Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

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korvys
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 12 Nov 2015, 01:38

You cast Ezuri's Predation. You get the beasts, and they fight, all as it resolves. While this is happening, Aether Charge triggers, but does not get put on the stack (triggers do not get put on the stack during the resolution of a spell).

Once the spell resolves, the Aether Charge triggers get put on the stack before State-based actions are checked, then state-based actions are checked, and any creatures with lethal damage from the fight die.

Then you resolve your Aether Charge triggers, and probably kill your opponent.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Aaron9797 » 27 Nov 2015, 13:51

if gigantoplasm is a copy of a creature with myriad or gains myriad i heard that if you pay x to make it an X/X its myriad copies will have its normal base power and toughness not its new power and toughness
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SixFootTurkey » 27 Nov 2015, 13:58

That is correct, copy effects do not copy effects that change P/T; they only copy the default CDAs as modified by other copy effects.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Aaron9797 » 30 Nov 2015, 18:24

if i have a riku of two reflections and an ambush commander out and put a forest in to the battlefield and pay ug to make a token copy; will the token copy stay a creature if ambush commander leaves the battlefield
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 30 Nov 2015, 19:35

No. Riku makes a copy of the card, which is a forest, not a copy of the card and all of the effects on it (like making it an Elf, or any other effects). Those effects might now apply to the new creature, but aren't part of the token Riku created.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby JackSlack » 02 Dec 2015, 17:45

This may be the hardest question I've ever asked here. And I'm glad the topic is "Ask a Judge" rather than "Ask a rules question".

I'm running a Commander league and we're between seasons. The most difficult to word achievement is one designed to penalise Infinite Combos.

My current wording: "Cast the same spell, activate the same ability, or control an ability triggering more than four times in one turn; other than abilities that require a mana cost to activate. Lose one point for each instance after the fourth."

The wording from the achievement I'm stealing from: "Perform a series of spells, abilities and/or triggers more than four times in one turn. Lose one point for each iteration after the fourth."

Neither of these really work for me. But it's a freaking hard thing to define. So I figured, why not ask some judges?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 02 Dec 2015, 18:25

Infinite combos are not a thing in Magic, at least not within the rules. What is actually happening when someone performs an infinite combo, is they propose a series of actions, that will result in the game being in a state that both players can agree on:

"I will tap Kiki-Jiki, targeting Pestermite. When that resolves, the ETB ability from Pestermite will target Kiki-jiki, untapping him, leaving everything the same, but I have a Pestermite token."
"Ok."
"I do that a million times"

The problem you're going to run into, since you're trying to write the rules, and need to be super precise, is that in the example above, I'm doing the same action a million times. But what if, each time, I target the new Pestermite? Or a random Pestermite? Am I still performing the same actions? Common sense says yes, but common sense is not something you can write rules for, and the rules say no.

There are also different kinds of "infinite combo". Above is one sort. But does Mind over Matter and Temple Bell count? Every activation requires a choice (what to discard), has potentially different effects (madness cards, for example), and is bounded by the number of cards in your library. So it's not really infinite. Unless you have Emarkul in your deck.

Mephidross Vampire and Triskelion can kill every creature on the board, but that's it. Is that infinite?

All of these seem to fall under your current wording, but then so does using a creature with firebreathing 4 or more times.

In tournament magic, this is actually left up to the judge. Performing a series of actions over and over is slow play, unless you are you meaningfully progressing the state of play. You may just need to make a judgement call when they come up.

Perhaps a better place to start would be, why? Why penalise combos anyway? If you make a rule about them, and make it precise, people will find a way to skirt the rule on a technicality. If you make it general enough to catch that, it'll seem arbitrary.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 02 Dec 2015, 20:22

Oh, also, there are non-optional infinite loops, where all of the actions are mandatory, so they loop forever and cause a draw.

