Well kids, it's time for a field trip across the country to historic Philadelphia. Besides being the home of the Eagles, the 76ers, and the Flyers, Philly played host to 969 mental athletes on March 15th and 16th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. And like any good Philly fighter, I'm back to throw a few jabs your way. Happy holiday.
Q: My opponent attacks with two creatures and using ninjutsu on one of them. Can I Trickbind that, and what happens?
A: You can Trickbind the ability because it is activated. The attacking creature was returned as part of the cost, so it's already back in the hand before you can play Trickbind. However, your opponent could ninjutsu with the other attacker because Trickbind only shuts down permanents.
*Extra* Stifle would be cheaper in this case. Interdict wouldn't work at all.
Q: At a Grand Prix like Philadelphia, there's a lot of money on the line, how do you resolve Bribery?
A: You'd resolve the blue sorcery by searching an opponent's deck for a creature card, putting it into play and Bribery into your graveyard, and having your opponent shuffle their deck. If your version of Bribery involves phrases like "let's resolve the damage after the match" or requires "tapping for ," then one of the nice people in stripes will help you fill out some paperwork, and you can take the rest of the event -- and perhaps much longer -- off.
Q: If my opponent declares "FoF eot u lose," what is he talking about? Why did I lose?
A: Did you scoop up your cards to come ask this question and thereby missed the FoF, or were you so dazzled by jargon that you split the Fact or Fiction 5/0? Either way, u lose because that tends to happen to n00bs who have to read FoF.
Q: If graveyards are empty, and I sacrifice my Tarmogoyf to Miren, the Moaning Well, how much life do I gain?
A: You'll gain 1 life. Though the Tarmogoyf is now in the graveyard (making Tarmogoyfs +1/+1 by having the type "creature"), the toughness at the time of the sacrifice was just 1. The ability only cares about the creature's toughness immediately prior to the sacrifice.
Q: If I control Tarmogoyf and a token dies, does the ‘Goyf get bigger?
A: No, not even briefly. Tokens aren't cards, so Tarmogoyf never looks for them. The token does go to the graveyard, but state-based effects cause it to cease to exist as a player would get priority. State-based effects are essentially the janitors of the game. They fix and flush the things that are broken and should be dealt with.
Q: The DCI released a new Penalty Guide. What's this I hear about nail-tip, finger-tip, knuckles, and entire hand?
A: The new Penalty Guide went into effect on March 20th. While many adjustment were made overall, rumors of "Rules Enforcement Level: Yakuza" are not found in the document that saw print. You will however notice that the Regular (i.e. local events) REL brings the DCI more in line with the social and enjoyable atmosphere of friends playing in their local shop.
Q: If I wanted to write a regular rules column, what do you suggest for proofreaders?
A: In theory, they're a very good idea. My own expereince with proofreaders was… mixed.
Q: If my opponent uses Cabal Therapy on me and sees I have a Goblin Pyromancer in my hand, can they then flashback the Therapy and name "Pyromancer"?
A: Yes, the player's communication is clear in this case and doesn't require further description. While there are other "Pyromancer" cards (Prodigal Pyromancer and Pyromancer's Swath), the fact the player just saw your hand makes the truncated name an appropriate shortcut. This is akin to using "Therapy" without specifying it's not Maggot Therapy. If your hand had not just been seen, or if the contents of your hand had changed, then the opponent should be careful to be clear about what exactly is meant.
*Extra* If you don't recall the actual name of a card, you do have some support. Judges understand that it's hard to keep track of everything, so as long as you can uniquely identify a card in the given format, that's an acceptable substitute. For example, "the red Seal" uniquely identifies Seal of Fire. Be careful with nicknames though--they aren't always universally known or might overlap. For example, "Bob" refers to Dark Confidant, designed by Invitational '04 winner Bob Maher. Similarly "b.o.b." refers to Treetop Village, which "beats on blue" as played at PT Chicago '99 Champion Bob Maher.
Q: Worlds is going to be held in Memphis this year, and you're from Memphis. Is that a coincidence?
A: Of course it's a coincidence. The Magic: the Gathering World Championship is in December, and the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest is in May -- that's poor planning for a non-coincidence.
*Extra* For your after-event amusement, The Rendezvous is the place for dry ribs, Corky's for wet ribs, and Dyer's on Beale Street for fried hamburgers (yep, the oil's older than you are). And don't forget that Memphis is only 30 minutes north of Tunica, Mississippi: the Vegas of the South.
Q: Can Toby Elliot really shoot fire (or lightning) out of his finger tips?
A: Well, yes. The level 5 judges try to keep their power under wraps, but after the incident at GP Vancouver the proverbial cat is out of the bag.
*Extra* We can't really admit to anything else publicly about L5 powers granted by the DCI, but Gis is rumored to be pretty sore when he found out the DCI wasn't kidding after he had jokingly asked for "being tall."
Q: Playing in a Lorwyn draft, my opponent used evoke with his Mulldrifter, but what he announced was "Counsel of the Soratami." What is the penalty for doing that?
A: Counsel of the Soratami isn't legal in Lorwyn draft. Evoking Mulldrifter means you're paying to play a spell only during your main phase when you have priority and the stack is empty, and you eventually get to draw two cards out of it. Unfortunately, the DCI has no provision for players that are too slow to keep up with the clever players, so you won't be getting any penalty.
Arson Ahoy!: Should the DCI have provisions for punishing idiots just for being idiots? Head to the forums, and flame on!
Don't forget that Shadowmoor prereleases are just around the corner on April 19th and 20th. Nothing is quite the same as the heady smell of cardboard hot off the presses!