Published on 11/04/2019

This Title Is Now a 3/3 Elk Creature

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Is this joke played out yet?
Halloween is over, Daylight Savings Time is over, and autumn weather is in full swing. I actually had to put on a sweater this morning to go to work, which is rare this early in the year where I live. It's also coming up on the holiday season, when your family members start asking if you're bringing anybody home for the holidays. This is, in fact, my least favorite thing in the world.

Anyway! It's time to snuggle up with some hot cocoa and some of the discounted leftover Halloween candy I bought at the store and read about some nice, wholesome Magic cards. And Oko, I guess. Oko is not wholesome.

As a friendly reminder, 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 answer every question we get, and your question could show up in a future article.

Q: I control Alms Collector, and my opponent controls Notion Thief. If I cast Divination, how many cards will I draw (if any)?

A: You won't draw any cards.

Your opponent's Notion Thief applies to each individual draw of Divination, not the whole thing. Since they're drawing cards one at a time, Alms Collector doesn't get a chance to apply to those draws.

Q: My opponent controls Ghostly Prison. I control Krenko, Mob Boss, Mana Echoes, and 20 Goblin tokens. Can I declare a bunch of my Goblin tokens as attackers, then activate Krenko to make more Goblin tokens to trigger Mana Echoes and use that mana to pay for Ghostly Prison?

A: No, this won't work.

If you have to pay costs to declare attackers, you're allowed to activate mana abilities to do so. However, Krenko's ability isn't a mana ability. You have to have priority to activate it, and you won't get priority in the declare attackers step until after attackers have already been declared and any costs to attack have been (or not been) paid.

Q: Andy, Becky and Chris are playing Commander. Andy casts Witch Hunt. At the beginning of their end step, Becky gains control of Witch Hunt. At Becky's end step, Chris gains control of Witch Hunt. At Chris's upkeep, Chris takes 4 damage from Witch Hunt and loses the game.

Where does Witch Hunt go?

A: Becky will have control of Witch Hunt.

When the control-changing effect giving Chris control of Witch Hunt ends, the effect giving Becky control of it still exists.

Q: Why does Oko, Thief of Crowns's +1 make my Ornithopter stop being an artifact, but Snakeform doesn't?

A: Oko's +1 makes something an "Elk creature," which means it sets both the target's type and subtype. Snakeform just makes something a "Snake," not a "Snake creature," so it only affects the target's creature subtypes.

Many Magic: the Gathering players ask,
"Andrew, why do you have questions about
Humility so frequently?"
My answer is that I am insane.
Q: My opponent controls Humility. If I cast Possessed Barbarian and have seven or more cards in my graveyard, what are the Barbarian's characteristics?

A: The Barbarian will be a black 2/2 with its activated ability. Since part of the effect changed color in layer 5 before Humility removes abilities in layer 6, the whole effect continues to apply.

Q: I control Grave Pact, and three of my creatures die at the same time. My opponent's only creature is Forest Bear enchanted with Kaya's Ghostform. Do they get their creature back?

A: Well... for a little bit. When your creatures die, three Grave Pact triggers go on the stack. When the first trigger resolves, your opponent has to sacrifice their Forest Bear. When they do, Kaya's Ghostform triggers and returns their Bear.

But... you still have two more Grave Pact triggers to resolve, so they'll have to sacrifice their Bear again. And this time, it'll stay dead.

Q: If I use Ugin, the Spirit Dragon's -10 ability and put Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded and Doubling Season onto the battlefield, how many counters will Tibalt enter with?

A: Tibalt will enter with his usual 2 counters.

Because Doubling Season and Tibalt are entering the battlefield at the same time, Doubling Season's replacement effect can't apply to Tibalt.

Q: I cast Absorb targeting my opponent's Oko, Thief of Crowns. In response, my opponent casts Veil of Summer. What happens once the stack is done resolving?

A: First, Veil of Summer resolves, and your opponent draws a card since you cast a blue spell this turn. Then, Absorb resolves. It can't counter Oko now, but the spell will still do as much as it can, so you'll gain 3 life. Then, your opponent's Oko resolves, and you are sad.

Q: I control Alela, Artful Provocateur. If Sword of the Meek is in my graveyard, and I make a Thopter token, will the Sword be returned to the battlefield?

