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The Official MTG "Ask a judge" thread


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Dr. Jeebus
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2009 03:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

No? If they attack you can just create more blockers in response. No one's going to win that game on the ground, so you move on.


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Dr. Jeebus
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PostPosted: Aug 19 2009 05:37 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Just figured I'd throw out an update on the rules for multiplayer, since it was asked before and Planechase has provided us with clarification:

When a player dies all cards they own are removed from the game (including the stack) and all effects they controlled are removed from play (so if I had played High Tide and I die, your islands no longer add more mana). Any cards they had taken control of (but don't own) go back to their former controller. Any cards they had in play that they didn't own but they didn't take control of, for example something animated with Rise From the Grave, are removed from the game.


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UsaSatsui wrote:
The three greatest heels in history...Andy Kaufman, Triple H, and Dr. Jeebus

 
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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Location: Metro area, Georgia
PostPosted: Jan 20 2012 05:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

1.) I managed to bring out a Civilized Scholar (among other creatures) out via Grimoire of the Dead. If the Scholar transforms, would it continue to also count as a black Zombie or would its traits reset to only being a red Human Mutant?

2.) If an Unbreathing Horde with 6 counters blocks a creature like Phyrexian Juggernaut, would the Horde be 5/5 or 1/1 after combat?

3.) In EDH, can you use cards that only mention off-color effects. Example being Nightscape Familiar with Grimgrin (UB) as my commander.


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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
Joined: May 25 2008
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PostPosted: Jan 20 2012 06:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top

1 - Yes. Any changes to the permanent are kept when it transforms. Transforming a card doesn't make it a new object (and note it would be a Red/Black Zombie Human Mutant).

2 - It would be a 5/5. I'm not sure why you would think otherwise. If you meant to put down a creature with infect, the answer is the same - the Horde prevents the damage, so no counters are placed.

3 - Yes. Only mana symbols and color indicators (or on older cards, abilities that define color) are checked for color identity.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 21 2012 11:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

3 - Yes, but there are almost certainly better cards you could use. I'm currently working on a Grimgrin deck and that is most definitely not going in there.
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Black Zarak
Title: Big Coffin Hunter
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PostPosted: Jan 21 2012 10:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

This one came up tonight, but I'm out of minutes on my phone, so I couldn't text you (Jeebus I mean): Can Azorius Guildmage counter a Planeswalker's ability?


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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 21 2012 10:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not Dr. Jeebus, but yes.

Except Koth's mana ability, I guess.
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
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PostPosted: Jan 21 2012 11:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Syd Lexia wrote:
Except Koth's mana ability, I guess.

Loyalty abilities are one of the exceptions to what makes a mana ability. You can counter it.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 12:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well, that's the only loyalty-based mana ability, isn't it?
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 01:08 am Reply with quote Back to top

Yes. And the relevant rule was added just before he was printed.

I smell conspiracy.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 11:38 am Reply with quote Back to top

It's kind of a bullshit rule. I imagine they'll get rid of it at some point, because they don't like the rules to be too complicated, which includes exceptions to rules.

A mana ability is an ability that adds mana to your mana pool... except a loyalty ability.

Starting with Masques block, we've seen WOTC simplify the rules to try and make them more accessible to new players. That was arguably the first major rules simplification, when saw Mana Source and Interrupt removed as spell types and folded into instants.
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Rogue Hippo
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 12:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

This hypothetical question came up at FNM back when Splinter Twin was still legal in standard.

Let's say it's game 3 and my opponent just got his Splinter Twin combo off (or any combo creating infinite permanents). He has to pick a number so he declares "I'll make 1 million Deceiver Exarch tokens." If I have no way to win but want to be a dick, can I say "OK, put them on battlefield... I'll wait." and force a draw because there's no way he can drop 1,000,000 tokens before time runs out?

There was a lot of debate and the judge finally said he'd rule that it was a dick move but you have the right to make your opponent accurately represent his board and he'd make the guy put 1,000,000 tokens out

But the FLGS judge doesn't have the tightest grasp on the rules so I was hoping for a 2nd opinion.
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 02:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Syd Lexia wrote:
A mana ability is an ability that adds mana to your mana pool... except a loyalty ability.

That's not the only exception.
Da Rules wrote:
605.1a An activated ability is a mana ability if it meets three criteria: it doesn't have a target, it could put mana into a player's mana pool when it resolves, and it's not a loyalty ability. (See rule 606, "Loyalty Abilities.")

