Published on 11/12/2018

Going Pro

Cranial Translation
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Welcome to the big leagues.
Greetings Magic fans and welcome to this post-Pro Tour edition of Cranial Insertion.

As I write this, the pros are gathering in Atlanta for Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, ready to play for one of the biggest prizes in professional Magic. As thrilling and engaging as the PT is to watch, we still have a job to do here in the CI offices, so let's stay professional and get right to your rules questions!

If you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We'll make sure to send you a private reply and your question might also appear in a future CI column! Amazing!

Q: Can I overpay with convoke? For example, can I tap 10 creatures to Venerated Loxodon so they all get a counter?

A: No, this isn't possible.

Convoke is a payment mechanic, so tapping your creatures is actually paying for the spell and you can't overpay for a spell through any means, be it with mana, life, dredge, etc.

Q: If I exile my commander to Azor's Gateway, does it count towards Gateway flipping?

A: Yes, but only if you leave your commander exiled and don't put it back into the command zone.

If you do put your commander back into the command zone, then it's not a card exiled with Azor's Gateway and isn't counted toward the five different converted mana costs.

Q: Can I Radiate a spell with multiple targets if both of those targets are the same creature? For example, can I target a creature with both targets of Soul's Fire and then Radiate it? If this works can I send the damage from the copies somewhere else, such as at my opponent's face?

A: Yes, you can Radiate the spell in this situation, but the copies will also have all of their targets being the same for each other creature. This can be good if the spell being copied is Bounty of Might, but copying Soul's Fire this way will just give you a really expensive Wave of Reckoning, but only for your creatures.

Q: Does Panharmonicon let me choose two different creature types with Door of Destinies?

A: No, this doesn't work.

Choosing a creature type for Door of Destinies is a replacement effect that modifies how it enters the battlefield. It's not a triggered ability and so Panharmonicon doesn't apply.

Standard: No longer unbearable!
Q: If I cast Stunning Reversal and then afterwards cast Ad Nauseam to pick up most of my deck and put my life total quite negative. Does the effect from Stunning Reversal happen during the resolution of Ad Nauseam, or after it finishes?

A: You wouldn't lose the game until after Ad Nauseam finishes resolving, so that's when Stunning Reversal's replacement effect will be applied. Just be sure to leave at least seven cards in your library or else you're just going to lose again from drawing from an empty library.

Q: How does Alpine Moon interact with the Tron lands? (i.e. Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, and Urza's Tower) Does it prevent just the named land from making multiple mana or all of them?

A: Alpine Moon will remove the named land's subtypes and abilities. In the case of the Tron lands, this means that none of them can be tapped for multiple mana because their mana abilities check the subtypes of other lands you control.

If you look at the Oracle text of these cards, you'll notice that there's a hyphen in Power-Plant both on the type line of Urza's Power Plant and in the abilities of the other two cards, but not in the name of Urza's Power Plant. This is your clue that you're looking at subtypes rather than card names, as a subtype must be a single word (in English at least), leading to hyphenated subtypes such as Power-Plant and Assembly-Worker. The Tron lands each have two subtypes: Urza's and Mine, Power-Plant, or Tower.

If the Tron lands were going to look at names, the ability would be worded "If you control a land named Urza's Power Plant and a land named Urza's Tower, ..." rather than just listing the subtypes, which indicates that you're looking for permanents with those subtypes.

Q: If I copy Azusa, Lost but Seeking with Lazav, the Multifarious, I get two extra land drops. If I then copy the same Azusa again with the same Lazav, do I get more land drops?

A: No, you won't be able to play more than two additional lands this way.

When you go to play a land on your turn, the game checks the number of lands you've played this turn against the number of lands you're allowed to play. If the number of lands played is less than the number of land plays allowed, then you can play the land. If it's the same or greater, then you can't play the land.

In the situation you describe, Lazav gives you two additional land plays as long as it's a copy of Azusa. Copying her more than once with the same Lazav doesn't make any difference.

Q: I control Underrealm Lich and have a Life from the Loam in my graveyard. What happens if I would draw a card?

A: Both Underrealm Lich's ability and dredge are abilities that want to replace your draw, so you get to choose which of the two effects to apply to any given draw.

If you dredge, then you're no longer drawing a card and Underrealm Lich's ability no longer applies. If you apply Underrealm Lich's ability, then you're no longer drawing a card and can't dredge anymore.

Q: I control both Blood Scrivener and Abundance. What happens if I start my turn with an empty hand?

A: Like in the question above, you have two replacement effects that want to replace your draw, so you get to choose which effect to apply first.

If you apply Abundance's effect first, then your draw is replaced and Blood Scrivener's effect no longer applies. If you apply Blood Scrivener's effect first, your draw is replaced with two new draws and losing 1 life. Abundance's effect can still apply to these new draws, so it replaces them with the Abundance thing.

Q: I control Thousand-Year Storm and cast Nexus of Fate as my third instant or sorcery of the turn. Will the copies result in multiple extra turns?

