Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

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SilPho
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 16 Oct 2011, 12:54

Short Answer: You're doing it right.
Long Answer: At the beginning of the declare attackers step inside the combat phase the attacking player selects which, if any, creatures he or she controls will attack and the player or planeswalker each will attack.

So for combat your intention is made clear right from the start, this does differ to dealing damage to a planeswalker through spells such as Lightning Bolt - That damage is only redirected to a planeswalker on resolution of the spell (though you can't fake out your opponent by saying one thing and then changing your mind).

The relevant rules are basically 508.1 and 508.1a through 508.1j. Below are the parts relevant to this exact question, most of it has been cut out.

508.1. First, the active player declares attackers. This turn-based action doesn‘t use the stack. [snip]
508.1a The active player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will attack. [snip]
508.1b If the defending player controls any planeswalkers, or the game allows the active player to attack multiple other players, the active player announces which player or planeswalker each of the chosen creatures is attacking.


If anyone is interested in having a look at the behemoth that is the Comprehensive Rules, it is freely available on the Wizards site
Link fixed now
There are other, more user friendly, documents there as well.
Last edited by SilPho on 16 Oct 2011, 23:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Fugiman » 16 Oct 2011, 13:32

As somebody who doesn't really understand how this game works, what is the best method to go about learning these rules?

What is the process of becoming a judge? Any hints on becoming one?

What does "Level 2 Judge" mean? What other levels are there?

Should I just be googling this stuff instead and saving everybody time?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Avistew » 16 Oct 2011, 13:45

First I played the Duels of the Planeswalker videogame. It's pretty good because it doesn't let you do illegal stuff and it tells you clearly which phase you're on. Also keeps track of counters for you.

However if you want to play in person, you need to learn how to do it. For that I just went to the store, watched people play and then joined a game. Whenever I did something I wasn't supposed to, they corrected me (I made sure to tell them I was a beginner first).
After playing for a bit you get the hang of it. The mistake I made the most was forgetting to tap and untap stuff, and forgetting what creatures had summoning sickness because you can't see it and you don't show it in any way. Oh, and saying "end of turn". I kept forgetting to do that.

I don't think learning the rules on your own would work so well though. I think it's clearly a case when interaction makes it sink in much faster.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 16 Oct 2011, 13:55

Avistew wrote:I don't think learning the rules on your own would work so well though. I think it's clearly a case when interaction makes it sink in much faster.


This.

I'll answer the other questions about judging tomorrow, but there's plenty on Google and the Wizards site about judging, and Magic in general of course.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 16 Oct 2011, 18:46

Agreeing very bigly on learning by playing, but also make dsure your playing with people that are already familiar with the rules. When I originally got into it it was me and a couple of friends teaching ourselves the rules from a very un-comprehensive minirulebook that wasn't very clear in places... I still every now and then find out I'm doing some little thing wrong.
SilPho wrote:If anyone is interested in having a look at the behemoth that is the Comprehensive Rules, it is freely available on the Wizards site
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/Resour ... agic/rules
There are other, more user friendly, documents there as well.

Also, broken link is broken and a link.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby theDreamer » 16 Oct 2011, 21:19

Yeah, my friends and I tried to teach ourselves how to play. It didn't work out very well to start, but now I'm reading through this thread and can answer like 90% of the questions correctly.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 17 Oct 2011, 04:51

Ok. So firstly I fixed the link above and will re-link to it here as well.

As for Fugi's questions about the judge programme, here is a rough overview:

Anybody can become a judge, all it takes is the desire to see the game from a more technical stand-point and the willingness to assist in the smooth running of tournaments. There are very few strict "requirements" for being a judge, most of the time it's just about love for the game and meeting some really great people.

A 'Level 0', sometimes known as a Rules Advisor, is someone who has taken an interest in the program, usually by passing the Rules Advisor Test on the judge website. There will be a link for this somewhere on the Wizards or DCI site. I don't know exactly where since it may be different for me.

A Level 1 judge, sometimes known as a Store judge, has passed the official Level 1 rules test and has worked at a few tournaments. The entry requirements for Level 1 were lowered recently so now it's more accessible than ever to become a judge.

A Level 2 judge, sometimes known as an Area judge, makes a larger contribution to the judging community. Often travelling far further to judge at competitive level events. Level 1 judges may do this if they wish but it's not required. It is at this level that tournament rules and the penalty guides for competitive level events are required knowledge (you need to know it to pass the L2 test). Level 2s also have the ability to test for new Level 1 judges.

