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Bill Guerin
Level II Judge


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Judge Bill's Magic The Gathering Rulings

Title: Mantra Action
Questions: 9


We'll start off with a frequently asked question that results in a new Mantra ...

Q: Can a Soilshaper's triggered 3/3 land-creature attack? The creature wasn't under my control at the beginning of my turn, but the land was.


A: Mantra #13: All permanents have summoning sickness. Only creatures are affected by it. So, if a permanent has been out since the start of your turn, and you make it into a creature, it is able to attack. (4 February 05)


Now, a change in a Mantra, again...

Q: My opponent has two Islands. I play any spell which he/she intends to counter using his two Islands.

After he/she plays this Counterspell I use my Quirion Druid to turn one of his Islands into a 2/2 creature, then plink it off with an Isochron/Lightning Bolt.

My question is, since the Isochron/Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to the land on top of the stack, will he/she still be able to cast the Counterspell?


A: Mantra 8 is amended to read as follows:

8. Once a spell or ability is played, removing the source of the ability or something used to pay the costs of that spell or ability does not stop that spell or ability from happening. (2 March 03, 4 February 05)

So, in the above question, the costs of the Counterspell have already been paid. So making one of the Islands used to pay for the Counterspell go to the graveyard doesn't do anything to the Counterspell, since the Counterspell has already been cast.


And finally, a more minor addition to the largest Mantra...

Q: Good explanation of attack, but it brought a question up when I saw your rules and phases of combat.

Let's say I have a Giant Growth in my hand and I attack with a 1/1 elf. If they choose not to block, I've been casting Giant Growth on my elf and they take 4. After reading your combat phases, it would appear if they choose not to block I can't cast Giant Growth before my elf does damage making it pointless. It would however appear that if I attacked with two elf's, he blocks one that gives me a moment to react before damage, I can then cast Giant Growth on the one he didn't block and he takes 4.

Is this correct?

-Mark D.

A: No.

In Mantra 10, Point 4 under Declaring Attackers has to be changed, as it is technically unclear (or even wrong, if taken literally) as written. It now reads:

4. Declaring no attackers is still declaring attackers. However, if no attackers are declared, finish this step, and then the game skips immediately to the End Of Combat Step. (Changed 4 February 05)

A similar point will be added as point #3 under declaring blockers:

3. Declaring no blockers is still declaring blockers. (Added 4 February 05)

This is because a null set of attackers or blockers is still declaring attackers or blockers.

So after your opponent says he has no blockers, you are still in the Declare Blockers step, and can play the Giant Growth before damage is assigned.


I've sent Pojo a new page of Mantras for him to post that include these changes. However, if it doesn't go up right away, or if it goes to the new format without these changes, please bear with us. I'll try to get it right within a week or so.

(The problem is, Pojo uses Front Page (a web WYSIWYG editor), while I always just change the source code of the page, inserting and changing as needed. So I don't know how to change the format of my Mantras page to the new format :).)


Now, on to the other questions...

Q: With Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker and Night of Souls' Betrayal in play, can you destroy a land every turn with Goblin Gardener or stack your hand with land with Yavimaya Elder?

-Pierce E.

A: Yes, this works.

(Before I get anyone writing in telling me the Elder has a power of 2, let me correct you. With Night of Souls' Betrayal in play, the Elder is a 1/0 when it is put into the graveyard. Thus, it fits Shirei's criteria for being brought back.

You can't, however, play the Elder's ability to draw a card before it is put into the graveyard. You don't have priority to play the ability while the Elder is still alive.)


Q: I don't completely understand regeneration. Does the creature go to the graveyard then back to play or does it stay in play?

A: It stays in play, and never leaves play.


Q: And why do the old cards say "Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn?"

A: (I'm assuming you mean the new cards?) The new cards use that wording since they got rid of "bury." It is the same functionality, just expressed differently.


Q: Do enchantments stay on the creature when you regenerate?

-Omar S.

A: Yes. Since the creature never leaves play, the enchantments will stay on.


Q: I have several Dripping Tongue Zubera's in play and my opponents cast Hideous Laughter, will my returning 1/1 spirit tokens be affected by the Hideous Laughter?

-Robert S.

A: No. The Hideous Laughter will do its thing, and then go to the graveyard. Creatures that come out afterwards won't be affected, as they weren't there when the Laughter was played.


Q: I have Genju of the Cedars and a Genju of the Fens and play both of them on a Bayou with the first being an enchantment on the “Forest” type of the dual land, and the second being an enchantment on the “Swamp” type of the dual land. If I pay the (2) to activate and turn the “Forest” and “Swamp” into the creature types that the enchantments specify, can I then tap the Bayou and declare an attack of BOTH creatures (basically attacking with two creatures on a single land)?

-Richard W.

A: Oh, where to begin with this question ..

1) The enchantments aren't placed on different parts of the land, they are played on the one land. There is no such thing as enchanting "part of a land."

Since the Bayou is a Forest Swamp, both Genjus can be played on it.

2) You can't just pay 2 to get both effects. See Mantra 11.

3) If you were to activate one of the Genjus, then the other (paying 4 total), the land would be whatever effect resolved last. So if the Cedars ability resolved last, it would be a 4/4. If the Fens ability resolved last, it would be a 2/2 with the pump ability.

See you Tuesday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge

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