Questions & Answers

    Q: If an effect is applied "permanently," can future effects overwrite 
it? For example, if I gain control of one of my opponent's creatures 
"permanently," can he or she ever get it back? 
    A: Yes. When an effect lasts "permanently," this simply means it lasts 
indefinitely, not that it can't be overwritten.


    Q: If I pay a spell's buyback cost and it fizzles, does the card return 
to my hand? 
    A: No. If you pay a buyback cost, you get the card back during the 
spell's resolution. If the spell never resolves (if it's countered or fizzles 
against all its targets, for example), you don't get the card back.

    Q: So countering a buyback spell will also prevent me from getting it 
    A: That's right.

    Q: Is a buyback cost part of a spell's casting cost? 
    A: No. The buyback cost isn't printed in the upper-right corner, so it's 
not part of the casting cost. It's an additional cost represented by an 


    Q: If I play a Licid's ability to make it into a creature enchantment, 
are creature enchantments on the Licid destroyed? 
    A: The enchantments follow the Licid, but are then destroyed because 
their target has become illegal.

    Q: If a Licid leaves play while it's a creature enchantment, can I pay to 
end the Licid's effect and save it? 
    A: No. The effect is voided when the Licid leaves play.


    Q: Do my Slivers really affect my opponent's Slivers as well? 
    A: Yes. "All Slivers" really means all Slivers.

    Q: When a Sliver grants each Sliver an ability involving "this creature," 
does "this creature" refer to the Sliver granting the ability or to each 
Sliver in play (for example, Mnemonic Sliver reads, "Each Sliver gains '2, 
Sacrifice this creature: Draw a card.'")? 
    A: It refers to each individual Sliver. For example, Mnemonic Sliver 
enables each Sliver to sacrifice itself, not to sacrifice the Mnemonic Sliver 
granting the ability.


    Q: Can en-Kor creatures redirect damage back to themselves? 
    A: Yes, and this can be important. For example, if Justice is in play and 
your opponent Kindles your en-Kor, you can keep redirecting the Kindle's 
damage to have Justice do a huge amount of damage back to your opponent. 
Also, if you use an en-Kor to block a creature with trample, you can redirect 
the damage dealt to the en-Kor back to itself until no damage from the 
attacking creature is left to "trample through" to you.

    Q: If I'm losing a game in a tournament, can I keep redirecting the 
damage dealt to an en-Kor until time runs out? 
    A: No. This is a good way to get kicked out of a tournament for stalling.


    Q: What happens if the affected creature doesn't attack? 
    A: If the creature can't attack, nothing happens. If it can, it must.

    Q: If I control Burgeoning and my opponent plays Harrow, do I get to put 
lands into play? 
    A: No, only playing a land will trigger Burgeoning. Although they seem 
the same, "playing a land" and "putting a land into play" are two different 

    Q: If I cast Cannibalize and my opponent responds by destroying one of 
the creatures, is the other one removed from the game or does it get the two 
+1/+1 counters? 
    A: You must state which creature is getting each effect when you play 
Cannibalize. Removing one of the targets won't change what happens to the 

    Q: Do I gain 1 life from casting Contemplation itself (assuming no other 
copies of it are in play)? 
    A: No. You only gain life from your successfully cast spells once 
Contemplation is in play. You will gain 1 life if you Disenchant 
Contemplation, though.

    Crossbow Ambush 
    Q: Does Crossbow Ambush let me block a creature with flying and swampwalk 
if I control swamps? 
    A: No. Crossbow Ambush only changes the rules about blocking creatures 
with flying. It doesn't enable you to ignore other blocking restrictions from 
abilities like landwalk and shadow.

    Dream Halls 
    Q: Do I still pay the costs in a spell's text box when casting it with 
Dream Halls? For example, if I cast Meditate using Dream Halls's ability, do 
I still have to skip my next turn? 
    A: Yes, all costs in the spell's text box must still be paid as usual. 
Dream Halls affects only the casting cost--what's printed in the upper-right 

    Q: How does this apply to the casting of artifacts? 
    A: It doesn't. Colorless spells such as artifacts can't be cast using 
Dream Halls.

