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2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:21PM #51
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Mulligans

Q: What is a mulligan?
A: At the start of the game, when you draw your opening hand, if you don't like it, you may take a mulligan. To do so, shuffle your hand into your library, then draw as many cards as you had before, minus one. If you still don't like it, you can take another mulligan, going down another card. You can keep doing this until you're satisfied with your hand or you have no cards in your hand at all, whichever comes first.

If you're playing in a multiplayer game of some kind (three or more players), your first mulligan of the game is "free"--for your first mulligan you draw a full seven cards rather than six.

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Q: What order do players take mulligans in relative to each other?
A: First, each player in turn order (starting with the player who will take the first turn) decides whether or not they wish to mulligan. Then all players who decided to take a mulligan do so simultaneously. Then, each player who took a mulligan this way then decides whether or not they wish to take a mulligan again (and again, they choose in turn order). This process continues until nobody wishes to take a mulligan or until the mulliganing players have no cards left.

Note that once a player has decided not to mulligan further, they may not change their mind later on.

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Q: I heard something about something called a "Paris" mulligan--what is that?
A: A Paris mulligan is the "normal" mulligan used by Magic, the one described in "What is a mulligan?" above. When taking a Paris mulligan, the player draws the same number of cards he or she had before, minus one. (It's called a "Paris" mulligan because the first event it was used for was a Pro Tour in Paris, France.)

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Q: What about "all-land" or "no-land" mulligans?
A: When playing in casual games outside of tournaments, players in some playgroups may allow you to take a "free" mulligan if you have no lands or all lands in your opening hand, provided you show the hand to prove you're telling the truth. However, these are not part of the official rules, so be sure to check first to see if the group you're playing with will allow it.

(At one distant point in the past, Magic's mulligan rules were different and allowed "no-land" mulligans. This is no longer the case.)

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Q: Is my "opening hand" the one I have before mulliganing, or after? (ie, How does and kin interact with mulliganing?)
A: Your "opening hand" is the hand you keep after you're done mulliganing. You cannot draw your hand, put a Leyline onto the battlefield, and then proceed to take mulligans.

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:22PM #52
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Sideboards

Q: What is a sideboard?
A: A sideboard is an optional set of additional cards that go with a deck, separate from the main deck. When you're playing a match against an opponent, you are allowed to modify your deck for the second and third games of the match by replacing some of the cards in your 'maindeck' with cards from your sideboard. Sideboarding allows you to modify your deck to better combat your opponent's deck.

The rules for the sideboard vary, depending on whether you are playing either Constructed or Limited.

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Q: What are the sideboarding rules for Constructed play?
A: In Constructed play, a sideboard is optional, but if you have one, it must be exactly 15 cards; no more, no less, and when you swap in cards from your sideboard for cards from your main deck, you have to do so on a one-to-one basis. One card goes in, one card comes out. For example, you cannot put two cards into your main deck from your sideboard, but only take one out. Since your sideboard is considered a part of your deck, the four-of rule applies to your main deck and sideboard combined--you cannot have a fifth copy of a particular card in your sideboard, for example.

After the final game of a match, you must always return your main deck and sideboard to their original state before playing the first game of the next match; you cannot choose to simply leave your sideboard cards in your main deck.

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Q: What are the sideboarding rules for Limited play?
A: In Limited play, your sideboard consists of all the cards in your card pool that you didn't place in your main deck, plus an unlimited number of basic lands of any kind. Unlike in Constructed, sideboarding in Limited can be done any way you like, not just on a one-to-one basis. As long as your deck remains at or above the 40-card minimum, you can add in or take out as many cards from your sideboard as you like, in any ratio. So if you want to add five cards and not take any out, that's perfectly fine.

In addition, at Regular-level Limited events that aren't using decklists, unless the tournament organizer or head judge specifically says otherwise, you may freely modify your deck as you wish between matches; you don't have to return your deck to its original state before your next match. You still have to do so at Competetive or Professional events, though.

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Q: Can I look at my sideboard during a game?
A: You can look at your own sideboard at any time during your games, as long as it remains clearly separate from the cards in your main deck.

