Scourge FAQ

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Originally posted by kriz_riktr on May 15, 2003:

Here it is:

_Scourge_(TM) Frequently Asked Questions
Compiled by Paul Barclay, David DeLaney, and Jeff Jordan

This FAQ has two sections, each of which serves a different purpose.

The first section ("General Notes") explains the new mechanics and concepts in the set. The second section ("Card-Specific Notes") contains answers to the most important questions players might ask about a given card.

Items in the "Card-Specific Notes" section include full rules text for your reference. Not all cards in the set are listed.

GENERAL NOTES

Landcycling

The official rules for the landcycling ability are as follows:

502.18c Landcycling is a variant of the cycling ability. The phrase "[Land type]cycling [cost]" means "[Cost], Discard this card from your hand: Search your library for a [land type] card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library." Any cards that trigger when a player cycles a card will trigger when a card's landcycling ability is played.

* Unlike the normal cycling ability, landcycling doesn't allow the player to draw a card, but instead lets the player search his or her library for a land card of the appropriate type.

* Any ability that triggers on a card being cycled also triggers on a card being landcycled.

* Any ability that stops a cycling ability from being played also stops a landcycling ability from being played.

* See the _Onslaught_(TM) FAQ for information about the cycling ability.
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Storm

The official rules for the storm ability are as follows:

502.30. Storm

502.30a Storm is a triggered ability that functions while the card is on the stack. "Storm" means "When you play this spell, put a copy of it onto the stack for each other spell that was played before it this turn. If the spell has any targets, you may choose new targets for any number of the copies."

502.30b If a spell has multiple instances of storm, each triggers separately.

* The number of copies is set when the storm spell is played. Count only spells that were played (by any player) before the storm spell was played.

* The copies are *put* directly onto the stack -- they aren't *played*. That means the copies aren't counted by other storm spells played later during the turn.

* Each storm spell with a target allows you to change the target for each copy of that spell. You make that choice for each copy individually.

* When counting spells played in a turn, you do count spells that were played face down and spells played from zones other than a hand.

* A copy of a spell can be countered, just like any other spell, but each copy has to be countered individually. Countering a storm spell won't counter the copies of it.

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Morph

* See the Onslaught FAQ for information about the morph ability.
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CARD-SPECIFIC NOTES

Ageless Sentinels
{3}{W}
Creature -- Wall
4/4
(Walls can't attack.)
Flying
When Ageless Sentinels blocks, its creature type becomes Giant Bird. (It's no longer a Wall. This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)

* The triggered ability changes this creature's creature types to Giant and Bird. Ageless Sentinels loses all its old types, including Wall, so it is then able to attack.
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Alpha Status
{2}{G}
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 for each other creature in play that shares a creature type with it.

* Alpha Status counts the number of creatures that share a type with the enchanted creature, not the number of *types* that those creatures share with it.
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Ambush Commander
{3}{G}{G}
Creature -- Elf
2/2
Forests you control are 1/1 green Elf creatures that are still lands.
{1}{G}, Sacrifice an Elf: Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

* Ambush Commander gives the forests creature type Elf. They still have the land type forest, but they don't have the creature type forest. Land types and creature types are not interchangeable.
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Ancient Ooze
{5}{G}{G}
Creature -- Ooze
*/*
Ancient Ooze's power and toughness are each equal to the total converted mana cost of other creatures you control.

* Add up the converted mana costs of all other creatures you control to figure out Ancient Ooze's power and toughness. Remember that tokens and face-down creatures have converted mana cost 0.
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Call to the Grave
{4}{B}
Enchantment
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a non-Zombie creature.
At end of turn, if no creatures are in play, sacrifice Call to the Grave.

* You must sacrifice a non-Zombie creature if you have one.
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Carbonize
{2}{R}
Instant
Carbonize deals 3 damage to target creature or player. That creature can't be regenerated this turn. If the creature would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.

* Even if Carbonize doesn't deal lethal damage to a creature, that creature can't be regenerated this turn and will be removed from the game if it would be put into a graveyard later this turn.
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Consumptive Goo
{B}{B}
Creature -- Ooze
1/1
{2}{B}{B}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Put a +1/+1 counter on Consumptive Goo.

* If the target creature leaves play before the ability resolves, the ability is countered and the Goo doesn't get a +1/+1 counter.

