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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: If an effect says that something happens "permanently," does this mean that spells and abilities played later can't overrule its effect?
A: No. Saying that an effect does something permanently just means that that part of the effect never ends, not that something can't override it later on.


Buyback

Q: If I pay a spell's buyback cost, but it fizzles, do I get the card back anyway?
A: If you pay a buyback cost, you would get the card back during the spell's resolution. So if it never resolves (i.e., something counters it or it fizzles against all of its targets), 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 the buyback cost part of the spell's casting cost?
A: The cost isn't listed in the upper right hand corner, so it's not part of the casting cost. It's an additional cost that's represented by a standard ability.


Licids

Q: If a Licid uses its ability to become a creature enchantment, do enchantments already on it get buried?
A: The enchantments would follow the Licid, but would likely be buried because their target had become illegal.

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


Slivers

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

Q: For the Slivers that say each Sliver gains an ability involving "this creature" (Armor Sliver, Mnemonic Sliver, etc.), does "this creature" refer to the Sliver granting the ability, or each particular Sliver?
A: It refers to the particular Sliver. For example, Mnemonic Sliver allows each Sliver to sacrifice itself, not each Sliver to sacrifice Mnemonic Sliver.


Copy Cards

Q: If one card copies another, exactly which information is copied over?
A: Only the characteristics of the copied card are copied over. These include: name, casting cost, card type (and thus creature type), expansion symbol, abilities, power, toughness, color, and type(s) of permanents.

Q: What if the copied permanent has any enchantments on it, or is being affected by a temporary effect like Giant Growth?
A: Only the characteristics listed on the card, plus any permanent effects modifying its characteristics, are copied.

Q: Are copies of artifact creature cards still considered summon cards?
A: Copying an artifact creature card overrides the copier's original card-type line. Note that this means a copy card wouldn't count as its original creature type, since that was provided by its card-type line. The copier is considered just an artifact creature card, except by other copier, which will be interacting only with the base card or token.

Q: Is a copy of a token creature also a token creature?
A: Copying something doesn't change whether the copier is a card or a token.

Q: If one card copies another, do I play the copied card's "comes into play" abilities?
A: Only if the copier is coming into play. For example, if Unstable Shapeshifter copies a Gravedigger, the Shapeshifter isn't coming into play, so you wouldn't play the ability it copied from the Gravedigger.


Individual Cards

Q: If I take advantage of Aluren's ability to play a creature card, am I still casting a spell?
A: Yes. Aluren just allows you to play cheap-enough creature spells at odd times, and to play them for free, but you're still casting those spells.

Q: How soon after something targets an Angelic Protector does the Protector get the toughness bonus?
A: Angelic Protector's ability triggers when the spell or ability is played, and is played during the appropriate series of triggered abilities, just like Skulking Ghost's ability, for example.

Q: Can Circle of Protection: Shadow prevent damage that isn't combat damage?
A: Sure, as long as the source of the damage is a creature with shadow.

Q: What happens if I use Coffin Queen's ability, and she's killed in response?
A: The creature put into play by the effect will be removed from the game only if it's in play at the time that Coffin Queen becomes untapped or that you lose control of Coffin Queen. So if the Queen leaves play before the effect resolves, the creature put into play will never be removed from the game.

Q: Are the creatures on Cold Storage considered to be in play?
A: Cold Storage has errata: the first ability removes the target creature from the game, and the second ability puts back all creatures Cold Storage has removed from the game. Thus, it functions much like Safe Haven.

Q: So would Cold Storage put back a token creature it had removed from the game?
A: No. It's impossible to return to play a token that has left play.

Q: Can a creature with summoning sickness be chosen as the first target of Deadshot?
A: Deadshot taps its first target as part of its effect, not as part of its cost. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether that creature has summoning sickness, or even whether that creature is tapped.

Q: When Diabolict Edict is played, when is the sacrifice chosen?
A: All sacrifices are chosen when the sacrifice is made, so the choice wouldn't be made until resolution.

Q: Can the Medallions reduce additional costs listed in card text, like doing damage with Drain Life or splitting up a Fireball?
A: The Diamonds don't specify that they reduce casting cost, so can "pay for" additional costs.

Q: So Ertai's Meddling doesn't actually say that the spell doesn't resolve at the usual time...
A: Oops. As "well duh" errata, Ertai's Meddlng has the spell resolve once the last counter has gone away instead of at the usual time.

Q: If my opponent puts a creature with flying into play, and thus my Escaped Shapeshifter gains flying, which of those abilities is considered to have resolved first?
A: All of the abilities listed on Escaped Shapeshifter are considered to be possessed by it, but in effect only part of the time. Thus, they are ordered before any effect.

Q: Does Furnace of Rath really double all damage dealt to anything?
A: Yup. Note that it doubles the damage at the time that it's assigned, i.e., before damage prevention begins.

Q: Do I repeat the process for Grindstone just once, or as long as I keep turning over cards that share a color?
A: The process keeps repeating as long as each pair of cards shares a color. Note that it doesn't matter whether one pair of cards shares a color with another, just whether the cards within a pair share a color.

Q: Does Hand to Hand prevent me from tapping lands for mana?
A: No, since effects which prevent spells abilities from being played can't stop mana sources from being played. However, since you can't play most of the spells and abilities you'd want to spend mana on while Hand to Hand is in effect, the fact that you can tap lands for mana often doesn't change anything.

Q: Does Humility override already-existing effects that modify creatures' power and toughness, like Giant Growth?
A: Humility is applied after all preceding effects, so would override all of those effects. For example, if Humility comes into play when a creature with Armor of Thorns on it is around, that creature is 1/1, not 3/3. But if Giant Growth resolved later, that creature would be 4/4, not 1/1. And so on.

