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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on Soul Sculptor + Soul Warden
    Quote from Berdryn83 »
    My first rule question comes up: When the new goblin comes in, I gain 1 life due to soul warden. It triggers the enchantment to return to a creature, Do I gain a life for this change?

    There is no trigger involved when he casts a creature spell. The effect of Soul Sculptor just ends. You do not gain a life for that because nothing enters the battlefield at that time. From the glossary of the rules:
    Enters the Battlefield
    A nontoken permanent “enters the battlefield” when it’s moved onto the battlefield from another zone. A token “enters the battlefield” when it’s created. See rules 403.3, 603.6a, 603.6d, and 614.12.

    Quote from Berdryn83 »
    Does this returned goblin have summoning sickness also? I've read conflicting things about it.

    It didn't "return" from anywhere. Has it been under that player's control since the start of their turn? Soul Sculptor doesn't alter that. The "summoning sickness" rule doesn't care how much time it has spent as a creature, just how long it has been under their control.
    302.6. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol or the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. A creature can’t attack unless it has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. This rule is informally called the “summoning sickness” rule.


    Quote from Berdryn83 »
    Also, since I'm here, if soul sculptor dies while there are creatures made into enchantments with its ability, do they return to being creatures if he plays a new creature or do they stay enchantments because soul sculptor's ability is no longer in play to allow that?
    The duration is "until a player casts a creature spell", not "until a player casts a creature spell while Soul Sculptor is on the battlefield". The enchantment effect ends. Just like the effect of Giant Growth ends on schedule even if Giant Growth isn't on the battlefield at that time.
    611.2a A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability lasts as long as stated by the spell or ability creating it (such as “until end of turn”). If no duration is stated, it lasts until the end of the game.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Liliana, Heretical Healer
    The Liliana that shows up in the graveyard doesn't CARE that there used to be another Liliana in exile. Why would that ever matter?
    400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are nine exceptions to this rule:
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Chandra, the Firebrand question
    Quote from The Fluff »
    Oh, sorry forgot to ask this important question. Is the spell copy created by Chandra, the Firebrand counterable by countermagic spells like Stubborn Denial or Mana Leak?

    Yes, it's also a spell.
    111.1a A copy of a spell is also a spell, even if it has no card associated with it. See rule 706.10.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Vines of vastwood and couter spell
    [c]Vines of Vastwood[/c] -> Vines of Vastwood

    Quote from Bloodieopl »
    Hi
    If I cast creature spell and my opponent use counter target spell on it can I use Vines of Vastwood or I can only use it when creature is on the table already
    Thanks

    No, you can't cast Vines of Vastwood on a creature spell, only on a creature.
    109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn’t include the word “card,” “spell,” “source,” or “scheme,” it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Spell shrivel Confusion
    What it comes down to is this: Which of the following does he think is the second sentence on that card?

    • If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
    • If that spell is not countered this way, exile it.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Soul Separator Question
    Quote from Harkainos »
    One more question, since the n/n changes on the original card, does it change on the newly created Zombie Token (my suspicion is no)
    Indeed. It could probably written to copy that power/toughness, in which case the characteristic-defining ability would be copied. But it wasn't, so it just sets that power/toughness at that time. (If the opponent does something during the above process to move cards in or out of the graveyard, the count at step 9 is the one that matters.)
    608.2g If an effect requires information from the game (such as the number of creatures on the battlefield), the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied. If the effect requires information from a specific object, including the source of the ability itself, the effect uses the current information of that object if it’s in the public zone it was expected to be in; if it’s no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public zone to a hidden zone, the effect uses the object’s last known information. See rule 112.7a. If an ability states that an object does something, it’s the object as it exists—or as it most recently existed—that does it, not the ability.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Soul Separator Question
    Quote from Harkainos »
    Hello,

    Could someone explain what happens if Soul Separator is played with Consuming Aberration as the target?

    You didn't say how many cards are in your opponents' graveyards; I'll call that number n.

    1. Your main phase begins.
    2. You get priority and cast Soul Separator. You pay the cost using 3 obtained in an unspecified manner. Note that you can not choose a target for this spell.
    3. 114.1b Aura spells are always targeted. These are the only permanent spells with targets. An Aura’s target is specified by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, “Enchant”). The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. An Aura permanent doesn’t target anything; only the spell is targeted. (An activated or triggered ability of an Aura permanent can also be targeted.)

