Judge Bill


Decks to Beat - Tournament Winning Decks!

Card of the Day - A single card reviewed by several members of our crew.  Updated 5 days per week!

Message Board 

Card Price Guide

Featured Writers
Scott Gerhardt
Judge Bill
DeQuan Watson
Ray Powers - Monk's Corner
Jeff Zandi
Jonathan Pechon
Andy VanZandt
Jason Chapman - on Peasant Magic

Deck Garage  
Paul's Deck Garage

MTG Fan Articles
Deck Tips & Strategies
Peasant Magic
Tourney Reports 
Featured Articles  
Single Card Strategy

Magic Quizzes & Polls

Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews




Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner



Coming Unhinged

Questions: 22

Q: Ok, I know Unhinged is a nightmare for Judges, but I am going to the tournaments at Gen Con So Cal so I was curious regarding this card:
Moniker Mage
Creature - Human Wizard
U, Say your middle name: Moniker Mage can't be the target of spells or abilities this turn.
U, Say an opponent's middle name: Moniker Mage gains flying until end of turn.
Could I pay blue and then say "your middle name" to activate the first ability? and pay a blue and then say "an opponent's middle name" to activate the second ability?
A: Unhinged is going to be a lot like Unglued when it comes to tournament questions - it's the prerogative of the person running the tournament to make the ruling.
My ruling? No. The intent of the card is to say the actual middle name, and not the words "your middle name" or "an opponent's middle name." So you'll have to say your middle name to activate the first ability, and you'll have to say an opponent's actual middle name (guess at it until you get it, and he has to be honest) to activate the second ability.
Again, with all things Unhinged, ask the person in charge how it's going to be ruled there.
Q: If I use the mana produced by Boseiju, Who Shelters All to pay for the cost of flashback, kicker, buyback and such does the spell become uncounterable?
-Allan E.
A: Yes. You did spend the mana on an instant or sorcery spell.
Q: 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)
I'm curious of how this would effect my situations.
1) My field is a face down Aphetto Exterminator and a Phage the Untouchable. His side is a Intrepid Hero and a Auriok Bladewarden that's a 3/3. I attack with Phage and he attempts to destroy it with Hero's ability. I decrease Phage to a 1/1 by flipping Aphetto. He then increases her stats back to 4/4 due to Auriok. Can he use still kill her off?
A: Yes. Each player is able to respond to a spell or ability before it resolves.
Q: Can he play a ability while something is resolving?
A: No. But the Intrepid Hero's ability hasn't resolved yet.
When both players pass, only the spell on top of the stack resolves. Both players then have the chance to play more spells before the next spell resolves.
Q: If he plays a Ravenous Rat and makes me discard a card, am I allowed to play the card that's an instant in response?
A: Sure. BUT, if you have another card in your hand, the Rat will make you discard that instead. The Rat doesn't choose the card to eat until its ability resolves.
(You can't let the Rat's ability resolve and then try to play the card you're discarding, though.)
Q: If he attacks with a 6/6 Wurm, and I block with a Fleeting Image, can I block, then return Fleeting Image with its ability?
A: Yes. Mantra 10 deals with the combat phase in detail. You actually have 2 chances to return it before it would die.
Q: Can Provoke target an untapped creature?
A: Yes. Provoke does not specify that it has to be "target TAPPED creature," only "target creature."
Q: If my opponent attacks with an Atog and I block with a boosted Basking Rootwalla, then he casts a Shrapnel Blast on it, sending the Rootwalla to lizards' heaven: does the Atog die?
A: Depends on when he played the Shrapnel Blast. Most likely, he played it before damage was put on the stack, so no, the Atog won't die, as the Rootwalla hadn't assigned its damage yet.
(If damage had been assigned before he Blasted the lizard, then yes, it would die. [He could sacrifice a different artifact to make the Atog live before damage resolves.])
Q: If my opponent attacks with a 2/2 creature and I block with a 2/1 creature, then use Waterfront Bouncer to get it back into my hand:
- their creature dies, right?
A: Assuming optimal play, yes. (Optimal play is to put damage on the stack before using the Bouncer.)
[Sub-optimal play, that is, Bouncing your creature before damage is put on the stack, will make his creature live though.]
