Published on 01/06/2020

A Decadent Quiz

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français Italiano

Wishing you a happy 20/20!
Greetings and welcome to another episode of Cranial Insertion, and welcome to the Twenties! New Year's has come and gone, and I hope by now you have recovered from any hangover you may have incurred celebrating the arrival of a new decade. Speaking of decades, a decade describes rather precisely how long I've been writing for Cranial Insertion. I can hardly believe it myself, but today marks the ten year anniversary of me joining the Cranial Insertion team, which is yet another unwelcome reminder of how old I am. To celebrate this occasion, I bring you — which is not a big surprise if you've read the title — a quiz! As always, there are ten questions, and some questions may have multiple correct choices.

Good luck!

Q: Which of these cards trigger Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain's draw ability?

A: The choices are...

A: Liliana Vess
B: Karn's Temporal Sundering
C: Shivan Gorge
D: Sanctum of the Sun
E: Old Fogey

The answer is
A and B.

Jhoira's ability triggers when you cast a historic spell, and Jhoira's reminder text helpfully points out that artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas are historic. Liliana Vess is legendary even though the legendary supertype isn't printed on the card. All planeswalkers have received errata to make them legendary when the game eliminated the planeswalker uniqueness rule, and Liliana Vess is no exception. Her Oracle text is what matters, and it says she's legendary.

Karn's Temporal Sundering has the legendary supertype, so it is in fact legendary even though it's not a permanent. Being a permanent is not required for being historic, so casting a legendary sorcery triggers Jhoira's ability.

A legendary land is historic, but it's never cast, so playing Shivan Gorge doesn't trigger Jhoira. Similarly, transforming Azor's Gateway into Sanctum of the Sun doesn't involve casting a historic spell, so it doesn't trigger Jhoira's ability, either.

Q: My opponent controls Circle of Flame and I cast Strangleroot Geist and attack with it. After Circle of Flame kills it and it comes back with undying, can it attack again right away?

A: The choices are...

A: Yes.
B: No.
E: Wait, what happened to C and D?

The answer is

Even though Strangleroot Geist has haste, the newly undead Geist has missed the train to attack this turn. Each combat phase has one declare attackers step, and in that step you have to declare all attackers at once. You declared the original Geist as the only attacker, and that declaration triggered the ability that killed it, so it's too late to declare the returned Geist as an attacker.

Q: Which of these responses can save a creature from Wrath of God?

A: The choices are...

A: Faith's Shield
B: Sheltering Light
C: Momentary Blink
D: Cycling a card to trigger Astral Slide
E: A Jedi mind trick

The answer is
B and D.

Wrath of God destroys all creatures that are on the battlefield at the time it resolves. This doesn't target or deal damage or do anything else that protection cares about, so giving a creature protection from white doesn't save it from Wrath of God. Giving it indestructible helps because destroying that creature is now an impossible action. Wrath of God resolves and does as much as it can, so it destroys everything else.

Another way to save a creature from Wrath of God is to make sure it's not on the battlefield at the time Wrath of God resolves, such as by sending it into exile for a while. Momentary Blink doesn't help, though, because that brings the creature back right away, and Wrath of God doesn't lock in in advance what to destroy, so the Momentary-Blinked creature still gets destroyed. Astral Slide helps because it only brings the creature back at the beginning of the next end step, way after Wrath of God has finished resolving.

Alas, poor Yorick!
Q: I control Deathrite Shaman and there's a Flaxen Intruder in my graveyard. Which ability of Deathrite Shaman can I activate?

A: The choices are...

A: Only the second ability
B: Only the third ability
C: Either the second or the third ability
D: Both the second and the third ability simultaneously
E: Its ability to recite Hamlet.

The answer is

In your graveyard, Flaxen Intruder only has the characteristics of the creature part. The sorcery part is only visible to the game when you cast the card and choose to cast its adventure page. Since it's not an instant or sorcery card in the graveyard, you can't use it to activate Deathrite Shaman's second ability.

Q: I control a Tarmogoyf that's 3/4 because there are creatures, lands, and instants in graveyards. My opponent casts an instant that'll deal 4 damage to it. If I have a discard outlet that allows me to discard a card in response, which of the following cards can I discard to buff my Goyf?

A: The choices are...

A: Commit // Memory
B: Flaxen Intruder
C: Dryad Arbor
D: Anje Falkenrath
E: This scenario sounds entirely plausible and not at all made up.

The answer is

Commit // Memory has the characteristics of both halves in all zones except the stack, so discarding it adds sorcery to the set of card types found in graveyards.

Dryad Arbor is a land creature, but "land creature" is not a card type of it's own. It means that Dryad Arbor is a land that's also a creature, so discarding it doesn't add anything new to the set of card types found in graveyards.

