Published on 10/21/2019

A Tale as Old as Time

Cranial Translation
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Don't you love it when you get
into a really good book?

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! I hope everyone has been enjoying Throne of Eldraine as much as we have - we've been having a blast with it. I'm personally less interested in the Arthurian influences in the set - I'm all about the faerie tales. Give me your Hansel and Gretles, your Rumpelstiltskins, or your Jack and the Beanstalks any day - I'll take them.

If a card from Throne of Eldraine (or any other Magic set) is still confusing you, you can send us your questions and we'll answer them for you. You can send short questions to us via our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and you can send longer questions to our e-mail address .

Q: I cast Bring to Life on my Crystal Slipper. Does the Slipper give itself haste and +1/+0? Can I still equip the Slipper to another creature?

A: No to both questions. While the Slipper is a creature, it's not considered attached to itself, so it will not give itself haste or +1/+0. And while you're free to activate the equip ability of the Slipper, a creature can't be attached to anything, so the Slippers will fail to attach to the creature when the equip ability resolves. Even if the Slippers were attached to a creature when Bring to Life resolves, becoming a creature means that the Slippers will unattach from that creature, so your previous creature will lose its Slipper.

Q: I control a Wildwood Tracker and a Garenbrig Squire. If I attack with the Tracker, will its ability trigger and give it +1/+1?

A: Nope, it won't trigger here. The Tracker's ability will trigger if you control another non-human creature when it attacks or blocks, and to count as a non-human, it can't have the "human" creature type. Having a creature type besides "human" doesn't make it into a non-human creature. The Squire is a human and a soldier - since it's a human, it won't count for the Tracker's ability, even though it also has a non-human creature type.

Q: I control Mantle of Tides and an Improbable Alliance. I cast Opt, drawing my second card for the turn. Can I attach the Mantle to the faerie token that I get from the Alliance trigger?

A: No you cannot. After you've drawn your second card for the turn, you have the trigger from the Mantle and the trigger from the Alliance waiting to go on the stack. The Mantle's ability targets, and you have to choose a target creature you control when you're putting the trigger on the stack. The faerie token hasn't been made yet (it won't be created until the Alliance's trigger resolves), so you won't be able to target the token you make with the Alliance's trigger with the Mantle's trigger, no matter how you stack your triggers.

Q: I'm in a Throne of Eldraine draft, and I'm playing Fae of Wishes. Can I cast Granted and get a basic land out of my sideboard?

A: Yep, you can do that. In limited, you can choose to add any number of cards named Mountain, Swamp, Forest, Island, or Plains to your sideboard. This is generally most useful between games in your match (in case you want to change your deck's colors, for instance), but with wish effects like Granted, you can also use it to grab a basic land that you added to your sideboard.

Just remember to do your opponent a favor and try to grab those extra basic lands before your match starts - no one wants to wait around while you dig through the store's land box to find a basic land that you could have grabbed and put into your sideboard earlier.

Q: I control Questing Beast with an Embercleave attached to it. I attack with the Beast, and my opponent blocks with a 4/4 creature. How much damage can I deal to my opponent?

A: You can deal up to nine damage to your opponent. Thanks to Embercleave, your Beast is a 5/5 with deathtouch, double strike, and trample. When we assign damage during the first strike combat damage step, your Beast can assign one damage to the defending 4/4 (since one damage is considered lethal thanks to deathtouch), and the remaining four damage to the defending player (you can choose to assign more damage to the 4/4, but you don't have to if you don't want to). When we deal damage, your opponent's 4/4 will die thanks to deathtouch, and your opponent will take four damage because of trample. Then we move on to the normal combat damage step. The 4/4 is dead, so we don't assign damage to it again, and your Beast has trample, so it assigns all of its damage to your opponent, and your opponent take five more damage from your Beast.

And just this shows the power of deathtouch and trample - you can assign one damage to each blocker, and still be able to trample over damage to your opponent.

Q: I have a Lucky Clover in play, and my opponent controls Deafening Silence. If I cast Battle Display, do I still get a copy of the Display from the Clover?

