Welcome to the comment stream... jump in!

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

5 hours ago

colton815, The rules Q&A is not for discussing what card interactions work best. It's simply for discussing how cards and game rules work.

You can tell Yesterday that Invisible Stalker works better if you want to, but the point is to answer the question about The Scarab God and Hada Spy Patrol, and saying "Invisible Stalker is better" doesn't do that.

Yesterday, If your question is answered (and I really hope it is at this point...) you should select answer so that this will be removed from the active questions queue.

colton815 on How does The Scarab God ...

5 hours ago

Rhadamanthus you really don't know why I bring it up? hmm gee. maybe because its pointless to argue over a ruling that shouldn't even come up in play because there are strictly better options?

Rhadamanthus on How does The Scarab God ...

6 hours ago

@colton815 Considering the fact that the rules question has nothing to do with Invisible Stalker I have no idea why you keep bringing it up. If you're not interested in this conversation then please leave us alone.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

6 hours ago

@colton815 it does matter though. Hada Spy Patrol is far from the only Leveler, and The Scarab God is far from the only thing that copies a creature and modifies its P/T. Knowing how the interaction works is far more significant to overall game knowledge than knowing a better synergy is.

colton815 on How does The Scarab God ...

6 hours ago

i really can't help but find all this arguing over the interaction between The Scarab God and Hada Spy Patrol hilarious considering the fact that Invisible Stalker is a far superior target. 4/4 with hexproof is strictly better than a 3/3 with shroud.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

7 hours ago

Gotcha. See that's what I wasn't understanding was whether The Scarab God's ability would be above or below the Leveler's static effect. I never even would have doubted it if not for that ruling.

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

Alright, nevermind, I've got it sorted:

I was incorrect in my interpretation of rule 613.6a. The gather ruling makes it clear that the timestamp of the leveler static ability doesn't change as it levels.

However, that doesn't matter, because the Copy effect of The Scarab God changes the P/T of the card to 4/4 back in layer 1 when it changes the copiable values of the token.

Rules:

613.1. The values of an objects characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object. For a card, that means the values of the characteristics printed on that card. For a token or a copy of a spell or card, that means the values of the characteristics defined by the effect that created it. Then all applicable continuous effects are applied in a series of layers in the following order:

613.1a Layer 1: Copy effects are applied. See rule 706, Copying Objects.

706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original objects characteristics and, for an object on the stack, choices made when casting or activating it (mode, targets, the value of X, whether it was kicked, how it will affect multiple targets, and so on). The copiable values are the values derived from the text printed on the object (that text being name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by its face-down status, and by as . . . enters the battlefield and as . . . is turned face up abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics). Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

706.9c Some copy effects modify a characteristic as part of the copying process. The final value(s) for that characteristic becomes part of the copiable values for the copy.

Because The Scarab God makes 4/4 into "what is printed" on the token copy of Hada Spy Patrol, it ALWAYS gets overwritten by the level ability, since that is a static effect applying in layer 7b.

I need some Advil now...

Rhadamanthus on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

Credit where it's due: I didn't completely understand this interaction until I read sonnet666's analysis of it.

The characteristics set by the copy effect only affect the P/T shown in the first striation on the leveler card's text box. The other static abilities associated with the level symbols will function as normal, since the P/Ts given there are really only notes explaining their effects. The Hada Spy Patrol in the original example will be a 2/2 if it gets a level counter.

(EDIT: deleted some irrelevant confusing stuff)

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

Fuck man. I'm sick of this Layers shit. I don't even know anymore.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

I was quoting a ruling that can be found at the Gatherer under Leveler cards, such as http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=kargan+dragonlord

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

Also, and I was incorrect earlier, which may have caused confusion, The Scarab God does not set the token's P/T in layer 7b. Rather, it modifies the copiable values of that token, so that it's base P/T is 4/4.

706.9c Some copy effects modify a characteristic as part of the copying process. The final value(s) for that characteristic becomes part of the copiable values for the copy.

