Published on 03/17/2014

Time and Ides Wait for No Man

Cranial Translation
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Snow landwalk is rather barbaric.
2014 is flying past, and we've now arrived at the midpoint of March; this is a time when the ancient Romans celebrated festivals and rites for several of their gods, and when Julius Caesar had a very bad day. But around the Cranial Insertion offices, the Ides of March are just another excuse to do what we do best — answer some rules questions!

Of course we can't do that without your help, so if you've got questions, please send them to us by using the handy "Email Us" button, by sending an email to , or by tweeting at @CranialTweet.

Q: If there's a Blood Moon out, and a nonbasic land enchanted with a Spreading Seas, what type(s) would that land have?

A: It will all come down to timestamps. If Blood Moon entered the battlefield most recently, then it will "win" and that nonbasic land will be a Mountain. If Spreading Seas entered more recently, then it'll be an Island.

(unlike Blood Moon vs. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, there's no dependency here — with this, it's just two effects fighting over which subtype to set, but in the Blood Moon/Urborg situation, applying Blood Moon's effect removes Urborg's effect, which is why they're dependent on each other)

Q: With Herald of Torment, do I still lose the life when it's an Aura?

A: Yup! On cards with bestow, some effects have to be worded a bit carefully in order to apply all the time regardless of whether the card is an Aura or a creature (for example, Erebos's Emissary has to specify how its activated ability works for each case). But Herald of Torment's triggered ability doesn't do anything that would need to change depending on its current types. So no matter what it is at the time, you'll be losing 1 life at the beginning of your upkeep.

Q: If I give Medomai the Ageless double strike, do I get two extra turns?

A: You do; double strike means there are two separate combat damage steps in the combat phase, and the creature with double strike deals damage in each of them. Since it deals damage twice, its ability triggers twice and you get two extra turns.

Q: If I block something with Brimaz, King of Oreskos, will the token cause Ephara, God of the Polis to trigger in the next upkeep and draw me a card?

A: Ephara doesn't care how the creature got onto the battlefield, or whether it's a card or a token; she just cares that a creature other than herself — and a creature token is a creature — entered the battlefield during the previous turn. Since a creature (the Brimaz token) did enter last turn, she'll trigger and you'll draw a card.

They come from a choral reef
Q: What if I attack with Brimaz, get my token, and then cast Ephara? Will she trigger during the next upkeep, or does she have to be around to see the creature enter?

A: She will trigger. Much like the Innistrad-block Werewolves, Ephara isn't asking if something happened while she was around; she's just asking what happend during the previous turn, and so she'll trigger even if she wasn't on the battlefield at the time the creature entered.

Q: If I use Fated Return to put a Pack Rat from my graveyard onto the battlefield, will the tokens the Pack Rat makes have indestructible?

A: When copying something, you copy what's on the card, as modified by other copy effects. Since Fated Return isn't a copy effect, the "gains indestructible" bit of it isn't copied when you start making Pack Rat tokens. So only one Pack Rat (the one Fated Return returned) will have indestructible. But luckily for you, one indestructible Pack Rat is probably all you need...

Q: I've been told that if a Slippery Bogle is enchanted with Hyena Umbra, a Ratchet Bomb with one counter won't be able to kill both of them. Why is that?

A: It all comes down to two key facts. The first is that Ratchet Bomb (as well as its cousin Engineered Explosives) attempts to destroy all the affected permanents simultaneously; it doesn't destroy one type, then come back to destroy another. The second is the fact that replacement effects — and the totem armor ability involves one — have to exist and be applied to an event before the event happens.

So we start out with the following event: "Simultaneously destroy Slippery Bogle and Hyena Umbra". The totem armor ability realizes the Bogle's about to be destroyed, and heroically says "no, destroy me instead!" Once that replacement effect has been applied, the resulting event is... "Simultaneously destroy Hyena Umbra and Hyena Umbra, and remove all damage marked on Slippery Bogle". Which may seem weird, but is perfectly legal. Then the event itself happens, Hyena Umbra bites the dust in all kinds of ways, and the Bogle slips away to attack another day.

