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Bill Guerin
Level II Judge


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Judge Bill's Magic The Gathering Rulings

Title: New Search Function!
Questions: 20


When I mentioned the Google search in my last column, it prompted Bill (the owner/editor of the site) to put a Google search box on the page containing all my articles. I strongly suggest everyone use that box to look up if I've answered a question about that card or mechanic before. (The search box will search all of pojo.com, and not just the Magic section, so if you get a lot of responses from another part of the site, you can put "Judge Bill" to narrow it down to my column.)

For example, a couple of questions that could easily be answered would be the following...


Q: I have a Night of Souls' Betrayal and a Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker in play. Does playing a card such as Yavimaya Elder or Goblin Gardener create a never-ending cycle?


A: Simply type "Shirei" in the search box, and even if you didn't bother to read my last few columns, it gives two results - this column, and the column in which I answered this question.


Q: I was wondering how multiple copies of Krark's Thumb would work.

-Stephane G.

A: Search "Krark's Thumb", and you should see your question among the results (and again, it was a question I ALREADY ANSWERED THIS MONTH. Grr...).


Now, a new rule about answering repeat questions: If it is a question I have already answered in the past 3 months, and you ask it anyway, I will simply write back with "Use the search box." If it has been past 3 months, I will just write back with the link and a reminder to use the search function.


So for example, I would deal with the following question this way:

Q: When an Isochron Scepter comes into play, if I respond to its comes into play imprint effect and Shatter it, what happens to the card my opponent would have normally imprinted on it?

What if I they were playing a Panoptic Mirror's activated ability and I killed it in response - then what happens?


A: I covered these questions in this column. Please use the search function before sending in a question.


Moving on...

Q: If player A is playing an artifact from his hand, can player B Counterspell it?

A: Yes. All non-land cards use the stack when they are being played, and can be counterspelled.


Q: Is the playing of an artifact considered a summoning spell?


A: No, it is an artifact spell. (Unless, of course, the artifact is also a creature - then it would also be a creature spell.)


Q: I have a question regarding rules enforcement with mandatory effects such as the Hondens.

These effects are not "may" effects - but we see players miss them all of the times. I’ve seen opponents deliberately not say anything about the Hondens as their opponents forget about the ability - then they argue with me when I say it "must" happen even though they believe that their opponent has missed it...

A: Stop right here. When you say the opponent "deliberately" doesn't say anything, you have one penalty and only one penalty to apply - a DQ without prize for Cheating for that person. (This assumes you can tell that they deliberately didn't say anything.)

(And if this was a sanctioned tournament, remember you have paperwork to fill out.)

This is because both players are responsible for maintaining a correct game state at all times.

(I will continue the question with just a simple oversight, and no intent to cheat, as you continue on in the question...)


Q: When the mistake is caught latter in the turn, and I believe that both players have honestly missed the effect I don't really know what to do as - cards have been drawn/played etc. but I never dismiss the effect because again - the effect is mandatory. Sometimes it doesn't mater as much because drawing a card or gaining life isn't as bad as dealing direct damage with the red one in a red deck after drawing burn etc.


A: The Honden situation was covered on the judges' list a while back ...

Scott Marshall (the judges' list NetRep) gave a couple of unofficial opinions on how the Hondens (and all missed mandatory upkeep triggers) should be resolved if they are forgotten. I would point to his responses, and insert the "duh" comment of only deal with the triggers if it is still the turn in which they should have triggered. I would never go back past the current turn to deal with something like this.


Q: Can you counter the same spell twice? For example, I play Eternal Witness and they Hinder it then I Hinder that then the Condescend my Eternal Witness.

A: Yes, this is legal.


Q: Or if I play an Eternal Witness and they have a Patron Wizard in play and they tap a Wizard to counter it, then another, then another.

A: Again, this is legal. They can even wait to see if you pay for one ability before they play another, as spells and abilities resolve one at a time, with an opportunity to play another spell after something has resolved (but before any other spells resolve).


