Published on 07/13/2020

Accelerated Answers for Quick Questions

Cranial Translation
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Wait, this column is due when?!
Welcome once again to Cranial Insertion. This article is being written kind of last minute because of many reasons that you all don't care about, but needless to say this article was written in a hurry! There's no time to waste with extra pleasantries, so let's zip ahead to the questions.

Oh, right, send your rules questions to us at or tweet them to us @CranialTweet. You'll get an answer and we might feature it in a future column! But now, questions! And answers! Let's go!

Q: With the new rules change, will Godsend stop my opponent from playing their commander if it exiles it in combat?

A: Not if they move their commander back to the command zone, no.
Once your opponent's commander leaves exile and moves to the command zone, it's no longer exiled with Godsend and so Godsend's third ability no longer prevents cards with that name from being cast.

Q: If two players each control Mimic Vat and a creature dies, who gets the opportunity to imprint the creature on their Mimic Vat first?

A: It depends on whose turn it is. When the creature dies, both Mimic Vats will trigger, but those triggers will be put on the stack in APNAP order. That means that the player whose turn it is will put their trigger on the stack first and then it proceeds in turn order from that player. This means that the player who mostly recently took their turn will get the first chance to imprint the creature on the Vat. If they decline to do so, then the other player will have a chance at it.

Q: I cast Kraul Foragers while I have five creature cards in my graveyard, how many times will my Malakir Familiar trigger?

A: Just once.
Whenever a trigger says that you do something "for each" of something, it counts as just a single instance of that thing happening rather than multiple small iterations of that thing. So in this case, you'll gain 5 life once and Malakir Familiar will just trigger once and get +1/+1.

Q: How does Bone Miser work when I have too many cards at the end of my turn? For example, if I discard lands, would I be able to use the mana to cast instants or spells with flash?

A: Yes, you can.
Normally players don't receive priority in the cleanup step, which is when you discard down to your maximum hand size. However, there's an exception to this rule if anything triggers from the cleanup step doing its thing, such as players discarding cards or creatures dying. In such a case, players will receive priority so those triggers can go on the stack. Players can then cast spells or activate abilities or do what they normally could do with priority. The game then proceeds to another cleanup step. There will continue to be new cleanup steps until one happens where nothing triggers, at which point the turn will end.

Gotta go fast...
Q: If I copy Winota, Joiner of Forces's trigger with Strionic Resonator, will I get an extra trigger for each non-human creature that's attacking or just one extra trigger in total?

A: Just one extra trigger.
Winota triggers separately for each non-human creature that attacks and so you'll be copying one of those individual triggers, leaving you with one extra iteration of her ability rather than twice as many.

Q: I just got a Fiery Confluence for my Torbran, Thane of Red Fell deck, so I wanted to double check their interaction: If I choose the same mode multiple times, e.g. "1 damage to each creature", will Torbran's ability increase the damage each time or just once?

A: Torbran will increase the damage each time since Fiery Confluence is dealing the damage in separate instances of damage. This means that Torbran will change 1+1+1 damage to each creature into 3+3+3 damage to each creature. Seems pretty OK, if you ask me.

Q: Is damage that would be dealt to a creature with indestructible prevented? For example, if Hazoret the Fervent blocks Questing Beast, will Hazoret die since Questing Beast's combat damage can't be prevented?

A: No, that's not how Indestructible works.
A permanent that's indestructible just can't be destroyed. Lethal damage and destroy effects just don't affect it at all, even though the damage and destroy effects still happen. No damage prevention is involved in the case of creatures, so Hazoret will survive the Beast's onslaught and live to fight another day.

Q: How does Bruvac the Grandiloquent interact with Sphinx's Tutelage?

A: With the introduction of mill as a keyword and our new Grandiloquent friend being able to double said milling, many cards have had their text changed to use the new keyword. It's always a good idea to double check the new wording of cards after such a change happens, especially with ones that would seem to interact oddly with one of the new cards.
In the case of Sphinx's Tutelage, its triggered ability has been changed to read "Whenever you draw a card, target opponent mills two cards. If two nonland cards that share a color were milled this way, repeat this process." This means that Bruvac will cause your opponent to mill four cards, but only two of them need to share a color for the process to be repeated.

Q: If I have Teferi, Temporal Archmage's emblem and I activate Basri Ket's -2 ability on my opponent's turn, what happens when they attack? Do I really make attacking tokens on another player's turn?

A: You'll make tokens, but they won't be attacking since only the active player can ever have an attacking creature.
When Basri's triggered ability resolves, it will see that there are some number of attacking non-token creatures and try to create an equal number of tapped, attacking soldier tokens. This isn't fully possible, however, so the ability will do as much as it can and just create the tokens tapped without them being attacking.

Q: I have a question about Mairsil, the Pretender: If I exile Bag of Holding with Mairsil and use its second activated ability through Mairsil, will I recover all cards I've exiled with him?

