Summary of M:tG rulings on general topics

From: (Stephen D''Angelo)
Subject: MTG Rulings Summary: General (2/22/94)
Organization: Whimsical
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 1994 19:12:42 GMT

Here's the latest of rulings summaries.  The biggest change was a restructuring
of the damage resolution steps.  Lots of little stuff too.

No new bombshells, but I've left in the BIG CHANGE markers.
The most recent gg-l digest used was #300.

Many of these rulings are _NOT_ "official".  A lot of what is said is "Common
net wisdom" picked out of posts by people I trust of that put out a good
argument.  Whenever the ruling was made by an official (such as our former 
net contact "Snark", the game designer "Garfield", or other net contacts 
"Chris Page" and "bethmo"), I've tried to make a note of that.  I don't 
claim responsibility for the accuracy of the rulings or for transcription 
errors, okay?  I'm only human.

There is some overlap with the FAQ.

Let me know if you find any problems/errors/typos/etc in the text below.
I'd like to make it more accurate and complete.

A '+' is used to mark changes since the last released version (02/07/94).

Stephen D'Angelo  (work address)          (checked less regularly)

General Rulings                                          last update 02/22/94

Basic Rulings We All Should Know:
  "I'm done" always means "I'm done unless you do something else".  You
    can use instants and fast effects in response to anything your opponent
    does. [bethmo]
  Basic land types are: Forest, Island, Mountain, Plains, and Swamp. 
    Multilands and the lands introduced by Arabian Nights (and other expansions
    are not "basic" lands types for purposes of any spell. [Snark]
  Black, Blue, Green, Red and White are the only colors in the game.
    Colorless (or no color) are not valid color types for purposes of any
    spell.  [Snark]  
  Artifacts and Lands have no color but can be xxxxLaced into a color.
  The rulebook says that any player can look at any other player's graveyard
    at any time.  This means that a player cannot hide what goes into or gets
    taken out of the graveyard from any other player.  [Page 37]  You do not 
    need to show anything which goes into or comes out of your Library. 
+ Targeting a creature with a spell or fast effect is not an attack.  An 
    attack is a specific phase of the turn. [bethmo]
  It is not legal to spend mana on counteractions like Circle of Protection
    or Death Ward (but not limited to them) when there is no valid action to
    be countering.  Equally, you cannot Earthbind a non-flying creature or
    Animate Artifact when there are no artifacts.  You can spend mana to 
    power up Firebreathing or some other existing effect.  Basically, you 
    cannot make an excuse just to get rid of cards or mana.
  Special abilitites of creatures, such as Tim's poke, are not attacks. 
    [bethmo]  Neither are spells like Fireball or Lightning Bolt.  These
    are just spells and effects.  An Attack is something special in Magic.
  Continuous effects are faster than interrupts. [bethmo]
  Continuous effects of artifacts only work when they are untapped. [Rulebook]
  Continuous effects of creatures work whether or not they are tapped. [bethmo]
  Interrupts are permanent. [Page 19]
  Sacrificed creatures cannot be regenerated. [Page 27]
  Sacrificed creatures go to the graveyard like any other dead creature.
  Creatures represented by tokens are not "cards" in the game sense.  This
    means that they cannot be targetted by spells which specify a card
    (like City in a Bottle, Red Elemental Blast, and Desert Twister).  [bethmo]
  Token creatures are also removed from the game entirely if they are ever
    Unsummoned, destroyed, or otherwise removed from play. [bethmo]
  Token creature are considered to have a zero casting cost. [bethmo]
  If two enchantments contradict one another, the most recently cast wins.
    For example, casting Flight on a creature with Earthbind on it grants
    the creature the ability to fly, but the Earthbind does remain in play.
    [WotC Rules Team]
  Any time a player or creature is damaged, a damage-prevention opportunity
    is available.  (See Dealing with Damage) [bethmo]
+ Enchantments may not be played directly on your opponent.  Period. [bethmo]

Turn Order
  This is based on the FAQ.

