Published on 11/02/2020


Cranial Translation
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Spring forward, fall back!
Greetings and welcome back to another issue of Cranial Insertion! Daylight Saving Time ended this past weekend in the US, so I got an extra hour of sleep, but it doesn't seem to have helped much. With sunset happening at a time that I would call late afternoon, my body is beginning to feel the urge to take a nap until April. Of course, such a long nap would interfere with my responsibilities at Cranial Insertion, so I'll arm myself with a nice cup of coffee to answer your rules questions.

If you have questions you'd like us to answer, please email them to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. One of our writers will respond to you, and your question might appear in a future article.

Q: If I control Cunning Nightbonder and Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage, can I cast historic spells for less?

A: Nope. Raff Capashen allows you to cast historic spells as though they had flash, which means that the game pretends that the spell has flash only for the purpose of determining when you're allowed to cast it. When it comes to calculating the total cost for the spell, it doesn't actually have flash, so Cunning Nightbonder's ability doesn't apply.

Q: I have 15 life more than my starting life total and I attack my opponent with Kaalia of the Vast, and I choose Angel of Destiny for Kaalia's trigger. Does my opponent lose the game at the beginning of the end step?

A: Your opponent will be relieved to hear that the answer is no. Angel of Destiny was put onto the battlefield tapped and attacking your opponent, but it never attacked your opponent. In order to have attacked, it must have been declared as an attacker.

Q: I control Nacatl War-Pride and attack with it, and let's say I get four copies of Nacatl War-Pride, and let's say they all survive the first combat phase. If I get an extra combat phase with Moraug, Fury of Akoum and attack with all Nacatl War-Prides, do all of them make more copies?

A: Yes, but you'll need something to give the tokens haste. The tokens are initially put on the battlefield tapped and attacking, and they don't need haste to do that. In order for you to attack with them in the extra combat phase, they'll need to be untapped — which Moraug takes care of — and they'll need to have haste. As long as something gives them haste, you can attack with all five Nacatl War-Prides, and each of them makes as many copies as your opponent has creatures at that time.

Q: If I Rise Again a Shipwreck Dowser, can Shipwreck Dowser return that Rise Again to my hand?

A: Yes, you can do that. Rise Again returns Shipwreck Dowser to the battlefield and then it goes to the graveyard. Then you put Shipwreck Dowser's enter-the-battlefield ability on the stack and choose a target for it. Rise Again is in your graveyard now, so it's a legal target for Shipwreck Dowser's ability.

Q: I control my opponent, for example with Mindslaver, and I'm making them cast Granted. Can I see their sideboard?

A: No. Controlling your opponent allows you to see hidden information about objects in the game that is visible to them, such as their hand and face-down creatures they control, but this does not extend to cards that are outside the game. When Granted resolves, the only legal choice you can make for your opponent is not to choose a card at all.

Q: Does the Treasure-creating ability of Negan, the Cold-Blooded get doubled by Teysa Karlov?

A: No. Teysa Karlov's effect only applies to triggered abilities that are triggered by a creature dying, while Negan's ability is triggered by a creature being sacrificed. While sacrificing a creature does cause it to die, it was the sacrifice that triggered Negan's ability, not the creature's death.

Q: If I control Phage the Untouchable, can I win the game by giving Phage to my opponent with Bazaar Trader?

A: That's a cute idea, but it doesn't work the way you're hoping it to work. When a creature changes controllers, it doesn't leave the battlefield and reenter the battlefield under another player's control; it simply switches sides on the battlefield. Since Phage didn't enter the battlefield under your opponent's control, your opponent is safe from its trigger.

Who ordered the angry Jell-O?
Q: I control Ravenous Slime and a 1/1 dies from getting a -1/-1 counter. Does Ravenous Slime get a +1/+1 counter?

A: No. The 0/0 gets exiled by Ravenous Slime's ability, and then you put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to its power on Raveous Slime, but that number is 0. This actually makes sense from a flavor perspective, if you'll allow me to combine the concepts of "slime" and "flavor" in your mind. The Slime devours the creature and it gets as much substance and nutritional value from the 0/0 as if it were a tiny wad of cotton candy.

Q: I control Alms Collector and my opponent controls Teferi's Ageless Insight. If my opponent casts a spell to one or more cards, what happens?

A: It depends whether it's "one" or "more", so let's look at both cases. First, let's say your opponent is resolving the card draw from Ponder. The pending event is "your opponenent draws a card", and the game checks what replacement effects apply to that event. Only the effect from Teferi's Ageless Insight applies, so the event is changed to "your opponent draws two cards." Now the game checks again and sees that Alms Collector's effect applies to the event, so the event is changed to "you and your opponent each draw a card." No more replacement effects are applicable and the event happens.

