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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Milestones, Pre-Releases, and Answers

Well, we get to start off this column with some non-rules stuff today.


First, if you happen to take a peek at when my first article went up on Pojo, it was 2 years ago today. This also happens to be my 200th column. Just a quick thank you to those of you who have kept coming by Pojo.com and reading my columns, and sticking with us through the lean times. Hopefully, with the increased amount of writers, we can give you even more of what you are looking for.


Next, the big Magic events going on tomorrow: the Darksteel Prereleases. Those of you that know about them already know what fun they are. Those of you who haven't gone yet, give it a try if there's one within a decent distance.

You might be worried about all the people that go there and think they are much better than you. If this were a tournament like a Pro Tour Qualifier or Regionals, this might be true. However, you'll find so many more people just like you that are there to have fun and get a peek at the new cards.

I have commented to many people that the Prereleases are my favorite time of the year to judge. That is because of all the people there that are just there to have a day of fun, and I get to help them out if they have any questions. I enjoy judging a bit more than actually playing the game, and these events are low-stress judging situations, as most of the players don't care about the little rulings type things that stress each other (and the judge staff). You may still get someone who is hard-nosed about it, but the GREAT majority of the people are just there to have fun.

If you have questions about Prereleases, there are several great articles that can probably answer most of your questions:

First, right here on Pojo, DeQuan's latest Dragon's Den article (from yesterday): http://www.pojo.com/magic/Featured%20Writers/DragonsDen/2004/012204.html if you just want to cut and paste a direct link, or you can go to the Pojo Magic front page and look under yesterday.

Then, on MagicTheGathering.com, Brian David-Marshall, their Wednesday column writer, has a similar article: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/feature/193.

If you want to see those cards that Wizards though would be the cards with the most questions, you can go look at the Darksteel FAQ: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/faq/darksteel.

And to find the Prerelease nearest you, visit http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=events/magic/prereleases.

In short, Prereleases are a great fun time. Whether I see you at the San Diego, California Prerelease, or you go to a Prerelease in another area, it is a great way to spend a day of Magic.


Well, on to the rules questions...


Q: Death-Mask Duplicant


Artifact Creature -- Shapeshifter


Imprint -- {1}: Remove target creature card in your graveyard from the game.

(The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.)

As long as an imprinted creature card has flying, Death-Mask Duplicant has flying. The same is true for fear, first strike, double strike, haste, landwalk, protection, and trample.

If I imprint on Death-Mask Duplicant a card that have an activated ability that can give the creature flying (like Morphling) will Death-Mask Duplicant gain flying?

A: No. Morphling does not have flying on its own, so the Death-Mask Duplicant will not fly. Death-Mask Duplicant only looks for abilities that are naturally on the creature.


Q: Pristine Angel


Creature - Angel


As long as Pristine Angel is untapped, it has protection from all colors and from artifacts.

Whenever you play a spell, untap Pristine Angel.


Q: If I imprint Pristine Angel, will Death-Mask Duplicant gain protection?


A: No. Again, Death-Mask Duplicant does not look for conditional abilities. For Protection abilities, "Protection from XXX" must be physically printed on the card.


Q: If an attacking creature with double strike kills a blocking creature with the first blow can the second strike hit the opposing player or is the creature effectively blocked?


A: It will not deal damage (unless it has trample). If all the blockers of an attacking creature are removed before damage is assigned, the attacking creature does not assign any damage.


Q: If Ensnaring Bridge is in play, and after declaring the attack, can I tap Timberwatch Elf (or any attack booster) to power up the attacker? Or is it stopped by the Bridge (assuming that the opponent does not have enough cards)


A: Ensnaring Bridge only cares about the power of the creatures when they would be declared as attackers. If the power increases later, it doesn't matter.


Q: If I have a Decree of Silence in play, along with two Power Conduits and Rule of Law, doesn't that mean my opponent is unable to play spells?


A: [nitpick]No. He will still be able to play spells.[/nitpick] But the spells will be countered by the Decree.

So he is able to play them, but they most likely will not resolve.


Q: When do I discard cards for Last Rites? Is it at announcement or on resolution? If the spell gets countered, do I still have to discard the cards? And when do I choose the number?


A: Since the discard is not an additional cost to play Last Rites, the cards are discarded on resolution. If Last Rites is countered, you discard no cards. And you choose the number of cards to discard when Last Rites resolves.

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


Ask Judge Bill A Question



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