Published on 05/12/2014

Voyage, Voyage

or, The Journey Continues

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français Italiano Pусский

Note: This article is over two years old. Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes. Proceed with caution.

A mild day in Australia.
Welcome back! With the Pro Tour coming up and Journey being firmly in the public's happy hands, it's time to look around more to all sorts of questions, some of which don't even involve the newest set in any way, shape, or form. But don't you worry, valiant journeyers, we've still got new questions, too.

So let's journey into our mailbox with our dear zombie monkey guide and see what you've all been asking this week. Got more questions for next week? Email us with the handy dandy button on the top left, or directly to , or send a quick tweet to @CranialTweet - remember, Twitter is for short questions and answers. Please don't ask us to explain complex things on Twitter, that's when you should just send an email.

And now on to the first step of our journey: Kitties!

Q: Do constellation abilities trigger when Arbiter of the Ideal gives me a land?

A: Up until this weekend, no. As Magic Rules Manager Matt Tabak explains in the link, R&D realized the interaction and does want it to trigger; the rules will be updated accordingly with the next update this summer, while it should be ruled to trigger in the meantime.

If an effect puts an object onto the battlefield and creates a continuous effect modifying it without a specifically-sequential "then" or an implicitly sequential "becomes," the continuous effect is created and applies as the object enters and will modify it in time for triggers to notice it.

Q: Will Jace, Architect of Thought shrink Brimaz, King of Oreskos's kitty tokens?

A: The kittens will be unaffected. Even though they're attacking and running right at your face like there's a laser pointer, "when attacks" triggers look at the declaration of attackers, not at the state of being attacking. The tokens weren't declared as attackers, so Jace won't trigger.

Q: So what happens if I turn Heliod, God of the Sun into a Frog?

A: First, Heliod is subject to public ridicule and mockery, the likes of which shall surely result in his wrath splashing mercilessly upon the populace at some point in the future. Next, we walk very slowly and carefully through the layers.

In layer 4, Heliod might cease to be a creature. If he doesn't, he becomes a Legendary Enchantment Creature—Frog. If he does, he does not become a Frog and is just a Legendary Enchantment.

In layer 5, Heliod becomes blue. How sad.

In layer 6, Heliod loses all abilities, causing his "creatures have vigilance" ability to not apply at all and removing indestructible and token-making. It won't undo his not-a-creature ability if it applied earlier, though. That's been worked in and isn't relevant anymore.

In layer 7b, if Heliod is still a creature, he becomes 1/1. If not, he can't have a power or toughness and this part of the effect is ignored.

Like most ugly layer situations, the answer is again to walk slowly through them, and then they're not so scary. What's scary is the fury of Heliod, because man, that guy's a jerk.

Q: Can I target one creature a few times with Launch the Fleet so I get more tokens when it attacks?

A: For each time the word "target" appears in the text, you choose a set of targets. Any one set of targets can't have any duplicates. While all of your guys can strive, all of the strive spells have a single set of targets, so any one can only strive once per spell.

Q: If Kruphix, God of Horizons stores up mana from Cavern of Souls, will it still make my creature uncounterable?

A: It will! Kruphix's replacement effect only removes the color. It doesn't remove any restrictions, riders, or bonuses to spending that mana, or alter the source of it.

This card has absolutely no
relevance to this article.
Q: Can I destroy Armory of Iroas after the creature attacks to stop it from getting a counter?

A: You can destroy it, but the creature still gets a counter. Because the trigger condition refers to the equipped creature, the creature that'll get a counter is locked in immediately as the ability triggers and will get a counter no matter what happens to the Equipment. In other cases, where the effect rather than the trigger condition refers to the equipped creature, the game will use last known information to determine who the "equipped creature" is. All in all, trying to destroy an attached object to stop its trigger from benefiting the thing it's attached to isn't going to be a plan.

Q: If I cascade into Assault // Battery with Demonic Dread, can I play either side or just Assault?

A: Either one. Assault // Battery doesn't have "a" converted mana costs, it has two converted mana costs: 1 and 4. When you exile it with cascade, you get a "yes" and a "no" when asking "is the CMC less?", and the "yes" is all that matters, so you're allowed to cast it. That pattern matching is as far as cascade cares. Now when you go to cast it, you can pick either half, and cascade just sits there smiling, ready to truncate the mana cost when you get into the casting process but no longer paying attention to its characteristics.

Q: I have a Locust Miser and my opponent puts Dead Weight on it. In response, I Brute Force it. What happens when my opponent's turn ends if he has seven cards in hand?

A: As the cleanup step starts, first your opponent discards down to five cards. After that, Brute Force's effect expires and your Miser is 0/0. Because this causes a state-based action to be applicable, SBAs are checked and boom, Miser's dead and a new cleanup step is created. In this cleanup step, your opponent's hand size is seven, and he has five cards in hand and a frowny face, so the game rolls on to your turn.

Q: Does Spite of Mogis count itself?

A: Nope. Putting a spell into its owner's graveyard is the very last step of resolution, after you've performed all of its spell abilities. Spite will still be on the stack at the time that it determines how hard to smack a creature and while you're scrying.

Q: Does Torpor Orb stop constellation abilities from triggering when an enchantment creature enters the battlefield?

