Published on 08/06/2018

Dog Days of Summer

Cranial Translation
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Did you remember to put out the dog
before you let it inside?

Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! As Charlotte mentioned a few weeks ago, it's really hot here in the northern hemisphere. We're right near the tail end of the summer, when it's the hottest, so hopefully everyone has been taking care of themselves this summer. I know I've been drinking plenty of water and staying inside next to my fan, and answering rules questions all summer (but then again, that's what I do every season, except replace "fan" with "heater" in the winter).

But as for questions, that's what I'm here to answer today! If your question isn't answered here, send it to us and we'll send an answer back. We might even use your question in a future article. If you have a short question, you can Tweet it to us at @CranialTweet. Or if you have a longer question, you can e-mail us at .

Q: It's my opponent's combat phase, and they're attacking me with a Colossal Dreadmaw. I activate my Chaos Wand, and I reveal Take Vengeance. Can I use the Wand to cast their sorcery, even though we're in the middle of their combat phase?

A: Yep, you can! While the Wand's ability is resolving, it gives you permission to cast the exiled instant or sorcery. Since the Wand is giving you permission to cast the card, it gets around normal timing restrictions. That means that even though it's their combat phase, the Wand is giving you the ability to cast the Vengeance, so you'll be able to cast it to destroy their attacking Dreadmaw.

Q: I control a Diamond Mare (with white as the chosen color) and an Ajani's Welcome, and I cast Ajani's Pridemate. How many counters does the Pridemate end up with?

A: After all the triggers are done resolving, the Pridemate ends up with one counter on it. Diamond Mare triggers when you cast the white spell, so that trigger will resolve before the spell that triggered it. The Pridemate is still on the stack when we're resolving the Mare's trigger, not on the battlefield, so the Pridemate's ability will not trigger off of the Mare's trigger.

Ajani's Welcome, on the other hand, triggers when a creature enters the battlefield under your control. When we're resolving the Welcome trigger, the Pridemate is on the battlefield, so the Pridemate's ability will trigger and the Pridemate will get one +1/+1 counter.

Q: I control a Death Baron and I cast Skeleton Archer. If I use the Archer's trigger to deal one damage to an opponent's creature, will that creature be destroyed?

A: Yep, it will be destroyed. Since Skeleton Archer is a Skeleton, the Baron will give the Archer deathtouch. And damage from a source with deathtouch will cause the damaged creature to be destroyed - it doesn't just include combat damage. With the Baron in play, the Archer's trigger will become a lethal shot when it hits an opponent's creature.

Q: During my combat phase, I use God-Pharaoh's Gift to create a token copy of Toolcraft Exemplar. Will the Exemplar's ability trigger, making it a 6/5?

A: Nope, the ability won't trigger. In order for the Exemplar's ability to trigger, it has to be on the battlefield when the beginning of combat step begins. It won't trigger if it's put onto the battlefield during the beginning of combat step. While you can use the Gift to make a 4/4 token copy of the Exemplar, since it doesn't start the beginning of combat step on the battlefield, its ability will not trigger that combat and will not get +2/+1.

Q: It's my turn, and my opponent crewed their Dusk Legion Dreadnought so they could block with it. After combat, I stole the Dreadnought with Sower of Temptation. Will I still control the Dreadnought even after it stops being a creature?

A: Yep, you'll still control it. The Sower's trigger cares that it's a creature at two times: when you're choosing a target for the trigger when you're putting it on the stack, and again when the trigger goes to resolve. Once the trigger has resolved, you'll control the permanent for as long as the Sower stays on the battlefield. Even though the Dreadnought will stop being a creature once the turn ends, the change of control effect from the Sower will still give you control of the vehicle.

Q: Later on, my opponent kills my Sower of Temptation, but the Dusk Legion Dreadnought isn't currently a creature. Will my opponent still get their Dreadnought back?

A: Yep, they still get the Dreadnought back. Once the Sower leaves play, the change of control effect ends. Even if the Dreadnought isn't currently a creature, there's nothing giving you control of the Dreadnought anymore, so your opponent will still get their Dreadnought back, even if it's not a creature as the Sower leaves the battlefield.

