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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Magic School #3: Warp World Weirdness and Other (Legal) Shenanigans

Welcome to the 3rd week of The Magic School! Today we're diving into "Enters the battlefield"-type rules. Warp World with Allies causes a few problems, while Hallow apparently has the ability to affect permanents in an odd way.

More...after the jump!  (What did you expect?)

(The first question comes from the MTG Rules E-mail I get every day; the second question come from MTGSalvation.com's Cranial Insertion article)
(All card images come from Magiccards.info)

QUESTION: I activate Warp World and get a few different Allies, one of which is Jwari Shapeshifter. Do I get to copy an Ally as it comes in, similar to cards that get their effect after Warp World resolves (i.e.: Ob Nixilis, the Fallen)

ANSWER: There's a big difference between Ob Nixilis, et. al. and Jwar Shapeshifter after Warp World.

Ob Nixilis and all lands enter the battlefield at the same time. Ob Nixilis will see all those lands entering at the same time and trigger its triggered ability for each one.

"603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, “When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . . “ or “Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . .” Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event."

"603.2a Because they aren’t cast or activated, triggered abilities can trigger even when it isn’t legal to cast spells and activate abilities. Effects that prevent abilities from being activated don’t affect them."

(Partial) "603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that’s not a card the next time a player would receive priority. See rule 115, “Timing and Priority.”..."

Jwari Shapeshifter, however, is not a triggered ability. It is a static ability that modifes how it enters the battlefield. For those effects, you need the game state just prior to it entering the battlefield.

(emphasis added) "706.5. An object that enters the battlefield “as a copy” or “that’s a copy” of another object becomes a copy as it enters the battlefield. It doesn’t enter the battlefield, and then become a copy of that permanent. If the text that’s being copied includes any abilities that replace the enters-the-battlefield event (such as “enters the battlefield with” or “as [this] enters the battlefield” abilities), those abilities will take effect. Also, any enters-the-battlefield triggered abilities of the copy will have a chance to trigger."

Using the Ob Nixilis, Valakut, et al. rulings, we see that objects need to enter the battlefield first, then everything counts as having "entered the battlefield", thus being on the battlefield. Since Jwari Shapeshifter needs the board status before the other Allies enter the battlefield, it'll enter as a 0/0 since there are no Allies to copy. After it enters the battlefield and once state-based actions (SBAs) are checked, it'll go to the graveyard for having 0 toughness.


QUESTION: I'm casting Hallow on my opponent's Hellkite Overlord that's still on the stack. My opponent attacks. How much damage do I take?

ANSWER: No, boys. This isn't a dumb question. I did the right think casting Hallow on the Hellkite Overlord as it was on the stack. Why?

Here's Hallow...

Now, we all know we can use this against any burn spell (Chain lightning, Lightning Bolt, etc.) and it'll prevent that damage.

"But a creature is a permanent. Sure it's on the stack as a spell, but it's no longer a spell when it enters the battlefield after resolution."

And normally I'd agree with you...but the Comprehensive Rules speak differently.

(Rule provided by the Cranial Insertion article found here: Cranial Insertion: March of the Questions)
"400.7b Prevention effects that apply to damage from a permanent spell on the stack continue to apply to damage from the permanent that spell becomes."

"So how does Hallow work then? What should we see as being the 'unofficial text', so to speak, that clarifies this?"

Just insert the name of the spell in place of "target spell" on the text line. For example, with Hallow targetting a Lightning Bolt that's on the stack, make it read:

(in part) "Prevent all damage Lightning Bolt would deal this turn..."

Similarly, when dealing with casting Hallow on a Hellkite Overlord that's on the stack:
(in part) ""Prevent all damage Hellkite Overlord would deal this turn..."

I told ya I'd be back with more detail this week. :)  I'll be back next week with more Comprehensive Rules-based answers to any questions I come across. Of course, don't think you can't ask something. If you want something answered here, post a comment and I'll answer it next week for sure.

Until then, I hope you're having a wonderful week and we hope to see you around our parts soon!

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