Judge Bill

Bill Guerin is a Level II Judge who we can personally vouch as walking Magic encyclopedia.  He'll be answering all your Magic Ruling questions.  Write him at PojoMagicJudge


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Judge's Corner

Mirrodin Prerelease Rulings



First off, a thank you goes out to all of you who sought me out at the San Diego Pre-Release on Saturday, just to say hi.

The one card that I had to make multiple rulings on all day was ...

Grab the Reins
Choose one - Until end of turn, you gain control of target creature and it gains haste; or sacrifice a creature, then Grab the Reins deals damage equal to that creature's power to target creature or player.
Entwine {2}{R} (Choose both if you pay the Entwine cost)

502.32b If the entwine cost was paid, follow the text of each of the modes in the order written on the card when the spell resolves.

*If you pay the entwine cost, you can sacrifice the creature you gain control of with Grab the Reins. (Mirrodin FAQ)

-If you follow 502.32b, you will never have a question about both modes when you pay Entwine. Just do it in the order on the card. They are in that order for a reason. :)

-You have to declare what you're taking and what you're doing damage to when you play Grab the Reins.


And the other mechanic that caused a bit of a problem was Equip.

502.33a Equip is an activated ability of artifact Equipment cards. The phrase "Equip [cost]" means "[cost]: Move this Equipment onto target creature you control. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery."

-Note the colon. This will help you tell that it is an activated ability. Thus, if Damping Matrix is in play, you can't Equip.

-Equip can be played only when you can play a sorcery. This means that it has to be one of your main phases, and the stack has to be empty. This DOES NOT mean you have to play a sorcery before you can play an Equip ability.

-You can only play the Equip ability to equip creatures you control. However, other cards may allow equipment you control to be put on a creature you do not control.

-Don't try to Equip Needlebug. Or any permanent with protection from artifacts for that matter...
502.7d A permanent with protection can't be equipped by Equipment that have the stated quality. Such an Equipment stops equipping that permanent, but remains in play. (See rule 420, "State-Based Effects.")

-You can move the same Equipment card between multiple creatures in the same turn, provided you can pay the Equip cost for each time you want to move it.

For example, let's say you have a Viridian Longbow on an Alpha Myr. You can do one damage to something, and pay 3 mana to move it to another creature (let's say a Copper Myr). You can then do one damage with the Copper Myr, and if you have 3 more mana, you can move it and shoot something again.

-You can't "unequip" a creature using just the abilities of the Equipment. You can move the Equipment to another creature by paying the Equip cost, but you can't just make it "fall off" on its own.


Well, that about sums up the major rulings I had to make from Saturday involving cards. So on to my questions from my mailbox ...


Q: If a Goblin sharpshooter is used to kill a token, will the Sharpshooter untap? When tokens are destroyed do they go to the graveyard then become removed from the game?

-Walter T.

A: Correct. Tokens do hit the graveyard, then are removed from the game as a state-based effect. So the Sharpshooter will untap.


Q: Platinum Angel
Artifact Creature - Angel
You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.

Would you still lose if you "deck" yourself? Would you win?

-Mike P.
A: Neither. If you would lose due to a game rule, you don't. So ....

*If you would draw a card from an empty library, nothing happens.
*If you go below 0 life, you continue playing.
*if you play Final Fortune, and don't win in the extra turn, the game goes on.
*If you have 10 poison counters, you just keep playing.

Note that in the second and fourth points, though, you still keep track of your negative life and the number of poison counters you have. So if Platinum Angel leaves play, the game will then see you have 0 or less life, or have 10+ poison counters, and you will immediately lose once Platinum Angle leaves play.


Q: I have a question about phasing. Let's say I play Cloak of Invisibility on an Angel of Mercy. If it phases out, then phases back in do I get an additional 3 life?


A: No. Phasing in does not trigger comes into play abilities.


Q: If I play a Gold Myr, am I able to use its tap ability even though it is affected by summoning sickness?

A: Gold Myr is a creature. Therefore, on the turn he comes into play (unless you give him haste), he can't attack or use an activated ability on Gold Myr with the tap symbol as a cost. Since the latter applies, you can't tap him for mana.


Q: If I play Smother targeting my opponents face down creature, can he, in response to me playing Smother, play Orim's Chant and make the Smother fizzle/resolve without an effect?


A: No. Orim's Chant is not a counterspell.


Q: If I have a Dragon Tyrant and I play a Diplomatic Immunity on it, will I still have to pay Dragon Tyrant's upkeep cost?

A: Yes.

Q: What is the errata for older cards that deal with interrupts, such as Sirocco and Burnout?

-Colin K.

A: Check the Oracle. Most cards that affected "interrupts" have been errataed to affect "instants" instead.


Since I had the prerelease on Saturday, I ended up having to go to bed early on Friday since I had to wake up really early on Saturday. So unfortunately, there will be no tournament report this week.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge





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