Q: If I cast a Nexus of Fate, but my opponent has a Rest in Peace in play, where does my Nexus end up? Does it matter whose turn it is?

A: When the Fate would try to go to the graveyard, we have two replacement effects that want to apply to that event: the Nexus wants to shuffle itself into your library, and Rest in Peace wants to exile it. And since you control the affected object (the Nexus), you get to choose which replacement effect applies first.

If you apply the Nexus's effect first, then the Nexus is shuffled into your library (and Rest in Peace no longer applies). But if you choose to apply Rest in Peace first, then the Nexus is exiled and won't be shuffled into your library. It doesn't matter whose turn it , because you get to choose the order the two replacement effects apply in: who controls the source of the replacement effect doesn't matter.

Fetch! Good doggie!

Q: If I have a Mimic Vat in play and multiple creatures die at the same time, can I get all of them imprinted on the Vat at the same time?

A: No, you can only have one creature exiled by the Vat at a time. When multiple creatures die at the same time, the Vat triggers once for each creature. When each trigger resolves, you can choose to exile the creature card that triggered it - but if the Vat had another creature card already exiled by it, that creature card ends up back in the graveyard. You could choose to use each trigger and have each creature exiled by the Vat for a short time, but there will never be a point where the Vat will have two or more cards exiled by it.

Q: My opponent has a Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind in play with a Curiosity attached to it, and they tap Niv-Mizzet to draw a card. In response, I flash in Temporal Isolation attached to Niv-Mizzet. Did I stop their combo?

A: Their combo is dead in the water until they can get rid of the Isolation. In order for the combo to work, Niv-Mizzet has to deal damage to an opponent (which will cause Curiosity to trigger and let them draw a card which then triggers Niv-Mizzet's ability and let them draw a card, and so on). But if you prevent the damage that Niv-Mizzet would deal, then Curiosity won't trigger and they won't draw a card. Temporal Isolation is a sneaky way to break up their combo, forcing them to find some enchantment removal to deal with your Isolation if they want to kill your with their combo.

Q: I cast Doublecast, then after it resolves, I cast Sudden Shock. Will split second from the original Sudden Shock prevent me from getting a copy from the Doublecast trigger?

A: Nope, you'll get your copy of Sudden Shock just fine. Split second doesn't stop triggered abilities from going on the stack, so the trigger from Doublecast will go on the stack and will resolve like normal, even with a spell with split second on the stack. And the trigger tells you to put a copy of the spell on the stack - the copy isn't cast, so split second won't stop the copy from going on the stack. In this case, you'll end up with two Sudden Shocks on the stack, to deal four damage to a target (or two damage to two different targets).

Q: I'm attacking my opponent with Mist Dragon, and they cast Settle the Wreckage targeting me. In response, I phase out my Mist Dragon. But now my opponent is telling me that it's still attacking and thus still exiled by Settle the Wreckage. Are they right?

A: Nope, they're wrong. One of the things that happens when a creature phases out is that it's removed from combat if it's in combat. Once Mist Dragon phases out, it's no longer an attacking creature, and when Settle the Wreckage resolves, it will not be exiled.

Q: I untap for my turn, move to my upkeep, and since I have one life and a Near-Death Experience in play, the ability triggers. In response to that trigger, my opponent bounced Near-Death Experience back to my hand with Boomerang. Will I still win the game?

A: Yep, you'll still win the game. Once an ability is on the stack, it exists independent of the source that made it. Bouncing the Experience doesn't get rid of the trigger that's already on the stack.

Had your opponent bounced it earlier (for instance, at the end of the previous turn), it would have prevented the Experience from triggering. But since they waited for your upkeep before casting Boomerang, they've doomed themselves since the trigger will still resolve, even if the Experience is no longer on the battlefield. A better play would have been to change their life total so it was not at one life, which would cause the trigger to do nothing when it resolves.

Q: Can I cast a Spell Queller even if there are no spells on the stack, just to have a surprise blocker?

A: Yep, you can do that. Spell Queller (the spell) has no targets. The Queller has an enter the battlefield trigger that targets, but you can still cast and resolve the Queller even if there will be no targets for the enter the battlefield trigger.

