Ask the Judge, 04/26/2004
Rules Tip of the Day: Once combat damage is assigned, it will be dealt as assigned even if the creature dealing damage is no longer in play. If the creature receiving damage is no longer in play, that damage will not be dealt (meaning nothing can trigger off the damage event).
A: No. Mana Flare triggers on activating a land's mana ability. Temple of the False God has only one mana ability, and you can only play it if you have five lands in play.
A: You don't lose. Phage's ability will trigger, but by the time it resolves, Platinum Angel's ability will keep you from losing.
A: No. If a spell has multiple targets, then it's only countered if all of its targets are illegal/invalid on resolution (rule 413.2a). It will still destroy the Angel.
Q: My opponent is at 4 life. I have Arc-Slogger in play, but not enough cards to shock him twice. I declare Arc-Slogger as my attacker, and my opponent cycles Decree of Justice for 1. I have enough cards to hit that one Soldier token, but can I do it before he is declared a blocker?
A: Yes. He has to play the ability after you've declared attackers, but before the Declare Blockers step. After it resolves, players get back priority, so you can destroy it before it's declared as a blocker.
Q: My opponent plays Shrapnel Blast targetting my tapped Pristine Angel. I respond with Shunt, changing the target of Shrapnel Blast to my opponent (and untapping Pristine Angel). Am I correct in assuming that 5 damage will be dealt to my opponent and that the untapping of the Pristine Angel has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the Shunt resolves since Shrapnel blast will only check if Pristine Angel is still a legal target during resolution?
A: You're mostly correct. Shrapnel Blast will never get to targeting the Pristine Angel, because of your Shunt; when Shrapnel Blast goes to resolve, it will know only that it's targeting your opponent. Your point that a targeted spell doesn't recheck until resolution is correct.
A: No. Shunt only targets a spell with a single target. Eater of Days has a triggered ability which isn't targeted.
A: No. You have to have the mana in your pool (rule 409.1g) before you begin paying costs (rule 409.1h). They used to be a single step during announcement, but are now separated. Additionally, Myr Moonvessel has a triggered ability, not an activated mana ability.
Q: I have out two Rotlung Reanimators and a Withered Wretch. My opponent attacks with Atog and I block with all three of my zombies. He sacrifices enough artifacts to the Atog to destroy all the blockers. How many zombie tokens do i get?
A: Six. The creatures all go to the graveyard simultaneously, so the two Rotlungs will trigger three times each.
Q: I have a Disciple of the Vault in my hand and some artifacts in play. Can I simply play my Disciple, then proceed to sacrifice the artifacts to do damage?
A: Not if you don't have something to sacrifice them to, like Arcbound Ravager. You can't just sacrifice something because you want to. Additionally, Disciple of the Vault doesn't deal damage, it causes loss of life.
Q: My opponent is playing Goblin Bidding. He plays Patriarch's Bidding and puts all his Goblins back into play. Then he says he wants to attack. Before he does, can I turn my Echo Tracer face up, bouncing his Goblin Warchief, rendering the rest of the Goblins he just brought back unable to attack?
A: Yes. A continuous effect stops as soon as the permanent generating it leaves play. The means if you bounce the Warchief before attackers are declared, the rest of his Goblins don't have Haste any more. If you wait until after he's declared them as attackers, they'll still attack.