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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A damage prevention effect will specifically use the word "prevent" in its rules text to describe what it's doing. This distinction can matter in certain situations, like the one you're asking about here. Though Soul-Scar Mage's ability does replace damage being dealt with something entirely different, it's not a damage prevention effect. Leyline of Punishment won't interfere with it.

May 26, 2017 12:55 p.m.

Said on Escalate...


For modal spells, you're only allowed to choose any given mode once unless the card specifically gives you permission otherwise, as in the Righteous Confluence cycle of cards. The Escalate spells don't say anything like that, so you can only choose each mode once.

May 25, 2017 10:42 p.m.

Said on Is damage from ......


"Damage on the stack" for combat damage assignment isn't an option under the current rules of the game. It was removed as part of the Magic 2010 rules update (this was essentially a reversion to pre-6th Edition rules for combat damage). There's no opportunity for players to get priority to take any actions in-between assigning and dealing combat damage.

May 24, 2017 4:27 p.m.

Said on Can you chain ......


Yes, that's fine, and it's an important line of play for a Marvel deck. Non-creature permanents don't have "summoning sickness", so they can activate any of their abilities with in the cost on the same turn they enter the battlefield.

Remember that when you put the first Aetherworks Marvel into the graveyard, the first ability on both of them will trigger and you'll end up getting back 2 energy.

May 24, 2017 4:22 p.m.

Said on does life lost ......


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 understands what's going on: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Yes, it will cost less. Rakdos' ability basically just asks the game about information from earlier in the turn and it doesn't matter whether or not Rakdos was already on the battlefield at that time.

May 23, 2017 1:33 a.m.

Said on If you control ......


To your last question: A replacement effect can only be applied to an event once. This is why Thought Reflection doesn't try to make you draw an infinite number of cards every time its effect is applied.

Also, a triggered ability is always written to start with "when/whenever/at". It will trigger every time the given event happens. If Thought Reflection was written to use a triggered ability instead of a replacement effect, then it would go infinite with itself.

May 22, 2017 8:23 p.m.

Said on Can I Sunforger ......


And you're right, the rules about this recently changed. This would have been possible under previous versions of the rules, but not anymore.

May 22, 2017 8:14 p.m.

You can only shortcut through actions in a loop if each step would have a 100% predictable result. The shuffling in your example introduces a very significant random element, but there is a way to do this if you have an "instant-speed" sacrifice outlet and your opponent is open to skipping through redundant shuffles.

  • Let's start with each of Solemn Simulacrum, Karmic Guide, and Reveillark on the battlefield
  • Sacrifice the Simulacrum. The draw trigger goes onto the stack
  • Respond by sacrificing Guide and Reveillark. Now Reveillark's trigger is on top of the stack
  • Let Reveillark's trigger resolve, returning Guide and Simulacrum. The Guide's trigger and Simulacrum's land fetch trigger are now on top of the stack, in the order of your choice.
  • Let the Guide and Simulacrum triggers resolve. You're now back at the initial position except the draw trigger from earlier is still waiting on the stack.
  • Respond by sacrificing Simulacrum, putting another draw trigger on the stack, then respond by sacrificing Guide and Reveillark to keep the loop going

If you don't have an "instant-speed" sacrifice outlet then you can't loop in the way described above. The only way to shortcut in that situation is to choose not to draw cards for Simulacrum's "you may draw a card" trigger, because like you said, no one knows what card you're going to draw each time.

May 20, 2017 12:32 p.m.

No, your opponent can't do that. Spells and abilities can't have their costs paid simultaneously and they can't resolve simultaneously. They have to be processed one at a time. Your opponent needs to make a separate choice for each ability in your example.

May 19, 2017 6:14 p.m.

When you shortcut through a loop of actions, you do it by choosing a specific finite number of iterations. The only way you're allowed to skip to a certain end-state is if you know for a fact that a finite number of iterations will get you there (even if the math is too complicated to come up with the exact number). In your example, mathematically, there's no guarantee you'll ever reach the given end-state, no matter how many times the actions are repeated. You can't shortcut through it that way. Once the mill player realizes their current line of play isn't going to work, they need to stop the loop and try something else.

Though the Magic Tournament Rules and Infraction Procedure Guide don't apply to a casual game of Magic, I personally think it's a good policy to use them as a reference for certain things you should and shouldn't do during a game. The rules in the MTR and IPG regarding Slow Play are in place to help make sure games can be played out at a reasonable pace and no one has to sit there being bored out of their mind while their opponent wastes a bunch of time accomplishing nothing.

May 15, 2017 9:09 p.m.

Said on impact resonance...


