothing you can do.


Q: I want some action taken against her. I'm not even sure if she was a certified judge because I'm sure that she knows nothing of Magic. Anyway, I really don't want to get into her, per say, just her action against my brother and me. I'm omitting her name for now but I can give you her name later if need be.

-Lam N.

A: Well, your best bet is to discuss this with the store manager. Explain to him or her the situation, and your dissatisfaction that the tournament isn't being run by the rules that their company has set out. (The DCI is a part of Wizards, although they try to keep their actions separate.)

If this doesn't satisfy you, write custserv@wizards.com and (assuming the tournament was sanctioned … again, the easiest way to tell is if the foil Spike Feeders were given out) dci@wizards.com, and explain the situation to them and your dissatisfaction both as a customer of one of their retail stores and as a member of the DCI. Include your DCI Number, for their reference, and the date and place (including City, State, and Country) so they can reference the tournament. Also, include the name of the person who ran the tournament, so they know who you're talking about.

(As a side note, I've been told that all Wizards employees have Level 1 Judge status given to them as part of their employment. So it is very likely that she is a Certified Judge, although just as part of working at Wizards.)

Good luck.


Q: I have a question about Desolation, if I pay for a Desolation with a Llanowar Elves, a Llanowar Dead, and a Swamp, do I have to sacrifice a land?

A: Desolation
At end of turn, each player who tapped a land for mana during that turn sacrifices a land. If a plains is sacrificed this way, Desolation deals 2 damage to that plains' controller.

So you just have to sacrifice one land, since you only tapped one land for mana. But yes, you do have to sacrifice a land, since you tapped a land for mana.


Q: Can I change a mistform creature into multiple creature types, (for example, a beast goblin wizard soldier zombie)?

-Joseph K.

A: No. When you choose a creature type, you have to choose one and only one creature type (214.7a).


Q: I was playing my friend, and I put Urza's Armor down, then I played Manabarbs. Then I tap 5 land for Blaze and my friend tells me I take 4 damage, but I tell him that each time a source damages me that damage is reduced by 1 and Manabarbs deals 1 damage separately each time... who's right?

A: You are.



Q: I just read your 10/17/02 article and noticed this:

>>>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.<<<

I had a gut feeling and went to The Oracle to double check. Mageta cannot use his ability after he has been declared as an attacker because he would be tapped, and his ability requires tapping.


A: Remember, Mageta has Serra's Embrace on him. Serra's Embrace lets the creature it enchants attack without tapping. Since Mageta is still untapped after he attacks, you can use his ability just fine.



Q: It's a bit after the fact, but you missed something...

Your January 2nd 'Judge's Corner' bit had something in it:

>>> Q: Ok, if I have a Spiritmonger with an Armadillo Cloak on it, and I attack, and my opponent plays Humble on it, is it a 0/1 with no abilities or a 0/1 with Armadillo Cloak enchanting it to make it a 2/3 with trample and the gain life ability?

A: Glad to be able to help!

Humble would make the Spiritmonger 0/1 with no abilities until end of turn. (Hint: put a few regeneration shields on Spiritmonger before Humble resolves, so he'll stay alive until the end of the turn.)"<<<

Armadillo Cloak states, "Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life". This ability triggers from the enchantment, not the creature, so the ability would still be in effect. If Armadillo Cloak stated "Enchanted creature has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life'" it would be different (it would lose the ability) but it does not.

Mind you, the Spiritmonger is a 0/1, so it is unlikely that it would deal damage, but in a world of pump-spells, it can make a whole lot of difference.

Though I am reading these now; you could have clarified this in another article, but I still think you should be notified.


A: You're absolutely correct. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


Tournament Report - FNM - Orange, CA - 10/18/02

Same deck as always…

U/G Madness
Hybrid of Worlds 2002 decks: Cole Swannack, Alex Shvartsman, and Edward Ross

2 Aquamoeba
4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Basking Rootwalla ("Walla")
4 Merfolk Looter
4 Wild Mongrel ("Dog")
3 Wonder
4 Careful Study
4 Circular Logic
2 Deep Analysis
3 Roar of the Wurm
4 Counterspell
7 Forest
10 Island
4 Yavimaya Coast
2 Centaur Garden

3 Ray of Revelation
3 Krosan Reclamation
4 Sylvan Safekeeper
2 Unnatural Selection
1 Rushing River
2 Moment's Peace

Round 1 - Jeff Miller - R/B Control

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 2-1, and plays first. I keep a hand with one land, and draw the second land within a turn or 2. I keep poking away for 1, since he blocks my Dog with his Nightscape Familiar. I then get a Wurm token out, and am able to hit with the Dog and a Walla. He Casts Violent Eruption at the Walla and me, and then I peel Wonder, pitch it, and attack for 9 to put him at 4. He then is able to get rid of both my creatures, and slowly whittles me down to 0.