Q: Do lands go on the stack?

A: Playing a land does not use the stack.


Q: Why do permanent spells go on the stack? I would think that if you pay the mana cost for it that it would resolve, because you don't have to choose a target.

A: They go on the stack to give your opponent a chance to counter it, or to play other spells or abilities before it comes onto the board.


Q: Someone plays a Beacon of Creation with a Blasting Station in play. Can I Decree of Pain to kill all of them at the same time, or do each of them come in one at a time?

A: They all come into play at the same time. You can kill all of them.


Q: My opponent has 2 Elvish Champions in play with about 10 elves. I play Solar Tide, destroying everything with power 2 or less. Would his Champs die, then in response everything else die?

-Omar S.

A: No. Solar Tide does its thing once, and only once. Only the Champions would die.


Q: I have Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker in play as well as a Zubera (take your pick), earlier in the game I played Death Pit Offering meaning my zubera is a 3/4. If my Zubera is sent to the graveyard is it revived through Shirei's effect or does the power up count even in the graveyard?


A: Shirei looks at the power when they were put into the graveyard, not the power printed on the card. So the Zubera has a 3 power, and Shirei won't return it.


Q: In a multiplayer Infinity (Type 4) game, a player cast (sorry, played) Death or Glory. Among the creatures returning to play was a Desolation Giant. By my choosing the pile with Desolation Giant, and with him not being able to pay the kicker cost, I felt it would destroy all other creatures, including the ones that came into play at the same time via Death or Glory. He argued enough so we let him keep those creatures, but I think everything but the Desolation Giant should have been destroyed. Which is the right call?


A: Desolation Giant's ability is a triggered ability. Therefore, it must go on the stack before it can resolve. By the time it resolves, the other creatures are in play too, so all he will have left is the Desolation Giant.


Q: I was recently playing in a tournament and put in a Chrome Mox waiting for it to resolve (to see if my opponent would Annul it) and my opponent says I have to discard the card as soon as I announce it as a spell.

I know the Mox clearly says when "this" comes into play, remove a card etc. So that means I can wait for it to resolve, come into play and remove my card right?

-Mauro G.

A: Correct. Chrome Mox's imprint ability is a comes into play ability. Therefore, it has to come into play, and the ability has to resolve, before you imprint a card.


Q: My opponent has three artifact lands, 2 Frogmites, and a Disciple of the Vault in play. If I then play Death Cloud with x=3, how much life do I lose?


A: Death Cloud
Each player loses X life, then discards X cards, then sacrifices X creatures, then sacrifices X lands.

Since Death Cloud has "then" separating each part of the instructions, we do them in order.

a) Each player loses X life - you lose 3 life here.
b) then discards X cards - so you discard 3 cards.
c) then sacrifices X creatures - your opponent sacrifices his 3 creatures here. Since the leave play at the same time, the Disciple will trigger twice. These triggers will go on the stack after Death Cloud has finished resolving, eventually resulting in you losing 2 more life
d) then sacrifices X lands - he sacrifices the 3 lands here. Disciple is no longer in play, though, so it won't trigger for the artifact lands going to his graveyard.

So after the Disciple triggers have resolved, you will have lost a total of 5 life.


Q: I assume Ogre Marauder's ability requires a sacrifice specifically to it. Or could you sacrifice a creature to say Blood Rites and then block the Marauder?

A: The sacrifice has to be specifically for the Marauder.


Q: I also assume it requires multiple sacrifices to block multiple Marauders, correct?


A: Correct.


Q: I play a Jushi Apprentice deck and when I have 9 cards in my hand, does it automatically flip to Tomaya the Revealer or do I have to tap and do its effect to flip it? My friend said since it doesn’t have the word "then if" instead of just "if" I can automatically flip it.


A: The flipping is part of the "draw a card" ability. So you have top play the ability before it can flip.

See you Friday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

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