As we've seen in the previous question, Flaxen Intruder is only a creature card in the graveyard, which is a major way in which adventurer cards are different from split cards. Therefore, discarding it doesn't buff your Goyf. Anje Falkenrath is a legendary creature, but legendary is a supertype, not a card type, so it doesn't help your Goyf, either.

Q: There's a Flaxen Intruder in my graveyard. Which of these effects lets me cast it as Welcome Home?

A: The choices are...

A: Chainer, Nightmare Adept's ability
B: Yawgmoth's Will
C: Past in Flames
D: Snapcaster Mage's ability
E: This is the last adventure-related question, I promise.

The answer is

Flaxen Intruder is still only a creature card in your graveyard, so Past in Flames and Snapcaster Mage can't help you at all. Past in Flames doesn't see the card, and it's not a legal target for Snapcaster Mage's ability.

Chainer's ability looks superficially like it would help, but when you cast an adventurer card, you replace the card's characteristics with those of the part you're casting before the game checks if you're allowed to begin casting it. If you choose Welcome Home, you're no longer casting a creature card, so the permission doesn't apply.

Yawgmoth's Will gives you permission to cast the card from your graveyard regardless of its type, so it certainly allows you to cast Welcome Home from your graveyard.

Stop! Hammer Time!
Q: I control a Runeclaw Bear equipped with Loxodon Warhammer and my opponent Humbles it. I move the Warhammer to another creature and back to my Bear. Which statements about my Bear are true?

A: The choices are...

A: It's 0/1.
B: It's 3/1.
C: It has trample.
D: It has lifelink.
E: It has the right to bear arms.

The answer is
B, C, and D!

Your Bear is a 3/1 with trample and lifelink. Right after Humble resolved, it was a 3/1 without abilities because Humble removes the abilities that Loxodon Warhammer grants. However, unattaching and reattaching the Warhammer renews the timestamp of its effect, so its effect now gets applies after Humble's ability-removing effect.

Q: I control The Haunt of Hightower which my opponent enchanted with Darksteel Mutation. If I cast Akroma's Vengeance, what happens?

A: The choices are...

A: The Haunt gets destroyed and its last ability doesn't trigger.
B: The Haunt gets destroyed and its last ability triggers but doesn't do anything.
C: The Haunt doesn't get destroyed and its last ability doesn't trigger.
D: The Haunt doesn't get destroyed and its last ability triggers.
E: Everything happens.

The answer is

Akroma's Vengeance destroys everything it can destroy in one simultaneous action, and at that time The Haunt has indestructible, so it doesn't get destroyed, and only Darksteel Mutation gets destroyed. This narrows the choices down to C or D, but now we need to figure out if Darksteel Mutation going to the graveyard triggers The Haunt's ability.

Some triggered abilities look back in time and trigger based on the game state before the event that triggered them, and leave-the-battlefield triggers are the most important example of that kind of trigger. However, The Haunt's trigger is not a leave-the-battlefield trigger, since those are written to trigger specifically on something leaving the battlefield. The Haunt's ability does trigger on something going from the battlefield to the graveyard, but also on putting a card into the graveyard from anywhere else, so it doesn't trigger specifically on something leaving the battlefield. It isn't any other kind of trigger that looks back in time, either. As such, it triggers based on the game state after the event, when The Haunt actually has that ability, so the ability triggers.

Q: I'm in a multiplayer game and I used Bribery to put an opponent's creature onto the battlefield. If I get eliminated from the game, what happens to that creature?

A: The choices are...

A: Its owner gains control of it.
B: It gets destroyed.
C: It gets exiled.
D: It's shuffled into its owner's library.
E: You take the creature home with you.

The answer is

When you are eliminated from the game, all cards you own leave the game, and all control-changing effects that gave you control of anything end. Anything you still control after that has happened gets exiled. Since you don't own the creature card and you weren't given control of it by a control-changing effect, it falls into the last category, so it gets exiled.

Q: I'm in a game of Commander, and my opponent Chaos Warped my commander, which I chose to let go into the library for some reason. With the help of Vampiric Tutor I manage to manifest it as a face-down creature. If I deal combat damage with this face-down creature, does it count as commander damage?

A: The choices are...

A: Definitely not.
B: Definitely yes.
C: Maybe.
D: Ask a judge.
E: Flip a coin.

The answer is

The "commanderness" is a property of the physical card itself, and that property can't be gained or lost by any effects. The card continues to be your commander while it's face down, so any combat damage it deals counts towards the total combat damage that your commander has dealt. However, while in a digital game the game itself would know that the card is your commander, in a paper game you'll need to inform your opponent that they are being dealt commander damage, most likely by revealing the front side of the card to prove that it's your commander.

And that's it for today's quiz. I hope you did well and/or learned something new.

From all of us at Cranial Insertion, we wish you a happy, healthy, and successful new year, and we'll be back next week with more rulesy goodness.

-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.


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

Send quick questions to us in English for a short answer.

Follow our RSS feed!