Published on 05/06/2019

Breaking News!

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A historical re-enactment of what
Nicol Bolas is doing right now.
Hello and welcome to Cran- We interrupt this regularly scheduled article to bring you this late-breaking news story. Late last night, on the plane of Ravnica, a mysterious pyramid appears in the Tenth District. Reporters were not able to get close to the structure, but it appears there is a dragon (who is not Niv-Mizzet) sitting on the pyramid. In addition, an army of blue-skinned warriors have appeared near the pyramid and are attacking anyone they see. Citizens are advised to stay away from the Tenth District until further notice.

Oh, wait, you knew all that? Oh right, you all attended your local prerelease last weekend, and the set War of the Spark was officially released last Friday. So I guess you know all of this already, huh? Well, we're still here to answer any of your questions (as long as they don't involve trying to remove Nicol Bolas from the top of his pyramid - that's someone else's problem). You can send us short rules questions via our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and longer rules questions can be sent to . But let's dive right in.

Q: I have a Mizzium Tank in play that's currently not a creature. If I cast Samut's Sprint, can I target the Tank, since it will become a creature by the time the Sprint resolves?

A: No you can't. When you cast the Sprint, you have to choose a target creature. Your Tank is not a creature at that point, so it's not a legal target for the Sprint. Sure, the Tank has a triggered ability that will make it a creature, but that trigger won't even go on the stack until you're chosen your target for the Sprint. You'll have to crew the Tank, or cast another noncreature spell first, before you can cast the Sprint targeting the Tank.

Q: I attack with Ilharg, the Raze-Boar, putting a Primordial Wurm onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. My opponent blocks and kills my Wurm with Kraul Stinger. At the end of turn, will the Wurm still return to my hand?

A: Nope, your Wurm is dead and stays dead. Ilharg's delayed triggered ability will only return the Wurm to your hand if it's still on the battlefield when the trigger resolves. The trigger won't track the Wurm if it leaves the battlefield before that point (because it died in combat, for instance). Your Wurm is dead and stays dead - Ilharg's trigger won't return it from your graveyard to your hand.

Q: I control a Vizier of the Scorpion and I cast Widespread Brutality. Will my army kill the rest of the creatures on the battlefield?

A: Yes it will. The Brutality has the Army dealing the damage, not the Brutality. And because of the Vizier, your Army has deathtouch, so the damage it deals (including the damage dealt while the Brutality is resolving) is from a source with deathtouch. That means any creature on the battlefield dealt damage by the ability will be destroyed, leaving only your army (and possibly your opponent's army, if they have one) standing.

Q: I control Sarkhan the Masterless and another planeswalker. I activate Sarkhan's +1. Can I still activate a loyalty ability of my other planeswalker, or do I have to activate it before Sarkhan's ability?

A: You can still activate it. Sarkhan makes itself and your other planeswalkers into creatures, but doesn't say to remove any abilities from them, so it won't. Even after your planeswalkers become dragons, they'll keep their loyalty abilities, and you can still activate them even after they've become a creature for the turn.

Q: My opponent controls God-Eternal Oketra, and I enchant it with Kasmina's Transmutation. If Oketra dies, does it get shuffled into the library?

A: No it won't. Thanks to the Transmutation, Oketra doesn't have any abilities. That includes the ability that triggers when Oketra dies or is exiled. Since Oketra dies without its dies triggered ability, Oketra will go to the graveyard and stay there - your opponent can't choose to put it into their library.

Q: I control God-Eternal Rhonas. My opponent casts Act of Treason targeting Rhonas, and then sacrifices it to their Spark Reaper. Who gets to choose if my God-Eternal Rhonas ends up in my library, me or my opponent?

A: Your opponent makes that choice. The player that controlled Rhonas when it died controls the dies trigger and gets to make the choice of whether Rhonas stays in the graveyard or gets put into your library. Your opponents controlled Rhonas when it died, so they control the dies trigger, and if they'd rather see Rhonas sit in your graveyard for the rest of the game instead of put back into your library, they can choose to let it stay in your graveyard when the trigger resolves.

