Rhadamanthus Q&A Decklord

I'm Mike, from The Mana Pool.

I first learned to play around the release of Ice Age (1995-ish), and I've been going strong ever since. I was formerly a DCI-certified Rules Advisor (that certification has since been removed from the Judge Program structure), and like to hang out in the Q&A; area here on Tapped Out. If you notice a mistake in one of my responses, don't be shy about pointing it out. Above all else, I want the person's question to be answered correctly!

As a general rule, my deckbuilding is influenced far more than it should be by what I think would be "interesting/funny" instead of what's probably the better choice of cards. The friend who first taught me how to play has a very strong philosophy of "Not every card is good, but pretty much any card can be made good", and it's been a big influence on me ever since.

I also tend to design and build strictly from my existing collection. If there's a good card for a deck that I don't have in a list, there's a good chance I don't own any, but please suggest it anyway, so then maybe I'll remember to go out and get some!

Argy says... #1

Rhadamanthus I'm not going to read any post that starts with words similar to, "I'm not trolling, but ..."

If it was about shuffling, I already made it clear that I was not interested in discussing the subject further.

From the length of your post I gather it was some form of person criticism, which I don't appreciate either. I can have a different point of view from other people without being attacked for it.

Either way, I won't be reading any posts from you on my Profile. They will just be deleted.

February 9, 2018 9:15 p.m.

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I just now remembered: it's on the known issues list as a bug, and it's been there for a loooong time. Your opponent may have been purposefully exploiting it.

February 23, 2018 7:49 p.m.

If that's really what happened then it's a bug. Doubling Season doesn't double counters or tokens granted by costs, only by effects.

Do you remember which planeswalker it was?

February 23, 2018 4:08 p.m.

Said on When does an ......

#3

They stay attacking until the combat step ends. You have until the End of Combat step to make the play described in your question. If you wait until the Post-Combat Main phase or later then they aren't considered "attacking" anymore and it won't work.

February 22, 2018 11:32 p.m.

Said on BBElf Loam...

#4

I love Assault Loam and I've been wondering about how to fit Bloodbraid Elf into my Jund version (Modern Loam Assault, hasn't been updated in a while). Yours definitely gives me some good stuff to think about.

Oh, and Grafdigger's Cage doesn't do anything to hate on the Elf. Cascade actually exiles the cards instead of just revealing them from the library.

February 19, 2018 5:30 p.m.

I'm really sorry, I was majorly overthinking it. I was treating the Blood Moon/Sun ability as a replacement effect but it's totally not. Sorry about the confusion. The responses from Neotrup and pskinn01 are the correct ones.

February 18, 2018 11:38 p.m.

I had something else typed here but now I'm confused. I need to think about this some more, but I'm starting to see your point. I may have been coming at this from the wrong direction earlier.

February 18, 2018 11:19 p.m.

The reference to 616.1 in the quoted rule is very important to this interaction. There are certain types of replacement effects that need to be applied in a specific order to determine how something enters the battlefield. The order is:

A) Self-replacement effects
B) Effects that modify under whose control a permanent would enter the battlefield
C) Copy effects (in this example, Vesuva's own ability)
D) Everything else

After applying Vesuva's copy effect, you have either a Forest entering tapped or a Gruul Guildgate entering tapped. They're not entering tapped because of any of their own abilities or other replacement effects, but due to the results of the copy effect we had to apply in step C above. Nothing that Blood Moon or Blood Sun does will alter that.

The Gatherer ruling quoted by pskinn01 is essentially for any possible land other than Vesuva. Gatherer rulings are roughly on par with reminder text, in that they explain how the card works the vast majority of the time but there could be exceptions hiding in weird corner cases. Vesuva is the only card of its kind, and cards like that lend themselves very well to corner cases.

February 18, 2018 9:55 p.m.

After digging through the rules, I can see why you picked Vesuva for this question, as it doesn't act like most other lands when interacting with Blood Moon and Blood Sun. When the rules tell us to:

614.12 "...check the characteristics of the permanent as it would exist on the battlefield, taking into account replacement effects that have already modified how it enters the battlefield (see rule 616.1), continuous effects from the permanent's own static abilities that would apply to it once it's on the battlefield, and continuous effects that already exist and would apply to the permanent."

the "replacement effects that have already modified how it enters the battlefield" part is very important, as Vesuva's copy effect is one of the types of replacement effects that qualify for the exception. We have to apply the results of the copy effect first before taking other things into account.

In Scenario 1 with Blood Moon, Vesuva will still enter tapped if you apply the copy effect, as that's part of what its copy effect does. If you copy Forest then it will be a Forest. If you copy Gruul Guildgate then it will only have the Mountain subtype, can tap for , and won't have the other abilities from the Gate. If you copy nothing then it will enter untapped, have the Mountain subtype, can tap for , and won't have its printed ability.

In Scenario 2 with Blood Sun, the Sun won't really do much. If you copy either Forest or Guildgate, Vesuva will still enter tapped from its own copy effect. Sun will remove the "etb tapped" ability if you copy the Guildgate, but I doubt that will ever matter. If you copy nothing then Vesuva will enter untapped and have no abilities.

The results of Scenario 3 with both Moon and Sun are the same as Scenario 1.

February 18, 2018 9:28 a.m.

You get to choose the order of the Zacama and Forerunner triggers, so yes, you can make this work.

When multiple triggered abilities are trying to go onto the stack at the same time, first the active player (the player whose turn it is) puts the ones they control onto the stack in the order of their choice, then the non-active player puts theirs onto the stack on top of those in the order of their choice. If there's more than 2 players, the process starts with the active player and goes around the table in turn order.

