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Judge's Corner

6/6 Broodstar for 3 Mana?

If you just want to get the answer to the title question, hit the find function on your browser (ctrl-f on Internet Explorer), and type in "Theme Puzzle". We've got some questions to answer and a tournament report before we get to that though...


Q: I have a question concerning Akroma, Angel of Wrath and some enchantment cards such as Animate Dead, Necromancy, Dance of the Dead, etc. I understand that if Akroma, Angel of Wrath is in my graveyard, the abilities to not apply to it. It must be in play for the abilities to kick in (in this case, Protections). However, there are some questions I have towards bringing it into play and what happens when it comes into play.

I cast the Animate Dead, bringing the Akroma into play. The Pro Black kicks in, thus the Animate Dead can't still enchant it, so it dies. But since Akroma is Pro to black, does it die as well, or does the effect just fizzle and my Akroma stay in play. Thanks for the help!

- Mike

A: Akroma will die. The triggered effect that destroys the creature when Animate Dead leaves play isn't targeted. See Mantra 3.

Animate Dead



When Animate Dead comes into play, if it's in play, it becomes an enchant creature. Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control enchanted by Animate Dead.

Enchanted creature gets -1/-0.

When Animate Dead leaves play, destroy enchanted creature. It can't be regenerated.


Q: When I play my Forgotten Ancient, does it trigger itself and give itself a counter, or not?

A: No. The Forgotten Ancient is not in play when you play it, so its ability can't trigger.


Q: If I have a Tree of Tales and a forest in my hand, can I play them both since Tree of Tales is an artifact?

A: No. Tree of Tales is a land. It counts as your land drop for the turn.


Q: I have a Forgotten Ancient on the field, and I've played five spells. Then I play Hunting Pack and put 6 4/4 beast tokens into play. Does FA get 6 counters since I put 6 tokens into play, or not?

-Randy K.

A: Forgotten Ancient will only get one counter for a storm spell, no matter how many spells have been played that turn. This is because the storm copies aren't played (they're just put on the stack - see Mantra 6). Since the storm copies aren't played, they won't trigger Forgotten Ancient.


Q: My opponent plays Tangle Wire, and on his turn taps Tangle Wire as one of the items he must tap. I say that when he does that, the Tangle Wire's ability does not apply to me on my turn seeing that it is tapped, he says since it is a static ability, that it does not matter if the artifact is tapped or not. Who is right, and please explain.

A: You will still be required to tap permanents equal to the number of fading counters on Tangle Wire. The rule about tapped artifacts "turning off" was removed in the Sixth Edition Rulebook. Now, all artifacts still work when tapped unless they say otherwise.


Q: Icy Manipulator can tap for "no effect," so when would be the correct time to use Icy Manipulator to disable a creature from attacking me. Would it be before the declaration of the attack, before the declaration of the creatures attacking, or before he taps them in response to the attack?

-Jim N.

A: Any time during your opponent's turn, before he declares his attackers. The available times would be:

a) Upkeep Step

b) Draw Step

c) First Main Phase

d) Beginning of Combat step.

Once he enters the Declare Attackers Step, it is too late to prevent creatures from attacking by tapping them.


Q: If my opponent attacks with a Butcher Orgg and a Trained Orgg, can I use Temporary Insanity, take control of his Butcher Orgg, block with it, and deal the damage to him.

-Linda N.

A: No. Butcher Orgg can only do damage to the creature(s) that it is in combat with, or to the defending player and creatures he or she controls. You are the defending player, so you are the only one that could be affected.


Q: I have a Pentavus and 1 Pentavite in play. If I sacrifice it to put a +1/+1 counter on Pentavus, will the token be put in the graveyard then removed from the game after the phase or does it simply gets removed from the game.

-Harold L.

A: The token is put into the graveyard, and then immediately removed from the game before you can play anything else.



Q: I've always thought that I understood how book burning worked, until I read your explanation (last Thursday):

>>>Q: How exactly does Book Burning work?

-Michael S.

A: When Book Burning resolves, The person who was targeted can choose to do one of two things: take 6 damage, or flip the top 6 cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.<<<

Does this mean that if my opponent targets himself with Book Burning (to hit threshold), I cannot take 6 damage to avoid this?

-Gunther B.

A: Hasty answering produces hastily written wrong answers. Of course you can. What I should have said was, either player can take the damage, or the targeted player flips the 6 cards into his or her graveyard.


