Published on 01/09/2017


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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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

I found yet another cake in the fridge...

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! The holidays are over for many of us, but our fridge is still full of holiday food and snacks. It seems like every year, we make way too much food, and we end up eating cold turkey sandwiches for weeks or finding yet another box of cookies in the fridge that we have to eat (I mean, no one wants a cookie to go to waste, right?). So this week, we're digging through our fridge and clearing out some space, because next week, Aether Revolt is here! Carsten will be here to cover everything you want to know about Aether Revolt, so we're clearing out our backlog a bit (so you'll probably see a few more older cards than you're used to, but that's ok. We're cleaning things out).

But you're not here for leftovers, you're here for Magic rules questions. If you have a rules question of your own, you can send them in to us, and we may even use them in a future article! If you have a short question, you can tweet it at us at @CranialTweet, and longer questions can be sent to us via e-mail at .

Q: I have a Saheeli Rai in play, along with an Ugin's Nexus. If I use Saheeli's -2 ability to make a copy of the Nexus, will I get an extra turn?

A: Well...maybe. Copying the legendary Nexus will cause one of them to go to the graveyard (which is replaced by exiling it and getting an extra turn). However, if you choose to keep the original Nexus and get rid of the token Nexus, the original Nexus is still around when you would take that extra turn, and the remaining Nexus will prevent you from taking the extra turn. If you got rid of the original Nexus before your turn ends (or if you choose to keep the token Nexus and get rid of the original, then exiling the token copy due to Saheeli's delayed triggered ability at the end of turn), then there's nothing preventing you from getting an extra turn anymore.

Q: I have a Fairgrounds Trumpeter in play, and I cast Common Bond, putting a +1/+1 counter on two other creatures I control. At the end of the turn, does my Trumpeter get one counter or two counters?

A: Just one counter. The Trumpeter's ability doesn't care how many permanents you control had a +1/+1 counter place on them or how many counters were placed. All it cares about is that at least one counter was put on a permanent you control. You had two creature get a +1/+1 counter, but all the Trumpeter cares about is that one permanent got a +1/+1 counter. The Trumpeter will only get one +1/+1 counter.

Q: My opponent enchanted my Aerial Responder with their Revoke Privileges, and now they're trying to cast Aetherstorm Roc. Can I cast Disappearing Act, returning their Revoke Privileges to their hand, and counter the Roc?

A: Nope, that's not possible. You need to return a permanent you control to its owner's hand to be able to cast the Act. While the Privileges is attached to your creature, it's still controlled by your opponent, not by you. Since you don't control your opponent's Privileges, you can't return it to their hand to cast the Act. You're free to return the Responder to your hand, which will cause the Privileges to go to your opponent's graveyard, but you can't bounce their Privileges to cast your Act.

Q: I have a Managorger Hydra in play with no +1/+1 counters on it. Can I cast Mutant's Prey targeting it, knowing that it will get a +1/+1 counter before the Prey resolves?

A: Nope, that's not possible. Part of announcing the Prey is choosing legal targets for it. One of those targets is a creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it. By the time the Prey resolves, the Hydra will have a +1/+1 counter, but at the point when we're choosing targets, the Hydra doesn't have a +1/+1 counter, and we have to be able to choose legal targets to be able to cast the Prey. So no, you won't be able to cast the Prey targeting your Hydra, since it's not a legal target for the Prey.

Q: I have a Boggart Brute equipped with a Vorrac Battlehorns. Am I correct in thinking that my Brute is unblockable?

A: Yep, you are correct! Menace says that it has to be blocked by at least two creature, but the Battlehorns says the Brute can only be blocked by one creature. You have to obey all of the requirements without violating any restrictions, and there's no way for your opponent to be able to block the Brute without violating a restriction. Therefore, your Brute is effectively unblockable!

Q: I control Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar and a Sphinx's Tutelage. Do I still get the Tutelage trigger even if I'm using Tomorrow's ability when I draw?

