Mana Burn question

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My kids and I have just started playing MagicTheGathering, and have a basic understanding of the game. However, we are trying to figure out how mana burn works with certain card-types, so please keep that in mind when answering our obviously noobish questions. We may need a bit more detailed explanation than your normal MTG forumite.

Our question concerns Mana Burn: Specifically, when it deals with an artifact creature such as the Gold Myr which specifically states when tapped it adds one white mana to your mana pool.

1. If you tap the Gold Myr to attack, during the Declare Attackers phase, do you have to add the one white mana to your mana pool, or is that only when you choose to tap it for its mana only?

2. If you have to add one white mana, when you tap it to attack, but do not use it by the end of the Declare Attackers phase, do you take one life due to mana burn?

We understand most of the rules, but mana burn seems to be the one area in which we are having difficulty understanding the rules and their use.

Thanks, in advance, for helping this old man in his feeble attempts at playing this interesting game.

PS: I also purchased the MagicWorkstation program, which I would recommend to anyone new to the game. The detailed explanations found, when clicking on each phase, have been extremely helpful in our understanding of the game.
My kids and I have just started playing MagicTheGathering, and have a basic understanding of the game. However, we are trying to figure out how mana burn works with certain card-types, so please keep that in mind when answering our obviously noobish questions. We may need a bit more detailed explanation than your normal MTG forumite.

Our question concerns Mana Burn: Specifically, when it deals with an artifact creature such as the Gold Myr which specifically states when tapped it adds one white mana to your mana pool.

1. If you tap the Gold Myr to attack, during the Declare Attackers phase, do you have to add the one white mana to your mana pool, or is that only when you choose to tap it for its mana only?

It is only when you specifically tap the Gold Myr for mana that you get mana; not whenever it becomes tapped. (BTW, autocarding is easy. [noparse]Gold Myr[/noparse] -> Gold Myr)


We understand most of the rules, but mana burn seems to be the one area in which we are having difficulty understanding the rules and their use.

Thanks, in advance, for helping this old man in his feeble attempts at playing this interesting game.

Mana burn is a very rare occurence. Generally it only happens when you produce multiple mana off of a single activation, like with Azorius Chancery or because of a Heartbeat of Spring.
1. If you tap the Gold Myr to attack, during the Declare Attackers phase, do you have to add the one white mana to your mana pool, or is that only when you choose to tap it for its mana only?

Abilities like the one that Gold Myr has are known as "Activated Abilities". you can identify them by there format of "[cost] : [effect]" (notice the colon). To play one of these, you need to deliberately play the ability, paying its cost to do so. Becoming tapped by some other means, whether it be Attacking or twiddling will not and cannot cause the ability to activate.
Our question concerns Mana Burn

As for mana burn: Any time you produce mana, it gets put in your "mana pool". Normally, you spend the mana to play spells and abilities, but sometimes you will have some that you didn't get a chance to spend. At the end of every phase, your mana pool will empty, and you lose 1 life for each mana that empties in this way. For a reminder of the steps and phases in magic, see this post (ps, your mana pool does not empty at the end of steps, only phases.)

Welcome to the game, and don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.
1. If you tap the Gold Myr to attack, during the Declare Attackers phase, do you have to add the one white mana to your mana pool, or is that only when you choose to tap it for its mana only?

Declare Attackers is a step in the Combat Phase, so you would have to the end of the phase to use the mana. HOWEVER, when you tap the creature for attacking, you don't get mana and can't get mana. Tapping it for mana is a cost to play the ability. Once played, you couldn't attack with it. So it's until the end of the phase, not step. And tapping is a cost to play the ability.

2. If you have to add one white mana, when you tap it to attack, but do not use it by the end of the Declare Attackers phase, do you take one life due to mana burn?

At the end of each phase, if you have mana in your mana pool, you lose 1 life, per mana in the pool, that is still unused.
1. Gold Myr has an activated ability that will only add to your mana pool if you choose to tap it for that effect. It doesn't have a triggered ability that adds whenever it becomes tapped. The latter would be worded as "Whenever Gold Myr becomes tapped, add to your mana pool." (However, in that case, you couldn't just tap it when you need the mana; you'd need some other cost or effect to tap the Myr.)

2. N/A.
DCI Level 2 Judge Please use autocard when you ask a question about specific cards: [c]Serra Angel[/c] -> Serra Angel
Off-topic: If you purchased MWS you've been scammed. It's downloadable for free. However, speaking its name on the forums is forbidden, hence it being called 'the forbidden program'.
Hi, and welcome to the game!

