Guilds of Ravnica New Set Digest

Q: I’m a red mage, and I’ve sworn never to cooperate with our enemy colors. Why couldn’t WotC put Rakdos or Gruul in Guilds of Ravnica?

A: It turns out that it’s mathematically impossible to choose five two-color guilds such that each of the five Magic colors is represented by one allied guild and one enemy guild. If this were a blog about math, I would spend the rest of this question proving that, but unfortunately, we’re here to talk about Magic, so on with the Magic questions! If you’re interested, you can reach out to me on any of the official JudgingFtW media channels, which you can find on the about page. Also, consider following, which is the best way to support our chann-Skip ad

Guild Mechanics

Q: If I tap Centaur Omenreader while casting a Siege Wurm, how many Forests will I also have to tap?

A: Creatures are tapped for convoke as part of the process of paying costs [CR 702.50a]. Unfortunately, the total cost to cast Siege Wurm is determined before costs are paid [CR 601.2f]. This means that Centaur Omenreader does not become tapped in time for its ability to take effect for this spell, and 6 Forests are required.

Note: For more information on convoke (along with the related mechanics delve and improvise) check out last month’s Returning Mechanics Review article.

Q: Amy controls Dream Halls and wants to jump-start Radical Idea. Can she?

A: Yes. Jump-start lets you cast the spell from your graveyard, but you’re still playing it by paying its real-life mana cost [CR 702.132a]. Because you aren’t relying on paying an alternate cost to make this happen, you can still use any other alternate costs that you might have access too (such as from Dream Halls) to cast this spell. You can jump start it by discarding two cards, one of which must be blue.

Note: Beware of using this trick with the similar card Omniscience! It won’t work, since Omniscience only allows you to play spells for free if they’re from your hand.

Q: If I put Blood Operative into my graveyard with a surveil, can I pay to return it to my hand?

A: Yes. The game checks to see if any triggered abilities have triggered and need to go on the stack after every event that happens in the game [CR 603.2]. You aren’t considered to have “surveilled” until after you’ve completed all the steps of the surveil action, including choosing whether to put the card in your graveyard and actually putting it there, if applicable. This means that if you surveil a card into the graveyard, the game doesn’t check for any “whenever you surveil” triggered abilities until after that card is put there. So if a card has such a triggered ability that triggers from the graveyard (like Blood Operative does), you can surveil it to the graveyard, and it will be there by the time the game checks to see if its ability should trigger.

Q: Amy attacks with two Wojek Bodyguards and a Grizzly Bears. Can she have both Wojek Bodyguards mentor the Grizzly Bears and end up with a 4/4?

A: No. The target for a mentor ability must be legal at two times: when it is chosen and when the ability resolves. Grizzly Bears will be a legal target for both mentor abilities when the targets are chosen, but after the first one resolves it will be a 3/3. This means it will no longer have lesser power, and will therefore not be a legal target when the second mentor ability tries to resolve.

Q: Amy attacks with Wojek Bodyguard, Sunhome Stalwart, and Grizzly Bears. Can she have Wojek Bodyguard mentor Sunhome Stalwart, then have Sunhome Stalwart mentor Grizzly Bears?

A: No. This time, the problem is that Grizzly Bears won’t be a legal target when targets are chosen. All the mentor abilities trigger at the same time, so they all go on the stack together [CR 603.3b]. At the time targets are chosen for Sunhome Stalwart’s mentor ability, Wojek Bodyguard’s is still on the stack. Thus, Grizzly Bears won’t have lesser power than Sunhome Stalwart and won’t be a legal target.

Q: Amy attacks with Wojek Bodyguard and Grizzly Bears. In response to the mentor trigger, Nicole casts Price of Fame on Wojek Bodyguard. What happens?

A: The mentor trigger resolves and gives Grizzly Bears the counter as normal. Once on the stack, the mentor ability exists independent of its source [CR 112.7a]. Because Wojek Bodyguard is no longer on the battlefield, the game uses the last-known information about its power to determine if the target of that mentor ability is legal [CR 112.7a].

Q: Amy attacks with Wojek Bodyguard and Grizzly Bears. In response to the mentor trigger, Nicole casts Artful Takedown (both modes) on Wojek Bodyguard. What happens?

