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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

A Divine Chorus

Q: My friend had an Angelic Chorus and a Divine Sacrament in play and had threshold. He then brings a (white) 5/5 creature into play. Does he get 5 life or does he get 7?

A: 7.


Q: When does the +2/+2 come into effect on the card?

-Michael D.

A: The creature comes into play with the +2/+2. So it will be a 7/7 when it enters play.


Q: I've been a little confused about tournament protocol, and figured you might be able to help. I win the roll and my opponent draws and looks at his hand before I do. He gets excited and exclaims, "This hand is lights out for you!" Am I within my rights to require the opponent to reshuffle? How EXACTLY does this work?

A: To your question, no. After decks have been presented and passed back, you can draw your hand at any time.

Even if you are the person who won the roll, and you look at your hand before saying anything, it is assumed that you are playing first.


Q: Do dual lands satisfy the requirements for Coalition Victory? I think that they do since the card talks about "a land of each basic type" not "a basic land of each type". My logic is that "each basic type" of land includes Forest, Island, Plains, Mountain, and Swamp and duals count as each. What's your take?


A: Duals count for both types for Coalition Victory. To figure out if the win condition has been met, ask these questions: Do I control a white creature? A blue creature? A black creature (and so on)? Do I control a plains? An island? A swamp (and so on)? If the answer is "yes" to all the questions, you win. (Invasion FAQ)


Q: If I discard 2 cards to use the Anurid Brushhopper's ability to remove him from the game, AND I have a Wirewood Savage in play, do I get to draw a card when the Brushhopper comes back into play? The Brushhopper is a beast, and the Savage's ability states you may draw a card whenever a "beast comes into play". Is returning the Brushhopper to play, the same thing as "comes into play"?

-Stuart S.

A: The Brushhopper is coming into play, so you will draw a card.


Q: My friend and I were playing a game. The board presented a problem however. My friend wanted to mana burn as an instant. However, I said that tapping mana is slower than an instant and wanted to cast shock as an instant targeting myself. I am not sure as to the relative speeds of light and tapping mana.

A: The answer is 42.

But seriously, mana burn only occurs at the end of a phase. So if you had a Shock to kill yourself and your friend could only mana burn, then you would lose (or however you want to say it) every time.


Q: Ascending Aven has the ability to be cast as a morphed creature and can unmorph for {2}{U}. But how can it resolve if I have to play it face-down? Does tapping the mana for it then cause me to mana burn?

-Devon E.

A: Morph allows you to cast a creature with morph face down by paying {3} instead of its mana cost. You won't mana burn … the only thing that changes is what you pay to put it on the stack ({3}) and how you put it on the stack (face down).


Q: I was looking through the rulings for Recurring Nightmare and found this:

"Because of the way the timing rules work, you can cast Recurring Nightmare and then use it before your opponent can use an instant like Disenchant on it, but only if you do so when the stack is empty just after it enters play. [D'Angelo 1999/06/01]"

It seems to me that Recurring Nightmare would then be indestructible, since I would only cast it when I'm ready to use it. Since my opponent can't disenchant it, the only thing that could stop it is a counter. Is this right?


A: You are correct.


Q: I've recently noticed the potential brokenness of the card entitled "Entrails Feaster." Can this card target a creature in an opponent's graveyards as well? I.e. he has a Wonder in his graveyard. Can I take it out of his graveyards to increase my creature's power and toughness by 1?

A: Entrails Feaster
Creature -- Zombie Cat
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove a creature card in a graveyard from the game. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Entrails Feaster. If you don't, tap Entrails Feaster.

Since it says "a graveyard," not "your graveyard," yes, you can remove a creature from your opponent's graveyard.


Q: If so, can I do this in fighting phases?

-Michael T.

A: I don't know what you mean by that. The only time you could do this is during your upkeep, since that's when Entrails Feaster's ability is played.


Q: I have a specific question on sacrificing. I have both Nova Cleric and Starlit Sanctum in play. If I use Nova Cleric's ability "{2}{W}, Tap, Sacrifice Nova Cleric: Destroy all enchantments", can I still use Starlit Sanctum to either gain life or deal damage to target player on account of that Nova Cleric being sacrificed?

