Frequently Asked 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.
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.
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.
Q: Do my Slivers really affect my opponent's Slivers as
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.
Q: If one card copies another, exactly which information is
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Q: Does Interdict just shut down the ability that it
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
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
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
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
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
A: Each time you play its ability, you choose only one
Back to Tempest Main Page