A: Just like before, the game uses the last-known information about Wojek Bodyguard to determine the results of the mentor trigger. Unlike before, as it last existed on the battlefield, Wojek Bodyguard was a 1/-1. Thus, its power is less than Grizzly Bears’. Accordingly, the mentor ability does not have a legal target and is removed from the stack with no effect.

Note: In the same way, you can also prevent the +1/+1 counter from going on the Grizzly Bears by casting a pump spell to increase its power in response to the mentor trigger.

Note: It’s legal to choose the same target for both modes on Artful Takedown because it uses the word “target” separately for each mode [CR 601.2c].

Q: Amy casts Victimize targeting two Rhizome Lurchers in her graveyard. She sacrifices an Insect token and returns them to play. Assuming there are no other cards in Amy’s graveyard, how many counters does each Rhizome Lurcher enter the battlefield with?

A: Rhizome Lurcher has a replacement effect, meaning it counts the number of creatures in your graveyard immediately before Rhizome Lurcher enters the battlefield [CR 614.1]. Victimize returns both Rhizome Lurchers to play simultaneously, as evidenced by its single use of the word “return” [CR 608.2e]. Accordingly, each Rhizome Lurcher will count not only itself, but the other Rhizome Lurcher returning along with it.

The actions on Victimize are followed in order, so sacrificing the Insect token happens before returning the Rhizome Lurkers [CR 608.2c]. The token actually does physically move to the graveyard, and does not cease to exist until after state-based actions are performed, which is after Victimize finishes resolving [CR 110.5f]. Therefore, it too is in the graveyard when the Rhizome Lurchers are counting how many creature cards are in your graveyard. Unfortunately, tokens are not considered “cards,” which is what Rhizome Lurcher (and, incidentally, all undergrowth abilities) looks at, so the Insect token doesn’t count [CR 108.2b]. Each Rhizome Lurcher gets two +1/+1 counters.

Note: Kraul Foragers‘ undergrowth ability is a triggered ability, so it functions differently. This ability will go on the stack after Kraul Foragers enters the battlefield and will count creatures in your graveyard only when it resolves.

New Cards

Q: Amy discards Muck Drubb to jump-start a Gravitic Punch that will have her Grizzly Bears deal damage to Nicole. Can Amy cast Muck Drubb with its madness ability, then change Gravitic Punch’s creature target to Muck Drubb?

A: No. Muck Drubb’s ability only can affect a spell that “targets only a single creature.” Such an effect checks the number of different objects or players that became the target of that spell or ability when it was put on the stack and only applies if that number is one [CR 114.9c]. Because Grizzly Bears and Nicole both became the targets of Gravitic Punch, it is not a legal target for Muck Drubb’s ability.

Note: The only reason this doesn’t work is because Gravitic Punch does not have the appropriate targets. For example, Maximize Velocity targets only a single creature, so this trick would work with that spell.

Q: Amy plays Bounty of Might to give her Beamsplitter Mage +3/+3 three times. Does this cause Beamsplitter Mage to trigger?

A: Yes. Because Bounty of Might targets no other objects besides Beamsplitter Mage, it’s considered to “target only Beamsplitter Mage,” even though it targets that creature more than once [CR 114.9c].

Note: The result of Beamsplitter Mage’s ability is that a copy of Bounty of Might will be created that targets another of Amy’s creatures three times. Because the number of targets is copied, it isn’t possible to, for example target one creature once and another twice [CR 706.10].

Q: Nicole controls Pelt Collector (with no +1/+1 counters) and Grizzly Bears. Amy plays a Dead Weight on Grizzly Bears. What happens?

A: The trigger condition “dies” signifies that this is a leaves-the-battlefield trigger [CR 603.6c]. That means that this ability “looks back in time” and triggers based on the game state immediately before the trigger event rather than after [CR 603.10a]. Immediately before Grizzly Bears died, it was a 0/0, so Pelt Collector’s ability does not see it as having greater power, even though it will once it’s in the graveyard.

Q: Amy casts Capture Sphere on Nicole’s Grizzly Bears, then declares attackers without saying to tap Grizzly Bears. After that, but before Nicole blocks, Amy says that Grizzly Bears should be tapped. Nicole contends that Amy has missed her trigger and calls a judge. How do you rule?