Q: OK, so if the Bogle had, say, Hyena Umbra and Daybreak Coronet on it, and then Ratchet Bomb went off with one counter, what would happen?

A: Ratchet Bomb would manage to destroy only the Hyena Umbra. But immediately after Ratchet Bomb's ability finished resolving, you'd check state-based actions and see that from Daybreak Coronet's perspective, the Bogle is no longer a "creature with another Aura attached to it". That means it's an illegal object for the Coronet to be attached to, so Daybreak Coronet promptly pops off and goes to the graveyard.

Q: I control Thassa, God of the Sea, a Cloudfin Raptor that's currently 1/2, and a Tidebinder Mage. If I cast another Thassa, will Cloudfin Raptor evolve?

A: It depends. The second Thassa enters the battlefield, and then the very first thing you do is apply state-based actions. The legend rule is one of those, so you choose a Thassa to keep. And here is where you need to choose carefully:

If you keep the old Thassa, the new one goes to the graveyard. Cloudfin Raptor's evolve ability then uses last-known information to determine if the new Thassa had greater power/toughness; since, during her extremely short stay on the battlefield, Thassa was a 5/5, Cloudfin Raptor will evolve.

If you keep the new Thassa, the old one goes to the graveyard. Cloudfin Raptor's ability looks to see if the new Thassa has greater power/toughness... and sees that it doesn't, since the new Thassa is no longer a creature and thus doesn't have power/toughness. So Cloudfin Raptor will not evolve in that case.

Q: If a Boros Reckoner is blocked by a Kitchen Finks, can the Reckoner's triggered ability kill the Finks after they've returned from persist?

A: Nope. Regardless of the order in which the triggers go on the stack (which depends on whose turn it is), the Reckoner's trigger has to have a target chosen for it at the time it's put on the stack. Which will always be before the Finks have returned via persist, meaning they won't be on the battlefield to choose as the target.

Q: Can Wear // Tear destroy a Chalice of the Void?

A: It depends on how many counters are on the Chalice — if there's 1 counter, then yes. If there are 2 counters, then no. And if there are 3 counters, then maybe!

On the stack, a split card only has the characteristics of the part of it that actually got cast. So if you cast Wear by itself, you're casting a spell with a converted mana cost of 2; it will successfully destroy a Chalice with either 1 or 3 counters, but be countered by a Chalice with 2 counters. If you fuse, casting both Wear and Tear, then you're casting a spell with converted mana cost 3; Chalice will only counter it if the Chalice has 3 counters (though keep in mind you'll need an enchantment to target in this case, as well as an artifact).

Q: For spells like Primal Command which require choosing two modes, who decides the order in which they happen?

A: Nobody does, because the rules have already decided the order. The caster of Primal Command simply announces which of the modes they want, if necessary chooses targets required by those modes, and then that's the end of decision-making. When the Command resolves, the rules say to follow its instructions, in the order they appear on the card. So if you choose the second and third modes, for example, you'll always do them in that order; it's never possible to do the third before the second.

Q: I've heard that if someone casts Show and Tell you can't copy whatever they're putting into play, if you choose to put something like Clone into play. But one of my friends said you can do it with Duplicant. What's up with that?

A: What's up is the difference between what Clone and Duplicant do! Clone has a replacement effect — it enters the battlefield as a copy of something, which means the choice of what to copy has to be made before it's on the battlefield. But that's a time when the other card that's coming in from Show and Tell also isn't on the battlefield, so whatever the other card is, you won't be able to choose it.

Meanwhile, Duplicant enters the battlefield as a Duplicant; then its ability triggers and you choose a target for it. Since with Show and Tell that can't happen until after Show and Tell has resolved, it means that the other card will be on the battlefield at that point and can be targeted.

Sadly, this man showed up expecting a
widespread picnic
Q: If I equip Swiftfoot Boots to Tromokratis, will it have hexproof while it's attacking or blocking?

A: Yup! The thing that trips up a lot of people here is they think Tromokratis' ability actively tries to remove hexproof while attacking or blocking, when it doesn't. All it actually says is that it gives itself hexproof at certain times; if something else fills in with giving hexproof the rest of the time, then it's perfectly OK for Tromokratis to have hexproof all the time.

