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Questions & Answers

Q: If an effect is applied "permanently," can future effects overwrite it? For example, if I gain control of one of my opponent's creatures "permanently," can he or she ever get it back?
A: Yes. When an effect lasts "permanently," this simply means it lasts indefinitely, not that it can't be overwritten.


Q: If I pay a spell's buyback cost and it fizzles, does the card return to my hand?
A: No. If you pay a buyback cost, you get the card back during the spell's resolution. If the spell never resolves (if it's countered or fizzles against all its targets, for example), you don't get the card back.

Q: So countering a buyback spell will also prevent me from getting it back?
A: That's right.

Q: Is a buyback cost part of a spell's casting cost?
A: No. The buyback cost isn't printed in the upper-right corner, so it's not part of the casting cost. It's an additional cost represented by an ability.


Q: If I play a Licid's ability to make it into a creature enchantment, are creature enchantments on the Licid destroyed?
A: The enchantments follow the Licid, but are then destroyed because their target has become illegal.

Q: If a Licid leaves play while it's a creature enchantment, can I pay to end the Licid's effect and save it?
A: No. The effect is voided when the Licid leaves play.


Q: Do my Slivers really affect my opponent's Slivers as well?
A: Yes. "All Slivers" really means all Slivers.

Q: When a Sliver grants each Sliver an ability involving "this creature," does "this creature" refer to the Sliver granting the ability or to each Sliver in play (for example, Mnemonic Sliver reads, "Each Sliver gains '2, Sacrifice this creature: Draw a card.'")?
A: It refers to each individual Sliver. For example, Mnemonic Sliver enables each Sliver to sacrifice itself, not to sacrifice the Mnemonic Sliver granting the ability.


Q: Can en-Kor creatures redirect damage back to themselves?
A: Yes, and this can be important. For example, if Justice is in play and your opponent Kindles your en-Kor, you can keep redirecting the Kindle's damage to have Justice do a huge amount of damage back to your opponent. Also, if you use an en-Kor to block a creature with trample, you can redirect the damage dealt to the en-Kor back to itself until no damage from the attacking creature is left to "trample through" to you.

Q: If I'm losing a game in a tournament, can I keep redirecting the damage dealt to an en-Kor until time runs out?
A: No. This is a good way to get kicked out of a tournament for stalling.


Q: What happens if the affected creature doesn't attack?
A: If the creature can't attack, nothing happens. If it can, it must.

Q: If I control Burgeoning and my opponent plays Harrow, do I get to put lands into play?
A: No, only playing a land will trigger Burgeoning. Although they seem the same, "playing a land" and "putting a land into play" are two different things.

Q: If I cast Cannibalize and my opponent responds by destroying one of the creatures, is the other one removed from the game or does it get the two +1/+1 counters?
A: You must state which creature is getting each effect when you play Cannibalize. Removing one of the targets won't change what happens to the other.

Q: Do I gain 1 life from casting Contemplation itself (assuming no other copies of it are in play)?
A: No. You only gain life from your successfully cast spells once Contemplation is in play. You will gain 1 life if you Disenchant Contemplation, though.

Crossbow Ambush
Q: Does Crossbow Ambush let me block a creature with flying and swampwalk if I control swamps?
A: No. Crossbow Ambush only changes the rules about blocking creatures with flying. It doesn't enable you to ignore other blocking restrictions from abilities like landwalk and shadow.

Dream Halls
Q: Do I still pay the costs in a spell's text box when casting it with Dream Halls? For example, if I cast Meditate using Dream Halls's ability, do I still have to skip my next turn?
A: Yes, all costs in the spell's text box must still be paid as usual. Dream Halls affects only the casting cost--what's printed in the upper-right corner.

Q: How does this apply to the casting of artifacts?
A: It doesn't. Colorless spells such as artifacts can't be cast using Dream Halls.

Elven Rite
Q: Can I really put two +1/+1 counters on as many creatures as I want?
A: No. You get a total of two +1/+1 counters to put on either one or two creatures.

Ensnaring Bridge
Q: What happens if the number of cards in my hand drops after attackers are declared?
A: Nothing. After attackers are declared, the number of cards in your hand no longer matters.

Q: Doesn't this spell always do zero damage, because the sacrificed creature will be in the graveyard when it resolves? (Creatures in the graveyard don't have a power value.)
A: Shh. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. This card is slightly misworded; it deals damage equal to the power the creature had when you sacrificed it.

Foul Imp
Q: Can I play Foul Imp if I don't have enough life?
A: Yes.

Grave Pact
Q: If I attack, my opponent blocks, and both creatures are dealt lethal combat damage, can he or she choose the creature that's already dying as the sacrifice for Grave Pact?
A: No. The creatures go to the graveyard at the same time. Then Grave Pact's ability triggers and forces your opponent to sacrifice a creature.

Q: If two of my creatures are destroyed at the same time, does Grave Pact force my opponent to sacrifice two creatures or just one?
A: Two.

Hidden Retreat
Q: Does "instant or sorcery" include abilities played as instants or sorceries?
A: Yes. Because Hidden Retreat doesn't specify that it applies only to instant and sorcery spells, it also applies to abilities of the proper type.

Q: If a creature ability's activation cost is, say, 1R, does Heartstone affect it?
A: Yes; it reduces to activation cost to R. Heartstone's second sentence needs errata. It should read "This cannot reduce an ability's total mana cost to less than 1."

Hermit Druid
Q: Are the revealed cards put into my graveyard in the same order they came from my library?
A: No. You can put them in your graveyard in any order you wish.

