Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

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Geoff_B
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 20 May 2012, 12:21

So a bunch of questions from me:

1. If I have a piece of equipment that has an ability triggered "when equipped creature attacks", when does it resolve? Is it immediately or after all attackers have been declared?

2. If I have a card that has an ability that reads "when a creature enters the battlefield under your control" and I play an ability that creates multiple tokens, does the ability trigger each time for each token (I'm assuming yes)

3. Given the above situation will the opponent be able to respond to each instance of the ability on the stack or will all the triggers resolve at the same time?

4. If I play an ability that says "exile target creature and return it to the battlefield under your control" on a token, will the token be destroyed? (I seem to remember that tokens can only exist on the battlefield).

5. If an ability is placed on the stack and the source of the ability is removed before the ability resolves (eg. an enchantment or artifact is destroyed before its ability resolves) does the ability fizzle or does it still happen? (Guessing the answer is it fizzles)

6. (Related to 3) If a source's ability triggers multiple times, and assuming the opponent can respond to each instance, if the source is destroyed before all its triggers have resolved, do the remaining triggers resolve or do they fizzle?

7. Can you guess what deck I'm building? :D
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 20 May 2012, 12:46

Geoff_B wrote:1. If I have a piece of equipment that has an ability triggered "when equipped creature attacks", when does it resolve? Is it immediately or after all attackers have been declared?
Declaring attackers is a single action, the ability is put onto the stack once all attackers are chosen. (This is before blockers though).

Geoff_B wrote:2. If I have a card that has an ability that reads "when a creature enters the battlefield under your control" and I play an ability that creates multiple tokens, does the ability trigger each time for each token (I'm assuming yes)
Yup, once per creature.

Geoff_B wrote:3. Given the above situation will the opponent be able to respond to each instance of the ability on the stack or will all the triggers resolve at the same time?
Each trigger on the stack is an individual item. They can respond when all of them are on the stack or in between each resolution.

Geoff_B wrote:4. If I play an ability that says "exile target creature and return it to the battlefield under your control" on a token, will the token be destroyed? (I seem to remember that tokens can only exist on the battlefield).
The token is exiled, but it doesn't come back. If a token is ever not on the battlefield it will cease to exist.

Geoff_B wrote:5. If an ability is placed on the stack and the source of the ability is removed before the ability resolves (eg. an enchantment or artifact is destroyed before its ability resolves) does the ability fizzle or does it still happen? (Guessing the answer is it fizzles)
Abilities exist independently of their source once they are on the stack. If the source of the ability is destroyed the ability will resolve as normal (If it needs to know anything about its source it "looks back in time" to find out what the last known information was).

Geoff_B wrote:6. (Related to 3) If a source's ability triggers multiple times, and assuming the opponent can respond to each instance, if the source is destroyed before all its triggers have resolved, do the remaining triggers resolve or do they fizzle?
As with the answer to 5, all abilities exist on their own, so they all resolve normally.

Geoff_B wrote:7. Can you guess what deck I'm building? :D
To be honest, not really. But that's why I judge instead of build decks :wink:
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 20 May 2012, 18:54

More Treacherous Pit-Dweller questions.

If an opponent in a 3+ player game has control of your Pit-Dweller due to it's ability, what happens when that player leaves the game?

If you respond to the Pit-Dweller's ability with some kind of spell or ability that trades control of a permanent (such as morphing a Chromeshell Crab) to give them the demon before it's ability activates, does the opponent then have to give away the demon when it does trigger?

And Geoff: I was guessing a deck based around all the new humie's 'on enter the battlefield' triggers + token generation, but question 1 probably means a Moonsilver Spear so I figure it's going to be centred on bulking up a Champion of Lambholt quickly.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Kapol » 20 May 2012, 19:45

I have a question that came up in a practice duel. I have two soul bond creatures attached to each other, Wolfir Silverheart and Druid's Familiar. I play Infinite Reflection on the Silverheart.

Now, since the Familiar becomes a Silverheart, do they stay soulbonded anyways? If so, do they both gain +4/+4 for both of them (so 8/8 total)?

As well, when you summon a creature after that point, do you pay Silverheart's cost (since it becomes him) or the creature's cost? Can you soulbond it as soon as it's summoned, or would it have to wait until another creature is summoned to attach to that?

Also, final question which is the easiest, if I play it on one of my opponent's creature's, do all of my creatures become a copy of that one or do all of his?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby tamaness » 20 May 2012, 19:48

dackwards d wrote:More Treacherous Pit-Dweller questions.

