Published on 12/21/2020

Happy Holidays!

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français Italiano

Just humming a few holiday tunes.
Hi everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! We're approaching the end of December, and thus we're either already into the holiday season or rapidly approaching it. While this year's holiday season will be a little different, be sure to reach out to family and friends and wish them a happy holiday season.

But to get you in the holiday spirit, we have some rules questions and answers that we're gifting to you! And if you have a rules question, you can send it in and we'll send you an answer back. We might even use your question in a future article. You can send shorter questions to us via our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and you can send longer questions to our e-mail account .

Q: I control Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar and my commander, Kresh the Bloodbraided, who is currently a 21/21. I attack with Kresh and he deals damage to one of my opponents, who then loses the game. Will the damage from Kediss's trigger also count as commander damage and cause my other opponents to lose the game?

A: Nope, they won't lose the game (unless their life total happens to be 21 or less). In order to lose the game via commander damage, you have to be dealt 21 or more points of combat damage from the same commander. While Kediss's ability is triggering because of combat damage being dealt, spells and abilities never deal combat damage, even if they happen during combat. So while your other opponents will take 21 damage from Kediss's trigger, it's not combat damage, so your other opponent won't automatically lose the game because of Kediss's trigger.

Q: Let's say I really don't like my opponent drawing extra cards, so I have both Hullbreacher and Narset, Parter of Veils in play. If one of us casts something like Wheel of Fortune, will I get treasures or will Narset stop them from drawing?

A: It comes down if your opponent has already drawn this turn or not. If your opponent has not drawn this turn, then each time the opponent would draw, that draw is replaced with you making a treasure instead. Narset won't get a chance to stop them from drawing, since they never draw their first card of the turn thanks to Hullbreacher, so you'll get seven treasures.

But if they have drawn a card this turn (for instance, it's your opponent's turn, and they're casting Wheel of Fortune after drawing for the turn), you don't get anything. Your Narset sees that your opponent has drawn for the turn, so it stops them from trying to draw any further cards. You don't get a chance to apply a replacement effect, since the draw is stopped before it can happen, so Hullbreacher never gets a chance to apply and you don't get any treasures.

Q: I control a pile of equipment, an Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist, and a Valduk, Keeper of the Flame. Can I stack the triggers so I can attach all of my equipment to Ardenn and then get a bunch of tokens?

A: Yep, you can do that. Valduk's ability will trigger at the beginning of combat on your turn, even if there's no auras or equipment attached to it. Ardenn's ability is triggering at the same time, so you can stack the triggers and resolve Ardenn's trigger first, attaching all of your equipment to Valduk, then resolve Valdul's trigger and get your tokens.

Q: If I attack and damage my opponent with Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor, do I own the tokens, for the purpose of Blim, Comedic Genius's triggered ability?

A: Nope, your opponent owns the tokens, not you. The owner of a token is the player who is instructed to create the token, not the player that controls the spell or ability that makes the token. While it's your Varchild trigger that's causing your opponent to create the tokens, the trigger is telling your opponent to create the tokens, so your opponent is the owner of the tokens. The survivor tokens from your Varchild trigger will not count as a permanent you own for Blim's triggered ability.

Q: I control a Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant. I activate the ability of Bane Alley Broker, and exile a Profane Transfusion face down. Will Bell Borca's power become 9 for the rest of the turn?

A: Nope, Bell Borca's power won't be affected at all. A card that's exiled face down has no characteristics. Even if you can look at the face down card, it can't be seen by all players, so the game can't get any information about the card. And since it can't get any information about the card, we treat its converted mana cost as zero, so exiling the Transfusion face down won't help out Bell Borca.

Q: I control Krark, the Thumbless. If I cast Culling the Weak sacrificing Krark, will I get a Krark trigger?

A: You do not. Krark has to be on the battlefield when the spell becomes cast in order to trigger. But in order for a spell to become cast, we have to pay the costs to cast the spell first. If you sacrifice Krark to cast Culling the Weak, Krark leaves play before it becomes cast, and you won't get a Krark trigger from casting Culling the Weak.

Q: My opponent controls Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose. If they cast Fumigate, will Vito trigger from the life gained from Fumigate?

A: Vito will not trigger. Vito must be on the battlefield when the life is gained in order to trigger. When Fumigate resolves, all creatures are destroyed first, then they gain life equal to the number of creatures destroyed by Fumigate. Since Vito was destroyed first, it's not on the battlefield when the life is gained, so Vito will not trigger from the life gained by Fumigate.

Take some time and get in the festive spirit this year.

Q: I control Kels, Fight Fixer, Priest of Forgotten Gods, and two random creatures. If I activate the Priest's ability, do I get the mana from the Priest's ability in time to pay for Kels's triggered abilities?

A: Nope, you do not. While it may seem like the Priest has a mana ability, it doesn't, since it can target. And one of the requirements for an activated ability to be a mana ability is that it can't target. The triggers from Kels will go on the stack above the Priest's activated ability and those triggers will resolve first. So you won't be able to use the mana from the Priest's ability to pay for Kels's triggers.

Q: I control Gideon Blackblade, who is currently a creature. I cycle Avian Oddity and give Gideon a flying counter. Does that mean my opponent can only attack Gideon with flying creatures now?

A: Nope, the flying counter will help Gideon when he attacks, but it won't prevent him from being attacked. Having flying restricts what can block it when it attacks, but it doesn't do anything for a planeswalker that's going to be attacked. A planeswalker with flying can still be attacked by non-flyers like normal.

Q: If my opponent controls Heliod, Sun-Crowned, and I attack with a creature, can my opponent give my creature lifelink with Heliod's ability so they gain life from my creature dealing damage?