-Michael J.

A: No. Since you have to sacrifice the Nova Cleric to pay the cost of its ability, it can't be sacrificed for anything else as well.


Q: I have a Rotlung Reanimator in play. I then use artificial evolution on it, changing all instances of cleric into zombie. I also have a Nantuko Husk in play. Can I then sacrifice a zombie to bring another zombie into play and then sacrifice the new zombie to bring another zombie into play and then sacrifice it again? Am I allowed to repeat this process as many times as I like?

-Mike C.

A: Yes.


Q: I was reading over Necropotence the other day, and thought of a combination with 2 other cards, but I'm not sure if it works right. Here's my combination: First turn, play a Swamp, Dark Ritual, Necropotence and Lotus Petal. Pay 19 life and draw 19 cards. During your end step, before you discard, as an instant, sack Lotus Petal and add Red to your mana pool and cast Firestorm. Discard those 19 cards plus 1 in your hand to kill your opponent for 20 LIFE!

My friend gave me this combo idea. Now my question. Is this legal? And will it work?

-Kevin N.

A: That won't work. If you want to cast a 20 point Firestorm, you have to have 20 different targets. There are probably only 2 available targets at this point in the game (you and your opponent), so the most you could Firestorm for would be 2.


Q: I was in a 1.5 today (10-2-02), and I witnessed a couple of illegal plays. A friend of mine was playing with Argothian Enchantresses against a man who was playing blue-green. He knew that the Enchantresses have been errata-ed, but his opponent played it the way it was written, and this resulted in lots of countermagic and few drawn cards for my friend. The ruling made when an argument ensued was in his opponent's favor.

I would like you simply to post the errata of Argothian Enchantress, Urza's Saga rare for me.


A: Argothian Enchantress
Creature -- Enchantress
Argothian Enchantress can't be the target of spells or abilities.
Whenever you play an enchantment spell, draw a card.


Q: My friend and I were playing a game and we got into a situation that we both think we were right, he have 2 Nether Sprit in his graveyard and says that he will bring back both of them in the same time, but I say when beginning for your upkeep happens the first Nether Sprit will check if there is another creature in his graveyard, since your 2nd Nether Sprit also consider as a creature then ability won't check out, then your first Nether will stay in his graveyard. Similarly for the 2nd one. Am I right or wrong?

A: You are correct.


Q: If my friend uses Animate Dead on a Laquatus's Champion, so I say I'll let the Animate Dead resolve, and you'll get your creature, and he gets his creature, then in response to the Champion's come into play ability, I Disenchant the Animate Dead. What happens?

A: The Disenchant resolves, killing the Animate Dead, and then the Champion goes to the graveyard. The Champion's leaves play ability triggers, and resolves before the comes into play ability. The Champion knows who it targeted in the first ability when the leaves play ability resolves, so first that person gains 6 life, then, when the comes into play ability resolves, that person loses 6 life. So he or she is at the same life total he or she was before the Champion came into play.


Q: There can only be one stack resolution in the beginning of upkeep right?

A: No. If you are asking about beginning of upkeep triggers, those only happen once. But the stack from beginning of upkeep triggers is just like any other stack - the abilities resolve one at a time, and the stack can be added to at any point.


Q: I was invited to judge one of the local booster draft tournaments and one of the players keeps walking around when the 20 minute deck constructed time is up, and he also have another pile of cards that on his table which is not part of the tournament. Well...I wasn't paying attention until the store owner pointed it out to me and asked me to check his deck. (I'm not a DCI judge yet but this is what I did just see if it's right.)

1. I gave him a Major GP penalty for the not completing the deck in time

A: You probably mean a Procedural Error penalty. For this, I would go with a PE-Minor, especially at low REL, which your tournament would have been.