And there are loops that take more than a turn. Consider a deck that can recur Mindslaver, or an extra turns spell (say, Panopic Mirror + Time Warp). I would say the those are functionally the same as infinite combos, in the sense that you set them up, and then you just win, but they don't require repeated actions on the same turn.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby AdmiralMemo » 02 Dec 2015, 22:04

korvys wrote:All of these seem to fall under your current wording, but then so does using a creature with firebreathing 4 or more times.
No it doesn't, unless the firebreathing is free of mana:
JackSlack wrote:My current wording: "Cast the same spell, activate the same ability, or control an ability triggering more than four times in one turn; other than abilities that require a mana cost to activate. Lose one point for each instance after the fourth."
Graham wrote:The point is: Nyeh nyeh nyeh. I'm an old man.
LRRcast wrote:Paul: That does not answer that question at all.
James: Who cares about that question? That's a good answer.

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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 02 Dec 2015, 22:14

Ok, dumping your hand for Psychatog then.

Plus, having now seen that, I'm sure I can come up with an infinite combo that requires mana for each activated ability, but nets mana overall.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SixFootTurkey » 03 Dec 2015, 10:48

Now I just imagine a league where the rules change every few games, so you're forced to redesign to hit bonuses while removing any penalized styles... interesting deck construction league.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 03 Dec 2015, 16:40

Also, just because I kinda set myself a challenge there, here's an infinite mana combo within those rules.

Conspiracy in play, set to Saproling.
Life and Limb in play.
Heartbeat of Spring in play, under someone else's control (given to them by, say Donate)
Skyshroud Elf in play.

Skyshroud Elf is a saproling (Conspiracy) and a Forest Land (Life and Limb).
Activating it's ability will produce 2 mana (Heartbeat of Spring).
Use this mana to activate it's ability again.

The Donate is needed so you don't control the triggered ability that produces the extra mana (The controller of a triggered ability is the controller of the ability's source). This also means, for bonus fun, that under the rules as above, you actually cause your opponent to lose infinite points (whatever they are - it wasn't explained).
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby JackSlack » 03 Dec 2015, 20:17

Oh god. OH GOD.

Yeah, good point, Korvys. Going out of my way to at least include the word 'cause' there so that the sort of combo you're describing is impossible.

The points are what determine the winner of the league.

And why one for infinite combos? Well, the red achievements are meant to stop the kind of play that's considered 'unfun' — In this case, walling yourself off and just trying to combo out. Same kind of principle as why Eggs is considered un-fun; you eventually aren't playing against an opponent, you're just wondering if they'll execute their combo correctly.

(It's worth noting the achievements do not come out every game; we have five decks of achievements — one for each colour — and three are dealt out every game. So you could infinite combo out for a win most games... just every so often, you'll get this one and be told "Don't.")
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Atifexe » 03 Dec 2015, 20:55

Point of order: Activating Skyshroud's second ability won't trigger Heartbeat of Spring, as Heartbeat requires you to tap to gain the extra mana.

That said, it does go infinite with Caged Sun selecting White or Red instead of Heartbeat of Spring, but only as long as you control it.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 03 Dec 2015, 21:51

Ah, dammit, you're right. That's why I avoided Caged Sun, because you'd need to control it, and the rule covers triggered abilities.

Back to the drawing board.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Tacos_yay » 07 Dec 2015, 16:58

Emrakul has protection from colored spells. I'm having a disagreement with my friend on what that means. She thinks that everything is a spell, therefore nothing can touch it. For example, could tsabo tavoc's ability kill Emrakul?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Atifexe » 07 Dec 2015, 17:07

Abilities are not spells. Anything that you cast (i.e. Cards cast from your hand) is a spell. Permanents cease being spells once in play.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Atifexe » 07 Dec 2015, 17:07

Abilities are not spells. Anything that you cast (i.e. Cards cast from your hand) is a spell. Permanents cease being spells once in play.

Someone with more rules knowledge than me will have to clarify whether abilities that trigger on being cast get around protection from spells. I want to say they do, but I'm uncertain.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 07 Dec 2015, 17:50

Any card (or copy of a card) on the stack is a spell. Cards not on the stack are not spells. Ability are not spells, no matter how they trigger.