  1. Untap Phase
      You MUST untap each turn.  You cannot "forget". [Snark]
      Order of untap is not important since no actions can be taken during this
        phase.  [bethmo]  Previously, when actions did occur during untap, lands
        were untapped first, then creatures and artifacts together.
      May not cast spells or use fast effects during untap phase. [Snark]
      Resolve Paralyze during upkeep instead of untap phase. [Snark]

  2. Upkeep Phase
      All effects that happen "at the beginning of your turn" happen in this
        phase.  [bethmo]  Effects, like Power Surge, that do something
        depending on what is tapped remember what things were like before you
      You still have an upkeep phase even if nothing happens during it. [Snark]
      Instants and fast effects may be used during this phase by either player.
+     You can resolve the actions that happen in your upkeep in any order
        you desire as long as all effects are dealt with during upkeep. 
+     If a card requiring upkeep costs is destroyed before the end of upkeep,
        no cost needs to be paid.  This is similar for cards that "leave play".
        For example, if a Doppelganger switches away from Lord of the Pit
        it need not pay the upkeep cost.  [bethmo]
+     If something happens which adds an upkeep cost during upkeep, it must
        be paid.  For example, if a Doppelganger becomes a Lord of the Pit,
        during upkeep, a creature must be sacrificed.  [bethmo]
+     Upkeep must be paid even if the card is tapped. [bethmo]
+     Paying upkeep is considered a fast effect. [bethmo]
+     A creature (like Demonic Hordes) with an upkeep cost cannot be used
        before their upkeep is paid. [bethmo]
      Any mana in mana pool at end of Upkeep causes "mana burn". (see Loss of 

  3. Draw a Card
      Only spells and actions which directly affect the Draw can be used in
        this phase.  They include Aladdin's Lamp and Jandor's Ring. [bethmo]
      Any mana in mana pool at end of Draw causes "mana burn". (see Loss of 

  4. Main Phase
      a. May play spells
      b. May play a land card
      c. May play spells
      d. May declare an attack with creatures (see Attack Sequence)
      e. May play spells
      f. May play a land if one was not played in step b
      g. May play spells

  5. Discard 
      Discard down to seven cards in hand.  May not discard if Library of Leng
        is affecting you.
      No spells or effects can be used at this time.

  6. End Turn
+     Any mana in mana pool causes "mana burn" and is immediately used up. 
        (see Loss of Life)
      Damage is removed from creatures.
      Any creatures which gain tokens at end of turn get them.
      The effects of all instants (unless otherwise stated on the card) end.
      If any creature is reduced to zero or less toughness at this time,
        it dies and cannot regenerate.
      All of these actions are simultaneous... as if resolved in a single
      No spells or effects can be used at this time other than ones used to
        prevent "mana burn", or effects which "give one life when xxxx".

  You only get _one_ attack per turn.  If you manage to untap creatures they
    cannot be used in that same turn to attack again. [Rulebook]
  You are only forced to discard down to 7 cards at the end of your turn,
    so if your hand is increased during another player's turn, the cards remain
    in your hand until the end of your turn.  Note that if Libary of Leng is
    affecting you, you cannot discard.
  If a creature is forced to attack (due to a spell like Siren's Call or an
    effect like the Nettling Imp) the player must declare an attack that turn
    and send out the affected creatures. [FAQ]
  There is no time between turns in which to take actions.  An action must
    take place before the end of one player's turn or wait until the upkeep
    of the next player. [bethmo]

Attack Sequence:
  This is based on the FAQ and updated by a January ruling on First Strike.

  0. Declare intention to attack. 
+     a. Opponent gets the chance to use any fast effects or instants in 
         response to this claim.  [WotC Rules Team]
          They are not limited to a single instant's worth of effects.
          (This item is under some contention among net persons and is under
           review by the rules team)
      b. Any mana in mana pool causes "mana burn". (see Loss of Life)

  1. Declare attackers (no instants/fast effects allowed at this time)
     by tapping them (unless it's the Serra Angel).
+     Creatures cannot attack (or be tapped for a special ability) until they 
        begin a turn in play (and as a creature) on your side.  This includes 
        all possible ways of getting creatures: Summon, Animate, Resurrect, 
        Living Lands, Control Magic, etc.  The Jade Statue and Nether Shadow
        are the only cards which gets past this rule. [bethmo]
+     Banding of attackers must be declared at this time and cannot be changed
        later. [bethmo] 
      You can declare the start of your attack and then attack with no 
        creatures.  This is sort of a "null attack" which can be used to 
        force the emptying of a mana pool or force your opponent to consider 
        casting spells.  Note that if you declare such a "null attack" it is 
        considered your one attack for that turn.  You are not mandated to 
        declare any attack during a turn, but you _may_ declare this kind of 
        zero creature attack.  [Chris Page]  
        (Since this may surprise people, try to let your opponent know you play 
         this way before you start.  A lot of people consider this illegal 
         although it is legal in any Wizards of the Coast sponsored tourney.)