      112.6. Abilities of an instant or sorcery spell usually function only while that object is on the stack. Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is on the battlefield. The exceptions are as follows:
      (None of the exceptions under rule 112.6 would apply to the Consuming Aberration card in your graveyard.)
    4. You get priority and pass.
    5. Opponent gets priority and passes.
    6. The top object on the stack (the spell cast in step 2) resolves. You put Soul Separator onto the battlefield.
    7. You get priority and activate the ability of Soul Separator. You choose the Consuming Aberration card in your graveyard as the target. You pay the cost by spending 5 obtained in an unspecified way, tapping Soul Separator, and sacrificing Soul Separator.
    8. You get priority and pass.
    9. Opponent gets priority and passes.
    10. The top object on the stack (the ability activated in step 6) resolves. You exile the Consuming Aberration card. You create a token with a name of Consuming Aberration, a mana cost of 3UB, types of Creature - Horror Spirit, abilities "flying" and "Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.", and power/toughness of 1/1. You create a token with a name of Zombie, types of Creature - Zombie, color black, and power/toughness of n/n.
    11. 706.9d When applying a copy effect that doesn’t copy a certain characteristic, retains an original value for a certain characteristic, or modifies the final value of a certain characteristic, any characteristic-defining ability (see rule 604.3) of the object being copied that defines that characteristic is not copied. If that characteristic is color, any color indicator (see rule 204) of that object is also not copied.
      Example: Quicksilver Gargantuan is a creature that reads, “You may have Quicksilver Gargantuan enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it’s still 7/7.” Quicksilver Gargantuan enters the battlefield as a copy of Tarmogoyf, which has a characteristic-defining ability that defines its power and toughness. Quicksilver Gargantuan does not have that ability. It will be 7/7.

    12. You get priority and ....

    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Baron Von Count and Planeswalkers. Can somebody explain anatomy of Planeswalkers?
    Quote from darrenhabib »
    Now Baron Von Count says mana cost, text box, power, or toughness. So I'm assuming that the starting loyalty box on the bottom right doesn't count towards these requirements, fine.

    The text box is distinct from the loyalty.
    200.1. The parts of a card are name, mana cost, illustration, color indicator, type line, expansion symbol, text box, power and toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, life modifier, illustration credit, legal text, and collector number. Some cards may have more than one of any or all of these parts.

    Quote from darrenhabib »
    However now I'm questioning the ability numbers as well. Are these considered part of the "textbox"? They sort of have their own thing going on!
    If they aren't in the text box, which of the other parts in rule 200.1 is their location?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Liliana, Heretical Healer
    Quote from M4gnusG »
    you exiled her, then the planewalker comes to the battlefield, when the planewalker die? goes as planewalker to the graveyard

    Yes, that's what dies means.
    700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”

    306.9. If a planeswalker’s loyalty is 0, it’s put into its owner’s graveyard. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)


    Quote from M4gnusG »
    or as liliana to exile pile
    "exile"? There is no reason to go anywhere other than the graveyard unless Liliana, Defiant Necromancer has been turned into a creature somehow. And even if that planeswalker is also a creature somehow, the emblem still won't involve the exile zone.
    603.10a Some zone-change triggers look back in time. These are leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a card leaves a graveyard, and abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library.
    Example: Two creatures are on the battlefield along with an artifact that has the ability “Whenever a creature dies, you gain 1 life.” Someone plays a spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. The artifact’s ability triggers twice, even though the artifact goes to its owner’s graveyard at the same time as the creatures.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on is my understanding of merieke and thornbite staff correct?
    Quote from blkh »
    Sorry to necro this thread.

    Question 1) So at the end of the loop, is my Merieke tapped or untapped?


    In that loop, the last change to Merieke's status is "Merieke untaps due to thornbite staff."

    Quote from blkh »
    Question 2) Can an opponent end this chain even before it starts by destroying the magewright stone in response to me activating it?
    No.
    112.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability. Note that some abilities cause a source to do something (for example, “Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to target creature or player”) rather than the ability doing anything directly. In these cases, any activated or triggered ability that references information about the source because the effect needs to be divided checks that information when the ability is put onto the stack. Otherwise, it will check that information when it resolves. In both instances, if the source is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in at that time, its last known information is used. The source can still perform the action even though it no longer exists.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Spitebellows questions
    Quote from The Fluff »
    Hi, putting them all in one thread since it's all about just one card. Spitebellows.

