Published on 02/13/2006

A Bloody Good Time

or, There Is Only Gruul

Cranial Translation
[No translations yet]

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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.

Here we are with the last week of Guildpact articles at Cranial Insertion. Since Eli is through-and-through Dimir (that sneaky, evil sonuva...) I asked to take Gruul. I, of course, am more than up to the task. Being a zombie may have flooded me with black mana, but I am still a wild creature at heart! Rar! Bite! Fleas omg!

***Once again, management denies responsibility for any brain damage caused by Moko's articles. Should they be necessary, air-sickness bags are available on the wall to your left.
-CI Management

Borborygmos is busy eating or crushing or something, but we don't need him. I hereby establish the Rot-Fur Clan, consisting of... well, me. But I rock. Respect my authority!

So why is a black-green-red creature writing an article on knowledge? Simple. Eli's giving me bananas for it. I told you those Dimir are sneaky and evil.

***Eli wishes to disavow all reports of his evilness or sneakiness. Now pretend that you never heard about it, or you will be visited in the night by a laser-wielding emu.
-CI Management

Q: What happens if a creature that's being haunted phases out?

A: Oops, we have a retraction! When Tom answered this question last week, he was perfectly correct – last week, a creature phasing out would become unhaunted. But then Wizards changed how haunt works very, very slightly. It is no longer a limited-duration ("as long as") deal, so a phasing creature with something haunting its brainmeats will still be haunted when it comes back. Damn, I love phasing. It makes so fracking little sense.

Q: Will Kird Ape -

A: Yes, Kird Ape will get +1/+2 if you have a Stomping Ground in play. We've seen that question coming since July.

Oh screw these stupid lines,
they're cramping my style.
Q: Can I tap a Wild Cantor for Convoke and then sacrifice it for mana to pay for the card I'm Convoking?

A: No, you can not. This is a tricksy one – when you use convoke to hurry something out, it's not as simple as it seems from a player's point of view. What actually happens is that during the part of announcement where you do things like opt to use buyback and splice, you say "I'm going to tap X creatures to lower the cost."

Then you move on and eventually get to the part where you play mana abilities. You can sacrifice the Cantor here, but then you run into a problem. The next step is to actually pay the costs. Since part of the cost is to tap those creatures you selected to tap for convoke, you can't do it anymore as the Cantor is sorta dead. So you have to rewind and unplay the spell.

Q: Can I use Parallectric Feedback on my own spell?

A: Sure, if you're that desperate to take some damage. Parallectric Feedback only needs to target a spell, any spell, any spell will do, and then it whaps that spell's controller.

Q: Does it matter at all that Hypervolt Grasp thinks it's a Gruul card?

A: Not at all. The guild watermarks are only there to make the cards look pretty. They have absolutely no effect on the game whatsoever. Though the Grasp IS pretty sweet in a Gruul deck, so maybe it's a subliminal hint from Wizards.

Q: If Stangg comes into play when I already have Stangg and Stangg-Twin in play, will any Stangg survive?

A: IMPOSTER! He is not a real Gruul creature, he's just Red and Green. RAR!

* Moko eats Stangg.

So no, no tokens. Because he is not a Gruul. And because his Oracle text says that you only get the token if he's still in play when the triggered ability resolves. Go go intervening "if" clauses!

Q: Will Blood Moon stop Dryad Sophisticate's landwalk?

A: Nope, not really. Blood Moon makes nonbasic lands Mountains, but it does not grant them the "Basic" supertype. The lands are still nonbasic, so the Dryad can still walk all over them.

What happens if Wurmweaver Coil enchants a creature that suddenly becomes Blue?

It dies. Diiiiiiies. DIES! For a given value of "die". It gets put into the graveyard as a state-based effect for being an Aura attached to an illegal object. "Enchant green creature" isn't just a play restriction, it means that at no time can that enchantment sit on a nongreen creature without going splut.

What exactly does "Protection from Instants" do?

Same thing protection from anything else does. DEBT – instants can not damage, enchant (pfft!), equip (bwaaahaha), block (HAHAHAHA), or target the creature. As you can tell by my laughter, only two of those five matter.

If I make my opponent lose life with an Agent of Masks, will that make Scab-Clan Mauler come in with counters?

No, those silly Orzhov deal with loss of life. While damage usually causes loss of life, loss of life does not cause damage, and they are not the same thing. Your Mauler will be WEAK. WUSSY. PUNY.

The Q & A tags also suck. Rar!
Will Savage Twister kill Paladin en-Vec?