Example: Copy Artifact is an enchantment that reads, You may have Copy Artifact enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact on the battlefield, except its an enchantment in addition to its other types. It enters the battlefield as a copy of Juggernaut. The copiable values of the Copy Artifact now match those of Juggernaut with one modification: its types are now artifact, creature, and enchantment.

You can think of this as overwriting the 1/1 at the top of Hada Spy Patrol.

This does not overwrite the 2/2 and 3/3 below it in the text box, as they are part of the level symbol keyword ability that represents a static ability, and are not Hada Spy Patrol's power and toughness at any other time.

With that in mind, the level ability is always going to take precedence over the 4/4 from The Scarab God, since the 4/4 is technically "what's printed on the card" (or part of the copy effect in Layer 1, I don't even know anymore) and the level symbol is a static ability that is setting Hada Spy Patrol's P/T in layer 7b.

As per:

613.1. The values of an objects characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object. For a card, that means the values of the characteristics printed on that card. For a token or a copy of a spell or card, that means the values of the characteristics defined by the effect that created it. Then all applicable continuous effects are applied in a series of layers in the following order:

613.1a Layer 1: Copy effects are applied. See rule 706, Copying Objects.

...

613.3b Layer 7b: Effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value are applied. Effects that refer to the base power and/or toughness of a creature apply in this layer.

Case Fucking Closed.

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

8 hours ago

The level up ability gets a new timestamp when it gets to the next level:

702.86. Level Up

702.86a Level up is an activated ability. Level up [cost] means [Cost]: Put a level counter on this permanent. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

702.86b Each card printed with a level up ability is known as a leveler card. It has a nonstandard layout and includes two level symbols that are themselves keyword abilities. See rule 710, Leveler Cards.

710 Leveler Cards

710.1. Each leveler card has a striated text box and three power/toughness boxes. The text box of a leveler card contains two level symbols.

710.2. A level symbol is a keyword ability that represents a static ability. The level symbol includes either a range of numbers, indicated here as N1-N2, or a single number followed by a plus sign, indicated here as N3+. Any abilities printed within the same text box striation as a level symbol are part of its static ability. The same is true of the power/toughness box printed within that striation, indicated here as [P/T].

710.2a LEVEL N1-N2 [Abilities] [P/T] means As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].

710.2b LEVEL N3+ [Abilities] [P/T] means As long as this creature has N3 or more level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].

AND:

613.6a A continuous effect generated by a static ability has the same timestamp as the object the static ability is on, or the timestamp of the effect that created the ability, whichever is later.


The level up ability creates a new static ability that wasn't on the battlefield before and therefore gets a new timestamp.

Also, from Godhead of Awe's gather rulings:

10/1/2009: Godhead of Awes ability overwrites other effects that set a creatures power and toughness to specific values only if those effects existed before the Godhead entered the battlefield. It will not overwrite effects that modify power or toughness (whether from a static ability, counters, or a resolved spell or ability), nor will it overwrite effects that set power and toughness which come into existence after the Godhead enters the battlefield. Effects that switch the creatures power and toughness are always applied after any other power or toughness changing effects, including that of the Godhead.

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

Are you quoting the comprehensive rules, or are you quoting brokendwarf?

Because that isn't in the comp rules.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

The rule literally says, and I quote "Effects that set a leveler's power or toughness to a specific value, including the effects from a level symbol's ability, apply in timestamp order. The timestamp of each level symbol's ability is the same as the timestamp of the leveler itself, regardless of when the most recent level counter was put on it. For example, say Coralhelm Commander is on the battlefield, then Godhead of Awe, which says "Other creatures are 1/1,". After the second level counter is put on Coralhelm Commander, it will be 1/1 (not 3/3) and have flying, because Godhead of Awe's ability applies last. (If Godhead of Awe entered the battlefield before Coralhelm Commander, on the other hand, then the Commander's ability would apply last and it would be 3/3.)"

Bolded the important part. Leveling Up does NOT create a p/t change timestamp.

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

Tyrant-Thanatos, Your reasoning is so off right now it's giving me a headache.