Just a glimpse of what Ravnica will look like
when Nicol Bolas is done with it.

Q: I control Teferi, Time Raveler and a Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner. If I activate Teferi's +1 ability, will that let me activate Kiora's ability on my opponent's turn?

A: No it will not. Teferi only affects sorcery spells. It doesn't have any affect on an ability that can only be activated when you can cast a sorcery, like a loyalty ability. You can activate Teferi's +1 ability to let you cast a sorcery on your opponent's turn, but that doesn't mean it will let you activate an ability that can only be activated when you could cast a sorcery. (you'd have to go to another version of Teferi - Teferi, Temporal Archmage - to let you activate a loyalty ability on another player's turn).

Q: I have Feather, the Redeemed in play. If I cast Act of Treason targeting my opponent's creature, will I get Act of Treason back at the end of turn?

A: No you won't. Feather only triggers if the spell is cast targeting a creature you control. Even though you'll gain control of the creature when the Treason resolves, when you cast the Treason, it wasn't targeting your creature, so Feather won't trigger at all and the Treason will go to the graveyard when it resolves.

Q: My opponent just activated Blast Zone's last ability to destroy all nonland permanents with a converted mana cost of one. Can I activate Karn's Bastion in response to add a counter to Blast Zone and mess with my opponent's plans?

A: No you cannot. The Zone is sacrificed as a cost of activating the ability. When you get a chance to activate the Bastion's ability, the Zone is in the graveyard and the ability is on the stack, and there's nothing to proliferate on to. The ability will use the last known number of charge counters on the Zone (in this case, one), and you can't use proliferate to mess with the last ability once it's been activated.

Q: I want to cast The Elderspell to destroy my opponent's army of planeswalkers, but I don't control a planeswalker of my own. Can I still cast The Elderspell?

A: Yes you can. The Elderspell targets the planeswalkers to be destroyed, but doesn't target a planeswalker to get the loyalty counters - that's a decision that's made when The Elderspell resolves. You're free to cast The Elderspell, even if you don't control any planeswalkers of your own. When The Elderspell resolves, The planeswalkers you targeted will be destroyed, but since you don't control a planeswalker, you'll ignore the rest of the spell's instructions and you won't add any loyalty counters to a planeswalker.

Q: My opponent controls Narset, Parter of Veils. It's stifling my draws, so I cast Explosion with X=5, targeting Narset for the damage and myself to draw cards. Assuming I haven't drawn any cards this turn, how many cards will I draw from Explosion?

A: Just one card. While Explosion will deal enough damage to remove all of the loyalty counters from Narset, Narset doesn't die right away - she'll hang around until state-based actions are checked after Explostion is done resolving. Narset is still on the battlefield when you would draw, so after you draw your first card, Narset will step in and prevent you from drawing any more cards, and then Narset will die. The net result is that Narset is dead, but you only drew one card, not five cards

Q: I cast Chemister's Insight from my graveyard using its jump-start ability. My opponent casts Narset's Reversal targeting my Insight. Does the Insight go to my hand or exile?

A: The Insight is exiled. A card that's cast via jump-start is exiled if the card would leave the stack for any reason. When the Reversal tries to return the Insight to your hand, jump-start steps in and replaces going to your hand with exiling the Insight instead, and it will not return to your hand.

Behold this...staff that will... untap your lands?
Look, old Magic card art was weird.

Q: I read last week about how you can't return The Wanderer with Command the Dreadhorde and have The Wanderer prevent the damage from the Dreadhorde. But what if I already had The Wanderer in play, and then cast the Command the Dreadhorde? Will I take any damage from the Dreadhorde?

A: You won't take any damage. The Wanderer prevents all noncombat damage that would be dealt to you, and that includes the damage from Command the Dreadhorde. You're free to cast it targeting every creature and/or planeswalker in every graveyard and return them to the battlefield without taking any damage yourself. Just be careful - if your opponent removes The Wanderer before Command the Dreadhorde resolves, you'll find yourself taking a lot of unexpected damage.

Q: What happens if I target my opponent's Commence the Endgame with Narset's Reversal? Will the Endgame return to my opponent's hand?