A: Amy has indeed missed this trigger by not calling attention to it until after the time it should have happened. Fortunately for Amy, a triggered ability of an Aura that affects only the enchanted permanent and causes a visible change to that permanent is a type of triggered ability that does not expire and resolves immediately if discovered. Have Nicole tap Grizzly Bears now.

Note: Because such triggered abilities do not expire, this answer is the same even if the mistake is not found until several turns after it occurred.

Q: Amy uses red mana from a Mountain and a Guildmages’ Forum to cast a [Fresh-Faced Recruit[/card]. Does it get the +1/+1 counter?

A: Yes. A creature’s color is determined by the mana symbols in its mana cost [CR 105.2]. Even though you aren’t paying white mana for it, the hybrid mana symbol still means Fresh-Faced Recruit is red and white, so it counts as multicolored [CR 105.2b].

Note: In the same way, you would be able to, for example, play Fresh-Faced Recruit for R if you had an Oketra’s Monument.

Q: Amy hasn’t cast any spells this turn, but she really needs to gain 2 life. Can she cast Aerial Predation on her own Leapfrog (Amy has not cast any other spells this turn)?

A: No. Aerial Predation is not considered “cast” until all the steps in the process of casting it have been completed [CR 601.2i]. In particular, choosing targets is one of these steps. Because Leapfrog will not have flying at the time targets need to be picked, she can’t target it with Aerial Predation.

Q: Does Beacon Bolt count itself?

A: No. No matter where Beacon Bolt was when you cast it, it’s always on the stack when it resolves, which is the time the game counts your instants and sorceries [CR 608.2g]. Therefore, it never counts itself in the total.

Q: Can I use Invert targeting my Grizzly Bears and my opponent’s Hill Giant to switch my bear’s p/t with the giant’s and create a blowout?

A: Unfortunately, no. As cool as it would be to switch one creature’s power with another’s, there’s a section in the CR that defines what the term switch means in terms of power and toughness, and it always refers to switching the power with the toughness [CR 613.3e].

Q: Can you choose Reason // Believe as one of the cards to return with Vivid Revival?

A: Yes. On the stack, only the characteristics of the half that was cast exist, but elsewhere, a split card’s characteristics are considered to be the combined characteristics of both halves [CR 708.4]. Accordingly, Reason//Believe counts as a blue and green multicolored card, even though neither half is multicolored by itself.

Note: On the stack, only the characteristics of the half that was actually cast exist, so, for example, Disdainful Stroke could counter the Reason half, but not the Believe half. For this and more awesome split card stuff, check out the returning mechanic review article.

Q: Amy surveils a Brainstorm into her graveyard with Mission Briefing. Can she cast Brainstorm?

A: Yes. Mission Briefing does not target, so the choice of what card to cast is made on resolution and is not locked in ahead of time [CR 608.2d]. The choosing happens after you surveil, and any instant or sorcery card in your graveyard at that time is fair game.

Q: Amy plays Mission Briefing in her main phase, then puts a Brainstorm into her graveyard with the surveil. Amy then says she is going to cast Brainstorm. Nicole says she wants to Surgical Extraction Brainstorm before she does. Can she?

A: No. Because Amy is the active player, she gets priority to cast spells first after Mission Briefing resolves [CR 116.3b]. After she casts Brainstorm, it will be on the stack, so it’s safe from Surgical Extraction.

Note: If the non-active player were the one playing Mission Briefing, the answer would be different. Since the active player would get priority before the non-active player, they could cast Surgical Extraction before the non-active player got a chance to cast it. On the other hand, if the non-active player is casting Mission Briefing, it’s a safe bet that they’ll pick an instant, which means they could just cast it in response to Surgical Extraction. If this happens, Surgical Extraction will no longer have a legal target when it tries to resolve, and will be removed from the stack with no effect.

Q: Amy casts Increasing Devotion from her graveyard using Mission Briefing. How many tokens does she get?

A: Ten. Increasing Devotion only cares that the card was cast from a graveyard, not how you did it. This is the case here, so you get the full value from the spell even though you’re casting it for its normal mana cost.

Q: Nicole casts a Mission Briefing on Amy’s end step. She chooses a Ponder. Can she cast it?

