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 Bill's Corner

Time Conduit

Questions: 18


Q: If I have a Time Vault, can I use Power Conduit to put a counter on it instead of skipping a turn since Time Vault now requires a counter?


A: Sure, you can put a charge counter on it any time you like. However, Time Vault requires there to be at least one time counter on it (in addition to untapping it) to be able to play the ability to give you an extra turn. Since charge counters are not time counters, you won't be able to play the ability to give you an extra turn.

Time Vault
Time Vault comes into play tapped.
Time Vault doesn't untap during your untap step.
Skip your next turn: Untap Time Vault and put a time counter on it.
{T}, Remove all time counters from Time Vault: Take an extra turn after this one. Play this ability if only there's a time counter on Time Vault.


Q: If I Copy Artifact an artifact with Imprint, can I discard a card to imprint the Copy Artifact?

A: Yes. In fact, you must, if you want the card to have any effect, as it doesn't copy the original imprint.


Q: If I have a Control Magic on my opponent's Tragic Poet, can I sacrifice the Tragic Poet, have the Control Magic go to the graveyard, then retrieve back my Control Magic through the Tragic Poet's ability?

A: No. When the ability is announced, the target is declared before the cost is paid. Since the Control Magic is not in the graveyard when you announce the ability (it gets there after the ability is announced, as a state based effect, since the Poet isn't there any more), you can't choose it as a target for the Tragic Poet.


Q: I have a Decree of Silence in play with no counters as well as a Power Conduit. My opponent casts one spell that is countered, and I now have one counter on my Decree. If my opponent now plays a Brain Freeze, does the Decree counter the original Brain Freeze as well as the Storm copy, getting 2 counters?

A: No. Decree of Silence only affects spells that are played. Since the Storm copy isn't played, but simply put on the stack, Decree of Silence won't affect it.


Q: Is it possible for me to use the Power Conduit to remove a counter from the Decree (if it has 2 counters before its triggered ability resolves) before I have to sacrifice it?

A: Only if you remove a counter before it counters its third spell. Once the third counter is put on, it is sacrificed as part of the same effect that put the third counter on.


Q: My creature has Arrest on it. Would it be possible to cast Flickering Ward on the creature naming white and then return it to my hand by paying W before it falls off?

-Ryan C.

A: Yes, because Flickering Ward has been errataed.

Flickering Ward
Enchant Creature
As Flickering Ward comes into play, choose a color.
Enchanted creature has protection from the chosen color. This effect doesn't remove Flickering Ward.
{W}: Return Flickering Ward to its owner's hand.


Q: If I attack with Scalpelexis and Raven Guild Master how would their abilities trigger?

-Art C.

A: Separately, since they are different effects. You choose the order the abilities go on the stack, so you could remove 10 cards with the Guild Master first, or you could remove 4 (and repeat if 2 names match) with Scalpelexis first.

Q: I use a Traumatize on my opponent. Then, my opponent uses a Stifle on the Traumatize.

A: This is not a legal play. Traumatize is a spell, and not an activated or triggered ability.

Activated abilities are of the form "Cost: Effect," And triggered abilities are abilities that contain one of the following words: "when," "whenever," or "at," followed by a trigger condition, and then an effect.


Q: I control a Mystic Enforcer, and I have Threshold. Then, my friend removes the graveyard by casting Morningtide. How big is the Enforcer now?

A: The Enforcer is 3/3. If you lose threshold, as far as the game is concerned, the ability it had while you had threshold "disappears." Thus, it goes back to its base state. (If you gain threshold again later, it will again gain the +3/+3 and Protection from Black.)

You can read more about threshold in the Comprehensive Rulebook, rule 502.23.


Q: If I have Threshold with a Mystic Enforcer, can my friend use a Stifle to negate the effect of the +3/+3 and Flying?


A: No. Threshold is a characteristic-setting ability, and not a triggered or activated ability (though some cards gain a triggered or activated ability at threshold). See above for what a triggered or activated ability is.


Q: I have Death Pits of Rath & Aether Flash out on the field. My opponent has Opposition and a squirrel nest on two lands. If he puts two squirrels in play, could he tap them to tap my lands with Opposition before they are destroyed by Aether Flash?

A: Yes. Aether Flash's ability is a triggered ability, and can be responded to before it resolves.


Q: Are you allowed to play instants spells and abilities during another players Untap or Upkeep step?

A: Untap, no. Upkeep, yes. Except for the untap and cleanup steps, all players in the game get at least one chance in each phase or step of each player's turn to play spells or abilities.

Q: Is using Goblin Sharpshooter's effect considered Combat Damage?

A: No. Combat damage is damage that is dealt as a result of a creature attacking or blocking. It does not include damage dealt by spells or abilities during the combat phase.


Q: If I play Faceless Butcher and remove a creature from the game, but then bounce the Butcher back to my hand, does the creature stay removed?


A: If you bounce the creature in response to the Butcher's "remove from game" ability, yes.


Q: If I give my Whirling Dervish double strike and he is not blocked, will he get 2 counters?


A: No. No matter how many times Whirling Dervish damaged an opponent (or for that matter, how many opponents were damaged by Whirling Dervish), it only gets one counter at end of turn.

Whirling Dervish
Creature -- Dervish
Protection from black
At end of turn, if Whirling Dervish dealt damage to an opponent this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on it.


Q: Does Holy Day affect all attack phases of the turn or just the one it was cast on?

-Junwei H.

A: Holy Day
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.

So no matter how many combat phases the active player gets this turn, all combat damage dealt in all combat phases is prevented.


Q: I had a Tower of Murmurs in play, and my opponent had an Icy Manipulator in play. I activated the Tower's ability and he then activated the Icy's ability, claiming that that would stop the Tower from working. I told him that since I had priority that the Tower's ability would still work. Who's right?


A: Neither of you are exactly right. You are correct that the Tower's ability will still work, but for the wrong reason. The reason the Tower's ability will still work is because once you've paid the cost (which includes tapping the Tower), the ability exists independently of the Tower. The only thing that could remove the Tower's ability from the stack once it has been played is a spell like Stifle.

Even if he was able to play the ability of the Icy to tap the Tower first, you could still respond by playing the Tower's ability, and have it still work.


Q: Can Mana Matrix be used with non creature Artifacts like Tower of Champions?


A: No. Mana Matrix only affects Instant and Enchantment spells; that is, spells that have the type Instant or Enchantment. There are currently no artifacts that also have either the type Instant or the type Enchantment.

Mana Matrix
Instant and enchantment spells you play cost up to {2} less to play.

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge





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