asker

eyeball-frog asked: If a planeswalker is also a creature (perhaps because of mycosynth/march of the machines silliness), can it block creatures that are attacking it?

Yes, but combat damage dealt to it by creatures it’s blocking will still remove loyalty counters.

asker

patronics asked: Easy one: Why for were Magic 2015 tokens printed with Token on the type line? Is Token gonna become a supertype or something?

tabakrules:

Token is not a supertype. It’s a type of object. It was printed on M15 tokens to emphasize what they were. Those cards (in the physical sense) aren’t game objects. They’re rules-equivalent to a paper clip.

asker

jcomstock88 asked: If I put Ensoul Artifact on a Land Mine Token, can I then populate it?

Yes, but the copy will just be an inanimate Land Mine.

asker

audiorush10 asked: If I cast Vines of Vastwood on my Blighted Agent in reaction to my opponent's Abrupt Decay, Abrupt Decay will fizzle, right? It's not technically countered, right?

mtg-talk:

Actually it is technically countered. “Fizzle” is just slang for a spell or ability being countered upon resolution as a result of a target becoming illegal.

http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Fizzle

The important distinction here is that it’s being countered by the rules of the game, not a spell or ability. This is the reason that targeted uncounterable spells make the “by spells or abilities” distinction.

asker

itsamonder asked: Why does Karn'a ult specify 'non-Aura permanent cards'?

mtg-talk:

My best guess is that it specifies non-auras for situations where you’ve exiled some auras, but nothing for them to enchant. They would just be put on the field, then immediately put into the grave. So to avoid all that confusion, they just specify non-auras.

Not exactly.

Auras can only enter the battlefield enchanting something that was already there, since there won’t be anything there when Karn brings everything else back, there’s no point in even trying to bring the auras back.

asker

Anonymous asked: Could you explain the interaction between sylvan library and any dredge card (particularly life from the loam)? The way I understand it is that if I dredge for the first card, I then have to put the next two cards back in any order unless I pay 4 life for each. But what happens if I for some reason want to dredge on the second or third library draw? Thanks!

mtg-talk:

I actually play this combo in my EDH deck, it’s quite good.  You simply replace the draws with the dredge, so that when Sylvan Library checks to see what you have drawn, there are no cards there.  You get three free dredges, no need to pay life!  Abundance works much in the same way ;)

Edit: Also, if you dredge twice and draw once, you still do not have to put that one card back, as the requirement is two cards, and two cards were not drawn this turn.

The edit is incorrect. The drawn card goes back.

From the Gatherer rulings: “9/16/2007 - If you choose to draw two cards, then replace one or more of those draws with some other effect, the rest of Sylvan Library’s ability still happens. If you’ve actually drawn only one card that turn, you must choose that card and either pay 4 life or put it on top of your library. If you haven’t actually drawn any cards that turn, the rest of the ability has no effect.”

GP Not-Boston & Other Announcements

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to give you all a few quick updates:

  • First of all, I’ll be playing at GP Boston-Worcester this weekend, though there’s always a chance I could get drafted last minute to judge the event. As usual, feel free to say hi if you see me there.
  • As for the hiatus, I’ve been poking my nose in more often and I really do want to get back to answering your questions again, but I still don’t feel like I’ve found quite the right balance where I’ll be able to do that and still push myself to do the other things I want to work on. I’ll talk with some other judges this weekend and try to sort it all out. I promise I’ll be back soon!
  • Finally, I’m happy to announce that I’ve been invited to head judge the Premier Modern IQ at the StarCityGames.com Open Weekend in Syracuse, NY on August 10th. My event won’t be on coverage, but I’d love to meet anyone who might be around that weekend. I’m really excited for this opportunity, and it looks like it’s going to be a really great event.

asker

thatoneanonymousstripper asked: If i cast Mizzium skin on a creature, and then cast Clone copying the creature which just gained hexproof, does the Clone copy retain Hexproof after the end of the turn?

No.

Hexproof isn’t a copiable characteristic of the creature, so the clone is never hexproof.

Silly M15 Combo #1

Silly M15 Combo #1

asker

wafflehead-man asked: Can I use Path to Exile on a Martyr of Sands in response to it's activated ability?

No.

Martyr of Sands is already in the graveyard once its ability has been activated.

And even if you could, it wouldn’t remove the ability from the stack or stop it from happening.

asker

jcomstock88 asked: Centaur Courser + Aggressive Mining. Which ability trumps which? Courser says I may play lands from the top of my deck, Mining says I can't play lands.

Courser of Kruphix loses here, sadly.

Can’t beats can in Magic.

asker

crypsys asked: Spectral Searchlight obviously has a mana ability, but can I activate it when another player is asked to pay mana, such as to cast a Panglacial Wurm?

mtgtutorials:

magicjudge:

notpatrick-thatsforsure:

magicjudge:

mtgtutorials:

Spectral Searchlight

I don’t think so. Here is the rule concerning timing for when mana abilities may be used is (I’ve bolded the parts that are relevant to Panglacial Wurm):

605.3a — A player may activate an activated mana ability whenever he or she has priority, whenever he or she is casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment, even if it’s in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability.

In the situation you described, you aren’t casting the Wurm — another player is. Even though Spectral Searchlight could give them mana, it remains your mana ability, not theirs, and my reading of 605.3a is that this isn’t a legal time when you can activate it.

I’ll admit I’m not 100% about this though. magicjudge, can you confirm?

Spectral Searchlight does NOT have a mana ability. It has a target, which disqualifies it from being a mana ability under rule 605.1a, so it can only be activated any time its controller has priority.

I was wrong. Sorry.
The folly of posting late at night.

Oh believe me, no worries.

Is the rest of the above correct, though? (Can players activate their own mana abilities when another player is casting a spell?)

Please and thank you.

No, a player can’t activate mana abilities while another player is casting a spell. That player will have to use the Searchlight before the spell is cast.
603.5a spells out when an activated mana ability can be used, and this isn’t one of those scenarios. (The bit about a spell or ability asking for a mana payment is talking about things like Mana Leak or Sphere of Safety.)

asker

crypsys asked: Spectral Searchlight obviously has a mana ability, but can I activate it when another player is asked to pay mana, such as to cast a Panglacial Wurm?

notpatrick-thatsforsure:

magicjudge:

mtgtutorials:

Spectral Searchlight

I don’t think so. Here is the rule concerning timing for when mana abilities may be used is (I’ve bolded the parts that are relevant to Panglacial Wurm):

605.3a — A player may activate an activated mana ability whenever he or she has priority, whenever he or she is casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment, even if it’s in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability.

In the situation you described, you aren’t casting the Wurm — another player is. Even though Spectral Searchlight could give them mana, it remains your mana ability, not theirs, and my reading of 605.3a is that this isn’t a legal time when you can activate it.

I’ll admit I’m not 100% about this though. magicjudge, can you confirm?

Spectral Searchlight does NOT have a mana ability. It has a target, which disqualifies it from being a mana ability under rule 605.1a, so it can only be activated any time its controller has priority.

wait. It doesn’t say Target and it isn’t a loyalty ability i’d say it meets the qualifications of being a mana ability. Unlike Xenagos the Reveler (loyalty ability), Koth of the Hammer (another loyalty ability), or Deathrite Shaman (targets a land in a graveyard), three cards that don’t have mana abilities. Spectral Searchlight specifies “choose a player” not “choose target player.”

I was wrong. Sorry.
The folly of posting late at night.