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Aug 29, 2015Please keep in mind how they explained this on the stream: these cards WILL NOT become Standard-legal as a result of the "Expeditions" printing. They were careful to explain that you can play one in Sealed/Draft if you open it, but for Constructed you can only play it if it was already legal for the format. So the printing of enemy fetches and shocklands as "Expeditions" cards WILL NOT add them to Standard.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Jun 28, 2015Heroic looks for the following event: you cast a spell, and at the time you cast it, the creature with the heroic ability was a target of that spell. That is the one and only moment at which heroic can trigger, and is the one and only moment at which it cares about the target.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
Changing the target afterward does not go back in time and undo the fact that at the time of casting, the creature with the heroic ability was a target. Changing the target afterward does not go back in time and cause the spell to have targeted another creature at the time of casting.
So changing the target will never prevent the heroic ability of the original target from happening, and will never cause other creatures' heroic abilities to trigger.
Jun 10, 2015Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives405.1. When a spell is cast, the physical card is put on the stack (see rule 601.2a). When an ability is activated or triggers, it goes on top of the stack without any card associated with it (see rules 602.2a and 603.3).
702.6a Equip is an activated ability of Equipment cards. “Equip [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this permanent to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”
405.5. When all players pass in succession, the top (last-added) spell or ability on the stack resolves. If the stack is empty when all players pass, the current step or phase ends and the next begins.
Voila. The ability of Swiftfoot Boots is an activated ability; thus it is placed on the stack and does not resolve unless/until all players pass in succession. Since you didn't pass -- instead you cast Mortify. Mortify is now the topmost object on the stack, will resolve first and will kill the creature.
May 25, 2015So, let's step back and look at a simpler example.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
Consider Thoughtlace. Very simple text, very simple effect: "Target spell or permanent becomes blue." If you use Thoughtlace on a permanent, that permanent will be blue. Not "Target permanent gains "This permanent is blue"". Just... that permanent is blue. So if you Thoughtlace a Grizzly Bears, the Grizzly Bears will continue to get +2/+2 from Muraganda Petroglyphs, because the Grizzly Bears didn't gain any abilities from being Thoughtlaced.
Effects which create tokens and specify their characteristics are similar. If something tells you to put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token onto the battlefield, you put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token onto the battlefield. You do not put a token onto the battlefield with "This permanent is a creature", "This permanent is a Goblin", "This permanent is red" and "This permanent has base power and toughness 1/1". Those are just the characteristics of the token, courtesy of the effect that created it, and they are not abilities and are not text on the token, and aren't in fact defined on the token itself in any way. They were defined in the effect that created the token, because in Magic things are allowed to get their characteristics that way.
Since the effect which created the token didn't give it any abilities -- it just defined characteristics, and characteristics are not abilities -- that token would get +2/+2 from Muraganda Petroglyphs.
May 23, 2015First of all, how large GPs have historically worked:Posted in: Magic General
The hard limit in the scorekeeping software is not on the number of players, but on the number of tables, and the limit is 999. Which means no more than 1,998 players at two players per table. Of course, there have been quite a few GPs with more than 1,998 players, and the way this is handled is to create multiple tournaments to represent day one, assign each player to one of them (and pairing only within those sub-tournaments), and at the end of the day create a new unified tournament consisting only of the players who made the cut to day two.
Sometimes this has been explicit, with players being told which "flight" of the GP they're in, separate pairings and standings posted, etc. Other times it is only noticeable from a player perspective by the fact that tiebreakers reset at the start of day two and sometimes the pairings claim to be for one round later than what's actually being played. The tiebreaker reset happens because it's not possible to import the full match history from day one (that would go over the limit), and the round-number discrepancy happens because the actual method is to enroll all the day-two players and give each one a first-round bye, setting the match-point value of the bye to whatever number of match points they earned in day one.
(the unanswered question here is what would happen if a GP were large enough that more than 1,998 players made the cut to day two: GP Vegas will not be answering that question, since even if it hits the 10,000-player cap set for it, it's just not really possible for 20% of players to go 7-2 or better, and the realistic number is that a 10,000-player tournament would produce around 900 players at 7-2 or better)
Grand Prix Las Vegas will add another wrinkle to this: instead of one GP with multiple "flights" on day one, it actually will be two GPs, side-by-side. Last I heard, the plan was for each to split four ways day one; afterward, four flights will be merged to create a day-two field, and the other four flights will be merged to create a second day-two field. Each of those will continue independently, producing two independent top 8s and two independent champions.
May 12, 2015Deck checks primarily focus on ensuring that the deck as it's being played matches the deck as registered on the list, and on ensuring that the cards/sleeves are unmarked. The general goal is to have a full check take ideally 4-5 and at most 7 minutes from the time the judge picks up your deckbox to the time they drop it off again at your match (since you get that time + 3 minutes to shuffle, and we want to keep the time extension under 10 minutes total), so unsleeving the whole thing, bend/light/loupe testing every card and re-sleeving it just ain't gonna happen.Posted in: Magic General
That said, A) we do look at least briefly at every card in the process of comparing it to the registered list, and if something looks fishy we will investigate it further, and B) if you ever have reason to suspect a card you see in play, you can grab a judge and we'll investigate that.