    1. If I pay the 1RR evoke cost of Spitebellows. Do I take two damage from Eidolon of the Great Revel?

    No. The mana cost of Spitebellows is 5R. Its converted mana cost is 6. Casting a spell with a converted mana cost of 6 does not trigger Eidolon of the Great Revel. An alternative cost (e.g., evoke) does not change this.
    202. Mana Cost and Color
    202.1. A card’s mana cost is indicated by mana symbols near the top of the card. (See rule 107.4.) On most cards, these symbols are printed in the upper right corner. Some cards from the Future Sight set have alternate frames in which the mana symbols appear to the left of the illustration.

    202.3. The converted mana cost of an object is a number equal to the total amount of mana in its mana cost, regardless of color.

    117.9. Some spells have alternative costs. An alternative cost is a cost listed in a spell’s text, or applied to it from another effect, that its controller may pay rather than paying the spell’s mana cost. Alternative costs are usually phrased, “You may [action] rather than pay [this object’s] mana cost,” or “You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost.” Note that some alternative costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.

    117.9c An alternative cost doesn’t change a spell’s mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell’s mana cost still see the original value.

    Quote from The Fluff »
    2. Do I have to discard a card if I target a Reality Smasher with Spitebellow 6 damage leaves play ability?

    No. Abilities aren't spells.
    112.9. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack aren’t spells, and therefore can’t be countered by anything that counters only spells. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack can be countered by effects that specifically counter abilities, as well as by the rules (for example, an ability with one or more targets is countered if all its targets become illegal). Static abilities don’t use the stack and thus can’t be countered at all.

    Quote from The Fluff »
    3. If I pay the evoke cost. Can Spitebellows be countered by a Mana Leak?

    If you don't pay the 3, absolutely. The details of the cost you paid does not change the fact that it is a spell on the stack.
    111. Spells
    111.1. A spell is a card on the stack. As the first step of being cast (see rule 601, “Casting Spells”), the card becomes a spell and is moved to the top of the stack from the zone it was in, which is usually its owner’s hand. (See rule 405, “Stack.”) A spell remains on the stack as a spell until it resolves (see rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities”), is countered (see rule 701.5), or otherwise leaves the stack. For more information, see section 6, “Spells, Abilities, and Effects.”

    Quote from The Fluff »
    4. If an opponent has a Chalice of the Void set to 3, would it counter an evoked Spitebellows?

    Thank you. Smile
    No. The mana cost of Spitebellows is 5R. Its converted mana cost is 6.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Torpor orb ruling
    Does it stip effects already on battlefield?

    That depends on what you mean by "effects already on battlefield". The only things it interferes with are triggered abilities based on entering the battlefield (and only if it was a creature that entered). Note that the creature that entered the battlefield does not need to be the source of the ability.
    It does not stop activated abilities.
    It does not stop static abilities.
    It does not stop replacement effects, even those that modify entry to the battlefield.
    It does not stop triggered abilities based on other events.

    If you mean something like "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under enchanted player's control, that player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life."
    on Trespasser's Curse, that is absolutely stopped by Torpor Orb.
    Like will a metallic mimic continue to get +1/+1 counters after torpor orb is played?

    [c]Torpor Orb[/c] -> Torpor Orb
    [c]Metallic Mimic[/c] -> Metallic Mimic

    A) Metallic Mimic itself doesn't get counters off its abilities anyway.
    B) "Each other creature you control of the chosen type enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it." is not a triggered ability.
    603. Handling Triggered Abilities
    603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger condition or event], [effect]. [Instructions (if any).]”


    Edit: What is the proper procedure to notify the powers that be about a card misspelled, e.g. Tresspasser's Curse [sic]?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Havengul Lich
    Quote from Lyrist »
    I mean, If I control a Havengul Lich and targeted Deathrite Shaman from an opponents graveyard, Lich gains all abilities until end of turn and the Deathrite Shaman return to the battlefield under my control and remains on it after this effect?