Now, let's say your opponent is resolving Divination. The pending event is "your opponent draws two cards", and the game checks which replacement effects apply. Alms Collector is applicable and it must be considered first because it refers to the number of cards drawn, while Teferi's Ageless Insight talks about individual card draws. The pending event is changed to "you and your opponent each draw a card." Now Teferi's Ageless Insight's effect gets applies and changes the event to "you draw a card and your opponent draws two cards", and that's the event that happens. Alms Collector's effect can't apply again because it already applied to the event.

Q: I use Robber of the Rich to exile Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire from my opponent's library. Can I cast Heart's Desire from exile?

A: Sure. The effect from Robber of the Rich allows you to cast "that card" without any restriction, and when you cast the card, you get to choose whether to cast it as a creature or as an adventure.

Q: If I cast it as an adventure, who gets to cast it as a creature later, my opponent or me?

A: You get to do that. You follow the instructions of Heart's Desire when it resolves. When it's done resolving, you exile it and the game sets up the effect that allows you to cast the card as a creature. However, note that you'll have to come up with the correct color of mana to cast it; the effect from Robber of the Rich that allowed to do spend mana of any color no longer applies to the card at that time.

Q: If I change the text of a permanent spell with More or Less or Magical Hacker, will its text be altered permanently when it enters the battlefield?

A: Yes, where "permanently" means as long as it stays on the battlefield. The text-changing effect on the spell carries through to the permanent it becomes. If it leaves the battlefield, even if just for a moment, the effect ends.

Q: Does Eidolon of Rhetoric stop Verazol, the Split Current from copying spells?

A: Nope. Copying a spell is different from casting a spell. Eidolon of Rhetoric stops players from casting more than one spell each turn, but it says nothing about copying spells.

Mmm, wings.
Q: Do I need a tapped creature to cast Rally of Wings?

A: No. Rally of Wings doesn't target a tapped creature, or anything else for that matter. When it resolves, it does as much as it can. If all your creatures are already untapped, the impossible action of untapping your creatures is ignored, and all your flying creatures still get +2/+2 until end of turn.

Q: Let's say I control Ensnaring Bridge and I have one card in my hand, which is Invigorate. After I attack with a 1/1, can I cast Invigorate on it and the attack will still go through?

A: Absolutely. Attack restrictions are only checked when attackers are declared. At that time, your 1/1 met the restriction, so the attack is legal, and raising the attacker's power later won't remove it from combat.

Q: If there's Widespread Panic out and I use Vampiric Tutor, in which order do the tutored card and the card from my hand end up on top of the library?

A: You have to finish resolving Vampiric Tutor before the trigger from Widespread Panic can even go on the stack. The tutored card goes on top of the library first, then the trigger from Widespread Panic resolves and you put a card from your hand on top of your library.

Q: My opponent controls a Plague Engineer that hates Snakes, and I play an Ice-Fang Coatl. Do I still get a card draw trigger from it?

A: Sure. The Ice-Fang Coatl enters the battlefield as a 0/0, but it enters the battlefield nevertheless, and it triggers its ability in the process. State-based actions send it to the graveyard immediately, but then its ability still goes on the stack and resolves normally.

Q: If I play Walking Ballista for X=0, Metallic Mimic (naming Construct) will give it a +1/+1 counter, but Hardened Scales (instead of Metallic Mimic) will not. Why is that?

A: The difference is that Metallic Mimic only looks for a creature of the chosen type entering the battlefield, and it gives the creature a +1/+1 counter in addition to any +1/+1 counters it would normally get. The Walking Ballista would enter the battlefield with zero counters, so Metallic Mimic gives it one more than zero, so one. Hardened Scales, on the other hand, looks for the event of "one or more" counters being put on a creature you control. Zero counters is not one or more, so a Walking Ballista entering the battlefield with zero counters flies under the radar of Hardened Scales's replacement effect and doesn't get that additional counter.

Q: One of my opponents exiles my commander with Palace Jailer and I choose to put it into the command zone. What happens when another player becomes the monarch later?

A: Nothing happens to your commander. Palace Jailer exiles it, and then a state-based action lets you move it from exile to the command zone. Since the card is no longer where Palace Jailer's ability put it, it can't return the card to the battlefield when another player becomes the monarch.

And that's it for today's selection of questions. Thanks for reading and please come back next week for more. My coffee has worn off, so I'm gonna go take a nap now.

- 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.


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