Published on 01/20/2020


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More like FUN crowned,
am I right?
It's that time, friends: a new set is upon us! Theros Beyond Death is here, and it's bringing back some old favorites. We've got Gods! We've got the Constellation mechanic! We've got ELSPETH, baby, and she's back with a vengeance!

I am very excited to be back on Theros. I'm also excited to do the kickoff article for it, because some of these cards are great. Gather round, sit a spell, and read about some enchanting card interactions.

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: If I control Heliod, Sun-Crowned and my opponent enchants him with Ichthyomorphosis, what happens?

A: Heliod will be a Fish, for now.

However, Ichthyomorphosis doesn't set the enchanted thing to be a creature like Frogify does. Heliod's own ability that determines whether or not he's still a creature still applies, since it applies in an earlier layer than Ichthyomorphosis's "loses all abilities."

So, if your devotion drops below 5, Ichthyomorphosis will be enchanting a noncreature. It will go "oh no!" and flop off to the graveyard.

(I have now typed Ichthyomorphosis way too many times.)

Q: If I control Underworld Breach, can I cast Ancestral Vision from my graveyard?

A: Nope. Underworld Breach modifies Ancestral Vision's cost from "unpayable" to "unpayable + exile three other cards from your graveyard." Unfortunately, that "unpayable" part is still there, so you can't cast Ancestral Vision this way.

Q: I control Thryx, the Sudden Storm. If I cast Stroke of Genius and want to draw 2 cards, how much mana do I have to pay? Can the spell be countered?

A: You'll pay , and the spell can't be countered. You figure out the value of very early in the casting process. Then, several steps later, you apply Thryx's cost reduction. The spell's converted mana cost is based on the value of you actually choose, not what amount was eventually paid. This means your Stroke of Genius with =2 has a converted mana cost of 5.

Q: My opponent enchanted my Nyxborn Courser with Dreadful Apathy. If she activates Apathy's ability, and in response I destroy it, what happens to my creature?

A: Your Courser will still be exiled, unfortunately. Since Apathy isn't where the game expected it to be, it uses the last known information about the Aura to determine what its "enchanted creature" was.

I hear Haktos is a real heel.
Q: Haktos the Unscarred is in my graveyard. If I make Lazav, the Multifarious a copy of Haktos, does Lazav have protection from everything since no number was chosen?

A: Nope. He'll actually have protection from nothing!

Haktos' last ability is linked to the one that wants you to choose a number at random. If no choice is made, then the last ability has nothing to reference, so it doesn't know what to do and ends up doing nothing.

Q: I control Nightmare Shepherd. What happens if a morph creature I control dies?

A: You'll make a creature token that's a Nightmare and a 1/1. It has no other characteristics, and it can't be turned face up. It's a very boring Nightmare, really.

Q: I control Furious Rise, Ball Lightning, and no other creatures. What happens at the beginning of my end step?

A: You control both triggers, so you can order them how you'd like. If you resolve Furious Rise's trigger first, you can exile the top card of your library and play it later. If you resolve Ball Lightning's trigger first, the intervening if clause of Furious Rise sees you no longer control a creature with power 4 or greater, so it does nothing.

The first one seems better. Do that one.

Q: When Ox of Agonas enters the battlefield, can I still draw cards if I have nothing to discard?

A: Sure! Nothing about the ability actually cares if you could discard or not. You'll do as much as possible, which in this case is just "draw three cards."

(I hear drawing cards is pretty good, but I mostly play white decks, so I wouldn't know.)

Q: I control Arasta of the Endless Web. The storm count is six, and my opponent targets me with Grapeshot. How many spiders will I make?

A: You'll just make one spider. Only the original Grapeshot was actually cast. The copies weren't cast; they were just created on the stack.

Q: I control Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. If I activate Cabal Stronghold's second ability, will it count every land I control as a Swamp?

A: No, it will count all of your basic lands. Dryad gives all your lands basic land types, but it doesn't give them the supertype "Basic."

Q: I control Nyxbloom Ancient. If I activate Heritage Druid, how much mana will I add?

A: You'll still only add . Nyxbloom Ancient wants you to tap a permanent for mana. To do that, it has to be a mana ability of that permanent and include the symbol. So, while you can't go crazy with Heritage Druid, Priest of Titania will add for each Elf on the battlefield.

Q: I control Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders. If I equip one of my creatures with a Colossus Hammer, will the creature have flying or not?

A: No, it won't. The timestamp of Dalakos' ability is whenever he entered the battlefield, while the timestamp on the Hammer's "loses flying" is whenever you equip it to something.

Of course, this also means that if one of your creatures was already equipped with the Hammer, then Dalakos entered, the creature would have flying.

Q: When I cast Rise to Glory, can I attach the Aura I get back to the creature I'm getting back?

A: You can! You do the parts of the card in order. First the creature is returned to the battlefield, then the Aura is returned a moment later.

Would I lyre to you?
Q: If I activate Entrancing Lyre, and in response untap it and activate it again targeting a different creature, will both creatures remain tapped?

A: Nope. Both creatures will get tapped right now, but the creature targeted by the first activation will untap like normal. The Lyre became untapped before the first activation resolved, which is what the ability is watching for. It doesn't matter that it became tapped again almost immediately.

Q: I control Daxos, Blessed by the Sun and Taranika, Akroan Veteran. If I attack with both and target Daxos with Taranika's triggered ability, what is Daxos' toughness?

A: Daxos will be a 4/4. Taranika's effect temporarily overwrites Daxos's own effect, but he'll go back to being a 2/* at the end of the turn.

Q: I cast Thassa's Oracle, and it's my only blue permanent. With its enters the battlefield trigger on the stack, my opponent destroys the Oracle. How many cards do I scry?

A: You'll scry 0. The ability figures out the correct value of X when it resolves, and when it does that, you don't control anything that contributes to devotion to blue.

If, however, somehow your library is empty, you'll still win the game. Neat!

Q: An opponent controls Kunoros, Hound of Athreos. Can I Reanimate Phyrexian Metamorph from my graveyard if I intend to have it copy a noncreature artifact?

A: Nope, this won't work. Kunoros is a very good dog (yes he is, yes he is!), and he's pretty good at knowing what a creature card is. Phyrexian Metamorph is definitely a creature card in your graveyard, So Kunoros will prevent that from happening.

Q: I have Nyxborn Courser equipped with Mirror Shield. If it's blocked by a Moss Viper do both creatures die?

A: Nope! Your Courser will be safe, and the Viper will be very dead. The Shield triggers in the declare blockers step, right after blockers are declared. The Viper will be destroyed before anything is dealt damage.

Keep in mind, though, that your Courser was still blocked, so it won't assign any damage to the defending player unless it has trample.

That's it for this week, friends. I hope these questions taught you something interesting! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to start working on a Haktos commander deck...

- 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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