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.

asker

mastajeet asked: Hello! I'm wondering something since "back to nature" is coming in m15 Let's say I've got an healthy battlefield of theros block elements (creature / bestowed creatures / enchantment creature) and Athreos is play. My opponent cast back to nature. What happens with the bestowed creature. It says that they come back creature when they become unattached to a creature. Will the destruction of all my enchantment (thus bestowed creature) triggers Athreos ability and every card bounce in my hand?

mtgfan:

If something specifies destroying the Enchantment, then the enchantment creature (Aura or not) is destroyed.

From the Theros release notes:

If you chose to pay this spell’s bestow cost, it becomes an Aura enchantment and gains enchant creature. These effects last until one of two things happens: this spell has an illegal target as it resolves or the permanent this spell becomes, becomes unattached.

When cast for Bestow cost, the card stops being an enchantment creature and is simply an enchantment - aura. 

I’m not 100% sure of this part, so I’d ask magicjudge .  Here’s my take on the Atheros ability: Since the card was destroyed as an enchantment and lacked the type creature, it goes to the graveyard and does not trigger Athreos. That said, I’m doubting myself a little as in the graveyard, it is an enchantment creature, but it did not die as one (it died/was destroyed as an enchantment aura). So I’m a bit puzzled, but I’m pretty sure of that ruling. Anyone want to correct me?

Correct.

magicjudge:

"How Chains of Mephistopheles Works!" - Now in handy flowchart form.
Whenever a player would draw a card, they just start at the top left and go from there.

This came up in a talk with a friend, so I figured I’d reblog it again. :)

magicjudge:

"How Chains of Mephistopheles Works!" - Now in handy flowchart form.

Whenever a player would draw a card, they just start at the top left and go from there.

This came up in a talk with a friend, so I figured I’d reblog it again. :)

asker

charonsclaw123 asked: When you block one creature with multiple how is the damage dealt to the multiple. Do they each take the full power of the attacker as damage or is it divided between them.

mtg-talk:

The attacking player chooses how damage is dealt. So if my creature is a 10/10, and you block with a 1/1, a 2/2, a 3/3, and a 4/4, I can do 4 damage to the 4/4, 3 to the 3/3, 2 to the 2/2. and 1 to the 1/1 to kill them all. All I have to do is assign what’s called lethal damage (enough damage to match the opposing creatures toughness) to kill it. Now, in this case, your creatures did a combined 10 damage as well, so my creature dies also. Also, if a creature has deathtouch, you only need to assign 1 damage to defending creatures to kill them, and the rest however you please, since deathtouch allows any amount of damage dealt to be lethal.. Trample is when you assign precisely lethal damage, and the rest is dealt to your opponent directly. So going back to the same scenario, minus the 4/4. My 10/10 deals 1 to your 1/1, 2 to your 2/2, and 3 to your 3/3. That leaves 4 unassigned damage. You take the difference straight to your life points. NOW combine deathtouch and trample. My 10/10 is now equipped with Basilisk Collar and built-in trample. I can assign 1 damage to the 1/1, 1 to the 2/2, 1 to the 3/3, 1 to the 4/4, and 6 directly to you, since I did lethal damage to all your creatures. But my 10/10’s still dead.

You forgot about damage assignment order.

4000 & 5

So I just hit 4000 followers today! Yay! Thank you guys for being so amazing.

Today also marks my 5-year anniversary as a Magic Judge. It’s awesome that these two events could happen on the same day here.

The hiatus continues, btw, but it shouldn’t be more than another week or so! :)