I keep up with the rules as a hobby and I used to have a Rules Advisor certification when that was still a thing (it was removed from the Judge Program system a year or two ago), but I was never an actual Judge. I apologize if I've said something in the past to give the wrong impression.

The ruling I referenced in post #9 is something I read on an official Judge Program message board that I still have access to (from the former Rules Advisor cert): https://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/. I don't know if it's accessible to anyone outside the Judge Program.

May 14, 2017 11:15 p.m.

It won't. Unless an effect specifically says it's talking about "base power and toughness", it's talking about total P/T. In your example the creature is a 2/2 and won't be a legal target for Pendelhaven. As of right now, the game doesn't have any effects that have you choose a target according to its base P/T, but there's nothing preventing that from being printed in the future.

May 14, 2017 11:32 a.m.

The official ruling for Impact Resonance is that it considers each damage event separately. In your example that means X=2.

Unfortunately I don't have any rules citations to offer, as I admit I don't 100% understand the logical steps that start with the game rules and end with the official ruling for the card. I get the feeling there's something basic that I'm forgetting about or not considering.

May 12, 2017 10:42 a.m.

Said on impact resonance...


The official ruling for Impact Resonance is that it considers each damage event separately. In your example that means X=2.

Unfortunately I don't have any rules citations to offer, as I admit I don't 100% understand the logical steps that start with the game rules and end with the official ruling for the card. I get the feeling there's something basic that I'm forgetting about or not considering.

May 12, 2017 10:34 a.m.

They won't be able to attack.

Unless it has haste, a creature will have "summoning sickness" if you haven't controlled it continuously since the beginning of your most recent turn (including the current one). This means you have to have controlled the creature right as your Untap step began. Upkeep happens after Untap, so you haven't controlled the Snake tokens long enough.

May 10, 2017 5:16 p.m.

Said on Useing a tap ......


I think the question was answered in a somewhat too-literal and confusing way. Let's be clear about this:

The situation can't be played out in the way that's described, at least not in a way that accomplishes what the player is most likely trying to do.

If you want to use Gideon's Lawkeeper or some similar card to prevent a creature from attacking, it needs to be done before attackers are actually declared. Once a creature is declared as attacker, it's attacking. Under normal circumstances this means it's already tapped, but even if it isn't, tapping it after this point won't go back in time and undo the attack.

If you use Gideon's Lawkeeper's ability to do this before attackers are declared, then that means it's tapped when it's time to declare blockers. Tapped creatures can't block.

Remember to tell your opponent when you're about to go to combat. Don't rush into declaring attackers without giving them a chance to respond first.

May 10, 2017 3:32 p.m.

Thanks for the tip. I didn't even know set abbreviations could be added to card links!

May 9, 2017 1:37 p.m.

Said on New Split Cards...


It will get exiled.

Like Flashback, the full rules for Aftermath include the following: "If this spell was cast from a graveyard, exile it instead of putting it anywhereelse any time it would leave the stack."

702.126a Aftermath is an ability found on some split cards (see rule 708, "Split Cards"). It represents three static abilities. "Aftermath" means "You may cast this half of this split card from your graveyard," "This half of this split card can't be cast from any zone other than a graveyard," and "If this spell was cast from a graveyard, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else any time it would leave the stack."

May 9, 2017 12:33 a.m.

Said on May I use ......


Yes, it's true that improvise can be used along with alternative costs, but that's not the key issue here. When you're casting a spell with in the cost, the value of X isn't dependent on how much you pay. Like Neotrup said: first you choose the number, then you pay the cost. In this situation, however, you can't choose any number other than 0.

107.3b If a player is casting a spell that has an in its mana cost, the value of X isn't defined by the text of that spell, and an effect lets that player cast that spell while paying neither its mana cost nor an alternative cost that includes X, then the only legal choice for X is 0. This doesn't apply to effects that only reduce a cost, even if they reduce it to zero.

May 8, 2017 8:34 p.m.

First things first, the rules about this have recently changed (as in, just a couple weeks ago). You can get an updated version of the CR document here.

708.4. In every zone except the stack, the characteristics of a split card are those of its two halves combined. This is a change from previous rules.

Under previous rules, Mouth / Feed would have had a CMC of "3 and 4", but under the current rules it's simply 7. You won't be able to cast it through Rashmi's ability in your example.

Also, regardless of which version of the rules we're talking about, Rashmi can only ever allow you to cast Mouth. Part of the full rules text for Aftermath also says "this half of this split card can't be cast from any zone other than a graveyard". You can't cast Feed from your library.

May 8, 2017 3:51 p.m.


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