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!

Special gift from squire1 :

I'm flattered!

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It will only create the normal number of tokens, not double.

An ability that triggers when a creature "attacks" triggers when you declare it as one of your attacking creatures at the beginning of combat. Double strike, however, doesn't make a creature attack twice. Rather, it makes the creature deal combat damage twice, which is an important distinction to make in this example.

In your specific situation: If you give Hanweir Garrison double strike and then attack with it, it will create two tokens when you declare your attackers. The Garrison will deal combat damage once in the first strike combat damage step, and then again in the regular combat damage step.

February 20, 2017 3:23 p.m.

Said on Do i have ......


Use double square brackets around a card's name to link it. It helps to make sure everyone understands what's going on in your question: Tamiyo's Journal.

In Magic, a "tutor" effect will only tell you to reveal the card if you were supposed to get a card with a specific quality ("a creature card", "an artifact with converted mana cost 3", etc.). In those situations you reveal the card to prove that you followed the instructions correctly. If you're just supposed to go get "a card" without any specifics then it doesn't matter. The effect won't tell you to reveal it, so you don't.

February 20, 2017 3:10 p.m.

Remember to close your formatting tags.

February 19, 2017 11:34 p.m.

If one player is controlling another, the controlling player makes all the in-game decisions that the controlled player would usually make for themselves. In your example this means your opponent would decide what to do with your commander.

If you're searching for a reference in the Comprehensive Rules, Section 714 has all the rules for controlling players.

February 19, 2017 11:32 p.m.

No, it can't trigger during your opponent's turn. When the text of a card says "you/your", it's only talking to its controller. When your Hidden Stockpile says "your end step", it just means the end step of your turn, not anyone else's.

February 19, 2017 4:37 p.m.

The creature in your example won't get returned. If an effect is trying to do something to an object after it changes zones, it will look for the object in the first zone it moved to. The effect will lose track of the object if something else causes it to move out of that zone.

In your example, the creature goes to the graveyard and triggers both Diabolic Servitude and the emblem from Liliana, Defiant Necromancer  Flip. The Servitude trigger moves the creature from the graveyard to exile. At the beginning of the next end step, the delayed trigger created by Liliana's trigger will try to find the creature in the graveyard, but it's gone. The delayed trigger will do nothing when it resolves.

603.6c Leaves-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent moves from the battlefield to another zone, or when a phased-in permanent leaves the game because its owner leaves the game. These are written as, but aren't limited to, "When [this object] leaves the battlefield, . . ." or "Whenever [something] is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, . . . ." (See also rule 603.10.) An ability that attempts to do something to the card that left the battlefield checks for it only in the first zone that it went to. An ability that triggers when a card is put into a certain zone "from anywhere" is never treated as a leaves-the battlefield ability, even if an object is put into that zone from the battlefield.

February 18, 2017 11:39 p.m.

Said on How does Mage's ......


It means just the Mages' Contest caster and the targeted spell's controller go back and forth bidding life. It's a little ambiguous, and I'm surprised the Oracle text hasn't been updated to be more clear. The first sentence of Mages' Contest's effect defines which players are doing the bidding. The "in turn order" part lays out the process for how to take turns making bids.

Only 3 cards in the game have players bid life in this way to determine the results of an effect (Mages' Contest, Illicit Auction, Pain's Reward), and Mages' Contest is the only one that only goes between two players. It just happens to use the same "in turn order" templating as the other two instead of something that might make more sense for its specific process.

February 18, 2017 11:31 p.m.

No, this won't work. If all of a spell or ability's targets go missing or otherwise become illegal before it starts resolving, then the spell/ability will automatically get countered and will have no effect. In your example Saheeli Rai's ability will get countered and you won't get a copy of Gonti's Aether Heart.

February 18, 2017 11:23 p.m.

No, these cards don't interact with each other.

There are three different types of abilities: activated, triggered, and static.

  • An activated ability is always written out as "Cost : Effect". Sometimes this text is packed into the full rules text of a keyword ability, like Equip or Outlast. Only activated abilities can be "activated", and this is the only type of ability that Crackdown Construct will interact with.

  • A triggered ability is always written to start with one of the words "when", "whenever", or "at". Reckless Fireweaver just has a triggered ability (and so does Crackdown Construct).

  • Anything that isn't an activated or triggered ability is some kind of static ability. There are several different kinds of static ability, but listing them out here isn't relevant to your question.

Note that Crackdown Construct specifically mentions abilities that aren't "mana abilities". A mana ability is either an activated ability that produces mana or a triggered ability that produces mana and triggers off of another mana ability. A mana ability also can't have targets and can't be a loyalty ability of a Planeswalker (abilities like these that make mana are just regular activated or triggered abilities)

February 16, 2017 5:09 p.m.

Said on Aetherworks Marvel...