A: Yep, you still get your copy. The copy made by the Clover is put on the stack, not cast. Since it's put on the stack, the Silence won't stop it from going on the stack, and you'll still get your copy from the Clover like normal.

I'm sorry, but your princess is in another castle.

Q: I attack my opponent with Robber of the Rich and exile my opponent's Vantress Paladin. Can I tap my four Mountains for mana, treat the mana as though it were blue mana, cast the Paladin, and get the counter from adamant?

A: No you cannot. While you can treat your mana as though it were mana of any color to cast the Paladin, the Robber's ability doesn't actually change the color of the mana. While you're treating the mana as though it were blue mana, the mana is still red, and the Paladin will look at the actual color of mana you used to cast it, not what color your treated the mana as. Since you didn't actually spend three blue mana to cast the Paladin, it will not enter with a +1/+1 counter and it will just be a 2/2 flyer.

Q: My opponent controls an Oathsworn Knight with three +1/+1 counters on it. If I target the Knight with Stomp, what happens to the Knight?

A: Your opponent's Knight ends up dead. If the Knight would be dealt damage, you prevent the damage and remove a +1/+1 counter from the Knight. Even if the damage can't be prevented, the Knight will still lose a counter. Targeting your opponent's Knight with Stomp will deal two damage to the Knight (which isn't prevented), and the Knight will lose one of its +1/+1 counters. Then, we check state-based actions and the game sees the Knight is a 2/2 creature with two damage marked on it, and the Knight will die.

Q: I cast Irencrag Feat. After that resolves, I use that mana to cast a second Irencrag Feat. Can I use ten mana to cast another spell?

A: Nope, you're out of spells for the turn. The first Feat says you can only cast one more spell that turn. The second Feat doesn't override the effect from the first Feat, so if you cast a second Feat, you'll end up with a total of ten red mana, but because of the effect from the first Feat, you're unable to cast any more spells that turn (let's just hope you have some activated abilities to spend that mana on).

Q: I cast Dance of the Manse with X=6, returning (among other cards) a Rhythm of the Wild. Will my Rhythm give the other cards I'm returning riot, letting them gain haste and attack the turn they enter the battlefield?

A: Nope, that doesn't work. Rhythm of the Wild has to be on the battlefield when the creature enters for it to gain haste, since riot is a replacement effect that alters how the creature enters the battlefield. It won't give creatures entering the battlefield at the same time as the Rhythm riot in time for riot to work, so the cards put onto the battlefield with the Dance won't gain riot in time to benefit from having riot.

Q: My opponent activates Ashiok, Dream Render's ability targeting me. In response, I cast Veil of Summer. What happens when Ashiok's ability goes to resolve?

A: Nothing. Ashiok's ability has a single target - a target player. When the ability goes to resolve, it sees its only target is illegal (since you have hexproof from black and blue), so the entire ability does nothing. You will not be milled, and you will not have your graveyard exiled.

Had they targeted themselves with Ashiok's ability, things would be a little different. Ashiok's ability targets the player to be milled, but doesn't target the opponent's graveyard to be exiled. Even if you responded with the Veil, since the targeted themselves, they would mill four cards from the library, but your graveyard would still be exiled.

Q: My opponent controls Leyline of the Void. I attack with Eye Collector, and I reveal Creeping Chill. Will Creeping Chill trigger?

A: Nope, it won't trigger. The Chill only triggers if it goes to the graveyard from your library. But because of your opponent's Leyline, it never goes to the graveyard - it goes from your library to exile. Creeping Chill's ability won't even trigger since won't go to the graveyard.

Q: I cast Irencrag Feat. I spend six of that mana to cast Inferno Titan. Can I then use the last red mana to suspend Greater Gargadon?

A: In that order? No, that won't work. You can only suspend a card if you could cast that card. By casting the Titan first, you're shut off from casting spells for the rest of the turn, which also means that you can no longer suspend spells since you're not able to cast spells. If you want to cast the Titan and suspend the Gargadon, then you have to do it in the opposite order - suspend the Gargadon (which won't eat up your permission to cast a spell for the turn, since you're taking a special action, not casting a spell), then cast the Titan.

