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Also, check out the Gatherer rules on Crucible:
Notably, turning a face-down creature face up isn't an activated ability. If you manifest a Dragon creature card or cast a Dragon creature card face down using the morph ability, you can't use mana generated by the last ability to turn that card face up.
February 26, 2017 3:28 p.m.
About your first question: Whether he's a dragon in either state actually doesn't matter - Morph isn't an activated ability, but a special ability, and therefore, Crucible's mana can't be spend to pay for its cost.
As for your second question: It reduces neither cost. When you cast it as a face-down creature, it's not a Dragon spell, and when you use the Morph ability, you're not paying for a spell at all.
February 26, 2017 3:27 p.m.
You (and literally everybody you asked) are correct. You're quoting a number of rules, but the real reason behind Deathtouch not just applying to combat damage is that this is mentioned nowhere in the rules, and if it's not in the rules, it's not a rule ;)
As you mentioned, 702.2c mentions combat damage, however that paragraph is relevant for assigning damage to blocking creatures. Assuming you attack with a Glissa, the Traitor, and your opponent blocks with 3 Runeclaw Bear, 702.2c lets you assign 1 damage to each creature, because your creature has Deathtouch and therefore is expected to be able to kill a creature assigning only 1 damage to it.
February 24, 2017 11:25 a.m.
You pay costs as part of casting a spell or activating ability, meaning you pay and discard two cards long before anyone can respond, and before the ability resolves. Assuming nothing else happens, Stitching Skaab is returned to the battlefield from the graveyard. Because Prized Amalgam has been in your graveyard ever since you paid the costs for the ability, a delayed triggered ability will be created and trigger at the next end step, returning it to the battlefield.
Note that you can't just discard a single Prized Amalgam, but you have to discard two cards. This is paying a cost, and therefore different to cards that have players discard as part of their effect. The latter has them discard up to a certain number, whereas paying costs means you have to discard exactly the amount of cards stated, not less.
In any case, noone can tell you why a judge ruled the way they did. It is in their job description as well as interest to explain those reasons to you, though, partly to avoid having to ask external sources for help after the fact. The problem with that it's impossible to judge the actual game situation from here - maybe your opponent controlled a Yixlid Jailer and noone was paying attention, or maybe the judge messed up... maybe you only had a single card in your hand and attempted to activate the ability without being able to pay the cost, and that judge failed to be elaborate about what exactly you messed up.
February 23, 2017 4:42 p.m.
The exact reason this won't work out is that Bazaar Trader's ability specifies that it has to be a creature you control. Once control of the Humble Defector changes, you no longer control it, therefore it's an illegal target. Bazaar Trader's ability won't be countered by the game rules for not having any legal targets (since the player is still a legal target), but it will simply fail to do anything.
February 23, 2017 3:52 a.m.
While everything above is mostly correct or has been clarified, I feel like I can provide a better explanation in terms of convincing other players:
Split Second simply does what it states: While a spell with Split Second is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilites that aren't mana abilities. None of this interacts in any way with the existing stack, the board state or anything else - it simply prevents players to activate their Aetherflux Reservoir before it gets destroyed, or use a Counterspell to counter Krosan Grip, and only as long as Krosan Grip is on the stack.
There are some interesting niche cases, where you can counter a spell with Split Second with a Stratus Dancer, for example, as Morph is not an activated ability - it's a special ability, and Split Second doesn't specifically prevent that either.
February 17, 2017 6:32 a.m.
Like virginialuther12 already clarified, it's up to the player whether they actually use their enchantment removal spell or ability. The relevant rule:
719.5. No player can be forced to perform an action that would end a loop other than actions called for by objects involved in the loop.
February 15, 2017 7:05 a.m.
Transcendence has a triggered ability, not a replacement effect, meaning it will trigger when you take that one point of damage you mentioned, normally gaining you two life on resolution. Tainted Remedy will replace that event with losing two life instead, which again will trigger Transcendence. This time, you will gain 4 life on resolution, which Tainted Remedy will replace with losing 4 life, and so on. This is an infinite loop with only mandatory actions, so this rule draws the game:
719.4. If a loop contains only mandatory actions, the game is a draw. (See rules 104.4b and 104.4f.)
Of course, if your opponent is capable of removing an enchantment at instant speed (such as with Disenchant), they can remove Tainted Remedy at some time (that they have to determine) in response to Transcendence's trigger, and that trigger resolving will actually gain you twice as much life as you had lost (which might potentially raise you above 20, depending on the starting life total when all of this happened).
February 14, 2017 5:33 a.m.
All creatures you control at the time Rootborn Defenses resolves will gain indestructible until end of turn (including the token created by Populate). If control of one of those creatures then changes, it will still have Indestructible until end of turn.
What you obviously can do to not give your opponent an indestructible creature is casting Rootborn Defenses after Grab the Reins resolves. This works for the scenario you described, where only one of your creatures gets targetted. If Grab the Reins targets both creatures (one to take control over, the other to deal damage to), you have to cast Rootborn Defenses is response to keep your second creature from dieing, which won't be harmful in any way, as your opponent will have to sacrifice the creature right after they gained control over it, and won't be able to utilize it's indestructibility (note that Indestructible does not prevent sacrificing). As your opponent will have to announce all targets while putting the spell on the stack, you will be able to know which is the better option for you at that time.
I hope that was somewhat comprehensible...
February 9, 2017 6:12 a.m.
@Panzerforge: Yeah, but they don't make 'em like Ashnod anymore... nowadays, you just get the Jaces of Many Faces...
February 7, 2017 1:58 p.m.
Let's have a more general, all-around explanation for what you can and can't do:
You get to make any and all ingame decisions for that player, as if you were playing two decks at once. You also have access to all private information that player would have. You don't get to make any outside-of-game decisions, such as conceding, buying another player a drink, or gifting away cards.
February 7, 2017 12:04 p.m.
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