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Judge's Corner

Sculpting Blinkmoths

Short correction from last column: You can get the Dragon Scales on the Pristine Angel by choosing not to untap her. However, during your next turn, the Scales will fall off when the Angel untaps.

(So, what the person was hoping for still won't work . . . he won't be able to have the Dragon Scales on the Angel so the Angel won't have to tap to attack.)


Q: If I turn a Blinkmoth Nexus into a creature, then copy it with Sculpting Steel, is the Sculpting Steel a Blinkmoth 1/1 creature, does the Steel look back at the land and turn back into a Nexus, or is the Sculpting Steel only there for one turn since the Blinkmoth says until end of turn?

-Shawn W.

A: The Sculpting Steel would be a land with all the text of Blinkmoth Nexus (the ability to make mana, turn into a creature, or pump a Blinkmoth). It would not be a creature.

Whenever an object copies another object, it copies the initial characteristics, which for this situation, would be the Blinkmoth land.


Q: Can you rephrase Goblin Welder's ability for me?

A: Goblin Welder's wording has been cleaned up in the Oracle to close some rules loopholes. Here is the current Oracle wording:

Goblin Welder


Creature -- Goblin


{T}: Choose target artifact a player controls and target artifact card in that player's graveyard. If both targets are still legal as this ability resolves, that player sacrifices the artifact in play, then puts the other artifact from his or her graveyard into play.

Basically, you pick two artifacts - one in a player's graveyard and one the player controls control in play. If they are both there when the ability resolves, they "change places."


Q: If I Tinker for Darksteel Forge, am I allowed to use Welder on an artifact after it resolves?

A: Yes. Sacrifice != (does not equal) destroy. (This may be an 11th mantra soon.)


Q: Can I use it on an opponent's Darksteel Reactor and a Chromatic Sphere in his graveyard?

-Dennis D.

A: Yes.


Q: If I take an opponent's Arcbound Crusher with a Legerdemain and he finds a way to kill it, who distributes the modular counters?


A: You do, since you controlled the creature when it was put into your opponent's graveyard.


Q: Player A has a Fodder Cannon in play along with a creature. Player B has one creature in play. If Player B attacks with his/her creature, and Player A blocks with their creature, can Player A sacrifice the creature to deal the four damage to your creature after damage is on the stack?

-Max H.

A: Yes.


Q: I have been told that when creatures band, they gain each other's abilities. For example, if one band member has flying, they all have flying.

A: This is incorrect. Banding does not share abilities. When a band of creatures attacks, a creature blocks a specific member of the band, and then the whole band is blocked.

For the rest of your card specific questions, I will assume the creature is banding with a Benalish Hero (1/1 banding).


Q: If Cavern Harpy joins the band, all band members can return to your hand?

A: No, only the Harpy can.


Q: If Covert Operative joins the band, is the whole band unblockable?

A: No. The opponent can block the Hero with one of his creatures, and as a result, the Operative will be blocked as well.


Q: If Mirror Wall joins a band of Walls, and I pay W, will the whole band be able to attack, or would I have to pay W for each Wall in the "marching band,Ē or will this not work?

A: Doesn't work. Mirror Wall's ability will only allow the Mirror Wall to attack.


Q: Also, how many creatures can a band block? The same amount as each unbanded could block, or just one?

A: "Defensive banding" isn't "declared" like "attacking banding" . . . a bander blocks a creature like normal. Then, when it comes time to assign damage, the player that controls the creature with banding chooses how the creature that was blocked by the bander assigns damage.

(This also works for a group of attackers in a band . . . the person controlling the banders chooses how damage is dealt by creatures blocking the band.)


Q: And when can you declare a band to be formed - just during combat, or any time?


A: Banding is a combat specific ability.


Q: I have a Priest of Titania and my opponent has a Prodigal Sorcerer. If I tap the Priest for mana, can the opponent kill the Priest in response or do all mana abilities ignore the stack?

A: 406.1. A mana ability is either (a) an activated ability that could put mana into a playerís mana pool when it resolves or (b) a triggered ability that triggers from a mana ability and could produce additional mana. A mana ability can generate other effects at the same time it produces mana.

406.4. A mana ability can be activated or triggered. Mana abilities are played and resolved like other abilities, but they donít go on the stack, so they canít be countered or responded to.

ALL mana abilities don't use the stack.


Q: Is the same true for lands?


A: Yes.


Q: What happens when you counter a creature spell? Does the creature go in the graveyard or back into your hand?

A: Into the graveyard.


