Published on 10/26/2020

Trick or Treat Bag 2020

Cranial Translation
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Most Halloween Magic Card Ever.

Hello hello, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! Halloween is just around the corner, so lets check our trick or treat bag for some spooky questions.

If you would like to scare us a question you can do so @CranialTweet, or at our e-mail address - . We might even feature your question in an upcoming article.

Q: Cyclopean Mummy asks "In a 3 player game, I attack opponent A with my Capricopian that is wielding a Mage Slayer. Before Mage Slayer's trigger resolves, both Opponent A and Opponent B activate my goat Hydra's ability to pass it to attacking the other. When all is said and done, the Capricopian is back to attacking Opponent A, do both opponents take damage from the Mage Slayer trigger as both are the defending players now?"

A: Eye see you brought me a fun question. So our biggest help here will be to check oracle text on Mage Slayer, the cards current text clears this up nicely.

"Whenever equipped creature attacks, it deals damage equal to its power to the player or planeswalker it's attacking."

Only the player the goat hyrda is attacking will take damage, which is currently opponent A.

Q: Lesser Werewolf asks "My opponent casts Dictate of Karametra at the very last moment of my turn. Do I still have time to destroy it with Naturalize before it becomes their turn?"

A: This isn't nearly as hairy of a question as you might think. After the dictate resolves, each player gets one more priority pass, before the game moves onto the clean up step. So you do get a chance to Naturalize it, before your turn ends.

Q: Sengir Vampire asks "I cast Command the Dreadhorde targeting several creatures from my graveyard and a Eternal Witness from my opponent's graveyard. They respond by casting Veil of Summer, do I still get the Witness?"

A: I'll bite. Yes, you do. Veil of Summer only gives permanents Hexproof, not permanent cards in graveyards. So you reanimate the Witness no problem.

Q: Ghostly Sentinel asks "I control a Skyclave Apparition exiling my opponent's Bear Cub. I then cast Wasteland Strangler placing the Bear Cub into my opponents graveyard to kill a 1/1 Squirrel token. If later in the game the Skyclave Apparition dies, does my opponent get a token? And if so is it a 0/0 or a 2/2?"

A: Spookily, the opponent gets no token at all. Since there is no card exiled by the Apparition, it doesn't know which player to give the token to.

Now I want pumpkin pie.

Q: Scathe Zombies asks "I'm using an official Spirit Token card from Ravnica Allegiance packs for each of my spirit tokens. My opponent control The Haunt of Hightower. If one of my Spirit Tokens dies, does The Haunt get a +1/+1 counter?"

A: Even though the token dies ghoulishly, it is not a "card" even if it is represented by a card. So The Haunt will not get a +1/+1 counter.

Q: Accursed Witch asks "My opponent attacks with Giant Warthog with a Deathtouch counter on it. I block with a Sapling of Colfenor. Can the opponent trample damage over to me?"

A: The curse is real with this one. They in fact can. Trample + Deathtouch means the attacker only needs to assign one damage to each blocking creature, and the rest can all go at the opponent. This is true even if a blocking creature is Indestructible or even has an appropriate Protection ability. The Warthog has to deal at least one to the Sapling and the other 4 can damage you.

Q: Drudge Skeletons asks "I cast Bolas's Citadel but hold priority and before it resolves cast Teferi's Protection. After both resolve and assuming I already played a land this turn, can I cast cards off the top of my library until I hit a land with no fear of losing life?"

A: There is no bones about it, you can't pay life as a cost to cast spells if your life total can't change. This is a "non-bo" not a combo.

Q: Scarecrow asks "I control Obosh, the Preypiercer and Soul-Scar Mage. If I Lightning Bolt my opponent's Cosmic Horror how many counters does it end up with?"

A: I'm scared to say, it depends what your opponent chooses. They can choose three -1/-1 counters or six -1/-1 counters.

Since they control the affected permanent, and two different replacement effects are trying to modify the 3 damage, they can choose which to apply first.

If they choose Obosh first, the damage doubles to 6, and because damage is still being dealt Soul Scar takes over and it becomes -1/-1 counters.

The more correct choice for them, is to choose Soul Scar first, and since its no longer damage, Obosh doesn't have any effect, and the Cosmic Horror only gets three -1/-1 counters.

Q: A Ninja asks "My Bear Cub is enchanted with my Dying Wish. My opponent kills the cub with Last Gasp. Do I gain any life? Do I lose life? "

A: I can't see who asked this question, but player can't gain or lose negative life, so neither player gains or loses any life from your bear dying.

Q: Cloud Pirates ask "I'm in a 3 player game against Alex and Brenda. Alex controls two Notion Thiefs and Brenda controls one Notion Thief, when I attempt to draw my 2nd card of the turn, what in the world happens next?"

A: Avast Ye, as the effected player you get to choose which of these 3 replacement effect will attempt to happen first.

If you choose one of Alex's Notion Thiefs, then Brenda's Notion Thief will attempt to replace Alex drawing a card, then Alex's other Notion Thief will replace Brenda drawing a card, in the end opponent Alex wins.

If you choose Brenda's Notion Thief, then one of Alex's Notion Thiefs will replace Brenda drawing a card. Alex's other Notion Thief will not take part, and again Alex wins.

Q: Frankenstein's Monster asks "If I cast Bloodbraid Elf and cascade into Bonecrusher Giant can I cast the adventure side or can I only cast the giant?"

A: This should excite your bolts with electricity, because you can cast either side! You can cast the adventure of such cards from really any zone, so long as another ability allows it. Yawgmoth's Will can cast adventures from graveyards. Knowledge Pool can cast adventures from exile. The issue can be abilities that only narrowly allow you to cast from odd zones. Recoup can't because Bonecrusher Giant isn't a sorcery or instant in the graveyard. Lurrus of the Dream Den can only cast permanents so no Venturing Deep.