Beyond that you have Level 3 judges acting as the regional judges, at this point the judges start to have a bigger impact on their local communities and the judge program as a whole. Level 4 and 5 judges also exist but they are very few in number.

There are thousands of L0 and L1 judges, a few hundred L2 judges and probably around 100 L3s with even fewer L4s and L5s. Don't quote me on these numbers though.

Interested in becoming a judge? Ask one of the judges about it at a local event. They will be happy to welcome you in.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 17 Oct 2011, 12:58

Okay I had a question that's been niggling me for a while, having said that the answer is probably obvious.

So I have Fire Servant, Chandra's Spitfire and Prodigal Pyromancer.

I understand that PP's ability will trigger the +3/+0 on the Spitfire as it's non-combat damage, but would it also get buffed by Fire Servant as it can be fired at the same time as an instant can be or is it exempt because it doesn't specifically say "instant"?

I normally play it as the latter but I just want to be clear in my mind once and for all.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 17 Oct 2011, 13:50

Short Answer: No doubling.
Long Answer: Fire Servant only affects spells. Prodigal Pyromancer has an activated ability that just happens to share the timing rules with instants. A spell is something you actually cast (or copy) and they can only exist on the stack.

Bonus: In the same way that tokens cease to exist the moment they leave the battlefield, a spell ceases to exist if it ever leaves the stack. The spell card goes to the graveyard and the spell itself, the imaginary thing we actually put on the stack, ceases to exist.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 17 Oct 2011, 23:15

Thanks. I thought that was the answer but I just wanted to be sure I wasn't restricting myself unnecessarily.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Avistew » 18 Oct 2011, 01:15

Something came up yesterday during a game.

1) can you put hexproof on something that's already enchanted and remove the enchantment? I felt that you can't as it will only affect things that haven't happened yet, but Sean felt that enchantments are constantly targeting a card, since they keep working, and that making that card hexproof would interrupt it.

2) I had a Gideon's Avenger, Sean had a card with blazing torch. He blocked my avenger, then after he declared blocking (with a 1/1, I was currently 3/3) he said he tapped the card to throw the torch at me. Am I right to assume that Gideon's Avenger wouldn't die due to getting an extra +1/+1 counter before the torch hits?
Also, can he do that, declare blockers then tap, and still do the one damage that card would have done?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Trymantha » 18 Oct 2011, 01:19

Avistew wrote:Something came up yesterday during a game.

1) can you put hexproof on something that's already enchanted and remove the enchantment? I felt that you can't as it will only affect things that haven't happened yet, but Sean felt that enchantments are constantly targeting a card, since they keep working, and that making that card hexproof would interrupt it.

2) I had a Gideon's Avenger, Sean had a card with blazing torch. He blocked my avenger, then after he declared blocking (with a 1/1, I was currently 3/3) he said he tapped the card to throw the torch at me. Am I right to assume that Gideon's Avenger wouldn't die due to getting an extra +1/+1 counter before the torch hits?
Also, can he do that, declare blockers then tap, and still do the one damage that card would have done?


1. Enchantments only target once other wise you have to sit there constantly declaring who its currently targeting, so you are correct

2. the avenger would live, yes you can block tap and then deal damage at least you can on modo(mtgo) since the tap is part of a cost the avenger trigger happens before the torch damage its dealt so the avenger lives
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 18 Oct 2011, 01:54

I've asked this before in the other thread but is Avistew's hexproof scenario the same as, for example, a creature with a red enchantment suddenly getting protection from red?

Also not a rules question but how do you keep track of counters (+/-, level, loyalty etc). Can you just use any kind? Bit of a silly one I know.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 18 Oct 2011, 01:59

I put dice on the cards. That said, my gaming friends and I have a very, very large collection of dice. As for the first question, based on how Trymantha explained his ruling it sounds like the exact same situation. Once the anchantment is on, it's on.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 18 Oct 2011, 02:29

The specific example I used last time was Claws of Valakut on Etched Champion, then metalcraft kicks in giving him protection from all colours. The consensus was that the claws would fizzle.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 18 Oct 2011, 02:54

I just looked it up, and you're right Geoff. Protection does kill preexisting enchantments. My bad.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Avistew » 18 Oct 2011, 03:30

Thanks for the replies. That's the way we ended up doing it in both cases so it's good to know that we made the right calls. (Or rather we just didn't do these things, so he just didn't block at all instead and his creature lived too).

For counters, I've used dice, you can also use these stones they have for fish tanks. I like the ones that are a bit see through and you can get them in lots of colours. Then it's easy to have for instance green for +1, red for -1, purple for a charge or, you know, whatever.
Then you can either place as many counters as needed, or have a dice next to the counter, basically using the fish thing to indicate the type of counter and the dice to indicate the type.