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Q: How much can my I find out about my opponent's sideboard?
A: You cannot look at the cards in your opponent's sideboard, and they cannot look at yours.

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Q: I've been issued a Game Loss by a Judge; can I sideboard?
A: You can only sideboard after you have actually finished a game against your current opponent; Game Loss penalties don't count. If you haven't yet finished a game, neither you nor your opponent may sideboard.

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Q: Can I keep and refer to notes about how to sideboard against specific kinds of decks?
A: Yes; you are permitted to refer to a brief set of notes between games or matches, which may include sideboarding information. However, don't forget that the notes must be brief--taking too long to sideboard because you're reading your notes may be penalized as slow play.

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Q: What's a "wishboard"?
A: Certain cards, such as , allow you to take cards from 'outside the game' and bring them into the game. In tournament play, the only cards these cards can find are the ones in your sideboard. 'Wishboard' is player slang for a sideboard that includes certain cards specifically so that they may be brought into the game by such 'Wish' cards. (After the game the wished-for cards must be returned to the sideboard.)

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:22PM #53
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Judge Certification and Training

Q: What is a Magic: The Gathering judge?
A: A M:TG Judge is the authority at tournaments. They will keep track of game records, answer rules questions, enforce the Comprehensive Rules and the Magic Tournament Rules, and keep the tournament running smoothly. Many judges are DCI-certified.

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Q: What's the DCI?
A: The DCI, in a nutshell, takes care of all the official aspects of DCI-supported games. They regulate rules and guidelines, keep track of DCI ratings, and cover all sorts of issues that may arise at tournaments. They also certify judges. Make sure you check out their website.

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Q: What exactly is a certified judge?
A: A DCI-certified judge is a judge that went through the judging certification process. Becoming a certified judge is a rigorous process, and demonstrates a competence in rules. A certified judge may apply to have a higher K-Value (ratings weight) for tournaments he/she judges.

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Q: How do I become a certified judge?
A: There are a number of requirements for becoming a certified judge. You must work at least two events under the supervision of a Level 2 judge or higher, score a certain standard on an entrance exam, and take part in an informal interview demonstrating your competence and suitability for the position. For a complete list of level 1 requirements, you can go to this website.

To start, contact a judge near you. Depending on who you work with, you might go through a slightly different process, as each judge does things a little differently.

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Q: Why would I want to become a certified judge?
A: You would be recognized for your rules knowledge. You would also receive promotional gifts, a membership card, and access to special programs and e-mail lists, not to mention the fact that it is a very rewarding thing to do. In addition, you could apply to run tournaments of a higher K-value. On the down side, you usually don't get paid and are often required to put in long hours. Last but not least, the job is a lot of responsibility. Make sure it's something you're willing to take on. For more thoughts on the positive (and negative) aspects of judging, check out this article: Why Do We Judge?.

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Q: Does it cost anything?
A: No; it's completely free.

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Q: Is there an age requirement?
A: No, there is no age requirement to become a judge. However, at many tournaments it's up to the tournament organizer whether or not to allow kids under 18 to be sponsored to judge, and at pure Wizards events, such as Pro Tours and Worlds, there's a strict age limit of 18 for sponsorship. (Kids can be on staff, just not sponsored.)

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Q: Ok, I decided I want to become a judge and don't know what to study. Where do I go?
A: For all sorts of helpful hints and tips, read some of the articles aimed at aspiring judges. Also, make sure you're familiar with all of these documents. They are the rules, and therefore the basis of the game! Also, check out the Rules Q&A Forum. Stay tuned to the latest rulings at the Rules FAQs and Articles Forum. If you desire to test your knowledge, head on over to the Judge Center, where you can take tests to brush up on your rules knowledge. At the Judge Center, you can even become a Rules Advisor!

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:23PM #54
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Miscellaneous

{This section is currently empty.}

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:23PM #55
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Double-Faced Cards

Q: What are double-faced cards and how do they work?
A: Double-faced cards are a series of cards from Innistrad block that have no "back", just two faces, one on each side of the card. There are some special rules for playing with double-faced cards in your deck that we'll cover in just a second, but we'll just cover how the cards themselves work right now. A double-faced card works just like a normal card, except that when it meets certain conditions it will "transform" and change into whatever's on the other face.

