Published on 10/24/2016

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Kaladesh

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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

Greetings and welcome back to another issue of Cranial Insertion. Kaladesh has been out for the better part of a month now, but players are still getting confused about some of the card interactions, which is good for us because that gives us a steady stream of rules questions to answer.

If you have questions for us, please email them to or tweet short questions at @CranialTweet. One of our writers will reply with an answer, and your question might even appear in a future episode alongside an obscure pop culture reference.

Without further ado, let's engage our Infinite Improbability Drive and see where we end up...

Q: If I attach Stitcher's Graft to a crewed Vehicle, what happens at the end of the turn?

A: At the end of the turn, the Vehicle stops being a creature, which means that it can't have equipment attached to it. State-based actions notice that Stitcher's Graft is attached to a noncreature permanent and detach the Graft from the Vehicle. This triggers the Graft's ability and your Vehicle goes to the junkyard, err, I mean graveyard.

Q: Does Animation Module's ability trigger when a creature such as Endless One enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters on it?

A: It sure does. Abilities that trigger when a counter is placed on a permanent trigger both when a counter is placed on a permanent that's already on the battlefield and they also trigger when a permanent is entering the battlefield with the counters on it. This happens even though there is no point in time at which the permanent exists without those counters.

Q: If I have crewed a Vehicle and it's currently a creature, can I crew it again or do I have to wait for it to stop being a creature?

A: There is no restriction on the crew ability that stops you from doing this, so if you want to, you can crew it again while it's already a creature, assuming that you have the necessary resources to activate the crew ability. Crewing the Vehicle again won't create a noticeable effect on the Vehicle, but it might be useful to trigger an ability that looks for creatures getting tapped or something similar.

Q: If I cast Lost Legacy and my opponent has two cards with the chosen name in her hand, am I forced to exile those cards?

A: No, you're not forced to exile those cards if you don't want to. Lost Legacy instructs you to search the target player's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the chosen name, and then you exile just the matching cards you chose to find.

Q: Let's say I use Emrakul, the Promised End on my opponent, and during his turn I make him cast Walk the Aeons to give me an extra turn. Whose turn is next?

A: That'll be your extra turn. There were two extra turns created after your opponent's turn, and the most recently created extra turn is taken first. The turn from Walk the Aeons was created more recently, so that's the turn that's taken first.

Q: If I target a Bristling Hydra with Harnessed Lightning and my opponent gives the Hydra hexproof in response, do I still get the three energy counters from Harnessed Lightning?

A: I'm afraid not. Harnessed Lightning only has a single target, and that target has suddenly become illegal. Since all of its targets are now illegal, Harnessed Lightning is countered on resolution and none of its effects happen.

I didn't ask to be made.
No one consulted me or considered
my feelings in the matter.
Q: Can I use Unlicensed Disintegration on Torrential Gearhulk to stop its enter-the-battlefield ability?

A: No, that doesn't work. By the time the Gearhulk is on the battlefield so that you could target it with Unlicensed Disintegration, its ability has already triggered and it's on the stack, waiting to resolve. You can respond to the ability, of course, but destroying the source of an ability on the stack does nothing to the ability on the stack, so the Gearhulk's ability will still resolve.

Q: My opponent casts Part the Waterveil with awaken, and I use Insidious Will to copy it. Do I get to awaken one of my lands?

A: You sure do, and if you actually want to create that extra turn with Part the Waterveil, you'll have to awaken one of your lands. Insidious Will copies the original spell with all choices that were made when it was cast, including the choice to pay the awaken cost, and including the target for the awaken effect. You could choose to leave the target as is, but your opponent's land is not a legal target for the copy of Part the Waterveil that you control, so your copy would be countered on resolution and do nothing. This means that you should change the target to one of your lands, and then the copy will give you an extra turn and awaken your land.

We'll leave the bonus question of which extra turn gets taken first as an exercise for the reader. The first reader to comment correctly will be rewarded with the priceless sensations of accomplishment and pride.

Q: Let's say I attack with Ovalchase Dragster and it gets blocked by Aether Theorist. If my opponent taps Aether Theorist for its ability before damage, where does Ovalchase Dragster's trample damage go?

A: There's a common misconception among older players that tapping a blocker prevents damage in some way, but that hasn't been the case for a very long time. The rules actually go out of their way to spell out that tapping an attacker or blocker doesn't remove it from combat or prevent any combat damage. This is noteworthy because the rules usually don't concern themselves with things that don't happen and stick to describing things that do happen. The fact that this rule exists is a testament to how common this misconception is.

Anyway, what this means for your question is that the damage goes where it normally goes. You have to assign lethal damage to Aether Theorist, so at least 3 damage, and the remaining damage can be split between Aether Theorist and your opponent.

Q: Does Panharmonicon cause Parallel Lives to trigger twice if a token enters the battlefield under my control?

A: Nope. Parallel Lives doesn't have a triggered ability. It has a static ability that creates a replacement effect, and that replacement effect changes how many tokens you create. Since it's not a triggered ability at all, Panharmonicon doesn't care.

Q: Would Panharmonicon cause Elder Deep-Fiend's "tap up to four target permanents" ability to trigger twice?

A: That's still a no. Elder Deep-Fiend's ability is a triggered ability, but it's not triggered by a creature or artifact entering the battlefield. It's triggered by casting Elder Deep-Fiend. As such, Panharmonicon doesn't care about this ability either.

Q: If I control Panharmonicon and play Dryad Arbor, does that trigger landfall twice?

A: Yup! Landfall is a triggered ability, and in this case you managed to trigger it with a creature entering the battlefield. That event satisfies what Panharmonicon is looking for, so it makes the ability trigger twice.

