Ask the Judge, 06/27/2006
Rules Tip of the Day: All permanents have what used to be called 'summoning sickness.' However, only creatures are affected. When a permanent becomes a creature, it will be unable to tap to activate an ability that has the tap symbol in an activation cost, or attack, unless you have controlled that permanent continuously since the beginning of your most recent turn. You can attack with lands that are turned into creatures by Rude Awakening, Vivify, etc., as long as you have controlled the lands since the beginning of your most recent turn. It does not matter that they just became creatures; only that you have controlled those permanents since the start of your most recent turn.
Q: I have a Halcyon Glaze in play. My opponent decides to Naturalize my Glaze before the end of my turn, and in response I play Plaxmanta. I believe that the enchantment becomes a creature, and now can't be the target of spells or abilities my opponent controls. But my opponent says that when Plaxmanta came into play, the Glaze was not a creature, so the Plaxmanta did not protect it at that time. Can you please shed some light here?
A: You are correct. When you play Plaxmanta, the ability of the Glaze will trigger, and the Glaze will become a creature before the Plaxmanta comes into play. However, all that matters is that the Glaze is a creature when the Naturalize tries to resolve. This is because Plaxmanta's comes-into-play ability creates a continuous effect that changes the rules of the game; it does not grant abilities to your creatures.
Q: If I have a Golgari Grave-Troll in my graveyard, and choose to Dredge it, do I have to return the Troll to my hand? That is, after I put the six cards into my graveyard, may I then choose to take a regular draw and leave the Troll in the 'yard, waiting to be dredged again?
A: If you choose to put cards from the top of your library into your graveyard, then yes, you do have to return the Gave-Troll to your hand You can't just use the Dredge ability as a repeatable graveyard filler.
Q: If I use Chord of Calling to put a creature like Patagia Viper, which has "pay colored mana or sacrifice", into play, do I have to sacrifice it, even though I paid the mana in Chord's casting cost?
A: Yes, you will have to sacrifice it. It does not matter that you spent blue mana when you played the Chord of Calling; you did not play the Patagia Viper and, therefore, you could not have spent blue mana on it.
Q: I have a Licid in play enchanting a creature, so it is an enchantment. If my opponent targets the Licid with Mortify and I respond by turning the Licid back into a creature, will it be destroyed?
A: Yes. When Mortify resolves, it does not matter if the targeted permanent has changed from an enchantment to a creature. Mortify only cares that it is one or the other. And as long as it is one of these two permanent types, it will be destroyed.
Q: I have an Angelic Chorus in play, as well as two Crusades and a Daru Warchief. If I play a Deftblade Elite, do I have the choice (as controller of both the Chorus and the pump cards) as to whether I gain only 1 life or 5 by choosing which effect triggers first?
A: No, there is no choice involved here. The abilities of the Crusade and Daru Warchief are both static abilities that are applied at all times. These abilities do not trigger or use the stack. As soon as the Deftblade Elite enters play, it will be a 4/5 creature. Then, when the triggered ability of Angelic Chorus (which does use the stack) resolves, you look at the current toughness and gain that much life. In this case, five.
Q: In play I have a Last Laugh, a Sprouting Phytohydra and an Urza's Armor. It is my turn, and I play Rancid Earth, with Threshold. The land destruction triggers the Last Laugh once. Rancid Earth finishes resolving, and deals one damage to the Sprouting Phytohydra and my opponent. I stack Last Laugh's trigger first, then Phytohydra's. Phytohydra puts a token copy into play. I now have a new copy and a damaged copy, with the Last Laugh trigger still on the stack.
What I want to know is what will happen once the Last Laugh trigger resolves. I have a vague idea, but I'm just not sure of the order in which the state-based effects will happen and the Phytohydra/Last Laugh triggers will all stack. I had the idea that it might create a loop that went on until one player was dead, but I'm not so sure whether it will work like that or not.
A: This card combination can create a loop depending on choices you make, and it may end the game as well.
When the Last Laugh trigger resolves, a point will be dealt to each Phytohydra in play and to your opponent. You won't receive damage, as you have Urza's Armor in play. This will cause the abilities of these two Phytohydra's to trigger. However, before these abilities can go on the stack, state-based effects are checked, and the Phytohydra with lethal damage will go to the graveyard. This will cause Last Laugh's ability to trigger again.
Now you have three triggered abilities that are waiting to go on the stack: two Sprouting Phytohydra abilities, and one from Last Laugh. As the controller of these abilities, you determine the order they go on the stack. In order to continue this loop, you'll need to put at least one of the Phytohydra triggers on the stack on top of Last Laugh's triggered ability. If you do, then one or more additional Pyhtohydras will come into play, which will then be damaged by the Last Laugh. This will create more Phytohydra triggers, and the Phytohydra that was previously damaged will go to the graveyard.
As mentioned above, as this loop progresses, you will not receive any damage, but your opponents will. So the loop will eventually end when they receive enough damage to lower their life total to zero.