Ask the Judge, 7/19/2007
Rules Tip of the Day: When combat damage resolves, if a creature that would receive damage is not in play any more, then the damage assigned to it will not be dealt. Abilities that trigger on this combat damage being dealt will not trigger.
Q: I have Counterbalance in play and my opponent casts Molten Disaster with Kicker for six points of damage. Will the revealed card from Counterbalance have to have a mana cost of 2, 3, or 9 mana to counter the Molten Disaster?
A: None of the above. The Molten Disaster spell on the stack has a converted mana cost of eight. When on the stack, a spell with an X in the mana cost has X equal to whatever was chosen when the spell was played. Molten Disaster has a Kicker cost of R, but this is not part of the mana cost of that spell.
A: Yes, Grave Peril will destroy a Quagnoth. The fact that it has Split Second does not mean that it comes into play without triggering relevant comes-into-play abilities. When Quagnoth comes into play, Grave Peril's ability will trigger. When this trigger resolves, the Quagnoth will be destroyed.
A: No. Crucible of Worlds allows you to play land card in your graveyard. That means that you can put them into play as your one land per turn. It does not mean that you can use the activated abilities of land cards in your graveyard that can normally only be used when in your hand.
A: The copy made by Soul Foundry is a complete copy of Ravenous Rats. When this token copy comes into play, its ability will trigger, and your opponent will have to discard a card.
Q: I have a question about Diaochan, Artful Beauty. Since the text doesn't say 'another' for the second creature being targeted, can the chosen opponent target the same creature I targeted? For example: I control Diaochan equipped with Lightning Greaves as my only creature. My opponent has two copies of Squire in play. On my turn, before I attack, I tap Diaochan and target one Squire. Can my opponent target the same Squire again? Or must he target his other Squire?
A: Yes, he can target the same Squire. When Diaochan's ability is played both players will choose a target creature. There is nothing to prevent both players from choosing the same creature.
Q: I have Rainbow Vale and two other land in play. I use the 3 mana to play Vedalken Plotter targeting my Rainbow Vale and a land my opponent controls. Who get control of the Vale at the end of turn? I put the Vale's ability on the stack, but I no longer control it.
A: Your opponent will control this Rainbow Vale. When the Vedalken Plotter's ability resolves, you will exchange control of the land controlled by your opponent and the Rainbow Vale. Then, at the end of the turn, the delayed triggered ability made by Rainbow Vale's mana ability will go on the stack. The fact that you no longer control the Vale does not prevent this delayed triggered ability from going on the stack or from resolving. When this ability resolves, another control layer will be added to this Vale giving control of it to your opponent. Since your opponent already controls it, nothing will happen. Keep in mind that additional control layers will be added if Rainbow Vale's ability is used again in the future, so your opponent will not always continue to control the Vale.
Q: I play a deck that uses a lot of cards do something when an opponent makes me discard them—Guerrilla Tactics, Psychic Purge and Dodecapod. if I'm up to eight cards at my discard step, do these abilities trigger? Or is discarding during your discard step something you control?
A: No. Discarding down to your maximum hand size at the end of your turn is not an effect that is controlled by any player. There are abilities that can trigger when the game make you discard a card, but a trigger that specifies that your opponent controls the source of the ability is not one of them.
Q: A 5/5 creature attacks me. I block with a 2/2 first strike creature and Lightning Bolt the attacker as well, dealing a total of 5 damage. This attacking creature regenerates before it gets a chance to deal damage. Will my blocker die?
A: No. When a creature in combat is destroyed or regenerated, it is removed from combat. If this happens before this creature assigns combat damage then this creature will not deal any combat damage.
Q: Player A is in an Extended tournament and uses an Onslaught fetchland. While they are looking through their library, they drop a Ravnica dual land that meets the specifications of the fetchland, but is not the one they wanted... does that count as being searched for, or does Player A have to declare what they are finding?
A: Accidentally revealing a card is simply revealing a card; it is not the same thing as searching for and finding. When performing a search you do have to be clear about what you are searching for, having a card that could have been searched for fall out of this library is not a clear demonstration that you were searching for that card.