Published on 08/03/2015

Going on Tour

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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

The Pro Tourach canceled after nobody
could remember where it was being held
This past weekend was Pro Tour Magic Origins, featuring some of the best players in the world playing with the newest cards in Magic for all the (metaphorical) marbles, as several important pro points races and World Championship invitations came right down to the wire. Unfortunately, this article was written well before the first round of the Pro Tour began, so I don't actually know who won, but I'm sure congratulations are in order after an exciting weekend of Magic.

What I do know, though, is that I've got another great crop of rules questions to answer, and that we're always on the lookout for more, so if you've got a question burning a hole in your brain, feel free to ask us by using the handy "Email Us" button, by sending an email to , or by tweeting at @CranialTweet.

Q: I control Sphinx's Tutelage, and I cast Day's Undoing. Do I get seven triggers from the Tutelage?

A: The key thing here is that when you're resolving a spell or ability, you follow the instructions in the order written on the card. So first everybody shuffles their hands and graveyards in, then each player draws seven cards (and Sphinx's Tutelage triggers seven times), and then... you end the turn, which will exile Day's Undoing (since it's still on the stack) and cause all those Sphinx's Tutelage triggers to cease existing. So while Sphinx's Tutelage will trigger, the triggers will never resolve (in fact, they'll never make it onto the stack). Only abilities which trigger during the "end the turn" process, or as a result of things that happen in the cleanup step immediately afterward, will get to resolve.

Q: My opponent has Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, and I cast Day's Undoing during my turn. Do I have to discard the seven cards I drew from Day's Undoing?

A: You do. When a turn is ended by a spell or ability, there's still a cleanup step, and part of the cleanup step of your turn is discarding down to your maximum hand size. Which, courtesy of Jin-Gitaxias, is zero, so you'll end up discarding until you have zero cards in hand.

Q: If one of the cards I drew from the Day's Undoing is a Big Game Hunter, can I cast it for its madness cost and kill the Jin-Gitaxias? Or is this like split second where I can't cast anything?

A: This works just fine: the "end the turn" process only gets rid of spells or abilities which were on the stack (or, in the case of triggered abilities, waiting to be put on the stack after triggering) prior to beginning the process of ending the turn. Then the game moves to the cleanup step, you discard down to your maximum hand size, and Big Game Hunter's madness ability triggers. That ability is put on the stack once you finish discarding, resolves, and when it resolves you can cast Big Game Hunter. Then its enters-the-battlefield ability will trigger, and you'll get to kill Jin-Gitaxias. Then there will be another cleanup step, and then the turn will hopefully finally be over (any time an ability triggers, or a state-based action has to be applied, during a cleanup step, the game adds another cleanup step right after, repeating until you get a cleanup step with no triggers and no state-based actions).

Q: At the end of my opponent's turn, I cast a Pestermite and targeted my opponent's Temple Garden with the triggered ability. My opponent said "would you like to use the ability", I said yes, and my opponent said "OK, I'll tap the Temple Garden for mana" and said now I'd have to untap it since I can't tap an already-tapped permanent. Is that correct?

A: There are some correct ideas here, but unfortunately they're being cobbled together into an incorrect result. The choice of whether to use Pestermite's ability happens as the ability is resolving; at that point it's too late for any player to respond further, so if that choice is being made your opponent won't have an opportunity to tap the Temple Garden in response. Your opponent could tap the Temple Garden before Pestermite's ability starts to resolve, but then you could simply choose not to try to tap it.

Q: I control a Goblinslide and cast Impact Tremors. If I pay for the Goblinslide trigger, will Impact Tremors deal damage to my opponent for the Goblin Token?

A: Any ability which is triggered by casting a spell will resolve before the spell does. So Impact Tremors won't yet be on the battlefield when the Goblin token enters, and as a result Impact Tremors won't trigger for the Goblin token.

Q: In a multiplayer game I control a Leyline of Anticipation, and another player attacks with three creatures. I cast Launch the Fleet, targeting all three of her attackers; will the Soldier tokens be under my control (and able to block), or under her control?

A: If Launch the Fleet is cast with flash targeting another player's creatures (or targeting your teammate's creatures during your team's turn in a Two-Headed Giant game), that player will control the resulting tokens. But in this case no tokens will be produced, because the creatures have already been declared as attackers. If you want the tokens to be created, you'll need to cast Launch the Fleet before attackers are declared.

The Probe Tour never kicked off due to
lack of black mana
Q: I control Anafenza, the Foremost and my opponent controls Jace, Telepath Unbound. If I kill Jace, will he be exiled since he turns back into a creature when he dies?

A: Anafenza decides whether to exile a card based on what the card looks like in the zone it's coming from, not what it would look like in the graveyard. In this case Jace is coming from the battlefield where his planeswalker face was up, so he's a planeswalker and not a creature, and Anafenza won't exile him.

Q: Could I use Moonmist to transform Jace, Vryn's Prodigy?

A: You could, but it's probably not a good idea: Jace is a Human, so he'll transform (into Jace, Telepath Unbound). But transforming won't give him any loyalty counters, and as a planeswalker with zero loyalty counters he'll immediately be placed into your graveyard.

Q: If I control an animated Mishra's Factory and use the -1 ability of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas on it, what happens at the end of the turn? What if I activate Mishra's Factory again?