    Elven Rite 
    Q: Can I really put two +1/+1 counters on as many creatures as I want? 
    A: No. You get a total of two +1/+1 counters to put on either one or two 

    Ensnaring Bridge 
    Q: What happens if the number of cards in my hand drops after attackers 
are declared? 
    A: Nothing. After attackers are declared, the number of cards in your 
hand no longer matters.

    Q: Doesn't this spell always do zero damage, because the sacrificed 
creature will be in the graveyard when it resolves? (Creatures in the 
graveyard don't have a power value.) 
    A: Shh. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. This card is 
slightly misworded; it deals damage equal to the power the creature had when 
you sacrificed it.

    Foul Imp 
    Q: Can I play Foul Imp if I don't have enough life? 
    A: Yes.

    Grave Pact 
    Q: If I attack, my opponent blocks, and both creatures are dealt lethal 
combat damage, can he or she choose the creature that's already dying as the 
sacrifice for Grave Pact? 
    A: No. The creatures go to the graveyard at the same time. Then Grave 
Pact's ability triggers and forces your opponent to sacrifice a creature.

    Q: If two of my creatures are destroyed at the same time, does Grave Pact 
force my opponent to sacrifice two creatures or just one? 
    A: Two.

    Hidden Retreat 
    Q: Does "instant or sorcery" include abilities played as instants or 
    A: Yes. Because Hidden Retreat doesn't specify that it applies only to 
instant and sorcery spells, it also applies to abilities of the proper type.

    Q: If a creature ability's activation cost is, say, 1R, does Heartstone 
affect it? 
    A: Yes; it reduces to activation cost to R. Heartstone's second sentence 
needs errata. It should read "This cannot reduce an ability's total mana cost 
to less than 1."

    Hermit Druid 
    Q: Are the revealed cards put into my graveyard in the same order they 
came from my library? 
    A: No. You can put them in your graveyard in any order you wish.

    Horn of Greed 
    Q: If Horn of Greed is in play and I play Skyshroud Ranger's ability, do 
I draw a card? 
    A: No, only playing a land will trigger Horn of Greed. Although they seem 
the same, "playing a land" and "putting a land into play" are two different 

    Lowland Basilisk 
    Q: What happens if Lowland Basilisk damages a creature outside of combat 
(with Fire Whip, for example)? 
    A: The "destroy the damaged creature at end of combat" effect stays with 
the creature, waiting for an end of combat to occur. (Phasing the creature 
out will remove this effect.) If an end of combat ever occurs, the creature 
is destroyed.

    Mana Leak 
    Q: Can Medallions reduce the cost to play a spell imposed by Mana Leak? 
    A: No. Medallions reduce the cost for playing a spell, but can't help pay 
for an effect like Mana Leak's.

    Q: If I target a spell with Mana Leak and its caster pays the 3 mana, can 
I then target the spell with additional interrupts? 
    A: Yes.

    Mask of the Mimic 
    Q: Can I use Mask of the Mimic's ability to get a copy of the creature I 
    A: No. If the target you wish to mimic isn't in play when the Mask's 
effect resolves (for example, if you sacrificed it), it will fizzle.

    Q: Can I sacrifice more than one creature when I play Mask of the Mimic? 
    A: No. Additional costs in a spell's text box aren't considered activated 
abilities; you simply pay them once when the spell is played.


    Q: What happens if Portcullis is in play when two or three creatures come 
into play at the same time? 
    A: Portcullis's ability triggers once for each creature that comes into 
play, but the player controlling Portcullis chooses the order in which the 
triggered abilities are played. The result is that Portcullis's controller 
gets to choose which two creatures stay in play and which get set aside.