  2. Instants and fast effects can be used by either player.  
      You are not limited to a single instant's worth of effects.

  3. Declare defenders (no instants/fast effects are allowed at this time)
      Defending creatures do NOT tap.  This is one of the oldest myths of the
        game.  There is nothing in the rules that suggests that they are 
        tapped, but a lot of people were taught that way. [Rulebook]
      If any member of a banded group can be blocked, the group is blockable.  
      If any member of the group cannot block an opposing creature, the group 
        cannot block the opposing creature. [Snark]  
+     Defenders do not band or group.  They can just decide to choose the 
        same creature to block.  Defensive banding only helps during damage 
        allocation.  In fact, there is no choice about using banding among 
        a group of blockers blocking the same creature.  If a group of 
        blockers has at least one banding creature at damage dealing time, 
        the defender gets to distribute the damage. [bethmo]
      An attacking creature with an evasion ability (flying, xxxwalk, etc) 
        may not "turn off" the ability and choose to be blockable. [bethmo]
      Once defenders are declared against a creature, it is blocked.  This 
        means that the defender could be killed or whatever but the attacker 
        is still blocked.  The attacker could attempt to Jump or whatnot but 
        this still means the attacker was blocked. [Page 24]  The False Orders 
        card is the only exception to this since it retroactively changes the 
        choice for one blocker.  [Snark]

  4. Instants and fast effects can be used by either player.  
      You are not limited to a single instant's worth of effects.

  5. Damage Dealing
      a. Resolve all First Strike creatures simultaneously.  
          Allow damage prevention to be used after damage is assigned.
          Dead creatures are removed to the graveyard.
      b. Resolve all normal creatures simulatneouly.  
+         Desert damage happens at this time. [bethmo]
          Allow damage prevention to be used after damage is assigned.
          Dead creatures are removed to the graveyard.

  Each member of a Band of attackers is a separate source of damage.  Banding
    just allows a group to be blocked or let through as a whole, and for the
    ability to distribute damage.  It does not mean that the creatures act
    as one. [bethmo]
  If an attacker or defender dies before the damage dealing, said
    creature is removed from the combat.  If it regenerates, it is not
    removed from the combat... it just deals and receives no damage from
    the combat (a subtle distinction).  Note that if the creature did block 
    an attacker, the attacker is still blocked.  [bethmo]
  If an defender becomes tapped (due to using a special ability or some other 
    effect) before damage dealing, the creature is still in the combat and 
    receives damage but does not deal any damage.  [bethmo]
  If an attacker gets untapped, it does not change its status in the combat
    at all.  All it does is allow the attacker to use its special ability or
    to remain untapped for blocking in the next player's turn. [bethmo]
  Creatures with the ability to get "pumped up" by spending mana may choose to
    get more powerful at any time that fast effects may be used.  This can be
    done any number of times.
  BIG CHANGE: You get the opportunity to use damage prevention to save 
    creatures which suffer from First Strike damage before continuing on to 
    deal with non-First Strike damage in the combat.  In addition, creatures 
    killed by First Strike are removed to the graveyard before continuing on.
    This means that creatures like the Sengir Vampire can collect bonuses 
    before normal damage dealing is done.  [WotC Rules Team]
    (Note: This is a pretty big change but probably for the better.)

Dealing with Damage:
+ Enchantments on a creature which enchance damage doing ability do damage of 
    the same color as the creature.  For example, a Fire Breathing Pegasus 
    does White damage. [bethmo]
+ Enchantments which do damage directly (i.e. Creature Bond, Pestilence, etc.)
    do damage of the color of the enchantment. [bethmo]
  Creatures can have negative power ratings due to a variety of reasons.  
    Such a creature does zero damage when attacking or defending.
  Damage is compared to a creature's toughness.  You total up all damage 
    done to a creature, and once it has more damage than it has toughness, it
    dies.  This means that if a 3/3 Hill Giant with Holy Strength (+1/+2) 
    takes 3 damage then the Holy Strength gets Disenchanted, the Hill Giant 
    will die of its wounds. [Page 23]
  Damage is not subtracted from toughness.  A 5 toughness creature with 4 
    damage still has a toughness of 5 and will be worth 5 to a Diamond Valley.
  Items and effects which cause damage to move from one target to another
    are called Damage Redirection effects.  These effects include Trample 
    damage, Personal Incarnation, Veteran Bodyguard, Jade Monolith, etc.  
  Redirected damage maintains its color, source and nature.  Nature includes
    any special effects that occur due to damaging.  For example, the Hypnotic
    Spectre will cause a player to discard if any of its damage is redirected
    to the player.  [bethmo]
+ Disintegrate's no-regenerate ability is not in the nature of the damage but 
    on the target of the spell. [WotC Rules Team]
+ If a creature is ever removed from play, all damage to it is immediately
    removed.  This includes creatures targetted by an Oubliette. 
    [WotC Rules Team]

