Ask The Judge, 07/04/2003
Q: Would casting two Divergent Growths on the same turn make your remaining untapped lands tap for two mana of any color?
A: No. Multiple copies are redundant. There's no ability here to trigger multiple times; Divergent Growth gives each land the ability to tap for any color mana, which must activated by tapping the land.
A: If you Stifle the activated ability, the entire ability is countered; the creature never comes into play (or gets turned face up). You can also Stifle the end-of-turn triggered ability, making them stay around.
Q: Is it possible to declare blockers and then play Wing Shards, or do you have to play it before you declare blockers? My thinking was you have to play it before you declare blockers.
A: You can play it either before or after you declare blockers. Strategically, it seems smarter to play it before; that way, you'll see what creatures are still left and can maximize your blocks.
Q: Someone told me that there is a way to kill an Exalted Angel with Smother while it is coming back to the game from its"removed from the game state" via cycling and Astral Slide. Is it targetable with Smother? Is there a way to kill it?
A: That person was wrong. When it returns, the Angel will come back into play face up. There's no time when it's a legal target for Smother.
Q: If my opponent casts Brain Freeze after a few spells have been played, can I play Gilded Light in response to the Storm trigger to force them to mill themselves with the Storm copies? The way I see it, in a one-on-one match, my opponent would have to target themselves with the copies, as I am no longer a valid target.
A: Yes. The player announces Brain Freeze, targeting you. The Storm trigger goes on the stack. You respond with Gilded Light, which resolves first. Now, you can't be targeted. Then the Storm trigger resolves, and the opponent puts X copies on the stack, and must choose a legal target for each (himself). After all the copies resolve, the original will be countered due to an illegal target.
A: No, you cannot. The cost of Stormbind is a card - a definite object - while the cost of Null Brooch is discarding your entire hand, which is a variable number of cards between zero and infinity.
The difference is with Stormbind, you must have a card. With Null Brooch, you must have a hand, which you do - even if it's an empty hand.
Q: I am wondering if you could return two Squee, Goblin Nabobs from your graveyard at the beginning of your upkeep and discard them (still within the beginning of your upkeep) to Zombie Infestation and continue doing this for infinite zombie tokens?
If no, why? It is still the beginning of your upkeep when they return, and still is when you discard them.
A: No you can't, because your supposition is wrong. Once the triggers resolve and you put the two Squees back in your hand, the Beginning of Upkeep is over. No more Beginning of Upkeep triggered abilities can go on the stack.
Q: How does the interaction work between flashback and cards that reduce casting costs? For example, what effect will an Emerald Medallion have on the flashback cost of Call of the Herd? Is it reduced?
A:"Cost reducers," as you call them, are like coupons. They don't actually reduce the cost of anything, they just help you pay it. If you have an Emerald Medallion in play, you only have to pay 1G to play Call of the Herd and 2G to play it with Flashback. Cost reducers worth the same with Flashback as they do with Kicker: They help you pay the total cost.
Q: I was wondering what would happen if my opponent is playing a face-down morph card, and next turn I summon Faceless Butcher and remove that card from the game. What happens to the facedown card's ability when he is turned up as an effect of being out of the game? If it has an ability that triggers when it's unmorphed, like Skirk Marauder, s the ability activated or not?
A: When the Faceless Butcher leaves play, the creature will return to play face up, but it won't trigger any Morph-triggered abilities. Revealing the card when it moves to the Removed From Game Zone won't trigger anything either.
A: Yes. After the copy resolves, players get priority. Then the original resolves.
Q: My opponent has a Skirk Outrider and a beast in play (and no other creatures). I cast Lingering Death on his beast. He then attacks with both creatures and I block the Skirk Outrider with a 2/2. My question is will the Skirk Outrider die at the end of the turn, or does the beast die at the same time that damage is removed from the Skirk Outrider?
A: The Beast dies during the End of Turn step; damage on the Outrider doesn't heal until after that, in the Cleanup Step. The Outrider dies as soon as the Beast is sacrificed.