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Judge's Corner

Mantra 11 Revisited

Well, I STILL get a lot of questions that are directly answered by Mantra 11. So let's go over it again, shall we?
(I understand it may not help that (a) Mantra 11 is below a ginormous Mantra 10, and (b) the formatting on Mantra 10 is screwed up, making it even bigger, but we do the best we can. I'll send in another formatting of the Mantras to be posted within the next day or two, which moves Mantra 10 to the very bottom. Hopefully that will help.)
Here are Mantras 1 and 11 (Mantra 1 relates to Mantra 11, to be explained below ...)
1. I can't play any spells or abilities while something is resolving or while another spell or ability is being played. (18 April 02, modified 11 May 04)
11. To play an ability, you must be able to fully pay the costs. You can't play the ability if you can't pay the costs. You may play the ability as many times as you can pay the costs. (11 May 04)
Let's look at one example. We have a Krark-Clan Ironworks and one random artifact in play. We want to play Shrapnel Blast. Can we sacrifice the artifact to both get 2 mana and get 5 damage?
Shrapnel Blast
As an additional cost to play Shrapnel Blast, sacrifice an artifact.
Shrapnel Blast deals 5 damage to target creature or player.
Krark-Clan Ironworks
Sacrifice an artifact: Add {2} to your mana pool.
Let's say we want to play the Shrapnel Blast first. We declare that we are playing Shrapnel Blast, declare the target, and it comes time to pay the costs. This is the time we sacrifice the artifact (and pay 1R). We can't sacrifice the artifact at this point to the Ironworks, since we are in the middle of playing a spell (Mantra 1). By the time we get priority again, the artifact is gone, so we can't sacrifice it to the Ironworks.
What if we do it the other way, by playing the Ironworks ability? We declare that we are playing the Ironworks ability. No targets or anything else, so we go straight to the point where we have to pay the cost of sacrificing an artifact. We can't play the Shrapnel Blast right now, as we are in the middle of playing an ability (of the Ironworks) (Mantra 1). Once we finish playing the Ironworks' ability and get priority again, the artifact isn't there anymore to sacrifice.
(Wait a second fellow rules gurus, I'm getting to it now ... in fact, I'll take your comment now...)
Rules savvy reader: "Wait a second. Krark-Clan Ironworks' ability is a mana ability. This means we can play it while we are playing the Shrapnel Blast, right?"
Um, yeah. This reminds me I need to change Mantra 1 for an exception of mana abilities. But this does not change the fact we can't get two uses out of the same artifact. Let's go down that road now ..
-You play Shrapnel Blast.
-Declare its target.
-Before you pay the costs, you get a chance to play mana abilities. So you sacrifice the random artifact to Krark-Clan Ironworks to get 2 mana.
-Then you pay the costs. But wait, the random artifact isn't around to sacrifice any more. You'll have to sacrifice another artifact to pay for Shrapnel Blast.
(Mantra 1 is amended to read:
1. I can't play any spells or abilities while something is resolving or while another spell or ability is being played. [Exception: Mana abilities can be played at a specific time during the announcement of a spell, right before the costs of that spell are paid.] (18 April 02, modified 11 May 04 and 6 July 04)
Let's take an actual reader question along these lines:
Q: Is it would possible to combine something like Bottle Gnomes with Krark-Clan Ironworks or Ashnod's Altar. Would I be able to sacrifice him with Ironworks or Altar and gain two mana in addition to 3 life, or would I have to choose one or the other?
A: You would have to choose one or the other. You can substitute Bottle Gnomes for Shrapnel Blast in the example above (and Ashnod's Altar for the Ironworks).
Moving on...
Q: Is equipping targeting?
A: When you play the equip ability, it targets the creature. Once the equipment is placed on the creature, it no longer targets the creature.
Q: Can a creature with protection from artifacts be equipped?
A: No. (Mantra 4)
Q: If an equipped creature gains protection from artifacts does the equipment fall off?