+ Whenever a creature (or player) is damaged, there are a few steps to 
    follow called "damage resolution": [bethmo]
      1. Target accumulates damage
      2. Damage prevention spells and effects are used
      3. Damage redirection spells and effects are used
      4. A dying creature may regenerate
      5. Dead creatures sent to graveyard
      6. Grant tokens and handle the death/destroy event
+     If more than one target is damaged in the same instant, the targets may
        be handled in any order, but Players are always resolved last so that
        they may benefit from the death events and other "gain 1 life if xxx"
        effects generated by handling the other targets.
+     Check for player death at the end of each phase, the beginning and end
        of each attack, and before the casting of anything except an instant,
        interrupt or fast effect.  [bethmo]
+ The more complete damage dealing is as follows:
+     1. Damage Accumulates on a Target   
         This can be simple for single spells or very complex.  A target can 
          accumulate a LOT of damage in an instant (or damage dealing combat 
          step) regardless of its actual toughness.
         You can think of damage as being tokens of a particular color and
      2. Damage Prevention
+        Do whatever you want to prevent damage to that target.  This includes
          Protection from XXXX (as given by Wards, by the card itself, or 
          temporarily via a Circle of Protection) and damage prevention spells 
          or effects.  This prevention is targeted against the conceptual
          damage tokens.
+        Damage can be removed in any order.  This means you can remove
          Trample damage first and leave non-Trample damage, or remove damage
          of one color before damage of another color.  [bethmo]
          (This is a REVERSAL brought about by making damage prevention 
           target the damage)
      3. Damage Redirection 
+        Spells and effects which redirect damage are usable in this step.
+        Trample damage in excess of a creature's toughness moves on to the 
          defender.  Jade Monolith shunts  the remaining damage to the 
          defender.  Defender can shunt damage using Personal Incarnation.  
          Damage to the player from an unblocked creature is transfered to the
          Veteran Bodyguard. Etc.
         Go to Step 1 to review damage to the defender (or other new target) 
          in a similar way.
      4. Creature Death and Regeneration
+        Regeneration spells and effects can be used in this step.
+        Review the unprevented damage.  If the creature still has enough 
          damage to be killed and it has the ability to regenerate, it may 
          use that ability at this time.  (See Regeneration)
+     5. Send Creature to Graveyard 
+        If a creature is killed and was not regenerated, it is sent to the 
+        This is the step in which the Fungusaur gains a counter for being 
          damaged if it did not die.
      6. Death Events Generated
+        Any effect due to the creature going to the graveyard happen at this
          time.  This includes Vampires gathering tokens, use of a Soul Net,
          Creature Bond, etc.
+   Note that only spells and effects specified may be used during damage
      resolution.  The use of "Gain 1 life if xxx" effects and interrupts are 
      always allowed.
+   Check for player death at the end of each phase, the beginning and end
      of the attack, and before the casting of anything except an instant
      interrupt or fast effect. [bethmo]
+   In the Revised rules, players will not die until the end of the current
      phase or until the end of the current attack.  This will allow the use
      of Stream of Life and other Sorceries to save the player.  [bethmo]

Loss of Life
  Loss of life is not the same as damage and therefore cannot be prevented
    with a Circle of Protection nor reversed with Reverse Damage.  Damage can 
    be done to any target.  Damage done to a player can result in a 
    "loss of life" if not prevented. [bethmo]
  Mana burn is the loss of life caused by having extra mana in your pool at
    the end of a turn or the beginning or end of an attack.  You lose 1 life 
    for each mana left in your pool.  [Rulebook]  
  Mana burn is a single action which uses all the mana in your pool.  You
    cannot use some of the mana to prevent the rest from harming you.  
    [Chris Page]  You can use other mana sources to cast spells to prevent
    the loss of life, though.
  Mana burn life loss is considered to have your mana pool as the source and
    all the damage is in one attack.  This does not seem to matter to the 
    game since there are currently no spells or effects which prevent loss 
    of life (note that this is _not_ damage) and depend on what the source 
    of the loss is. [Chris Page]
  Loss of Life in general does not have color associated with it.

