Ask the Judge, 5/1/2008
Rules Tip of the Day: It is possible to counter a Counterspell with a spell that changes the target of other spells, like Misdirection, Deflection, or Shunt. First you need to change the target of the Counterspell to the target-editing spell itself. This is possible because as the target editing spell is resolving, it is still on the stack and a legal target for the Counterspell. Then, when Counterspell starts to resolve, it will see that its target is no longer legal, as it has left the stack, so the Counterspell is countered on resolution.
Q: Painter's Servant says it affects cards that aren't in play. I know that includes the graveyard, hand, and library. But does it also include the removed from game zone or the sideboard? Where is the "not in play" line drawn?
A: Painter's Servant's ability will affect cards that are in any zone in Magic as defined by the comprehensive rules. While it may seem odd, the removed from game zone is a zone in a game of Magic. However, sideboards are not defined by the rules of Magic, but by the tournament rules. This means that the effect from Painter's Servant will not affect cards that are in a sideboard. So if you have two copies of Eternal Witness—one in the removed from game zone and one in your sideboard—and a Painter's Servent in play with white as the chosen color, you could use Glittering Wish to get the Eternal Witness in your removed from game zone, but not the one in your sideboard.
A: Yes. A single spell can have multiple instances of conspire. Each of these additional costs can be paid, so in this example, you can make a total of three copies of Burn Trail.
Q: I have a Horde of Boggarts, which is currently my only red permanent in play, and I play two Spark Elementals. I attack with all three, and the Horde of Boggarts is blocked by two 1/1 creatures. Will the Hoard of Boggarts go to the graveyard later in the turn when the Spark Elementals are sacrificed?
A: Yes. While the Horde of Boggarts will survive combat, it will have lethal damage on it after the two Spark Elementals are sacrificed, so it will go to the graveyard. One other important fact to point out is that when you sacrifice the Spark Elementals, you are in the end of turn step, which takes place before the cleanup step, when damage on creatures goes away.
Q: I have a Wolf-Skull Shaman in play, and at the beginning of my upkeep the kinship ability triggers and goes on the stack. My opponent plays Lash Out to kill it; do I still get to reveal the top card (sharing the same creature type) and put a Wolf token into play, even though the Shaman is no longer in play?
A: Yes. The kinship triggered ability will still resolve, even if the Shaman is no longer in play. This ability will use the last-known information about the Shaman. So you will compare the subtypes of the top card with the subtypes of the Wolf-Skull Shaman when it was last in play.
A: Yes, if you want this spell to eventually resolve. If you do not sacrifice a creature, then the noncreature spell will be countered. Guile's ability will allow you to play this spell, but if you do, Blood Funnel's ability will trigger again, taking you back to where this all started. This isn't an unbounded loop, as you can choose to not play the spell that is countered and removed by Guile's ability.
Q: When you copy Blood Oath with Mirari, can you let the copy resolve, choose a card type, look at your opponent's hand, and then let the original resolve and choose the card type which would deal maximum damage?
A: Yes, that works. You choose a type each time Blood Oath or a copy resolves, and you can adjust and choose a different type when the original spell resolves.
Q: If you have two Mesmeric Orbs in play, do both Orbs mill cards into the graveyard during upkeep?
A: Yes. Mesmeric Orb's ability is a triggered ability. The ability of each Orb will trigger independently and resolve separately, each time a permanent becomes untapped. Any abilities that triggered in the untap step will end up going on the stack in the upnkeep step.
A: Yes, you will have to sacrifice a land when you play these copies of Shard Volley, as you are playing these copies, not just putting them on the stack. Isochron Scepter's ability allows you to play a copy of the imprinted card without paying mana costs, but you still have to pay any additional costs associated with that spell.
Q: If I enchant a creature with Touch of Vitae, does this mean that it can attack twice in a single turn?
A: No. There is normally only one combat phase in a turn. Untapping a creature does not create an additional combat phase.