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Judge's Corner

Mantra 11

Q: If I enchant any given creature with 2 Psionic Gifts, can it tap to deal 2 damage to target creature or player (it'd be called stacking abilities or something) or does the creature simply gain tap to deal 1 damage to target creature or player twice, making the second Psionic Gift obsolete?


A: Well, looks like it's time for another Mantra ...

Mantra 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.

Further, Mantra 1 is amended to read:

Mantra 1: I can't play any spells or abilities while something is resolving or while another spell or ability is being played.

The creature with 2 Psionic Gifts on it has two separate abilities saying "T: Do 1 damage to a target." Since the cost is tapping the creature, you can only pay the cost once (barring untapping the creature).


Q: I don't know where Morality Shift is when it's ability resolves. Which of the following is correct?

Theory 1: Morality Shift is cast and its ability goes to the stack, resolves and Morality Shift is put into your graveyard.

Theory 2: Morality Shift is cast, its ability comes on top of the stack, Morality Shift is put into your graveyard, its ability resolves and thus Morality Shift ends back up in your library.

A: Putting a spell in the graveyard only happens after it has finished resolving. Thus, the first scenario is correct.


Q: Thus, do you need one or two Morality Shifts to keep shifting?


A: 2.


Q: My opponent has a red deck. I play Thought Prison, and he lets me see his hand (it resolves). I choose a goblin (red) to be removed from the game.

Playing a creature is a spell, correct?

A: Correct.


Q: Then for each creature he puts on the field he loses 2 life, correct?


A: As long as the creature is red (or has the same converted mana cost as the removed card), yes.


Q: If I have (non-land) card X in play and another copy of the card in my graveyard, then cast Echoing Truth on the card in play, will the spell also return to my hand the copy of card X in my graveyard?


A: No.

214.1. A permanent is a card or token in play.


Q: What is the legend rule (referenced last column)?


A: 420.5e If two or more permanents with the same name have the subtype Legend or the supertype legendary, all except the one that has been a Legend or legendary permanent with that name the longest are put into their owners’ graveyards. This is called “the Legend rule.” In the event of a tie, each Legend or legendary permanent with the same name is put into its owner’s graveyard. (If two permanents have the same name but only one is a Legend or is legendary, this rule doesn’t apply.)


Q: If I have Chance Encounter in play, and I play Mana Clash, if I keep getting heads and he/she tails, would I keep putting luck counters on Chance Encounter?

-Paul D.

A: No. Mana Clash's flips have no winner or loser.


Q: If I have no lands in my library, and I activate Goblin Charbelcher, what happens?

A: You'll deal damage equal to the number of cards in your library to the chosen target, and then you get to stack your deck.


Q: And what happens if I have a land in my hand and none in my library, and I activate Goblin Charbelcher multiple times, then Brainstorm the land back on my library? How much damage does it do?

A: First, see Mantra 1.

Second, when Charbelcher resolves, it will stop when you hit a land. If there is no land in the deck, you deal damage equal to the number of cards in your deck.


Q: If I have a Rule of Law out and I Mindslaver my opponent, can I make it so all the spells after the first one "fizzles?"

A: No. With Rule of Law out, players can't play more than one spell per turn, no matter who is controlling their turn.


Q: If I have Chalice of the Void out, does affinity make it so the spell's cost is different?

A: No. Nothing changes the converted mana cost of a card. Ever.

(I already told you this in a previous column. [16 April])


Q: Is it the same with Trinisphere?

-Linda K.

A: No. Trinisphere affects the play cost of a card. If it costs less than 3, Trinisphere makes it cost 3.


Q: Is it possible to mulligan with Serum Powder in my hand, but instead of shuffling my hand into my library play Serum Powder's ability so I have no hand to shuffle in?

-Cory O.

A: No. Serum Powder's mulligan ability replaces the normal mulligan for that hand. Since the mulligan has been replaced, it can't be used.


Q: Player A is attacking with a creature with a greater power and toughness (say it's a 10/10) than player B's defending creature. The attacker has trample.

Player B is defending the attack with a 1/1 creature, enchanted with Prismatic Ward having declared the appropriate color.

We are sure the defending creature will survive, but are not sure whether the extra 9 damage from trample would go to the player or not.

-Alice Magic Club

A: Read Mantra 5, and you should have your answer.


Q: If I attack with three Goblin Piledrivers and a couple of other goblins and he blocks all three Piledrivers and another goblin, Can I in response to him declaring blockers cycle Gempalm Incinerator and kill one of the blockers he assigned to one of the Piledrivers so one of the Piledrivers goes through?


A: Let's read the appropriate parts of Mantra 10, shall we?

Declare Blockers Step: At the beginning of this step, the player who is being attacked declares their blockers. This action does not use the stack, and cannot be responded to.

Once a legal set of blockers has been declared, both players may play instants. Once both players pass priority with an empty stack, go on to the next step.


Once a creature has blocked an attacking creature, removing the blocking creature from play or tapping the blocking creature won't let the attacker through. The attacker is still considered blocked.


Q: If I have a Pristine Angel tapped, can I equip it with a Sword of Kaldra since it does not have protection?

A: Sure, but ...


Q: Once it untaps will it still be affected by the Sword or not?

A: No. Once it untaps, it has the protection. See Mantra 4.


Q: If my opponent uses Pendrell Flux on my Frogmite while there are at least 4 artifacts out, would I have to pay 4 during my upkeep or nothing?

