-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
-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
-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
-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.
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?
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
A: Skittering Skirge
Creature -- Imp
When you play a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering
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?
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
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
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 …
By: Gabriel Nassif (2002 Invitational)
4 City of Brass
3 Darkwater Catacombs
3 Polluted Delta
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 Engineered Plague
1 Haunting Echoes
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
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
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
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
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.
DCI Level 2 Judge
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