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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Destroying the Indestructible Question

Q: Player A has a Darksteel Citadel in play, and player B plays March of the Machines. The Darksteel Citadel is now a 0/0 artifact creature, with the Indestructible ability. Does it die?

-Hamster Guru

A: Is it a destruction effect? No. Thus, indestructibility won't save it.

Read my lips folks, as this will be the last time I'll say this for a while ...

Indestructibility ONLY saves a permanent FROM BEING DESTROYED. It will not save the permanent if it is not being destroyed.

Indestructibility will save a permanent from the following:

-Cards that say "destroy" on the card.

-Destruction due to lethal damage.

Indestructibility WILL NOT save a permanent from the following:


-0 toughness

-Legend Rule

-Removing the card from the game

-Any other effect that does not specifically DESTROY the permanent.


Q: How much damage would be dealt the player if an attacking 4/5 Tephraderm with Trample is being blocked by a 5/2 Kavu Scout?


A: (Tephraderm normally doesn't have trample, by the way. I'm assuming you gave it trample with something like Primal Rage.)

The Tephraderm will deal between 5 and 7 damage, depending on how trample damage is assigned. If all trample damage is assigned to the defending player, he will take 7 - 2 from trample, and 5 from Tephraderm's ability.


Q: I had Unnatural Selection in play with around 10 mana to spare. I noticed that my opponent had 2 exalted angels on the field. It was my turn and I played Vesuvan Doppelganger, and changed it to an Exalted Angel. Knowing of these flying menaces I activated Unnatural Selection first on my Doppelganger to change it into a "legend", then I used two more mana to change the other two Exalted Angels into "legends" as well. Do both Angels die?

-Alexis C.

A: Yes. The Vesuvan has the name of "Exalted Angel." Since it is the "Exalted Angel" that has been a legend the longest, both natural Exalted Angels will die.

503.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original objectís characteristics (name, mana cost, color, type, supertype, subtype, expansion symbol, rules text, power, and toughness) ...

(Note that the Vesuvan Angel will still be blue, because Vesuvan Doppelganger says it keeps its color.)


Q: Spurnmage Advocate


Creature -- Nomad


{T}: Return two target cards in an opponent's graveyard to his or her hand. Destroy target attacking creature.

According to the Judgement's FAQ list, "You can't play the ability unless a single opponent has enough cards in his or her graveyard for you to target."

If that's the case, then shouldn't the "Return two target cards..." part be on the left side of the colon (i.e., the Cost side instead of the Effect side)? I thought that if you pay a cost, then all effects are put onto the stack and the ones that can happen (i.e. the ones that have valid targets) would happen and the ones that can't are countered.

A: No. As part of playing an ability, you declare targets for that ability. Since returning cards is part of the effect of the ability, and not the cost, the cards won't be returned until the ability resolves. If all targets are not there or illegal when the ability resolves, then the whole ability is countered.

The wording on the advocates making the returning of the cards part of the ability rather than part of the cost was a very deliberately thought out decision. (See http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/rb20, about halfway down the article for a paragraph explaining why.)

See you Tuesday

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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