2. Another Major GP penalty for another pile cards on his table, which I considered as cheating.

A: Stop right here. If you think he was cheating, then the only penalty to apply is cheating, which is a DQ without prize at any REL. Make sure to also write a summary of why the DQ without prize was given (if the tournament was sanctioned) to dci@wizards.com for further investigation. (There was another address that it was supposed to go to, but there's been so much reorganization in the DCI lately. If you send it there, it'll get to the right person.)


3. Surfing around, looking at other people's decks also consider as cheating - another Major GP penalty.

A: Here, you are incorrect. Scouting is allowed, and there is no penalty.


Q: Since he has 2 Major GP penalties that will cost the game going unfairly so within these reason I gave him a DQ without price. Can you tell me if I did anything wrong?

-bahamut o.

A: I've written my interpretations above. If he was cheating, DQ without prize. If you just think he was being sloppy, you should just put it all in one penalty, probably a Procedural Error - Severe, which would be a game loss.


Tournament Report - FNM - Orange, CA - 11/1/2002

Well, it's time for the new Type 2. I was going to borrow some cards for my deck, but Scott ended up not going to the show on Friday, so I had to fall back to my U/G build. I'll give you the deck list I played, but I don't want to see anyone copying this card for card. If you want a deck to copy card for card, see the end of the article, when I discuss the changes I would make, or, better yet, go find another deck list. Or even better still, go look at the Sideboard, and copy a deck that did well at States. There are a lot of U/G builds out there, and I suck at deck building.

Having said that, here's the list I played:

U/G madness, V8.0

4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Merfolk Looter
4 Wild Mongrel
3 Wonder

4 Aether Burst
4 Careful Study
4 Circular Logic
2 Counterspell
2 Read the Runes
3 Roar of the Wurm

2 Centaur Garden
4 City of Brass
7 Forest
10 Island

2 Counterspell
2 Krosan Reclamation
4 Naturalize
4 Phantom Centaur
3 Sylvan Safekeeper

Again, do not copy the above list card for card. It's just the piece of crap I put together for the tournament.

A little joke in my naming of the deck … AOL is up to version 8 now, and this deck is a lot like AOL. It's great if you don't know what you are doing, because the deck is "So easy to use, no wonder it's #1." It's also very good, because you can put some crap in it, and it will still perform well. One more way it is like AOL is for veteran players. Veteran players, these days, can play many more better decks than this. The similarity to AOL is that if you know anything about the internet, you're better off using another ISP, with all the crap they put in AOL these days.

Anyway, to the tournament night. There were a lot of new players there, and the tournament reached its capacity well before the 6pm start time. If we had room, and time for another round, we probably would have had about 15-20 more than the limit of 31 in the tourney.

I play a couple of games against one of the new players, and help her with her deck. She built a deck with all 5 colors, and I rebuilt it for her with other cards she had, only going mono-white. It wasn't a strong mono-white build, but it was the best with what she had and with her style of play.

At the sight of the new players, one of the regulars (Ryan) comes up to me, and makes the comment about there being a lot of new players. I make a comment related to how easy our round 1 should be then.

And then the pairings are read out…

Round 1 - Theo T. - B/W Crypt Rats/Spirit Link

Game 1 - He wins the roll, 14-7, and chooses to play. He gets stuck on 2 plains, with all black cards in his hand. I go turn 2 Dog, turn 3 pitch Wonder and Arrogant Wurm to Dog, madness the Wurm, and swing (16), turn 4 pitch and madness another Arrogant Wurm (9), turn 5 swing for the kill.

I open my sideboard, and say, "****, that's what I forgot. Compost!"

Sideboard: In: 4 Phantom Centaur, 3 Sylvan Safekeeper. Out: 4 Aether Burst (I hadn't seen anything from the deck, and his deck would almost make me pay for boarding these out), 2 Read the Runes, 1 Roar of the Wurm.

Game 2 - He plays first. I have to mulligan a no land hand, and keep a 6 card hand of Island, Dog, 3 Walla, and Safekeeper. I miss the land drop turn 2, while he misses it turns 3 and 5. Turn 3 I play the Dog, he plays Overeager Apprentice. Turn 4 I madness out the 3 Wallas (he Spiritualizes as a Fog), and cast the Safekeeper and a Looter I drew. Then he plays Crypt Rats.


