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MTG Magic The Gathering Ask A Judge - Command Bacon Edition

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Hello everyone, and sorry for the return to delays- My schedule is settling into something a little less sporadic, so hopefully I can go back to making these threads 3 and 4 times a week, instead of once or twice a month!

So, without further babbling about my personal life, let's get into an AAJ thread! There's been a lot of neat spoilers for the Commander 2015 set (including one from my own Rules Blog)- I'm happy to take a crack at any questions you have about these new cards, but any "spoiler" questions get an answer with a big-ass asterisk attached, because the exact rules for new cards might make my answer wrong once we get em.

So, whether it's C15 stuff, policy stuff, general rules stuff, whatever! Feel free to Ask A Judge
>>
COMMAND BEACON IS PRETTY MUCH THE BEST SPOILED CARD YET.

It's beautifully designed and fills a really important cap in design space.
>>
>>43455140
It also lets me actually build the Haakon deck I've wanted to build since about ten seconds after I learned what Commander is. I even already have a foil Haakon!
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>>43455170

how do you plan to reliably get him out? Tutors out the butthole?
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>>43455189
Who the hell said anything about "reliably"? I'm just tickled fucking pink it's even possible.

And honestly, I don't think that running ~4 or 5 tutors that are going to be used to find Command Beacon 99% of the time is TOO bad, so long as I don't abuse the hell out of it.
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>>43455217

Thankfully it's black so outside of cards like Expedition Map you've got plenty of general all purpose tutors that you can use to find the land.

It's definitely the best card spoiled so far; usable in essentially any deck and creative to boot. I'm just sad it's a rare (so it'll only be in one deck).
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>>43455217
>>43455255

Most of them are ones you run anyway. Expedition map is something that goes in mono B decks to find coffers/urborg as much as I dislike that use, and etc.
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Also makes Phage a little more possible
Dodging the replacement effect is justification enough though
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>>43455513
Which replacement effect?
>>
Do you only get one stack of priority after blockers, for lack of a better word?

So I'm being attacked with a 1/1 goblin token, I block with a seeker of the way. My opponent asks if I have any effects before damage, if I say no, is it too late for them to activate anything?
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>>43456037
After blocks are declared, the Active Player (the person whose turn it is) will get priority to cast spells and activate abilities. If they do so, the Non-Active Player has a chance to respond with their own stuff, then the AP can respond, etc, etc. If the AP has no spells to speak of, the NAP gets priority, and can do their thing (which the AP can respond to)

Each player is going to get at least once shot at priority after blocks, but before damage. Now, onto your follow-up: yes. Your opponent is asking if you have any effects, which is implicitly passing priority to you. You decline, which is you passing priority back. You are now in the Combat Damage Step. Your opponent as AP has to activate their stuff/cast their spells before they know if you're gonna do anything. They can't try to "bait" you into having no responses that way.
>>
Is Return to Zendikar the worst thing?
>>
I have a few questions for you - bear with me, I'm kind of new at this, so I hope they don't sound too stupid.

1.If you are attacking with a creature that has first strike, and its blocked by two or more creatures, how does that work? Does it apply first strike damage to both, then receives its damage? How about double strike?

2. What happens when you populate a token from flameshadow conjuring? Does it stay, or disappear with the other token at the end of the turn?

3.Can you explain Pine Walker's ability? Is it implying that you attack with a morph card, flip it, and then untap it?

I'm sure I have more questions, so I'll probably be posting more when I remember them.
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>>43456761
The only stupid question is... well, there's actually a decent amount, but most require malice. Don't worry about it.

1) Exactly like it would without first strike, except your creature hits first. Let's say you have a 3/3, they have a 3/1 and a 2/3. You could kill their big guy in first strike damage, so that only their 2/3 is around to hit your creature when his turn comes around. Your creature doles out the first strike damage to their blockers (remembering that you have to assign lethal to the one before you can damage the other!), then any of their surviving guys hit yours back.

With double strike, same thing, except your creature gets in a second set of damage alongside theirs. Easy!

