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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Dampening Morph

Short Answer:

-Creatures NEVER attack creatures. Creatures attack players. That player chooses whether or not one of his or her creatures blocks.


Q: Can I turn my Exalted Angel face up when Damping Matrix is in play?

-Dennis F.

A: Yes. Morph is a static ability, not an activated ability.


Q: Me and my opponent are both at 1 life. He Shocks me, and in response I Shock him...do we both die?

-Kyle F.

A: No. Last in first out. Your Shock resolves first, putting him to -1, and he dies immediately (with his Shock still on the stack).


Q: In a previous question about March of the Machines and Sacred Ground you said that since it is a game effect and not the opponent putting the lands into the graveyard sacred ground does nothing. Is this the same with Death Cloud since the player is sacrificing his own lands or does sacred ground recognize that the spell is forcing the player to sacrifice his/her lands?

-Jeff H.

A: Death Cloud is putting the lands into that player's graveyard. Since it is a spell controlled by the opponent, Sacred Ground will trigger and return the lands to play.


Q: If I have an untapped creature, can I use Inspirit on it?

A: Yes. You can untap an untapped creature just fine.


Q: If I attack with a Vile Deacon and my opponent uses Backlash on it ...

A: Your opponent cannot do this. Once Vile Deacon is declared as an attacker, it is tapped immediately. Therefore, it is not a legal target for Backlash any longer.

(If he wanted to Backlash the Deacon, he would have had to do it before the Deacon attacked.)


Q: If I have Thought Prison out and I counter one of my opponent's spells, do they still take 2 damage?

-Linda K.

A: Yes. Thought Prison triggers on the spell being played. It does not have to resolve.


Q: I have a Mindslaver on the field. It is my turn. I use the Mindslaver to take control of my opponent's turn. I draw Mindslaver from his deck, then tap 10 lands to play Mindslaver and it's effect. Do I take control of my turn or does my opponent?


A: Your opponent does. He played the ability (under your control). Everything a person does under Mindslaver is done by the person being Mindslavered, not the person controlling the turn.


Q: Is regeneration a barrier or does the card physically go to the graveyard and then come back?

A: "Regenerate [permanent]” means “The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it’s in combat) remove it from combat.”

The creature that regenerates never leaves play.


Q: I have an attacking Albino Troll. My opponent blocks with a 3/3 first strike creature. I pay the regeneration cost, what happens?

A: The 3/3 does its damage, and the regeneration shield is applied. This means the Troll is tapped (it was already tapped, so nothing visible happens), the damage is removed, and it is removed from combat. That means it will not get to deal its damage.


Q: Do cards that have imprinted cards on them still have the imprinted card when out of play?

A: No. The imprint only exists while the card is in the in play zone.


Q: If I block a 6/6 trample creature with trap runner's ability, what happens to the 6/6 creature's damage?

A: From the Mercadian Masques FAQ:

A creature with "blocked" by Trap Runner's ability is treated as though it had been blocked by a 0/0 creature. If the "blocked" creature has trample, therefore, the attacking player can assign all the trample damage to the defending player.


Q: When is the discard phase, or did they get rid of this phase. If there is a discard phase, during it if I have 9 cards would I have to discard 2 cards or 1?

-Daniel S.

A: There is no longer a discard phase. Your maximum hand size is checked (and you discard down to it) at the beginning of the cleanup step (during the end phase).


Q: The regeneration effect states that it removes a creature from combat when it WOULD take lethal damage (be destroyed), tap it, remove it from combat. Does this mean it (the regenerated creature) has done its combat damage to opponents creature before being removed from combat or was it removed from combat because it would have received lethal damage?

-Timothy F.

A: Assuming neither (or both) creatures have first strike, they will deal their combat damage at the same time. Therefore, as long as neither (or both) has first strike, the damage will be dealt by the creature that has the regeneration shield on it.

If the regenerator has first strike and the other creature doesn't ... well, that would be kind of obvious, would it not?

If the other creature has first strike and the regenerator doesn't ... well, I covered that above.


Q: What exactly is the ruling about number of creatures that can be banded?

A: Banding has 2 components to it - the "shared attack" component and the "assigning damage" component.

For the "shared attack" component, any number of creatures that has banding, and up to one creature that does not have banding, may attack together in a "band."

For the "assigning damage" component, if one member of a group of attackers or defenders has banding, then the person controlling the group of creatures that contains one creature with banding chooses how damage is assigned to his/her creatures.

(Normally, the opponent chooses how damage is assigned.)


Q: Does banding actually alter the blocking process?

A: If you are blocking a banding group of attackers, you choose one member of the band you can legally block. You block that creature, and all of the remaining creatures in the band are blocked.


Q: David attacks Josh with Albino Troll (3/3). Josh has 2 1/1 creatures out and 1 2/2 creature out.

A: If Josh were to block with any combination of his creatures, David would choose how his Albino Troll deals damage.


Q: However, if Josh's 1/1 creatures both had banding, what would happen?

A: Since one of Josh's creatures has banding, he decides how damage is assigned to his creatures. One of his creatures will die, but assuming Josh makes the best assignment of damage possible, only one of his 1/1s will die.


