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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Short Answers:

-When a card names itself in its text, it refers to that specific card, not any other card that may have the same name. So a freshly cast Wormfang Drake can target another Wormfang Drake already in play.

-I explained the different play formats in my third column, dated January 29. (See also comments by a level 3 judge, John Carter, regarding this in my March 13 column.)

-Triggered abilities, such as those on Lightning Rift, can only be played once for each thing that triggers it. So you can’t do more than 2 damage with one Lightning Rift when you cycle one card.

-When Taunting Elf attacks, all creatures that are able to block it must do so. Even those with Protection from Green.

-Damage to creatures heals in the cleanup step. There is no way to make damage to creatures carry over turns, even if you get priority in the cleanup step, since another cleanup step starts immediately thereafter in that case.

-Goblin Sharpshooter will untap once for each creature that dies. These are triggered abilities that stack, so it’s possible to have that Sharpshooter untap, do one damage to something, untap, etc. for each trigger, resulting in damage equal to the number of creatures that died.


Long Answers:

Q: My friends and I have an ongoing argument about a combo with Chain of Plasma and Mogg Maniac. They say it works that you can target your own Maniac with Chain and ditch your hand to kill your opponent. I say that it doesn't work for a couple of reasons.

When you use Chain of Plasma's ability, is the ability put on the stack, or does the damage from initially casting the spell go through first and trigger the Maniac's ability? If it does, wouldn't the game resolve the abilities and then check for state based effects? Since it "sees" the Maniac has taken lethal damage, wouldn't it send it to the graveyard before you could set it off again?

-William H.

A: The copying of the Chain is made on resolution of the Chain spell (or copy). Thus, if you target your own Mogg Maniac with Chains of Plasma, you are able to copy it to the Maniac during resolution of the original Chain of Plasma, but then the Maniac dies, and is not around when the copy resolves. Thus, you can hit the Maniac with at most one packet of 3 damage.


Q: If you had a Skittering Skirge out and you played a Sarcomancy, would the token

coming into play kill the Skirge or would it not activate because you are

playing the Sarcomancy and simply putting the token into play?


A: Skittering Skirge


Creature -- Imp



When you play a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering Skirge.

Since you are not playing a creature spell, the Skirge will stick around.


Q: When I use Meddle, does the controller of Meddle choose the new target?


A: Yes.


Q: I have a couple of questions about the new card in Onslaught called Words of War.

First: Say I have Words out, and I play Browbeat, choosing me as the target to draw

three. Do I get to choose to draw one card, opting not to draw the other

two to do four damage to my opponent from the enchantment, or two cards and

do two damage, or do I have to forfeit drawing all three cards to only do

two points of damage?

A: First, Words of War replaces one card draw with 2 points of damage. So if you get to draw multiple cards, you can choose to replace any number of those draws, and draw the rest.

You have to set up the Words effect before you would draw the cards. So if you want to do 2 damage and draw 2 cards (assuming, of course, your opponent chooses to let you draw instead of taking 5), you have to activate Words of War once before Browbeat resolves.

Similarly, if you want to do 4 and draw 1 card, you have to activate Words of War twice before Browbeat resolves.

Remember Mantra #1. :)


Q: Secondly, say I again have Words out, and I play Breakthrough, in this case

opting not to draw any.

A: So you activated Words of War 4 times.


Q: Does the X in the casting cost of Breakthrough then become zero, or do I have to pay at least one colorless?

-Jason B.

A: Breakthrough



Draw four cards, then choose X cards in your hand and discard the rest from it.

You replaced the draws with the Words effect. You still have to fulfill the second part of Breakthrough, that is, choosing X cards (whatever mana you paid for X) and discarding the rest. Words of War just replaced the draws, not the entire spell.


Tournament report – FNM – Costa Mesa, CA

So I call the Wizards store at The Block, and find out that they’re taking their usual Christmas season break from running tournaments. I really wanted to play, so I found a store in Costa Mesa, called Village Toy Shop. I call, confirm the time and format (type 2), and head out at the appropriate time.

