Ask The Judge - 06/14/2001
Q: Mr. Judge,
I'm starting to play Magic seriously again, and I'm having huge problems
With timing rules, especially relating to counterspells... Here's a scenario that might happen during a game. Can you point me to where I'm wrong?
Both players have enough mana to pay for every spell.
1. Player A draws a blue creatures, plays it.
2. Player B reacts to blue creature by casting Counterspell.
2.1 Player A reacts to Counterspell by Mana Leaking it.
2.2 Player B reacts to Mana Leak by paying it.
2.3 Counterspell still resolving
3.1 Player A targets Counterspell with Disrupt.
3.2 Player B pays the mana.
3.3 Player A draws a card (an Absorb)
3.4 Counterspell is back on the stack.
4.1 Player A targets Counterspell with the Absorb.
4.2 Player B casts Opt. Looks at card (Spell Blast), keeps it on top.
4.3 Player B draws Spell Blast, targets Absorb.
4.4 Absorb is countered by SpellBlast.
4.5 Counterspell is back on the stack.
5.1 Counterspell resolves, countering the blue creature.
Is this what would happen? Would there be a better way to cast the spells, knowing what they have in hand and what they can draw?
Regards & thanks,
A: You pretty much have it; there are just some niggling details.
3.2, same as 2.2. 3.4, Counterspell is not BACK on the stack, it's STILL on the stack.
4.3 should be broken into two steps: 4.3, Player B draws Spell Blast. 4.3.1, Player B plays Spell Blast, targeting Absorb. 4.5, same as 3.4. The stack begins resolving when both players pass in succession. When one spell/ability resolves, the active player gets priority, then the not-active player. A spell/ability can sit on the stack a long time while other things get added, resolve, and more things get added.
Glad to hear you're playing seriously again, but I have a question for you: Does comedy Magic involve seltzer bottles and cream pies, or just stuffing players into the tiny car?
Q: 1. During the untap step in a tournament, I untapped my lands but didn't untap my creature because I forgot. After drawing my card, I take a split-second and untap my creature; my opponent notices, and complains that I didn't untap it and it stays tapped. Is he right?
A: With the information you've given me, I'd say that not enough significant actions have taken place. I'd issue you a caution/warning (depending on the REL) for Misrepresentation (Penalty Guidelines, 115), wag my finger at you, and tell you to untap your creature.
Q: I have seven creatures in play, and my opponent has two flying creatures, a Vine Trellis, Mishra's Factory, and all other lands tapped out. I know that if I get at least four unblocked creatures dealt damage to my opponent, I'd win the game.
So I attack as usual, with everything. My opponent blocks two creatures with his flyers, making five attacking unblocked creatures. Then he blocks a creature with his Wall (four), says he's tapping the Wall for mana, making Mishra's Factory a 2/2 creature, and assigning it to block another creature of mine (three, not enough). I complain and tell him he cannot do that, for after he declares his blockers, and plays instants and/or abilities, he cannot go back and assign blockers again, but he says you can do that as you assign blockers. Who is right here?
A: You are. If he wants to declare his Mishra's Factory as a blocker, he must activate it before the Declare Blockers Step (309). You declare all blockers as a set and can't play spells/abilities until after a legal block has been declared (and paid for, if applicable).
Q: Hey Sheldon,
I'm sure you've had plenty of questions regarding this card, but here's mine: I have a Shifting Sky in play with"red" named. My opponent attacks with a Rooting Kavu, and I block with my Crimson Acolyte. Before damage goes on the stack, he Singes his Rooting Kavu. He says this will make it black and kill my Crimson Acolyte.
I have tried to look this up and I am assuming that after the Singe resolves, the Shifting Sky turns his Rooting Kavu back to red as soon as someone gets priority (as a state-based effect sort of thing). Just wondering who is right in this situation... also I would assume that whatever wins out (the Singe or the Shifting Sky) would also win out if he had an Ancient Kavu and tried to make it colorless. I also assume that the only things (in INV/PS drafts) that can truly change the color of something when the Shifting Sky is in play would be Sinister Strength or another Shifting Sky (because of timestamps, right)?
Thank you once again,
No. The Kavu is black. Whenever two continuous effects interact, assuming there are no dependencies, the one generated last wins (418.5). Continuous effects from permanents aren't"stronger" than those from spells and abilities, as you suggest. Shifting Sky doesn't loop back and try to change the Kavu back to red. State-based effects don't come into play here (they're in 420 if you want to look them up).