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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Equilibrium, Revisited


Sometimes even I don't read the card. I'll let another great level 2 judge, Chris Richter, explain what I really meant to say.


There is an error in (the last) column. Here is the question and part of your answer:

>>>Q: If I have Equilibrium in play and then I play Gilded Drake and exchange it with an opponent's creature, if I pay 1 to use the ability for Equilibrium on Gilded Drake, would that return Gilded Drake to my hand or my opponent's? Maybe if you could just clarify "owner", whether I would be the owner of the card or my opponent because he is currently in control of it.

A:....However, make sure you put the Equilibrium trigger on the stack first, and then the Gilded Drake ability, so the exchange is complete by the time Equilibrium's ability resolves.<<<

Equilibrium triggers when you play a creature spell, not when one comes into play. You can not play a creature, pay 1 colorless mana to return that same creature to your hand. When the target of the Equilibrium's triggered ability is chosen the creature spell that triggered Equilibrium is still on the stack and it is not a legal target. In this situation the Gilded Drake's coming into play triggered ability and the Equilibrium's triggered ability can not be on the stack at the same time.

However this trick works if you play a second creature spell after the Gilded Drake has come into play and been exchanged.

Here is the current Oracle text of Equilibrium:




Whenever you play a creature spell, you may pay 1. If you do, return target creature to its owner's hand.

Chris Richter

aka kriz_riktr

DCI Level II Judge

Moderator MTGNews.com


Thanks Chris. Again, it was just a case of me not bothering to read the Oracle for what the card did.

(Thanks also to Will Colley, who also pointed out my error.)


Now, on to today's questions ...


Q: I have a Rishadan Port and another land in play. My opponent has two lands out and has just played a Goblin War Buggy. Is it possible for me to tap one of my opponent's lands before they're able to pay the echo cost?


A: Yes. HOWEVER, your opponent can just tap the land for mana in response to you playing the ability of the Port, and put a mana in his pool before the Port's ability resolves. Then he can tap the other land for mana, and pay the echo cost.

There is no way to use Rishadan Port to prevent your opponent from paying the echo cost if he wants to.


Q: If I attach a Fireshrieker to one of my poison creatures (which gives a player a poison counter when it damages him or her), is it possible to deal my opponent 2 poison counters in one turn when the creature usually only deals 1. If so, how?

A: Yes. Assuming the creature is unblocked, it will deal damage to your opponent twice. Each time it damages your opponent, it will give your opponent a poison counter. So your opponent will end up with 2 poison counters.


Q: Is it possible in double strike, to deal lethal damage to creature, then attack the player, so I can deal at least one poison counter?

-Jason D.

A: Please read my column from 23 January. The third question there has the answer to this one.


Q: If Player A has a Spellbinder in play, and imprints any of the Pulses from Darksteel, what happens if you/your opponent meets the requirements to send the card back to your hand? Because they are copies, do they just dissipate into nothingness or what?

-Terence P.

A: It would disappear. When the copy of the Pulse is returned to your hand, it ceases to exist as a state based effect. (503.10a)


Q: I block a 10/10 creature (no trample) with my Wall of Essence.

If I understand correctly, since the Wall is the only blocker, all 10 damage must be assigned to the Wall. Later, the 10 damage goes on the stack. IMO, when the damage resolves, all 10 points are dealt to the Wall, which receives lethal damage and is destroyed. My friends disagree. So, do I gain 10 life, or only 4?


-David C.

A: You are correct. All 10 points of damage are dealt to the Wall, and you will gain 10 life.


Q: Let's say I have a Festering Goblin and my opponent has a 2/2 indestructible creature, if I attack and he blocks does the -1/-1 that triggers when my Festering Goblin goes to the graveyard kill the 2/2 indestructible creature?


A: No. When the Festering Goblin ability resolves, the creature is a 1/1 creature with 1 damage. Its toughness is greater than 0, so it is not subject to that state based effect. The only state based effect it would normally be subject to is destruction by lethal damage; indestructibility suppresses this.


Q: If my friend plays Fatespinner and at my upkeep I choose main phase, do I skip both my pre and post combat main phases or just one?


A: Fatespinner


Creature -- Human Wizard

1 / 2

At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player chooses draw step, main phase, or combat phase. The player skips each instance of the chosen step or phase this turn.

As the second lines of rules text on Fatespinner says, you skip EACH instance of the phase. So you will skip both main phases.


Q: If I have an Ornithopter in play and I attack, does my opponent take 0 damage or no damage, or does it even make a difference?

-Christopher S.

A: Your Ornithopter won't even assign combat damage. Creatures with 0 (or less) power don't assign combat damage. (310.2a)

Since it doesn't assign any damage, that means it won't deal damage. (Mask of Memory will not trigger.)

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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