    Thanks.
    This could be the sequence:

    1. Your main phase begins.
    2. You activate the "1: You may cast target creature card in a graveyard this turn. When you cast that card this turn, Havengul Lich gains all activated abilities of that card until end of turn." ability of Havengul Lich. You put the ability on the stack, choose the Deathrite Shaman card in your opponent's graveyard as the target, and pay the cost of 1.
    3. You get priority and pass.
    4. Opponent gets priority and passes.
    5. The top object on the stack (the ability activated in step 2) resolves.
    6. You get priority and decide to cast the Deathrite Shaman. (Note that this does not need to be immediate; that permission has a duration of "this turn". You put the spell on the stack and pay the cost of (B/G). This triggers the delayed triggered ability created in step 5.
    7. 601.2a To propose the casting of a spell, a player first moves that card (or that copy of a card) from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

    8. You would get priority, but there is a triggered ability to put on the stack. You put "When you cast that card this turn, Havengul Lich gains all activated abilities of that card until end of turn." on the stack.
    9. You get priority
    10. Opponent gets priority.
    11. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 7) resolves. Havengul Lich gains the activated abilities of Deathrite Shaman until end of turn.
    12. You get priority
    13. Opponent gets priority.
    14. The top object on the stack (the spell cast in step 6) resolves. You put Deathrite Shaman from the stack to the battlefield under your control.
    15. 608.3. If the object that’s resolving is a permanent spell, its resolution involves a single step (unless it’s an Aura). The spell card becomes a permanent and is put onto the battlefield under the control of the spell’s controller.

    16. You get priority and ....

    Note that there is no particular reason for Deathrite Shaman to leave the battlefield (or your control) after this.
    110.1. A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. A permanent remains on the battlefield indefinitely. A card or token becomes a permanent as it enters the battlefield and it stops being a permanent as it’s moved to another zone by an effect or rule.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Locust God and Grave Betrayal
    Quote from Snappee »
    Quick one. If I have a Grave Betrayal on the board and an opponent #1's Locust God dies on opponent #2's turn, when it comes to opponent #2's end step would the locust god return to it's owners hand or to the battlefield under my control?

    [c]The Locust God[/c] -> The Locust God
    Here is the sequence for opponent #2's end step, assuming the turn order is you then opponent #1 then opponent #2.

    1. O2's end step begins. This triggers two delayed triggered abilities.
    2. O2 would get priority, but there are triggered abilities to put on the stack. A) You put "return it to the battlefield under your control with an additional +1/+1 counter on it at the beginning of the next end step. That creature is a black Zombie in addition to its other colors and types." on the stack for The Locust God. B) O1 puts "return it to its owner's hand at the beginning of the next end step." for The Locust God.
    3. O2 gets priority and passes.
    4. You get priority and pass.
    5. O1 gets priority and passes.
    6. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 2B) resolves. The Locust God is returned to O1's hand.
    7. O2 gets priority and passes.
    8. You get priority and pass.
    9. O1 gets priority and passes.
    10. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 2A) resolves. Nothing happens, because that card in the graveyard isn't there.
    11. O2 gets priority and ...

    If the turn order were different and O1's turn were coming up next rather than yours, The Locust God would return to the battlefield under your control.

    603.3b If multiple abilities have triggered since the last time a player received priority, each player, in APNAP order, puts triggered abilities he or she controls on the stack in any order he or she chooses. (See rule 101.4.) Then the game once again checks for and resolves state-based actions until none are performed, then abilities that triggered during this process go on the stack. This process repeats until no new state-based actions are performed and no abilities trigger. Then the appropriate player gets priority.

    101.4. If multiple players would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) makes any choices required, then the next player in turn order (usually the player seated to the active player’s left) makes any choices required, followed by the remaining nonactive players in turn order. Then the actions happen simultaneously. This rule is often referred to as the “Active Player, Nonactive Player (APNAP) order” rule.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on 702.121a You can choose to tap zero creatures to crew a Vehicle
    Quote from proudawesome »
    That sounds good, but that’s not what the rules say.
    That is exactly what the rules say. There is only one (1) set of creatures in "Tap any number of untapped creatures you control with total power N or greater"
    The qualification for that set: untapped creatures you control with total power N or greater
    What you do with that set: Tap

    Tapping just a Runeclaw Bear (2/2) as part of a crew cost will work for a Sky Skiff (Crew 1) because the total power is 2, but not a Ballista Charger (Crew 3) or Demolition Stomper (Crew 5). This statement does not change if you also control a Forest Bear (2/2) and a Bear Cub (2/2) that you do not tap.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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