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

First, the deck list:

Affinity, v2

1 Aether Spellbomb

2 Assert Authority

4 Broodstar

4 Chromatic Sphere

2 Lightning Greaves

4 Mana Leak

3 Myr Enforcer

3 Override

4 Pyrite Spellbomb

3 Talisman of Progress

4 Thirst for Knowledge

4 Thoughtcast

4 Ancient Den

4 Glimmervoid

1 Island

4 Seat of the Synod

4 Tree of Tales

4 Vault of Whispers


3 Naturalize

4 Pyroclasm

3 Sacred Ground

3 Second Sunrise

2 Stifle

There's a glaring error in the above deck list, and I put it in there to stymie the people who just take a deck list, copy it, and run off to play it. This is the deck I actually played Friday, so that's why I list it that way. You'll see the error, if you haven't already, at the end of round 1.

Round 1 - Brandon C. - Goblin Bidding

Game 1 - He wins the roll and goes first. He drops a turn 3 Warchief. I look at my hand, see the Mana Leak (and Override), and think to myself, "OK, I'll just let this through and counter the Piledriver next turn."

I untap, play a land and a Talisman, and pass, with 2 mana available. He untaps, plays a land, and taps 1 mana to play a Piledriver. Doh, scoop phase.

Sideboard: In: 4 Pyroclasm. Out: Broodstar, Chromatic Sphere, Aether Spellbomb, Assert Authority.

Game 2 - I play, and keep a hand with a Pyroclasm, but lacking the red mana to cast it. My land drops are Tree, Vault, Tree, Den. I draw a second Pyroclasm, but he runs me over with his little red man, namely the triad of Drivers.

Games: 0-2, Matches: 0-1

I start thumbing through my deck, to see where my Great Furnaces were.

(If you haven't caught my deck list's error yet, you should have right there.)

I thumb through my deck, puzzled at the lack of Furnaces. Then I take another look at the board, and my stomach drops. When I switched the black sideboard cards for white, I put in the Ancient Dens OK, but I accidentally took out the Great Furnaces instead of the Vaults of Whispers.

I go curse my luck to a few people, and wait for the round to finish.

Round 2 - Steven A. - Mono-White hybrid (between control and aggro)

Game 1 - I mulligan a hand with only a Glimmervoid (but I had a 1 mana cost artifact to keep it on the board) to a hand with only a Tree, but 2 1 mana cost artifacts. He has a little problem with his mana too, as he stalls for a bit. I eventually tap out to cast Broodstar, and he untaps, catches his sixth land, and Vengeances. I just scoop.

Sideboard: In: 3 Second Sunrise, 2 Stifle. Out: 2 Pyrite Spellbomb, Assert Authority, Thoughcast, Broodstar.

Game 2 - I have no problem developing my mana this time, as I quickly get an 8/8 Broodstar on the table. He eventually gets to 6 mana, and tries to cast Vengeance. I have both a Sunrise and Leak in my hand, and choose to play the Leak, so he doesn't see the Sunrise. He blocks my Enforcer with his Deftblade Elite, and tries to prevent their combat damage. I Stifle that, he can't activate it again, and he goes down in short order.

Game 3 - A very quick 7/7 Broodstar rules the air. I don't remember if he ever got to 6 mana, but if he did, the Vengeance was countered again, and I win in short order.

Games: 2-3, Matches: 1-1

Round 3 - Chris B. - 3c Discipletog

We both curse our luck as we see this pairing. I curse my luck as this is a very similar deck to which I lost round 2 last week, only I think this is built better. She curses her luck at just having to play me, as she thinks I am a lot better than her.

Game 1 - I win my first non-digital roll in quite a while, and play first. She gets the quick Disciple on board, followed by the Atog. She pumps the Tog lethally, and I use the Aether Spellbomb to return it to her hand. Even though she still has 2 mana open, she doesn't replay the Tog. My deck makes her pay, as I draw Leak off the top, and she only has 4 land. I Pyrite the Disciple off the board, drop Enforcer, and go to town. She doesn't draw a Shrapnel Blast to steal back the win.

Sideboard: In: 3 Pyroclasm. Out: Assert Authority, Broodstar, Thoughtcast.

Game 2 - I throw away a no land hand, and keep my 6. I don't draw anything that will help me, and she pecks away at me with a Disciple. I wait one turn too long to Pyrite the Disciple off the board, and with me at 7, her third Shrapnel Blast of the game, combined with her Pyrite on board, sends us to game 3.

Game 3 - I again have to throw back a no land hand, but she has to throw back her hand as well. We both keep 6. He stalls on 3 mana, with a Disciple and Ornithopter out. I pull like a turn 4 or 5 Broodstar, Greaves it, and send it in. She blocks with the Ornithopter, and takes her turn. (Note below regarding this point.) She draws a couple more land, and later taps out to randomly Shrapnel Blast me, and sends her guy in. She tapped wrong, with a Sunbeam Spellbomb on board. I reach over, tap her mana the way it should have been tapped, seeing my 2 Pyrites on board and not thinking it will matter anyway.

Did I tell you I made a deck construction error earlier? Good. Because I didn't have a Glimmervoid on board yet.