    Q: What happens when more than one Portcullis is in play when a creature 
comes into play? 
    A: Each Portcullis triggers simultaneously. If there are less than two 
creatures in play, the Portcullises have no effect. If there are two or more 
other creatures in play, the active player plays the abilities of his or her 
Portcullises (in any order he or she wishes). The other player then does the 
same. The first Portcullis ability played sets the creature aside; all others 
will then fizzle because the creatures have already been set aside.

    Q: What happens to the creatures Portcullis set aside if it's tapped when 
it leaves play? 
    A: The set-aside creatures are still put back into play. The 
return-to-play condition is part of the effect that removed the creature in 
the first place, not a separate ability.

    Q: Does Provoke's effect work on untapped creatures? 
    A: Yes.

    Pursuit of Knowledge 
    Q: If an effect tells me to draw three cards, can I skip each one of them 
and put three counters on Pursuit of Knowledge? 
    A: Yes. Each time you draw a card, you can instead put a counter on 
Pursuit of Knowledge. For example, if you have Sylvan Library and Pursuit of 
Knowledge in play, you can put three counters on Pursuit of Knowledge during 
each of your draw phases.

    Q: Can I remove six counters from Pursuit of Knowledge instead of three 
to get 14 cards? 
    A: No. Pursuit of Knowledge is sacrificed as part of the activation cost, 
so there's no way to activate it more than once.

    Q: If I have two Pursuits of Knowledge in play, can I put a counter on 
both of them when I skip drawing a card? 
    A: No. Skipping a draw is the cost to get one counter. Getting an 
additional counter requires skipping another draw.

    Q: Can I use Rebound to redirect spells and enchantments that affect only 
me, such as Final Fortune and Doomsday? 
    A: No. Rebound can only target spells that target a single player. If you 
don't see "target player" or "target opponent," you can't Rebound the spell.

    Q: What happens if I Rebound a "target opponent" spell to myself? 
    A: The spell will fizzle because its target is illegal.

    Reins of Power 
    Q: Does Reins of Power switch control of untapped creatures, too? 
    A: Yes. Control of all creatures is switched.

    Q: Does Revenant's power and toughness change or are they set? 
    A: Its power and toughness change as the number of creatures in the 
graveyard changes. If there are no creatures in its controller's graveyard, 
Revenant's toughness is reduced to 0 and it is destroyed.

    Sacred Ground 
    Q: Does "effect" include the effects of both spells and abilities? 
    A: Yes.

    Q: Can you return to your hand the creature you sacrificed to pay for 
Scapegoat's ability? 
    A: No. If any of the targets aren't in play when the effect resolves (for 
example, if you sacrificed one) the effect will fizzle with respect to that 
target. (It'll still return the other targets to your hand.)

    Q: Can I sacrifice more than one creature when I play Scapegoat? 
    A: No. Additional costs in a spell's text box aren't considered activated 
abilities; you simply pay them once when the spell is played.

    Serpent Warrior 
    Q: Can I play Serpent Warrior if I don't have enough life? 
    A: Yes.

    Spitting Hydra 
    Q: If Spitting Hydra has a -1/-1 counter on it, or has 1 damage, can I 
still remove all four +1/+1 counters from it to do 4 damage to my opponent? 
    A: No, because the Hydra will be destroyed when you remove the third 

    Q: If a creature takes two damage, can I play Temper with X equal to 5 to 
put five +1/+1 counters on it? 
    A: You can play Temper with X equal to as much as you want, but you can't 
get more counters than the amount of damage actually prevented.

    Tortured Existence 
    Q: Can I return to my hand the same creature card that I discard? 
    A: No. You must choose the target creature in the graveyard before you 
pay the activation cost, and the creature you want to discard won't yet be a 
valid target.

    Volrath's Gardens 
    Q: Can I tap an already-tapped creature to pay the activation cost of 
Volrath's Gardens? 
    A: No. In order to pay the cost you must actually tap a creature.

    Wall of Tears 
    Q: Do you return creatures destroyed during combat to their owner's hand? 
    A: No. Only creatures that survive combat are returned to their owner's 
hand. Remember that once a creature is destroyed, it's not a creature 
anymore--it's just a creature card in the graveyard.

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