First off: Quicksilver Gargantuan copying a Tarmogoyf and staying a 7/7 has nothing to do with timestamps or layers. It's simply because it never gets Tarmogoyf's characteristic-defining ability as per this ruling:

6/1/2011: If the chosen creature has a characteristic-defining ability that sets its power and/or toughness, that ability will not be copied. For example, if Quicksilver Gargantuan copies a Nightmare, it will not gain the ability that sets its power and toughness to the number of Swamps you control. As such, it will remain a 7/7.

I now need to look through the comp rules to make sure everything works they way I think it does (hence, headache), so you're going to have to give me a minute.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

@sonnet666, normally I would agree, but as the rule that brokendwarf posted states, the Level Up ability does not set the p/t when you activate it, but the Leveler itself does according to it's own timestamp. The Level Up ability does not create a p/t changing or setting effect, it simply adds counters to the creature.

sonnet666 on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

The reason it's a 2/2 has to do with the rules on layers of interacting continuous effects.

The ability of The Scarab God and the level up ability of Hada Spy Patrol both create Power and Toughness setting effects, which take effect in layer 7, sublayer B.

Since they both take effect in the same layer, and neither is dependent on each other (complicated, not explaining), the order of the effects is determined base off of a timestamp system, with the latest timestamp taking effect last. The The Scarab God's effect's timestamp is when you created the token, while the level up ability's timestamp is when it resolved, so the level up's effect "wins" and sets the token at base P/T 2/2.

613.1g Layer 7: Power- and/or toughness-changing effects are applied.


613.3. Within layer 7, apply effects in a series of sublayers in the order described below. Within each sublayer, apply effects in timestamp order. (See rule 613.6.) Note that dependency may alter the order in which effects are applied within a sublayer. (See rule 613.7.)

613.3a Layer 7a: Effects from characteristic-defining abilities that define power and/or toughness are applied. See rule 604.3.

613.3b Layer 7b: Effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value are applied. Effects that refer to the base power and/or toughness of a creature apply in this layer.

613.3c Layer 7c: Effects that modify power and/or toughness (but dont set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value) are applied.

613.3d Layer 7d: Power and/or toughness changes from counters are applied. See rule 121, Counters.

613.3e Layer 7e: Effects that switch a creatures power and toughness are applied. Such effects take the value of power and apply it to the creatures toughness, and take the value of toughness and apply it to the creatures power.

Example: A 1/3 creature is given +0/+1 by an effect. Then another effect switches the creatures power and toughness. Its new power and toughness is 4/1. A new effect gives the creature +5/+0. Its unswitched power and toughness would be 6/4, so its actual power and toughness is 4/6.

Example: A 1/3 creature is given +0/+1 by an effect. Then another effect switches the creatures power and toughness. Its new power and toughness is 4/1. If the +0/+1 effect ends before the switch effect ends, the creature becomes 3/1.

Example: A 1/3 creature is given +0/+1 by an effect. Then another effect switches the creatures power and toughness. Then another effect switches its power and toughness again. The two switches essentially cancel each other, and the creature becomes 1/4.


613.6. Within a layer or sublayer, determining which order effects are applied in is usually done using a timestamp system. An effect with an earlier timestamp is applied before an effect with a later timestamp.

613.6a A continuous effect generated by a static ability has the same timestamp as the object the static ability is on, or the timestamp of the effect that created the ability, whichever is later.

613.6b A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability receives a timestamp at the time its created.

613.6c An object receives a timestamp at the time it enters a zone.

613.6d An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification receives a new timestamp at the time it becomes attached to an object or player.

613.6e A permanent receives a new timestamp at the time it turns face up or face down.

613.6f A double-faced permanent receives a new timestamp at the time it transforms.

613.6g A face-up plane card, phenomenon card, or scheme card receives a timestamp at the time its turned face up.

613.6h A face-up vanguard card receives a timestamp at the beginning of the game.

613.6i A conspiracy card receives a timestamp at the beginning of the game. If its face down, it receives a new timestamp at the time it turns face up.

613.6j If two or more objects would receive a timestamp simultaneously, such as by entering a zone simultaneously or becoming attached simultaneously, the active player determines their relative timestamp order at that time.