He pitches a card, sacs the Apprentice, and blows the world up. Fortunately, I have a Centaur as the only card in my hand, and draw the 4th land the next turn to cast it. He casts an Infected Vermin, and Spirit Links it. He also drops a Castle sometime in here.

OK, so who's been playing a little too much multi-player these days?

I fortunately have a Centaur Garden, and am able to outrace his life gain. During his last turn, I think, "Cast something, darn it." I have 6 cards in my grave, and need threshold for the Garden. He does, and I Logic it. I mistakenly cast a Safekeeper on the last turn, giving him an extra point of life for the Spirit Link, but the Garden lets the Centaur finish it.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

I tell many people about the deed the Rats did.

Before the game, Sean (Cashman) is sitting next to me, and tells me he's playing a deck Wizards built for him. I remark that we may be playing the same deck. He asks what I'm playing, and I show him the Centaur Garden on the bottom of the deck. He tells me that we are not, and he's playing a version of my deck tomorrow. He comments on the presence of 6 pain lands (4 City and 2 Garden), and thinks that is too much pain. I comment that I don't think 5 points of pain matters to this deck. It will either win before it matters, or I would lose anyway.

Sean ends up playing against a mono-red deck, which is the worst possible matchup for his deck - a Wizard deck. The only thing I see is Sean's opponent cycling Slice and Dice, and getting like 4 for 0 off of it.

Jeff (Dollarhide) comes up to me, and shows me the deck he's playing. Sean built it, and it is a beast deck, with 3 or 4 Patriarch's Bidding in it. I just shuffle by, and Sean comments on how I am the first person not to think it is a strange card in there. I comment on how it is November, and a lot of new ideas, both very good and bad, come out and are tried, and so who am I to say whether it is good or bad.

Anyway, the second round pairings are read out, and I find my free ride is at its end.

Round 2 - Justin Z. - B/G

Justin is a very good player, and I comment on how I think that this is the toughest match this round.

Game 1 - I win the roll, 6-5, and play first. We each drop an early Mongrel, and I attack. He blocks, and we end up pitching cards, one at a time, to fight the battle. I end up pitching 3, including a Roar, and he pitches 2 before giving up. He comments on how much better my pitches are than his. I very quickly take control at that point, as I have his life going 20-16-8-0.

Sideboard: In: 4 Phantom Centaur. Out: 2 Read the Runes, 2 Merfolk Looter.

Game 2 - He goes first. I have to mulligan my second no land hand of the night, and my 6 card hand wasn't much better, as I was unable to do any damage to him.

Sideboard: In: 3 Sylvan Safekeeper, 1 Merfolk Looter. Out: 4 Phantom Centaur.

Game 3: I go first. We each take a mulligan, mine being my third no land hand. I drop Walla first turn, and Merfolk Looter second turn. He makes a crucial error of letting me get one use out of the Looter by Smothering it on my turn, and I Loot away a Wonder. He casts Living Wish on turns 3 and 4, getting Silklash Spider and Silvos, Rogue Elemental. He tries to cast the Spider on turn 5, and it's an auto-counter, as I have Circular Logic. Turn 6 he casts Silvos.

Here is the dilemma. Let's see how you do. You have Counterspell and City of Brass in hand, and 2 Islands untapped and available to cast the Counterspell. You have Basking Rootwalla and Sylvan Safekeeper in play and Wonder in the grave (so your creatures fly). He has 3 cards in hand after casting the Silvos. He has 4 Forest and 2 Swamp in play, and nothing else. You are at 16, he is at 7. Do you counter the Silvos?

What I did and my reasoning follows the gratuitous blank space.

I don't counter the Silvos. He has to do something else to beat me, since I can pump the Walla each turn and attack for 8 over 2 turns. So unless he can play 2 cards next turn, both of which change the situation (and not Smother, due to the Safekeeper), I still win by letting the Silvos come out.

Turns out he taps 4 mana (including both Swamps) next turn to try to cast a Ravenous Baloth. He doesn't have anything else, so I win.

