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!

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Your idea works. Deathtouch only does something if the creature actually deals damage. If the damage is prevented then nothing happens.

One technical point: only triggered abilities (abilities that start with one of the words "when", "whenever", or "at") can "trigger", and deathtouch isn't a triggered ability. The distinction doesn't matter for your question but there are certain other effects in the game that specifically interact with triggered abilities. They don't interact with deathtouch.

September 25, 2018 9:08 p.m.

When you say "Casual Commander" exactly what do you mean?

If they're just pick-up games between people hanging out at the shop or non-sanctioned "tournaments" organized for casual players and not submitted to the DCI through the Wizards Event Reporter software, then I see your point, but the shop owner isn't being totally unreasonable here. They need to make a living selling cards and would rather people buy cards. Talk with the people at the shop so you can all get a better idea of what each others' concerns are and maybe work out a better situation.

If these are sanctioned Casual events (reported to the DCI with everyone only getting 1 participation point for entering and none for wins) then the shop owner has to do it this way. No proxies are allowed in any kind of sanctioned DCI event, even one classified as Casual. The shop owner doesn't have a choice in this situation.

September 24, 2018 12:48 p.m.

Said on Do halving life ......

#3

There's not really a "multiplier" interaction here, you just go by the specific instructions on each card.

Let's assume the opponent is at 40 life. If Virtus the Veiled is equipped with Quietus Spike and hits an opponent, both Virtus and the Spike will trigger at the same time. You can put them onto the stack in the order of your choice but it doesn't really matter because they'll each use the opponent's current life total at the time the ability starts resolving to calculate the life loss. Whichever one resolves first will make the opponent lose 20 life (half of 40), and the next one will make them lose 10 life (half of 20).

For cards like Wound Reflection and Archfiend of Despair, you just count up all the life the player has lost this turn for any reason. If you added one of these to the example above then the opponent would lose another 30 life at the end of the turn (and would probably lose the game).

The "Deck Help" areas of the forums would be the best place to get your Vraska questions answered.

September 24, 2018 12:33 p.m.

It depends on whether the effect changes the rules of the game or changes the characteristics of objects on the battlefield.

If it changes the rules of the game, then it affects everything, including objects that enter the battlefield after the effect has resolved. Magmatic Chasm adds the rule "creatures without flying can't block".

If it changes the characteristics of objects on the battlefield (name, mana cost, type, rules text, P/T), then the set of objects it applies to is locked in at the time it resolves. Overrun adds +3/+3 to the power and toughness of creatures on the battlefield and also gives them the "trample" ability.

September 21, 2018 7:12 p.m.

Because the ability doesn't specify any particular kind of damage, it means any damage for any reason.

The advantage of the ability is that you actually get to use Palladia-Mors without an opponent just up and killing it. Lots of big creatures have the "dies to Doom Blade problem", where you spend all the mana to put them on the battlefield and then someone shoots it with a kill spell before you get to do anything with it. Palladia-Mors' ability avoids that issue for the most part (non-targeted removal can still kill it, of course).

September 21, 2018 2:29 p.m.

Said on Can Alesha, Who ......

#6

It depends on exactly how the value of * is determined. For cards like Tarmogoyf and Serra Avatar, the ability is constantly updating * to the appropriate value. For cards like Sewer Nemesis or Minion of the Wastes, where the value of * depends on a choice or some other condition that's undefined while the card is in the graveyard, then * will default to 0 while it's in the graveyard.

September 20, 2018 7:21 p.m.

The Lazav, the Multifarious that copies Phage the Untouchable will be able to kill players and the one that copies Death's Shadow will get -X/-X where X is its controller's life total.

When a card uses its own name in one of its abilities (without also saying something like "cards named NN") it means "this object, right here". If a second card with a different name gains that ability, it will keep the "this object" meaning and the second card will refer to itself, not the first card.

In your examples, this means

  • The Lazav copying a Phage will have an ability (among others) that says "Whenever Lazav deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game."
  • The Lazav copying a Death's Shadow will have an ability that says "Lazav the Multifarious gets -X/-X, where X is your life total."
September 18, 2018 9:43 p.m.

Unfortunately no, this doesn't work. It has to do with the specific way the trigger on Liliana's Contract is written.

The second ability on Liliana's Contract is written with something called an "intervening 'if' clause". A triggered ability written this way checks the condition two times: once at the time it would trigger and again at the time it would start resolving. If the trigger condition isn't true at the time the ability would trigger then it doesn't trigger at all (and if it isn't true at the time it would start resolving then the trigger doesn't do anything).

In your example this means that if you don't already have 4 different demons at the beginning of your upkeep then the Contract just doesn't trigger. Even if you turn Mutavault into a creature right after that, it's too late.

September 16, 2018 6:35 p.m.

Most of the answers to your question are in Platinum Emperion's reminder text: "You can't gain or lose life. You can't pay any amount of life except 0."

You don't gain life from the abilities on Zacama, Primal Calamity, Wurmcoil Engine, Verdant Sun's Avatar, or Dragonlord Dromoka. You don't lose life when you're dealt damage by Mana Vault or Ruric Thar, the Unbowed. You're not allowed to pay life to activate fetch lands, to let a shockland enter untapped, or to keep extra cards from Sylvan Library.

September 15, 2018 5:05 p.m.

It enters with 0 counters.

"Play" means "play it if it's a land and cast it if it's a spell". So yes, you did cast Marath, but the you spent was to activate Horde of Notions' ability. You didn't actually spend any mana to cast Marath.

Note that if there was something like Sphere of Resistance on the battlefield, then you would have to spend mana to cast Marath, and it would enter with a +1/+1 counter for each mana you were required to spend that way.

September 15, 2018 4:58 p.m.

Because this was during your opponent's turn, you're right. The Rector trigger would have resolved before the Vat trigger.

When multiple triggered abilities are trying to go onto the stack at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) puts all the triggers they control on to the stack first, then the non-active player puts their triggers onto the stack on top of those. If there are multiple non-active players then it goes around the table in turn order.

In your example: you activate Teysa, and when the Rector goes to the graveyard both the Rector trigger and Vat trigger are trying to go onto the stack at the same time. Since it's your opponents turn, the Vat trigger goes onto the stack first on top of the Teysa activation, and then the Rector trigger goes onto the stack on top of the others. Like you said in your explanation, everyone gets an opportunity to make additional responses, but the Rector trigger will always resolve before the Vat trigger (as long as it's still in the graveyard, of course).

If you had done this during your own turn then your opponent would be right, and the Vat trigger would end up resolving before the Rector trigger.

September 15, 2018 12:57 p.m.

FYI @SliverKing815: There's a standard shortcut given in the MTR (Magic Tournament Rules) document that says if a player adds multiple objects to the stack at once they're assumed to be playing and resolving them one at a time unless they specifically say otherwise.

September 13, 2018 2:55 p.m.

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