Published on 05/04/2015

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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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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.

No, wrong kind of masters.
And definitely not in the set.
Hello, and welcome to another edition of Cranial Insertion! Previews for Modern Masters 2015 are upon us, and I couldn't be more excited. The original Modern Masters reprinted a ton of fun, useful, and exciting cards and fused them together into a fantastic Limited environment, and showcased it in a massive, record-breaking Grand Prix event, and by all accounts history is going to be repeating itself two years later. Preregistration for GP Vegas 2015 already exceeds the final player count for its predecessor by well over a thousand players, without even considering its sister events in Chiba and Utrecht.

This is going to be a fun ride.

If there are any rules questions you'd like to master, Modern or otherwise, drop us an email via zombie monkey express at , or for the short and sweet questions tweet to @CranialTweet. You'll get a masterful answer and possibly see your question appear in a future article.

Q: In response to my opponent's spell, I cast Nameless Inversion on one of their creatures and Silumgar's Scorn on their spell. Nameless Inversion is a Dragon, so do I get the "dragon bonus" version of the spell?

A: No, you don't. Whenever a spell or ability uses just a card type or creature type to describe something, it means a permanent of that type on the battlefield unless it specifies otherwise. (This is why Day of Judgment doesn't try to destroy creature cards in players' hands or libraries.)

So because Silumgar's Scorn doesn't say it cares about "Dragon spells", it doesn't care about the Nameless Inversion, since that's not a permanent on the battlefield. No bonus for you.

Q: How does Nacatl War-Pride work if it attacks along with a Prized Unicorn?

A: Both the War-Pride (and its tokens) and Prized Unicorn create blocking requirements, and when declaring blockers the defending player must fulfill as many requirements as they legally can.

So, for each potential blocker, the defending player has a choice: either have that creature block the Unicorn (which fulfills one requirement: "this creature must block Prized Unicorn"), or have it block one of the War-Prides that isn't being blocked by anything else (which also fulfills one requirement: "Nacatl War-Pride must be blocked by exactly one creature").

It's not legal for your opponent to multi-block any of the War-Prides, because that would mean they aren't fulfilling as many requirements as possible.

Q: I Spelljack my opponent's Temporal Trespass, and on my turn I cast it. When it resolves it gets exiled again—does that mean I can use it again?

A: No. Temporal Trespass stopped being exiled when you put it on the stack as part of casting it, so the duration Spelljack specified has already expired. You won't be able to cast it again , even if it puts itself into exile.

Q: Does Sisters of Stone Death's second ability take place before they receive any damage?

A: If you want it to (and you probably do), yes. Blockers are declared at the beginning the Declare Blockers step of combat, and you're able to use the ability pretty much as soon as that process is completed and there are creatures blocking or being blocked by the Sisters for you to use the ability on.

If you do that, then the ability will resolve before the game moves on to the next step of combat, which is when damage would have been dealt. And since the creature you used the ability on is now gone, it won't be around to deal any damage to your Sisters.

No, wrong language.
And probably not in the set.
Q: Can you respond to turning a creature face up with Atarka's Command so they won't gain life from Mastery of the Unseen?

A: You can't respond to the creature being turned face-up, since that's a special action and doesn't use the stack, but you can still do what you want, because Mastery of the Unseen's ability can be responded to. It's a normal triggered ability and uses the stack, so you can respond to it with Atarka's Command to stop the trigger from being able to give them any life when it resolves.

Q: If I use the raid effect of Arrow Storm, does that mean that even protection from red, hexproof, and shroud abilities will not prevent the damage, or is the card talking about something else when it says damage can not be prevented?

A: It's talking about something else. The reason protection, shroud, and hexproof stop you from using Arrow Storm on something isn't because they prevent the damage, but because they stop you from being able to choose that thing as a target for the spell in the first place (or counter it for having an illegal target), which isn't the same thing.

What Arrow Storm is talking about is effects which actually say to prevent the damage, like Dromoka's Command's first option or Mending Hands.

Q: If Conundrum Sphinx and Prognostic Sphinx attack on the same turn would I be able to scry before I declare the card for the Conundrum, thereby allowing me to "guess" correctly?