Q: Infernal Medusa asks "If I cast Eternal Dominion and Twincast it before it resolves, how many copies of Eternal Dominion do I get each turn after that? "

A: You almost have me stuck in place with this question. You get 2 copies each turn. You can't cast spells for the rest of the game if an epic spell resolves, but your making a copy of it before the original copy resolves. And when the copy resolves, the original is already on the stack. Both resolve, and each creates a copy of itself each upkeep (these are not cast), and each resolves just fine.

Q: Princess Lucrezia asks "Yesterday on Magic Arena, my opponent targeted my Myriad Construct with Banishing Light. It never triggered to be sacrificed and got exiled. Did I just find a bug on Arena?"

A: Unfortunately your highness, it worked the way it should. Banishing Light doesn't target your construct as a spell, but with an ability. The construct can be hit with abilities all day long and not care.

Ever gone to a Cemetery on Halloween?
Ever play this card in a deck?

Q: Forge Devil asks "I used to use Brand to get back tokens I gave my opponent from Hunted Horror, someone told me this no longer works. Is that true?"

A: Stealing gifted tokens with Brand used to be a devilish good time. Back in the day, the owner of a token was the controller of the spell or ability that created it. This was changed quite a few years back, now the owner is who was instructed to create the token. So Brand no long gets you back Hunted Horror's centaur tokens.

Q: Serra Angel asks "My opponent turned my commander into an elk with Oko, Thief of Crowns. Can I return my commander to the command zone?"

A: By wings and feathers, no you can't just return your commander to the command zone for being "elk"ed. However, if it dies or leaves the battlefield for some other reason you can still move it to the command zone.

But a blessing in this situation is, the elk still deals commander damage and its considered to be the same commander. So if you already did 18 points of damage to one opponent with your commander before being "elk"ed, it only needs to go unblocked one more time to finish the job.

Q: Animating Faerie asks "I control Mentor of the Meek and then cast Solemn Simulacrum. I plan to both pay the to draw a card and to fetch a land from Simulacrum, but what order do I resolve them in? "

A: If you place multiple triggers on the stack at the same time, you choose the order they are placed. So Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, you can set it up to draw then fetch, or fetch and then draw. If you and other players place multiple triggers on the stack at the same time its a little more complex than this, but that's a different question for a different day.

Q: Apprentice Wizard asks "In an article two weeks ago, you guys said if I control Fiery Emancipation and Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and then I cast Blasphemous Act that I choose whether each of my opponent's creatures take 41 or 45 damage. I thought the opponent would get to choose as they control the affected permanents?"

A: It's possible you might be the master, and me the apprentice now. You are correct, we got this part of the answer wrong. Despite a half a dozen sets of eyes going over each question before we publish, we still make mistakes. The original article now has the correct answer in it. If any of you think we got an answer wrong, please let us know.

Q: Bloodgift Demon asks "I cast Lightning Bolt targeting my opponent, but I hold priority and Spellshift my own Lightning Bolt. The opponent responds by casting Lazotep Plating. Did my Spellshift just get countered since its target lost it's target?"

A: What a hellish question you have set up here. The short answer is you will still get to Spellshift. When a spell looses all its legal targets, it doesn't leave the stack until it attempts to resolve. That means although Lightning Bolt has no legal target, it stays on the stack and waits its turn to resolve. The Spell shift is above it on the stack and will resolve first, countering the Lightning Bolt and likely giving you a free sorcery or instant.

Q: Black Knight asks "I control Jodah, Archmage Eternal and have a Twilight's Call in my hand. Can I cast the Twilight's Call for during my opponent's turn?"

A: Although you move for no man, you can successfully combine Jodah's alternate cost with Twilight's Call's additional cost.

Q: Headless Horseman asks "Last week you talked about the infinite combo that leads to a drawn game with Ashaya, Soul of the Wild plus Realm Razer. What happens if I also have Omnath, Locus of Creation while the combo is happening?"

A: Your opponent probably loses their head. If we assume you haven't played any lands this turn and currently have 6 lands, Realm Razer enters the battlefield as a land and triggers Omnath. You can have this Omnath's trigger resolve before or after Realm Razor's trigger, but it really doesn't matter so lets put it after.

Realm Razor now exiles itself, Omnath, Ashaya, and all lands. They then all come back because Realm Razor left.

You now have Realm Razor's enter trigger, Omnath's draw a card trigger, and 9 Omnath land Triggers. You can order these 11 triggers in any order you choose.

So long as at least 3 Omnath land Triggers resolve before you resolve Realm Razor, you will gain 4 life, make 4 mana, and deal 4 damage to each opponent and planeswalker you don't control.

You can set it up to draw a card each cycle, only to draw so many cards, or to never draw a card, depending if you place the draw a card trigger to resolve before or after Realm Razor. This is relevant if your opponents have considerably more life than you have cards in your library. Since this sets up an infinite combo that is not optional, any triggers placed to resolve after Realm Razor's trigger will never get to resolve.

When Realm Razor's trigger resolves, you rinse and repeat.

Because Omnath leaves the battlefield and returns each cycle, he becomes a brand new object that has had no triggers resolve yet this turn, allowing him to do another batch of life gain, mana making, and damage dealing.

Unless something can stop the combo, you can infinitely deal 4 damage to each opponent.

If for some reason your opponent can't die, such as Angel's Grace, then the game still ends in draw.

The candy is all handed out, the tricks used up. I suppose its as good a time as any to turn off the porch light and call it an evening.

- Justin Hovdenes
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


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