Published on 04/01/2019

A Very Foolish Quiz

Cranial Translation
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Happy April Fools Day!
In honor of this holiday of silliness and pranks, we bring you something a little different this week: A short quiz all about silver-bordered cards and other un-land shenanigans! How fun!

Before we get to that, it's time to remind you that 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 reply and your question might also appear in a future CI column.

Yes, it's been a while since Unstable was released, but it's never too late to look back fondly on the lighter side of Magic. Also, we here at CI promise you that everything contained in this article is true and factual. You can trust us, even on April 1st.

Q: If I use Grusilda, Monster Masher to put two Augment creatures (Serpentine and Ninja) onto the battlefield combined while I control Rules Lawyer, how big is the resulting creature?
A: The answer is...

A: 4/3
B: 3/3
C: 1/0
D: 0/0
E: Undefined.

The answer is
D: 0/0.
Augument creatures don't have their own power and toughness, just a box that changes the power and toughness of the host they're attached to. If an augment isn't attached to a host, it's supposed to die, but Rules Lawyer stops that from happening here. Since both Ninja and Serpentine lack their own power and toughness, the game just uses 0 for those undefined values and makes the combined double augment a 0/0.

Q: I'm getting tired of playing in the current game, so I want to skip a lot of turns and take a nap. I control a Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. and Chronatog and have twelve mana of any color to use. How many turns can I skip?
A: The answer is...

A: 2
B: 3
C: 4
D: Why not just concede?
E: All of the turns!

The answer is
C: 4.
The first turn to skip is the one we get for free from Chronatog's ability. We then activate Phoebe's ability to steal Chronatog's text box and activate Phoebe's shiny new ability, giving us the second skipped turn. Here's where things get tricky: We can then use Phoebe to steal her own text box, causing her to lose all abilities and then regain them, refreshing her ability from Chronatog and allowing us to activate this totally unused ability again. Repeat this process and that gives us our third and fourth turns skipped and plenty of time to grab a power nap.
Also, why not just concede? Because we can do something way cooler instead.

Q: The Big Idea has been doing a lot of thinking and has amassed himself an army of twelve (12) fellow Brainiacs to do his bidding. I activate The Big Idea's last ability four times by tapping those Brainiacs and then activate his first ability after those other abilities have resolved. How many dice do I roll to increase the size of my Brainiac army?
A: The answer is...

A: 2
B: 5
C: 8
D: 16
E: 32

The answer is
B: 5.
The Big Idea's last ability modifies the next individual die roll you make, not all dice in that roll, so each activation just adds one die to the total. You don't double each time and multiple activations can apply to the same die roll.

Q: My X is hanging out in my opponent's hand and I want to cast the Blightsteel Colossus that they're holding, so I activate X's last ability. Which of the following cards can stop me from doing so? (Choose any number of answers.)
A: The answer is...

A: Seht's Tiger
B: Force of Will
C: True Believer
D: Brainstorm
E: Credit Voucher

The answer is
B, D, and E.
Gaining shroud or protection from blue or black won't do anything to stop X's ability since it doesn't target the player. These abilities can stop X from being placed into my opponent's hand in the first place, though.
If my opponent has another instant they can cast, then they can target their own spell with Force of Will and exile X as part of the additional cost. Since X isn't in their hand when its ability resolves, the ability does nothing. Similarly, Brainstorm can put X on top of my opponent's library and counteract the ability for the same reason. They have to reveal their hand as soon as they draw X again, though, since you still own it.
Credit Voucher works the same as Brainstorm here, but presents the possibility of X being drawn again before the ability resolves. However, when X changed zones, it becomes a new object and thus a re-drawn X isn't the source of the ability on the stack and so that ability will do nothing when it resolves.

All dressed up and no one to be.
Q: Mary O'Kill is all dressed up for the League of Dastardly Doom's Spring Ball, when all of a sudden some unwelcome do gooder tries to hit her with an Unlicensed Disintegration. Which of the following can she switch with to avoid ruining her evening?
A: The answers are...

A: An Enraged Killbot in your hand.
B: A Delighted Killbot on the battlefield.
C: A Taurean Mauler controlled by your opponent.
D: Another (impostor, obviously) Mary O'Kill in your hand.
E: None of the above.

The answer is
A and D.
Mary O'Kill's ability can only do a hand to battlefield (and vice versa) switch. She can't switch two cards in hands or two permanents on the battlefield, so she won't be able to swap for anything else that's already in play. This rules out your Delighted Killbot and your opponent's Taurean Mauler, which is indeed a Killbot. Don't despair, though, you can swap a killbot from your hand for your opponents Taurean Mauler if you want!

Q: I'm a big fan of turn-based actions, which are things that happen automatically in the game because a step or phase is beginning. If I don't want my opponent to skip any turn-based actions, which phase should I steal from them with Clocknapper?
A: The answer is...