A: No. Even though Mission Briefing says you can cast the spell, you still have to cast it in a legal way [CR 601.3]. There’s no rule that says you can’t cast spells from your graveyard (rather, the rules positively say what zones you can cast each type of card from, ref. [CR 307.1]) This means that no special permissions are required to enable you to cast it from there. On the other hand, the rules do explicitly say you can only cast sorceries on your turn [CR 307.1], so a card would need to specifically say it’s letting you do that (with wording like Quicken, which lets you cast the spell as though it had flash or Memory Plunder, which instructs you to cast the spell right then during the process of its resolution) in order to bypass that restriction. Memory Briefing has no such language, so you can only cast a sorcery spell chosen with it during the times when you’re normally able to cast those spells.

Note: If another effect such as Hypersonic Dragon or one from the card itself, such as Breaking Wave allows you to cast sorcery spells at instant speed, these effects can combine with Mission Briefing to enable you to cast the spell from your graveyard at instant speed.

Q: Amy chooses Force of Will with Mission Briefing. Can she cast it for its alternate cost?

A: Yes. Mission Briefing lets you cast the card, and doesn’t put any restrictions on how you have to cast it, so you can cast it however you want, including by paying alternate costs.

Note: The reason the answer is different if you were to use the related card Snapcaster Mage is that Snapcaster Mage is letting you cast the spell using the flashback mechanic, which involves paying an alternate cost [CR 702.33a]. Only one alternate cost can be paid when casting a spell; they can’t be combined, which is why this trick doesn’t work with Snapcaster Mage [CR 117.9a]. On the other hand, Mission Briefing is letting you cast the card for its real live mana cost, so you can still choose an alternate cost to apply.

Q: Amy casts Brainstorm from her graveyard using Mission Briefing. Nicole Remands Brainstorm. Into what zone is Brainstorm placed?

A: This is another way Mission Briefing works differently from Snapcaster Mage. Two replacement effects want to change what zone Brainstorm goes to. Remand’s is applied first because it is a self-replacement effect [CR 616.1a]. This modifies the event to [counter Brainstorm, put it into Amy’s hand]. At this point, Brainstorm is no longer being put into a graveyard, so the effect from Mission Briefing does not apply to the modified event [CR 616.1e]. Brainstorm goes to Amy’s hand.

Note: In contrast, flashback exiles the card “instead of putting it anywhere else any time it would leave the stack” [CR 702.33a], which means it still applies to the event even after Remand’s self-replacement effect has modified it. This is why cards cast with Snapcaster Mage are exiled if they are Remanded.

Q: Nicole casts Mission Briefing and puts Swift Reckoning in her graveyard, choosing to play it. Besides Swift Reckoning and Mission Briefing, there are no other cards in her graveyard. Can she cast Swift Reckoning on Amy’s end step?

A: No. After Nicole proposes the casting of Swift Reckoning, the game checks to see if it can legally be cast [CR 601.2e]. Swift Reckoning is moved to the stack as the first step in the proposal to cast it, though [CR 601.2a]. This means that during the time when the game is checking whether it’s legal for Nicole to cast this spell, the only instant and/or sorcery in her graveyard will be Mission Briefing, so she won’t be allowed to cast it as though it has flash.

Q: Nicole plays Chance for Glory during Amy’s end step. Is that a good idea?

A: No. The extra turn Nicole gets is right after the turn it was created, not right after her normal turn that she’s about to take [CR 500.7]. Nicole will lose the game at the end of this turn.

Q: Amy controls Divine Visitation and Essence of the Wild. She plays Sworn Companions. What happens?

A: Both of Divine Visitation and Essence of the Wild have replacement effects that change how the creature tokens created enter the battlefield. Essence of the Wild’s is applied first because it causes them to enter as a copy of an object [CR 616.1c]. After that, Divine Visitation applies and makes the tokens into Angels.

Note: In the same way, replacement effects like Crafty Cutpurse which change whose control a permanent enters under also apply before ordinary replacement effects [CR 616.1b]. So if Amy controlled Divine Visitation and Nicole stole her tokens with Crafty Cutpurse, she would just get the ordinary tokens, not Angels.

Q: Amy plays Assassin’s Trophy on Nicole’s Grizzly Bears. In response, Nicole casts Adamant Will targeting Grizzly Bears. What happens?