I've only personally seen it come up once, last year when I was Head Judge of a Standard Open and a player discovered that he (unknowingly) had counterfeit Thoughtseizes in his deck. Investigation on that was mostly the floor judge saying "yup, looks fake", getting me (I looked at them and said "yup, looks fake") and then a brief consult with one of the buyers at the booth just to get a more professional opinion on it ("yup, fake").
May 6, 2015The choice of whether to redirect damage from a spell or ability is made during resolution of the spell or ability that would deal the damage. Which is when it's too late to respond to the spell/ability in any way, so your opponent has to decide whether to respond without knowing whether you'll redirect.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
(and in tournament play, asking someone to make a choice that occurs during resolution is treated as allowing the spell/ability to resolve)
Apr 16, 2015An easy way to think about these types of questions is to remember that when a card wants to restrict what it can target, it will say so. Which means that to answer the question "Can X target Y" you ask whether X says anything in its target condition -- the bit immediately after the word "target" -- which would forbid Y.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
In order to forbid targeting a spell that can't be countered, Remand would have to say "Counter target spell that can be countered". But it doesn't say that: it says "Counter target spell". So Remand can target a spell that can't be countered; it will simply do as much as it can, which is make you draw a card.
Apr 11, 2015At Regular or Competitive enforcement, you can ask the players to pause while you get a judge (but tell the judge what you're concerned about rather than telling the players). At Professional enforcement you cannot interfere with a match at all; just go get a judge quickly.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
Feb 2, 2015FRF's mythics mostly seem to be about either "what's the most interesting thing we can do with the mechanics?" or Future-Sight-esque callbacks to well-known/beloved cards (fitting given the time-travel theme). Or both in some cases.Posted in: Magic General
- Ugin: planeswalker (auto-mythic) call back to Nicol Bolas, who he fights
- Monastery Mentor: push prowess to the limit + call back to Young Pyromancer
- Soulfire Grand Master: push prowess from a different angle
- Temporal Trespass: call back to Time Walk, in the vein of KTK's delve call back to Ancestral Recall
- Torrent Elemental: push delve from a different angle, possible call back to casual-beloved and Food Chain's best buddy Misthollow Griffin
- Brutal Hordechief: call back to Hellrider
- Ghastly Conscription: different angle on manifest + call back to Living Death
- Shaman of the Great Hunt: "what if we made a thing with a ferocious ability that also makes your stuff ferocious?"
- Warden of the First Tree: straight call back to Figure of Destiny
- Whisperwood Elemental: push manifest as hard as is humanly possible
Jan 18, 2015So, the thing to remember here is that "face up" and "face down" are, rules-wise, *completely* separate statuses from "day side up" and "night side up".Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
If you manifest a Test Subject, it's a face down nameless, colorless 2/2 with no abilities. You can turn it face up for 1U, in which case it will be a Ludevic's Test Subject.
But when your Howlpack Alpha transforms into Mayor of Avabruck, it is changing from "night side up" to "day side up". Which is NOT "face down" to "face up", so things that trigger on turning a card face up -- like Secret Plans -- will not trigger.
Oct 6, 2014Targeting them will trigger their sacrifice abilities, and they'll be sacrificed before the Puca's Mischief ability resolves.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
Which means the exchange of control won't happen:
702.64b If either half of the exchange can’t be completed, the ability has no effect.
Sep 24, 2014No rule says you can't just declare that you win the game and have it be true. Look through the rulebook, you won't find anything forbidding it, so just declare that you win! With split second so your opponent can't declare a win in response!Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
Or, go with the people who are telling you that truth: the Magic's rules are concerned with specifying what's permitted, not what's forbidden, and that unless a rule permits you to do something you can't do it.
Sep 11, 2014Council's Judgment asks which permanent got the most votes, or which permanents are tied for the most votes.Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
To which the answer in this case is "Votes? What votes?"
Or, in other words, this comes down to a bit of common sense -- if it's impossible to vote at all, that doesn't mean "everything got the same number of votes", it means there weren't any votes. And if there weren't any votes, there wasn't anything that got the most or tied for the most votes.
Sep 9, 2014ubernostrum posted a message on What is an "action"? Regarding Selvala, Explorer ReturnedPosted in: Magic Rulings ArchivesQuote from Dilithium »
I'm not sure what you're trying to imply here, but I did search through the comp. rules for a technical definition of the word "action" and didn't find one; if you did, please point it out?
Are you suggesting that players need encyclopedic knowledge of the comp. rules in order to figure out what anything in it means?
As Todd pointed out, the rules answer this question
The basic problem is this: suppose there's a word, "floop", that appears on a card. The rules give a definition of "floop".
But now someone will say "all right, but where are the definitions of all the words used in the definition of floop?"
And then "all right, but where are the definitions of all the words used in the definitions of all the words used in the definition of floop?"
And at some point we have to just stop and say -- this is a document written in English. When we need to give a word a different or more specific technical definition as opposed to ordinary English usage, we'll do that. But if we don't, then just read it as normal English.
In this case "action" is one of those words that does not get a special technical definition in the Comprehensive Rules, so you just go by ordinary everyday English usage. Selvala's ability is an action. Since it's not something we can rewind, thanks to it moving cards around, we don't rewind that when it's activated as part of an attempt to cast a spell that ends up being illegal.
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