Published on 01/22/2018

The Amazing Race

Cranial Translation
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We might have to take a Detour around this one.
Hi everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! We're here live for the finale of The Amazing Race - Ixalan Edition, in what should be an exciting finish for this season. We've been all over Ixalan, whether it was drinking with a group of pirates, racing dinosaurs, visiting with the merfolk of the Deeproot Tree, and even breaking fast with the vampires, we've seen it all. But here we are, at our final challenge. All our competitors have on this final leg is reach the top of Metzali, grab the flag, and they'll be crowned this year's winners!

But before competitors can complete this final task, they have one last Roadblock ahead of them: this week's set of rules questions! But don't worry viewers, I'll be here to help guide you through these questions. But if these questions aren't enough for you, you can send us your questions for us to answer. If you have a short question, you can send us a tweet at @CranialTweet. And if you have a longer question, you can e-mail us at . But for now, let the race begin!

Q: Can I cast Reckless Rage even if I control no creatures?

A: Nope. The Rage has two targets: a target creature you don't control and a target creature you control. You can only cast the Rage if you can choose both targets. If you don't control a creature, you won't be able to cast the Rage since you can't choose two legal targets for the Rage.

Q: What if I cast Reckless Rage legally, but then sacrifice my creature to Makeshift Munitions. Will their creature still be dealt four damage?

A: It will! When the Rage goes to resolve, it checks the status of the two targets. One target is no longer legal (since it was sacrificed to the Munitions), but your opponent's creature is still a legal target. The Rage is going to resolve as best as it can with the remaining legal target, so your opponent's creature will still be dealt 4 damage.

Q: I have an Everdawn Champion in play, and my opponent casts Hunt the Weak, targeting their Jadecraft Artisan and my Champion. Will my Champion survive the fight?

A: Nope, your Champion loses this fight. The Champion's ability prevents all combat damage that would be dealt to it, but damage dealt during a fight is not combat: the creatures involved in the fight just deal damage equal to their power to each other. The Champion's ability will not prevent the damage that it's dealt during the fight. The Champion takes a total of four damage from the Artisan and the Champion will be destroyed.

Q: I exiled three cards with Azor's Gateway, but then my opponent destroyed it. Luckily, I drew and played a second Azor's Gateway. Will the second Gateway count cards that were exiled by the first Gateway?

A: Nope, it won't. Each Gateway will only track the cards it exiled, not cards exiled by any other Gateway. When you replayed the Gateway, it had no link to the cards exiled by the first Gateway, so you're going to have to start over from the beginning if you want to transform it.

Q: If I activate the ability of Azor's Gateway and exile a split card (for instance, Commit // Memory, does it count as a card with two different mana costs for the effect of the Gateway?

A: It does not. The rules for split cards changed last year so that a split card only has one converted mana cost, no matter what zone they're in. The converted mana cost of Commit // Memory is 10, not 4 and 6, so it will only contribute one converted mana cost for the effect of the Gateway, not two.

Q: My opponent controls two Thrash of Raptors, and I exile one of them with Bishop of Binding. When the Bishop attacks, will the Vampire get +3/+3 or +5/+5?

A: Just +3/+3. The ability that gives the Thrash of Raptors +2/+0 only works while the Thrash is on the battlefield. Anywhere else, including in exile, the Thrash is a 3/3 creature, even if you control a Dinosaur. Since it's a 3/3, the Bishop's trigger will give the targeted Vampire +3/+3 until end of turn, not +5/+5.

Q: I attacked with a Trapjaw Tyrant, and my opponent blocked with a Raging Swordtooth. What happens with the Tyrant's trigger? Do I get to permanently exile one of their creatures?

A: Nope, you don't get to exile anything. While the Tyrant was dealt damage, meaning its enrage ability will trigger and you'll be able to target an opponent's creature with the trigger, when the trigger goes to resolve, nothing happens. The condition of "until Trapjaw Tyrant leaves the battlefield" has ended before it could begin, since it's not on the battlefield, so the trigger does nothing when it resolves and the creature you targeted won't be exiled at all. That also means that it will keep any counters or auras that were attached to it, since their creature never left the battlefield.

Don't worry, there's nothing this dangerous during the actual race.

Q: I cast Hijack on my opponent's Cacophodon and attach my Captain's Hook to it. My turn ends, and my opponent gets their Cacophodon back. On my next turn, I attach the Hook to my own creature. What happens to my opponent's Cacophodon?

A: Their creature is destroyed. Unlike similar cards (like Grafted Wargear), the permanent it was attached to is destroyed, not sacrificed. Even if you don't control the creature anymore, there's nothing preventing the creature from being destroyed by the trigger, so your opponent's Cacophodon will still end up being destroyed by the trigger from your Hook.

Q: If I activate Angrath, the Flame-Chained's +1 ability, but my opponent has no cards in their hand, what happens?

A: The first part of the ability does nothing, since they have no cards in their hand. Then they lose 2 life. Your opponent losing 2 life is not dependent on them actually discarding a card to Angrath's ability when it resolves. Even if they can't discard a card since their hand is empty, they'll still lose 2 life.