Q: Banding does not combine abilities. But say a creature without first strike (2/2) is banded to a creature with first strike (3/1). The person blocking says they are blocking the creature without first strike. Is the entire group treated as if it was normal, or is 3 of the damage (that which comes from the creature WITH first strike) treated as if it came from a first strike source?

A: Creatures deal their damage when they normally would. So the first striker will deal his 3 damage during the first strike damage dealing step, and the other creature will deal its damage during the normal damage dealing step.


Q: If you attack with 3 2/2 creatures with banding (in a band) and your opponent defends with 2 4/4 creatures, can you say that one of the creatures dies taking 4 damage and the other only takes 2?

A: Yes. This is just like it normally would be - since the defender doesn't have a creature with banding, the attacker decides how damage is dealt to the defending creatures.

HOWEVER, since the attackers DO have banding, the attacker will also get to decide how damage is dealt to his 3 2/2s. Ideally, he will have one creature take all 8 damage, saving his 2 other creatures.


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA - 5th

My deck list has changed from last week. I liked Planar Portal so much when it was played against me, I decided to give it a try.

4 Weathered Wayfarer

4 Renewed Faith

2 Gilded Light

3 Eternal Dragon

3 Exalted Angel

4 Decree of Justice

3 Planar Portal

4 Mindslaver

4 Akroma's Vengeance

4 Wrath of God

4 Temple of the False God

4 Secluded Steppe

4 Cloudpost

13 Plains


3 Wing Shards

2 Gilded Light

3 Damping Matrix

3 Circle of Protection: Red

4 Sacred Ground

Again, 5 rounds.

Round 1 - James F. - Ravager Affinity

Ah, finally, I get Ravager Affinity. Let's see how I hold up.

Game 1 - He wins the roll and goes first. I manage to hold on, cycling a couple of Decrees for 1. The second one is brutal, as he has just drawn a Darksteel Citadel, and is swinging with a 3/1 Skullclamped Ravager. He has no other artifacts out, so he chooses to sac the Citadel. I show him the plains and Vengeance in my hand, and mop up.

Sideboard: In: 3 Damping Matrix, 2 Wing Shards, 2 Gilded Light. Out: 4 Mindslaver, 3 Planar Portal.

Game 2 - is a brutal start for me. I have to mulligan a 2 Temple hand, and find no land in my next 2. So I get to start off with a 4 card hand.

Unfortunately for James, I have 2 land and a Wrath in hand, and my deck serves up the goods like a first class buffet. I don't even have the Matrix, but a couple of Wraths followed by a couple of cycled Decrees just makes minced meat out of him.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Lam N. - Ravager Affinity

Well, considering how I did last round, I'm pumped to get another one.

Game 1 - I get out turn 3 Angel, and he has no way to get rid of it. Once he threatens to make me sweat, I just clear his board with Vengeance, and go to town.

Sideboard: In: 3 Damping Matrix, 2 Wing Shards, 2 Gilded Light. Out: 4 Mindslaver, 3 Planar Portal.

Game 2 - I keep a Secluded Steppe and Temple hand. I don't draw another land.

Game 3 - I have to mulligan a 1 Temple hand, but I keep the 6. He mulligans twice. He gets a few early plinks in, and a Shrapnel Blast in response to my Wrath is the last damage he gets in. I cycle a Decree for 8, and I am 2-0.

Games: 4-1, Matches: 2-0.

Round 3 - Marshall F. - Slide

Game 1 - I mulligan a Temple hand, and keep the 6. He doesn't have a Slide show up, and his Rifts don't stay long. I Vengeance a couple of times, and he draws insane amounts of land as a Dragon finishes him.

Sideboard: In: 2 Gilded Light, 2 Circle of Protection: Red. Out: 4 Weathered Wayfarer.

Game 2 - is the opposite of game 1, as he gets a Slide out to protect his Angel, and no matter what I try to do, I can't keep it off the board. A Decree shows up, but it is a few turns too late.

Game 3 - Oh wait, there was no official game 3. We take the intentional draw, and he smashes me in the game we play for fun with a couple of Rifts.

Games: 5-2, Matches: 2-0-1

Round 4 - Jose G. - UW Mirror

Game 1 - I get double Dragon recursion, and he doesn't see a Dragon until VERY late. He has an Angel, but so do I until I choose to Wrath them away. I finish him off with Dragons, after Mindslaving him.

Sideboard: In: 2 Gilded Light. Out: 2 Wrath of God.

Game 2 - is all about the Weathered Wayfarer. He fetches me my multiple mana lands, and we get 6 Cloudposts out between us. He takes 4 mana burn to get a Dragon into play, and I just choose to make 21 soldiers instead.

Games: 7-2, Matches: 3-0-1

Round 5 - Phillip G. - WG Reclaimer/Shard/Slaver

He is the 4-0, and if I win, it will be top 8 (due to 5 people at 12 points or better), but if I lose, I come in 5th in a top 4 situation. I lose.

Games: 7-4, Matches: 3-1-1.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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