Ask the Judge, 11/26/2008
Rules Tip of the Day: Auras (formerly called "local enchantments") are controlled by the player who played the enchantment spell, or by whoever is specified by the effect that put the Aura into play. In other words, just because an Aura is enchanting a permanent you control does not mean that you control the Aura.
Q: My opponent has Immortal Coil and Ethereum Astrolabe in play. He has eight cards in his graveyard, and I attack for 16 damage. With damage on the stack, he sacrifices Immortal Coil to the Astrolabe. Is the "prevent all damage, and instead remove cards from the graveyard" clause still in effect? Does he take the damage or is his graveyard removed?
A: Immortal Coil's damage prevention ability is a static ability that only applies while it is in play. In this example, he will end up being dealt damage.
A: No. Hindering Light can only target spells that target you or permanent you control. Dispeller's Capsule does not target anything when it is a spell. Its ability does, but that cannot be countered by Hindering Light.
Q: I have Mighty Emergence and Bramblewood Paragon in play, and a Scuzzback Marauder is about to come back via persist. When are the counters added to the creature and in which order? And how many counters will be left on the Marauder once the dust has settled?
A: This Scuzzback Marauder will enter play with both a +1/+1 counter (from the Paragon's ability) and a -1/-1 counter (due to persist). As the Marauder enters play with a power of five, the ability of Mighty Emergence will trigger. But before this trigger can go on the stack, the two counters currently on it will go away when state-based effects are checked. Then the Mighty Emergence trigger will go on the stack and resolve. In the end, the Marauder will have two +1/+1 counters on it.
Q: I activate Balthor the Defiled's ability, returning black and red creatures to play. I return Seige-Gang Commander, Crater Hellion, and Predator Dragon into play. Will I be able to devour the Goblins with the Dragon?
A: No. All of these creatures enter play at the same time. You choose creatures to devour as they enter play. After they enter play, Siege-Gang Commander's ability will resolve and you will get Goblin tokens, well after you would have needed to devour creatures.
Q: I have an animated Mutavault in play and a Figure of Destiny. I play Mirrorweave on my Figure of Destiny. My Mutavault now has the abilities of the Figure, and I activate the first ability. Is my Mutavault a 2/2 creature even after the end of the turn, as some sort of Land - Kithkin Warrior?
A: No, the effect from the Figure of Destiny ability is applied to it, but this permanent is no longer a creature, so the effect will not do anything. Later, if the Mutavault becomes a creature again, the ability that causes it to become a creature will set the Mutavault's power and toughness, as that will have a later timestamp than the Figure ability.
Q: Can Cradle to Grave target a creature that phased into play, even though phasing doesn't cause "comes into play" abilities to trigger?
A: Yes, this object did come into play this turn, so it can be targeted by Cradle to Grave. The rules for phasing state that effects that trigger when a permanent comes into play in do not trigger and that effects that modify how a permanent enters play are not applied. But that does not mean that it did not enter the 'in play' zone this turn.
A: Yes. Your Negator was dealt damage. It does not matter that it regenerated and the damage to it was removed; the Negator's ability triggered when the Fireball resolved.
Q: My friend had True Believer in play, so he could not be the target of spells and abilities. I played Sleeper Agent and we were completely confused as to what should happen. Does True Believer prevent him from being targeted to gain control of the Agent? If so, what happens to the Agent?
A: When Sleeper Agent comes into play, its comes-into-play ability will trigger and go on the stack. However, as you cannot choose a legal target for this ability, it will leave the stack and do nothing. Sleeper Agent will then remain where it is, under your control.