Ask the Judge, 09/26/2006
Rules Tip of the Day: When combat damage goes on the stack, the active player announces how he will assign the damage from the attacking creatures he controls, then the defending player announces how he will assign the damage from the defending creatures he controls. This damage will go on the stack as a single object and resolve all at once.
Q: Does land revealed when Counterbalance's ability resolves counter a morphed creature? As I understand it, morphs now have converted mana cost 0?
A: First of all, Morph spells and face down permanents in play have no mana cost. This is just treated as zero by any effect that wants to know what the converted mana of this spell or permanent is. So yes, a land that is revealed when Counterbalance's ability resolves will counter a morph spell.
Q: With cards like Parallectric Feedback, how much damage will an opponent take, once a Suspended card finally gets played?
A: The converted mana cost of a Suspend spell is equal to the total amount of mana in the mana cost in the upper right corner of the card. It has nothing to do with the Suspend cost. It does not matter that the Suspend cost was paid when the card was Suspended, or that no cost was paid when the spell was actually played. So a controller of a Suspend card which is now a spell on the stack will take damage equal to the converted mana cost.
Q: Can I activate Magus of the Disk (enchanted with Flickerform) and respond to it by activating the Flickerform, so as to keep the creature and the aura? If so, does the Wizard return to play tapped?
A: Yes, that works. When the Magus' ability resolves, the Magus and Flickerform will not be in play. And yes, the Magus will return to play tapped, as it comes into play tapped regardless of how it comes into play.
Q: I use Mind Bend on Sunscape Familiar turning green into white, and then I enchant the Familiar with Follow the Footsteps. Do the copies of Sunscape Familiar lower the cost of white and blue spells?
A: No. The copies will not copy the text editing effect that is applied to the original. In other words, these token Sunscape Familiars will lower the cost of green and blue spells.
Q: This is a multi-player game and there are three players in the game. I have three Bronze Bombshells and one Endless Whispers. Then I play a Sky Swallower. My question is what happens to the permanents my opponent gains control of after I play the Sky Swallower and he has to sacrifice the Bombshells? What if this damage causes them to lose the game? How does this play out?
A: When the Sky Swallower comes-into-play triggered ability resolves, the targeted opponent will gain control of the three Bombshells and your other non-Sky Swallower permanents. The abilities of the Bombshells will trigger, and when each resolves, he will sacrifice that one and take seven points of damage. When each Bombshell goes to the graveyard, the ability granted by Endless Whispers will trigger. As your opponent controls each of these creatures, he can choose who to target with this ability, and who will gain control of the Bombshells at the end of the current turn. However, this is true only if the damage from this particular Bombshell trigger does not lower his life total to zero or below. If it does, then the player can choose another player in the game to choose who to target with this ability. Also, assuming that the 21 points of damage are enough to kill this opponent, all of the permanents he gained control of when Sky Swallower's comes-into-play ability resolved will come back under your control.
Q: My opponent had both Ghostly Prison and War's Toll in play. It was my attack phase, and I had six creatures and ten lands at my disposal. My opponent's life was low, but not wanting to be greedy and walk into a trap, I chose to only attack with one of my creatures, causing me to tap two land to satisfy Ghostly Prison's requirement, and then to tap all my land to satisfy the first requirement of War's Toll.
Here's where my opponent and I disagreed. He said that War's Toll's second requirement had to be satisfied, and that I had to attack with all my creatures. I pointed out that War's Toll said "if able" and because Ghostly Prison required I pay for each creature attacking, that I couldn't attack with the rest of my creatures if I chose not to pay the mana for them. Who is correct?
A: First of all, you are correct, you do not have to attack with all of your creatures. However, the process of choosing attackers, paying the cost for Ghostly Prison, and tapping your lands to War's Toll is a bit different from what you described. When you declare attackers, you choose which creatures are going to attack; you tap them; and then you pay any costs associated with this. Then you check to see if the declaration of this set of attackers is legal. In this specific situation, you would choose your lone attacking creature, tap it, and pay 2 to get around Ghostly Prison. You obviously have a restriction generated by Ghostly Prison's ability and a requirement created by War's Tolls that you have to factor in when determining if this attack is legal. As mentioned above, this attack is legal because you are not required to make payments in order for creatures to attack. War's Toll's effect would like to say that this attack is illegal, as you are not attacking with everything that can. However, because of Ghostly Prison, only this one chosen creature can attack. You are not required to pay any additional mana to allow your other creatures to attack.
As to War's Toll's triggered ability, this will not go on the stack or resolve until after the declaration of attackers is completed. So when you pay the costs associated with choosing attackersi, you can tap other lands; they will not be tapped by War's Toll's ability yet.