A double-faced card looks like this; the first image is the 'front face' of the card, and the second is the 'back face':

Notice that the card's 'front face' has a sun symbol in the upper-left corner and uses the normal card frame coloring. The card's 'back face' has a moon symbol in the upper-left and uses an alternative frame coloring. You play the card as written on the 'front face' as though it were a normal card, which will tell you under what circumstances it will transform.

As far as the game is concerned, the card's 'back face' is only relevant while it's on the battlefield and has transformed to use that face. In all other circumstances, the 'back face' effectively doesn't exist.

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Q: How do I play with a double-faced card in my deck?
A: There are two ways to play with double-faced cards in your deck. The first is to just use the card in your deck as you would any other card. However, you can only do this if you also use opaque card sleeves so that it's impossible to tell your cards apart from the back. When your double-faced card transforms, you can take it out of the sleeve and turn it around to show the other face.

The other way of playing with double-faced cards is to use a 'checklist card'. Checklist cards were distributed in most Innistrad block packs in place of basic lands. A checklist card has a normal Magic card back, but the front looks like this:

To use a checklist card, mark down on the checklist which double-faced card that checklist card represents, and then include the checklist card in your deck just like you would a normal card. Make sure to only mark one card off on the checklist, and use a pencil, pen, or marker that won't leave a mark through the card. Keep the actual double-faced card the checklist is supposed to be representing close by--you'll need it.

You'll use the checklist card any time the identity of your double-faced card needs to be kept concealed--say, in your hand or library, or while it's exiled face down. You'll switch out the checklist for the actual double-faced card it represents when it's in a public zone where everyone can see it.

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Q: What counts as an 'opaque sleeve'? What happens if the sleeves aren't completely opaque?
A: An opaque sleeve is one that's impossible to see through to any degree. Be careful; a lot of colored sleeves aren't actually completely opaque. (Especially lighter-colored ones.) Try sleeving up some cards and looking again, carefully; you can often make out the Magic logo and the colored dots on the back of the card.

In a tournament setting, using sleeves that aren't fully opaque will be treated by a judge as having marked cards.

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Q: Can I use checklist cards and actual double-faced cards in the same deck?
A: No. You can either use all double-faced cards, or all checklist cards, but not both in the same deck. If you have even one checklist card in your deck, all of your double-faced cards should be treated much the same way as tokens are.

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Q: Can my opponent see what my double-faced card will look like once it transforms?
A: Yes. Any time a double-faced card is visible, the players who can see it can see both faces. Any player who can look at a checklist card in a hidden zone can look at the double-faced card it represents.

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Q: Does transforming a double-faced card cause auras, counters, or equipment to 'fall off' of it?
A: No, for the same reason that tapping doesn't--it's just changing the what the card looks like, not what it is. Simply changing what the card looks like will not remove anything from it. However, if the other face is something that those auras or equipment couldn't legally be attached to, they will fall off. For example, if you cast on , and then the youth transforms, the Strength will fall off and go to the graveyard because it can only enchant a green or white creature, and the transformed state of the Youth, , is neither green nor white.

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Q: If I'm searching my library for something, can I find the 'back face' of a double-faced card?
A: No. As far as the game is concerned, the 'back face' double-faced card does not exist unless the card is on the battlefield and has transformed to use that face. Everywhere else, the back face is treated as though it does not exist.

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Q: I need to name a card. Can I name the 'back face' of a double-faced card?
A: Yes, you can name either face of a double-faced card. This could allow you to do things like prevent the damage from with .

However, remember that the 'back face' of the card only exists when the card is on the battlefield and is using that face. Anywhere else, it only has the characteristics of the front face, so you'd have to name the front face if you wanted to do something like find it with .

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Q: What does transforming a card that has already transformed do?
A: It transforms it back. Transforming can happen both ways; in fact, many double-faced cards have built-in abilities that let them transform from either side. Not every double-faced card will have a way to do this, but if you can find some other way, good for you!

