Published on 03/16/2020

Magical Mystery Tour

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français Italiano

I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
Mystery Boosters have been released to the wild! This means you can pop down to your Friendly Local Game Store and pick up one of the best draft experiences available — you don't have to make it to a MagicFest. Of course, these boosters don't have the test cards in them, but they do have some pretty awesome new foils, so... that's probably a fair trade.

There are a lot (a LOT) of cards in this set. Some of them are old favorites, and some of them you've probably never seen before. Let's dive in and try to remember how these cards work.

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: How does Animar, Soul of Elements work with creatures whose costs include ?

A: Very well! You figure out what value of you want, then you apply any effects that increase or reduce that cost. So, for instance, if you want to cast Stonecoil Serpent for =3 while Animar has 2 counters, the Serpent will only cost you — but it will still have 3 counters on it.

Q: I control Daretti, Scrap Savant. Can I activate his -2 and return the same artifact card I just sacrificed?

A: No, this doesn't work. The ability has to have a target when it goes on the stack, and you don't choose which artifact to sacrifice until the ability resolves.

Q: If my Grave Titan enters tapped and attacking somehow, how many Zombie tokens will I create?

A: Just two. It definitely entered the battlefield, but the Titan wasn't declared as an attacker, so it won't trigger for that.

Q: I cast Star of Extinction targeting my opponent's Gaea's Cradle, but in response, they gave it indestructible. What happens?

A: Star of Extinction will still deal its damage. Since the target is still legal, the spell will try to do as much as it can. It can't destroy the land now, but it can still deal 20 damage to each creature and planeswalker, which is still Pretty Good!

I want someone to look at me
the way Alesha is pointing
Q: When I attack with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, can I pay multiple times and bring back that many creatures?

A: Unfortunately not. You target just one creature card when the ability goes on the stack. Then, when the trigger resolves, you have the option to pay just once to return that card to the battlefield.

Q: If I make Mirage Mirror a copy of Belbe's Portal, can I choose a new creature type, or is the Mirror stuck with the same creature type?

A: Actually, the Mirror won't have a chosen creature type at all. You can activate the ability, but since there's no chosen creature type, you can't put anything into play. No, not even Nameless Race.

Q: If I control Bloom Tender, Kenrith, the Returned King, and no other permanents, how much mana does Bloom Tender tap for?

A: It will tap for two mana: and . Kenrith's color identity is all five colors, but he's just a white permanent, so the only colors among permanents you control are green and white.

Q: I activate Cauldron of Souls and give my Rampaging Rendhorn persist. Can I sacrifice it and bring it back with a +1/+1 counter from riot over and over again?

A: This won't work. Once it dies, it becomes a new object. You can bring it back once, but the new Rendhorn on the battlefield doesn't have persist, so if you sacrifice it again it'll stay dead.

Q: If I Chaos Warp my opponent's commander, can they put it in the command zone? What happens if they do?

A: They can put it in the command zone if they want to. They'll still shuffle their library and reveal the top card.

Q: I control Coat of Arms, Unsettled Mariner, and Graveshifter. How big are my changelings?

A: They'll both be 3/3. Coat of Arms doesn't care how many types creatures share. It only counts how many creatures share a type with it. For a smaller example, if you control two Goblin Wizards, they'll each get +1/+1, not +2/+2.

Q: I control Anafenza, the Foremost. My opponents control a lot of nontoken creatures. If I cast Deadly Tempest, what happens?

A: Your opponent's creatures will be exiled. When the game is trying to figure out where everything goes, Anafenza is still in play, so her replacement effect still applies. Your opponents' nontoken creatures will be exiled, and Anafenza herself will go to your graveyard.

Even though the creatures don't die, they were still destroyed, so each player whose creatures were destroyed will still lose life.

Note that because Anafenza only stops creature cards from being put into graveyards, any token creatures will still go to the graveyard and trigger any "dies" effects.

Q: I control Grizzly Bears equipped with Sword of the Animist. My opponent gains control of Grizzly Bears, then attacks with it. Who can search for a basic land?

A: You can! Your opponent controls the thing the Sword is equipped to, but you still control the Sword. Since you're its controller, the "you" on it means, well, you!

Note this mostly works because the Sword itself has the ability. If the ability is granted to the creature, like with Coral Net, then "you" means the creature's controller.

Q: Can I cast Dread Return to bring back Purphoros, God of the Forge?

A: You can, no matter what your devotion to red is. The Theros gods' ability to make them not creatures only works on the battlefield. In any other zone, they're always creatures, so Purphoros is a legal target for Dread Return.

Q: I control Knight of Dawn. Can I give it protection from colorless so my opponent can't block it with Eldrazi Devastator?

A: Nope. Colorless isn't a color, just like an empty bag doesn't have anything in it.

The best choice you can give your
opponents is between "bad" and "worse."
Q: My opponent controls Platinum Emperion. I cast Torment of Hailfire. Does my opponent have to sacrifice permanents or discard, since they can't lose life?

A: Nope. They don't have to sacrifice anything or discard anything. They don't have to choose to lose life — they can choose to not sacrifice or discard, and if they don't, the result is that they would lose life. Emperion prevents that from happening, so they just... don't do anything, really.

Q: So wait, if their choices are "sacrifice or discard," how's that work if they control Tamiyo, Collector of Tales?

A: This one works out better for you, probably! Since they can't make either of those choices, they're forced to lose 3 life.

Q: I control Seeker of the Way. If I cast Granted, does Seeker get lifelink?

A: It does! When you cast it, an adventure card only has the characteristics of the part you cast. This means it's just a sorcery, so Seeker will trigger.

Q: I control Energy Field. Do I have to sacrifice it if a token creature dies?

A: You don't! Tokens aren't cards, so Energy Field doesn't care about them.

That's all for this week, friends. Go forth! Enjoy fun booster drafts!
I realized after writing this article that I used even more exclamation points than normal, but, you know, this set has me excited. Hope y'all enjoy it, too.

- Andrew

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


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

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

Follow our RSS feed!