A: Absolutely. You control both triggers and they trigger at the same time, so you can put them onto the stack in whichever order you like, and whichever one you put on top will resolve first, before you even start to resolve the second.

Q: If a spell has multiple effects and doesn't use the word "then", what order do they go in?

A: When a spell or ability is resolving, you follow its instructions in the order they're written on the card. So in the case of Damnable Pact, for example, the targeted player will draw cards first, then lose life.

Q: My opponent used Fated Return on his Living Lore. Can she grab the Return with her newly reanimated Lore?

A: No, she can't. Your opponent needs to exile an instant or sorcery card from her graveyard for Living Lore as it's entering the battlefield, and since Fated Return is currently in the process of resolving, it's still on the stack, not in the graveyard. Since it's not in the graveyard, it's not a legal choice for exiling. Your opponent will have to exile something else.

Q: Does Karador, Ghost Chieftain's second ability set a limitation on how many creatures I cast from the graveyard without his ability? For example, would Karador stop me from casting multiple Gravecrawlers from my graveyard?

A: No, it doesn't. Karador's ability only gives you permission to cast a single creature card with it, but it doesn't stop you from finding other ways of casting creatures from your graveyard. If you can find another way to start casting creatures from your graveyard, more power to you!

Q: If a card says "AS this creature enters the battlefield" or "Enters the battlefield with..." like Heroes' Bane or Adaptive Automaton, will Hushwing Gryff keep that ability from happening? Are those the same as "when enters?"

A: No, they aren't the same. "AS this creature enters..." and "this creature enters with..." indicate a replacement effect that is applied (surprise!) as the creature enters the battlefield—doing whatever the ability says is part of the process of putting the card onto the battlefield in the first place, and isn't hindered at all by Hushwing Gryff.

"WHEN this creature enters...", on the other hand, is a triggered ability that triggers immediately after the creature enters the battlefield, and will get shut down by the Gryff.

Q: Elite Arcanist doesn't say the copy needs to be cast during the turn for which the ability is activated, so when does the spell need to be cast? Surely one cannot just pool up several spells, can they?

A: No, they can't. When something tells a player that they may cast something and it doesn't give a duration, it means right now, this very second. If you want to cast the copy the Arcanist creates, you need to do so right away, as the Arcanist's ability is resolving.

Q: Epicenter is a targeted spell or not depending on my threshold. Is my threshold checked only in the moment when I cast the spell? Otherwise, what happens if my threshold changes during casting, or between casting and resolution?

A: A spell that switches between being targeted and not being targeted depending on the game state would be confusing, all right. Luckily, Epicenter doesn't actually work that way.

Epicenter is always a targeted spell—you choose a target player while casting it no matter how many cards are in your graveyard. Then, when the spell resolves it checks your graveyard and does whichever effect is appropriate.

There we go.
Q: I just played a Commander game where one opponent tapped his Merieke Ri Berit trying to take control of my Rubinia Soulsinger. In response, I tapped Rubinia targeting his Merieke. It...caused some confusion. So for future reference, how should that resolve?

A: First, Rubinia's ability would resolve, giving you control of Merieke. Next, Merieke's ability would resolve, but the duration it specifies has already expired since your opponent no longer controls Merieke. As such, Merieke's ability won't make your opponent gain control of Rubinia.

You'll end up with a tapped Merieke that you will control for as long as you control Rubinia and Rubinia remains tapped. Careful, though! The rest of Merieke's ability still applies, so if that Merieke ever becomes untapped, Rubinia will be destroyed.

Q: If I control Hipparion equipped with Echo Circlet, do I have to pay in order for it to block two creatures with power 3 or greater?

A: No, just the . Hipparion doesn't ask you to pay per creature you're trying to block, just total, and once you do it's free to block as many creatures with power 3 or greater as its Circlet permits.

Q: I have a Shaman of Forgotten Ways on the battlefield and want to bestow Chromanticore on a dragon. Can I pay for the bestowed Chromanticore using mana from the Shaman?