A: No trigger for you. Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar replaces drawing with looking at the top three cards of your library and putting one of them into your hand. Since you're no longer drawing a card, the Tutelage will not trigger and you won't be able mill any cards from your opponent's library.

I think we just leave that in the fridge for another year.

Q: I have a Metallurgic Summonings in play, and I enchant my opponent with Curse of Echoes. If my opponent casts an instant, will I get a token from my copy of their instant?

A: No you will not. The Summonings will trigger when you cast an instant or sorcery card, but with the Curse, you're not casting the copy: you're just putting it onto the stack. Since you're putting the copy on the stack, not casting it, the Summonings will not trigger and you will not get a token.

Q: My opponent controls a Novablast Wurm and a Soul of New Phyrexia. They activate the Soul's ability to make their creatures indestructible, and attack. Can I use Sudden Spoiling to make sure their other creatures die to the Wurm's trigger?

A: Yes you can. All you have to do is cast the Spoiling before the Wurm's attack trigger resolves (and the best time is in response to the trigger itself, since they've committed to the attack and the trigger). The Spoiling will remove all abilities (including indestructible that they just got from the Soul of New Phyrexia), and their non-Novablast Wurm creatures will be destroyed by the trigger.

Q: The only enchantments on the battlefield are my Leyline of the Meek, enchanted by my Indestructibility. My opponent casts Paraselene. What enchantments are destroyed, and how much life does my opponent gain?

A: Paraselene destroys all enchantments at the same time. However, at the point when we're figuring out what will be destroyed, the Leyline is indestructible, so it won't be destroyed, meaning that Indestructibility is the only enchantment that's destroyed. To figure out how much life is gained, we count how many enchantments were actually destroyed by Paraselene. Indestructibility was destroyed, but the Leyline was not destroyed, so your opponent will only gain one life from the resolving Paraselene.

Q: I cast Parallel Thoughts, and after exiling seven cards to the Thought's triggered ability, my opponent Disenchants it. What happens to those exiled cards?

A: Nothing. Nothing on the Thoughts says to move them anywhere when the Thoughts leaves the battlefield, so they'll stay in exile, face down for the rest of the game. You can't look at them or really interact with them very much since they're exiled face down, so hopefully you didn't exile anything you really needed.

Q: My opponent controls a True-Name Nemesis, with protection from me. Can I use Ugin, the Spirit Dragon's -X ability with X=3 to get rid of my opponent's Nemesis?

A: Yes you can! Protection helps against a select few things: it can't be targeted, blocked, damaged, or attached by thing of that type. But Ugin's -X ability doesn't do any of that, so having protection will not help. Your opponent's Nemesis will be exiled by Ugin's ability, and that Nemesis won't be a problem anymore.

Q: I cast Corpse Dance, returning the top creature card from my graveyard (a Sakura-Tribe Elder) to the battlefield. If I sacrifice the Elder before the next end step, is my Elder still exiled?

A: Nope! The Dance's delayed triggered ability will only exile the Elder if it's still on the battlefield when the trigger resolves. It won't be able to track the Elder if it moves to another zone before that trigger resolves. By sacrificing the Elder (and removing it from the battlefield), you've prevented the Elder from being exiled by the Dance's delayed triggered ability.

After eating those leftovers, I need a break.

Q: I activate Planar Guide's ability, exiling some creatures. Will Planar Guide itself return to the battlefield at the end of the turn?

A: No it will not. The Guide's delayed triggered ability will only return creatures that were exiled when the Guide's activated ability resolves. While the Guide was exiled, it was exiled as part of the cost of activating the ability, not as part of the ability resolve, so the Guide will not return with the rest of the creatures that were exiled.

Q: The only creature I control is Abyssal Gatekeeper. I cast Victimize, targeting two creatures in my graveyard. will I have to sacrifice one of the creatures I returned to the Gatekeeper's trigger?

A: Yes you will. You don't sacrifice the Gatekeeper until Victimize resolves. The Gatekeeper's trigger can't go on the stack until Victimize is completely done resolving (and you've returned the two creatures to the battlefield). Since those two creatures will be on the battlefield when the Gatekeeper's trigger resolves, you'll have to sacrifice one of them.

