Blistering Firecat

A social media firestorm erupted recently when, at Pro Tour Aether Revolt, there was some confusion around how the word “combat” was ruled as a tournament shortcut. Regardless of where you fall on how it “should” be ruled, Chris felt it important to inform the community how it is ruled. At least currently.

Chris Lansdell returns with an “I’ll Be the Judge!” starring none other than sixteen-time Top 8 competitor/Pro Tour winner/World Champion/all around great guy Jon Finkel.

Transcript: Jon asks about “combat”:

Hi Chris,

Can you explain exactly what the word “combat” means in terms of tournament shortcuts?

There was some controversy around this at Pro Tour Aether Revolt and I think the community at large (and my good friend Kai) could benefit from hearing an explanation


Transcript: What exactly does “combat” mean?

Sure thing, Jon.


“declare attackers”,
or “move to combat”

effectively means you are passing priority until the beginning of the declare attackers step.

The very first thing you do in the declare attackers step is declare your attackers.

By that point it is too late to animate creature lands, crew any vehicles, or do anything but, well, declare attackers.

If you want to do something at the beginning of combat step, you need to explicitly state what you want to do and when you want to do it.

I hope that’s helpful to you and to Kai.

For Fetchland this has been Chris and I’ll be the Judge!

And so…

So, there you have it: This is how the word is currently ruled. Make sure to crew, et al, appropriately.

Jon Finkel asks Chris about "combat" in this week's "I'll Be the Judge!"

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Rishkar's Expertise

Fetchland is overjoyed to bring you Level 2 Judge Chris Lansdell and a new feature, I’ll Be the Judge!

Chris will be answering your burning Magic: The Gathering rules questions in a whole new format… Instagram video!

This first episode clarifies something that we’re sure lots of you have been thinking about, since the first time you saw this card:

Rishkar's Expertise
Rishkar’s Expertise

It also has a little bit to do with this card…

Verdurous Gearhulk
Verdurous Gearhulk

(but not really)

Transcript for I’ll Be the Judge #1 – Rishkar’s Expertise

Mike wants to know what happens if we have an 8/8 V G and we cast RE as the only card in our hand

when we’ve drawn our eight cards can we play one of them for free?

Well yes Mike, you can! You follow the instructions on the card in the order they are written. So first you would draw your eight cards, then the spell asks you to play one of them with mana cost five or less, for free.

So not only does that work, it works really well!

Like this? You'll love!

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Thanks Chris!

We’re still fleshing out this new feature, but if you would like to ask a question, you can start by following Fetchland and / or Top 8 Magic on Facebook and Instagram; or Chris, on Twitter.