Q: - my creature lives, right?
A: In either case, yes. It isn't around when damage is done, so it doesn't take the damage.
(Might I suggest reading Mantra 10? It's a long read, but it may help answer more questions like this.)
Q: Can Artifact Creature be chosen as a creature type?
A: No. There are no creatures with a type of artifact.
(Artifact is a card type of its own, just like creature. Things that look for creature type look for words behind a dash on the type like right after the word creature, for example, "Artifact Creature - Golem." If there is no dash after the word creature, then the creature has no type.)
Q: Can flashback be played during your opponent's turn?
A: If the type of the card you are flashing back is an instant, yes. You can only play a card with flashback when you could normally play the regular card.
Q: If so, can you block with the recently flashbacked creature?
A: ?????
There are no creatures with flashback (flashback is only on instants and sorceries), so I don't get what you are asking here.
(If you are talking about one of the flashback cards that makes creatures, then if that card is an instant, you will be able to play it and block with it on the turn it is made, yes.)
Q: What about madness? Can it be played on your opponent`s turn?
A: As long as you find a way to discard the card first, then yes, you can play it whenever it is discarded. (If you don't play it right when it's discarded, though, you lose your chance to ever play it.)
Q: Can you block with the recently played creature?
A: (I am assuming you are talking about something like Basking Rootwalla here.)
Yes, if you madness out a creature, you will be able to block with it immediately.
Q: If a player forgets to pay for a cost (as in example, the cost that Ghostly Prison establishes for each attacking creature) and nobody on the table notices it until a few turns later, is there a replay?
A: No. Since significant game actions have gone by, the play stands.
Q: What should we do then?
A: If this were a sanctioned tournament, I would give warnings to both players for this. (The attacker for not paying, and the person being attacked for not maintaining a correct game state - Both under Procedural Error).
Q: If my opponent activates a Ravager ability, sacrifices an artifact, can I respond by bouncing his 2 Disciples back to his hand? or do I have to wait until the artifact is put in the graveyard?
A: You have to wait until the artifact is in the graveyard (and the Disciples have triggered). [Mantra 1] So once he plays the ability, and he has 2 Disciples out, you're losing 2 life regardless of what happens to the Disciples. [Mantra 8]
Q: Is the addition of a counter to Aether Vial each upkeep mandatory or optional?
-Adrian L.
A: The Aether Vial says "MAY" so you can choose not to (or forget to) put a counter on. It is an optional ability.
(Technically, the ability triggering each turn is not optional, but the choice whether to put a counter on or not is optional.)
Aether Vial
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial.
T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play. 
Q: I'm curious about the abilities of Skeleton Shard. If a creature is destroyed by something like Dead Ringers, can Skeleton Shard still be used to put the creature back into your hand, even though it can't be regenerated?
A: Sure. Once it's been destroyed, it's in the graveyard, and is a legal target for Skeleton Shard. (Regeneration refers to the specific process of keeping the creature in play by removing all damage, tapping it, and removing it from combat. This doesn't apply here, as the card is in the graveyard.)
Q: I was also wondering if you can only play the ability during your turn or at any time.
A: The card doesn't give a restriction on when it can be played, so you can play it any time you can play an instant.
Q: Also, does Skeleton Shard's ability have to be used right before the creature is destroyed, like regeneration, or can you play it's ability at any point in the game after the creature is destroyed?
A: You can't use it before the creature is destroyed, because the card isn't in your graveyard yet. Skeleton Shard can only return cards from your graveyard to your hand.
See you Tuesday.
Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

Ask Judge Bill A Question



Copyright 1998-2004 Pojo.com


Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.