605.1b A triggered ability without a target that triggers from activating a mana ability and could put mana into a player's mana pool when it resolves is a mana ability.

I don't know why they did it that way, but it's probably to avoid some sort of quirk or exploit.

Rogue Hippo wrote:
This hypothetical question came up at FNM back when Splinter Twin was still legal in standard.

Let's say it's game 3 and my opponent just got his Splinter Twin combo off (or any combo creating infinite permanents). He has to pick a number so he declares "I'll make 1 million Deceiver Exarch tokens." If I have no way to win but want to be a dick, can I say "OK, put them on battlefield... I'll wait." and force a draw because there's no way he can drop 1,000,000 tokens before time runs out?

There was a lot of debate and the judge finally said he'd rule that it was a dick move but you have the right to make your opponent accurately represent his board and he'd make the guy put 1,000,000 tokens out

But the FLGS judge doesn't have the tightest grasp on the rules so I was hoping for a 2nd opinion.

You don't need to actually put a million tokens on the field. The only real rules about tokens are that all players need to be able to tell what they are and whether or not they're tapped or untapped. You could easily "accurately represent your board" by writing "1,000,000" on a piece of paper and turning it sideways, and I don't think you could legitimately claim you're confused by it.

Note that intentionally stalling like that can cause you to be disqualified if the judge thinks you're doing it intentionally to kill the clock.
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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 03:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If I have Heartless Summoning out, can I actually cast Myr Superion?


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UsaSatsui
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PostPosted: Jan 22 2012 03:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

lordsathien wrote:
If I have Heartless Summoning out, can I actually cast Myr Superion?

Sure, why not? If you're not paying any mana for it, the restriction doesn't really matter.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 23 2012 09:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I don't understand how a loyalty ability being a mana ability could be abused. It's sorcery speed and only once per turn. Alway, what does "it doesn't have a target" mean? What targeted mana effects are there?
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UsaSatsui
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PostPosted: Jan 23 2012 10:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Syd Lexia wrote:
I don't understand how a loyalty ability being a mana ability could be abused. It's sorcery speed and only once per turn. Alway, what does "it doesn't have a target" mean? What targeted mana effects are there?

I don't fucking know. Look through the old rules updates, I'm sure they explain why. Or send MaRo a letter.

Witch Engine has a targeted ability that produces mana. That is the only one that comes to mind.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 23 2012 10:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

What about Mana Drain, actually? Counters target spell then gives you mana.

This is the only thing I can think of that you can do with Koth's mana ability that's abusive. Tidespout Tyrant, Koth, Chandra Firebrand and at least 8 mountains. With Tyrant out, drop Koth, use his mana ability, the drop Chandra and ping someone. Drop Koth, bounce Chandra. Repeat.
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UsaSatsui
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PostPosted: Jan 24 2012 12:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

Spells can't be mana abilities.
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Rogue Hippo
Title: Lone Wolf Hippo
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 10:31 am Reply with quote Back to top

What happens if a Vorapede dies with no counters and I try to imprint it onto Mimic Vat? Does is come back at +1/+1? Is it exiled?

What happens if I Clone a creature with undying and the Clone dies?
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 10:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

1) I believe the active player gets to decide which order the triggers resolve in. I'm not 100% on that though.

2) The Clone comes back in with a counter and its copy ability retriggers.
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UsaSatsui
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 10:55 am Reply with quote Back to top

Syd Lexia wrote:
1) I believe the active player gets to decide which order the triggers resolve in. I'm not 100% on that though.

If both triggers are controlled by the same player, then he chooses the order they go on the stack. They resolve in reverse order, so either it would get Vatted, or go back into play. The other trigger would have no effect.

If they're controlled by different players, they're put on the stack in APNAP order - which stands for "Active Player, Non Active Player". The active player puts his triggers on the stack first in whatever order he chooses, then in turn order other players put theirs on. Since things resolve from top to bottom, that means the person whose turn it isn't will have their trigger go first. Personally, I think that's stupid, but, eh.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 11:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, it doesn't make a lot of sense, active player should have the advantage in a situation like that. I was in an EDH game where FOUR people had out Mimic Vat and it was annoying as fuck.
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Syd Lexia
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 11:12 am Reply with quote Back to top

How about this? My opponent Tragic Slips my Falkenrath Aristocrat without morbid. In response, I sac a creature. Does the Slip go off for 1 or 13?
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UsaSatsui
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PostPosted: Jan 30 2012 11:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

It's the big 13. The spell doesn't check whether or not a creature died until it resolves.
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