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Bill Guerin
Level II Judge


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Judge Bill's Magic The Gathering Rulings

Title: Before and After
Questions: 14


From my last column:

>>>Q: Regarding Ornate Kanzashi: I've been looking for a ruling on this card in regards to one thing. Based on how this card is worded, if I activate this card at the end of the opponent's turn, I can choose to play the card that comes up, even a land. Is this accurate? Or does this card only allow itself to be played during my turn?

-Joshua P.

A: Read the card - "You may play that card this turn." That means once a turn ends, you may no longer play that card. So if you want to play it on your turn, you'll have to activate it before you untap.<<<

C: Before you untap? Don't you mean, after you untap?


A: That's exactly what I meant. Thanks for catching it.


Q: If I have a Samurai of the Pale Curtain in play and I cast Obliterate, will all artifacts, creatures, and lands be removed from the game?

Q: Yes. All of the permanents leave play at the same time. At the time they leave play, Samurai of the Pale Curtain's effect still applies. So everything is removed from the game.


Q: Are all artifacts, creatures, and lands destroyed by Obliterate put into the graveyard simultaneously, or does each player decide what order they go in?

A: They are all destroyed simultaneously. Since they all go to the graveyard at the same time, the person whose graveyard they are going into decides their order in the graveyard. (217.4c) (Of course, they will be on top of cards that were already in the graveyard.)


Q: I cast Giant Growth, my opponent counters it. After his counter resolves I cast Sprouting vines. Do I get 2 storm copies or just 1?

A: Two. Storm only cares about how many spells were played, not how many resolved.


Q: I cast Giant Growth, my opponent counters it. In response to his counter I cast Sprouting Vines. Do I get 2 storm copies or just 1?

A: Two. At the time you cast Sprouting Vines, two spells had been played previously that turn.


Q: I have a black sliver, a blue sliver, a green sliver, a red sliver, and a Sliver Queen in my graveyard. If I cast all suns dawn, could I use my Sliver Queen as white and get all 5 slivers back to my hand or do I have to use the Sliver Queen as all 5 colors?


A: You can get all 5 slivers back.


Q: Sakura-Tribe Elder is played while Night of Souls' Betrayal is in play. (NSB being static, he would enter play as a 0/0, right?)

A: Correct.


Q: Is it possible to sacrifice him and landsearch before he's put into the graveyard from 0 toughness, or is this a State-Based Effect that happens too quickly to allow a sac?


A: You will not have priority to sacrifice the Elder before he is put into the graveyard for having 0 toughness. Thus, you can't play the ability.

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.


Q: There's a wording on Corpse Dance and similar spells that I don't know what it exactly means ... "the top creature card from your graveyard."

What exactly do they mean by that? Is it the top most card on top of your whole graveyard or the first creature card regardless of how many non-creature spells are above it?


A: It is the topmost creature card in your graveyard, no matter how many non-creature cards are above it.

For example, if your graveyard looked like:

Dark Banishing
Chainer's Edict
Nightscape Familiar
Fact or Fiction

Then "the top creature card from your graveyard" would be Psychatog.


Q: If I use Mother of Runes, and protect another creature from green, then my opponent used Contested Cliffs and targeted my creature with a green beast, would damage be still dealt?

A: If your opponent responded to the Mother of Runes ability with Contested Cliffs, then yes, the damage would be dealt, as Mother of Runes is not yet protecting that creature.

If you used Mother of Runes, and your opponent let Mother of Runes's ability resolve, then used Contested Cliffs, the damage dealt by the beast would be prevented, due to the protection.

If your opponent used the Contested Cliffs, and you used Mother of Runes in response to protect the creature, then by the time the Contested Cliffs's ability resolved, your creature would have protection from green, and the damage would be prevented.


Q: And can Contested Cliffs target my tapped Mother of Runes?


A: Sure. The Cliffs doesn't require the creature to be untapped.

(Now, let me take a stab at the question I think you're asking, instead of the question you wrote...

Q: If my opponent uses Contested Cliffs to target my creature, and I give it protection from green, can he then change his target to my Mother of Runes?

A: No. Once a target is chosen, it can't be changed unless a spell or ability (like Deflection or Willbender) specifically tells you to change the target.)


Q: How exactly does ninjutsu work? Does the creature that is on the field do damage before the ninjutsu effect resolves? Can the ninja that used ninjutsu be blocked?


A: Have you read
the FAQ (
alternate location) yet?

A creature is unblocked once no blockers are declared for it in the declare blockers step. This means that ninjutsu can only be played during the combat phase, in the declare blockers, Combat damage, or End of Combat steps.

This also means that your opponent has already declared blockers. So if you use ninjutsu, your opponent won't be able to block the ninjutsu creature with a creature of his own, since he already declared his blockers.


Q: My opponent is attacking with a 5/5 flying dragon and an Exalted Angel. I play Candle's Glow to prevent 3 damage. After damage is on the stack, can I choose to prevent 3 damage from the Exalted Angel so my opponent doesn't gain as much life.


A: Yes. If multiple things are damaging you, you choose which damage to prevent. (419.7b)


Q: I have a Leonin Abunas and a Mycosynth Lattice out with a bunch of other artifacts then my opponent plays Furnace Dragon, what would happen?

-Joshua P.

A: Leonin Abunas prevents your opponent from targeting your artifacts. Now, read
Mantra 3 and Furnace Dragon, and then you'll be able to tell if Leonin Abunas will save you.

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

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