Banding Questions:
  Attacker needs all-but-one creature to have banding ability in order to band. 
    Defender needs only one creature to have banding ability in order to band.
    In addition, if the defender has any banding creatures in a group, then 
    they do not have the option of not banding.  Just by being present, a 
    banding creature gives the defender the ability to decide how damage is 
    divided up.  [Page 28]
  Grouping for defense or banding in defense or attack, does not change the
    actual power, nature, or color of the creatures attacking.  When damage 
    gets distributed, the damage still has color and may even have Trample 
    nature.  Protection from a color is allowed.  Assigning more damage to a 
    creature than it can survive is allowed.  If the extra damage assigned to 
    a creature is Trample damage, it does go past and damages the defending 

Trample Questions:
  If a Trample creature is blocked by an unbanded group, the player may assign
    all of the damage to one of the blockers and by means of Trample do damage
    in excess of the blocker's toughness to the player. [FAQ]
  Defenders do not get to use Trample ability.  Only attackers.
  If a mix of Trample and non-Trample damage are involved, non-Trample damage
    is assigned first, and Trample damage is assigned afterwards. [bethmo]
  A creature with Trample ability which has its blocker removed is still
    blocked but all the damage that creature would do goes through to the
    defender after trampling the non-existant blocker. [bethmo]

Going to the Graveyard:
  Dies/destroyed/sent-to-graveyard mean the same thing.  All count as death
    events for spells that detect them. [bethmo]
  BIG CHANGE: The term "discarded" was used on cards to mean several different
    things.  The Wizards have decided that "discard" will in the future only
    be applied to cards in your hand.  Cards which say "discarded" from play or
    something to that effect should be treated as if they say "destroyed".
    Cards which say "when X is discarded" should be treated as if they say
    "when X is removed from play". [WotC Rules Team]
    The old ruling was that "discard" meant "destroy without regeneration".
    Now, discard still allows regeneration.
+ Once sent to the graveyard, a card "forgets" all enchantments and things
    that happened to it. [Snark]  This includes any 'X' casting cost, changes
    to the text by cards like Magical Hack or Purelace, or counters it 
    might have accumulated.

  Regeneration means prevention of death/destruction of the card.  All 
    enchantments and whatnot remain on the card, and the card becomes tapped. 
    Also, the creature is reset to having zero damage done to it. [Snark]
  Tapping the creature is not a cost of Regeneration... it is an effect.
    The creature instead of going to the graveyard becomes tapped. [bethmo]
  Regeneration abilities and spells must be used at the time the creature would
    be sent to the graveyard. [Snark]

Protection from Color:
  The FAQ states that the Protection from Color rules in the rulebook are
    broken.  You should play that Protection from  makes it so a
      1. Cannot be damaged by 
      2. Cannot be blocked by  creatures
      3. Cannot be targetted by  effects
    The old rules (which are not valid in tournaments) also made it so that
    damage from creatures with Protection from Color could not have their
    damage prevented by  spells or effects and that no spells or
    effects of  could affect the creature. [FAQ]
  Protection from Color does not protect creatures from general enchantments or
    spells.  So a creature with Red Ward still uses Orcish Oriflamme. [Snark]  
    The Protection protects the creature from damage of that color regardless 
    of source, and still does prevent additional enchantments of that color 
    from being placed on the creature (whether they be helpful or not).
  Ward spells grant Protection from Color abilities to the creature.  They
    do not prevent the Ward or other enchantments on the creature from 
    being affected. [bethmo]
  When deciding if a spell or effect targets a creature with Protection from 
    Color ability of if it is a general effect, just ask if the player using 
    the effect at any time chooses cards which are affected.  If no choice 
    is made, then it is a general effect, if at least once a card or target 
    must be specified, then it is a targetted effect. [bethmo]
+ Choosing defenders is not a choice that makes something a targeted effect.  
    Hence abilities which affect cretures "blocking" or "blocked by" a
    creature are not targeted and are not stopped by Protection.  For example,
    a Green Ward will not save a creature from being destroyed by the
    Thicket Basilisk. [WotC Rules Team]
  A Protection from Color ability does not work for a creature while it is
    in the graveyard.  Hence a White Knight can have Animate Dead cast on it
    and a Black Knight can be Resurrected.  [bethmo]
  "Destroys self" is not a targetted effect and cannot be prevented by a
    Ward or other protection. [WotC Rules Team]