In your example you get to choose what order to put the Zacama and Forerunner triggers onto the stack. If you put the Forerunner trigger on top then it will trigger Ranging Raptors as it resolves, and the land from the Raptors' ability will be on the battlefield at the time Zacama's trigger finally resolves.

February 16, 2018 11:48 p.m.

@Tyrant-Thanatos: In 2-color decks they make your draws more consistent by acting as additional copies of the lands they fetch. Would you rather have 4 Plateaus in your deck or 8+? If your deck is built such that it wants to be able to consistently generate any of , , or on turns 2 and 3 or risk conking out, then the difference could matter significantly. Losing 3-4 life is better than losing to mana screw.

But I definitely agree that the "thinning" effect is a myth. The value of fetches is how they allow for consistent color generation from your land draws.

February 16, 2018 5 p.m.

Yes, Guttersnipe will trigger. A spell is officially "cast" after you've completely finished putting it onto the stack, making all the necessary choices, and paying its costs. This is when Guttersnipe triggers and it doesn't matter whether or not the spell actually ends up resolving. If you choose to respond to the spell by activating Nivmagus Elemental, it has no effect on Guttersnipe's trigger.

February 15, 2018 11:43 p.m.

No, that doesn't work. Except for the decisions you specifically need to make when something first goes onto the stack (modes, targets, the value of X, a couple other things), every other decision is made as the spell or ability is resolving. No one gets priority while something is resolving, so you can't make responses to your opponent's decisions. If you don't want them to choose the 2/3 in your example then you need to kill it before the Annihilator trigger starts resolving.

February 15, 2018 4:50 p.m.

It works, and you end up with 4 goblin tokens for every 1 original creature, but let's get the details nailed down:

  • You cast the first Mogg Infestation
  • Before it resolves, you respond by playing Dualcaster Mage. If you wait until after Infestation resolves to play the Mage then there won't be anything for the Mage's ability to target (this is why Dualcaster Mage needs to have Flash in order to work properly)
  • The Mage resolves, enters the battlefield, and you use its ability to target Mogg Infestation
  • When the ability resolves you get a copy of Infestation
  • As the copy of Mogg Infestation resolves, it does what it says and destroys all creatures you control (including Dualcaster Mage) and creates 2 goblin tokens for each of them
  • As the original Mogg Infestation resolves, it does what it says and destroys all creatures you control (all those goblin tokens) and creates 2 goblin tokens for each of them
February 15, 2018 4:47 p.m.

Said on Devotion...

#14

Any combination that adds up to 7 or more. "Devotion to Green and White" (and similarly for other combinations) means you add up the total of all Green mana symbols and White mana symbols on permanents you control to figure out the devotion count. Hybrid mana symbols just count as 1, whether they have one or both colors represented, and phyrexian mana symbols also count.

February 14, 2018 12:33 p.m.

Said on Can you use ......

#15

You can use double square brackets around a card's name to link it. It's the easiest way to make sure everyone understands what's going on in your question: Breya, Etherium Shaper

Yes, that works. "Summoning sickness" only applies to declaring attackers and activating abilities that specifically have or in the cost. Breya's abilities don't have that, so they can be activated right away.

February 13, 2018 10:33 p.m.

Said on Mairsil + Kaho ......

#16

So you know: Kaho, Minamo Historian's abilities are something that the detailed rules of the game call "linked abilities", and there are special rules for them. If you want to read more about linked abilities for yourself you can go through Section 607 of the Comprehensive Rules (the section is too long to quote here in its entirety), but here are the rules from that section most directly related to Kaho:

607.1. An object may have two abilities printed on it such that one of them causes actions to be taken or objects or players to be affected and the other one directly refers to those actions, objects, or players. If so, these two abilities are linked: the second refers only to actions that were taken or objects or players that were affected by the first, and not by any other ability.

607.2a If an object has an activated or triggered ability printed on it that instructs a player to exile one or more cards and an ability printed on it that refers either to "the exiled cards" or to cards "exiled with [this object]," these abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to cards in the exile zone that were put there as a result of an instruction to exile them in the first ability.

This is why the ability Mairsil, the Pretender gains from Kaho can't be used to gain access to any cards Mairsil exiles in some other way.

February 13, 2018 10:35 a.m.

The reason manual shuffling creates randomness is because the average person can't do it perfectly. A skilled magician/cardsharp using a clean deck can perform a series of perfect shuffles to put a card in a specific position, but a regular person will make enough fumbles that at best they could only put a card into a general area if they were really trying (i.e. trying to cheat). If the person is only doing an average job and not trying to influence the shuffle then the distribution of the end state won't really have anything to do with the initial state.

Casinos shuffle by machine to keep games moving faster, to avoid accusations of cheating by a human shuffler, and in the case of multi-deck shufflers and continuous shufflers, to counteract card-counting.

February 9, 2018 3:34 p.m.

The idea that "If you go through your deck and split up clumps of land, you give yourself an advantage in that, no matter how you then randomise it, you are less likely to end up with land clumps" is only true if the deck isn't being randomized during the shuffle. "Randomized" means you can't reliably predict the order or distribution of the end state based on whatever shuffling method you applied to the initial state (for example, this is why pile-counting alone isn't considered sufficient for shuffling a deck).

Note what you observe yourself in the following comment: "Consider how many times you end up with clumps of land, even after you randomise your deck." If the deck has been properly randomized then any given distribution should be equally as likely as any other, smooth, clumpy, whatever. "Random" doesn't mean "evenly distributed". It means "random".

February 9, 2018 3:10 p.m.

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