A: Beginning phase
B: Precombat main phase
C: Combat phase
D: Postcombat main phase
E: Ending phase

The answer is
D: Postcombat main phase.
The beginning phase has lots of turn-based actions, such as untapping permanents, drawing for your turn, phasing things in and out, etc.
Similarly, the combat phase has turn-based actions to declare attackers and blockers and handle combat damage.
The ending phase contains the cleanup step, where a whole lot of stuff is taken care of by the turn, such as discarding to hand size and clearing away "until end of turn" effects.
That just leaves the main phases, which until recently were alone in not having any turn-based actions at all, but then Dominaria introduced Sagas and messed that all up. Now that Sagas exist, there's a turn-based action for them in the precombat main phase. Now only the postcombat main phase is free of turn-based actions and is thus what my Clocknapper will steal from my opponent.

Q: I'm at 20 life when my opponent attacks me with Infinity Elemental. I don't block because I control Platinum Angel and go to -∞ life. On my next turn, I take Infinity Elemental with Hammer Helper, rolling 5 on the dice. I then cast Moment of Heroism on Infinity Elemental and attack my opponent with it, winning the game. What's my life total as the game ends?
A: The answer is...

A: -∞
B: 0
C: 7
D: 27
E: ∞

The answer is
A: -∞.
Once your life total becomes infinite either positively or negatively, it basically can no longer change. You still gain or lose life as normal, but the life total is stuck at either +∞ or -∞, whichever was reached first. Since you went to -∞ from your opponent's attack, that's where your life total stays for the rest of the game.

Q: I use Borrowed Hostility to give my Extremely Slow Zombie first strike until end of turn and attack with it. My opponent doesn't block. In which combat damage step(s) will it deal damage?
A: The answer is...

A: Only in the first (first strike) combat damage step.
B: Only in the second (normal) combat damage step.
C: Only in the third (last strike) combat damage step.
D: Both the first and third combat damage steps.
E: Both the second and third combat damage steps.

The answer is
D: Both the first and third combat damage steps.
A creature with last strike normally deals its combat damage after other creatures without last strike, but having first strike or double strike in addition to last strike will cause the creature to deal damage in multiple combat damage steps as appropriate. Last strike doesn't counteract or cancel out these abilities, nor do they counteract or cancel out last strike.
A creature with both double strike and last strike will deal damage at the same times as a creature with triple strike, i.e. during all three combat damage steps.
A creature with first strike and last strike, like our Zombie, will deal damage in both the first and third combat damage steps.

Q: At the beginning of my turn, I crank Boomflinger targeting my opponent. However, I control Krark's Other Thumb, so how exactly do I go about resolving the trigger? Which of these describes the correct process to determine the amount of damage dealt?
A: The answer is...

A: Roll four dice and ignore any two of them, then take the difference between the non-ignored dice.
B: Roll two pairs of dice and ignore one pair, then take the difference between the non-ignored dice.
C: Roll two pairs of dice and ignore one die in each pair, then take the difference between the non-ignored dice.
D: Roll a pair of dice and ignore one die, then roll another pair of dice and ignore one of of those, then take the difference between the non-ignored dice.
E: Roll a pair of dice and don't ignore anything, then take the difference between them. Krark's Other Thumb only applies when you're rolling a single die.

The answer is
C: Roll two pairs of dice and pick one die in each pair.
Krark's Other Thumb applies its replacement effect to each die you roll separately. This means that each die we would normally roll becomes a pair of dice, of which one is ignored. I would recommend using different colors of dice to make this process easier if you're supposed to roll multiple dice at one time.

Silver-bordered in every way except for the actual border.
Q: Which of the following is true about subgames created by Shahrazad? (Choose all that are correct.)
A: The answer is...

A: You can bring any card you own from the main game into the subgame with Mastermind's Acquisition.
B: In a Commander subgame, your commander(s) stay where they are in the main game, unless they're in your library.
C: Players keep all counters they had in the main game as they enter and leave the subgame. (e.g. poison counters or experience counters)
D: If a player would start a subgame with fewer than seven cards in their library, they won't lose the subgame immediately as long as they mulligan down to a hand size of equal to or less than the number of cards in their library at the beginning of the subgame.
E: A player that has been eliminated from the main game doesn't play in a subgame of that game.

The answer is
A and E.
All cards in the main game are outside of the subgame and thus are fair game for wishes and similar cards. This includes the card that created the subgame itself, which can be wished for to make a subgame to the subgame.
The players that play a subgame are the players who are still playing in the main game at the time that the subgame starts. Players that have been eliminated already are free to find another game since this one is going to take a while...
In a Commander subgame, Commanders that are in the main game's command zone get moved to the command zone of the subgame. Commanders in the library can also be moved to the subgame command zone by virtue of being put into the library in the subgame and thus being eligible for the zone change replacement effect. Commanders in other zones in the main game stay in the main game.
A player that starts a subgame with a library smaller than their starting hand size (usually seven) will lose the subgame in the first upkeep of that subgame no matter how low they mulligan since they're still drawing cards for the larger hands and thus tried to draw from an empty library at least once.

Well, that was a jolly good romp, wasn't it? I hope you feel adequately silly from our quiz! Be sure to come back next week when Nathan will be bringing you a celebration article for CI's birthday! Woot!

— Charlotte


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