2) It stays! The token's "I go away"-ness isn't inherent to it. What actually gets rid of it is a delayed trigger from the source that made it. Your Populate effect didn't create a delayed trigger for the new token, so it stick around! If the token itself had a "Sacrifice me at end of turn" trigger, it'd die though (for example, if you populated a token copy of Ball Lightning somehow)

3) Pretty much. Or you can attack with a Morph guy, and then flip it face-up during your opponent's turn to block with.
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>>43456761

>1.

It depends on how much power your first striker has. If your 2/2 First strike gets blocked by two 1/1s, for example, you'll deal 2 damage to both of them during the First Strike damage step. Basically, you'll assign damage as normal it'll just get dealt in an earlier damage step.

It's the same way with Double Strike just you'll assign damage twice. If all the creatures blocking your Double Striker die in the first strike damage step it won't deal any damage in the normal damage step.
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>>43455140
>COMMAND BEACON
I dislike cards that are useless outside of commander. Also some colors are better at manipulating land so it doesn't even the playing field in that regard.
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>>43456824
Thanks, that explains a lot! I'm trying to whip up a bullshit casual deck with the intent of slinging out too many desolation twins, and was hoping the populate would work, haha.
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>>43456937

it's a product made for commander. let it have commander only cards.
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Why does the Gilded Drake oracle text have the "This ability can't be countered except by spells and abilities." clause?
>>
How does Day's Undoing work with Sphinx's Tutelage? Sphinx's Tutelage gets its triggers or is it exiled like what Day's Undoing says?
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>>43457109

You won't get your triggers.
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>>43457098
To prevent it from being countered by the game rules if the target goes bye bye. Without that clause, if you bounced the target creature you'd just keep the drake. With it, you either swap or sac, period.
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>>43457098
Normally it's the other way around- spells like Abrupt Decay say "can't be countered by spells or abilities" because that specifically allows them to be countered by the rules of the game. If I cast Abrupt Decay on your dude, and you give him Shroud/Pro-Green, my spell is countered by the rules of the game. Same if my target just flat out leaves the battlefield- SPELLS and ABILITIES can't counter it, but the rules of the game can.

Drake is the opposite. Without that clause, you could give the opposing creature shroud, and then the ability fizzles. You have a 3/3 flier for 2. I could play Drake, then kill your creature in response to the trigger, and that whole block of text is countered, so I get my cheap 3/3 flier.

With the wording as-is, that won't happen. My trigger-with-illegal-targets still resolves and makes me sac my Drake.

>>43457109
Poorly. Tutelage TRIGGERS, but none of those triggers go onto the stack because the game just immediately ends the turn.
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>>43455255
Just because it's a rare doesn't mean it will only be in one deck unless that's new for this year. Last year caged sun was in at least two as well as a few others I can't think off the top of my head
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>>43457256
If I remember correctly, reprints (like Caged Sun) retain their rarity, but might be in more than one deck. New cards tend to be "Common = every deck, Uncommon = most decks, Rare/Mythic = one deck"

Again, I could be wrong.
>>
>>43457256

That's the way it's always been for the new cards, all the way back to the first commander product. Caged Sun was in one deck anyways.

>>43457273

This man has it right.
>>
Does Mazirek (the new B/G) go infinite with Persist or would that be stupid?
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>>43457288
No caged sun was in daretti precon and nahiri precon
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>>43457321
If you stack your triggers right. Sac your guy, you have a Mazirek "pump up the team" trigger and a Persist trigger. They're both yours, so just have Persist resolve first, bring your guy back, and then Mazirek puts a +1/+1 counter on it to cancel out the -1/-1. Mazirek + Sac Outlet + Persist = infinite.
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>>43457332

http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/arcana/commander-2014-edition-decklists-2014-10-31

My cntrl F skills tell me it was in one deck only.
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>>43457349
Nvm sir you are right. I just remembered I traded my friend for his caged sun right when I bought the nahiri precon and I just recently purchased the daretti precon and noticed it was in there so I assumed it was in both.
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>>43457336
Oh, this got real dumb real quick
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>>43457388
To be fair, you could already accomplish that with Melira.
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>>43457336
Wait so +1/+1 counters negate -1/-1 counters and they both come off?
>>
>>43457413
Yep! If a permanent has both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it at the same time, they completely annihilate each other in a 1:1 ratio until only one kind is left.

