Published on 06/24/2019

Happy Summer Solsquiz!

Cranial Translation
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Do you know what time it is?
It's time for a quiz!
Greetings and welcome to another issue of Cranial Insertion. Last week saw the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, which means that Summer has officially begun, and I can't wait for the weather in Ohio to catch up to that reality. Meanwhile, school is out on summer break, and to keep your brain muscles strong during the break, I figured we should have a quiz! A solstice quiz, or a solsquiz if you will, and if you think that's the only tortured pun in this article, well, you're wrong. I hope you're less wrong in your answers to these questions.

As always, if you have questions for us, please email them to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. One of our authors will reply to you, and your question might appear in a future article to educate readers like yourself.

And now, let's dive into the quiz. Good luck!

Q: I control an Icehide Golem that's enchanted with Elemental Resonance. What can I do with the mana I get?

A: The choices are...

A: Cast another Icehide Golem
B: Activate Frostwalla's ability
C: Cast Universal Automaton
D: Activate Endling's last ability
E: Nothing, because Elemental Resonance doesn't add mana in this situation.

The answer is
C or D.

On the surface it seems that Elemental Resonance adds to your mana pool, but snow mana is not a type of mana that can be added to your mana pool. is a symbol for a cost that can be paid with one mana of any type that was produced by a snow permanent. Elemental Resonance simply adds to your mana pool, and since it's not a snow permanent, you can't use that mana to pay costs. The mana is, however, perfectly good colorless mana that you can use to cast spells or activate abilities.

Q: Which of these can be proliferated?

A: The choices are...

A: Your life total
B: The charge counters on a Chalice of the Void
C: The poison counters on your opponent
D: The time counters on your opponent's suspended Mox Tantalite
E: The Chandra, Roaring Flame emblem on your opponent

The answer is
B and C.

Proliferate works with counters on permanents or players. Your life total is a number that's attached to you, but it's not a counter, so proliferate won't gain you life. Emblems are on a player, but they're not counters. Poison counters are counters on a player, so those can be proliferated. Charge counters on Chalice of the Void are counters on a permanent, so those can be proliferated, too. A suspended Mox Tantalite is in exile, not on the battlefield, so it's not a permanent and proliferate can't touch the time counters that are on it.

Q: I control Unbound Flourishing and Bounteous Kirin. If I cast Ugin's Conjurant for X=5, how much life do I gain with Bounteous Kirin's ability?

A: The choices are...

A: 5
B: 10
C: 5 or 10, depending on choices your opponent makes.
D: 5 or 10, depending on choices you make.
E: 7 1/2

The answer is

Casting Ugin's Conjurant triggers two triggered abilities, Unbound Flourishing's ability and Bounteous Kirin's ability. You control both abilities, so you choose the order in which they go on the stack, and then they resolve in reverse order. If you let Unbound Flourishing double the value of X first, that changes the converted mana cost of Ugin's Conjurant to 10, so you'll gain 10 life. If you let Bounteous Kirin's ability resolve first, it sees a spell with a converted mana cost of 5, so you'll only gain 5 life.

Hulk Smash!
Q: I attack my opponent with a Spiritmonger that's enchanted with Rancor. My opponent blocks it with Daggerback Basilisk, so I pay to regenerate Spiritmonger. How much damage does Spiritmonger deal in the combat damage step?

A: The choices are...

A: Spiritmonger doesn't deal or receive combat damage.
B: Spiritmonger deals 2 damage to Daggerback Basilisk and 6 damage to your opponent.
C: Spiritmonger deals 6 damage to Daggerback Basilisk and no damage to your opponent.
D: Spiritmonger deals 8 damage to your opponent.
E: That can't happen. Spiritmonger can't be regenerated because it's tapped.

The answer is

Regenerating a permanent does nothing visible right away. It simply creates a replacement effect that kicks in the next time that permanent would be destroyed, and nothing is trying to destroy Spiritmonger yet. In the combat damage step, it's an 8/6 with trample, so it has to assign at least 2 damage to its blocker, and the remainder can be assigned to your opponent. Meanwhile, Daggerback Basilisk assigns 2 damage to Spiritmonger. After the damage is dealt, state-based actions check that both creatures have been dealt lethal damage, so the game wants to destroy both creatures. This is where the regeneration effect kicks in, and instead of being destroyed, Spiritmonger is removed from combat, the damage that's marked on it is cleared, and it would be tapped if it weren't already tapped.

Q: I control an Ashiok, Dream Render and no other creatures or planeswalkers, and my opponent controls no creatures or planeswalkers. If I cast Spark Double to copy Ashiok and my opponent responds by bouncing Ashiok to my hand with Blink of an Eye, what happens to Spark Double?

A: The choices are...

A: Spark Double doesn't resolve and it goes to the graveyard.
B: Spark Double enters the battlefield as a copy of Ashiok with an additional loyalty counter and lives.
C: Spark Double enters the battlefield as a 0/0 with a +1/+1 counter and lives.
D: Spark Double enters the battlefield as a 0/0 and dies.
E: Spark Double enters the battlefield as a copy of you and things get really weird.