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Q: Can a card that's not double-faced transform?
A: No. Only double-faced cards can transform.

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Q: What is the mana cost and converted mana cost of the back face of a double-faced card?
A: The back face of a double-faced card has no mana cost at all, so its converted mana cost will be 0.

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Q: What color is the back face of a double-faced card?
A: Since the back face of a double-faced card has no mana cost, it uses a color indicator to indicate its color. That's what the little round circle on the left side of the type line on above is. The color of the color indicator determines the color of the card. (The color of the frame will reflect the color specified in the indicator, so you could also just look at that.)

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Q: What happens if something turns a double-faced card face-down? Does it transform?
A: Nothing happens. The card does not transform, and it's not turned face-down. A double-faced card can't be turned face-down; anything that tries to turn a double-faced card face-down just fails to do anything to it.

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Q: I a double-faced card. Which face do I get?
A: You get whichever face is currently in use. However, since your is not double-faced, it will not be able to transform--if it tries, nothing happens.

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Q: My double-faced card became a copy of something that's not double-faced, then transformed. What happens?
A: The card will transform, since it has two faces, but the copied values of its characteristics will still be overriding the printed characteristics, so it won't actually look any different until the copy effect wears off.

Transforming changes the "base state" that the card is starting from when you determine what it looks like, but it doesn't override any other effects that are applying to the card, and the copy effect is currently overwriting all the card's normal characteristics.

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:27PM #56
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
The Stack

Q: What is the stack?
A: Technically speaking, the stack is a game zone, like the battlefield or even your hand. It's the place where spells and abilities exist in between the time they are cast, activated, or triggered (whichever is appropriate) and the time they resolve and actually do whatever they're supposed to do.

Even if this is the first time you've ever heard of the stack, chances are you've taken advantage of it before--the existence of the stack is what allows players to respond to their opponent's spells and abilities. Any time you've used a or used a spell or ability to from an opponent's spells somehow, you've been using the stack.

The stack is often a difficult concept to learn for players who are encountering it for the first time, but don't worry; this FAQ should give you a good basic grounding in how it works. And if you still have questions, you're more than welcome to start a new thread to ask them. We're always happy to help players in need.

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Q: Why should I learn about the stack?
A: Because knowing how the stack works leaves you better equipped to do Really Cool Things, and allows you to figure out how to stop your opponent from using those same Really Cool Things against you. For many games, the casual "in response, I do this" terminology you probably already know works just fine, but being able to figure out what's happening when things get more complicated is a valuable skill.

The stack is like a computer or a smartphone--if you want to use it for nothing but the basics, that's fine, and a lot of people do that. But there's a lot more you can do with it if you care to take the time to understand how.

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Q: So how does the stack work?
A: Much as its name implies, the stack is effectively a pile of spells and abilities waiting to resolve. Whenever any player casts a spell or activates an activated ability and whenever a triggered ability triggers, that spell or ability is put onto the stack to wait for responses. When nobody wants to respond to whatever happens to be on top of the stack, that spell or ability resolves, and everyone has another chance to respond before the next spell or ability resolves.

The things that were cast/activated most recently (and were thus placed on top of the pile) will resolve before things that were played first (and are thus on the bottom, buried under everything else). This is referred to as "last in, first out", or LIFO.

When the stack is empty and nobody wants to do anything, then the current step of the turn ends and the game moves on to the next step.

For example: Player A casts targeting Player B's . The goes onto the stack and waits to resolve. In response, Player B activates 's ability to protect herself. That ability goes onto the stack on top of the and also waits to resolve. Neither player wants to do anything else, so things start to resolve. Since the things on the stack resolve in LIFO order, top to bottom, the top thing on the stack (the Mother's ability) will resolve first, protecting it. Assuming nobody does anything else, the Doom Blade will attempt to resolve shortly after, but will fizzle because the Mother is no longer a legal target thanks to protection.