Speaking of which, I guess it would make sense to use coloured dice instead (I just used tiny regular d6s and they're all white) and then each colour lets you know what it is.

Sometimes if I don't have anything I use other cards face down.

Speaking of which, I don't have land right now so I mostly play with other cards instead. For instance the other day, I played a green/white deck with black cards for forests and blue cards for plains, against a black/red deck with green for swamps and blue for mountains.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 18 Oct 2011, 03:39

Here's another question, unconnected with anything else and really very hypothetical:

I'm the archenemy and on the first turn I draw a scheme that lets me put a creature into play direct from my hand (if such a scheme exists of course!). I play Felidar Sovereign. Assuming that the other players are unable to damage me between now and my next upkeep have I just won the game?

I know it's very situational and highly unlikely but I was looking at this card the other day and I just started wondering.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 18 Oct 2011, 03:43

Yes? I can't think of a single reason why you wouldn't. Might get you punched though.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby theDreamer » 18 Oct 2011, 04:14

Hexproof/shroud only affect "Targeting." If a card says "Target" (or has rules baggage about targeting when you activate an ability or cast a spell, such as "Enchant _____" or "Equip") then Hexproof/Shroud protect you while the spell or ability is first put on the stack, or when it resolves.

This means if someone casts a spell or activates an ability and wants to target my creature, if it has hexproof/shroud it cannot happen. The player can't use that spell or ability, and it unhappens (or something, I don't really play in formal settings, and we have take backs for improper castings and things in my meta, I'm not sure the official line on this).

If my creature doesn't have hexproof, but I give it hexproof before the spell/ability targeting it resolves, when the spell/ability checks to make sure the target is legal, it sees it isn't, and is countered in the formal sense.

The way Protection from X works is via DEBT (or D.E.B.T., whatever). Basically DEBT is all the things that cannot happen. This stands for:

Damage (a creature with protection from X cannot take damage from an X source. That's combat damage, targeted damage, or "deal damage to all..." even if it falls under all)

Enchant/Equip/Fortification (these all work under similar means, and thus get grouped together even though fortify starts with an F. It means an X source cannot enchant, equip, or fortify this card, and they are removed instantly)

Blocking (pretty clear, I think)

Targeting (working just like Shroud, but only if the spell/ability is from an X source)



As to the Felidar Sovereign question: yes. You can also play Commander or Archenemy, use a Karn Liberated to exile Felidar, restart the game, and win instantly.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby SilPho » 18 Oct 2011, 04:40

Just to clarify when things fall off:
Whipsersilk Cloak is pretty much all the proof you need that Hexproof and Shroud don't cause existing equipment or enchantments to fall off.

On the other hand, Protection from White would cause a white enchantment to fall off. White Ward has to have special wording to get around this.

As Dreamer said, the DEBT mnemonic is a great way to remember what protection means, just bear in mind that the D does NOT mean destroy. This means Day of Judgment will kill anything with protection from white, even Progenitus.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Geoff_B » 18 Oct 2011, 07:14

Is that because "Destroy all creatures" doesn't actually target anything specifically?
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Drunk On Mystery » 18 Oct 2011, 07:48

Geoff_B wrote:Is that because "Destroy all creatures" doesn't actually target anything specifically?


Yes.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby dackwards d » 18 Oct 2011, 16:45

With creatures that have variable stats where the rules text says something like "______'s power and toughness are equal to _____," how does this interact with -1/-1 counters? My assumption is that their P&T is set depending on the rules text and is then modified by the negatives. For example a Boneyard Wurm with 5 creatures in the graveyard takes 3 damage from a creature with infect, so it would then become a 2/2. I was playing a game where that happened and the guy explained to me that since it's stats are set by the number of creatures in the graveyard it will always be equal to that, regardless of outside influences (i.e. if it's power and toughness are at a negative it automatically boosts them up so that they remain at 5/5 or whatever the case may be).

Anyway, while I am reasonably sure he is wrong wrt to infect counters, I am curious if he has the right idea in terms of temporary negatives such as Disfigure.
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Re: Magic the Gathering: Ask a Judge

Postby Drunk On Mystery » 18 Oct 2011, 17:59

In cases like that, I believe the creature's BASE stats are set by those things, in your example by the number of creatures in the graveyard, and then additional modifiers act as normal.

So a Boneyard Wurm in that scenario that was hit with a disfigure would be a 3/3 until end of turn. However, if it was hit with disfigure, but another of your creatures died, it'd bump back up to a 4/4.
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