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Software engineer and long-time dabbler in mathematics; 11th in the Putnams forever ago but I've long since atrophied.


1d
comment Paying a Cost and Communicating
To be fair, I think the priority issue is part of the question; while the opponent can't back out of the casting of Devour Flesh, the question contains the implicit and false assumption that there's any reason for them to do so.
1d
comment Paying a Cost and Communicating
...and if not (that is, if you had something that you wanted to add to the stack), the game state should be rewound to before Devour Flesh was cast, and your opponent will be able to 'back out'.
1d
comment Paying a Cost and Communicating
I think it's worth emphasizing that there really are two distinct questions here: can your opponent back out of casting Devour Flesh, and has their Bile Blight resolved (i.e., will you have to sacrifice your Firefist Striker). I agree that ikegami's answer makes the former clear, but these comments should emphasize that even at Competitive REL the latter is also true; your opponent gave you time to respond, you didn't explicitly do so, and while he should have asked 'resolves?' for explicit confirmation, the shortcut rules mean that the spell will have resolved...
Apr
10
comment Gild and the Gold tokens it creates
(And while I know you two both know it, of course the controller of the spell could be swapped on the stack by, e.g., Perplexing Chimera; so 'when it resolves' is still necessary text.)
Apr
2
comment What happens when I copy Precursor Golem with Rite of Replication?
To clarify: what you're claiming/asking is essentially that the Golem's triggered ability determines which Golems the spell is copied to on placing the ability on the stack, rather than on resolution of the triggered ability? The document never claims that the Golem's ability needs targets; the Golem's ability is still a triggered ability.
Mar
28
comment Mono-Green Deck: Responding to Sorceries/Instants?
@Pow-Ian That does little good vs. either removal or counterspells, though. (It does hit the discard, and generally the mill)
Mar
14
comment Ensnaring Bridge and Cranial Plating
Also, the other half of the 'why this works': since the creature has already been declared as an attacker and correctly met the conditions needed to attack at that time (508.1c in the comprehensive rules), it has been declared as an attacker already, and suddenly failing to meet the conditions doesn't remove it from combat. (506.4 and 506.4a)
Mar
12
comment Can you cast an instant damage spell between first strike and normal damage?
One tiny bit of clarification - note that 'creatures are removed from combat' in the end-of-combat step does not refer to e.g. dead creatures being put in a graveyard or anything similar; that has already happened (as a state-based action) in the Combat Damage step. End-of-combat is basically just a 'cleanup' step to allow for (more) 'post-damage' opportunities to use e.g. Maze of Ith or the like.
Mar
12
comment Small World: Why does it use 3-point coins?
I'm a little surprised that you don't think of a player's score as public information. This is a lot more broadly philosophical - it's hardly applicable to just Small World - but for any game where every scoring action is visible to all players, I think not providing current scores when asked just adds an extraneous element of memory-dependence to the game that's not really aligned with the gameplay skills that the game should be testing.
Mar
9
comment If a creature with an effect is destroyed by blocking do other attacking creatures lose the effect?
Also, this answer only works if the Shaman is killed by the combat damage itself; if your opponent simply blocks it and kills it with, e.g., Divine Verdict or the like, then it's out of play well before your remaining minotaurs deal damage.
Mar
4
comment If a Creature-Planeswalker blocks a creature with infect, what happens?
I would just delete the last paragraph outright, honestly - it IMHO just heightens the confusion by even being mentioned.
Mar
4
comment What game are these cards from?
(The guys themselves, of course, are from Bleach: Ulquiorra, Byakuya, Ichigo, Gin and Grimmjow )
Feb
28
comment Nightveil Specter - Do I have to play them in order they were exiled?
(I think you mean 'as long as Nightveil Specter hasn't left the battlefield since it exiled the cards' in your last sentence.)
Feb
23
comment Show and Tell and permanents that target other permanents
(Briefly: Drake's ability will go on the stack first, since its controller is the active player; Angel's ability will thus resolve first, destroying Gilded Drake. Since Gilded Drake no longer exists, an exchange can't be made (section 701.8a of the comprehensive rules) and so Nothing Happens.)
Feb
23
comment Show and Tell and permanents that target other permanents
One interesting finesse to this answer: because of the way exchange effects work, if you manage to play Show and Tell on your opponent's turn and they put in Gilded Drake to your Angel of Despair, you can blow up the Drake and keep your Angel.
Feb
20
comment What exactly was so broken about Urza's Block?
Earthcraft's banning was less about the summoning-sickness issues and more about specific infinite combos with Fertile Ground/Horseshoe Crab and Recurring Nightmare/Workhorse/Overgrowth, which - as convoluted as it sounds - was much more consistent in the underpowered environment of the time, especially stapled into a 'standard' Recurring Nightmare/Survival of the Fittest engine. Earthcraft was deemed (justifiably!) an enabler and got tarred with the same brush.
Feb
14
comment How do Mistform Dreamer and Conspiracy interact?
@JacobLund This is true of the original version, because when MU was printed Wall did still have a rules meaning. The official wording of MU, though, is the one that's seen on the timeshifted reprint in Time Spiral (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/…) and you can see that it doesn't include that text. In general, I heartily encourage checking Gatherer for the current wording of any card (the so-called Oracle wording: see boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/6349 ) whenever you have a question about how that card works.
Feb
14
comment Will suspend foil a “Cheesy” victory?
@John Yes, but note what you said yourself: Beasts of Bogardan had to be explicitly errata'd to say 'controls a white permanent' simply because 'permanent' and 'card' reference different things. A card that hasn't had any errata applied to it (and TCSA is such a card) will play as printed, and the printed version of TCSA specifically talks about cards. Whether that meant something different at the time or not is moot, because that is still the current wording of the card.
Jan
29
comment What happens if both players have the ability to pump their creature an unlimited number of times?
I'm not saying that 'fragmented loop' doesn't define the concept; I'm saying that the rule specifically speaks to 'the same game state being reached multiple times' and having a different P/T on a creature than previously seems clearly to be a different game state. Their example even calls this out, where the result after a loop is explicitly the same (nothing about the game is different, other than 'an ability has been activated').
Jan
29
comment What happens if both players have the ability to pump their creature an unlimited number of times?
@JoeW The problem is that while 'Game State' doesn't actually have a formal definition within the comprehensive rules (!), it surely must include things like the power/toughness of creatures. For instance, imagine a card that read 'creatures with power greater than 100 have Trample'. This card wants to know exactly what the P/T of every creature in play is, and so pumping a creature must yield a distinct game state.