A: Grizzly Bears is indestructible, so Assassin’s Trophy can’t destroy it. The search for a basic land isn’t worded such that it’s contingent upon the creature getting destroyed though, so that part still happens.

Note: If Nicole had played a spell that gave her Grizzly Bears hexproof, for example, the search would not happen. If all of Assassin’s Trophy’s targets are illegal when it tries to resolve, it is removed from the stack with no effect [CR 608.2b].

Q: Amy Throttles Nicole’s Attendant of Vraska while Nicole controls a Vraska planeswalker. Does Nicole lose 1 life?

A: No. It’s not possible to gain negative life [CR 117.1b]. So nothing happens.

Q: Amy plays Selective Snare targeting Nicole’s Lazav, the Multifarious. In response, Nicole activates Lazav’s ability to make it into a Grizzly Bears. What happens?

A: Choices like choosing a creature type, for example, with Extinction, are ordinarily made when the spell resolves. The actual rule that governs this is CR 608.2d, which states, “If an effect of a spell or ability offers any choices other than choices already made as part of casting the spell, activating the ability, or otherwise putting the spell or ability on the stack, the player announces these while applying the effect.” Because the game needs your choice of creature type in order to know whether the targets you’re choosing are legal, that choice is made as you’re picking targets. Accordingly, when Selective Snare tries to resolve, Lazav is no longer the creature type of your choice (presumably Shapeshifter), and Selective Snare is removed from the stack with no effect.

Note: Because you choose a creature type as part of choosing targets, it’s important to be clear about this choice in cases where it could be ambiguous.

Q: Amy steals Nicole’s Chamber Sentry with Hostage Taker. Can Amy cast Chamber Sentry for 5 blue mana and spend that mana as though it were WUBRG to have Chamber Sentry enter the battlefield as a 5/5?

A: No. Effects that read “as though” allow the player to proceed exactly as though the stated condition is true, but everything else in the game looks at the actual game state [CR 609.4]. If Chamber Sentry had any colored mana symbols in its mana cost, the game would let Amy pay for those with any mana, but when evaluating how many counters Chamber Sentry gets, the game looks at what colors were actually spent.

Q: Amy Clones a Chamber Sentry. What happens?

A: As part of the process of copying Chamber Sentry, Clone acquires the ability that makes it enter the battlefield with +1/+1 counters on it [CR 706.2]. The number is not copied; rather, the game checks how many colors of mana were spent to cast Clone.

Q: Amy plays Chance for Glory and uses Magosi, the Waterveil to skip the extra turn. What happens?

A: Because the “losing the game” trigger specifically happens during “that turn,” if that turn is skipped, the trigger never happens [CR 614.10a]. Because Chance for Glory doesn’t say how long your creatures gain indestructible for, it’s permanent [CR 611.2a].

Note: Creatures that enter the battlefield after Chance for Glory resolves will not gain indestructible [CR 611.2c], so it’s important to distinguish them somehow.

Q: Amy controls Experimental Frenzy and the top card of her library is Expansion // Explosion. Can Amy cast Explosion and look at the new top card of her library before deciding what value to choose for X?

A: No. Although the new templating says you can look “any time,” there actually one important time you can’t look. If the top card of your library changes while a spell is being cast, you can’t look at the new top card until the casting of that spell is complete [CR 405.1]. This means if you begin to cast your top card, you have to wait until you’ve finished casting it to look at the new top card.


Q: Is the p/t swap for Invert permanent?

A: No. As written on the card, it would be, but WotC confirmed this was a mistake. Invert joins the ranks of Hostage Taker, Majestic Myriarch, and brother Oboro Envoy, getting zero-day errata to reach its intended functionality.

Note: The omission of “until end of turn” on Chance for Glory is intentional. Your creatures are indestructible during both turns.

Q: Amy activates Teferi, Hero of Dominaria‘s +1 ability, but forgets to untap 2 lands at the end of turn. What happens?

A: Nothing! This Oracle update, Teferi received errata to make it less annoying. The new text for this ability instructs you to “untap up to two lands,” meaning that untapping nothing is a completely legal play.

New rules

Q: Amy activates second ability Guildmages’ Forum while she controls Mana Reflection. Suppose she uses the two mana it generates to cast two different multicolored creatures. Does each one enter with an additional counter?