A: Yes. (Mantra 4)
Q: For the "target player" of the Squirrel Farm card from Unglued, can you choose a teammate in a multiplayer team game as the target player, or only opponents?
A: Who says I'm not allowed to have fun with Unglued?
Squirrel Farm
{1}{G}: Choose a card in your hand. Covering the artist's name, reveal the card to target player. If that player cannot name the artist, reveal the artist's name and put a Squirrel token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
As written, you can choose a teammate. However, this is probably not what the card intended. (Did I just question the intent of an _Unglued_ card?? Anyway...) To make it fair, I suggest one of the following two solutions.
Solution #1: You can only choose opponents as targets.
Solution #2: You want to go strictly by the wording on the card? Fine, I can work with that. Watch me go...
Once a card has been shown to a teammate of the person who controls Squirrel Farm, all players on that team permanently know the artist of the card (for the remainder of the game). This means when it comes time for one of them to name that artist of the card, it is impossible for them to be able to not know the artist. (The person chosen may not want to, but he _can_ name the artist. Therefore, the clause of "If that player cannot name the artist" is false, because he _can_ name the artist. He may just choose not to.) Therefore, if a player on your team has seen that specific card (or another card with the same name and picture) before, you won't get a token.
Disclaimer: This is Unglued here, folks. If you want to say "to heck with that ruling," feel free. I'm just saying the way I think the card should work.
Q: I have a Blinkmoth Nexus and I turn it into a 1/1 creature, equipping a Grafted Wargear on it. When the Wargear falls off the deanimated Nexus in the cleanup step, will I have to sacrifice the Nexus?
A: Yes. Grafted Wargear has been given errata in last month's Rules Team Rulings to cover this specific situation:
Grafted Wargear
Artifact -- Equipment
Equipped creature gets +3/+2.
Whenever Grafted Wargear becomes unattached from a permanent, sacrifice that permanent.
Equip {0} ({0}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)
Q: What is morph, first strike, and haste?
A: All keyword abilities are defined in section 502 of the Comprehensive Rules. You can obtain your copy of the Comprehensive Rules at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dci/oracle. (Click on "Comprehensive Rulebook.")
Q: If I have my Arcbound Crusher out and I play Whispersilk Cloak can I still gain counters when an artifact comes into play?
A: Yes. Crusher's ability isn't targeted. (You can tell it isn't targeted by the absence of the word "target" in the ability. See Mantra 3.)
Q: If I have an artifact creature in play and I play Whispersilk Cloak on it, then one of my modular creatures dies, can I put its counters on the creature with the Whispersilk Cloak?
A: No. Modular does have the word "target" on it, so you can't choose the Cloaked creature to put the counters on it.
Q: If I have an Academy Rector token made by Dual Nature or with a Soul Foundry, do I get to use the ability of the token Rector?
A: No. Even though the Rector token goes to the graveyard, it is removed immediately afterward. So when the triggered ability resolves, the Rector token isn't in the graveyard to remove. So you can't remove it to get an enchantment.
Academy Rector
Creature -- Cleric
When Academy Rector is put into a graveyard from play, you may remove Academy Rector from the game. If you do, search your library for an enchantment card and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library.
Tournament Report: FNM - Diamond Bar, CA
So, in my first week back, I decide to run the Ironworks deck ...
Ironworks Combo
David Felske - Canadian Grinders, Afternoon *Qualified*
Main Deck:
4 Great Furnace
4 Ancient Den
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Tree of Tales
4 Echoing Truth
4 Mana Leak
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Thoughtcast
3 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Fabricate
2 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Pentad Prism
3 Serum Visions
4 Chrome Mox
4 Myr Incubator
4 Talisman of Progress
4 Annul
4 Defense Grid
3 Pyroclasm
4 Sacred Ground
Round 1 - Kyle L. - UW Control
Game 1 - He gets an early Damping Matrix down. I am able to bounce it for a turn, but he counters the Ironworks, and redrops the Matrix the next turn. He has a full grip, and I only have 2 Echoing Truths left, so I scoop when he cycles a Decree.