So if I put 3 -1/-1 counters on a Mycoloth with 5 +1/+1 counters, the end result is that it only has two +1/+1 counters.
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>>43457403
Yeah but now I can do it in Two colors and get bigger dudes for it.
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>>43457429
That's a state based action, though, right? What happens if a thing has both + and - counters, and <=0 toughness? Does it have both types when it dies, or do they negate each other first?
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>>43457459
>That's a state based action though, right?
It is

>What happens if a thing has both + and - counters, and <=0 toughness?
It simultaneously has the counters cancel and dies. For things like Persist or Undying, it had those counters at the time it died, so they won't trigger.
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Can I use Vorel's ability on a Mirror Mockery Zegana's counters for massive card draw or does it die immediately?
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>>43457512
You can... but you have to make the original Zegana die. You choose which of your two Legendary things you want to keep, so you can totally keep the Mockery Zegana and pop Vorel in response to her trigger to draw a fuckton of cards, but you end up with zero Zeganas by the end of combat.
>>
>>43457582

If you didn't double the counters on the new Zegana would it use LKI to determine the amount of cards you draw or would you draw 1?
>>
How do Emeria Shepherd and Celestial Dawn interact? Will the landfall triggers know if I just played a non-plains card, or is it already a plains when the trigger goes on the stack?
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>>43457686
You will draw whatever the power of the copy Zegana when she dies

>>43457978
Plains
>>
With the newly spoiled Meteor Volley, can I target the same thing more than once? So can I pay 5 mana to burn someone for 8?
>>
>>43460365
No, effects that let you choose a number of targets don't allow you to choose the same target twice.
>>
New myraid effect, what happens when give it to khaalia? Do the copies also get the triggers?
>>
>>43460751
You get ETB triggers, but the legend rule forces you to sacrifice all but one Khaalia

However, the tokens enter the battlefield already tapped and attacking, while Khaalia s ability triggers when she attacks. Therefore the clones do not trigger that ability.
>>
>>43457686
LKI.

>>43457978
There's never a point where it's on the field but Dawn hasn't already made it a Plains. It's a Plains the second it touches the board, so it triggers Shepherd.

>>43460365
Nope. If something lets you pick multiple targets, you can only target the same thing once per instance of the word "TARGET".

For example, I can cast Seeds of Strength and target the same thing three times, but I can't cast Travel Preperations and put both sets of counters on one creature

>>43460751
You'll get normal ETB triggers (and then pick one Legend to keep, if it was a legendary, and bin the rest). Kaalia's trigger fires when she attacks, and the tokens didn't attack, so no triggers for the tokens. Slap it on one of the big-booty Angel bitches instead.
>>
Going to do my first GP probably next weekend, which will be my first real tournament.

I think I know the answer, but just want to check. If can use older versions of cards right. Like the M13 version of pacifism with the older art?
>>
I cast villainous wealth on my opponent.
One of the cards I reveal is a den protector.
Can I cast the den protector morphed or only face-up?
>>
>>43461897
Thanks, GA
>>
>>43462695

Face up only. Morph is an alternate casting cost.
>>
>>43462514
That's absolutely fine.

>>43462695
Face-up. Morph is an alternate cost. So is "casting without paying its mana cost" via Wealth, and you can't cast something for more than one alternate cost.
>>
>>43454880

Say I have a Leyline of Anticipation that's somehow become a creature and another random mook on my field, with a copy of the Newly Spoiled Scourge of Nel Toth in my graveyard. Can I ask him using his alternate cost during my opponent's turn if I sacrifice the Leyline of anticipation as part of the cost?
>>
>>43454880
Hey GA, glad you're back!

I have a question for you that I think could have won me a game yesterday.

So I have a Monastery Siege on the battlefield under my control and I've chosen the Dragons mode.

It reads:
>As Monastery Siege enters the battlefield, choose Khans or Dragons.
>• Khans — At the beginning of your draw step, draw an additional card, then discard a card.
>• Dragons — Spells your opponents cast that target you or a permanent you control cost 2 more to cast.