A: 4. Nothing changes the mana cost of a card. Ever.


Q: If I have a Disciple of the Vault out and a Welding Jar, if one of my artifacts is sent to the graveyard, and I sac the Welding Jar does he lose 2 life or 1?


A: If you sacrifice the Welding Jar to regenerate an artifact, the artifact you regenerate never goes to the graveyard. So regardless, you only lose 1 life.


Q: When a player plays a Pulse of the Forge, does it ever hit the graveyard as it is resolving so it can be removed from the graveyard using Withered Wretch when it is played to prevent it from returning to hand?

-Jonathan M.

A: No. If the condition is met to return the Pulse back to your hand, it never hits the graveyard - it goes from the stack straight back to its owner's hand as part of the resolution of the Pulse.


Q: In your review of Beacon of Immortality, you said that you could win using it with False Cure. How does that work, exactly? Where on the Beacon does it say you gain any life. This effect sets you life at twice what it was before resolution, right? Am I not understanding something, or was this an oversight on your part?

~UG Milling Mage

A: From the Comprehensive rules:

Life, Life Total

Life total is a sort of score. Each player starts the game with 20 life. Any increase in a player’s life total is considered to be gaining life. Any decrease in a player’s life total is considered to be losing life. A player whose life total drops to 0 or less loses. This is a state-based effect. See rule 420.5.


Q: How many targets do you have to name on Withdraw - 1 or 2?

I say that to cast it you must announce both targets. And if there is only one creature it cannot be cast, but my friends claim because the spell is split in two parts via the "Then", that they are only required to name the first target, then the spell tries to target the second creature during resolution, and hence does not require a second target to be cast.

-Soren S.

A: You are correct. You have to have 2 targets for Withdraw, regardless of whether the controller of the second target has 1 to pay or not.


Q: If a double strike creature goes unblocked such as Dragon Tyrant would the double strike cause double damage to the defending player?

-Ty R.

A: Yes.


Q: If I have a Goblin Sky Raider in my hand and multiple Goblin Warchiefs on the board, will they each lower the casting cost by 1 or the others are ignored and it is only lowered by 1?

-Stephanie S.

A: See Mantra 9. (Multiples are cumulative.)


Tournament Report - FNM - Diamond Bar, CA

What can I say, I like to play the best deck in the format.


2 Blinkmoth Nexus

3 Glimmervoid

4 Seat of the Synod

4 Great Furnace

4 Vault of Whispers

4 Ornithopter

4 Disciple of the Vault

4 Myr Enforcer

4 Frogmite

4 Arcbound Ravager

4 Arcbound Worker

4 Thoughtcast

3 Mana Leak

4 Skullclamp

4 Pyrite Spellbomb

4 Shrapnel Blast


4 Shatter

4 Seething Song

4 Pyroclasm

3 Furnace Dragon

Round 1 - Aidan B. - Mirror

Game 1 - I make an error early that turns out to be crucial - I Shrapnel Blast a Disciple off the board. I end up being one short of Enforcer mana, and he rolls over me.

Sideboard: In: 4 Seething Song, 3 Furnace Dragon. Out; 3 Mana Leak, 2 Shrapnel Blast, 1 Thoughtcast, 1 Pyrite Spellbomb.

Game 2 - features a save by the Dragon, followed by Ravager and Ornithopter. He has no chance after the Dragon hits.

Game 3 - features me winning on his upkeep. (We both have a Disciple out, and I have the kill with Ravager out, so I tell him to go to his upkeep, and resolve my Disciple triggers one at a time, and add another without letting his resolve.

Games: 2-1, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 - Bryan B. - Clerics

Game 1 - I run him over mercilessly. Disciple does most of the damage, and then Ravager hits.

Sideboard: Nothing.

Game 2 - I have to mulligan a no land hand, and end up short on mana for a while. He plays Exalted Angel, and goes to town. I Shrapnel Blast it. Just as I am about to stabilize, Cabal Archon off the top kills me.

Sideboard: In: 4 Pyroclasm. Out: 3 Thoughtcast, 1 Ornithopter.

Game 3 - I Pyroclasm his first couple of sets of Clerics off the board. I am then fortunate enough to draw triple Disciple, and combining those with a couple of Shrapnel Blasts makes for a very short game.

Games: 4-2, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 - Max - UW control

Game 1 - My notes say it very succinctly: "Turn 3 Matrix, double (Exalted) Angel." I draw very little pressure against that.

Sideboard: In: 4 Shatter. Out: 3 Mana Leak, 1 Pyrite Spellbomb.

Game 2 - He fails to draw double white, and I run him over.

Game 3 - I throw back 2 consecutive no land hands, and keep a 5 card hand with a Glimmervoid and a Spellbomb. I see my next land on turn 5.

Games: 5-4, Matches: 2-1

Round 4 - Kjell E. - Dragons

Game 1 - I throw back a no land hand to start, and keep the 6. He casts turn 3 Extraplanar Lens, turn 5 Kilnmouth (showing 2 dragons). As I has only done 4 points of damage to him, that makes for a short game.

Sideboard: In: 4 Shatter. Out: 2 Pyrite Spellbomb, 2 Shrapnel Blast.

Game 2 - I get 3 Arcbound Workers, 2 Frogmites, and an Enforcer. That doesn't leave him time to set up.

Game 3 - I get another slow start, and Kilnmouth doesn't.

Games: 6-6, Matches: 2-2.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin

DCI Level 2 Judge


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