Games: 4-1, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 - Robert W. - MBC (Mono Black Control)

I am surprised and pleased to see Robert up here, as it means he has also won 2 matches. I also like the match, as I can only recall losing 1 match to him.

Game 1 - I win the roll, 10-6, and play first. Turns out he has a rogue build of MBC, as he casts turn 1 Blood, and turn 2 Wretched Anurid. (That is the only creature I see all match from him, so that's what makes me think it is more MBC than something else.)

I pitch Arrogant Wurm to Mongrel, and madness it. He takes control for a bit, but just runs out of steam, as I eventually cast enough creatures to kill him.

Sideboard: In: 4 Phantom Centaur. Out: 2 Read the Runes, 1 Careful Study, 1 Merfolk Looter.

Game 2 - He plays first, but takes a mulligan before we start. Not even an Anurid comes out to play, as his life goes 20-18-15-13-8-2-0, all by attacking. Sorry, but I don't have any more information on this game.

Games: 6-1, Matches: 3-0

Round 4 - Ryan Ott - Suicide black

He likes his chance in the match. I don't doubt that it will be a tough match for me.

Game 1 - I win the roll, 19-15, and play after we each take a mulligan. I had land, it just wasn't aggressive enough, since I knew what he was playing.

Both games were real knockout battles. He takes a few points from an Anurid, and also has a Shade out. I, however, get the Dog/Wonder draw, and am able to beat him in the air. I end up killing him with a Roar token.

Sideboard: In: 4 Phantom Centaur. Out: 2 Read the Runes, 2 Merfolk Looter.

Game 2 - He makes a mistake by waiting one turn to cast Braids. If he had cast it on turn 4, it would have been tough for me. But he waited until turn 5, and that gave me too many options, as I eventually drop a Phantom Centaur, and win the race again.

Games: 8-1, Matches: 4-0

To be fair to Ryan, he had 2 really horrible draws, and this deck just punishes sub-optimal draws.

So, who is the other 4-0, you ask? Well, it turns out that in addition to the 4-0, Joshua Durick is at 3-0-1. So me and the other 4-0 talk it over, and we decide to draw, and if one of us is knocked to third, the winner of the games we play for fun will get the foil.

Yeah, yeah, this is all fine and good, you say, but who is the other 4-0?

Round 5 - Darcee - "Hi, my name is Tim, and I'm a goblin."

Intentional Draw.

Games: 8-1, Matches: 4-0-1

Yes, that Darcee. Her deck is really good, and before and during round 4, we were saying how she was going to win that round. I think she had a good chance to take our match too, but she offered the draw, and who am I to decline it?

We played 3 games pre-sideboard, and I swept them all (!). Then we sideboard for 3 more games. I make a mistake of being to active with a Safekeeper game 4, and she takes control. Game 5, she is able to kill off 2 Dogs and an Arrogant Wurm, after casting Firecat Blitz for 3, with 2 Goblin Sharpshooters out. I even had 4 cards in hand for the Dogs, too.

Game 6 I am able to squeak out a win. She casts a Sparksmith turn 2, but I untap, pitch Wonder to the Dog, and Aether Burst the Sparksmith. I then have the Logic for when she tries to recast it.

The tournament finishes, and I'm in first, and Joshua bumped Darcee down to 3rd (by 2.667%). So we split our packs, and go home.

Now, the changes. Read the Runes is crap. Deep Analysis is so much better for this deck. I also would like to put back the Aquamoebas, and have 3-4 Compost in the sideboard. So let's see what a revised deck list would look like …

U/G madness, V8.1

2 Aquamoeba
4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Basking Rootwalla
3 Merfolk Looter
4 Wild Mongrel
3 Wonder

4 Aether Burst
4 Careful Study
4 Circular Logic
2 Counterspell
2 Deep Analysis
3 Roar of the Wurm

1 Centaur Garden
4 City of Brass
7 Forest
10 Island

4 Compost
2 Krosan Reclamation
4 Naturalize
3 Phantom Centaur
2 Sylvan Safekeeper

Now, we'll see how that goes another time.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge





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