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Bill Guerin
Level II Judge


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Judge Bill's Magic The Gathering Rulings

Title: Divinity?
Questions: 14

Q: In Champions of Kamigawa, there are the Myojin creatures, say Myojin of Life’s Web, and it comes into play, if played from your hand, with a divinity counters on it, and as long as it has its divinity counter on it it's indestructible, and you can remove it to do a certain effect, in this case play as many creatures as you want from your hand. Now in the same set there is an artifact known as The Thing That Was Taken, which can distribute divinity counters among creatures. My question is, does any creature with a divinity counter on it become indestructible, or only the Myojins?


A: Having a divinity counter does not make the permanent indestructible. There has to be some effect telling you that things with divinity counters on them are indestructible for them to be so.

(For example, put divinity counters on your creatures with That Which Was Taken. If your opponent Naturalizes That Which Was Taken, then plays Wrath of God, your creatures will go to the graveyard, since there is no effect giving meaning to the divinity counters.)


Q: Does activating a man land (Faerie Conclave, Treetop Village, Mishra's Factory, etc.) count as casting a creature?

A: No. To play (cast) a creature means to pay the mana cost of the creature card and put it on the stack. Simply changing the form of a permanent in play to a creature does not equate to playing it...


Q: I know it counts as a creature coming into play and would trigger an effect such as Pandemonium ...


A: Sorry, you "know" wrong. The card is already in play. It is not coming into play from somewhere else. So Pandemonium will not trigger when you activate the man lands.


Q: Do you have to pay the mana cost for the card played using Toshiro's ability?


A: Yes. Cards do exactly what they say they do, and no more. Does Toshiro say you can play it without paying the mana cost?


Q: what is the 'new legendary rule' that my friends at school are talking about?


A: This was a change instituted when Champions of Kamigawa was released. Aaron Forsythe talked about the changes here.


Q: I have a Wild Mongrel in play and a Basking Rootwalla in my hand. It's currently my opponent's turn and he casts Akroma's Vengeance. Can I somehow get the Rootwalla into play on his turn using the Wild Mongrel without it being destroyed?

A: No. If you choose to discard the Rootwalla to the Mongrel, you will have to play it and have it come into play before the Vengeance resolves.


Q: I play a Frantic Search. 1 of the 2 cards I draw is Arrogant wurm. Can I discard the Wurm and then play it for it's madness cost after untap my lands?


A: Yes. The madness won't go on the stack until Frantic Search completely resolves, including the untapping of the lands.


Q: Can I soulshift Cunning Bandit after it flip?


A: No. It's not a spirit unless it's in play and flipped. Since it's not in play, it's only its unflipped side.


Q: Is it possible to gain negative life?


A: No. The game of Magic only uses natural numbers (the counting numbers plus 0). If you are taking the reference of something that is negative, the game gives a value of 0 for that stat. So it's never possible to gain negative life.


Q: My opponent and I are at 5, he has a Kokusho in play, and then I play one who wins?

A: Assuming it is your turn, he will. His trigger will resolve first.


Q: You have a Sensei's Divining Top in play and you activate it to draw a card. Can you look at the top 3 and then the 1 more because of drawing? (basically look at the top four and draw a card)

A: No. You can Activate the "Look at 3," then the "draw a card," putting the Top into the library where you can put it anywhere in the top 3.


Q: If your life dropped down to zero or less what are the only ways that you could keep yourself alive? (example: play instant, Kokusho dies)

A: No. Once your life total is 0, you're dead with no chance to do anything.


Q: I play a Disciple of the Vault. In response my opponent Echoing Decays my Arcbound Worker. Does he lose a life?

A: No. The Disciple isn't in play yet, so its ability isn't active.


Q: When you play a spell, do you reveal it first or pay the mana first or both? Which one is better?

-Omar S.

A: You always show the card you are playing before you pay the mana. The specific steps are located in rule 409.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

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