Questions for a program in a prison

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I am hoping for some help from the magic community. I am a recreation director in Ohio and have recently started a magic program at a correctional facility. We run tournaments and games weekly allowing the inmates to participate. I know very little about the game and some of the participants had some questions regarding rules. If anyone can assist I would greatly appreciate it. Chris

 

  1. An instant says “Tap all attacking creatures, those creatures don’t untap during their controller’s untap step.”  If the creatures are already tapped, does the “don’t untap” ability still affect them?  Does the same apply for “Sleep” from Magic 2011?

  2. If a spell has two abilities and the first has no legal target, can the second affect the game (resolve) (i.e. “Untap target creature.  Draw a card)? 

  3. If two spirit creatures are dealt lethal damage at the same time, one with soulshift 4 and one with converted mana cost 3, can I use the soulshift ability on the spirit with mana cost 3 by putting that creature in the graveyard first?

  4. Is a land a colored permanent?  I.e. is an island a blue permanent?

  5. If a creature that blocks another creature would be dealt lethal damage and the controller activates the ability, “Remove this creature from the game, then return it to play under its owner’s control,” what creatures are still dealt damage?

  6. If a creature is about to be destroyed by an instant that is on the stack, and the creature is removed from the game and returned to play before the instant resolves, will the creature still be destroyed?

  7. If an 8/8 creature with Deathtouch and Trample is blocked by a 0/5 creature with no abilities, is the defending player dealt 7 damage or 3 damage?

  8. If a creature with Deathtouch has the ability “Tap this creature:  This creature deals 1 point of damage to target creature,” is that one damage from the creature with Deathtouch always lethal damage?

  9. Lingering Souls is a white sorcery that has a flashback ability with black in the flashback cost.  When a player activates the flashback ability, is that player casting a black spell, a white spell, or both?


10.   If a creature is detained, and the creature’s controller then exiles the detained creature and immediately returns it to play, is the creature still detained?


11.   If three Corpsejack Menaces are under a player’s control, and he casts a spell that places three +1/+1 counters on a creature, how many counters are placed on that creature?


12.   A player takes control of another player’s aura that is enchanting a creature, can that player change which creature that aura enchants?


13.   Can a player “forget” to untap?  If he does, can he return back to his untapped step?


14.   If a creature has the ability “When this creature comes into play it deals 2 damage to target creature” and the only creature in play is itself, can the creature’s controller choose not to target anything?


15.  In multi-player team vs. team, do I declare my attackers attacking just one player on the defending team or do I declare them attacking the entire team and either defending player can choose to block?


16.  A player controls Urza’s Filter and casts Rakdos’s Return, which has an X in its manna cost, can the player use Urza’s Filter’s ability to add 2 towhatever is paid into X?


17.   If a player controls 2 permanents with the triggered ability “extort” on them, and casts a spell, can the controller pay just 1 to activate both  abilities, or does he need to pay 1 for each instance of “extort”?

A lot of questions, so I'll try to avoid going into too much detail.

1. The instant tries to do as much as possible. It can't tap the creatures as they're already tapped, but it can still stop the already tapped creatures from untapping - so it does. Sleep works the same way - it does as much as possible. It can't tap an already tapped creature, but it can stop it from untapping, so it does.

2. If, for every instance of the word target in a spell or ability that target is illegal, the spell or ability is countered by the game rules. So, in your example, if the target creature is now an illegal target (perhaps it was destroyed in response) you won't get to draw a card. For something with multiple targets, if a single target is illegal the spell or ability will still try to do as much as possible - so if a creature is given protection from red in response to a landfall-Searing Blaze, the target player will still take 3 damage.

3. Both creatures will go to the graveyard at the same time. The triggered ability of soulshift won't get put on the stack until after they're in the graveyard, so the 3 CMC creature will be a legal target for it. In short, yes, you can return the 3 CMC creature with the other's soulshift.

4. The color of a permanent is usually determined by the symbols in its mana cost. Lands don't have mana costs, so almost all of them are colorless (exception: Dryad Arbor - Arbor has a color indicator in its type line (the little green circle) that gives it the color green).

5. If a creature changes zones, it's a different object - so it's no longer a blocking or attacking creature. The other creature in combat won't deal damage to it, though if it has trample and it's the attacking creature it can assign all that damage to the defending player.

6. Like 5, when an object changes zones it's considered a different object. The destruction effect was targetting the old creature, not this new one that looks eerily similar. As such, the effect is countered for having illegal targets.

7. A trampler has to assign lethal damage to all blocking creatures before it can assign damage to the defending player. Fortunately, one damage from a source with deathtouch is considered lethal, so it can assign 7 damage to the defending player.

8. If something like Cunning Sparkmage is given deathtouch and you activate its ability to deal 1 damage to a target creature, the target creature is being dealt 1 damage from a source with deathtouch. It will be destroyed due to lethal damage.

9. Like with 4, the color of an object is determined by the mana symbols in its mana cost (abilities of the card, like flashback, are irrelevant). As such, Lingering Souls is alwayswhite spell.

10. The creature is no longer detained - once again, when an object changes zones it is considered a new object with no recollection of its previous selves. If you blink a Aetherling that had been detained, the returned-Aetherling is not detained.

11. It becomes 24. You apply the "double the amount of counters" replacement effects one at a time. So one Menace turns 3 counters into 6, then the next menace turns 6 counters into 12, and the third menace turns 12 counters into 24.

12. No - all that changes is the control of the aura. So if a player were to Confiscate a Holy Strength, then not much would happen. However, if they were to confiscate, say, an opponent's Armored Ascension, then the number of plains would be determined by them instead.

13. No - and even if they do, they're allowed to untap when they remembered. In tournaments it's called "out of sequence ordering" or something like that, and it's perfectly legal.