Q: I control Authority of the Consuls. My opponent casts Terastodon, choosing to destroy my Authority of the Consuls and two of their lands with Terastodon's triggered ability. Do their Elephant tokens enter the battlefield tapped or untapped?

A: Your opponent's tokens will enter the battlefield untapped. When you're resolving Terastodon's trigger, you follow the instructions in the order they're printed on the card. First, you destroy all three of the noncreature permanents, meaning your Authority and your opponent's two lands are destroyed. Then, based on what got destroyed, players will get their tokens. At the point we're putting the tokens onto the battlefield, the Authority is no longer on the battlefield, so your opponent's Elephant tokens enter the battlefield untapped. At least your opponent's Terastodon is tapped.

Q: I have a Karmic Justice and a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in play. My opponent plays Vampire Hexmage and sacrifices it to remove all of the loyalty counters from my Gideon. Will my Karmic Justice trigger, letting me destroy one of their permanents in return?

A: No you won't. Remember the old saying "Lightning Bolts don't kill creatures, state-based actions kill creatures"? It's the same situation here. While it may seem like the Hexmage is the reason why your Gideon is going to the graveyard, it's actually going to the graveyard due to state-based actions that are checked once the Hexmange's ability is done resolving. Since state-based actions are what cause the planeswalker to go to the graveyard, not the Hexmage itself, the Justice will not trigger. In addition, going to the graveyard due to having 0 loyalty is not destruction, it's just put into the graveyard.

Q: I have a Reyhan, Last of the Abzan and a Blinkmoth Nexus in play. My opponent casts Wrath of God. Will I be able to put the counters from my Reyhan on my Nexus if I animate my Nexus after Wrath of God resolves?

A: Nope, that doesn't work. After Wrath of God resolves, before you get priority, we have to put Reyhan's trigger on the stack. That involves choosing a target creature for the trigger. But the Nexus isn't a creature yet (if it was, it would have been destroyed by Wrath of God), so it's not a legal target for the trigger. You won't be able to target the Nexus, since it's not a creature yet, and unless you had an indestructible creature that survives the Wrath of God, your trigger is going to go to waste.

Q: If I use the ability of Proteus Staff on my opponent's commander, what happens?

A: Since your opponent's commander would be going to the library from anywhere, your opponent (since they're the owner of their commander) can choose to put their commander in the command zone, thereby saving it from going to the bottom of their library. If they put their commander in the command zone instead of the library, that won't stop the rest of the Staff's effect from happening, so they'll still reveal cards until they reveal a creature card, then put that creature card onto the battlefield, and the rest of the cards go on the bottom of their library.

Q: Do I lose my experience counters when I restart the game with Karn Liberated's ultimate ability?

A: Yes you do. When the game restarts, you lose all of the counters you had, including experience counters. In the restarted game, you'll start with as many experience counters as you would in a normal game of Magic - zero.

Q: I'm in a cube draft, and I'm playing some conspiracies. One of my opponents managed to draft and play Shahrazad. Will my conspiracies also be transferred to the subgame?

A: Nope, they will not. There are rules that let you move your library, planar deck (in a game of Planechase), vanguard card (in a game of Vanguard), commander (in a game of Commander), and scheme deck (in a game of Archenemy) to the subgame, but nothing that lets you move your conspiracies to the subgame. Your conspiracies are stuck in the main game, waiting for your subgame to finish.

Alright, the fridge seems pretty empty now. We'll see you all next week!

So, in an otherwise creatureless commander deck, it sounds like you can use Proteus Staff on your commander to stack your entire deck?

#1 • Date: 2017-01-13 • Time: 11:21:05 •
Quote (MAHK):
So, in an otherwise creatureless commander deck, it sounds like you can use Proteus Staff on your commander to stack your entire deck?

Yes, that's what would happen if there's no creature card in the library to reveal.
#2 • Date: 2017-01-14 • Time: 20:04:57 •

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