Special Creatures:
  Walls are in all senses creatures.  They are affected by any spell or effect
    which affects creatures (including Paralyze, Terror, Creature Bond, and
    so on).  [Page 21]
  Walls cannot attack even if power is greater than zero.  If Animate Wall is
    used on them, they may attack even if power is zero. [FAQ]
  Artifact Creatures cannot attack the turn in which they are put into play or
    do any action which would cause them to be tapped.  They have all the 
    limitations that regular creatures do.  [Snark]  
+ The Jade Statue is a special artifact that can be used to attack the turn 
    in which it is put into play because it is not an Artifact Creature,
    but can become one during attack phases. [bethmo]
+ The artifact quality of a card has nothing to do with its color.  If you
    Chaoslace an artifact, it is now a red artifact.  [bethmo]
+ Face down creatures (hidden by Camouflage or Illusionary Mask) still have
    any tokens they have on top of the creature.  Some creatures are just not
    very disguisable. [bethmo]
+ Face down creatures have their enchantments turned over as well, but the
    number of enchantments is still visible. [bethmo]
+ Continuous effects of face down creatures still take effect.  If you have
    a face down Goblin King, you should tell your opponent that his Goblins
    are 2/2 creatures now.  Again, these creatures are hard to disguise.
+ How much knowledge you have when dealing with face down creatures is an
    issue.  Some say that they are treated with all the knowledge the player 
    has (and NetReps have said this is what should happen).  But, there is a
    question of how much people remember and what really is "information"
    (should I deduce your creature from the mana tapped?).  The most recent
    answer is that all you really know is that it is a creature and that all
    creature affecting spells may target face down creatures (but they will
    fizzle if the target is not valid). [bethmo]

Multiplayer Questions:
  In multiplayer games, cards which read "both players" affect all players.
  If a card reads "each upkeep" or "each turn", it means each of _your_ upkeeps
    or each of _your_ turns.  If the card affects multiple players, it affects
    each player during his (or her) upkeep or turn.
  In most multiplayer rule sets, if a player is killed, all of that player's
    cards are immediately removed from the game.

Paying Artifact and Enchantment Costs:
  Artifacts or enchantments that require a cost be paid to use the card must
    have the cost paid directly.  The cost cannot be used by more than one 
    card.  For example, skipping one turn will not untap 2 Time Vaults.  
  A sacrifice cost cannot be prevented using regeneration [Page 27].  
  Anything which prevents the follow-through on paying the cost does not 
    stop you from trying again to pay it.  
  The use of ":" cards is read differently depending on 
    whether it's a Mono Artifact or not.  Mono Artifacts have Tapping them
    as an implicit cost so you can only pay them once.  Poly Artifacts,
    Creatures and Enchantments which do not specifically say they are tapped
    when powered can be used multiple times.  [bethmo]
  Artifacts that do something based on an event (like "+1 life when black spell 
    is cast(1)") can only be used once per event, but multiple artifacts or 
    enchantments can catch the same event.
+ Paying an artifact or enchantment use cost is not considered to be "casting
    a spell" and so it cannot be Counterspelled, Deathgripped, etc. [bethmo]

Control Questions:
  The owner of a card is the one who brought it to the table.  The controller
    is usually the one who cast the spell (but cards can change controller).
    The caster is the one who cast the spell. [FAQ]
  The caster of an enchantment is forever considered its controller.  There
    are currently no cards which change the ownership of an enchantment.  Only
    the controller can pay costs associated with an enchantment (unless 
    otherwise specified on the card). [page 17]  This means that if a spell 
    like Regeneration is placed on an opponent's creature (or is later found 
    to be on an opponent's creature because he/she used Control Magic to 
    steal the creature from your control), that you--not your opponent--can 
    power the Regeneration ability.
  Controlled creatures count as yours for all cards that say "your" in the
    effects (including Sacrifice and Diamond Valley).  [Snark]