If an opponent in a 3+ player game has control of your Pit-Dweller due to it's ability, what happens when that player leaves the game?

I'd expect that the Pit Dweller goes to your graveyard. I'm pretty sure that's how card control works in many-player games.
dackwards d wrote:If you respond to the Pit-Dweller's ability with some kind of spell or ability that trades control of a permanent (such as morphing a Chromeshell Crab) to give them the demon before it's ability activates, does the opponent then have to give away the demon when it does trigger?
I think the ability will already be on the stack, with the opponent targeted, as soon as the Pit Dweller returns from the graveyard, and will then fizzle because the opponent already has control of the creature. Ideally, you'd want undying to return it under your opponent's control, so its ability will trigger and you'll get your demon back.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 20 May 2012, 23:00

dackwards d wrote:If an opponent in a 3+ player game has control of your Pit-Dweller due to it's ability, what happens when that player leaves the game?
Short Answer: The Pit-Dweller is exiled.
Long Answer: When a player leaves the game, everything they own leaves the game with them. Anything they controlled as a result of a temporary effect goes back to the original controller. Anything they controlled indefinitely is exiled. Pit-Dweller provides a permanent control change, so the card is exiled.

dackwards d wrote:If you respond to the Pit-Dweller's ability with some kind of spell or ability that trades control of a permanent (such as morphing a Chromeshell Crab) to give them the demon before it's ability activates, does the opponent then have to give away the demon when it does trigger?
Short Answer:You can't take an action between the creature arriving on the battlefield and the ability going on to the stack.
Long Answer: The Pit-Dweller's ability will already be on the stack before anyone can respond to it. The target for the ability is chosen at this point, and will not change. You still control the ability even if you no longer control the creature. (Technical note: The ability doesn't fizzle, it resolves as normal but doesn't change anything about the game).

Kapol wrote:I have two soul bond creatures attached to each other, Wolfir Silverheart and Druid's Familiar. I play Infinite Reflection on the Silverheart.

Now, since the Familiar becomes a Silverheart, do they stay soulbonded anyways? If so, do they both gain +4/+4 for both of them (so 8/8 total)?
Short Answer:They both get +8/+8.
Long Answer: Changing characteristics like that doesn't break a Soulbond, so now the effect from their static abilities is acting on the Silverheart and the Druid's new form.

Kapol wrote:When you summon a creature after that point, do you pay Silverheart's cost (since it becomes him) or the creature's cost? Can you soulbond it as soon as it's summoned, or would it have to wait until another creature is summoned to attach to that?
You always pay the cost of the original creature when casting it, it doesn't become a copy of the Silverheart until it finally hits the battlefield.

You can only pair a creature with an unpaired creature you control, so if you only control two creatures and both are paired, you will have to wait until you cast a 4th to get your 2nd pair going.

Kapol wrote:If I play it on one of my opponent's creature's, do all of my creatures become a copy of that one or do all of his?
Short Answer:All of your creatures are affected by Infinite Reflection, none of your opponent's are affected.
Long Answer: You control the Infinite Reflection. Whenever the card says "you" it means its controller, so if you put the Aura on to an opponent's 5/5 creature, all of your current creatures become 5/5 and all of your future ones will too. His creatures remain un-affected by the whole process.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby phlip » 20 May 2012, 23:43

SilPho wrote:
Kapol wrote:Can you soulbond it as soon as it's summoned, or would it have to wait until another creature is summoned to attach to that?
You can only pair a creature with an unpaired creature you control, so if you only control two creatures and both are paired, you will have to wait until you cast a 4th to get your 2nd pair going.

I think the question was asking more along the lines of: if I control an unpaired creature, and have Infinite Reflection on a Silverheart, when I play a new creature, and it becomes a Silverheart, can I pair it with my unpaired creature?

Or, more generally, if I have Infinite Reflection on a creature with enters-the-battlefield effects, and I play a new creature, do those ETB effects trigger?

To which I think the answer is "yes".
Last edited by phlip on 21 May 2012, 05:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 21 May 2012, 00:01

That interpretation of the question makes more sense, and your answers are correct too. Thanks :)
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 21 May 2012, 00:44

@Dackwards: Close. I'm using a Moonsilver Spear along with Entreat the Angels and Cathars' Crusade.

And thanks SilPho. Tokens always give me a bit of pause.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Kapol » 21 May 2012, 01:29

Thanks. Those were pretty much what I had assumed, but figured it'd be best to be sure. Also, Philp is right in his interpretation of it. I just wasn't 100% sure about when exactly the creature became a copy of the Infinite Reflection'd creature or it's effects on abilities.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby vxicepickxv » 21 May 2012, 15:31

This could get interesting as they are more meta level questions.