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Q: What can I use to respond to things?
A: The only spells you can use in response to other spells are Instants and cards that have the Flash ability--these spells can be cast during anyone's turn, no matter how many spells or abilities are on the stack already. Other spells cannot be used in response to things; you can only cast them in the main phase of your own turn when no other spells or abilities are on the stack.

The vast majority of activated abilities also follow the timing rules for instants--you can use them during anyone's turn and even if there are already spells or abilities on the stack waiting to resolve. The activated abilities that don't work like this will specifically say you can only activate them 'any time you could cast a sorcery'.

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Q: What can I respond to? (ie, "What uses the stack?")
A: An easy way to remember the things that use the stack, and which therefore you can respond to, is to remember the acronym SAT: Spells, Activated abilities, and Triggered abilities.

All spells use the stack and can be responded to, without exception; the vast majority of activated and triggered abilities also use the stack. The ones that don't are mana abilities: abilities that produce mana. (And fit a few other requirements that we won't get into here.) Since mana abilities don't use the stack, they can't be responded to.

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Q: What can't I respond to?
A: Anything that is not listed in the above question doesn't use the stack and can't be responded to, but we'll list a few of the specific ones that tend to cause problems here.

• You cannot respond to the announcement and cost-payments of a spell or ability. You cannot wait until your opponent tries to do something and then try to 'respond' to make it impossible for them to do it.

You can respond to the spell or ability itself, meaning you can do things before the effect the spell or ability will have once it resolves, but not the cost for casting/activating it. By the time you have a chance to do anything, the spell/ability has already been cast/activated.
For example, has the ability ": Destroy target creature". If your opponent decides to activate that ability, you cannot use your to stop him, since tapping is part of the cost of activating the ability, and by the time you get to respond, it is already tapped. (Technically, you can use the Lawkeeper, but it will just have no effect.)

• You cannot respond to a player paying costs.
This is usually the same as the above point, but it also includes special costs like on , , , or

• You cannot respond to mana abilities; they do not use the stack.
Mana abilities are abilities that produce mana. (And fit a few other requirements.) To learn the full details, see the mana abilities section of this FAQ.

• You cannot respond to turn-based actions.
The turn-based actions are untapping at the beginning of your turn, drawing a card at the beginning of your draw step, declaring attackers and blockers, assigning and dealing combat damage, and cleanup. For more information on these actions, see the Turns and the Turn Structure section of this FAQ.

• You cannot respond to a player playing a land.

• You cannot respond to a morph creature being turned face up.
You can respond to any triggered abilities that may trigger on them turning face up, though. To learn what exactly constitutes a triggered ability, see the Triggered Abilities section of this FAQ.

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Q: Can I stop my opponent from casting a spell or activating an ability by doing something in response?
A: No. Never. By the time you know your opponent is casting the spell or activating the ability and have the chance to do anything about it, they have already finished casting/activating it. You cannot retroactively stop them from having cast/activated it.

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Q: Can I respond to a spell with one thing, wait for that thing to resolve, then respond with something else? (eg, Can I my opponent's spell, then it again if they pay?)
A: Certainly. Spells and abilities on the stack resolve one at a time, and after each resolution there's a chance for both players to respond before the next resolution.

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Q: Can my opponent respond to something I cast in response to something of his?
A: Certainly, but fortunately for you you can respond to that response, too.

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Q: Can I use something that taps my opponent's stuff to preemptively stop him from using an ability with in the cost?
A: Not usually, no. If you try to preemptively use a spell or ability to tap his permanent before he attempts to use the ability, he still has a chance to use the ability in response, rendering your spell/ability useless.

The only time you could effectively tap something pre-emptively is when the ability couldn't be used in response for some reason. (Maybe it needs a target that isn't available right now, for example.) Otherwise the absolute most you can do is force your opponent to use the ability sooner than he might otherwise want to.

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:28PM #57
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
Priority

Q: What is priority?
A: Basically, the priority system is a way to answer the question "Both players want to do something right now, before their opponent has a chance to do something--who gets to act first?" It also answers the similar question "Both players want to wait and see if their opponent will do anything before deciding whether or not to do something--who has to act first?"