Even if they trigger from casting a spell. The only time an ability would be affected by Emarkul's protection would be if the source of the ability was a coloured spell (still on the stack, as opposed to triggering from a permanent), such as the abilities that trigger when you cast some Eldrazi, but they aren't coloured.

New Ulamog could not exile Emarkul, for example, if Ulamog was somehow coloured.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Tacos_yay » 07 Dec 2015, 22:26

Excellent, that means I won. Or would have won. The game actually ended with yelling. Thanks.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Aztren Skrimish » 10 Dec 2015, 17:41

Hey, this may seem like a dumb question, but if you were to use Seance to get a token copy of a card, would parallel lives activate? and if it does, would I only have to sacrifice the first token? or would I have to sac both tokens?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 10 Dec 2015, 18:27

You would indeed get more than one copy, and you would also have to exile it (See below).

Gatherer rulings for Parallel Lives:
9/22/2011: All of the tokens enter the battlefield simultaneously. They'll have the same name, color, type and subtype, abilities, power, toughness, and so on.
9/22/2011: If the effect is putting more than one kind of token onto the battlefield, it'll put twice as many of each kind onto the battlefield. For example, if you cast Bestial Menace while controlling Parallel Lives, you'll put two Snake tokens, two Wolf tokens, and two Elephant tokens onto the battlefield.
9/22/2011: If you control two Parallel Lives, then the number of tokens created is four times the original number. If you control three, then the number of tokens created is eight times the original number, and so on.
9/22/2011: If the effect creating the tokens instructs you to do something with those tokens at a later time, like exiling them at the end of combat, you'll do that for all the tokens.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby AdmiralMemo » 10 Dec 2015, 19:42

Scenario:

I have Tezzeret the Seeker out. Opponent casts Song of the Dryads on it. I tap Myr Landshaper to turn it into an artifact until EOT. If I cast Stolen Identity targeting it, do I get a token copy of Tezzeret? Or do I just end up with a token of "Land - Forest"?

I'm pretty sure copy mechanics don't copy the changes made by Auras so I'd get the planeswalker, but I wasn't completely sure. (Also, if it does work the way I think it does, maybe it's not the opponent who casts Song of the Dryads, in a rare corner case. :-D )



I was mainly looking for ways to make copies of planeswalkers that don't immediately go away. First thought was Gideon or Sarkhan turns into a creature + Phyrexian Metamorph or Stolen Identity, but that dies to SBAs. Same thing with any planeswalker + Liquimetal Coating + either Phyrexian Metamorph, Stolen Identity, Sculpting Steel, or Mizzium Transreliquat.

Other than my convoluted first scenario, the only thing I can think of is to make copies of my opponent's planeswalkers using Liquimetal Coating + either Phyrexian Metamorph, Stolen Identity, Sculpting Steel, or Mizzium Transreliquat.
Graham wrote:The point is: Nyeh nyeh nyeh. I'm an old man.
LRRcast wrote:Paul: That does not answer that question at all.
James: Who cares about that question? That's a good answer.

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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby korvys » 10 Dec 2015, 20:29

You get a copy of Tezzeret, with a fresh set of loyalty counters on it.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Aztren Skrimish » 11 Dec 2015, 04:18

korvys wrote:You would indeed get more than one copy, and you would also have to exile it (See below).

Gatherer rulings for Parallel Lives:...

[/quote]

Does this also apply if i were to use populate instead of parallel lives?

Okay, one more regarding seance into parallel lives (sorry, im trying to prove to my roomate that it isn't COMPLETELY useless)

Does this series of events work?:

seance and parallel lives both in play.

Geist-Honored Monk, making 4 (1/1) white flying spirit tokens into play, (2 tokens * 2 for parallel)
Geist-Honored Monk is now a (5/5)

*insert one of many ways monk may die here*

oponents upkeep i seance the monk, creating 2 of them. They create 4 tokens each.

I now have 2 (14/14) monks to block with and 12 (1/1) flying spirits on the field

end step, I sac the 2 monks and keep all the fliers because seance only sacs the original card copied?

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