Sideboard: In - 4 Sylvan Safekeeper. Out - 4 Counterspell.

Game 2 - I play turn 1 Safekeeper, turn 2 Safekeeper and Walla, and go to town. His life total goes 19-16-10-0, so I guess I killed him on my 5th turn. The Safekeepers were key, as I countered a Terminate and a Slay by saccing lands.

Game 3 - This was a close one. He gets down an early Familiar, but I quickly go to the air by pitching Wonder. He gets down a Skizzik, and I have to block it with a Dog and Safekeeper to kill it. I then peel a 4th land to Flashback Roar of the Wurm, and he makes me immediately sac one. A Ghitu Fire gets me down to 5, and I make a crucial mistake after I attack him to bring him to 6. I don't drop a creature. He plays a Skizzik (unkicked), and I can't peel a Logic by Looting. I should have waited to block the Skizzik with the Looter, then looted, as I had 3 lands up and could have countered the Ghitu Fire he had anyway, if I had drawn the Logic.

Games: 1-2, Matches: 0-1.

Round 2 - Jackson - U/W/G

Game 1 - We tie with rolls of 1, and then he wins 10-8, and plays. He mulligans once, and draws 7, so I thank him for mulliganing to 5. This was a quick game, as his life total goes 18-11-0. I remember seeing a Glory go to the graveyard, and his opening Walla, but that's about it.

Sideboard: In - 3 Krosan Reclamation, 2 Moment's Peace, 2 Unnatural Selection. Out - 4 Counterspell, 2 Deep Analysis, 1 Roar of the Wurm.

Game 2 - He plays first. It takes me a while to get control, as my life total drops to 5 due to pain from Coasts and attacks, but once I gain control, it is swift, as his life goes 17-10-0. I looted away an early Reclamation and Moment's Peace, so I had firm control once I got control.

Games: 3-2, Matches: 1-1.

Round 3 - Sean S. - R/B

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 5-2, and chooses to play. He mulligans once, and we get started. Unfortunately, it isn't much of a start for him, as he short on land. He quickly goes 18-12-3-Concede.

Sideboard: In - 4 Sylvan Safekeeper. Out - 1 each of Counterspell, Circular Logic, Merfolk Looter, and Aquamoeba.

Game 2 - Again, I take a little early damage from a couple of Firebolts, and then smash in. He goes 19-7-0.

Games: 5-2, Matches: 2-1.

I then get some trading in, and am still trading when Jon calls the pairings for the next round. I hear,

Round 4 - Jeff Dollarhide - Mirror

And since this is at table 2, I know he's 3-0. He decided to switch decks after his homegrown creation didn't pan out very well over the last few weeks.

Oh, the games? I conceded to him. I've gotten a few concessions in the same position myself, and I just really wanted to trade.

Games: 5-4, Matches: 2-2.

So I finish my trade, and then go to watch table 1. They weren't very happy at my decision to concede, as that meant they had to play it out. Jeff asks why I just didn't take a game loss and finish the trade, and I explain that I've been in his position before, and gotten a few concessions, and so I wanted to give one back.

Anyway, on to round 5…

Round 5 - Chris Newman - Balthor

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 6-5, and plays. He mulligans once. I keep a one land hand (Forest), and fail to draw land until my third turn, a Yavimaya Coast. I have to drop the Dog to have a madness outlet, and he drops Balthor the next turn. I frown. I decide to push my luck for an Island or Coast at that point, and I Careful Study. Still no land. He Entombs a Laquatus's Champion into his grave, and I think I'm done for.

Then he attacks with Balthor. I block with the Dog, and pitch a card. He lets Balthor die.


My jaw hits the floor. Thanks for the game, I guess. I quickly take control and win.

I tell him between games I need to tell him something after the match, and he quickly figures it out himself at this point.

Sideboard: Nothing, although I really should have put in the Reclamations and possibly the Unnatural Selections.

Game 2 - He plays first. He is land shy at this point, as he drops Swamp, Swamp, Coffers, and then misses a land drop. He's cleared my side, though, and I am just attacking with a Dog. He Edicts it when I am on 7 land, and I drop another Dog, then hard cast Roar of the Wurm. I do this to leave mana open for my 2 Logics in my hand. He goes 18-16-14-5 in that time. He then drops his third swamp, and I show him both cards in my hand - 2 Circular Logics. He gamely tries to cast a Balthor, and I Logic it and come over for the win.

Games: 7-4, Matches: 3-2.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




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