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  • posted a message on Zendikari expeditions
    Please 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
  • posted a message on Redirect Heroics
    Heroic 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.

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Instant speed kill spell, vs hexproof equipment
    405.1. 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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Will Las Vegas be the biggest Grand Prix?
    First of all, how large GPs have historically worked:

    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.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Deck checks? What exactly are they checking for?
    Deck 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.

    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").
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Remand
    An 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.

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Outside comments
    At 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
  • posted a message on Are mythic rares getting weaker?
    FRF'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.

    • 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
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Face Down / Face Up - Double Sided Cards
    So, 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".

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Puca's Mischief and Illusions
    Targeting them will trigger their sacrifice abilities, and they'll be sacrificed before the Puca's Mischief ability resolves.

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Question on tapping.
    No 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!

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Council's Judgment
    Council's Judgment asks which permanent got the most votes, or which permanents are tied for the most votes.

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on What is an "action"? Regarding Selvala, Explorer Returned
    Quote 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 Smile

    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.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Shadowborn Demon vs. Imposing Sovereign Question
    "When (whatever) enters the battlefield" represents a triggered ability which goes on the stack after the relevant thing enters the battlefield.

    So the Demon enters the battlefield, tapped, and then its ability is put on the stack and you choose a target for it.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Do Crypt Rats target Planeswalkers?
    Planeswalkers aren't "semi-players". They also don't "count as" players. Only a human person playing the game is a player.

    However, planeswalkers do come with two relevant rules:

    1. When you declare attacking creatures in your combat phase, each creature can attack either a player, or a planeswalker.
    2. If something you control would deal non-combat damage to an opponent, you can redirect that damage to a planeswalker that opponent controls.

    So if you activate Crypt Rats' ability, that's non-combat damage which would be dealt to an opponent; if the opponent controls a planeswalker, you can redirect the damage that would have been dealt to that player, and have it dealt to their planeswalker instead.

    Keep in mind this redirection is an all-or-nothing thing: you can't split up some damage to the player and some to the planeswalker, and if one opponent controls multiple planeswalkers you can't split it among them.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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