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

Right, but this is creating a token with its power set to 4/4, which timestamp comes first?

brokendwarf on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

Effects that set a leveler's power or toughness to a specific value, including the effects from a level symbol's ability, apply in timestamp order. The timestamp of each level symbol's ability is the same as the timestamp of the leveler itself, regardless of when the most recent level counter was put on it. For example, say Coralhelm Commander is on the battlefield, then Godhead of Awe, which says "Other creatures are 1/1,". After the second level counter is put on Coralhelm Commander, it will be 1/1 (not 3/3) and have flying, because Godhead of Awe's ability applies last. (If Godhead of Awe entered the battlefield before Coralhelm Commander, on the other hand, then the Commander's ability would apply last and it would be 3/3.)

Tyrant-Thanatos on How does The Scarab God ...

9 hours ago

I'm fairly certain it stays a 4/4. For the same reason a Quicksilver Gargantuan copying a Tarmogoyf stays a 7/7.

Levelers are weird though, so I'm not 100% sure on this one. Can anyone else confirm?

Rhadamanthus on When taking control of other ...

12 hours ago

Yes, you can gain control of those creatures with Homeward Path.

A player "owns" all cards that started the game in their deck, command zone, and sideboard, and all tokens that were first created under their control. Effects that put a card from the graveyard/library/etc. onto the battlefield under a different player's control don't change the ownership of a card. The only way to change ownership of a card during a game is by using a small handful of weird old cards that are only allowed if you started the game with the "Ante" rules option (Tempest Efreet, Jeweled Bird, etc.), which hasn't been a part of the official Magic rules for a very long time.

Neotrup on When taking control of other ...

12 hours ago

Homeward Path gives players control of all creatures they own, regardless of how they entered the battlefield or what permanents are attached to it.

Riv329 on When taking control of other ...

13 hours ago

If I have Homeward Path on the board and my opponent plays Necromancy or Animate Dead can I use Homeward Path to regain control of my creatures or does Homeward Path only work against card like Dragonlord Silumgar

colton815 on How does The Scarab God ...

23 hours ago

you'd be much better off using Invisible Stalker over Hada Spy Patrol.

Gidgetimer on Can you bounce a spell ...

1 day ago

It goes to your hand. Once you cast the card it is no longer in exile, it is on the stack. If the spell is subsequently bounced it goes to your hand.

Gidgetimer on How does The Scarab God ...

1 day ago

Without going into too much detail, yes it is a 2/2 that can not be blocked.

Poptart50100 on Can you bounce a spell ...

1 day ago

If I have a Chandra, Torch of Defiance and use her first +1 to exile a card and cast it and my opponent uses a Venser, Shaper Savant to bounce the spell back to my hand, what happens? Does the spell that was exiled go to my hand now or is it gone since it was cast from exile?

sonnet666 on Is it an infinite combo?

1 day ago

creepingcosmos, If your question has been answered please select an answer to remove this from the active questions queue.

sonnet666 on Who gets control when card:Sower ...

1 day ago

If your question has been answered please select an answer to remove this from the active questions queue.

Yesterday on How does The Scarab God ...

1 day ago

The Scarab God uses its activated ability to exile a Hada Spy Patrol, so a black 4/4 zombie token enters the battlefield with the Level Up ability. If you level it up, does it turn into a 2/2 black zombie that can't be blocked?

justawhiteguy on Solemnity

1 day ago

Solemnity + Geralf's Messenger is an interesting pair in Zur decks and maybe in Modern. Sacrifice outlets such as Viscera Seer = win.

Razaketh, the Foulblooded and Kitchen Finks in Karador/Abzan is unbounded as far as I know with Solemnity in play.