Q: When I crew Smuggler's Copter, can my opponent kill it before I declare it as an attacker? If so, what happens to the Copter's ability?

A: Yes, your opponent can kill it before you declare it as an attacker. In order for you to attack with Smuggler's Copter, you have to crew it some time before the declare attacker's step. You'd usually do that in your main phase, but you could also do it in the beginning of combat step. Either way, after the crew ability resolves, both players will get priority again before the game can move on to the declare attackers step, and that gives your opponent the chance to blow your Copter out of the sky before it gets the chance to attack. Since the Copter didn't attack, its ability doesn't even trigger, let alone resolve.

Q: Can I control Nissa Revane and Nissa, Worldwaker at the same time?

A: Not really. The technically correct answer is "Yes, but only very briefly." After whatever spell that caused the second Nissa to enter the battlefield has resolved, both Nissas will be on the battlefield at the same time, but then state-based actions are checked. One of the state-based actions is the planeswalker uniqueness rule which sees that you control two planeswalkers with the Nissa subtype, so it makes you get rid of one of them. This happens before you get priority to do anything, so you can't do anything useful with the very brief game state in which you controlled both Nissas. So, to make a long story just a little bit longer, the practical answer, though technically incorrect, is that you can't control two Nissas at the same time.

There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying.
The knack lies in learning how to
throw yourself at the ground and miss.
Q: Can I grab Smuggler's Copter with Collected Company?

A: Nice try, but no. Collected Company only lets you grab a creature card, which Smuggler's Copter is not. It has the potential to eventually become a creature, but in your library it's just an artifact card.

Q: How does Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar interact with my opponent's Leovold, Emissary of Trest?

A: It interacts beautifully. Leovold stops you from drawing more than one card, but with Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar, you're not drawing any cards at all. Sure, you're still putting cards into your hand, but the draw gets replaced with another process that's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike drawing a card.

Q: Arthur has an equipment attached to a creature, and he activates the equip ability to move it to another creature. In response, Zaphod kills the second creature. What happens to the equipment?

A: The equipment does not become unattached or anything silly like that. It simply stays where it is. The equipment would have moved to the second creature if the equip ability had resolved, but the ability is countered on resolution because its target is illegal now, so none of its effects happen.

Q: Does Sudden Spoiling remove the effects of Rancor and Snake Umbra?

A: It removes some things, but we have to be careful with our vocabulary here. Sudden Spoiling doesn't remove effects; it removes abilities. If a creature is enchanted with Rancor and Snake Umbra, it gains certain abilities. Rancor gives it trample, and Snake Umbra gives it the triggered ability "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may draw a card." Sudden Spoiling removes those abilities from the creature, so it loses trample and that triggered ability, along with any other abilities the creature might have had.

Sudden Spoiling does nothing to the abilities that the Auras themselves have, so Rancor will still return to its owner's hand when it goes to the graveyard, and Snake Umbra still has the totem armor ability.

Q: Can energy counters be proliferated?

A: Sure! Energy counters are counters that a player can have, so as long as you already have at least one energy counter, you can proliferate it to get another energy counter.

Q: When I play Faith's Reward, under whose control do the permanents enter the battlefield?

A: They'll enter the battlefield under your control, regardless of who controlled the cards when they were put into your graveyard. This is because you are instructed to put the cards onto the battlefield, and the effect doesn't state under whose control you're putting them onto the battlefield, so they'll be under your control by default.

Q: I've heard a rumor that the Standard rotation pattern is changing again. Is that true?

A: It's not a rumor. The information you've heard is correct. The twice-yearly rotation pattern turned out to be more unpopular than Wizards of the Coast anticipated, so they decided to go back to a rotation pattern of one rotation per year and a Standard format that will contain two years' worth of expansion sets.

For all the details on this change, you can read the official announcement here.

And that's all the time we have for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll be back next week when James presents us with a new episode that may or may not be Halloween-themed. Until then, may you always know where your towel is.

- Carsten Haese

About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a former Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He is retired from active judging, but he still writes for Cranial Insertion and helps organize an annual charity Magic tournament that benefits the National MS Society.

How does sudden spoiling interact with the power/toughness boosts of the auras?
#1 • Date: 2016-10-24 • Time: 08:31:06 •
How does sudden spoiling interact with the power/toughness boosts of the auras?
Those effects still apply. Sudden Spoiling changes P/T to 0/2 in layer 7b, then Rancor adds +2/+0 in layer 7c, so a Rancor\'d creature will be 2/2 after Sudden Spoiling.

Last edited on 2016-10-25 13:40:50 by MAHK
#2 • Date: 2016-10-24 • Time: 12:14:02 •
Insidious Will was cast in response to Part the Waterveil, so Will`s turn will be created first and Veil`s turn will be the most recent. In that case, the opponent will take his ET first. Tadadaaaah!!!

Edit: pls, which formatting command has to be used in order to have the cards pop-up automatically?

Last edited on 2016-10-29 10:23:27 by leeland
#3 • Date: 2016-10-29 • Time: 10:17:13 •
Does Lost Legacy not force you to exile because your opponent's hand is a hidden zone, or because you're searching for "any number" of cards? Do you have to exile all the ones in the graveyard?
#4 • Date: 2016-11-02 • Time: 02:39:39 •
Quote (Thrawcheld):
Does Lost Legacy not force you to exile because your opponent's hand is a hidden zone, or because you're searching for "any number" of cards? Do you have to exile all the ones in the graveyard?

It's because of "any number." If there are matching cards in the graveyard, you don't have to exile them if you don't want to.
#5 • Date: 2016-11-02 • Time: 06:26:58 •

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