Q: Is sacrificing an enchantment such as Defense of the Heart counterable?

A: All triggered abilities are counterable by Stifle.

HOWEVER, if you counter the ability of Defense of the Heart, THE WHOLE ABILITY of Defense of the Heart is countered. This means the sacrifice doesn't happen, and Defense of the Heart will probably trigger again during your opponent's next upkeep.

Once the sacrifice happens, you can't do anything. See Mantra 1.


Q: If a creature can't be regenerated is it ever able to exit the graveyard and be played again?

A: Yes.


Q: When a creature has can't be the target of spells or abilities, can that be a legal target for a Confiscate?

-MTG Peacekeeper

A: Not a Confiscate that is played (cast), no. However, if you manage to get Confiscate into play without playing it, then yes, you can put it on an untargetable creature. Local enchantments only target when they are being played (cast).

You can also move the Confiscate onto the untargetable creature once it is in play with a card like Enchantment Alteration.


Q: Do I need to keep track of negative points below zero while I have a Platinum Angel in play? That way I would know how many points I would need to gain back to be above zero and not lose if the Angel left play.


A: Yes, for the reason you stated.


Q: With 2 Gratuitous Violences, do you do 3x or 4x the damage?

-Christopher D.

A: 4x the damage. You double the damage, and then you double it again.


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA - Top 4

A little tweaking gets the deck to the following configuration:

U/W Control

3 Eternal Dragon

2 Akroma's Vengeance

4 Damping Matrix

4 Decree of Justice

4 Mana Leak

3 Pulse of the Fields

3 Rewind

3 Stifle

4 Thirst for Knowledge

4 Wrath of God

4 Cloudpost

4 Coastal Tower

4 Flooded Strand

5 Island

7 Plains

2 Temple of the False God


4 Circle of Protection: Red

2 Mind's Eye

1 Mindslaver

4 Purge

2 Sacred Ground

1 Rewind

1 Stifle

Round 1 - Johnathan L. - MBC

I look back in my book and chuckle that I've had the same first round opponent two weeks straight now. He bemoans that fact.

Game 1 - He plays first. I play the wrong land turn 2, allowing him to drop an Extraplanar Lens without my being able to Mana Leak. He drops Arena, then another Lens, and then just goes wild with Consumes.

Sideboard: In: 4 Purge, 2 Mind's Eye, 1 Rewind. Out: 4 Mana Leak, 3 Stifle, 1 Eternal Dragon.

Game 2 - He gets Lens down again, and goes for the Consume kill. I don't have a counter, but I do have a Pulse, and Pulse myself alive, and just go crazy with the Pulses the next couple of turns, getting myself to 27 before I start beating him down with an Eternal Dragon. Winning is not a problem at that point.

Sideboard: In: 4 Mana Leak. Out: 4 Purge.

Game 3 - He gets three 2 power attackers out, and quickly beats me down to 5. I Pulse back to 13, and Wrath. He Consumes me to 6, and I just cycle a Decree after he taps out to play Visara.

Games: 2-1, Matches: 1-0.

I then go to desideboard. Notice anything about my sideboard notes between games 1 and 2? I try to find the 4th card I need to take out of my deck, and just can't. I then count my sideboard, and call Scott over. He elects to let my next opponent decide whether he wants the win.

Round 2 - Mike S. - TwentyUrza

Mike would rather play for Regionals playtesting, so I offer him the play/draw choice. He chooses to play.

Game 1 - I get 2 Damping Matrices down, as he Oxidizes the first. He doesn't get the set, and I cycle a Decree for 6 and beat him down over 4 turns.

Sideboard: In: Rewind, Stifle, 2 Mind's Eye, Mindslaver. Out: 4 Wrath of God, Mana Leak. (Thinking this is WG control instead of TwentyUrza).

Game 2 - It stretches out a long time, and I never get started, as he starts attacking me for 3 with something, then drops Darksteel Colossus. Um, oops.

Game 3 - He struggles to find the Urza set. I cycle a Decree for 3, and Stifle a couple Stones. The second Stifle is my error, as it leaves me on 3 mana when he draws the Mine for the set and plays Tooth and Nail, getting both Colossi. I had Rewind in hand.

Games: 3-3, Matches: 1-1.

Since this deck is becoming popular, I need something in my sideboard for it. I first though Pacifism, but Altar's Light would be better, so I'll put at least 3 of those in.

Round 3 - Aidan B. - R/B Affinity (didn't see any Clamps or Ravagers though, so I think this is a budget version). He is 0-2, as I am paired down.