Rhadamanthus on Hive Mind and Glorious End

1 day ago

For Final Fortune/Last Chance/Warrior's Oath, you do need to figure out some way of skipping the extra turn or otherwise not losing. An extra turn gets created in front of any other extra turns that have already been created but haven't started yet. This means the most recently created extra turn will always be taken first. No matter whose turn it is, the original spell that triggered Hive Mind will always resolve last (i.e. after all the copies). This is the extra turn that will be taken first.

mungnum on Question about Hapatra's last ability

1 day ago

No, abilities like that will not create a 1/1 snake. This is because it gives -1/-1 rather than a counter. The easiest way to tell is if it doesn't say counter after -1/-1 and/or it says until end of turn. Those conditions would mean it's just weaker for a period of time rather than a -1/-1 counter which will create a snake.

The_Disco on Hive Mind and Glorious End

1 day ago

I'm working on a deck utilizing a similar Hive Mind combo. Try out Final Fortune, Last Chance, or Warrior's Oath instead. Depending on how it works with the stack, you may need some method of skipping your extra turn.

ClockworkSwordfish on Dovescape and Tidespout Titan

2 days ago

Both abilities will happen no matter what, even if Dovescape is no longer in play by the time its ability resolves. Of course, if you return it to your hand, then your next noncreature spell is free to play without interference.

Neotrup on chains of mephistopheles draw lock

2 days ago

It's worth noting that if the card they draw for the turn is an instant, they can cast it before the Anvil strips it from their hand. If the card they draw from the Anvil is an instant though they will lose it before they have a chance to cast it.

BlueScope on Is it an infinite combo?

2 days ago

@bluechandra: What I'm arguing is that it would decrease it, because you would limit yourself to one of those permanents at the most on the battlefield. It would weaken the deck's mechanism, as currently, Winding Constrictors are strong in multiples - in the scenario you describe, additional ones would be dead cards in your hand, unless you would deliberately try to end the game in a draw.

Either way, since that's not the way the ability works, I guess there's not much reason to fuss over it :)

TMBRLZ on Rules Question: Spellskite + Eternal ...

2 days ago

Unless you countered Eternal Scourge's triggered ability...

But that's a lot of micromanagement.

bluechandra on Is it an infinite combo?

2 days ago

@BlueScope I know that; my assumption ws based off the fact that constrictor counters already sees a ton of play, so that would increase it.

BlueScope on Is it an infinite combo?

2 days ago

@bluechandra: It wouldn't likely see a lot of use, seeing as an infinite loop causes the current game to be a draw. Only being able to play a single Winding Constrictor is much more constricting than Standard decks would want to go with.

@bushido_man96: It's turn order, whichever that may be at the current time (Topsy Turvy and one of the Planechase planes which's name I can't recall also change the direction of turn order).

a-sir on If mirage mirror tuns into ...

2 days ago

No it will not transform. When copying a double-faced card, only the side that is currently faced up will be copied.

See this link for the official explanation: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/double-faced-card-rules-2011-08-29

Winterblast on chains of mephistopheles draw lock

2 days ago

Ok lol, that's a real cheap two card trick...got to try how it works in practice :)

skoobysnackz on If mirage mirror tuns into ...

2 days ago

If Mirage Mirror becomes a copy of Thing in the Ice  Flip with no ice counters and I cast an instant/sorcery, would the Mirage Mirror transform?

bushido_man96 on Is it an infinite combo?

3 days ago

Thank you, Raging_Squiggle. I'm guessing the "order" is around the table to the left?

REDWHITEandBLUE on Scarab god and Illusionist's Bracers?

3 days ago

Strionic Resonator copies that ability. Illusionist's Bracers can copy the reanimate ability though which could be even better!

colton815 on Scarab god and Illusionist's Bracers?

3 days ago

next time, be sure to link the cards by placing double brackets before and after the full name of the card. the ability would not activate twice because Illusionist's Bracers is specific to activated abilities, and the ability of The Scarab God is a triggered ability.

Akilo09 on Thornbite Staff vs Hexproof

3 days ago

Thank you, just wanted a bit more clarification on it since it said the creature was dealing the damage.

colton815 on Thornbite Staff vs Hexproof

3 days ago

no, because hexproof protects from abilities as well, which is what Thornbite Staff is granting. the creature would be dealing damage via the ability gained from the Thornbite Staff, and a creature with hexproof cannot be targeted by abilities an opponent controls.