* If you target Consumptive Goo with its own ability while it's a 1/1 creature, it gets -1/-1 and then it gets a +1/+1 counter. Since state-based effects such as a creature with 0 toughness being put into a graveyard aren't checked until after the Goo's ability finishes resolving, the Goo survives.
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Day of the Dragons
{4}{U}{U}{U}
Enchantment
When Day of the Dragons comes into play, remove all creatures you control from the game. Then put that many 5/5 red Dragon creature tokens with flying into play.
When Day of the Dragons leaves play, sacrifice all Dragons you control. Then return the removed cards to play under your control.

* The creatures are removed from the game face up and return to play face up. This effect doesn't trigger abilities that trigger when a creature is turned face up.

* When Day of the Dragons leaves play, you sacrifice every creature you control with creature type Dragon. If an effect changes the creature type of your Dragons, you won't have to sacrifice them.
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Decree of Justice
{X}{X}{2}{W}{W}
Sorcery
Put X 4/4 white Angel creature tokens with flying into play.
Cycling {2}{W}
When you cycle Decree of Justice, you may pay {X}. If you do, put X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens into play.

* The "{X}{X}" in the mana cost means that you pay two mana for each Angel you want to create, in addition to the {2}{W}{W}.

* When you cycle this card, you choose X and pay {X} when the cycle trigger resolves.
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Dimensional Breach
{5}{W}{W}
Sorcery
Remove all permanents from the game. As long as any of those cards remain removed from the game, at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player returns one of the removed cards he or she owns to play.

* Each player chooses which of his or her removed cards returns to play at the beginning of each of his or her upkeeps.

* A creature that returns to play this way won't be able to attack that turn unless it has haste.
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Dragon Mage
{5}{R}{R}
Creature -- Dragon Wizard
5/5
Flying
Whenever Dragon Mage deals combat damage to a player, each player discards his or her hand and draws seven cards.

* All players discard their hands and draw seven cards, not just the player who was dealt damage.
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Dragonstorm
{8}{R}
Sorcery
Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn.)

* A Dragon card is a card with creature type Dragon. A card with "Dragon" in its name isn't a Dragon card unless it also has creature type Dragon.
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Edgewalker
{1}{W}{B}
Creature -- Cleric
2/2
Cleric spells you play cost {W}{B} less to play. This effect reduces only the amount of colored mana you pay. (For example, if you play a Cleric with mana cost {1}{W}, it costs {1} to play.)

* Edgewalker's ability reduces what you pay only if the total cost of the Cleric spell includes {W} and/or {B}. Unlike previous cost reducers, it doesn't affect the generic mana portion of costs, even if you choose to pay that portion with white and/or black mana.

* If the cost to play a Cleric spell includes either {W} or {B}, you don't pay that part. If a cost includes {W} and {B}, you don't pay either of them.

* Multiple Edgewalkers are cumulative. If you control two of them, they reduce the amount you pay for Cleric spells by {W}{W}{B}{B}.
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Eternal Dragon
{5}{W}{W}
Creature -- Dragon Spirit
5/5
Flying
{3}{W}{W}: Return Eternal Dragon from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.
Plainscycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card from your hand: Search your library for a plains card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

* You can't play the Dragon's first activated ability unless it's in your graveyard.
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Faces of the Past
{2}{U}
Enchantment
Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, tap or untap all creatures that share a creature type with it.

* You can either tap all creatures that share a type with that creature or untap all those creatures. You can't tap some and untap others.

* You choose whether to tap or untap the creatures when the ability resolves.
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Final Punishment
{3}{B}{B}
Sorcery
Target player loses life equal to the damage already dealt to him or her this turn.

* Damage that's prevented doesn't count toward the total.

* The _Seventh Edition_(TM) card Worship reads, "If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead." Worship doesn't prevent damage. If you control Worship, you'll lose life equal to the amount of damage dealt to you this turn, regardless of how much your life total changed.
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Force Bubble
{2}{W}{W}
Enchantment
If damage would be dealt to you, put that many depletion counters on Force Bubble instead.
When there are four or more depletion counters on Force Bubble, sacrifice it.
At end of turn, remove all depletion counters from Force Bubble.

* Force Bubble doesn't "prevent" damage, but the results are very similar. The damage never happens, so anything that triggers off damage being dealt won't trigger.