I send the Broodstar, and then notice my lack of red mana to finish her off. I Sac a Chromatic Sphere for red, and it gives me a Thoughtcast. I tap for blue, continue to float the red, and draw Broodstar, Chromatic Sphere off the Thoughtcast.


Games: 4-4, Matches: 2-1

Later, she comments on the noted point above. She had 2 white sources of mana (along with another land), and 2 Second Sunrises in hand. Apparently, the correct play is to block with Ornithopter, and cast Second Sunrise to get it back for a couple of turns. I note that I doubt I would have seen that play either.

Round 4 - Sean S. - UW (the same deck as before, but I can never adequately describe it. Scepter, Boomerang, Mana Leak, Brain Freeze, Mesmeric Orb, Wheel and Deal, and Ensnaring Bridge are some of the highlights.)

Game 1 - I win the "set number" game, and go first. I get turn 4 double Enforcer, while he gets turn 4 Stone, missing a land drop. He blows the Stone turn 6, but I have double Pyrite to finish him off.

Sideboard: In: 3 Naturalize, 2 Stifle. Out: Broodstar, Thoughtcast, Lightning Greaves, Aether Spellbomb, Assert Authority.

Game 2 - I drop an early Broodstar, but he gets 2 Bridges (the first was Naturalized). 2 Mesmeric Orbs hit the table, and I am content to play the waiting game, as I am about 8 cards up. He plays a spell, I Override. He Leaks, I pay. He sacs his Voidmage, I Stifle. He then Brain Freezes me. On to game 3.

Sideboard: In: Assert Authority. Out: Broodstar.

Game 3 - Again, I get the quick double Enforcer draw. He puts up little resistance again this game, and it ends with 3 attacks from the Enforcers.

Games: 6-5, Matches: 3-1

Round 5 - Bryant M. - Goblin Bidding

Game 1 - He gets another slow start, just like last week. I keep most of his pressure off the board, drop a 7/7 Brood, and Greaves it up. He tries to fight back, but only gets me to 13. His last out is a Bidding, and I show him trips Override in my hand.

Sideboard: In: 4 Pyroclasm. Out: Assert Authority, Broodstar, Thoughtcast, Chromatic Sphere

Game 2 - I am not able to put up much pressure here. He gets his men on the board, and cycles Gempalm to get rid of my blocker Enforcer. I don't draw anything else, and we go to game 3.

Game 3 - He gets Prospector and Warchief. I have 4 land on the table, and drop a 6/6 Broodstar, while still leaving one mana open. How, you ask? I'll pose that question and answer after the tournament report. I attack down to 4, and he gets me to 8 before activating Charbelcher to decide the match. He flips Defense Grid, Sledder, Mountain, and I win the match.

Games: 8-6, Matches: 4-1

Top 4 - Harrison B. - UW control (stock version)

Game 1 - He taps 4 to play a Solemn Simulacrum. I try to go for the throat, tapping out for a 5/5 Broodstar. He shows me how bad of an Idea that was, as he Vengeances. I scoop.

Sideboard: In: 3 Second Sunrise, 2 Stifle. Out: 2 Thoughtcast, Pyrite Spellbomb, Aether Spellbomb, Broodstar.

Game 2 - He plays a quick Story Circle(!), and I have no counter. I manage to get an Enforcer on board, and start swinging. He tries to Wing Shards, and Wrath. I have counters for those. He then Vengeances. I sac my Spellbombs and Spheres, but find no counter magic. My last chance is Second Sunrise, and it is countered.

Games: 8-8, Matches: 4-2

Theme Puzzle:

Now, on to the Broodstar. You have on the board:

Tree of Tales

Vault of Whispers

Ancient Den


Pyrite Spellbomb

Chromatic Sphere

Lightning Greaves

Myr Enforcer

Play the Broodstar in your hand, and leave 1 mana open. Answer below.
















Ready? No peeking if you haven't already tried to answer it!









Let's go through rule 409 to help us get our answer:

409.1a) Announce Broodstar.

b) Nothing here, as there are no modes, and no variable (meaning X, Y, or Z costs), additional, or alternative costs.

c-e) Again, nothing here, as Broodstar has no targets.

f) Here is where it gets fun. We determine the cost of Broodstar. There are 7 artifacts in play on our side of the board, so Broodstar costs {8}{U}{U}-{7}={1}{U}{U}. The cost of {1}{U}{U} is "locked in" at this time.

g) We can now play mana abilities. We tap Glimmervoid for {U}, and 2 of the 3 artifact lands for 2 mana. We use one of the artifact lands' mana to play the ability of Chromatic Sphere, making {U}. We now have 3 mana in our mana pool, 2 of which is blue.

h) We pay for Broodstar using the mana in our pool.

i) Broodstar is played, and we get priority back. (Broodstar is on the stack, waiting to resolve.)

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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