Replace each "ETB" in GearNoir's response with "cast". It looks like it was just a simple typing mistake.

February 15, 2017 1:12 p.m.

Said on Does No Mercy ......


They get destroyed, but after Lich's Mirror kicks in.

No Mercy triggers when the creatures deal damage to you. Right before the No Mercy triggers are put onto the stack, the game checks state-based-actions and sees you have 0 or less life, which means you're supposed to lose the game. Instead of that happening, the replacement effect of Lich's Mirror takes over and does its thing. The triggers from No Mercy still exist, and they'll still be put onto the stack even though it left the battlefield.

@GearNoir: This isn't a situation where ordering triggered abilities would matter. Lich's Mirror doesn't have any triggered abilities.

February 13, 2017 9:20 p.m.

Said on We dem Wolves...


If you want to make your creatures difficult/unwise to block, I think you're already good from the menace granted by Terror of Kruin Pass  Flip and the nasty combat surprise from Moonmist. If you want some more menace, maybe consider a couple copies of Pyreheart Wolf? The stats may not be great the first time around but that's not what the card is about anyway, and the Undying makes it extra sticky, which is always helpful for Modern.

February 12, 2017 3:17 p.m.

There's actually a rule that specifically says you can't play lands on other peoples' turns.

305.3. A player can't play a land, for any reason, if it isn't his or her turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.

February 11, 2017 12:11 p.m.

These cards don't work together at all if you control both of them.

First things first, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet doesn't have any triggered abilities. A triggered ability always starts with "when", "whenever", or "at". Kalitas' first ability is a replacement effect, which you can tell here by the use of the word "instead" ("as", "with", and "prevent" are some others to look out for). A replacement effect replaces the given event completely with a new, modified event. In your example this means your opponent's non-token creatures don't "die", because "dies" specifically means "goes to the graveyard from the battlefield". Grave Betrayal won't trigger, since the "a creature you don't control dies" event never actually happens.

February 10, 2017 10:11 p.m.

Said on Costs and the ......


No, you can't respond in this way. Once a player announces and starts casting/activating a spell/ability, the next time anyone will have an opportunity to make responses is after the player finishes paying the costs. In your example, that means the creature with toughness 4 is already the top card of the graveyard by the time you have a chance to respond to the activation of Tortured Existence's ability.

Since the answer to this question involves some very technical elements, let's clear up another technical point: costs don't "resolve". Only spells and abilities resolve. When a cost is paid, it just happens. No one can interrupt it.

February 10, 2017 4:15 p.m.

Said on Can I bounce ......


The reason the trigger can still retrieve the exiled cards in this situation is because it's an ability of the specific Moonring Mirror that put them there. When a card uses its own name in the text of an ability, it means "this object, right here". If the game needs to know something about an object that has gone missing from the zone it was expected to be in, it will use the last-known-information for the object. In your example, the game knows that the cards in exile and the resolving triggered ability are both associated with the same Moonring Mirror.

February 9, 2017 2:32 p.m.

Said on If I displace ......


Your question is unclear. You can use double square brackets around a card's name to link it. It's the easiest way to make sure everyone reading your question knows what's going on. Are you talking about a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip that ends up in the graveyard after you use up all the loyalty counters on the planeswalker side? If so, the answer is no, that doesn't work.

When an effect uses the name of a permanent-type card (creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) without also saying "spell" or "card in [a zone]", then that means it's talking about a permanent of that type on the battlefield. Displace can only target creatures on the battlefield, not in a graveyard or any other zone.

February 7, 2017 7:50 p.m.

Closer. The Oblivion Ring-ed Arrest will re-enter the battlefield attached to an object it could legally enchant, but this process doesn't target. This means, for example, that it can be attached to a creature with hexproof or shroud. It can't be attached to something with a protection ability that protects against it (Black Knight, Mistmeadow Skulk, etc.), because one of the specific things protection defends against is attaching things.

Note that a legal object has to be chosen if there's one available. If your opponent is the only one with creatures on the board when their Arrest comes back, they have to attach it to one of their own creatures.

February 7, 2017 1:05 p.m.

If Loxodon Warhammer is already equipped to the creature when you use Darksteel Mutation then it will be a 3/1 with no abilities.

Another part of how the layer system works is that effects from the same layer are applied in "timestamp" order. Effects that cause a creature to either gain or lose abilities are both from the same layer. If you play Darksteel Mutation first and then Loxodon Warhammer gets equipped, the creature first loses all abilities and then gains lifelink and trample. If the Warhammer is equipped first and then you play the Mutation, the creature first gains lifelink and trample and then loses all abilities.

February 3, 2017 12:43 p.m.

Yes you can. The "Legend Rule" only applies to legendary permanents with the exact same English name.

February 3, 2017 12:35 p.m.


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