Game 1 - He sends a one power attacker for four turns, and I Wrath, followed by Decrees for 8 and 4 to kill him in two turns.

Sideboard: In: 4 CoP: Red. Out: Pulse of the Fields, Eternal Dragon, Wrath of God, Thirst for Knowledge.

Game 2 - He gets 3 quick Disciples this game, but I am able to Purge one and Wrath the other two off the board. I get some Eternal action going, and finally cast one a couple of times (it gets Banished a few times) before it finally comes over for the win.

Games: 5-3, Matches: 2-1.

Round 4 - Kelli J. - RG beats

Game 1 - She drops a couple of small creatures, then plays Tempting Wurm. I take advantage, dropping 4 lands, and then Wrathing it off the board. I recur a Dragon, and Pulse myself out of danger.

Sideboard: In: 2 Mind's Eye, Mindslaver, Rewind, 1 Sacred Ground. Out: 3 Damping Matrix, 1 Stifle, 1 Pulse of the Fields.

Game 2 - I throw back a one land hand only to be rewarded with another one land hand. I luckily draw two Plains in two turns, and have Thirst for Knowledge to power out of my mana problems. She drops Tempting Wurm turn 3, and I don't make the smart play of Thirsting (for a Dragon or land) before it resolves. I Wrath her team away anyway the next turn, and have to Vengeance away a Blastminer before I can cycle a Decree for 5 and head in.

Games: 7-3, Matches: 3-1.

Between this round and round 5, Scott (the head judge) decides to offer packs to those people that will Karaoke. We have an awful bunch, and the highlight of the Karaoke is Alex V.'s impersonation of Simon Cowell, slamming us.

(I crack a Blinkmoth Nexus in my Karaoke pack.)

Going into round 5, there is 1 4-0, 2 3-0-1, and 4 3-1. That means either the undefeated player (James F.) has to win, or the 3-1 playing down has to lose, or else we cut to a top 8 instead of a top 4. (Our cut policy is the smallest cut that lets all X-1's make it. If one match goes well, there will only be 4 X-1's or better, which is enough to cut to a top 4. If both matches break wrong, though, there will be 5 x-1's or better, which means we need to cut to top 8. Prizes pay out to the top 8 regardless, though).

Anyway, I'm the 3-1 playing down, against . . .

Round 5 - Scott S. - RAffinity (2-1-1)

Game 1 - He gets a Disciple out, along with a couple of Ravagers. I am able to cycle Decrees for 11 and 13. The size of the second Decree is unnecessary, and it almost kills me, as I don't have Rewind mana, and he only needs to cast two artifacts to beat me with the Disciple. He doesn't get them, though.

Sideboard: In: 4 Purge, Rewind. Out: 3 Stifle, Pulse of the Fields, Thirst for Knowledge.

Game 2 - He mulligans 2 no land hands, and only draws 2 land all game. I burp at 2 lands, but only miss one land drop. It takes me 15 turns to kill him, but I eventually draw and cycle a Decree.

Games: 9-3, Matches: 4-1.

James lost, so we have to cut to a top 8. I am either the 4th or 5th seed, playing . . .

Top 8 - Adam H. - RG beasts

Adam wishes me to state for the record that last week, he did not kill me with Pulse of the Forge - he killed me with Shrapnel Blast. I didn't bother to write it down, and I assumed Pulse when I wrote the report 3 days later. Sorry Adam.

Game 1 - We both suffer from horrible mana flood. He tries to Clamp a couple of Birds, but I have a Matrix out to stop any thoughts of that. Unfortunately for him, he chooses to play a Chrome Mox, to which I float a bunch of mana, Rewind, and make 20 soldiers. He screws up by not Grabbing one before I untap, and I have another Rewind to stop that silliness.

Sideboard: In: 2 Mind's Eye, 1 Rewind. Out: 1 Stifle, 1 Pulse of the Fields, 1 Eternal Dragon.

Game 2 - He makes a couple of quick beasts, but I cycle a Decree to hold him off, and once he has Contested Cliffsed enough tokens, I Wrathed. He sacrificed beasts to take him up to 30, which was fine by me - I eventually draw a Pulse, and go up to 24 before killing him with an Eternal Dragon, and 11 soldiers after he got rid of the Dragon. I had multiple Mana Leaks and Rewinds in my hand all game, so he had no chance with his business spells.

Games: 11-3, Matches: 5-1.

The top 4 split, and we go home.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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