A: Tezzeret's ability only needs the target to be an artifact when Tezzeret is activated and when the ability resolves. Past that point, the target just permanently remains an artifact creature with base power and toughness 5/5. So when Mishra's Factory's effect wears off at the end of the turn, the only change will be that it loses the Assembly-Worker creature type. If you activate Mishra's Factory again, it will be a 2/2 Assembly-Worker until the end of that turn, after which it'll go back to being 5/5.

Q: Would a Lotus Vale trigger the landfall ability of Bloodghast?

A: If you sacrifice two untapped lands for the Lotus Vale, yes. Otherwise, Lotus Vale never enters the battlefield at all; its ability is a replacement effect that causes it to go straight to the graveyard, without entering the battlefield, unless you sacrifice two untapped lands.

Q: If I Animate Dead a Terastodon, can I target the Animate Dead with Terastodon's ability just to get an Elephant token?

A: Animate Dead is a noncreature permanent, so you can target it with Terastodon's ability, and you'll get an Elephant token. Just remember that will trigger Animate Dead's ability and force you to sacrifice Terastodon.

Q: Can I cast Death Cloud for a huge amount to wipe the board, and float mana to cast a creature afterward?

A: You can, but keep in mind that part of resolving Death Cloud is discarding X cards. So you'll need to ensure you have at least one card in hand left over afterward so you can do something with the mana (or have a creature you can cast from your graveyard, like Risen Executioner).

Q: If I cast Rally the Ancestors with X=4 and get back Purphoros, God of the Forge, will I get to keep Purphoros if my devotion to red is too low to make him a creature?

A: No, you'll still have to exile Purphoros; Rally the Ancestors says "those creatures", but that really means "those game objects". And Purphoros is still the same game object regardless of his current types, so he'll be exiled whether he's a creature at the time or not.

Q: I just activated the -6 of Xenagos, the Reveler, and put two copies of Dragonlord Atarka onto the battlefield with it. Can I use one of the Atarka triggers to kill my opponent's Hornet Nest and the other to kill the tokens it makes?

A: Both Atarkas trigger immediately on entering the battlefield; since they're both legendary, you'll choose one to keep and one to put in the graveyard, then put their triggers on the stack. You'll have to choose all targets, for both Atarka triggers, from among the creatures and planeswalkers your opponents control at that moment. So you can choose the Hornet Nest, but since there aren't any tokens from it yet you won't be able to target them with the other trigger.

Scrolling through old coverage archives
was a bit harder in the parchment days
Q: If I manage to untap Jace, Vryn's Prodigy in response to his ability, activate the ability again and he transforms from it, will the original activation still happen?

A: It will. Once the ability was activated and on the stack, it became completely independent of Jace; even if Jace were to die, the ability would still resolve.

Q: If I Stubborn Denial a spell and my opponent kills my only 4-power creature in response, does that mean they can just pay to avoid having their spell countered?

A: It does. Stubborn Denial checks the power of creatures you control as it resolves; if your opponent gets rid of all your 4-power (or greater) creatures prior to that point, you'll just get the normal effect of Stubborn Denial instead of the ferocious effect.

Q: So would the same thing work if I kill my opponent's Dragon in response to a Silumgar's Scorn?

A: Silumgar's Scorn specifically says "if you controlled a Dragon as you cast Silumgar's Scorn", so it only checks whether there was a Dragon at the time of casting. So by the time you can respond to Silumgar's Scorn, it's no longer possible to change whether they controlled a Dragon.

Q: If I control Demonic Pact and Strionic Resonator, can I use the Resonator to effectively get each of the modes of Demonic Pact twice?

A: Not only can you do that, you can't do anything else! When you copy a spell or ability, you don't choose targets or modes for it unless the effect doing the copying says you can. So if you use Strionic Resonator to copy the triggered ability of Demonic Pact, the copy will have the same mode as the original trigger, meaning you'll get the effects of that mode twice.

Q: Could I cast Epic Experiment, revealing a bunch of spells including one with split second, and put the one with split second on the stack first so it will resolve last and keep my opponent from responding to any of the others?

A: While you're resolving Epic Experiment you can cast the revealed cards in any order you choose, which lets you set up the order in which they'll resolve. And you could choose a spell with split second as the first one to cast... but then there would be a spell with split second on the stack, and you'd be unable to cast any of the other spells. So you'd end up only casting that one spell, and all the rest of the cards from Epic Experiment would be put in your graveyard.

Q: I heard there's a new rule that makes me put my lands behind my other permanents on the table while I play. When does that go into effect, and what are the rules?

A: As part of the tournament-policy changes for Magic Origins, some new rules were introduced for the matches featured on video coverage of large professional events like the Pro Tour; these rules don't apply to any other matches, and are only used to ensure consistency on the video coverage. So unless you're in the featured match of the Pro Tour, you don't have to do this; your only responsibility is to ensure that the game state is clear and that everyone can tell which of your cards are in which zones.

That's all for this week, but be sure to check in again next week when we'll be back with another issue of Cranial Insertion!

- 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.

The important point in the Pestermite question, of course, is that saying "would you like to use the ability" means "I want to skip ahead until the point where you choose whether to use the ability", and if you say "yes", you've both agreed to that shortcut and that's where the game ends up. And then it's too late to respond by tapping the target.
#1 • Date: 2015-08-05 • Time: 08:00:37 •
On the subject of using Moonmist for non-Werewolf transforming: Not only is Moonmist hilarious tech against four of the five Origins walkers (sorry, Nissa's an Elf), but it also can transform an Insectile Aberration back into a Delver of Secrets.
#2 • Date: 2015-08-08 • Time: 21:05:54 •

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