The priority system is pretty involved, but at its heart, the intricate details of who has priority will only ever matter if both players want to do something at the same time, or if they both want to wait to see what their opponent is going to do. In any other situation, priority won't matter and you can safely ignore it.

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Q: Why does priority matter?
A: The best way to explain this is by example. Let's set up a situation where priority matters.

Player A has just cast a planeswalker (let's say ). It resolves and enters the battlefield. Now, Player A wants to use one of Liliana's abilities right away, and at the same time Player B wants to use 's ability on Liliana so that she dies and Player A doesn't get any benefit out of her. Who wins? Can Player A use Liliana before Player B can use the ability, or will Player B get to use the ability before Player A can use Liliana?

Another example: Player A casts and has a in hand. Player B has a in hand. Player A would like to use on the , but wants to see if Player B is going to cast first, so that he doesn't waste the . Meanwhile Player B wants to see if Player A is going to cast before casting , so that he can potentially get rid of both spells at once. Who has to make the first move here, and who gets to wait and see what the opponent is doing?

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Q: So how does priority work?
A: At any given point in the game, at most one player will have priority. A player who has priority can do things. A player who does not have priority cannot.

A player who has priority can either do something (cast a spell, activate an ability, play a land, take a special action, whatever) or "pass" without doing anything. If they do something, then they get priority again. If they pass, then their opponent will get priority, and he or she will face the same choice.

If both players pass priority in succession, the top spell or ability on the stack resolves. (If the stack is empty, the current step or phase of the turn ends and the next one begins.) During the resolution of spells or abilities or while performing turn-based actions like declaring attackers and blockers, no player has priority--nobody can do anything.

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Q: Who gets priority first?
A: During any given player's turn, that player is always the first to receive priority in each new step or phase, and he or she is always the first to receive priority after a spell or ability finishes resolving.

This means that the player whose turn it is has to decide whether or not to do things before knowing what the opponent will do. It also means that the opponent cannot do anything before the player whose turn it is decides whether or not to do something.

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A: The previous question outlined the answer to the first example scenario; a spell () has just finished resolving, which means the first player to receive priority is the player whose turn it is--in this case, Player A. He or she can choose to activate one of Liliana's abilities before his or her opponent has a chance to use .

The second example scenario was answered in the question before that. Player A just finished casting a spell ()--in order to do that, he had to have had priority, and since he had priority before casting the spell, he will regain priority once he finishes doing so. Player A will need to decide whether or not to risk casting before he knows whether or not the opponent has a to use.

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Q: Are there times when nobody has priority? If so, when?
A: Yes. No player has priority during turn-based actions such as untapping, drawing a card for the turn, declaring attackers or blockers, or assigning and dealing combat damage. No player receives priority during the resolution of any spell or ability. And no player receives priority during the untap step of the turn, nor (usually) during the cleanup step. (There are circumstances where players can receive priority during the cleanup step, but it's very rare--ask in a new thread if you're curious.)

Remember, players cannot cast any spell or activate any ability (nor perform special actions like playing lands) if they don't have priority.

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Q: How does priority work in multiplayer games?
A: Priority works essentially the same in multiplayer games as it does in two-player games, except that priority passes around the table in turn order, (starting, as before, with the player whose turn it is) and every player has to pass priority in succession instead of just two.

 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:29PM #58
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
{This post reserved for future FAQ expansion.}
 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:29PM #59
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
{This post reserved for future FAQ expansion.}
 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2010 - 2:31PM #60
zammm
Date Joined: Jul 3, 2003
Posts: 27,218
{This post reserved for future FAQ expansion.}
 Level 2 Magic Judge ~ ~ ~ ~ Knowledge knows no bounds.Magic Area FAQ & Index | Magic General FAQ | Card Comparisons | The Wording ClinicRules Q&A FAQ | Cards & Combos FAQ | Keyword FAQ | Returning Player Rules Primer | My Trade BinderJoin the Wizards Community Marketplace group today!

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anyone who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it! That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction; it doesn't make the word any more real than any other word. If you love a word, it becomes real.
--Erin McKean, Redefining the Dictionary
Cancel
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