Published on 04/30/2012

If Life Gives You Demons

or, Make Demonade

Cranial Translation
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Note: This article is over two years old. Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes. Proceed with caution.

I've got a theory
That it's a Demon,
A dancing Demon -
No, something isn't right there.
Liliana popped her ultimate, and Thalia chose to sacrifice the Helvault, and out of the sundered silver spire arose... a hurricane of puns! Yes!

I mean, seriously. Soulbond alone has an infinity of marriage jokes. For example:

  • Cast Evil Twin or Clone on a creature with soulbond so it marries its clone or its evil twin.
  • Pair Diregraf Escort with a Zombie for wacky odd-couple antics.
  • When you flicker a paired creature to break the pairing and not immediately re-establish that pair, shout "Divorce!"
  • When you flicker a paired creature to break the pairing and do immediately re-establish that pair, shout "Jerry Springer!"
  • Pair Soulless One with anything.

And then we get into Doctor Who's weeping angels...

Anyway, enough flavor, it's time for some rules! This week's article focuses solely on Avacyn Restored cards. Make sure you also read the official FAQ document, since it covers a great deal more than I'm covering here today.

I'm sure you all still have more questions, so email them in or tweet at us!

Q: Is there any way at all to get a creature paired with two other creatures?

A: Nope; lots of people are trying to figure out a way to do it, but it's completely impossible. The soulbond trigger won't do anything upon resolution if you can't pair two unpaired creatures; and as a fallback, the new Comprehensive Rules include one rule explicitly stating that this is impossible!

Q: I have Wingcrafter paired already, but I want to pair him with my new creature. Can I just break the pairing and create a new one?

A: You cant just break it because you don't want them paired anymore - it's not quite "till death do us part," but it's pretty close. Once you choose to pair two creatures, they'll remain paired until one of them leaves your control, either by changing control or leaving the battlefield (or until one stops being a creature, but that is less likely to happen). You'll have to do one of those (preferably the latter, with an effect such as Cloudshift) in order to nullify the pairing and create a new one.

Q: My opponent drew his card for the turn, then showed me a card with miracle from his hand and said he just drew it. Judge?

A: Sorry, opponent, no can do. You need to reveal your miracle before it's remotely confusable with your hand; if it touches the rest of the cards at all it's too late. It's very much like Delver of Secrets, so it's no more or less abusable than Delver is.

Q: I drew a card with miracle for my turn, but I don't want to cast it just yet. Can I reveal it, but wait until later in the turn to cast it?

A: Miracles must be cast during the resolution of their trigger. They don't set up a delayed permission like Havengul Lich does (note the "this turn" on that, as opposed to miracles). It's now or never if you're holding out for a miracle.

Am I crazy?

Am I dreamin'?

Am I marrying a Demon?
Q: Can I cast a miracle sorcery if I draw it during my opponent's turn?

A: Sure! You cast the miracle during the resolution of the miracle trigger. Normally, you can't cast anything at all while a triggered ability is resolving, but miracle's trigger gives you special permission to cast it, right away, regardless of what card types it may be.

Q: Since there's no time for state-based actions to make my token cease to exist, can I flicker it with Cloudshift or something?

A: That used to work, way back in Time Spiral. But lo, the rules have changed! Now a token that leaves the battlefield cannot possibly ever return.

Q: All of these new cards are telling me to exile creatures and bring them back "under your control" - does that mean the same as other cards that say "under its owner's control"?

A: Nope! Their owner is the player who started the game with them; that isn't you, if you gained control of the creature in question. Using Cloudshift on a creature you temporarily stole will result in you being its new default controller (but still not owner), and nothing will force you to give it back after the turn.

Q: If I Act of Treason a creature, can I steal it with Conjurer's Closet before Act of Treason wears off?

A: How sneaky! That works just fine. The end step is before the cleanup step. Conjurer's Closet triggers at the end step; Act of Treason wears off during the cleanup step, and won't even apply to the creature you blinked anyway.

Q: After Karn, Liberated restarts the game, I get to start with a Forest and a creature out. Can I miracle Revenge of the Hunted if it's the first card I draw in my opening seven?

A: You won't. Miracle only triggers if it's the first card drawn during a turn... and before the game starts, it's not a turn at all!

Q: I was going to put two counters on each of two creatures with Blessings of Nature, but one got killed in response. Does the other one get four counters now?

A: Nope, it still just gets two. When you're instructed to divide things up like this, you do so during announcement, and that division is locked in and won't change later even if some of what you divided up ends up going florp.

Q: If Tamiyo, the Moon Sage uses up all of her loyalty to make her emblem, will she come back to my hand?

A: She won't. She'll go to your yard immediately after her ability's been activated, long before it resolves and creates that emblem that would save her from the grave. Poor Tamiyo.

She came from the grave much graver
Q: Does Tamiyo, the Moon Sage's emblem really let me cast Manamorphose over and over again to draw the rest of my deck?

A: It really does. This is kind of a case of "Read the Friendly Card," since "from anywhere" means exactly that, but the simplicity of going infinite with any mana-producing spell has resulted in a lot of "wait, really?" If it's any consolation, getting her emblem shouldn't be too easy, so if you can pull it off, you get what you deserve.

