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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

5.14.04: Looping State Based Effects?
Questions: 9


Q: 420.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 408, “Timing of Spells and Abilities”), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based effects. All applicable effects resolve as a single event, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based effects have been generated, triggered abilities go on the stack, and then the appropriate player gets priority. This check is also made during the cleanup step (see rule 314); if any of the listed conditions apply, the active player receives priority.

This got me thinking. Shouldn't this rule lead to an infinite loop if a player controlled a Platinum Angel and had 0 or less life or 10 or more poison counters?
Because when a player would receive priority, the game sees that the state-based effect "A player with 0 or less life loses the game." applies. So the player with the Angel loses but Platinum Angel says he can't (and can't always wins) so the player remains alive. Then as the rule says, the check is repeated, since an applicable effect had been found and the same thing happens, forcing the game to end in a draw.

-D. Comings

A: There's your flaw. Once a state based effect has been checked, it won't be rechecked until the next time the game does something (where it will be suppressed, etc.). So a loop is not generated.

(Thanks to Dracon|s of #mtgjudge for the help with this one.)


Q: If I have a Sacred Ground in play, and my opponent plays Limited Resources, what exactly would happen in the end (assuming I had 6 or more land and he has at least 5)?


A: You will have to sacrifice down to 5 lands, but then Sacred Ground would trigger and put them back into play. Nothing more would happen after that.

Limited Resources
When Limited Resources comes into play, each player chooses five lands he or she controls and sacrifices the rest.
Players can't play lands if there are ten or more lands in play.

Q: At the end of my turn, my opponent activates his Chronatog. I respond by sacrificing both of my Mogg Fanatics to kill it. I really believe that by the time the tog´s ability resolves, it is already in the graveyard, as the Moggs' abilities deal lethal damage before it get the bonus.

A: You are absolutely correct.


Q: The judge explained something about priority, that I couldn’t play any abilities as I passed my turn - but I guess I do get a chance to use instant effects as my opponent used his chronatog.

-Raul F.

A: The judge you mention (if this is indeed his explanation) is absolutely full of it. ANYTIME any player is able to play (and plays) a spell or ability, BOTH players have a chance to respond to that ability before it resolves. (408.1c, 413.1)

(Note that the ability of the Chronatog will still resolve, and your opponent will skip his next turn. However, he'll have to take his next turn after that.)


Q: If I have a Mycosynth Lattice in play, and at least 9 other artifacts, does that mean that Broodstar would cost 10 instead of 8UU and could therefore be cast for 0?

A: No. (I'm getting tired of saying this, but) NOTHING ever changes the mana cost of a card. EVER.

Mycosynth Lattice allows you to spend mana as mana of any color. It does not change what the cards cost, it only changes how you pay for them.


Q: In play I have a Soldier of Fortune enchanted with Pemmin's Aura. I have a source of infinite red and blue mana allowing me to untap and activate Soldier of Fortune's ability to a set number of outrageous proportions, say 500,000. My question is, in tournament play does my opponent have to keep shuffling his library until he reaches this set number?


A: No. The definition of "Shuffle" in the Comprehensive Rulebook is as follows:

To shuffle a deck, library, or pile is to make the order of that deck, library, or pile random. After a player shuffles a deck, library, or pile, he or she owns, the opponent has the option to shuffle or cut that pile. See rule 101.1.

If the deck is already random (that is, neither player knows the order of that library, or where any single card is in it), then the deck can be considered shuffled, since physically shuffling the deck will not make the deck any more random than it already is.

If you insisted on shuffling their deck more than once, I would hit you with an Unsporting Conduct penalty for the first instance, and tell you that the deck is shuffled, and play on. Should the situation come up again, and you insisted on shuffling, I would disqualify you for Stalling.

(If both players actually wanted to do this, I would hit them with the same penalties, as they are holding the tournament up.)

(This precedent was set several years ago, when you were allowed to force your opponent to desleeve any time you wanted. Someone wanted to play a Soldier of Fortune deck in a tournament, with his "win condition" being forcing his opponent to desleeve, then making his opponent physically shuffle his deck [with Lotus, Moxen, et cetera in it] a lot.)


Q: If I have Damping Matrix out, and I play Eater of Days after that, do I have to skip my 2 turns?

A: Yes. Damping Matrix only stops activated abilities. It does not stop triggered abilities.


Q: That creature doesn't lose the trample and flying abilities, correct?

A: Correct. Those are static abilities, not activated abilities.


Q: If I have Exalted Angel out, and after that I play Damping Matrix, will the creature still have flying and the life gain ability?

-Fernando A.

A: Yes. Flying is a static ability, and the life gain is a triggered ability. Damping Matrix only stops activated abilities.

(You can tell an ability is an activated ability because it will have a colon [":"] separating the cost of playing the ability from the effect of that ability.)

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge


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