Timing Questions:
  Fast Effects and Instants can be used during any player's turn and are 
    allowed in response to any event, action, or phase ending. [Page 19]
  Unless otherwise stated, tapping a creature to use its special ability is 
    a fast-effect.  It can be used at any time an Instant could be used. 
  Only tapping land for mana works at interrupt speed.  Tapping a land for
    any other effect is an instant (unless the card says otherwise). [bethmo]
  Your opponent is allowed to respond to any action with instants or 
    interrupts.  Such actions include:  Casting of _any_ spell regardless of 
    type, End of Upkeep, End of Turn, and Start of Attack phase.  In addition,
    they can be used in response to any damage done to any target, or at 
    specified points in the attack sequence (see FAQ).  Any number of 
    instants or fast effects can be used at this time.  Interrupts can only 
    be superceded by other interrupts which are played immediately.
  Enchantments, Sorceries, Summonings and Artifacts (sometimes called 
    "slow effects") can only be cast on your turn, and you cannot cast another 
    one until the previous one has been resolved.  In the case of a Forked 
    spell, you cannot cast another one until both copies have been resolved. 
  Bringing out an Artifact is a spell.  It can be Spell Blasted, 
    Counterspelled, Power Sinked, etc.  [bethmo]
+ If two or more interrupts target the same spell, all the ones cast by the
    caster of the targetted spell go before ones cast by the opponent.  All
    interrupts of any given spell are resolved before that spell is resolved.
    Order of declaration of the interrupts is not important.  For example,
    - Player A casts a blue spell X.  Player B interrupts with Red Elemental
      Blast to destroy it.  Player A interrupts X with a Purelace.  The
      Purelace happens first, since player A is the caster of X.  The
      Red Elemental blast cannot affect a white spell, so it fizzles.
    - Player A casts a spell X.  Player B interrupts X with Thoughtlace and
      Red Elemental Blast.  Player A interrupts X with Deathlace, trying to
      save it.  The Deathlace happens first, since player A is the caster of
      X.  Then the Thoughtlace and REB take effect, countering the spell.

  (The following is an attempt at timing/paradox summaries)
  When a spell of any sort is cast, any number of fast effects and instants
    can be used in response to that action.  The "cost" (mana, tapping the
    card, etc.) of the effect or spell is paid paid upon declaration of the 
    spell.  All the "effects" of the effects and spells take place 
    simultaneously.  [Rulebook]  (Note: The Revised Edition rules are 
    supposed to get rid of this and replace it with something more clear)
  Note that Interrupts are resolved immediately... they are not resolved
    simultaneously with other actions. [Rulebook]
  If for some reason, the "effects" depend upon the order in which the spells 
    are resolved, a Paradox has occurred.  If a Paradox occurs between two 
    cards, the caster of the last one decides what order they get resolved in.
  Paradox #1: To have the effect send the card to more than one location 
    (graveyard, hand, out-of-play).  For example, a Terror and Unsummon are
    cast in the same instant.  This is the most common head-stumper Paradox.
    Note that if the "effect" of a spell is to cause damage, this does 
    _not_ mean that the card is sent to the graveyard.  As per other rulings, 
    a chance is given to prevent the damage first.
  Paradox #2: To have the effect change a card to be tapped and untapped.
    This is a difficult one to come up, but if it happens use the Paradox
    resolution.  Note that most often cards are tapped as part of the "cost"
    of using them, and that untapping is usually an "effect".  This is not
    a paradox, and untapping a card (with Twiddle) after the cost is paid
    does not cause the action to fail.  Also, tapping a card with Icy
    Manipulator (an "effect") after it is tapped as a "cost" has no effect
    upon the action.
  Paradox #3: To have a creature's strength changed to two values.  An easy
    example for this is to cast Giant Growth and Berserk at the same instant.
    One gives a +3 to creature's power and the other doubles the power.  It
    is obvious that the order of casting matters.  The easiest way to avoid
    this problem is to cast the spells on successive instants.  Note that
    at most times, you are not limited to just one instant of spell casting.
    However, it is still possible to get this kind of Paradox.