Horn of Greed
Q: If Horn of Greed is in play and I play Skyshroud Ranger's ability, do I draw a card?
A: No, only playing a land will trigger Horn of Greed. Although they seem the same, "playing a land" and "putting a land into play" are two different things.

Lowland Basilisk
Q: What happens if Lowland Basilisk damages a creature outside of combat (with Fire Whip, for example)?
A: The "destroy the damaged creature at end of combat" effect stays with the creature, waiting for an end of combat to occur. (Phasing the creature out will remove this effect.) If an end of combat ever occurs, the creature is destroyed.

Mana Leak
Q: Can Medallions reduce the cost to play a spell imposed by Mana Leak?
A: No. Medallions reduce the cost for playing a spell, but can't help pay for an effect like Mana Leak's.

Q: If I target a spell with Mana Leak and its caster pays the 3 mana, can I then target the spell with additional interrupts?
A: Yes.

Mask of the Mimic
Q: Can I use Mask of the Mimic's ability to get a copy of the creature I sacrificed?
A: No. If the target you wish to mimic isn't in play when the Mask's effect resolves (for example, if you sacrificed it), it will fizzle.

Q: Can I sacrifice more than one creature when I play Mask of the Mimic?
A: No. Additional costs in a spell's text box aren't considered activated abilities; you simply pay them once when the spell is played.


Q: What happens if Portcullis is in play when two or three creatures come into play at the same time?
A: Portcullis's ability triggers once for each creature that comes into play, but the player controlling Portcullis chooses the order in which the triggered abilities are played. The result is that Portcullis's controller gets to choose which two creatures stay in play and which get set aside.

Q: What happens when more than one Portcullis is in play when a creature comes into play?
A: Each Portcullis triggers simultaneously. If there are less than two creatures in play, the Portcullises have no effect. If there are two or more other creatures in play, the active player plays the abilities of his or her Portcullises (in any order he or she wishes). The other player then does the same. The first Portcullis ability played sets the creature aside; all others will then fizzle because the creatures have already been set aside.

Q: What happens to the creatures Portcullis set aside if it's tapped when it leaves play?
A: The set-aside creatures are still put back into play. The return-to-play condition is part of the effect that removed the creature in the first place, not a separate ability.

Q: Does Provoke's effect work on untapped creatures?
A: Yes.

Pursuit of Knowledge
Q: If an effect tells me to draw three cards, can I skip each one of them and put three counters on Pursuit of Knowledge?
A: Yes. Each time you draw a card, you can instead put a counter on Pursuit of Knowledge. For example, if you have Sylvan Library and Pursuit of Knowledge in play, you can put three counters on Pursuit of Knowledge during each of your draw phases.

Q: Can I remove six counters from Pursuit of Knowledge instead of three to get 14 cards?
A: No. Pursuit of Knowledge is sacrificed as part of the activation cost, so there's no way to activate it more than once.

Q: If I have two Pursuits of Knowledge in play, can I put a counter on both of them when I skip drawing a card?
A: No. Skipping a draw is the cost to get one counter. Getting an additional counter requires skipping another draw.

Q: Can I use Rebound to redirect spells and enchantments that affect only me, such as Final Fortune and Doomsday?
A: No. Rebound can only target spells that target a single player. If you don't see "target player" or "target opponent," you can't Rebound the spell.

Q: What happens if I Rebound a "target opponent" spell to myself?
A: The spell will fizzle because its target is illegal.

Reins of Power
Q: Does Reins of Power switch control of untapped creatures, too?
A: Yes. Control of all creatures is switched.

Q: Does Revenant's power and toughness change or are they set?
A: Its power and toughness change as the number of creatures in the graveyard changes. If there are no creatures in its controller's graveyard, Revenant's toughness is reduced to 0 and it is destroyed.

Sacred Ground
Q: Does "effect" include the effects of both spells and abilities?
A: Yes.

Q: Can you return to your hand the creature you sacrificed to pay for Scapegoat's ability?
A: No. If any of the targets aren't in play when the effect resolves (for example, if you sacrificed one) the effect will fizzle with respect to that target. (It'll still return the other targets to your hand.)

Q: Can I sacrifice more than one creature when I play Scapegoat?
A: No. Additional costs in a spell's text box aren't considered activated abilities; you simply pay them once when the spell is played.

Serpent Warrior
Q: Can I play Serpent Warrior if I don't have enough life?
A: Yes.

Spitting Hydra
Q: If Spitting Hydra has a -1/-1 counter on it, or has 1 damage, can I still remove all four +1/+1 counters from it to do 4 damage to my opponent?
A: No, because the Hydra will be destroyed when you remove the third counter.

Q: If a creature takes two damage, can I play Temper with X equal to 5 to put five +1/+1 counters on it?
A: You can play Temper with X equal to as much as you want, but you can't get more counters than the amount of damage actually prevented.

Tortured Existence
Q: Can I return to my hand the same creature card that I discard?
A: No. You must choose the target creature in the graveyard before you pay the activation cost, and the creature you want to discard won't yet be a valid target.

Volrath's Gardens
Q: Can I tap an already-tapped creature to pay the activation cost of Volrath's Gardens?
A: No. In order to pay the cost you must actually tap a creature.

Wall of Tears
Q: Do you return creatures destroyed during combat to their owner's hand?
A: No. Only creatures that survive combat are returned to their owner's hand. Remember that once a creature is destroyed, it's not a creature anymore--it's just a creature card in the graveyard.

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