I get there, and as I am wearing my Pojo staff shirt, get the question about what I do for the site. I reply that I write this column. It gets to tourney time, and I pull out the deck that I’ve been wanting to play for a long time …

BUG Braids

By: Gabriel Nassif (2002 Invitational)

4 City of Brass

3 Darkwater Catacombs

7 Forest

1 Island

3 Polluted Delta

2 Swamp

4 Underground River

4 Birds of Paradise

4 Braids, Cabal Minion

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Merfolk Looter

4 Shadowmage Infiltrator

4 Call of the Herd

4 Memory Lapse

4 Opposition

4 Smother

1 Naturalize


3 Duress

4 Engineered Plague

1 Haunting Echoes

3 Naturalize

4 Oversold Cemetery

There is a bit of confusion when they are calling out pairings, as there is another Bill playing. We finally get it sorted out, and I find my opponent,

Round 1 – Chris Dickson – R/G Beasts (Semi-Highlander)

Game 1 – I win the roll, 10-6, and play. My only damage comes from a Delta and 2 pings from a land, while I beat down with 2 Infiltrators.

Sideboard: In: 1 Haunting Echoes. Out: 1 Naturalize. This is typical, as I have the random Naturalize in there from the random Ensnaring Bridge.

Game 2 – He plays first. I get Opposition out early, and tap down his beasts while I slowly whittle away at his life total with an Infiltrator. I finally tap his stuff and come in for the kill over 2 turns starting at 14.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 – Michael – U/G Quiet Speculation

Game 1 – He wins the roll, 7-4, and plays first. He gets some early beats in, and then I drop the Opposition. He Speculates for a Ray of Revelation (!), but luckily I have the Memory Lapse to deal with it. He concedes, locked, with me at 3 life.

Sideboard: In: 1 Haunting Echoes. Out: 1 Naturalize.

Game 2 – He plays first. He boards in 3 other Rays, and I am able to deal with 1 and drop a second Opposition to deal with the second. But the Speculation for the third Ray does me in.

Game 3 – I play first. I drop Braids on turn 3, since I kept a hand with a lot of land. I made the mistake of not Smothering a Looter while I could, and he had the Logic when he had mana next turn. I finally let the Braids go, as I had another in my hand, but decide to go for the throat with Haunting Echoes instead of dropping the other Braids, to also get rid of the Rays in the grave. He has the Logic, and when he puts out a second Arrogant Wurm with his Looter, I extend the hand.

Games: 3-2, Matches: 1-1

Against U/G, sometimes you just have to dare them to have the counter. He said he drew it the previous turn, and since I just drew the Echoes, I couldn’t do much about it.

Round 3 – Malik – Mono-Red Goblins

Game 1 – I win the roll, 20-16, and play. I believe I got another early Opposition, which kept most of his creatures under control. I attack with an elephant for a while, and although he has a bit of removal, Elves finish him. I completely forget about a Call in my grave until the last turn.

Sideboard: In: 4 Engineered Plague. Out: I didn’t write it down, so I don’t remember other than 1 Naturalize.

Game 2 – This one was a lot closer. He played first. I got board control again, although I think it was just Smothers, since I seem to remember not having the Plague until like turn 6 or 7. More elephant beats from me, and this game he hits me with a Lightning Surge while I am at 8. I make sure to keep him at 5 land or less going into his first main phase each turn, and I nearly make another fatal mistake by tapping a City of Brass for mana, putting me in Volcanic Hammer range. He doesn’t get it though, and I pull out the match.

Games: 5-2, Matches: 2-1

I ask if there is 3 or 4 rounds, and the head judge says he’s not sure yet. =\. Anyway, I stay around and help him playtest, and there ends up only being 3 rounds. So prizes are awarded and I go home. I end up being 6th, the lowest 2-1, which was barely in the top half of the standings, as there were 12 players.

I’ll probably just go to Franks for the next few Saturdays to play, as that was the only FNM within 50 miles of me, and the meager prize support (3 packs for first, 2 for second, and 1 for third) joined with only 3 rounds of play isn’t enough incentive for me to travel 35 miles every Friday. The shop is probably good for those who live close, though, as the people were mostly friendly, especially the shop owners.

See you Monday.

Bill Guerin


DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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