What are the top 5 most confusing cards you've dealt with?

What are the top 5 most confusing abilities you've dealt with?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Dominic Appleguard » 21 May 2012, 20:09

vxicepickxv wrote:This could get interesting as they are more meta level questions.

What are the top 5 most confusing cards you've dealt with?

What are the top 5 most confusing abilities you've dealt with?

Have you had players tell you you're wrong in a match? Did it get heated?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 21 May 2012, 23:04

Certain cards live in infamy amongst judges. I wouldn't say the items are necessarily the most complicated or most confusing, but they certainly help to create some of the most obscure corner cases you tend to hear about.

Opalescence and Humility is the classic example. Volrath's Shapeshifter causes more problems than he's worth. And let us not forget Illusionary Mask.

Abilities aren't usually as bad because the greater level of exposure can give you a better understanding of them. That said, these are probably responsible for more rules questions than any other, (In no particular order):
Morph, Banding, Suspend, Phasing, Splice, Dredge.

If you want confusion and you want it quickly, try playing cards like Eye of the Storm or Knowledge Pool in Commander.

I've never been in a heated discussion with players, they understand that what we do is vital to the success of the game and if they don't agree they always have the right to appeal to the Head Judge. When they see multiple judges agreeing they realise that there isn't much they can do, and their understanding may not be as solid as they think.

Of course "That's not the way Magic: Online does it" is never a fun discussion to have.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby vxicepickxv » 22 May 2012, 14:48

Dominic Appleguard wrote:
vxicepickxv wrote:This could get interesting as they are more meta level questions.

What are the top 5 most confusing cards you've dealt with?

What are the top 5 most confusing abilities you've dealt with?

Have you had players tell you you're wrong in a match? Did it get heated?
I'm not actually a judge, but under a judge's supervision I have made rulings based on what was going on for a current game. There has been some raised voices, but once it was explained by the judge things calmed down.

As for the most confusing cards, I can see why Illusionary Mask is on there. Even the oracle text, and gatherer rulings, it still hurts my brain. It's an activated ability of an artifact that's also a spell, that would allow you pay for a creature card as a spell that is a 2/2 colorless creature with no subtypes until you tap it, damage it, or it damages something, even if the creature card isn't a spell.

Volrath's Shapeshifter is interesting, but it's not really that confusing. It's just a copy of whatever's on top of your graveyard but you can also pay 2 to discard another card.

Humility is tricky, when you add in opalescence, or Mycosyth lattice and March of the Machines.

I don't know why people think morph is as hard as it is. You cast the creature as a colorless 2/2 creature with no subtypes and a casting cost(and converted mana cost) of 3. You can look at it at any time, and you can pay the morph cost as an instant.

Suspend causes headaches because people don't want to learn how it works. You pay the suspend cost, and the card is exiled with the counters on it. You remove counters(normally 1 during the upkeep) until the last counter is removed, and it's cast as soon as the last counter is removed, no matter what.

Phasing is only confusing because unlike every other time a perminant leaves play, phasing remembers.

Banding is kind of weird, because I don't remember how all the incarnations work, but I know that it changes how creatures attack as a band(basically a giant blob creature in terms of color and abilities) and how damage is assigned to blocking creatures and how damage is dealt to the attacking creature(or band).

Splice just means add to a spell to the base spell, and then put the splices back in your hand. Reveal them when you want to splice, and then pay the splice cost. They cards you're splicing are still in your hand, and basically add to the basic spell. It might change a card from untargetted to targeted, but you get to keep what you splice in your hand. If the cost to splice is discard a card, what you splice onto the base spell is still in your hand, so you can discard it to pay that cost.

Dredge is a draw replacement effect. Instead of drawing you can mill yourself X cards and get the card out of your graveyard. You have to be able to draw in order to replace a draw effect. If you can't draw cards then you can't dredge.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby CompletelyUnsure » 22 May 2012, 19:30

Geoff_B wrote:So a bunch of questions from me:

1. If I have a piece of equipment that has an ability triggered "when equipped creature attacks", when does it resolve? Is it immediately or after all attackers have been declared?

2. If I have a card that has an ability that reads "when a creature enters the battlefield under your control" and I play an ability that creates multiple tokens, does the ability trigger each time for each token (I'm assuming yes)

3. Given the above situation will the opponent be able to respond to each instance of the ability on the stack or will all the triggers resolve at the same time?

