Published on 12/16/2019

The End of a Saga

Cranial Translation
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The original is probably one of the best -
A New Hope.
Hi everyone, and welcome back to this week's Cranial Insertion! It's the week that a lot of movie fans have been waiting for - the ninth (and probably final movie in the Skywalker saga) Star Wars movie! Of course, I find it hard to imagine that they won't keep putting out more Star Wars movies in the years to come, but there's also something satisfying about a story coming to an end. I know I'll be one of the first in line to watch it this weekend, and I'm sure we'll see plenty of you at the theatre as well.

And while you're waiting in line, you can read our articles or send us questions. We might even use your questions in a future article. You can send short questions to us via our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and longer questions can be sent to our e-mail at .

Q: I control a tapped creature that's enchanted by Charmed Sleep. If I play Kenrith's Transformation on the creature, can it untap like normal?

A: Nope, it still won't untap. While the Transformation will remove any abilities from the enchanted creature, the effect that prevents the creature from untapping isn't an ability that the Sleep is giving to the enchanted creature - it's a static ability of the Sleep itself. Casting the Transformation on your Sleeping creature will make it a 3/3 with no abilities, but it still won't untap during your untap step since the Transformation didn't do anything to the Sleep.

Q: I control Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and my opponent controls a 4/4 creature. If I cast Deafening Clarion with both modes picked, what happens?

A: Your opponent's 4/4 will die, and your Torbran will survive (and will gain lifelink for the turn). Torbran's ability only affects damage that would be dealt to your opponents or their permanents. It won't increase the damage that your red sources would deal to you or permanents you control. Torbran will increase the damage the Clarion would dealt to your opponent's 4/4, but won't increase the damage that the Clarion would deal to Torbran. While your opponent's 4/4 will take five damage and will die, Torbran will only take three damage and will survive.

Q: I control Korvold, Fae-Cursed King and I make a copy of Kovold with Quasiduplicate. Assuming I keep the original Korvold, does putting the copy into the graveyard count as a sacrifice and trigger Korvold's ability?

A: No it does not. You control two legendary Korvolds when state-based actions are checked, so you'll choose one to keep and the other will be put into the graveyard. This state-based action does not involve a sacrifice, the creature is just put into the graveyard. The surviving Korvold will not trigger when its twin dies due to state-based actions, since the other Korvold is not being sacrificed.

Q: My opponent controls Immolation Shaman, and I have a Cauldron Familiar in the graveyard. If I activate the Familiar's ability to return it to the battlefield, will I take one damage from the Shaman's ability?

A: Nope, you won't take any damage. The Shaman's ability triggers if you activate an ability of an artifact, creature, or land. But, by default, it's only referring to a card of that type on the battlefield that's activating its ability, not a card in another zone like the graveyard (it would have to use the word "card" in its triggered ability to refer to a card in another zone). The Shaman's ability will not trigger if you're activating the ability of the Familiar in the graveyard, since you're activating the ability of a creature card, not a creature.

Q: I control Mirror March. I cast Mesmerizing Benthid, and with the Mirror March trigger, I get three more Benthids. At the end of the turn, when I sacrifice the token Benthids, do I also lose the 0/2 Illusions that those Benthids made?

A: Nope, you get to keep those tokens. You only exile the tokens that were made by the March's triggered ability. The Illusion tokens were not made by the March's triggered ability, they were made by the Benthid's enter the battlefield triggered ability. While you'll lose the extra Benthids at the end of turn, the tokens that those Benthids made will hang around.

Q: My opponent attacks me with Rankle, Master of Pranks. With its triggered ability, they choose the discard mode and the sacrifice a creature mode. If the only card in my hand is Nullhide Ferox, will I be able to sacrifice the Ferox to the last mode of Rankle's triggered ability?

A: You can, if you want to (or have to). The Ferox has a replacement effect, not a triggered ability - instead of going to the graveyard when Rankle makes you discard, you put it onto the battlefield. The Ferox is on the battlefield when we get to resolving the other mode of Rankle's triggered ability, so you can (or must, if the Ferox is the only creature you control) choose to sacrifice the Ferox to Rankle's triggered ability.

Giving a whole new meaning to "Attack o the Clones".

Q: I control an Armored Wolf-Rider and a Steelclaw Lance. I activate the equip knight ability of the Lance, targeting my Wolf-Rider. In response, my opponent casts Nameless Inversion targeting the Rider. What happens when the equip ability resolves?

A: The equip ability does nothing and the Lance won't become attached. When the equip knight ability goes to resolve, it checks to make sure that its still targeting a knight you control. But because of the Inversion, the Wolf-Rider isn't a knight anymore - it doesn't have any creature types for the rest of the turn. Since it's not targeting a knight, the equip ability does nothing and the Lance will not become attached to the Wolf-Rider.

Q: I control Niblis of Frost and my opponent controls a tapped creature. If I cast Infiltrate, can I target my opponent's tapped creature with the Niblis's trigger and prevent it from untapping?

A: Yes you can. The Niblis's ability requires a target creature, not a target untapped creature. If the creature is already tapped, the first part of the ability (that taps the creature) won't do anything, but the second part will still work like normal and your opponent's creature won't untap during their next untap step.

Q: I control a Mistcutter Hydra with five +1/+1 counters on it. My opponent casts Ixidron. Will my Hydra be affected by Ixidron's ability?

A: Yes, it will be - but it's not all bad news for you. Ixidron's ability doesn't do anything that protection helps against, so having protection from blue won't save the Hydra from being turned face down. But being turned face down doesn't remove the counters from the Hydra - it still has the +1/+1 counters, and they'll still apply to it even after it's turned face down. While your Hydra won't have haste or protection from blue, it will be a 7/7 creature instead of a 5/5 that it was before Ixidron resolved.