A: Nope, that doesn't work. Lifelink means that the controller of the creature is the one gaining life, not the player that gave the creature lifelink. Giving your creature lifelink is only helping you out, not your opponent, since you'll be gaining the life.

Your opponent might be thinking of old cards like Spirit Link, which was a triggered ability of the Link, not an ability given to the creature. With Spirit Link, you could play it on an opponent's creature, and when that creature dealt damage, the Link would trigger and you (the controller of Spirit Link) would gain the life.

Q: My opponent controls a Rampaging Ferocidon. If I cast Swords to Plowshares on the Ferocidon, will my opponent gain any life?

A: Your opponent will gain three life like normal. When Swords to Plowshares resolves, the first thing we do is exile the Ferocidon. Then your opponent gains three life. The Ferocidon isn't on the battlefield when the life is gained, since it was exiled before the life gain, so your opponent's Ferocidon won't stop them from gaining the life from your Swords.

Q: I control Obzedat, Ghost Council, which I exiled at the end of my previous turn. During my upkeep, my opponent counters the return trigger with Stifle. What happens to Obzedat?

A: Obzedat is stuck in exile for the rest of the game. The ability that returns Obzedat is a delayed triggered ability - it triggers and resolves during your upkeep. But if that ability is countered, Obzedat stays in exile. And the delayed trigger only triggers once - at the beginning of your next upkeep after you exiled it to its end step trigger. Since the ability was countered, it won't resolve, and it won't trigger on a future upkeep, so your Obzedat will end up stuck in exile.

Q: I control Momir Vig, Simic Visionary. If I cast Void Grafter, do I get Momir Vig's triggers?

A: Nope, you won't get any triggers. While Void Grafter has the blue and green mana symbols in its mana cost, because Void Grafter has devoid, that makes the Grafter colorless. It's not a blue or green creature spell, so casting Void Grafter won't cause either of Momir Vig's abilities to trigger.

Just try not to eat too many sweets.

Q: I control a Reality Acid that's attached to an opponent's permanent. If I cast Flood of Tears, will the permanent the Acid is attached to end up in my opponent's hand or sacrificed?

A: Unless you attached the Acid to a land they control, their permanent ends up safely back in their hand. Flood of Tears returns all of the permanents at the same time, so by the time the Acid's trigger is going on the stack once the Tears is done resolving, all of the nonland permanents have been returned to their owner's hands. If the Acid was attached to their land, since their land is still on the battlefield, it will be sacrificed. But if the Acid was attached to a nonland permanent, that permanent is back in their hand and can't be sacrificed when the Acid's trigger resolves.

Q: If I cast Master Warcraft, can I choose to have my opponent attack with some creatures, and then have them use their other creatures to block their attacking creatures?

A: You cannot. All attacks and blocks must still be legal. You can only block a creature that's attacking you or a planeswalker you control, so while you can make your opponent attack with some of their creatures, you can't make them block their own attacking creatures, since they're not a defending player.

Q: I control a Mirror Gallery. Does that mean I can play a legendary sorcery like Primevals' Glorious Rebirth without controlling a legendary creature or planeswalker?

A: Nope, that doesn't work. All Mirror Gallery does is let you ignore the "legend rule". It doesn't remove legendary from any card or affect how a legendary sorcery or instant works. If you want to cast the Rebirth, you still need to control a legendary creature or planeswalker - Mirror Gallery won't help you out at all.

Q: My opponent's Pristine Angel is currently tapped, and they're tapped out, so I take advantage and I cast Chillbringer and target the Angel. Can the Angel still untap if my opponent casts a spell?

A: Sure, the Angel will untap like normal. Chillbringer prevents your opponent's Angel from untapping during their untap step, but not from untapping due to other spells and abilities. The Angel won't untap during your opponent's untap step, but if they cast a spell, the Angel's ability will trigger and they'll be able to untap their Angel.

Q: My opponent controls Purphoros, God of the Forge with enough devotion to make it a creature. I control a Dominating Licid, but my devotion to red is currently zero. If I activate the Licid's ability targeting my opponent's Purphoros, what happens?

A: You killed your Licid for no real reason. When the Licid's ability resolves, it becomes an aura and attaches to Purphoros, and you gain control of Purphoros. But once Purphoros is under your control, Purphoros is no longer a creature since your devotion to red at this point is just one. Since the Licid isn't attached to a creature, the Licid unattaches and goes to the graveyard. And since the Licid is no longer attached to Purphoros, your opponent gets their Purphoros back.

In short - your Licid won't do very much, since it will attach, and then almost immediately die. The only benefit to this situation is that your opponent's Purphoros will be affected by "summoning sickness" again, but otherwise, it's a waste of a Licid.

Q: My opponent controls Shimmer, and they named "Forest" as it entered the battlefield. Will Shimmer also give my Snow-Covered Forests phasing?

A: Yep, your Snow-Covered Forests will also have phasing. Shimmer asks your opponent to choose a land type, and it will give all lands with that land type phasing. It doesn't care about the name of the card. If your opponent picked "Forest" with Shimmer, then it will give all lands with the Forest subtype phasing, not just cards named "Forest".

Q: How does a card like Aurification work in two-headed giant? If one of their creatures damages my teammate, will it get the gold counter?

A: It will not. For a card like Aurification to trigger, you must be the player dealt damage, not your teammate. While your teammate taking damage will result in your team's life total going down, it doesn't count as you being dealt damage, so Aurification doesn't work as well in a game of two-headed giant, since they can just attack or damage your teammate to dodge the Aurification trigger.

That's it for this week. Happy holidays, and we'll see you again next week!


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

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

Follow our RSS feed!