Sideboard: In: 4 Annul, 4 Defense Grid. Out: 4 Fabricate, 3 Serum Visions, 1 Myr Incubator.
Game 2 - I have a chance to stay in this game, but I choose to Leak a couple of his early artifacts instead of using Annuls. He then casts Akroma's Vengeance with me holding 2 Annuls and him having 2 mana available. I try to bounce back, but he has counters ans Stifles for my Mox and Talismans. A cycled Decree earns the scoop.
Games: 0-2, Matches: 0-1
Round 2 - Sean S. - UW Mill
Game 1 - I throw back a hand of one land and no acceleration, and keep the 6 cards. I set up turn 5, and wait to go off the next turn. Unfortunately, he has double Brain Freeze (for 33 cards total) and a Mesmeric Orb, leaving me 2 cards.
Sideboard: In: 4 Annul, 4 Defense Grid. Out: 4 Echoing Truth, 3 Serum Visions, 1 Fabricate.
Game 2 - He gets an early CoP: Artifact out, and I choose not to Leak it. (Why, I don't know. But anyway ...) I put an Incubator out, and when he takes an uneventful turn, I pop the Incubator. He has neither Stifle nor Echoing Truth, so I take game 2.
Game 3 - I get to the same position as game 2, with a Cop: Artifact out (I didn't have the counter this time), and an Incubator on my side. He casts a Concentrate, which is the last card in his hand. I decide to pop the Incubator in response, and go for the gusto. That leaves me with 10 cards. He draws 2 castable cards and a Brain Freeze.
Games: 1-4, Matches; 0-2
I might have had a chance if I only popped the Incubator for about 15 tokens, as the CoP: Artifact was going to give him another turn anyway. It might have extended two turns, though, so it is tenuous whether I would have won ro not regardless. Chalk up the loss to a play mistake, though, as I didn't give myself a chance.
Round 3 - Aaron B. - Big Red
Game 1 - I keep a hand with 2 Seats on the draw. Turn 2 Detonate, turn 3 Molten Rain shuts me out. I scoop a couple of turns later, to a Firewalker.
Sideboard: In: 4 Sacred Ground. Out: 3 Fabricate, 1 Myr Incubator.
Game 2 - He gets stuck at 3 mana. I get turn 2 Sacred Ground, and Echoing Truth the Arc Slogger he Seething Songed out, and win at my leisure.
Game 3 - I again get turn 2 Sacred Ground, and he draws up to 6 land and starts activating his Stalking Stones. I get an Incubator out, and make a severe play error, worrying too much about Starstorm. Had I popped it when I had the chance, I would have attacked for the win one turn before he killed me, as he didn't have any Starstorms in his deck.
Games: 2-6, Matches: 0-3.
Round 4 - Garet W. - SRB (Stupid Red Burn)
Game 1 - I draw all 4 Thoughtcasts and a Thirst, and combo out on about turn 6 under no pressure.
Sideboard: Nothing.
Game 2 - He gets out a one power attacker, and I have Incubator and Fabricate in hand. I draw Ironworks, and am able to go off that turn.
Games: 4-6, Matches: 1-3
I look over Garet's deck. He was trying to build a deck along the Big Red concept, but with a lot of weird card choices. I give him a deck list to get cards, and promise to bring some commons for his deck next week.
I was only one of 2 winless players in Round 4, and just manage to avoid the bye in round 4. Round 5, though, is another story. Since the other 0 pointer got the bye that round, there are no players on 0 points. Since I am one of many at 3, I get ...
Round 5 - BYE.
I would not recommend playing this deck. A combination of bad matchups, inconsistency, and a steep learning curve makes this deck a bad choice.
See you Friday.
Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge


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