Q: My opponent cast Allosaurus Rider via its alternate cost of exiling two green cards from their hand. Can I still counter the Rider with Disdainful Stroke?

A: Yep, you can. No matter how you're casting the Rider, whether it's normally by paying its mana cost or via its alternate cost, the converted mana cost is still the same - seven. Seven is four or greater, so even though your opponent isn't paying any mana to cast the Rider, it's still a legal target for your Stroke and you can still counter it.

Q: I'm at five life, and I control Darien, King of Kjeldor and a Soul Warden. If my opponent deals five damage to me with a Lava Axe, will I die or will I gain enough life from Soul warden to survive?

A: You are dead. After the Axe resolves, but before we can put Darien's triggered ability on the stack, we check state-based actions. The game sees you're at zero life, so you lose the game. You don't get to put Darien's trigger on the stack, create any tokens, or gain any life from Soul Warden's ability, since you've lost the game before any of that can happen.

Q: If I have two Aegis Angels in my hand, is there a way to have them give indestructible to each other?

A: There is, but you'll need help. When the Angel enters the battlefield, you have to choose a legal target for the trigger as it's put on the stack. You can't just cast one Angel, then the other - you'll have to deal with the first Angel's trigger before you can cast the second one (and giving the second Angel flash won't work either, since they still enter one at a time, not both at the same time).

What you need is a card like Tooth and Nail that can put them onto the battlefield at the same time. At the point when we're putting the triggers on the stack, both Angels are on the battlefield, so the can target each other and give each other indestructible.

Q: I activate Fa'adiyah Seer on my opponent's turn, and I reveal Blessings of Nature. Do I get a chance to cast it via miracle before I have to discard it to the Seer's ability?

A: Nope, you don't get that opportunity. If the Blessing is the first card you've drawn that turn, you can reveal it and miracle will trigger. However, before we can put that miracle trigger on the stack, we have to finish resolving the Seer's ability. You revealed a nonland card, so you're forced to discard it. If you did choose to reveal it to miracle, by the time we're getting to the point of resolving the miracle trigger, the Blessings is in the graveyard, not in your hand, and you won't be able to cast it via miracle.

Sorry Mandalorian fans - I don't think we'll
be seeing baby Yoda in this one.

Q: If I cast Ad Nauseam, can I respond with Hallow targeting the Nauseam and put my whole library into my hand without losing any life?

A: While you're free to cast Hallow targeting the Nauseam, it won't do you any good. Hallow only works if the spell would deal damage. It doesn't do anything about a loss of life. You're losing life equal to the revealed card's converted mana cost, and Hallow won't do anything about loss of life, so you'll still lose life like normal while resolving Ad Nauseam.

Q: I control God-Eternal Rhonas. If I cast Natural Order, sacrificing Rhonas, will I be able to search for the same Rhonas when the Order resolves?

A: Yes you will! You sacrifice Rhonas as a cost to casting Natural Order, so the dies trigger from Rhonas will go on the stack above the Order. Rhonas's trigger resolves first, and you can put it third from the top, then when the Order resolves, you can search your library for Rhonas (which shouldn't be too hard too long - you know exactly where it went) and put it onto the battlefield.

Q: How do Narset, Parter of Veils and Abundance interact? If my opponent controls Narset and I control Abundance and I would draw multiple cards, can I use Abundance's effect?

A: Depends - have you drawn any cards at all this turn? Narset's ability will kick in once you've actually drawn a card that turn and will stop you from drawing any more cards (and thus from being able to apply Abundance's replacement effect since there's no longer a draw to replace). But if you haven't drawn any cards this turn (perhaps because you keep replacing each draw with Abundance's effect), you'll be able to apply Abundance's replacement effect to each draw, and dodge your opponent's Narset.

Q: I target my opponent's Phenax, God of Deception with Aura Mutation. Will I get any saprolings?

A: Yep, you'll get five saprolings. Aura Mutation doesn't care if the targeted enchantment isn't destroyed - as long as it resolves, you'll get the tokens. The first part of the Mutation won't do anything, since Phenax is indestructible, but the second half doesn't care and you'll still get five saproling tokens.

Q: My opponent controls Contamination. If I play a Chromatic Lantern, does it negate the effect of Contamination and let my lands tap for any color of mana?

A: Nope, it does not. The Lantern doesn't have a replacement effect, it just gives your lands a new ability - the ability to tap for any color of mana. But even if you use that ability, Contamination's replacement effect will still apply and will change that mana into black mana instead. You can still tap the Lantern for any color of mana, but your lands didn't gain a relevant ability, since Contamination will still apply and will still turn the mana your lands produce into black mana instead.

Q: Can I use the activated ability from Spirit Mirror to destroy my opponent's Changeling Titan?

A: Yep, you can. The Titan is all creature types thanks to having changeling, which includes reflection. Since the Titan is a reflection, you'll be able to use the Mirror's activated ability to destroy the Titan.

Q: My opponent controls Maralen of the Mornsong and a Stranglehold. What happens when I try to resolve Maralen's triggered ability during my draw step?

A: This is bad news for you. Maralen tells you to search your library for a card, but Stranglehold prevents you from searching. You end up not finding anything from Maralen's triggered ability. But you'll still lose three life from the second part of Maralen's triggered ability, even if you don't find a card with the first half. Not only are you locked out of tutoring with Maralen and drawing like normal, but you're also losing three life every turn.


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