Ask the Judge, 5/6/2008
Rules Tip of the Day: All card with the printed card type 'interrupt' are now instants. Any reference to interrupts in a card's text now refers to instants instead.
Q: I have a 1/1 creature with a +1/+1 counter on it, and my opponent plays Puncture Bolt on it. When this creature dies, will it have counters on it or not?
A: Yes, it will. When state-based effects are checked immediately after Puncture Bolt resolves, you have a 1/1 creature with both a +1/+1 and a -1/-1 counter on it and a point of damage. All state-based effects are checked at the same time. So this creature will go to the graveyard due to having lethal damage, and the two counters cease to exist at the exact same time. But just before this creature leaves play, it has counters on it, so effects that care about how many counters it had will 'see' them.
A: You'll take the turn created by Savor the Moment first, then the turn order will return to normal. This means that this first turn you take will not have an untap step.
A: It's up to you. Persist and Epocracite's own leaves-play triggered ability will both trigger when Epocrasite goes to the graveyard from play. As the controller of these two abilities, you can choose the order they go on the stack and, therefore, the order they resolve. Whichever ability is put on the top of the stack will resolve first and determine where this Epochrasite ends up. The other ability will resolve, but will be unable to 'find' Epochrasite, as it has left the graveyard. Also, if you choose to have the persist ability return it to play, Epochrasite will come into play with three +1/+1 counters and one -1/-1 counter. One of the +1/+1 counters and the -1/-1 counters will then go away when state-based effects are checked.
Q: I have a friend who likes to play with obscure cards/combos, which create "interesting" game states. His new multiplayer deck uses Nacatl War-Pride with Camouflage. We managed to burn him out of the game in response, but we'd like to know what happens in case he plays it again.
A: The ability of an individual Nacatl War-Pride only applies when blockers are declared, forcing the defending player to block each attacking War-Pride with just one creature if able. However, Camouflage replaces the normal process of choosing blockers. Because of this, the defending player will not have to deal with Nacatl War-Pride blocking requirement / restriction at all. The defending player can choose zero creatures he controls, if he wants, and can end up not blocking at all.
Q: Recently in a game some friends encountered a situation where a Body Double was being brought into play via Living Death and were unsure of what should occur. The player with the Body Double in the graveyard had a few creatures in play, but since those are "set aside" while the Body Double comes into play, we assumed they could not be selected and the Body Double would go to the graveyard as a state-based effect for being a 0/0. Is this correct?
A: No, the controller of the Body Double could choose to have it copy a creature that was in play just before Living Death started resolving. When you resolve Living Death you first take all creature cards in all graveyards and remove them from the game. Then each player will sacrifice all creatures you they have in play. Finally, each player will take the cards that they just removed from the game and put them into play. At this point, when the Body Double is put into play, there are creature cards in a graveyard, and Body Double can come into play as a copy of one of them.
Q: I have a Barbed Shocker attacking and my opponent blocks with a Myr Retriever. When combat damage resolves, does the Shocker's ability go on the stack first, or does the Myr go into the graveyard first, thus making his ability go on the stack first?
A: When combat damage resolves, the Shocker's ability will trigger, but won't go on the stack quite yet. Immediately after this, state-based effects are checked, and the Retriever will go to the graveyard, as it has lethal damage. When it does, its ability will trigger. Then, when a player would receive priority, both of these abilities will go on the stack. Because they are controlled by two different players, they go on the stack in APNAP (Active Player, Non-Active Player) order. This means that the trigger from your Barbed Shocker will go on the stack first and resolve last. In other words, if your opponent does choose to return an artifact card in his graveyard to his hand, it will be discarded when Barbed Shocker's ability resolves.
Q: If I have Vedalken Orrery in play, can use my planeswalker's ability during an opponents turn as well as my own?
A: No. Vedalken Orrery only changes when you can play nonland card; it does not affect the timing of abilities at all.
A: Yes, as long as there was another creature in play when the animated Lifeline left play. When that happens, Lifeline's ability will trigger. When this trigger resolves, a delayed triggered ability is created. At the start of the end of turn step, this delayed triggered ability will go on the stack. Lifeline does not have to be in play for this to happen. When this delayed triggered ability resolves, Lifeline will be returned to play.