My opponent then casts a Ulamog the Ceaseless Hunger, whose first ability is:
>When you cast Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, exile two target permanents.

If Ulamog targets permanents I control when he's cast, does that mean he costs 2 extra to cast?
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>>43464701
You should be able to, since you announce the spell and put it on the stack first, and pay costs quite a bit later at which point timing restrictions shouldn't matter anymore.

>>43464950
Nope. His on-cast trigger is just that: a triggered ability. Siege only cares about spells that have targets (instants, sorceries, and auras).
>>
>>43464701
Sure! You start by putting the spell on the stack, announcing it, and announcing that you'll be paying the alternate cost. You lock in legality before you start paying costs, so it's still legal to have begun casting this before you sacrifice your Leyline, so you're fine.

>>43464950
Ulamog the spell doesn't target anything. Creature spells never target.

Ulamog has a triggered ability, which Siege does not stop.
>>
>>43465043
>Nope. His on-cast trigger is just that: a triggered ability

>>43465181
>Ulamog the spell doesn't target anything. Creature spells never target.

Ah okay that's good to know, I don't feel as bad now lel
Thanks guys!
>>
What speed does the Reinforce ability have?
Can it only be played at instant speed if the card it's printed on is an instant or has Flash?

Also same question for Cycling.
>>
>>43467239
>Reinforce

Most abilities are instant unless otherwise stated. As far as I can tell Reinforce is instant.
>>
>>43467536
Well that was my own guess, but since it's more of an alternative to play the spell I figured it might work differently that regular abilities.
>>
>>43467239
>>43467536
>>43467578
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all activated abilities are instant speed.
Both Reinforce and Cycling have no timing limitation, unlike, say, Outlast, so they can be used whenever you have priority.
>>
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Here's a silly little question I want cleared up:

Do creatures that enter the battlefield with +1/+1 counters on them technically have those counters placed on them? Like, would Daghatar enter as an 8/8 with Doubling Season out?

I'm assuming no, since there's no action placing the counters on him, he shows up with them already on him.
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>>43469062

GUESS AGAIN
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>>43469062
RTFC
http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=89116
and scroll down to Rulings
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>>43469191
>>43469216
>forgot to check DS ruling before asking
Whoops.
Thank you, kind anons.
>>
>>43467239
Reinforce is an activated ability that does not have a timing restriction built into it. As such, you can activate it any time you could cast an instant normally.

>>43469062
Yep! "Placed" explicitly includes things entering with counters.
>>
>>43470204
>Yep! "Placed" explicitly includes things entering with counters.
That's because "enters the battlefield with" is a replacement effect that involves putting the counters on? It's not a triggered ability, since hydras don't die to SBAs before the counters go on. Can't be activated or a special action.
Or is it just a thing that happens and isn't part of any general category of effect?
>>
>>43470720
Both.

Things that enter with counters do so because of a replacement effect, you're 100% right about that. But what I mean is that "Placed" is defined in the Comprehensive Rules as counters being put onto an object, or an object entering the battlefield with counters due to a replacement effect.
>>
>>43454880

If you Aethersnatch an overloaded counterflux after a particularly large Epic Experiment (or Mizzix's Mastery) your spells would be safe right?
>>
>>43472491
Yep! Aethersnatch resolves and steals the Counterflux. Counterflux resolves and does fuck-all, countering all none of the spells on the stack that you don't control. Then your other spells resolve just fine.
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What happens when this resolves?
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>>43473088
Purple.
>>
What does splice onto arcane even do? In some instances it has lower cmc but what else, like can it be used to avoid counters?
>>
>>43475472
It does what it says it does, IE, it changes the text box of target spell to also have the text box of the spliced card.
Also the spliced card stays in your hand so you can keep splicing it
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>>43475519
>Also the spliced card stays in your hand so you can keep splicing it

oh god, I never even noticed, jesus that all makes more sense. Overbalaze is going to be a bitch now lol thanks anon have an overused may-may as a gift
>>
Bedtime, kids
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