1. If you tap the Gold Myr to attack, during the Declare Attackers phase, do you have to add the one white mana to your mana pool, or is that only when you choose to tap it for its mana only?

No, it doesn't. It will only add mana if you tap it for its ability. This is because it has an activated ability, which you must play to use. (Similar to a spell.)

2. If you have to add one white mana, when you tap it to attack, but do not use it by the end of the Declare Attackers phase, do you take one life due to mana burn?

(Since it doesn't add the mana, we'll just assume you tapped a Plains after declaring your attack).

Close. You have until the end of the phase, which is the Combat Phase in this case. So after Attackers, Blockers, and Damage have all happened.

If you still have mana in your pool at the end of the phase, it empties, and you lose that much life.

We understand most of the rules, but mana burn seems to be the one area in which we are having difficulty understanding the rules and their use.

It's not actually something that comes up frequently in games. The vast majority of the time, you only add mana to your pool as needed, and immediately spend it.

Might I also suggest our Wonderful FAQ stickied at the top of this Forum. I use it more often than the actual rulebook!

The entries on The Turn, The Stack, and Abilities will answer many questions that come up.

You should also always feel free to post here. We're usually very fast :D

Gerdef
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Wow, this was fast!

Much appreciated. I was thinking of each of the Declare Attackers, Declare Blockers, as separate phases, but they are just a part of the Main Combat Phase. I was getting my terms mixed up. Thanks for the explanation.

Unless the card says, I MUST add mana to my mana pool, then it isn't a cost, but is to be considered an ability, which I may choose to use or not. In the case of the Gold Myr: If I tap it to be used as an attacker, it will not give me mana in my mana pool. If I tap it specifically for its mana, then it cannot attack during the combat phase.

One last question: How did you pull up the link to the card Gold Myr again? Let me try it here to see if I can figure it out:

Gold Myr Gold Myr

It worked! It appears even an old dog can learn a few new tricks. Now if you do not know the exact name or spelling of the card in question, what is the easiest way to look it up and copy/paste it between the "c code"?

Once again, thank you very much for the help and for pointing me to the rules FAQ.
Wow, this was fast!

Much appreciated. I was thinking of each of the Declare Attackers, Declare Blockers, as separate phases, but they are just a part of the Main Combat Phase. I was getting my terms mixed up. Thanks for the explanation.

Unless the card says, I MUST add mana to my mana pool, then it isn't a cost, but is to be considered an ability, which I may choose to use or not. In the case of the Gold Myr: If I tap it to be used as an attacker, it will not give me mana in my mana pool. If I tap it specifically for its mana, then it cannot attack during the combat phase.

Once again, thank you very much for the explanation and for pointing me to more info. on the rules.

One last question: How did you pull up the link to the card Gold Myr again? Let me try it here to see if I can figure it out:

Gold Myr Gold Myr

Yep, that's all correct, and it looks like you got the Autocard too

It's very helpful when you post a rules question, because then we know what you're talking about! :P

Gerdef
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Thanks Gerdef.

I was editing my post while you answered.

I added a question about how to use the autocard function when you are not exactly sure of the spelling or name of the card in question.

Do I just go look it up and copy/paste the name between the code? Or is there a button I am overlooking in the reply box which will take me to the database?
Thanks Gerdef.

I was editing my post while you answered.

I added a question about how to use the autocard function when you are not exactly sure of the spelling or name of the card in question.

Do I just go look it up and copy/paste the name between the code? Or is there a button I am overlooking in the reply box which will take me to the database?

Gatherer, along the top bar, will take you to the official Magic database. It doesn't do great searches, but if you know for sure part of the name or some fairly unique phrase it'll get you there.
I will have to remind myself to write down part of the card name then, before coming online with a question.

Thanks
When entering it into these forums, you'll need to put the exact name between the [noparse] [/noparse] tags*. If you need to look something up, you can search on gatherer: http://ww2.wizards.com/Gatherer/

*Actually, another trick you might occasionally find useful:
[noparse]Da Bears[/noparse] -> Da Bears
Adarkar Windform

I called up the database, found the card in the list, and copy/pasted the name here. Works quick and easy. I like that card database search function. Now I can post semi-intelligent questions and provide all the necessary info.

Thanks again.