Ask The Judge, 04/08/2003
Q: I have a Future Sight in play with a Predict on top of my library. I cast the Predict, moving it to the stack and revealing the next card. That card happens to be a Mental Note. Can I cast the Mental Note, put the top two cards of my library into the graveyard, draw a card, then reveal the next card, naming that card for the Predict?
Thanks for your time,
A: Sure. You name the card upon resolution of the Predict, which doesn't happen until you're done resolving the Mental Note.
Q: If I cast an Early Harvest and copy it via Mirari, can I let the copy resolve and then tap all my lands before the real one resolves, allowing me to get twice as much mana as I would without a copy?
A: You sure can, because you get priority back after the copy resolves (and before the original does).
A: You actually can't. Whenever"must" and"can't" battle in Magic,"can't" always wins (rule 103.2).
Q: I have a dragon deck built with four Aether Flashes. If I have three of them in play and I cast Kilnmouth Dragon revealing three dragons, giving it nine +1/+1 counters, will the Aether Flashes kill the Kilnmouth Dragon before it gets the counters?
My understanding is that the Dragon comes into play with the counters and then it takes damage from the Aether Flashes, so it would survive.
A: Your understanding is correct. When something says, like Amplify does,"as ~this~ comes into play..." that means it's part of the resolution of the spell that puts the permanent into play. By the time the Aether Flash triggers resolve, your Dragon is huge.
Q: I'm looking into a decklist involving Phantom Centaurs, Phantom Nantukos, and Phantom Nishobas. I noticed that they are all creature spirits, like insect or centaur. If I have one of each in my graveyard, and I name Spirit as I cast Patriarch's Bidding, do I get all of my phantoms back into play?
A: Name"Spirit." When a spell or effect looks for a type or sub-type and a card has multiples, it'll match all that are appropriate. It'll look at each one and ask the yes or no question,"is this a Spirit?" It is a spirit, regardless of whatever else it may be.
Q: I put a fuse counter on my opponent's Fugitive Wizard with my Bomb Squad - then my opponent, in his turn, Shocks my bomb squad and kills it. Do the fuse counters keep coming even if there's no more Bomb Squads in play?
A: Once the Bomb Squad leaves play, the counters will stop coming because there's no permanent generating the triggered ability that puts them on. The counters do stay on, but they are meaningless - at least until another Bomb Squad comes into play.
Q: I am a little lost with Pardic Miner. Once you sacrifice it, does this mean that a target player can not put another land into play until the next turn, or that the target player can not tap lands for mana until the end of the turn?
It would seem to be the first of the two, but that seems kind of weak for a rare card.
A: It's the first. It's a thoroughly weak card.
Q: If my opponent has a Lightning Rift and an Astral Slide in play and they cycle a card, can I discard Glory to Wild Mongrel and activate its ability in response naming white and red? Does this allow my Mongrel and other creatures to survive the Rift or Slide?
A: Yes. The Glory goes into the graveyard immediately because you're discarding it as the cost of activating the Mongrel. Once that's on the stack, you can use the Glory's ability. They've already targeted the Mongrel with the Slide/Rift, but when that triggered ability goes to resolve, it'll be countered because the target is now illegal.
Q: I say that Duress cannot fail to find a card if the revealed hand has a legal target (noncreature/nonland card). My friend says you can fail to find it, because it's not public information. I say it's"revealed" and therefore everybody knows that there is a legal target.
I also said that if Duress said"look" at that player's hand, you could fail to find it because the information isn't public. Am I correct?
A: You cannot"fail to find" with Duress, because it's not a"search." You have to follow the instructions on the card; if there's a legal choice (Duress says,"choose," not"search"), you must make it.
Q: Can an Elvish Soultiller shuffle itself back into your deck (assuming you named elves of course)?
A: Yes, because it's in the graveyard when the triggered ability goes on the stack and resolves. You don't choose a creature type until the ability resolves.
Q: If so, and the Soultiller goes to the graveyard with a Verdant Succession in play, can you put the effect of the Succession first on the stack and the one from the Soultiller on top, shuffling it back in and in fact putting itself back in to play?
A: Certainly, assuming you control the Verdant Succession. If your opponent controls it, then it depends whose turn it is. Whenever two abilities trigger at the same time, the active player puts his triggers on the stack first, and then the non-active player. That means if your opponent controls the Succession and it's your turn, it all works out the way you want. If it's his turn, then the Soultiller's trigger will resolve first.
Q: I have three Skywing Avens in play when Ted attacks with his Exalted Angel. We both let combat damage go on the stack. At this point, I discard three islands (one per Skywing) to bring the Skywings back to my hand. I've done lethal damage to the Exalted Angel, so it is going to die (yay!). The question is, how much life does Ted gain?
He argues the damage is on the stack, so the Angel did its damage and he should get four life. I argue that it can't do damage to creatures that aren't in play, so he should get none - his damage effectively fizzled. Maybe we should split the difference and let him get two life?
A: He gets no life. If a creature that was supposed to receive damage is no longer in play or is no longer a creature, the damage assigned to it isn't dealt (rule 310.4). If no damage is dealt, then the Angel's ability doesn't trigger.
Q: My opponent casts a Dominate on one of my creatures. In response, I Spelljack it. Now, Spelljack says that if there is an X in the mana cost, it is zero. My question is can I pay additional mana to Dominate another creature because the card text says I may play it without paying its mana cost.
A: You don't have the option of changing the X from zero to anything else. You must, however, pay any additional costs (like with Glowrider). With Dominate, Spelljack is just an expensive Counterspell.