But who could evern learn to love a beast?

Q: I have a Force of Vigor in my hand, and I want to cast it via its alternate cost on my opponent's turn. Can I exile World Breaker to help pay for the Force?

A: No you can't. To cast the Force of Vigor via its alternate cost, you have to exile a green card from your hand. And while World Breaker does have a green mana symbol in its mana cost, World Breaker also has devoid, making it colorless in every zone (including your hand). Since World Breaker is colorless, you cannot exile it to cast Force of Vigor via its alternate cost.

Q: I have two Metallic Mimics in play, both naming "Brushwagg", along with one Hardened Scales. Then I cast Brushwagg. How many counters does Brushwagg enter the battlefield with?

A: Three counters. When Brushwagg would enter, we have two replacement effects that want to apply to it entering: the two Mimics (the Scales doesn't apply yet, since it's not entering with any counters). We apply the first Mimic's effect, and now we once again have two replacement effects that want to apply: the other Mimic, plus the Scales (which can now apply since it's entering with a counter).

If we apply the Scales next, then we just have the remaining Mimic to apply, and the Mimic applies and the Brushwagg ultimately enters with three counters. Each replacement effect can only apply to the event once, so the Scales doesn't get a second chance to apply to the Brushwagg entering after we've applied the second Mimic's effect - it's already had its shot at this event. No matter how you apply your replacement effects, the Brushwagg will enter with three +1/+1 counters.

Q: My opponent controls a Seedborn Muse. I target it with Will Kenrith's +2 ability to make the Muse a 0/3 with no abilities until my next turn. On my next turn, will the Muse let my opponent untap their permanents?

A: Yep, the Muse will untap their permanents during your untap step. Will's effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. As soon as your start your next turn, the effect immediately ends and the Muse is back to being a 2/4 with its normal abilities. While we're in your untap step, your opponent's Muse has its abilities again, so your opponent's permanents will untap during your untap step.

Q: My opponent has ten lands in play, and I control Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. If I cast Acidic Soil, how much damage does my opponent take?

A: They'll take 12 damage from the Soil. You might think "Oh, since they control ten lands, that's ten different points of damage, so Torbran increases the damage for each land by two, so they take 30 damage", but that would be wrong. The Soil uses the word "damage" once, so it's only dealing damage once, not ten times. Torban will only increase the total damage by two, not two for each land, and your opponent will take a total of 12 damage from the Soil.

Q: My opponent controls Blood Moon. I turn my opponent's Blood Moon into an artifact with Liquimetal Coating, then target Blood Moon with Oko, Thief of Crowns's +1 ability to turn it into a 3/3 Elk with no abilities. Does that free my nonbasic lands from the effect of Blood Moon?

A: Nope, your lands are still affected by Blood Moon, even though Blood Moon doesn't have its abilities. This is due to the way layers work (and since it's layers, I'll try to keep things simple).

Blood Moon's effect applies in layer 4, which is the layer where we apply effects that mess with a card's type, subtype, or supertype. We don't apply effects that add or remove abilities, like Oko's effect, until a layer layer - layer 6. And we have a rule that says if an effect applies in an earlier layer, it will continue to apply, even if an effect in a later layer causes it to lose that ability. In short, Blood Moon still functions like normal, and nonbasic lands will still be mountains, even though Blood Moon has turned into an elk.

Q: I control Faeburrow Elder and Kenrith, the Returned King. If I tap the Elder for mana, how much mana do I get?

A: Only two mana. The Elder is green and white, and Kenrith is just a white creature. While Kenrith's color identity for commander or brawl is all five colors thanks to the colored mana symbols in its rules text, the Elder only cares about the card's color, not color identity. You only have two colors among your permanents, so the Elder will only tap for two mana, not five mana.

Q: Can I play Composite Golem in any commander deck, or can it only be played in a five colored commander deck?

A: Only in a five colored deck. While the Golem is colorless, color identity also takes into account colored mana symbols in the card's rules text. The Golem has all five colored mana symbols in its activated ability, so that makes the Golem's color identity all five colors, and thus you can only cast it if your commander's color identity is also all five colors.

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


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