A: Torpor Orb stops triggers from creatures entering, even if the trigger doesn't care specifically about creatures entering. Whatever the trigger cares about, if it's a creature causing the trigger, Orb shuts it down. Eidolon won't trigger for itself or for any other enchantment creatures with an Orb out, but at least it'll still trigger for all of your other noncreature enchantments.

Q: Is there a restriction on how many planeswalkers or legendary creatures I can have in my deck?

A: The only restrictions on the legendary supertype and the planeswalker card type apply to how many you control on the battlefield at once. Your deck can be 100% legendary or 100% planeswalker, although 60 planeswalkers and no lands will make for some very awkward games.

Q: My opponent gave me a Hive Mind copy of Pact of Negation. I don't really want one. Can I have my copy target itself?

A: You won't be able to reject your opponent's kind gift like that. A spell is never a legal target for itself, under any circumstances.

Q: If a creature is affected by Cyclops of Eternal Fury, is it enchanted?

A: To be enchanted means to have an Aura attached. Cyclops of Eternal Fury is an enchantment, but not an Aura, and it's not attached to anything other than its loving spouse.

Q: Can I cast a strive card with zero targets just because I want to? Or possibly because that's my opponent's Worst Fears...

A: "Any number of targets" means exactly that - zero has been a number since roughly 1700BCE. Other rules may restrict zero from your legal choices (such as an effect having you divide damage among the targets, or explicit text on the card), but none of those apply to any of the strive cards.

"Hey kid, wanna buy a booster?"
"You know you want to."
"Give me all your money."
Q: Why can't I activate Duskmantle Guildmage in response to the reveal from Dakra Mystic so my opponent doesn't get what he reveals?

A: Because no player receives priority at that point, and you can only activate abilities when you have priority. Once a spell or ability begins resolving, you can't do anything except what it says until it's done resolving.

Q: Does Hall of Triumph's wording mean that it only applies to creatures that are exactly the chosen color, or will multicolor creatures get the bonus too?

A: Whenever an effect refers to an object that is a color, type, subtype, and so on, it's checking whether that object's list of that attribute includes the given value, not whether it's only that value. A "red creature" is any creature including red in its colors; a "Goblin creature" is any object with Goblin as one of its subtypes and creature as one of its types. Requiring an object to have only the given value and no others would require very explicit wording that I'm not sure exists.

Q: Can Athreos, God of Passage give me back a Mutavault?

A: It sure can. Athreos, like most leaves-the-battlefield triggers, looks at the game state prior to the leaving to determine if it should trigger. Before it died, Mutavault was a creature, so Athreos will ferry its soily little soul to your hand if your opponent doesn't pay.

Q: Do constellation abilities trigger from my teammate's creatures when I play an enchantment in Two-Headed Giant?

A: In 2HG games, "you" still means "you." If an enchantment enters under your control, that's not under your teammate's control, so that player's constellation triggers won't fire.

Q: It seems really easy to make infinite combos with the hero Equipment from the Journey into Nyx prerelease. Are there any special rules about using them?

A: Well, there's one big rule: You can't use hero cards in tournaments. They're made specifically for the player-vs-environment challenge decks released on Game Days.

When playing against the challenge decks, you start the game with a number of hero cards on the battlefield as decided in advance (each challenge deck has its own suggested maximums), and then they behave just like any other permanent. If you've found a way to turn your weaponry into an infinity+1 sword of slaying gods, monsters, plants, animals, and minerals, then it's just up to you to decide if that's the kind of hero you want to be.

If you have to ask, it probably is.

Q: Is it okay for a judge to play and take calls at FNM?

A: It is! At Regular REL events, which include FNM, prereleases, Game Day, and random events without a spiffy name, the DCI recognizes that the judge might be one of 20ish players who wants to play and wouldn't judge if he or she had to give up playing, and that this judge is usually well-known in the group and trusted by them to be impartial. If you think that a judge is abusing this trust, that's an issue to bring up with your regional judge coordinator.

Q: I heard something about not using electronics at tournaments. What's that all about?

A: After years of trying to keep up with changing technology and redraw the line on what's okay and not okay to do with smart phones, tablets, etc during tournaments, the DCI has decided that the simplest way is the best: just disallow them. Preventing the possibility of or accusations of Outside Assistance shenanigans takes precedence over using your iPhone to display your life total - paper is still the best way to do that.

Q: So I can't use my phone for a life counter at FNM?

A: That policy applies only to Competitive events, where higher prizes tempt players to unscrupulous behavior and spurious cheating accusations abound. At Regular REL (defined two questions up), you can still use electronics for life totals.

And lo, I'm through Journey - I'll be back in just four weeks for the next Magic release! Callum [Actually, Carsten! -ed] will be back next week, unless some great thief steals our mailbox from Moko's tender brutal hands...

Until next time, watch out for conspiratorial llamas!

- Eli Shiffrin

About the Author:
Eli Shiffrin is currently in Lowell, Massachusetts and discovering how dense the east coast MTG community is. Legend has it that the Comprehensive Rules are inscribed on the folds of his brain.


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

Send quick questions to us in English for a short answer.

Follow our RSS feed!