Q: I attacked with all of my creatures, and my opponent responded with Settle the Wreckage. Am I able to cast Admiral's Order for one blue mana to counter the Wreckage?

A: You can! Raid is enabled as soon as you've attacked with one or more creatures. By the time your opponent casts the Wreckage, your raid discount is available, so you'll be able to cast the Orders to counter their Wreckage by paying one blue mana instead of three mana.

Q: If cast Dead Man's Chest on my opponent's Thrashing Brontodon, then gain control of the Brontodon using the ability of Captivating Crew, do I get a chance to sacrifice the Brontodon to its own ability before the Chest goes to the graveyard?

A: Nope, the Chest is gone before you can sacrifice the Brontodon. Right after the Crew's ability resolves, we check state-based actions. The game sees that the Chest is not attached to a creature an opponent controls, so the Chest immediately goes to the graveyard. Then, you get priority, and, while you can still sacrifice the Brontodon to its ability, you won't get the trigger from the Chest since it's not attached to the Brontodon when it dies.

Q: My opponent attacked me with Soul of the Rapids. If I activate the last ability of Metzali, Tower of Triumph, what happens?

A: The Soul will be destroyed. You choose a creature at random that attacked this turn to destroy. This choice does not target the creature (you can tell because it does not use the word 'target'). That means if the only creature that attacked you has hexproof, you'll choose that creature at random (I know, this doesn't seem very random), and since Metzali's ability is not targeting the creature, the hexproof creature will be destroyed.

Q: My opponent controls an Anointed Procession and casts Queen's Commission. In response, I cast Crafty Cutpurse. How many tokens do I create: two or four?

A: You will only end up with two tokens. There's actually a little bit of an order when we apply replacement effects: we apply effects that modify whose control the token enters the battlefield under (like the Cutpurse's effect) before we apply other effects (like the Procession). That means that we will always apply the Cutpurse's effect first, before the effect of the Procession would get a chance to apply. Since you don't control the Procession, it won't apply to the event and it won't double the tokens that you create, and you'll end up with two tokens instead of four tokens.

Q: If I'm in a duel and my opponent and I have both resolved a Crafty Cutpurse this turn, what happens if I would create a treasure token?

A: Well, in short, you still end up with the treasure token. When you would create the treasure, the replacement effect from your opponent's Cutpurse kicks in and they create a token instead. But now that your opponent is creating a token, the replacement effect from your own Cutpurse kicks in and you create the token again. Both replacement effects have already applied to this event, so they don't get another chance to apply to this event, and the net result is that the original player who would create the token ends up with the treasure token.

Just a short run to the top.

Q: Let's say I managed to cast Enter the Unknown on my opponent's turn by casting Quicken. Can I play a land on their turn?

A: No you cannot. The rules are pretty firmly against this. You ignore any effect that would let you play a land if it's not your turn. If you somehow managed to cast Enter the Unknown on an opponent's turn, the creature will explore. But you won't be able to play a land since it's not your turn.

Q: How does Blood Sun work with shocklands like Hallowed Fountain?

A: It actually works really well, assuming you're playing the shockland. Due to a rules update in Ixalan, when the land would enter the battlefield, it looks ahead to how it will look on the battlefield and this will take into effect things like Blood Sun, and can remove that ability before it gets a chance to apply. Since Blood Sun removes nonmana abilities, that means the Fountain loses the ability that makes you pay 2 life for it to enter the battlefield untapped.

In short, that means if there's a Blood Sun or Blood Moon in play, you can play Hallowed Fountain, and it will always enter the battlefield untapped, without having to pay life.

Q: What about a card like Lotus Vale? Does that work the same if there's a Blood Sun in play?

A: Ayep, it works the same way. When the Vale would enter, it looks ahead, sees there's a Blood Sun in play, and it removes the ability that makes you sacrifice two untapped lands for the Vale to enter the battlefield. With Blood Sun in play, you'll be able to play Lotus Vale, and not have to worry about that pesky drawback of sacrificing two lands to ensure it enters the battlefield.

Q: Can I tap Merrow Commerce to activate the abilities of Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca?

A: Yep, you can. Thank to the Tribal type, the Commerce is a Merfolk. And Kumena just asks you to tap Merfolk to activate its abilities, not Merfolk creatures. That means you'll be able to tap the Commerce itself to help activate Kumena's abilities.

Q: I'm in a multiplayer game, and I exiled an opponent's Eternal Witness with Baffling End. Later in the game, someone manages to destroy Baffling End. Do I have to give that same opponent the 3/3 token?

A: Nope, you don't. The leave the battlefield trigger targets an opponent, but there's no requirement that you have to target the same opponent who controlled the creature you exiled. In a baffling turn of events, you can exile one opponent's creature, but give a different opponent the token when it leaves play.

Q: How does the city's blessing work in two-headed giant? Do we get it as a team, or as an individual player?

A: You get the city's blessing per player, not per team. That means it's possible for you to have the city's blessing, but not your teammate (and vice versa), and the city's blessing will only count permanents you control. It won't count permanents controlled by your teammate.

But who won the race? That's a mystery for all of us right now. But really, you're the winner here, since you made it all the way to the end of this week's article. We'll see you all next week!


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