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Subject: Two questions rss

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howl hollow howl
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#1: I have a creature with an activated ability that requires him to tap. Is there a time between declaring the creature as an attacker and tapping him as part of the "declare attackers" sequence that I can put his activated ability on the stack? The relevant rules text is below. At this point, I am fairly certain that he can, since 308.2 suggests that 308.2c is a separate "step", and 408.1c says I can activate it at the beginning of a step. The restriction that the creature must be untapped is at 308.2a, not 308.2c.

Quote:
308.2 To declare attackers, the active player follows the steps
below, in order.

308.2a The active player either chooses to not attack, or chooses one
or more creatures he or she controls and then determines whether this
set of creatures could attack. Only creatures can attack, and the
following creatures can't attack: tapped creatures (even those that
can attack without tapping) and creatures the active player didn't
control continuously since the beginning of the turn (except those
with haste). Other effects may also affect whether or not a set of
creatures could attack. (See rule 500, "Legal Attacks and Blocks.")

308.2c The active player taps the chosen creatures. Tapping a
creature when it's declared as an attacker isn't a cost; attacking
simply causes creatures to become tapped.

408.1c The active player gets priority at the beginning of most
phases and steps [...] The player with priority may play a spell or
ability, take a special action, or pass.


#2: Does a creature with the Indestructible trait get destroyed when
his toughness is reduced to 0?
The relevant rules text is below. In
fact, the wording of 420.5c ("greater than 0 toughness") makes it
very clear that these are different things. It's just that "destroy"
isn't defined anywhere, and it's not clear whether 420.5b applies. I
am pretty certain the answer is "yes", since the wording of 420.5b
does not include the word "destroy".

Quote:
Indestructible
If a permanent is indestructible, rules and effects can't destroy it.
Such permanents are not destroyed by lethal damage, and they ignore
the lethal-damage state-based effect (see rule 420.5c). Rules or
effects may cause an indestructible permanent to be sacrificed, put
into a graveyard, or removed from the game.

420.5b A creature with toughness 0 or less is put into its owner's
graveyard. Regeneration can't replace this event.

420.5c A creature with lethal damage, but greater than 0 toughness,
is destroyed. Lethal damage is an amount of damage greater than or
equal to a creature's toughness. Regeneration can replace this event.

 
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Shaun Klein
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Dave wrote:
#1: I have a creature with an activated ability that requires him to
tap. Is there a time between declaring the creature as an attacker
and tapping him as part of the "declare attackers" sequence that I
can put his activated ability on the stack? The relvant rules text is
below. At this point, I am fairly certain that he can, since it 308.2
suggests that 308.2a is a separate "step", and 408.1c says I can
activate it at the beginning of the step. The restriction that the
creature must be untapped is at 308.2a, not 308.2c.

=====

308.2 To declare attackers, the active player follows the steps
below, in order.

308.2a The active player either chooses to not attack, or chooses one
or more creatures he or she controls and then determines whether this
set of creatures could attack. Only creatures can attack, and the
following creatures can't attack: tapped creatures (even those that
can attack without tapping) and creatures the active player didn't
control continuously since the beginning of the turn (except those
with haste). Other effects may also affect whether or not a set of
creatures could attack. (See rule 500, "Legal Attacks and Blocks.")

308.2c The active player taps the chosen creatures. Tapping a
creature when it's declared as an attacker isn't a cost; attacking
simply causes creatures to become tapped.

408.1c The active player gets priority at the beginning of most
phases and steps [...] The player with priority may play a spell or
ability, take a special action, or pass.


Unfortunately, the rules are using "step" to mean two different things here. Rule 408.1c refers to "phases and steps," meaning the five phases of a turn (beginning, precombat main, combat, postcombat main, and end) and their constituent steps (untap, upkeep, and draw in the beginning phase; beginning of combat, declare attackers, declare blockers, first strike combat damage, combat damage, and end of combat in the combat phase; and end of turn and cleanup in the end phase). The "steps" in Rule 308.2 are just a series of instructions for what happens during the declare attackers step. This is supported by Rule 306.1:

the Comprehensive Rules wrote:
308.1. As the declare attackers step begins, the active player declares attackers (this game action doesn't use the stack). If the game allows the active player to attack multiple other players, he or she declares which player each creature is attacking. Effects from a creature that refer to a defending player refer only to the defending player it is attacking. Then any abilities that triggered on attackers being declared go on the stack. (See rule 410, "Handling Triggered Abilities.") Then the active player gets priority and players may play spells and abilities.


You'll notice that "the active player declares attackers" (which is to say, follows the instructions in 308.2) before "the active player gets priority."

Dave wrote:
#2: Does a creature with the Indestructible trait get destroyed when
his toughness is reduced to 0? The relevant rules text is below. In
fact, the wording of 420.5c ("greater than 0 toughness") makes it
very clear that these are different things. It's just that "destroy"
isn't defined anywhere, and it's not clear whether 420.5b applies. I
am pretty certain the answer is "yes", since the wording of 420.5b
does not include the word "destroy".

===

Indestructible
If a permanent is indestructible, rules and effects can't destroy it.
Such permanents are not destroyed by lethal damage, and they ignore
the lethal-damage state-based effect (see rule 420.5c). Rules or
effects may cause an indestructible permanent to be sacrificed, put
into a graveyard, or removed from the game.

420.5b A creature with toughness 0 or less is put into its owner's
graveyard. Regeneration can't replace this event.

420.5c A creature with lethal damage, but greater than 0 toughness,
is destroyed. Lethal damage is an amount of damage greater than or
equal to a creature's toughness. Regeneration can replace this event.


Yes, effectively (it doesn't get destroyed, but it does get put into the graveyard). Indestructiblity looks for the word "destroy." Something that puts a permanent into its owner's graveyard isn't destruction. This is why the glossary definition of "indestructible" says "rules and effects can't destroy it" but "rules and effects may cause an indestructible permanent to be [. . .] put into a graveyard." (List of ways to get rid of an indestructible permanent, complete as far as I know: removal from the game, sacrifice, toughness <= 0 (if it's a creature), legend rule, world rule, attached to an illegal permanent or player or not attached to anything (if it's an Aura).)
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howl hollow howl
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Thanks! I can live with 50%.
 
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Stephen Tavener
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I agree with the previous answers.

If you're interested in the fine points of magic rules, I can recommend the following resources...
- Every Saturday, there is a column on learning to play magic on the Wizards web site.
- If you are a DCI member, you can take a test to become a rules advisor, which will give you access to a mailing list fordiscussion of rules queries. There are a number of practise tests in the DCI Judges area, which will remind you just how much you have to learn!
- www.mtgsalvation.com has a column every Monday where a couple of DCI judges answer rules queries.
 
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Jeff Wiles
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Yep. Shaun nailed them both. Nice job.

In addition to the resources Stephen pointed out, starcitygames.com has a feature called "Ask a Judge" which maintains an ever-increasing database of rules Q&A and solicits as-yet-unasked questions from readers.
 
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