A: No, it won't. Alela's ability applies to the Thopter from the moment it enters the battlefield. The Thopter is a 2/1 creature, so it isn't meek enough for the Sword to take notice.

Q: My opponent cast Alhammarret, High Arbiter. As it enters, I reveal my hand, which includes Murderous Rider // Swift End. Which part of the card can my opponent name?

A: They can only name Murderous Rider. They cannot name Swift End.

Alhammarret makes you choose a name of a revealed card. Because you're not in the process of casting the card right now, it only has the characteristics of the creature part.

Note that if an instruction just says to "choose a card name," like Meddling Mage, you can choose either part.

Q: I control Divine Visitation. If I cast Ancestral Blade and it enters the battlefield, will I be able to attach the Blade to the Angel token I make?

A: Yes, you will.

The Blade doesn't care if you actually make a 1/1 Soldier token or a 4/4 Angel token or something else. It just knows that, well, its trigger made a token, and the Blade can attach to it.

Q: I cast Angel of Invention. In response to its enters-the-battlefield trigger, my opponent kills it with Doom Blade. What happens to the Fabricate trigger?

A: You have to make two 1/1 Servo tokens.

When the Fabricate trigger resolves, normally you'd have two options: make tokens or put counters on the Angel. However, the Angel isn't around to put counters on, and the game says you can't make a choice that isn't legal, so you're stuck with the Servos.

Q: I cast Assassin's Trophy on my opponent's Forest Bear. In response, they cast Sheltering Light on their Bear. What happens?

A: First, your opponent scries 1. Then, Assassin's Trophy tries to destroy their Bear, but, oh no! It's indestructible now. Unfortunately, again, the spell will try to do as much as it can, so your oppponent still gets to search their library for a basic land.

Hey, at least it isn't Equinox.
Q: I control Sacred Ground. If I activate my Mutavault, and after it becomes a creature my opponent casts Lightning Bolt targeting it, will my Mutavault be returned to play?

A: No, it won't.

As the old saying goes, "Damage doesn't kill creatures, state-based actions kill creatures." Your Mutavault didn't die to a spell or ability; it died because a state-based action saw that it was a creature with more damage marked on it than it had toughness.

Q: If I splice Everdream onto Tormenting Voice, can Everdream be the card I discard to pay for Tormenting Voice?

A: It sure can!

We figure out if we're splicing something in the second step of casting a spell, just after we put it on the stack. At that point, the "splicing process" is done. Then, much later in the spellcasting process, we have to pay payments. We don't have to keep the Everdream in our hand because its job was done earlier, so we're free to discard it.

Q: Is Horn of Greed as good as I think it is in Chulane, Teller of Tales?

A: Probably not. Horn of Greed cares specifically about "playing a land," which only means the special action of playing a land for turn. "Putting" a land onto the battlefield won't trigger it.

Q: I control Ephara, God of the Polis. If I also control Panharmonicon, will Ephara's trigger be copied at the beginning of each upkeep?

A: No, Ephara will only trigger once.

Ephara doesn't trigger from something entering the battlefield. Her trigger condition is "At the beginning of each upkeep," and that's it. Even though that depends on something having entered the battlefield, the creature entering isn't, itself, what makes Ephara trigger.

Q: My opponent controls Teferi, Time Raveler. If I activate Aetherworks Marvel, can I cast anything?

A: No, you sure can't.

Marvel wants you to cast your spell while a trigger is resolving. Since this isn't "any time you could cast a sorcery" — which means "during your main phase, while the stack is empty," Teferi says no.

Q: My opponent controls Sigarda, Host of Herons and I control Mogis, God of Slaughter. At the beginning of my opponent's upkeep, can they choose to sacrifice and just not sacrifice because Sigarda prevents it?

A: No, they can't.

Like I mentioned earlier, the game won't let you make a choice that's impossible. In this case, Mogis offers your opponent two choices: Take 2 damage, or sacrifice a creature. Since Sigarda says your abilities can't cause them to sacrifice a creature, they can't make that choice. They have to take the 2 damage.

That's it for this week! I hope everybody's been enjoying the unexplored wilderness of the Pioneer format. I know I have. Till next time!

- Andrew

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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