Prophecy Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Some cards have abilities that work only if I control no untapped lands. 
Do they work if I don't control _any_ lands (after Armageddon, for example)?

A: Yes. If you control no lands, you certainly don't control any untapped 

Q: Some cards say to do some effect _unless_ a particular player pays some 
cost. For example, Excise reads, "Remove target attacking creature from the 
game unless its controller pays X." Exactly when does X have to be paid?

A: All "unless" costs are paid when the spell or ability resolves, not when 
it's played. The exception is mana abilities. Because those are played and 
resolve in one step, the cost must be paid immediately. If a static ability 
includes an "unless" cost, it will tell you when the cost has to be paid.


Barbed Field
Q: Does the damage dealt by the enchanted land have a color? (Can I prevent 
it with a Circle of Protection: Red?)

A: No, the land deals the damage--not the enchantment--so the damage is 
colorless. It can't be prevented by effects that prevent damage of a 
particular color.

Blessed Wind
Q: When this effect sets my life total to 20, does it count as gaining life 
(or losing life if my life total goes down)?

A: Yes. Abilities that trigger on gaining life will trigger if your life 
total goes up, and those that trigger on losing life will trigger if it goes 

Calming Verse
Q: How does this card work?

A: If you're tapped out when Calming Verse resolves, you destroy all 
enchantments except the ones you control. If you're not, you destroy all 
enchantments--even your own.

Coffin Puppets
Q: If I sacrifice my only two lands, will Coffin Puppets still come into play?

A: Yes. The "only if you control a swamp" part applies only when determining 
whether you can play the ability.

Dual Nature
Q: How does this interact with Clone and Vesuvan Doppelganger?

A: Clone comes into play as a copy of a creature, so the token will be a copy 
of whatever creature Clone is copying. Unlike Clone, Doppelganger retains its 
abilities, so the token will also have those abilities, enabling you to 
choose a new target for the token to copy when it comes into play. A token 
that's a copy of Doppelganger will also gain the Doppelganger's second 
ability, "At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have Vesuvan Doppelganger 
become a copy of target creature, except it retains its color and gains this 
ability." This means you can change what the Doppelganger token copies during 
each of your upkeeps.

Elephant Resurgence
Q: If more creatures go to graveyards after my opponent and I put the 
Elephant tokens into play, do the tokens readjust their power and toughness?

A: Yes. Their power and toughness can change because the spell gives the 
_tokens_ the ability that determines their power and toughness. If the spell 
determined power and toughness, they would be "locked in" when the spell 

Q: If an opponent plays Flay on me, can I see my first random discard before 
deciding to pay the 1 mana to prevent the second discard?

A: Yes. Payments such as the one on Flay are made just before the relevant 
part of the effect would occur.

Heightened Awareness
Q: Why would anyone play with Heightened Awareness? I get to draw a card in 
my draw step anyway.

A: *Magic*(R) rules let you draw a card at the beginning of your draw step. 
Heightened Awareness lets you draw another one. In other words, you get its 
effect in addition to your normal draw. If you had two Heightened Awarenesses 
in play, you could draw three cards a turn: your normal draw and one card for 
each Heightened Awareness you control.

Mercenary Informer
Q: Can I use its second ability to put a Mercenary card from my _graveyard_ 
on the bottom of my library?

A: No. *Magic* rules say that a spell or ability affects only the in-play 
zone unless otherwise specified, so you can't target a Mercenary card in your 

Noxious Field
See Barbed Field.

Psychic Theft
Q: Let's say I played this on an opponent and chose an instant. Can I wait 
for the "at end of turn, return it to owner's hand" part to trigger and then 
play the chosen card in response?

A: Yes. The triggered part goes on the stack, and before it resolves you can 
play the instant.

Rebel Informer
See Mercenary Informer.

Shield Dancer
Q: If I activate its ability twice, does the attacking creature deal its 
combat damage to itself twice?

A: No. You can activate the ability twice, but that would just make the 
effect occur the next two times the creature would deal combat damage to 
Shield Dancer that turn. And because creatures almost always deal combat 
damage only once each turn (with the exception of Relentless Assault), 
activating the ability a second time won't do anything.

Shrouded Serpent
Q: If Shrouded Serpent is attacking me, when can I pay the 4 mana to stop it 
from becoming unblockable?

A: Whenever Shrouded Serpent attacks, its ability triggers. You can pay the 4 
mana only when that ability resolves. After that, it's too late.

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