4. If I play an ability that says "exile target creature and return it to the battlefield under your control" on a token, will the token be destroyed? (I seem to remember that tokens can only exist on the battlefield).

5. If an ability is placed on the stack and the source of the ability is removed before the ability resolves (eg. an enchantment or artifact is destroyed before its ability resolves) does the ability fizzle or does it still happen? (Guessing the answer is it fizzles)

6. (Related to 3) If a source's ability triggers multiple times, and assuming the opponent can respond to each instance, if the source is destroyed before all its triggers have resolved, do the remaining triggers resolve or do they fizzle?

7. Can you guess what deck I'm building? :D


1. Immediately after
4. I believe its not destroyed, the destruction goes on the bottom of the stack
5. It fizzles, there nothing to activate it anymore
7. I'm going to go with burn/control :lol:
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby JackSlack » 22 May 2012, 19:39

If I cast Infinite Reflection on a legendary creature, does this count as more than one of the same legendary being on the table at once, and thus all of them being destroyed?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 22 May 2012, 22:54

CompletelyUnsure wrote:
Geoff_B wrote:...
4. If I play an ability that says "exile target creature and return it to the battlefield under your control" on a token, will the token be destroyed? (I seem to remember that tokens can only exist on the battlefield).

5. If an ability is placed on the stack and the source of the ability is removed before the ability resolves (eg. an enchantment or artifact is destroyed before its ability resolves) does the ability fizzle or does it still happen? (Guessing the answer is it fizzles)
...

1. Immediately after
4. I believe its not destroyed, the destruction goes on the bottom of the stack
5. It fizzles, there nothing to activate it anymore

I'm not sure where you're coming from with 4. The token isn't "destroyed", sure, but it does stop existing, and the stack has nothing to do with it. (Also, things are put onto the 'top' of the stack, not the bottom')

And 5 is a classic example of one of Magic's counter-intuitive gameplay mechanics. If, for example, I activate a Prodigal Pyromancer and then you respond by killing it with a Doom Blade or something, the ability is still on the stack and will steal deal one damage.


JackSlack wrote:If I cast Infinite Reflection on a legendary creature, does this count as more than one of the same legendary being on the table at once, and thus all of them being destroyed?

Yes, all of your creatures are sacrificed due to state-based-actions. This could, in theory, be used as a last desperate attempt to kill an opponent's big bomb creature.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby phlip » 23 May 2012, 00:12

Most expensive desperation-mode removal ever...

5U Sorcery - put target legendary creature, and every nontoken creature you control, into their owners' graveyards, if you control at least one nontoken creature.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 23 May 2012, 01:15

I didn't say it was a *good* removal spell :P
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby JackSlack » 23 May 2012, 02:35

Gotcha. Thought so, but hoped. Need to find some huge but not legendary creature to use as the bomb, then.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby vxicepickxv » 23 May 2012, 12:50

SilPho wrote:And 5 is a classic example of one of Magic's counter-intuitive gameplay mechanics. If, for example, I activate a Prodigal Pyromancer and then you respond by killing it with a Doom Blade or something, the ability is still on the stack and will steal deal one damage.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 23 May 2012, 14:14

So basically if an ability is on the stack, short of countering it (if it's a spell cast from the hand) or removing the target (if there is any) or any other specific conditions that prevent it, it's happening regardless of everything else? Like if I use Quicksilver Amulet and the artifact gets destroyed before the ability resolves, my big stuff is still coming in?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Jenelmo » 23 May 2012, 14:27

The only thing i can think of that can "counter" Quicksilver amulet's ability is cards like Stifle that says:Counter target activated ability.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 23 May 2012, 14:34

Pretty much. Abilities always exist independently of what created them, even if they refer to that object in some way.

For a confusing example: Check out Stalking Yeti. This is one example of an ability that will fizzle if the source disappears. That 'if' clause in the middle makes an extra check on resolution. Most abilities don't *need* to have their source remain on the battlefield, so most of them don't use this really weird phrasing.

I'm sorry if that doesn't make much sense, I should really be in bed.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby vxicepickxv » 23 May 2012, 17:36

Jenelmo wrote:The only thing i can think of that can "counter" Quicksilver amulet's ability is cards like Stifle that says:Counter target activated ability.
Stifle, Rust and Brown Ouphe are 3 off the top of my head that will stop it from activating.

Portcullis has a good chance of making sure that even if the creature gets in play, it doesn't stay there.
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