A: No, this doesn't work.
The second activated ability of Bag of Holding is linked to its triggered ability and can only access cards exiled with that ability. When Mairsil gains this ability from Bag of Holding, it's not linked to anything since Mairsil doesn't get the Bag's triggered ability, and so this ability can never bring back any cards when Mairsil uses it. (Yes, this isn't very fun, but without linked abilities, these kinds of effects would be a total mess.)

Q: If I activate Sindbad while I control Teferi's Ageless Insight, it replaces the draw with drawing two cards, but what about the rest of the effect? Do I have to reveal them and discard them if they're not land cards?

A: Teferi is a smart fellow, so his Insight can teach you more than just how to draw more cards. When an effect replaces a draw, anything tied to that specific draw from the original ability is ignored, even if the draw is replaced with another draw. This means that you'll just draw two cards and then ignore the rest of Sindbad's ability, keeping those cards safe and secret in your hand.

Q: I control both Thantis, the Warweaver and Silent Arbiter. How does combat work now? I'm very confused!

A: What we have here is a situation where multiple requirements can't be met due to a restriction. In such a case, the restriction wins out, though you still have to meet as many requirements as possibly while obeying the restriction. This means that each player has to attack with a creature each combat. They can choose which creature to attack with so long as there are no other requirements to attack on creatures. If there is another requirement to attack on a creature, such as Underworld Rage-Hound, then that creature will have to be the one creature that attacks as it will fulfill more requirements by attacking than attacking with another creature would.
TL;DR: Each player has to attack and chooses which creature attacks unless there are other "attacks each turn/combat if able" abilities in play.

Q: I control Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Murderous Rider. If Murderous Rider dies with no cards in library, do I lose the game or can I put the Rider into my library before Liliana forces me to draw a card?

A: You'll live if you stack the triggers correctly.
Since you control both triggers, you get to choose their relative order on the stack. If you put Murderous Rider's trigger on the stack above Liliana's trigger, then it will be in your library in time to keep you from losing the game. Of course, you're welcome to stack them other way and die. Liliana might like that, come to think of it.

Ow… ok, ok… I'll be better about writing
my articles on time, I promise!
Q: Hello, I have a question regarding Foulmire Knight and Haakon, Stromgald Scourge. Can I cast Profane Insight from the graveyard with Hakkon's ability?

A: No, you can't.
While Foulmire Knight is indeed a Knight card in your graveyard, the moment you start to cast it as Profane Insight, it's not a Knight anymore and so the proposed casting would be illegal. Haakon only allows you to cast spells that would be Knight spells on the stack.

Q: Mangara, the Diplomat seems strangely templated to me. Is there a rules reason it just doesn't say, "Whenever an opponent attacks you and/or planeswalkers you control with two or more creatures, draw a card."?

A: The biggest difference between the printed text and your suggestion is that, as printed, Mangara's ability uses an "intervening if" clause. This means that if enough of those attacking creatures are removed from combat (but still on the battlefield) so that there's one or zero creature attacking you and/or your planeswalkers, then the ability won't have any effect on resolution.
More importantly, though, is that only creatures can attack, so they have to be part of the trigger condition as in the printed text. Under this requirement, the printed text is much easier to parse than any version that puts so many words between "attack" and "creatures".

Q: If both my opponent and I control a Jace, Wielder of Mysteries with no cards in our libraries and I cast Vision Skeins, what happens? Who wins? Is the game a draw?

A: It depends on whose turn it is.
When an effect instructs multiple players to draw cards, those draws are always taken in APNAP order. This means that the player whose turn it is will have Jace replace their first draw with winning the game before the other player, so save that Vision Skeins for your own turn!

Q: Can Emry, Lurker of the Loch's ability let me cast Mox Tantalite from my graveyard?

A: No, it can't.
Emry's activated ability only gives you permission to cast the card from your graveyard, but it doesn't change the card's costs or otherwise get around any other restrictions there might be to casting the card. In the case of Mox Tantalite, there's still the issue of its null mana cost. Because such a cost is unpayable, the only way to cast it is without paying its mana cost, such as when it comes off of suspend. Emry doesn't provide such a way to avoid paying the cost, so Mox Tantaline just sits in your graveyard being uncastable despite her best efforts.

Q: I mutate Sea-Dasher Octopus onto Riddleform while it's a creature. What happens to it at end of turn?

A: That depends on if you put the Octopus on top of Riddleform or under it when you mutated it.
If you put it on top, then it stays a creature. It will still become a 3/3 Sphinx and gain flying whenever you cast a noncreature spell, but it won't stop being a creature when the turn ends.
If you put the Octopus under Riddleform, then it goes back to being an enchantment during the cleanup step. Sea-Dasher Octopus is still merged with it and still gives it its ability, however.

Right, so, thanks for reading. I'm kind of out of breath now from such frantic scrawling, so just come back next week for more Cranial Insertion, hopefully by a more responsible writer this time.

- Charlotte


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