* Force Bubble can stop more than 4 damage at one time, but then its second ability will trigger and cause it to be sacrificed.
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Forgotten Ancient
{3}{G}
Creature -- Elemental
0/3
Whenever a player plays a spell, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Forgotten Ancient.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may move any number of +1/+1 counters from Forgotten Ancient onto other creatures.

* You can choose to not put a counter on Forgotten Ancient when a spell is played.

* Forgotten Ancient gets only one +1/+1 counter when a spell with storm is played; it doesn't get counters for the copies.

* Moving the counters to other creatures is not a targeted effect.

* You can move some, none, or all of the counters. You don't have to decide how many to move, or to which creatures, until the ability resolves.
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Form of the Dragon
{4}{R}{R}{R}
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, Form of the Dragon deals 5 damage to target creature or player.
At the end of each turn, your life total becomes 5.
Creatures without flying can't attack you.

* If your life total was above 5 at the end of a turn, you lose life so that it becomes 5. If your life total was below 5 at the end of a turn, you gain life so that it becomes 5. This happens at the end of each player's turn.
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Frontline Strategist
{W}
Creature -- Soldier
1/1
Morph {W} (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Frontline Strategist is turned face up, prevent all combat damage non-Soldiers would deal this turn.

* The ability waits until combat damage would actually be dealt and prevents damage from anything that's not a Soldier at that time.

* If a creature leaves play before its combat damage is dealt, use its creature type at the time it left play.
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Goblin Psychopath
{3}{R}
Creature -- Goblin Mutant
5/5
Whenever Goblin Psychopath attacks or blocks, flip a coin. If you lose the flip, the next time it would deal combat damage this turn, it deals that damage to you instead.

* The Psychopath's ability triggers when it attacks or blocks, not when it deals damage. You know the result of the coin flip before combat damage is put onto the stack.
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Grip of Chaos
{4}{R}{R}
Enchantment
Whenever a spell or ability is put onto the stack, reselect its target at random if it has a single target. (Select from among all legal targets.)

* Because the printed wording of Grip of Chaos causes an infinite loop, it has been given errata. Its new _Oracle_(TM) wording is as follows:

Whenever a spell or ability is put onto the stack, if it has a single target, reselect its target at random. (Select from among all legal targets.)

* You reselect the target randomly from among all the legal targets that exist at the time (including the current target). The spell or ability might end up being the same target again. If there are no other legal targets available, the spell or ability keeps its current target.

* If a spell or ability can have a variable number of targets, Grip of Chaos triggers only if you choose exactly one target.

* Reselecting a target at random doesn't trigger any abilities that trigger on choosing targets, such as a Flagbearer's ability. It does trigger abilities that trigger on something becoming the target of a spell or ability.

* Reselecting a target at random can be tricky. The simplest fair way to do it is to find a die with at least as many sides as the number of legal targets. Give each potential target a different number, and roll the die to choose the new target. Reroll any number that's higher than the number of legal targets. (Don't start counting again at the beginning or the selection will be biased toward the lower-numbered targets.)
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Karona's Zealot
{4}{W}
Creature -- Cleric
2/5
Morph {3}{W}{W} (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Karona's Zealot is turned face up, all damage that would be dealt to it this turn is dealt to target creature instead.

* The damage is redirected only if the targeted creature is still in play when damage would be dealt.

* All the damage that would be dealt to the Zealot this turn will be redirected as long as the targeted creature is still in play.
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Lingering Death
{1}{B}
Enchant Creature
The controller of enchanted creature sacrifices it at the end of his or her turn.

* This is a triggered ability, even though it doesn't start with "when," "whenever," or "at."
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Long-Term Plans
{2}{U}
Instant
Search your library for a card, shuffle your library, then put that card third from the top.

* You put the card under the top two cards of your library.

* If there are fewer than three cards in your library, put the card you searched for on the bottom of your library.
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Mind's Desire
{4}{U}{U}
Sorcery
Shuffle your library. Then remove the top card of your library from the game. Until end of turn, you may play it as though it were in your hand without paying its mana cost. (If it has X in its mana cost, X is 0.)
Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn.)

* The cards are removed from the game face up.

* Any removed cards that you don't play this turn remain removed from the game.

* You can play any or all of the removed cards over the course of the turn, but this effect doesn't let you play spells or lands you couldn't normally play. For example, you can't play a removed land if you've already played a land this turn.

* Additional costs of the removed cards must still be paid.