A: Yes it will. The Reversal doesn't counter the spell, it just returns the targeted spell to it's owner's hand. Since it's not being countered, the fact that the Endgame can't be countered isn't really relevant. You'll get a copy of the Endgame, and your opponent's Endgame will be returned to their hand (and it will not resolve).

Q: I have God-Eternal Kefnet in play, and I draw and reveal Approach of the Second Sun. If I've already cast Approach of the Second Sun this game, will casting the copy via Kefnet's trigger win me the game?

A: Yes it will! To win the game with the Approach, you have to have cast the Approach from your hand, and you have to have already cast another Approach of the Second Sun this game. With Kefnet's trigger, the copy is created in your hand, and then you're casting it, so it will fulfill the victory condition, and if the copy resolves in this case, you'll win the game. Even better, if your opponent counters the copy, you still have the original in your hand, and you can cast that one if the Kefnet copy fails to resolve to try to win a second time.

Q: My opponent controls God-Eternal Bontu, and I cast Path to Exile targeting Bontu. Does Bontu get put into the library before my opponent searches for a land or after?

A: After. God-Eternal Bontu has a triggered ability that triggers when it dies or is exiled - it's not a replacement effect. The trigger from Bontu can't go on the stack until after the Path has completely finished resolving, which includes searching for the land. You will fully resolve Path to Exile, which includes your opponent searching for a land, before your opponent puts Bontu's triggered ability on the stack, and Bontu ends up third from the top, not shuffled into a random part of their library.

Q: I have a Celestial Kirin in play, and I cast Ugin's Conjurant with X=0. Will that cause the Kirin's trigger to destroy all lands?

A: Yep, it will. The Kirin's ability, unlike similar abilities, doesn't exclude lands from its triggered ability (probably in part because there were few ways of casting a Spirit or Arcane spell with a convereted mana cost of zero at the time). But the Conjurant just so happens to be a Spirit, and if you cast it with X=0, when the Kirin's trigger resolves, it will destroy all permanents with a converted mana cost of zero - lands included.

Q: I'm at zero life, but I'm still alive thanks to the Angel's Grace that I cast earlier in the turn. If I have Bolas's Citadel in play, can I continue to cast spells from the top of my library by paying life, even though I'm at zero or less life?

A: No, the only spells you'll be able to cast are spells with a converted mana cost of zero. In order to pay life, you must have at least that much life. Even if you have some effect that prevents you from losing the game, you cannot pay what you do not have. If you're at zero life, you can't pay a cost that involves paying one or more life, meaning that you won't be able to cast any spells via the Citadel's ability (unless that spell has a converted mana cost of zero, since you'll be paying zero life to cast it).

Q: I control Feather, the Redeemed and a Torchling. I cast Path to Exile, targeting Torchling, then use Torchling's ability to change the target to one of my opponent's creatures. Will Path to Exile return to my hand at the end of turn?

A: Surprisingly, it will! Feather's trigger condition is "cast an instant or sorcery spell that targets a creature you control". But Feather doesn't care if that spell resolves targeting a creature you control, just that the spell resolves. You cast Path to Exile targeting Torchling, so Feather's ability will trigger. Even if you change the target of the Path to an opponent's creature, that won't do anything to Feather's trigger, and the Path to Exile will exile itself and return to your hand, even if it resolved targeting an opponent's creature.

Q: What exactly does "outside the game" mean with Karn, the Great Creator's -2 ability? Can I just bring a pile of artifacts to my next draft and have Karn be able to grab one of those cards?

A: No, that won't work. In a tournament, "outside the game" means your sideboard, so if you're playing in a tournament, Karn will only be able to get artifact cards from out of your sideboard, not any random artifact card that you happen to have on you (so no sneaking Winter Orb into your next Standard or draft game). If you're not in a tournament, then it's up to your playgroup to decide how to handle the ability. They may choose to handle it like wishes, where you can have access to a "wishboard" to grab cards from, or they may say that they don't work at all. But remember - have that conversation before you start playing, and not in the middle of trying to resolve the ability.

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


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