Card Price Guide

MTG Fan Articles
Single Card Strategy 
Deck Tips & Strategies 
Tourney Reports 
Peasant Magic 
Featured Articles

Featured Writers
The Dragon's Den
Rumblings From The Ass
The Heretic's Sermon
Through The Portal

Deck Garage
Aaron's School

Message Board 
Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews



Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner


First - I forgot my pad again Friday, so no report this week. I went 3-1-1 with Tog.

Second, it's time for me to repeat the Mantras. Also, I have to make a comment about the third Mantra. I am deleting more questions relating to it lately than I am for repeat questions.

The mantras:

1. "I can't play any spells or abilities while something is resolving." (18 April)
2. "Increasing the power of creatures once their damage has been put on the stack won't make them do more damage." (13 May) (Footnote A)
3. "If the card doesn't say 'TARGET,' it doesn't target." (31 May)
4. "Protection is a DEBT we owe some of our permanents." (26 September) (Footnote B)
5. "When assigning trample, look only at the toughness of the blocking creatures. Assign damage so that they would have that much damage on them, and then you can assign the other damage to your opponent." (26 September) (Footnote C)

Footnote A: A corollary to this mantra is, "Decreasing the power of creatures after damage is on the stack won't make them do less damage." (14 June)

Footnote B: DEBT is an acronym. It stands for Damage, Enchantments, Blocking, and Targeting, which are the 4 things you can't do to a creature with protection.

For an extended definition, protection is usually written on a card as "Protection from [quality]." (For example, "Protection from green.")

-Damage: All damage dealt to the permanent from a source with the stated quality is prevented.
-Enchantments: The permanent can't be enchanted by permanents with the stated quality.
-Blocking: The permanent can't be blocked by permanents with the stated quality.
-Targeting: The permanent can't be targeted by spells with the stated quality, or abilities from permanents with the stated quality. (Remember Mantra #3.)

Footnote C: You can assign the extra damage to the creatures if you want, or assign all the damage to one or more creatures (even though the damage being dealt is greater than the toughness of that creature) and none to the other creatures. But you have to assign damage as the mantra says before you can assign trample damage to your opponent.


Now, for Mantra #3. For a card to target, it has to have the following 6 letters, in order "T-A-R-G-E-T." The only time the word target is not used is when you cast a local enchantment spell. Local enchantment spells, _when they are being cast_, target the permanent they want to enchant. After the enchantment gets on the permanent, it no longer targets that permanent.

Other than that, if you don't see the 6 letters "T-A-R-G-E-T" right in a row, then it doesn't target. The word "you" is not a target. The word "your" is not a target. The words "an opponent" is not a target. The words "a creature" is not a target. The only word that denotes a target is "T-A-R-G-E-T."


One more note before I get into today's questions. If I don't answer one of your questions, sending it again won't make me any more likely to answer it. In fact, it will make me less likely to answer future questions from you.

Either apply the mantras, or spend some time and read my past columns.


Q: I have a Shade's Formed Laquatus's Champion and my opponent has 6 life.

If my Champion dies, can I make my opponent lose by stacking the gain life and lose life effects accordingly (put the leave play on the stack first and the come into play on the stack last)?

A: You mean put the Champion's leaves play ability on the stack, then the Shade's Form's ability. This will cause you opponent to lose 6 more life before he gets the 6 life he originally lost back, yes.


Q: In a recent tournament, I attacked with Elven Riders (can't be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or Walls.). He tried to block with Spitting Gourna (may block as though it has flying). Originally the judge ruled (after consulting another player) that my riders *could not* be blocked by the Gourna because it did not have flying explicitly.

During the next game, the judge came back and said he was wrong and from now on the Elven Riders could be blocked by anything that could block as though it was flying.

Obviously this was confusing, and would like to know the correct ruling.


A: The Gourna can block the Riders. For the purposes of blocking, the Gourna can have flying, thus, it can block the Riders.

"As though"
Text that states a player or card may do something "as though" some condition were true applies only to the stated action. For purposes of that action, treat the game exactly as if the stated condition is true. For all other purposes, treat the game normally.


Q: I just recently came home from a tournament and I have another question about Desolation. I was in the final four and I had a Desolation out. He tapped four of his mountains and at the end of the turn said he only had to sacrifice one. After looking at the card and because he was about to beat me I agreed with him and we played on, but the more I thought about it and the after I saw the way you answered my previous question, was he right in only having to sacrifice one land or was he supposed to sacrifice his four mountains (those were his only lands in play)?

-Joseph K.

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.

He only had to sacrifice one land. Sorry for the confusion in my previous answer.


Q: My opponent attacks with a Quirion Dryad with one counter on it. During the declare attackers phase I use my Skywing Aven's return ability...discard a Basking Rootwalla to play it, the opponent passes. Now...can I again in response to my own ability use the same Skywing Aven's ability to discard Arrogant Wurm and play it, then during declare blockers block and kill Dryad?

I said the stack would look like this but he and my friend said I couldn't use Aven's ability twice, certainly you can but they don't believe me.

1st-Aven return
3rd-Aven Return
That's possible...right?

-Brett L.

A: I think you may have it. It just sounds a little ambiguous to me, so I am going to restate what happens.

What you want to do is discard the Rootwalla to activate the Aven's ability, let the madness trigger resolve and play the Walla. Then, _before the original return ability resolves_, you respond to that by discarding the Wurm to return the Aven again. You play the Wurm, and finally, the Aven returns to your hand.


Q: A friend and I have an on going argument. I was wondering if you might help. Are you able to have more than 1 Demonic Tutor in your deck at a time? I have 3, and he says it is not allowed to have all 3 in my deck at once.


A: Depends. Have you and your friend agreed to play to the rules of a sanctioned format, or not? If you are playing Type 1 format, then you can only have 1. If you haven't specified a format, then you can play whatever cards you want in whatever amount.


Q: If a face down morph creature receives 1 damage and then turns face up into a 3/1 creature for trying to kill a creature has toughness 3, does the 3/1 die? Since it has 1 damage on him, the 3/1 will have 1 damage on it already, and it's toughness will be 0 and die.

A: Not exactly. The 3/1 will have 1 point of damage on it. Since the damage it has taken is equal to its toughness, it dies.

(Damage doesn't reduce a creature's toughness.)


Q: If a face down creature is tapped, and I pay the morph cost to turn it face up, does it untap?

-bahamut o.

A: No. Turning a creature face up doesn't change anything that is currently happening to it. If the face down creature is tapped, it will be tapped when it turns face up.


Q: If you have Pandemonium out, do you have to sacrifice the creatures required to prevent the burial of a Phyrexian Dreadnought in order for the Pandemonium effect to trigger? (As opposed to playing the Phyrexian Dreadnought, having the 12 damage dealt by Pandemonium, then burying Phyrexian Dreadnought.)

A: Phyrexian Dreadnaught has errata to cover this situation:

Phyrexian Dreadnought
Artifact Creature
If Phyrexian Dreadnought would come into play, sacrifice any number of creatures with total power 12 or greater instead. If you do, put Phyrexian Dreadnought into play. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard.

You have to sacrifice the 12 power worth of creatures before the Dreadnaught comes into play. If you can't sacrifice 12 power worth of creatures, all your creatures are sacrificed and Phyrexian Dreadnaught is put into your graveyard instead. So it never comes into play, and Pandemonium will never trigger.


Q: If you have 2 Pandemoniums out, do you get to deal the creature's power to any 2 targets?

-Kevin O.

A: Yes. (You can choose the same target for both abilities, of course.)

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.