A: Yes. The old rules explicitly said as much for abilities that triggered when the mana was spent (such as Pyromancer’s Goggles), but the new 106.6a expands this to include replacement effects (such as Guildmages’ Forum) and continuous effects (such as Hall of the Bandit Lord).

Q: Amy casts Chamber Sentry with X=4. Can she activate Chamber Sentry’s ability with X=1 later?

A: Yes. Due to a rules change that was made to accommodate this card, if an object’s activated ability has X in it, the value of that X is independent of any other values for X chosen for that object [CR 107.3j].

Q: Can Circu, Dimir Lobotomist exile cards from your library if you have hexproof?

A: Not anymore. It used to be that Circu targeted the library itself rather than the player, which is what all other such effects did. Now, the Oracle text has been changed to sync it up with everything else.

Advanced Note: In addition to the support for zones being targetable by spells and abilities being removed (reference CR 114.1), this question touches on another rules change about what counts as an ability (in the old rules, hexproof on a player did not officially count as an ability; refer to the changes in rule 112.1 et seq. to see). Near as I can tell, the latter change is a completely nonfunctional definition update, so I didn’t make up a question for it.

Q: Using a combination of Doubling Season and Jace, Cunning Castaway, Nicole made 27182818284590 Illusion tokens last turn (and a whole lot of Jaces also). Can Amy cast Runed Halo and name “Illusion” to save herself from the illusionary onslaught?

A: Before this rules update, the answer to this question would have depended on what format the players were playing. That’s because choosing a card name used to have the requirement that the card be legal in the format the game was in. Because Illusion is legal in Legacy and Vintage, but not Modern, this play would have worked, but only in those formats. Now, that requirement has gone away, so Runed Halo can protect you from Illusions in any format [CR 201.3].

Note: This combo works because planeswalkers entering with loyalty counters is considered to be an “effect putting counters on a permanent you control” [CR 306.5b, 121.6]. Thus, Doubling Season increases the starting loyalty of Jace to 6, enough to use its ultimate right away. As long as you use the ultimate of one of the resultant Jaces to continue the chain, you can use the -2 of all the others to generate Illusion tokens.

Note: Split cards have two names, so an effect that asks you to choose a card name only lets you choose one

Note: This trick only works because “Illusion” happens to be the name of a card. Token names cannot be chosen unless they are also the name of a card [CR 201.3]. And a token’s name is defined as the token’s creature type unless the effect that made the token defines a name for it [CR 110.5c]. If the card Illusion did not exist; if they were Human tokens; or if the Jace tokens had any additional creature types, you would not be able to use Runed Halo to prevent their damage.

Note: The original reason for this rule was to protect players from naming nonsensical cards with similar names (Urborg, Shackles, Borborygmos). Now, additional protections have been implemented, reducing the need for this rule, so it was removed.

Q: Amy plays Engineered Explosives for R while Nicole controls March of the Machines. What happens?

A: In case you’re wondering why this is even a question, it turns out that sunburst actually does something different if it’s on a creature. The original wording of sunburst in the CR checked “If this object is entering the battlefield from the stack as a creature…” which worked just fine for years and years until just recently when they changed how enters the battlefield replacement effects worked [CR 614.12]. These effects, sunburst included, no longer ignore continuous effects that will be applying to the object that’s entering the battlefield when they are determining how those effects apply. Because of this, the way sunburst applied in niche cases like this one inadvertently changed when those rules were amended to include that.

I know you aren’t here for a history lesson, so I’ll cut to the chase. Sunburst’s current CR entry reads “If this object is entering the battlefield as a creature, ignoring any type-changing effects that would affect it, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it. Otherwise, it enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it” [CR 702.43a]. This means that Engineered Explosives gets a charge counter instead of a +1/+1 counter, then summarily dies due to March of the Machines making it a 0/0 creature. This is the way that interaction originally worked, and the change to sunburst’s CR definition restores that (lack of) functionality.

Q: Amy controls March of the Machines and Divine Visitation. She activates the ability of Cogwork Assembler targeting Sphere of Resistance. What happens?

A: Normally, enters the battlefield replacement effects take into account continuous effects that will apply to objects entering the battlefield [CR 614.12]. Effects that specifically refer to tokens being “created” rather than entering the battlefield are an exception to this, however [CR 701.6b]. Because Divine Visitation uses this latter templating, its effect does not apply to this situation. Divine Visitation will not see this as a “creature token being created,” so Sphere of Resistance will enter, rather than an Angel.