A: Afraid not. While Chromanticore was a creature spell as you started to cast it, as soon as you decided to pay its bestow cost it stopped being a creature spell and started being an Aura spell. When the time comes to pay costs, the game won't let you spend the Shaman's mana, because it's not a creature spell at that point.

Q: Does Scrying Sheets count as a snow permanent with a Blood Moon in play?

A: Absolutely. Blood Moon wipes away the Sheets' normal abilities by turning it into a Mountain, and if it had any land types those would be gone too, but "Snow" isn't a land type—it's a supertype, which is something that Blood Moon won't remove.

You'll end up with a Snow Land — Mountain named Scrying Sheets that taps for red mana, but doesn't do much else.

Q: My opponent activates Heartless Hidetsugu equipped with Loxodon Warhammer. If I kill Hidetsugu in response, will my opponent gain life when his ability resolves?

A: Yes, your opponent will gain life as Heartless Hidetsugu's ability resolves.

Since Hidetsugu is no longer on the battlefield, the game will check its last known information to see whether or not it had lifelink when it was on the battlefield. Since at the time it died it did indeed have lifelink, the game will see that and give your opponent life equal to the damage dealt.

Q: What happens if I cast Shifting Loyalties targeting two creatures my opponent controls. Do both creatures come under my control?

A: Nothing happens. Both creatures were already controlled by the same player, so exchanging control of them is meaningless, and nothing happens. You don't gain control of anything.

Q: Cloudform and Lightform say when they enter the battlefield they become Auras, but that will not trigger Kor Spiritdancer's card drawing ability, correct?

A: Correct. When you first cast Cloudform or Lightform, they're just plain old non-Aura Enchantments, and the Spiritdancer doesn't care about those. While they later become Auras after resolving and sitting on the battlefield for a while, the Spiritdancer doesn't care about that either, because you're not casting them.

Q: With the new tuck rule in Commander, Warp World no longer necessarily shuffles someone's commander into their library. So if someone decides to put their commander in the command zone instead, does it still count toward the number of cards that player will reveal from the top of his or her library?

A: Yes it does. When Warp World says "that many", it's counting the number of permanents that it tried to move, not the number of them that actually made it all the way to the library. Any permanents that moved somewhere else instead for whatever reason (such as Commanders that went to the command zone or unearthed creatures that got exiled) are still included in its count.

Q: If I scry, but my opponent isn't paying attention for some reason and doesn't see what I did with the cards, do I have to tell them what I did if they ask?

A: Yes, you are required to tell your opponent what you did with the cards you scried. The answer to the question "Wait, what just happened?" is always free information, because your opponent is entitled to be aware of what actions you're taking in the game. They don't lose that right just because they happened to be preoccupied with something else for the two seconds it took you to scry—that just leads down a very bad road.

That's all from me this week; next time you hear from me I'll be on my way back home from a week-long trip to the brightest city in the world and the largest Magic event in history. Fair warning: the article may just consist of an extended snoring session as I catch up on all the sleep I've been too excited to have over the week previous.

So long, and see you all on the other side!

- Callum Milne

About the Author:
Callum Milne is a Level 2 judge from British Columbia, Canada. His home range is Vancouver Island, but he can be found in the wild throughout BC and also at GPs all along the west coast of North America.

For the Nameless Inversion question, could the player have chosen to cast Silumgar's Scorn first, revealing Nameless Inversion for the dragon bonus, and then play it afterwards, or would that also not have worked for the same reason?
#1 • Date: 2015-05-03 • Time: 22:05:39 •
I'm pretty sure revealing Nameless Inversion from your hand works fine with Silumgar's Scorn.
#2 • Date: 2015-05-04 • Time: 00:21:38 •
Yes, revealing Nameless Inversion from your hand would get you the bonus just fine. Scorn (and its fellows) ask you to reveal a "Dragon card" from your hand for their additional cost, and a Nameless Inversion card in your hand fits that criterion perfectly.
#3 • Date: 2015-05-04 • Time: 03:04:36 •
Thanks! That seemed right but I wanted to be sure.
#4 • Date: 2015-05-04 • Time: 03:17:28 •

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