Q: Can Aggravate force a creature with protection from red to attack?

A: It won't. Only creatures dealt damage by Aggravate have to attack, and protection from red prevents damage from red sources like Aggravate.

Q: Will Cathars' Crusade pump all of my tokens for Entreat the Angels for X, or one for X, one for X-1, one for X-2, etcetera?

A: It'll pump them all. All X of your Angels enter the battlefield simultaneously, and then all of your Crusade triggers go on the stack, resolve one at a time, and put a +1/+1 counter on all of your creatures.

Q: I control Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and attack, but my opponent Divine Deflections 4 of the damage back at me. How much damage do we each end up taking?

A: When multiple replacement effects want to apply to a player, that player gets to choose the order. So your opponent has a Deflection and doubling effect to deal with; he can choose to apply Deflection first so that 1 damage is going to him and 4 is going to you, and then Gisela's effects apply making you both take 2 damage.

Q: After my opponent chooses to pay 4 life to make me sacrifice Vexing Devil, can I Cloudshift it to make him choose again?

A: You can't. No player can do anything at all between the time the choice to pay life is made and the time the Devil is sacrificed.

Q: Can my Appetite for Brains eat a split card like Fire // Ice where each half has a CMC of 2?

A: But Fire // Ice doesn't have a converted mana cost of 4 - it has two converted mana costs of 2 each. This acts much like 4 if something simply asks "Hey baby, what's your CMC?" but when something asks "Is your CMC 4?" it'll answer "Nope." If something asked "Is your CMC 2?" then it'd answer yes, though.

Bunnies! Bunnies!
It must be bunnies!
Q: Can I cast Dangerous Wager if it's the last card in my hand?

A: You sure can! An instruction to "discard your hand" can always be done, even if your hand contains zero cards. This is different from many other games where discarding your hand can't happen if you have no cards in it, but Magic is just nice to you like that.

Q: Bruna, Light of Alabaster attacks and sucks all of the Vows onto her. How do their restrictions on attacking work now?

A: Assuming your opponents control the Vows, since there isn't much of a question here otherwise: they work pretty mean, but not for this turn. You don't gain control of them, so "you" on the Vows still refer to their controllers. However, since Bruna's already attacking, the Vows won't rewind time to undo that. She's attacking whoever she was attacking! But in later turns, she won't feel like attacking that player anymore.

Q: I control Druids' Repository with no counters on it, and my opponent controls Norn's Annex. Can I attack with three creatures and use their Repository counters to pay ?

A: Sadly, no. You'll have to pay the Annex's toll before the creatures can become attacking creatures. Druids' Repository only triggers after that point, so it won't have counters for making mana till later.

Q: Can I activate Scroll of Griselbrand during my opponent's draw step before he can cast what he draws?

A: Most discard effects say you can activate them only when you could cast a sorcery - that isn't because the rules make it so, but for balance. However, for this little Scroll, you get a very rare instant-timing-discard opportunity! You can activate it during your opponent's draw step (or in response to his miracle triggers!) to make him discard a card before he can move on to his main phase, leaving only instants and cards with flash to be cast.

Q: My opponent named "Titan" with Cavern of Souls. Can I let that stand since the Titans are actually Giants and he won't get to spend the mana on them?

A: Oh boy, here's a fun loaded question. No, you may not allow your opponent to name an illegal creature type. He has to name a real type that exists in Magic.

Now, the fun is what to do if this has already happened. Your opponent will rewind his current action, most likely casting a Titan, and name an actual creature type, most likely Giant. Both players get a Warning for allowing an illegal thing to happen. Alternatively, the judge might just rule that "Titan" is a fairly clear shortcut for "Giant," since what the player meant is fairly unambiguous, and no one gets any penalties.

However, if you knew this was illegal and wanted him to suffer for an illegal action, your opponent's got a match win because you're getting disqualified. Don't let illegal things happen.

What a lot of fun. You guys have been real swell! I'm signing off for this week, but make sure to come back next week for James's first article as a CI writer.

Until next time, ponder the implications of pink demonade.

- Eli Shiffrin

About the Author:
Eli Shiffrin is currently in Lowell, Massachusetts and discovering how dense the east coast MTG community is. Legend has it that the Comprehensive Rules are inscribed on the folds of his brain.

Bunnies. Bunnies!
#1 • Date: 2012-04-30 • Time: 09:41:03 •
What about Entreat the Angels and Gaddock Teeg?
Will X be locked in before Gaddock checks and says "No!" (assuming X>0), or is cmc 3 just fine for him?
Will I lose the mana I spent, trying to play Entreat (with no other options to spend it)?
#2 • Date: 2012-05-06 • Time: 06:13:48 •
Quote (reidan):
What about Entreat the Angels and Gaddock Teeg?
Will X be locked in before Gaddock checks and says "No!" (assuming X>0), or is cmc 3 just fine for him?
Will I lose the mana I spent, trying to play Entreat (with no other options to spend it)?

Gaddock Teeg prevents you from casting Entreat the Angels altogether, since it's a noncreature spell with X in its mana cost.
#3 • Date: 2012-05-06 • Time: 12:55:14 •

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