Q: Does Humility just make creatures lose the abilities written on the card?
A: Humility really does make them lose all abilities, just like it overrides all previous power/toughness modifications. Something can be given an ability later on, of course.

Q: Does Interdict just shut down the ability that it targeted?
A: It stops all of the source's abilities from being played later in the turn.

Q: Can I respond to Interdict by playing the ability again?
A: Legal but unlikely, since Interdict is an interrupt.

Q: Does Interdict target the source of the ability?
A: No, since it doesn't say that it does.

Q: When do I choose the protection that Knight of Dawn gets?
A: You choose the protection each time you play the ability.

Q: If Legerdemain fizzles against one of its targets, does control of the other one still change?
A: No. While fizzling against one target doesn't cause a spell or ability to fizzle against its other targets, you can't exchange only one thing.

Q: Does Lobotomy remove the card that was chosen from the game?
A: Yes. Cards count as copies of themselves.

Q: Does Maddening Imp also affect creatures which come into play after its ability's effect resolves?
A: Only creatures which are in play when its effect resolves can be affected by it.

Q: Does Magnetic Web work at all? Its first two abilities are written as being triggered, but they won't do much good if they take effect just after attackers are declared.
A: Magnetic Web was written back before we reduced the "declare attackers" step to a declaring attackers all at once. Its abilities should be read roughly as "Creatures with magnet counters on them attack if able if any other creatures with magnet counters attack" and "Creatures with magnet counters on them block attacking creatures with magnet counters on them whenever able."

Q: Can I play more than one Meditate during the same turn?
A: Sure, and you'll skip that many of your future turns.

Q: Can Mounted Archers' ability be played more than once in a turn to let it block three, four, and even more creatures?
A: Yes. As with most cases of "additional," the effect of this ability is cumulative.

Q: Does using Oracle en-Vec's ability require my opponent to attack on his or her next turn?
A: Only to the extent that creatures which are required to attack in turn require their controller to declare an attack instead of letting the main phase end.

Q: What happens if I have only one card in my graveyard when Phyrexian Grimoire's effect resolves?
A: The target opponent chooses that card, and you remove it from the game. The "put the other into your hand" instruction is ignored, since there isn't another card to put into your hand.

Q: What happens if I draw my card for the turn without having played Precognition's ability?
A: You miss out on the opportunity to play its ability that turn, since using the ability is optional, and by drawing your card you advanced your turn to the draw phase.

Q: What happens if the number of black permanents my opponent controls changes between playing Reap and resolving its effect? For example, if he responds by sacrificing a black creature?
A: Restrictions on how many targets may be chosen apply only when those targets are actually chosen. If Reap resolves to find that its number of targets exceeds the number of black permanents target opponent controls, this doesn't affect its resolution; it won't fizzle against the "excess" targets.

Q: Does Recycle give me a card when I play a land?
A: It does if you actually play the land, as opposed to using a spell or ability that happens to put a land into play, such as Nature's Lore or Skyshroud Ranger.

Q: If my only lands are Reflecting Pools, can any of them produce mana?
A: If your only lands are Reflecting Pools, none of them produce any type of mana. This means you can't play their abilities at all, since you can't make one of the decisions that would require (i.e., choosing a type of mana).

Q: Can I use Rootwater Shaman to play creature enchantments as instants while Abeyance is affecting me?
A: Yes, since they're still of type enchantment. While Abeyance prohibits you from play spells of type instants, it doesn't stop you from playing spells as type instant, nor does it remove the timing opportunity for playing instants.

Q: What happens if I cast Power Sink on Scragnoth?
A: Scragnoth just says that it can't be countered while it's being cast; this doesn't stop interrupts from targeting it, or from having their other effects. For example, Power Sink would still force the spell's controller to tap mana, even though it's incapable of countering Scragnoth, and Arcane Denial would still allow players to draw cards.

Q: Does Skyshroud Ranger get around restrictions like Solfatara?
A: Skyshroud Ranger is similar to spells like Nature's Lore in that it simply dumps a land into play, rather than allowing you to play an additional land during your turn. Thus, effects pertaining to playing lands ignore the effect of this ability.

Q: When do I decide whether to redirect combat damage assigned by Soltari Guerrillas?
A: Abilities which trigger when damage is assigned are played at the beginning of the appropriate damage prevention step; only automatic damage redirection is delayed until the end of damage prevention.

Q: If I use Soltari Guerrillas's ability, do I have to redirect all of the damage it assigned?
A: Yes, since it doesn't say "up to" or otherwise give you an option. Also remember that you can play a triggered ability only once each time it triggers, so you can't divide the combat damage among multiple creatures.

Q: If Spike Drone puts a +1/+1 counter on a creature whose abilities use up or otherwise depend on +1/+1 counters, can that creature make use of the Spike Drone counters?
A: Depends on how that creature's ability is written. Most abilities will refer to "these +1/+1 counters," meaning the ones the creature put there itself. But if they just refer to +1/+1 counters in general (e.g., Magmasaur), then the Spike Drone counters would count as well.

Q: If I play Steal Enchantment on a local enchantment, do I get to move the local enchantment somewhere else?
A: No. The local enchantment stays put; the only change is that you now control it.

Q: Can I combine Time Warp with Meditate to draw four cards but still take two turns in a row?
A: No, since Meditate would just use up the Time Warp turn instead of one of your free turns.

Q: Can I split Torture Chamber damage up among more than one target?
A: Each time you play its ability, you choose only one target.

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