The answer is

Spark Double doesn't target what you're intending to copy, so losing the intended original doesn't cause it to fail to resolve like a targeted spell that loses its targets. You simply choose something to copy as Spark Double enters the battlefield. Since Ashiok is no longer on the battlefield, Spark Double can't copy that. In fact, since there's nothing for you to copy, Spark Double enters as itself, which is a 0/0. The additional counter is part of the copy effect that you chose not to apply, since you didn't have a choice, so it doesn't get the additional counter.

Q: Which of these statements describes best how players put lands onto the battlefield with The Great Aurora?

A: The choices are...

A: The players take turns putting lands onto the battlefield one by one, starting with the active player.
B: The players take turns putting lands onto the battlefield one by one, starting with the nonactive player.
C: Players secretly choose which lands to put onto the battlefield, starting with the active player. Then, all chosen lands are put onto the battlefield at the same time.
D: Players secretly choose which lands to put onto the battlefield, starting with the nonactive player. Then, all chosen lands are put onto the battlefield at the same time.
E: A judge flips a coin to decide which player puts lands onto the battlefield first.

The answer is

The Great Aurora involves both players making choices involving cards in a hidden zone and then to perform an action with the chosen cards. The rules say that the players make the choices in turn order starting with the active player, but the choices aren't revealed to anybody at that time. After all choices have been made, the actions are performed simultaneously. This way, no player knows how many and which lands the other player is choosing.

Q: I control Martyr's Bond and my opponent controls Anafenza, the Foremost. If I sacrifice a creature, what happens?

A: The choices are...

A: Martyr's Bond's ability triggers.
B: Martyr's Bond's ability doesn't trigger.
C: Your opponent decides if Martyr's Bond's ability triggers.
D: The active player decides if Martyr's Bond's ability triggers.
E: Moko decides if Martyr's Bond's ability triggers.

The answer is

Anafenza's ability creates a replacement effect that changes where the creature you sacrifice goes. It gets exiled instead of going into your graveyard, so it doesn't trigger Martyr's Bond's ability at all.

Praetors gonna praet.
Q: My opponent's Sheoldred, Whispering One's ability has just triggered at the beginning of my upkeep. What can I do to stop the ability from happening?

A: The choices are...

A: Disallow Sheoldred's ability.
B: Cast Sudden Spoiling.
C: Exile Sheoldred with Path to Exile.
D: Murder Sheoldred.
E: Murder your opponent.

The answer is

While E could arguably stop the ability by ending the game, I hope it goes without saying that any kind of violence against your opponent, lethal or not, is unacceptable, and we don't condone that sort of behavior.

Of the other answers, only the first one actually works. Once an ability has been triggered (or activated, but we're talking about a triggered ability here), it goes onto the stack as an almost-spell-like object that is independent from its source. Neither removing the ability from Sheoldred nor removing Sheoldred from the battlefield will do anything to Sheoldred's ability that is on the stack. The only way to stop it is by removing it from the stack, for example by countering it or by ending the turn.

Q: I control a Diamond Mare whosen chosen color is white. Which of these triggers its ability? Play from hand, flashback, play without mana cost, put into play)

A: The choices are...

A: Casting White Knight from your hand
B: Playing White Knight with Bolas's Citadel
C: Putting White Knight onto the battlefield with Aether Vial
D: Flashing back Divine Reckoning
E: Sneaking Cheatyface onto the battlefield.

The answer is
A, B, and D.

Casting a spell is a process that involves moving a card from some zone, which is usually but not necessarily your hand, to the stack and doing some other things such as paying a cost. Option A is the most obvious example of this, but B and D also work. Bolas's Citadel says "play", but that's just because the card could be lands, and lands don't get cast. In the case of a nonland card, to play it means to cast it, and you're still casting a white spell even though you're casting it from your library and you're paying life instead of its usual cost. Using Aether Vial, on the other hand, does not trigger Diamond Mare's ability. You're putting White Knight directly onto the battlefield. The stack is not involved, so you're not casting anything.

Q: I control Panharmonicon and play Isochron Scepter. What happens if I choose to imprint a card both times?

A: The choices are...

A: When you imprint the second card, the first card stops being imprinted.
B: Two cards get imprinted on the Scepter. When you activate its ability, you can only copy one of the imprinted cards.
C: Two cards get imprinted on the Scepter. When you activate its ability, you may copy both cards, but you have to pay to copy both cards.
D: Two cards get imprinted on the Scepter. When you activate its ability, you may copy both cards.
E: Two cards get imprinted on the Scepter. When you activate its ability, the game crashes.

The answer is

Each time Isochron Scepter's enter-the-battlefield ability resolves, you choose to exile a card with it, and there's nothing stating that only one card can be exiled, so two cards end up being imprinted on the Scepter. When the activated ability says "you may copy the exiled card", you get to do this for each exiled card, so you may copy both cards. This choice happens long after you've activated the ability and paid its activation cost, so there's no way the activation cost could depend on how many cards you end up copying.

And that's it for this quiz. If you got all ten questions right, congratulations, and please let us know so that Moko can personally deliver a trophy to you. He says the trophy is a sculpture consisting of a bone saw and a melon baller, which seems a bit abstract to my taste, but Moko assures me there's a meaning behind it...

Anyway, see you all next week!

-Carsten Haese

About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a former Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He is retired from active judging, but he still writes for Cranial Insertion and helps organize an annual charity Magic tournament that benefits the National MS Society.


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