14. No - if a creature has an enters-the-battlefield ability and there's a legal target for the ability, you have to target it. And if it doesn't have may in the wording (ie. War Priest of Thune), you have to go through with the ability. So if you play Flametongue Kavu and its the only creature around when it enters the battlefield, it will kill itself.

15. It depends on the format you're playing. If you're playing two-headed giant, which is one of the more common 2v2 formats, then you and your teammate attack the opposing team together, and they block together. If you're just playing normal free-for-all but with teams, then each player declares attacks against opponents individually, and then each opponent blocks individually (that is, you can't block for a teammate). In normal free-for-all players also don't share turns, so you wouldn't ever get a chance for people to 'attack together'.

16. Yes, Urza's Filter will reduce the mana cost of Rakdos's Return by up to 2. So they could cast it for, say, x=4 to deal 4 damage and make the player discard 4 cards, and they'd only have to pay for it.

17. Each extort ability triggers separately, and the player needs to pay or for each one individually.
I'm all about super-control in MTG. If you're able to stop my shenanigans, then there aren't enough shenanigans. Lv 1 Judge Current Decklists Sweeping Beauty (Casual) A Vision of Clones (Casual) Coming soon... more decks! :-O
Thank you so much, truly. You guys are awesome!!! 
1) Sleep If the creatures are already tapped, does the “don’t untap” ability still affect them?

Yes. Cards will do as much as possible. In this case, the creatures won't be tapped (since they already are), but the spell will still "freeze" them for a turn.
2) If a spell has two abilities and the first has no legal target, can the second affect the game (resolve) (i.e. “Untap target creature.  Draw a card)?

A spell is countered if ALL of its target are illegal. As long as at least one target exists, the spell will resolve and do as much as possible. In your example, the spell will be countered, the user will not draw a card.
3)If two spirit creatures are dealt lethal damage at the same time, one with soulshift 4 and one with converted mana cost 3, can I use the soulshift ability on the spirit with mana cost 3 by putting that creature in the graveyard first?

Yes and no. Both creatures die at the same time. When their abiltiies go on the stack, both are in the graveyard and are legal targets for soulshift.
Is a land a colored permanent?

Color is determined by mana cost. Lands have no mana cost, so they have no colors. The exception is [Dryad Arbor.
If a creature that blocks another creature would be dealt lethal damage and the controller activates the ability, “Remove this creature from the game, then return it to play under its owner’s control,” what creatures are still dealt damage?

No. When an object changes zones, it becomes a new object.
If a creature is about to be destroyed by an instant that is on the stack, and the creature is removed from the game and returned to play before the instant resolves, will the creature still be destroyed?

There's no such thing as "about to be destroyed." If a spell or ability is targeting a permanent, and you "blink" it, it becomes a new object. The spell or ability that was targeting it can't find its target (because it nolonger exists).
If an 8/8 creature with Deathtouch and Trample is blocked by a 0/5 creature with no abilities, is the defending player dealt 7 damage or 3 damage?

The attacking player needs to assign at least 1 damage to the blocker. He can assign more if he wants do (for example, he knows a damage prevention effect is active and wants to get through it to kill the creature), but in most cases the other player will take 7.
Is all damage lethal with deathtouch?

Yes
Lingering Souls is a white sorcery that has a flashback ability with black in the flashback cost.  When a player activates the flashback ability, is that player casting a black spell, a white spell, or both?

Again, a card's color is determined by its mana cost. Lingering Souls only has one mana cost, and it's all white. Lingering souls is always white.
If a creature is detained, and the creature’s controller then exiles the detained creature and immediately returns it to play, is the creature still detained?

New object, so no.

If three Corpsejack Menaces are under a player’s control, and he casts a spell that places three +1/+1 counters on a creature, how many counters are placed on that creature?

There are three doubling effects active, so the creature will get 3*2*2*2 = 24.
A player takes control of another player’s aura that is enchanting a creature, can that player change which creature that aura enchants?

Only if the card says so.
Can a player “forget” to untap?

No. Untapping is mandatory and happens automatically. Moreover, since you untap every turn in every game, it should be very hard for a player to "forget". If players accidentally draw before untapping, remind them that the untap step comes long before the draw step. On a related note, the upkeep also comes before the draw step, so make sure players aren't drawing cards if any upkeep triggers need to go off.
If a creature has the ability “When this creature comes into play it deals 2 damage to target creature” and the only creature in play is itself, can the creature’s controller choose not to target anything?

No. If something has a mandatory target, you have to target something. Otherwise, the card would either say "up to one (or two, etc) target) or it would say "You may deal X damage".
In multi-player team vs. team, do I declare my attackers attacking just one player on the defending team or do I declare them attacking the entire team and either defending player can choose to block?

It depends on the multiplayer variant, so I'm not going to answer that. Look it up for whatever variant you're using.
A player controls Urza’s Filter and casts Rakdos's Return, which has an X in its manna cost, can the player use Urza’s Filter’s ability to add 2 towhatever is paid into X?

Essentially, yes. You chose X, determine the total cost (which is subtracted by 2) then pay the whole thing. If you choose X=5, RR will cost minus the from Filter, making it a total of .
can the controller pay just 1 to activate both abilities

Can you spend the same $1 on two different $1 drinks?
Extort is a triggered ability, not an activated ability. They resolve separately, so it follows that you pay the costs separately (you pay the costs when they resolve, not when they trigger).

Setting up magic events for inmates sounds awesome. It's a col idea. I hope the program goes well.

Rules Advisor

Please autocard: [c]Shard Phoenix[/c] = Shard Phoenix.

It would be very useful if you link to the cards the next time you have a question.

[c]Sleep[/c] ⇒ Sleep

Even if we know the card, we need to make sure we remember correctly so we can give you a correct answer.