A: Yes, you'll get an extra turn for each Nexus of Fate that resolves. "After the current turn" is just referring to when the extra turn will begin so that you don't go trying to start a turn in the middle of another turn. The turns are taken in reverse order from when they were created, i.e. newer turns are taken first.

Q: I activate Aminatou, the Fateshifter's ultimate ability. What happens to auras that are attached to lands?

A: Those auras will stay attached to the same permanents, just with a different controller. If the aura has "enchant land/permanent you control", then they'll fall off, but otherwise they stay put and gaining control of them generally won't do a whole lot gameplay-wise as land auras usually grant abilities to the lands they're enchanting rather than carrying their own abilities.

Q: My opponent has the emblem from Sorin, Solemn Visitor and I control Sigarda, Host of Herons. What happens when the emblem's trigger resolves?

A: A whole lot of nothing is what happens. The trigger says that you need to sacrifice a creature, but Sigarda's ability prevents that from happening and so the trigger resolves and does nothing.

Q: I use Azorius Charm to place my opponent's commander on top of their deck and they don't choose to put it into the command zone instead. I then cast Gonti, Lord of Luxury. When Gonti's trigger resolves, does my opponent get to know where I put their commander?

A: They get to know if you exile it with Gonti, but they can't stop you from doing so. Your opponent is allowed to know what zone their commander is in, i.e. library or exile, once you finish resolving Gonti's ability, but since they don't have the ability to see any of the cards you're looking at with Gonti's ability, they don't get to apply the replacement effect that would allow them to send their commander back to the command zone.

Judges love to watch for our
friends to show up on camera.
Q: How does the cleanup step work if I have to discard to hand size while controlling Archfiend of Ifnir and Generous Patron?

A: Players don't get priority in the cleanup step unless an ability triggers because of something that happens in the cleanup step, such as Archfiend of Ifnir triggering. When something triggers in the cleanup step, that trigger will go on the stack and players will get priority as normal. There will then be another cleanup step after the first cleanup step. The turn won't end until there's a cleanup step in which nothing triggers and players don't get priority.

In the scenario you describe, Archfiend of Ifnir will trigger for each card you discard. Those triggers will go on the stack and resolve one by one. Generous Patron will trigger for each creature that gets a counter from Archfiend's trigger, causing you to draw that many cards. When the new cleanup step starts, you'll have to discard to hand size again, which will trigger Archfiend again, which will trigger Patron again, etc. This process will continue until either your opponent has no creatures left that can get -1/-1 counters or you lose from drawing your whole deck.

Q: If I control Thantis, the Warweaver and Master of Cruelties, but no other creatures, what attacks would be legal to make? Does this change if I control a third creature?

A: Thantis wants all of your creatures to attack but Master of Cruelties can only attack alone, so you can't fulfill both requirements to attack here without violating a restriction. Since you can only fulfill one requirement, you can choose which of the two creatures to attack with.

If you have three creatures that can attack, then you have to attack with everything other than Master of Cruelties because that fulfills two out of three requirements, which is the most possible and thus the only legal choice as you must maximize the number of requirements you meet.

Q: I attack with Champion of Rhonas, which I choose to exert. The creature I put down with the exert trigger is Stonehoof Chieftain. Are my attacking creatures able to gain trample and indestructible for this attack?

A: No, it's too late.

Stonehoof Chieftain's ability triggers whenever another creature you control is declared as an attacker. When you put Stonehoof Chieftain onto the battlefield after other creatures have already been declared as attacking, it's too late for Chieftain to trigger since the moment when they were declared as attacking has already passed.

(Also, Stonehoof Chieftain won't trigger for a creature that enters the battlefield attacking since it wasn't declared as an attacker.)

Q: If I control an Omnispell Adept and Experimental Frenzy, can I cast cards from my hand with Omnispell Adept's activated ability?

A: No, you can't.

When the effect of one card says you can do something and another card's effect says you can't do that then, then the effect saying that you can't do the thing wins. So in this case, Experimental Frenzy's prohibition on casting cards from your hand keeps Omnispell Adept's ability from being able to do anything.

Note that this only applies to when one card contradicts another card. Cards are allowed to contradict the rules, and in fact that's how almost every card works.

Q: My opponent controls Worldspine Wurm. I cast Sudden Spoiling and another spell that kills the Wurm. Will it stay in the graveyard or not?

A: No, Worldspine Wurm's ability will still trigger from the graveyard.

Why? Because Worldspine Wurm's ability isn't a death trigger but rather a general zone-change trigger. Death triggers and leaves-the-battlefield triggers follow different rules from other zone change rules in that they look at the object as it last existed on the battlefield whereas other zone change triggers look at the object as it exists in its new zone. This is the case because these triggers can often trigger after the card moves from a hidden zone (e.g. hand or library) to a public zone.

So that's everything we have for this week. We may not be able to sling cardboard quite as well as the pros, but we hope that our Q&A is just as entertaining for you to experience. Stay tuned for more CI next week!

- Charlotte


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