* You can't play a removed creature card with morph face down.

* Playing a removed nonland card counts as playing a spell, so a storm card played later in the turn will count that spell. Playing a land never counts as playing a spell.
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Parallel Thoughts
{3}{U}{U}
Enchantment
When Parallel Thoughts comes into play, search your library for seven cards, remove them from the game in a face-down pile, and shuffle that pile. Then shuffle your library.
If you would draw a card, you may instead put the top card of the pile you removed into your hand.

* You have to remove seven cards from the game if you can. If you have fewer than seven cards in your library, remove them all from the game.

* You can't look at cards while they're removed from the game face down.

* You can choose to either draw a card or put the top card of the pile into your hand. You can choose to not draw a card even if no cards are left in the pile.
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Primitive Etchings
{2}{G}{G}
Enchantment
Reveal the first card you draw each turn. Whenever you reveal a creature card this way, draw a card.

* If you don't draw a card (due to Parallel Thoughts, for example), you don't reveal any cards.

* If you control more than one Primitive Etchings, each of them causes the same card to be revealed. If you reveal a creature card, the ability of each Primitive Etchings triggers.
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Riptide Survivor
{2}{U}
Creature -- Wizard
2/1
Morph {1}{U}{U} (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Riptide Survivor is turned face up, discard two cards from your hand, then draw three cards.

* Unlike many similar cards, Riptide Survivor's ability causes you to discard cards first and then draw cards. If you have fewer than two cards in hand, discard your entire hand and then draw three cards.
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Rock Jockey
{2}{R}
Creature -- Goblin
3/3
You can't play Rock Jockey if you played a land this turn.
You can't play lands if you played Rock Jockey this turn.

* The first ability applies whenever you could play Rock Jockey. The second ability applies only while Rock Jockey is in play.

* Putting Rock Jockey into play without playing it as a spell won't stop you from playing lands. Putting lands into play without playing them won't stop you from playing Rock Jockey.
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Soul Collector
{3}{B}{B}
Creature -- Vampire
3/4
Flying
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Soul Collector this turn is put into a graveyard, return that card to play under your control.
Morph {B}{B}{B} (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

* For its ability to trigger, Soul Collector must be face up when the creature is put into a graveyard.
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Stabilizer
{2}
Artifact
Players can't cycle cards.

* Nobody can play cycling or landcycling abilities while Stabilizer is in play.
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Stifle
{U}
Instant
Counter target activated or triggered ability. (Mana abilities can't be countered.)

* An activated ability has a colon ( between its cost and its effect. Triggered abilities include the words "when," "whenever," or "at."

* Stifle must be played while the activated or triggered ability you want to target is on the stack.

* The Onslaught card Astral Slide reads: "Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn." This is a triggered ability that creates a delayed triggered ability when it resolves. You can use Stifle to counter the triggered ability that removes the creature from the game, or you can let that resolve and later counter the triggered ability that returns it to play.

* Your normal card draw during your draw step can't be countered.

* Cycling is an activated ability. When a player cycles a card with a cycle trigger, you can use Stifle to counter either the triggered ability or the card-drawing ability, but not both.

* You can't counter turning a face-down creature face up, but you can counter an ability that triggers on that creature being turned face up.
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Trap Digger
{3}{W}
Creature -- Soldier
1/3
{2}{W}, {T}: Put a trap counter on target land you control.
Sacrifice a land with a trap counter on it: Trap Digger deals 3 damage to target attacking creature without flying.

* Trap Digger has the "sacrifice a land" ability; if it leaves play, you can't use that ability again until you get another Trap Digger into play.
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Uncontrolled Infestation
{1}{R}
Enchant Land
Uncontrolled Infestation can enchant only a nonbasic land.
When enchanted land becomes tapped, destroy it.

* The ability triggers only if the land *becomes* tapped while Uncontrolled Infestation is enchanting it. It doesn't destroy a land that's already tapped.
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Upwelling
{3}{G}
Enchantment
Mana pools don't empty at the end of phases or turns. (This effect stops mana burn.)

* Players can keep mana in their mana pools indefinitely while Upwelling is in play. Once it leaves play, they have until the end of the current phase to spend the mana.

* It's a good idea to track the amount and color of mana in your mana pool with counters or with pen and paper.
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Chris Richter
aka kriz_riktr - Moderator MTGNews.com
DCI Level II Judge