Countering Spells:
  Once a spell (or fast effect) is declared, it is cast and mana is spent 
    even if the spell fizzles, it counterspelled, or made illegal by some 
    other action.  Note that it is polite to not counterspell until the person 
    declares how much mana is actually in that X damage spell, or otherwise 
    finishes what they're doing.  Do not interrupt a player... interrupts are 
    played AFTER an action but take place before it. [Page 30]

Spell Casting Questions:
+ Casting a spell means playing a non-Land card from your hand.  Using
    abilities of creatures, artifacts or enchantments are not spells.
    The Nether Shadow's ability to return to play is neither a spell nor
    a summoning. [bethmo]
  Spells which target "all" of something can be played even if there is none
    of the somthings available.  For example, you can use Flashfires even if 
    no Plains are in play.  This is because the spell does not require a target 
    to act upon.  It just does something. [Chris Page]
  You may not cast a targetted spell unless it is aimed at a legal target.
    Spells like Hurricane and Wrath of God are not targetted, but 
    Lightning Bolt and Terror are. [bethmo]
  Spells with an X cost can legally be cast with zero as the X. [Snark]
  If a card reads "a xxxxx" or "any xxxx" it means "any one xxxx in play, no
    matter who it belongs to."  [bethmo]
  Interrupts can be used to modify of a spell or card as the card is being 
    put into play.  This modification cannot make an illegal choice of target
    into a legal one but it can make a legal target illegal and fizzle the 
    spell.  This means that you cannot cast an Elemental Blast at a card of 
    the wrong color with the intention of using Sleight of Mind on it the 
    next moment.  [bethmo]
  No spell or effect (other than the Ring of Ma'ruf) can target a card
    which is outside of the game.  Very few spells can select a card which is
    in the Graveyard or the Library (where you draw cards from) or from 
    someone's hand.  These cards are specificly worded to do that.  
  Spells with an X cost are declared when they are cast as to how much mana is
    in them.  This amount cannot be increased or decreased after it is 
    declared.  [Snark]
  A card cannot be acted upon until it is successfully cast.  For example,
    if City in a Bottle is being cast, you cannot disenchant it until the
    Instant after it enters play.  This means it will have its full effect
    before you can do anything. [bethmo]
  You may announce a spell then tap mana, or tap mana and then announce a
    spell.  Both ways are legal.  In any case, once a person starts to cast 
    a spell by tapping mana or by putting a card out of their hand onto the 
    table, the casting cannot be interrupted until all decisions and costs 
    related to that spell are complete.  This includes the expendature of the 
    mana, choice of any targets, etc.  [bethmo]
  Interrupts are cast after the spell, but can take place before it.  If they
    make the spell they modify invalid, then the spell fizzles. [bethmo]
  Nothing can increase the casting cost of an already-cast spell.  For
    example, you cannot Sleight of Mind a Gloom enchantment to make green
    spells cost 3 more after a green spell is cast and expect 3 extra mana
    to have to be spent. [bethmo]
+ A countered spell is placed in the owner's graveyard and all mana used for
    the casting is wasted.  [bethmo]
+ An enchantment is either cast on a target, or it is played in your territory.
    No enchantment is played on another player. [bethmo]
+ If a spell has multiple targets and one of the targets is removed from play,
    only that one portion of the spell fizzles out.  The rest of the targets
    are affected normally.  Also, if a Fireball is used on 3 targets and one
    is Unsummoned, the damage is still spread between the 3 targets with one
    target's damage fizzling out. [bethmo]
+ Spells that affect "attacking" or "defending" creatures may only be used
    during an attack. [bethmo]

Other Stuff:
  If an enchantment becomes invalid after it enters play, it remains around
    inactive in the vague hope that it might be again used in the future.
    [bethmo]  For example, if an Living Land was given Holy Armor, and then
    the Living Lands enchatment were removed from play, the Holy Armor would
    remain on the land but would do nothing since the land is no longer  
    a creature.
  A player can concede at any time and loses any ante they have put up.
  You lose if you try to draw a card from your library and can't because the
    library has no more cards.  You do not lose upon drawing your last card.
+ When a card comes from the graveyard back into play (for example by
    Animate Dead or Resurrection), any features which are normally set at
    summoning time are set as if it was just summoned.  If the creature has
    an X in the casting cost, X is zero.  So, Clockwork Beast comes out
    fully wound, Clone must choose a creature to copy as it is brought out,
    and the Rock Hydra has zero heads.  [WotC Rules Team]
+ If you lose control of a creature and then manage to regain control of it
    during the same turn, you may use it since you began the turn with it
    in play on your side.  [bethmo]
+ As obvious as it might sound, cards sent to the graveyard go to the top
    of the graveyard.  Also, you cannot reorder the graveyard during play
    unless a card tells you to do so. [bethmo]
+ Tapping a land for mana is a "cost" not an effect and so it cannot be
    prevented. [bethmo]

Robert Forsman / <>