Note: Cogwork Assembler gives haste to the token whether it’s a creature or not. Accordingly, Amy can attack with the Sphere of Resistance token that turn.

New Policy

Q: Amy and Nicole call you to the table and explain that Amy’s friend brought her some food at the start of Amy’s turn, so she forgot to draw for turn and untap her creatures because she was distracted. Since this has happened, Amy has cast and resolved a Sift. What do you do?

A: The infraction is clearly a Game Rule Violation for Amy and a Failure to Maintain Game State for Nicole, with Warnings for both. For the fix, a simple backup is not possible here, so we look at partial fixes. This situation fits two of the available partial fixes, namely the ones about forgetting to untap and forgetting to draw, but because it falls under multiple ones, it doesn’t fit either exactly. A new policy change allows us to perform partial fixes even in cases where other parts of what happened do not fit under a single partial fix as long as the entirety of the infraction falls under one or more additional partial fixes. Have Amy untap her creatures and draw now.

Note: Although Amy committed two errors, both of which would be considered a GRV if considered alone, only a single GRV is assessed because their root cause is the same [IPG 1.2].

Q: While performing a deck check, you notice that Amy has registered 16 cards in her sideboard. You find that Amy has all 16 of these cards in her sideboard. When you ask Amy about this, she apologizes and says she changed some numbers in her sideboard around right before the event and must have miscounted. What do you do?

A: Amy’s decklist is illegal, and it matches what she intended to play, so Amy gets a Game Loss for a Decklist Problem. Under previous rules this situation was fixed by removing cards from Amy’s sideboard starting from the bottom. Now, the player gets to choose which cards are removed to make the decklist legal.

Q: During a deck check of match C in a team unified Modern tournament, it is discovered that player A on one of the teams has listed Relic of Progenitus in her maindeck while player C has listed relics in her sideboard. After talking with the players, you find that this matches what those players are actually playing. What do you do?

A: Having the same card listed in two players’ decks and/or sideboards in a unified constructed tournament is a Decklist Problem. Originally, player C would by default be the one who had to change her decklist, but the changes mentioned above allow the player (or in this case, team) to choose now. Whichever player they choose will be assessed a Game Loss for a Decklist Problem and will have to remove all copies of Relic of Progenitus from their deck and sideboard.

Note: If the team chooses to remove the relics from player A, this may take her maindeck below 60 cards. In this case, nonSnow, non-Wastes basic lands of that player’s choice will be added to get it up to 60. A 14 (or fewer) card sideboard is legal, so if the team opts to remove the relics from player C’s sideboard, they will not be replaced this way.

Q: Nicole plays Unexplained Disappearance during her opponent’s end step, but forgets to surveil. She realizes this after untapping and drawing for her turn and calls a judge. What do you do?

A: There’s a tournament shortcut that says if a player forgets to scry, that means the player is considered to have left the cards on top in the same order. This shortcut has been extended to surveilling also. No infraction has been committed, so have the players continue the game.

Note: Because no infraction has been committed, Amy’s opponent is not obligated to point out to Amy that she forgot to surveil (although she still can point it out if she wants to).

Q: On her first turn of the game, Amy cracks a Flooded Strand and says “go to 17”. She gets a Hallowed Fountain out of her deck and starts shuffling. As she is shuffling, she changes her mind and gets a Watery Grave out and puts the Hallowed Fountain back. Amy’s opponent calls a judge and asks if Amy is allowed to do this. What do you rule?

A: We’ve always allowed some leniency in cases like this, and now that is codified in a new section, MTR 4.8. The overarching principle is that players are allowed to change their minds as long as they aren’t able to gain any information from their original play. That’s most likely the case here, so I would allow Amy to get the other shockland.

Note: Especially since it’s the first turn, it would likely even be fine to allow the player to change her mind here and fetch the land tapped if she wanted. Be aware that information can be gained not only from the opponent doing something, but from inaction as well. Lack of reaction may signal that the opponent has no way to respond, and if there is doubt about whether the player who wants to reverse a decision could have gained information, the judge should deny the request. For more detail, read Keven Desprez’s article on the subject here.

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