Ask The Judge: 4/25/01
Q: I saw on a NetRep judge article on New Wave Games that if you steal a spell with Planeswalker's Mischief, it costs zero to play, but you can pay for its kicker or buyback normally. Where does the spell go if you pay its buyback (assuming it resolves normally)? In other words, can you"permanently" steal a buyback spell from an opponent's hand in this way?
No, you can't. Even if you paid the Buyback cost, the spell would go to its owner's graveyard, not yours (Glossary,"Buyback"). You can never put into your hand or graveyard a card you don't own (unless you steal it with ante cards -- but then you own it, don't you?).
Q: My opponent has an Ivory Mask out. I play a Thunderscape Battlemage and pay both its kickers - is there a way I can stack the effects so I could destroy the Ivory Mask, then make them discard two cards?
A: No, because you have to choose the targets when you put the Kicker abilities on the stack, and you do that before either ability resolves. Regardless of how you stack them, the Ivory Mask is still protecting the opponent until after both Kicker abilities resolve. That means if your opponent has Ivory Mask in play and you play the 1B Kicker, you're going to have to choose the only legal target: yourself.
Q: My opponent has Hammer of Bogardan/Pyre Zombie/Shard Phoenix in the graveyard during thier upkeep. They pay the mana to return it, and in response i try to Cremate it. Can I do that so they have to pay the mana but they don't get the card?
A: Sure. You pay the costs of an ability when you put it on the stack (409.1f). If the card isn't in the zone it was in when it was targeted (in this case, the graveyard), the ability is countered. Cremate might be good against recursion decks...
Q: If I Clone a kickered creature that has counters from playing the kicker like a Dralnu's Pet or Ardent Soldier, does the Clone have those counters too, or does it become the creature sans the kicker bonus?
A: Copy cards generally copy only the initial characteristics. They won't copy any effects from spells or abilities, so they won't copy counters. It comes into play un-Kicked.
Q: Some of my local friends have told me of a ruling on echo. They say that one must pay the echo, or that person cannot use any abilities with the creature. For instance, they say that if I have a Avalanche Riders in play with an opposition, that I cannot tap the riders to tap a permanent unless I pay the echo on the Riders first. Is this a current rule, out-of-date rule, or just a completely wrong concept?
Thanks for the help!
- Jeff LaRue
It's an out-of-date rule and/or completely wrong concept. Under previous rules editions, you couldn't use a permanent until you had paid its upkeep cost. Under the current rules, which were handed down to Paul Barclay on Mt. Phyrexia, you put the beginning-of-upkeep triggers on the stack, and then the active player gets priority (303.1). There are no restrictions on what you can/can't do with the affected permanents. You could, for example, put the Avalanche Riders' Echo on the stack, then tap it for the Opposition. You don't decide whether or not to pay the Echo until the ability resolves.