Just be careful - the Queller's triggered ability is not optional. If you have a spell with a converted mana cost of 4 or less on the stack and the Queller enters the battlefield, if there are no other legal targets for the trigger, you'll have to target and exile your own spell.

Q: I have an Exquisite Blood in play, and I attack them with five creatures that get through unblocked. How many times does the Blood trigger, five times or one time?

A: You only get one trigger. Unless first or double strike is involved, all combat damage is dealt at the same time. The Blood is checking to see if an opponent lost life in order for it to trigger. It doesn't care if multiple creatures are dealing damage to the opponent at the same time: since it all happens at the same time, the Blood triggers once for all of the damage dealt. In order to be multiple triggers, it would have to care when a source caused an opponent to lose life (a theoretical wording would be "Whenever a source causes an opponent to lose life...").

A cool cat to cool you off in the summer.

Q: The only creature I have in play is Manaplasm, which is currently a 1/1. If cast Monstrous Onslaught can I deal one damage or six damage?

A: Only one damage. Normally, we check the power of your creature when the spell resolves, which would be after the Manaplasm has become 6/6 creature. However, the Onslaught has to divide its damage among target creatures, and we need to choose that division of damage during the announcement of the Onslaught, not on resolution. That means we need to check the power of Manaplasm during the announcement of the Onslaught (and before Manaplasm's ability has even triggered). Manaplasm is a 1/1 at that point, so the Onslaught can only deal one damage.

Q: Can I use mana from Food Chain to cast Nylea's Emissary for its bestow cost?

A: No you may not. Fairly early on during the announcement of the Emissary, you choose to cast it for its bestow cost. Once you've made that choice, the Emissary turns into an Enchantment - Aura, and you finish announcement of the Emissary with it being an aura spell instead of a creature spell. The mana from Food Chain can only be used to cast a creature spell, so when we finally get around to paying the cost to cast the Emissary, since it's not a creature spell, we can't use the mana from Food Chain to cast it.

Q: My opponent controls a Gaddock Teeg, and I just drew my first card for the turn - Terminus. Can I cast Terminus for its miracle cost to get rid of Gaddock Teeg?

A: No you cannot. The converted mana cost of Terminus doesn't change, even if you're casting it via an alternate cost like miracle. Terminus' converted mana cost is always six, and because of Gaddock Teeg, you cannot cast it, even if you're trying to cast it via the miracle trigger.

Q: I have a Krenko, Mob Boss in play. I cast Tarfire, then respond by activating Krenko's ability. Will Krenko's ability count Tarfire as a Goblin I control?

A: No it will not. Krenko counts "Goblins", and Goblins only exist on the battlefield. On the stack, they're "Goblin spells", and everywhere else, they're "Goblin cards". While you do control Tarfire while it's on the stack, it's a Goblin spell, not a Goblin, so Krenko's ability will not count it, since it's not a Goblin permanent on the battlefield that you control.

Q: If my Arena Rector dies, can I search for Kytheon, Hero of Akros with its trigger?

A: No you cannot. Unless the double-faced card is on the battlefield and transformed, you ignore the back side of the card. The back side of Kyhteon may be a planeswalker, but since it's in your library, we ignore the back side, and since Kytheon is a creature (not a planeswalker), you cannot search for Kytheon with the Rector's trigger.

Q: Let's say I have eight mana. Can I Extirpate a card in my graveyard, then while I'm searching my library, cast Panglacial Wurm?

A: Panglacial Wurm may be sneaky, but he can't get around split second. As long as a spell with split second is on the stack, player can't cast spells or activate nonmana abilities. While Extirpate is resolving, it's still on the stack - it won't go to the graveyard until the final step of resolution. That means that Extirpate is still on the stack while it's resolving, and therefore split second is still in effect - even if you have the mana, you won't be able to cast Panglacial Wurm while searching your library to your own Extirpate.

That's it for this week. We'll see you all next week!

"Goblins" also includes Goblin tokens, which aren't cards.
#1 • Date: 2018-09-03 • Time: 04:30:42 •

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