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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

More on Morph

Q: Setup:

I attack with an Elvish Warrior (2/3), no instants or abilities are played in declare attackers step. My opponent blocks with a face down creature and then we both pass to the damage step. In the damage step, I pass to him and he morphs his creature into a Serpentine Basilisk.

Part 1) I'm holding Backslide and the untapped land to play it. Do I get priority again on the damage step so I can cast Backslide?

My opponent claims that the since the morph ability doesn't put anything on the stack, he never put anything else on the stack and so I don't get priority back. Is this true, or can I still play Backslide, effectively destroying his Basilisk and saving my Warrior?

A: Whenever a player plays any ability, it breaks the "two passes in succession" rule to have either a spell or ability resolve or to move on to the next phase or step. It does not matter if the ability uses the stack. You have to have two passes in a row to move on.

Since your opponent played the Morph ability, you don't have 2 passes in a row. Therefore, you will be able to Backslide it before damage resolves.

413.1. Each time both players pass in succession, the spell, ability, or combat damage on top of the stack resolves. (See rule 416, "Effects.")

---

Q: Part 2) If I didn't play Backslide: does the Basilisk's ability (to destroy a creature it did damage to) trigger at end of combat phase? I claim no, since the damage was assigned while the Basilisk was face down. Therefore, it wasn't the Basilisk that did the damage and so its ability never triggered.

-Chris J.

A: You are incorrect. The game doesn't care what the creatures look like when damage is put on the stack. It only cares what they look like when damage resolves. Since the Basilisk now has the ability when damage resolves, its destruction ability will trigger, and the Warrior will die at end of combat.

---

Q: My friend has a 2 Wild Mongrels out, and I have one Wild Mongrel. I have seven cards in hand and so does he. He attacks with one Mongrel and declares that before blockers he will discard Prismatic Strands choosing white for his Mongrel. In response, I discard Fiery Temper, playing it for its madness cost targeting his Mongrel that is attacking. He then proceeds to discard a card to his other Mongrel making it white, then tapping it to flashback Prismatic Strands naming red. In response to that, I cast a Prismatic Strands of my own naming white. In response to that, he casts a kicked Urza's Rage on my Mongrel. In reponse to that, with him having only one mana available to be put in his pool, I Divert that Rage and target his attacking Mongrel. What happens now? My friend and I were arguing for three hours about this and he still thinks that his one mongrel survives long enough to deal combat damage.

-Devon Edmondson.

A: Let's set up the stack, and things should become clear.

To keep the Dogs straight, the Dog to which Prismatic Strands was discarded is Dog #1. The other Mongrel your opponent controls is Dog #2 (which isn't attacking), and your Mongrel is Dog #3.

-Discard Prismatic Strands to activate Dog #1's ability. (You don't choose the color until the ability resolves.)
-Discard Fiery Temper to activate Dog #3's ability.

For the Fiery Temper to be able to be played, you both have to pass to the Madness trigger. So lets say you do, and you play the Temper, targeting Dog #1.

We'll build the stack from there.

-Dog #1's ability.
-Dog #3's ability.
-Fiery Temper is played for its madness cost, targeting Dog #1.
-Card discarded to Dog #2 to activate ability.

Now, in order for Dog #2 to be white, to play the Prismatic Strand for its flashback cost, you have to let the last ability resolve. So we will.

Building the stack from there:

-Dog #1's ability.
-Dog #3's ability.
-Fiery Temper targeting Dog #1.
-Your opponent taps (the now white 3/3) Dog #2 to play Prismatic Strands for its flashback cost. (Again, the color isn't chosen until resolution.)
-You play Prismatic Strands.
-Your opponent plays (kicked) Urza's Rage, targeting Dog #3.
-You cast Divert on Urza's Rage.

So we have our final stack. I am going to assume no other spells or pumps are going to be played. No pumps would matter anyway, since the kicked Rage will kill the Dog it finally targets, since no one has 9 cards in hand to make it an 11/11.

Divert resolves, changing the target of Urza's Rage to Dog #1. The Rage resolves, and Dog #1 takes 10 damage. Since Dog #1 has 10 damage, and its toughness is 2, it is put into the graveyard.

The rest of the stack will resolve in reverse order, but it won't have any effect on the life totals, since the only attacking Dog is dead. So I'm going to stop here.

---

Q: Say my opponent has a creature that can pump like Nantuko Shade. If I played Mana Short to tap all his lands and empty his mana pool, couldn't he just tap his land and use the Shade's ability before my Mana Short resolves?

A: Yes.

---

Q: Say many abilities you have trigger "at the beginning of your upkeep," do you get to chose which one you will respond to first or would the one that has been out the longest trigger first?

-Berginyon

A: Whenever multiple things trigger, active player's triggers go on the stack in any order he or she chooses, then non-active player's go on the stack in any order he or she chooses. So the non-active player's triggers will resolve before yours.

When it comes time to put the triggers on the stack, you can put them on the stack in any order you choose. Put them on the stack in the reverse order of how you want them to resolve.

---

Q: My friends and I have recently decided to start playing Magic and I have a question about one of the cards. I was wondering about the Shackles card. I don't really understand exactly what it does or how long it lasts.

-soadevil

A: Since it doesn't say otherwise, its effect is permanent (at least until the Shackles' controller pays the mana to return Shackles to his or her hand).

---

Q: My opponent has Astral Slide in play, during my end turn he cycles a card and target my Rootwalla, but he says that I can only return the Rootwalla in to play at end of my next turn. Is this correct?

Astral Slide
{2}{W}
Enchantment
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.

He is correct.

---

Q: If during my opponent's end turn can I play Shade's Breath, do both my Mesmeric Fiend has the Shade's Breath abilities until the end of my turn, or otherwise?

-Bob

A: Shade's Breath
{1}{B}
Instant
Until end of turn, each creature you control becomes black, its creature type becomes Shade, and it gains "{B}: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn."

Only until the end of your opponent's turn.

See my 19 July column, "At vs. Until," for a full explanation on how this works.

---

Clarifications:

Q: I have a question about Recurring Nightmare: if you play the Recurring Nightmare, and it resolves, it's almost like up to who call it first gets it right? For example,

-Play Recurring Nightmare
-I get priority and pass
-He passes (since the Recurring Nightmare is not in play yet he can't cast Disenchant)
-The Recurring Nightmare resolves.

Now what happens?

-bahamut o.

A: Whenever a spell or ability resolves, the active player receives priority to play spells or abilities. Since Recurring Nightmare is an enchantment, it's typically your turn. Since you don't want the Nightmare to be disenchanted, and the stack is empty, you play its ability. This returns Recurring Nightmare to your hand, and it's no longer in play for your opponent to target with the Disenchant.

408.1c If both players pass in succession (that is, if both players pass without taking any actions in between passing), the top spell or ability on the stack resolves, then the active player receives priority. If the stack is empty when both players pass in succession, the phase or step ends and the next one begins.

---

>>>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.<<<

C: To my understanding, I think in this scenario the opponent drew 8 cards before the winner of the dice roll announced if he/she was going first.

I'm sure this isn't allowed. If by chance the 8th card was a Force of Will, Contagion or any other alternate casting cost instant type card, the opponent has an unfair advantage.

-Matt

A: The person who wrote the question did not specify that his opponent drew 8 cards. I only answer what has been written.

If the person actually drew 8 cards before deciding whether to mulligan, a penalty would apply for drawing extra cards.

See you Monday.

Bill Guerin
PojoMagicJudge@hotmail.com
DCI Level 2 Judge

 

 

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