Q: Suppose I cast Maelstrom Wanderer and the first cascade hits a Brutalizer Exarch. Will that let me stack a creature on top for the second cascade?

A: It will, and that's a pretty brutal play. You cast the Exarch during the resolution of the first cascade trigger, which means it will be on the stack above the other cascade trigger, and will resolve first. Then it will enter the battlefield and, with the remaining cascade trigger still on the stack, you'll resolve the Exarch's enters-the-battlefield ability, which will let you search for a creature card and put it on top for the remaining cascade trigger to find.

Q: Can a single activation of Circle of Protection: Red prevent all the damage from a Lightning Storm?

A: It can — Lightning Storm's a bit of a weird card, but it's still just a single spell on the stack and a single source of damage when it resolves. Its unusual ability is only about deciding how much damage it will eventually deal, and who or what the damage will be dealt to.

Q: I have a Lotus Bloom suspended with one time counter left on it. During my opponent's turn I use a Pact of Negation to counter something. When my upkeep rolls around, is there any way I can get the mana from the Lotus Bloom to pay for the Pact?

A: There is! At the beginning of your upkeep, multiple triggers try to go on the stack — Lotus Bloom's "remove a counter while suspended", and Pact of Negation's "pay up or lose". You control both abilities, so you can put them on the stack in an order of your choice, meaning you can have Lotus Bloom's trigger resolve first, which will cause Lotus Bloom to be cast out of suspend and enter the battlefield before the Pact of Negation trigger resolves. Then when the Pact trigger does resolve you'll have access to all the mana you need courtesy of the Lotus Bloom.

Q: I cast Path to Exile targeting my opponent's Arcbound Ravager. In response to that, he sacrifices the Ravager to its own ability, and chooses to use the modular trigger to put the counters on one of his other creatures. Could I then Remand my own Path to Exile, or is it too late since the Path already has an illegal target?

A: This is perfectly legal; even though Path to Exile would end up countered by game rules, if it got that far, it wouldn't check for that until the moment it would try to resolve. Up until then, Path to Exile is just another spell on the stack, with no knowledge of its impending doom, and Remand can happily counter it and bounce it back to your hand to save it for re-use another time.

Q: If I use Primeval Titan's ability to fetch out a City of Brass, will it deal 1 damage to me because it entered the battlefield tapped?

A: Nope; City of Brass only damages you when it goes from being untapped to being tapped. In this case, it was never untapped — it just showed up tapped without passing through any other state along the way. So its ability doesn't trigger and you don't take any damage.

Q: If I control a Night of Souls' Betrayal, and then cast another one, will any creatures that normally have 2 toughness die along with the second Night?

A: That's a whole lot of betraying... but it works. After the second Night of Souls' Betrayal enters the battlefield, multiple state-based actions are applicable: the legend rule, which wants to get rid of one of the Nights, and the "creatures with 0 toughness die" rule. Apply all of these simultaneously, which means the creatures and the chosen Night die at the same exact moment.

That's all I've got for this week, but be sure to check back next week for a very special issue, as Cranial Insertion will (having survived the ominous ides) be celebrating its ninth anniversary! Traditional gifts, should you wish to bring them, are pottery and willow.

- James Bennett

About the Author:
James Bennett is a Level 3 judge based out of Lawrence, Kansas. He pops up at events around Kansas City and all over the midwest, and has a car he can talk to.

maelstrom wanderer has 2 separate cascade triggers? I thought it was just one trigger that made you cascade twice. Making you unable to resolve a cascaded spell until you resolved that ability of 2 cascades.
#1 • Date: 2014-03-19 • Time: 11:09:32 •
The reminder text is an abbreviated version of the true full explanation. Cascade is a triggered ability and having multiple instances of it means there are multiple separate triggered abilities, just like multiple instances of Flanking (Cavalry Master) or Bushido (Sensei Golden-Tail).
#2 • Date: 2014-03-21 • Time: 13:08:28 •

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