Nope. See the "DEBT" thing two questions back. That D is for "damage", and Savage Twister does not deal damage a creature with protection from red, protection from Green, protection from sorceries, protection from cards named "Savage Twister", protection from MAGIC cards, or protection from reprints.

Unless you get Flaring Pain involved. Then protection can't prevent the damage, and the Paladin will buuuurn.

What happens if I somehow play Predatory Focus on my opponent's turn and then block? Can my creatures hit me?

No. Predatory Focus only allows you to ignore one thing while assigning damage – the fact that your creatures are blocked. So your blocking creatures try to ignore the fact that they are blocked, which they find quite easy, and proceed to deal damage to the blocked creatures. Not to you, and not to the attacking player.

Why do you all try to think up interesting ways to make your own cards bash you in the face? Bunch of masochists, you all.

When does Guildpact become legal for FNM?

When I tell it to. And I choose... the 20th of February! For no apparent reason. SERVE MY WHIM.

Ahem. A set becomes legal for constructed tournaments on the 20th of the month of its release. Coldsnap is an exception, being released at the end of June; it'll be legal on 20 July.

If a Skarrgan Skybreaker without counters phases out, then phases in somehow after damage has been dealt to an opponent that turn, does it get counters?

Bloodthirst modifies how thingies come into play – it replaces the normal event with the same thing plus candy. Er, counters. The Comprehensive Rules tell us:

502.15d Permanents phasing in don't trigger any comes-into-play abilities, and effects that modify how a permanent comes into play are ignored

So no, young Skybreaker gets no counters.

If I play a second Ulasht, the Hate Seed, will he get counters for the first Ulasht before dying so Pandemonium will have a fatter trigger?

He will. The counters are one of those "modify how things come into play" things, and the Ulashts won't die until the second one is actually in play.

Doesn't Beastmaster's Magemark just give creatures Rampage: 1?

No. Rampage 1 gives the creature +1/+1 for each creature blocking it *after* the first – the magemark gives +1/+1 for *each* creature blocking it, so it's awesomer.

What if my opponent mana burns? Will that trigger bloodthirst?

Mana burn is also loss of life, not damage. You can see that the Orzhov invented it because if I had my way, the mana would walk up and punch you in the face for not using it instead of merely running off with your life points. So no, no bloodthirst +1/+1 counters.

Which is better, your monkey
or your one-eyed monster?
What'll happen if I give Borborygmos doublestrike?

Your opponent hates you. Your friends hate you. You are shunned from society and forced to live in the wilderness. Join a Gruul clan.

But before all of that happens, Borborygmos whams into something for first-strike damage. If he whammed into your opponent, at least a little, he gives everyone candy. COUNTERS. I keep getting those two confused. So now everyone's bigger – and if they haven't dealt first-strike damage or have double-strike, they'll have those counters before assigning normal combat damage.

If Borborygmos hits again on double-strike, which is extremely likely, then everyone gets more counters, though these won't matter until the next time you attack.

With Leyline of Lifeforce in play, can my opponent not Stifle abilities that trigger when they come into play?

Those are triggered abilities, not creature spells. They can be countered till the cows come home.

Can Silhana Starfletcher block Silhana Ledgewalker?

Sure. For the purposes of checking blocker legality, Starfletcher has flying. For the purposes of checking blocker legality, a creature blocking Ledgewalker must have flying. They make such a cute couple.

Oh... um, I forgot what color my Starfletcher taps for.

* Moko eats your brains.

Then he taps for one generic mana, and you get a warning. From now on, use a little counter or a scrap of paper to keep track of which colour he produces.

Does Burning-Tree Shaman hate Spectral Searchlight?

Burning-Tree Shaman hates almost everything, including but not limited to your mother. But he does not hate the Searchlight enough to kick you in the face for using it, for lo, it is a mana ability!

It is an activated ability that produces mana. Doesn't matter if it's not producing mana for YOU, you greedy thing, it's producing mana and the ability is thus a mana ability. If a certain computer game should tell you otherwise, it's a bug.

I played a Tin Street Hooligan for RG, but the only artifact in play is my Jitte. Can I treat the R is 1 instead so I don't have to blow it up?

No, you can not lie to the game. The game knows that you paid a red mana. IT SEES YOUR INNERMOST THOUGHTS AND SECRETS. You can pretend all you want that that R is really a 1, but you've still paid R for the Hooligan and the ability isn't optional.

If I play a Gruul Scrapper for WWGG using Sunglasses of Urza to pay some of that as red, will the Scrapper have haste?

Read the friendly Oracle text.

Sunglasses of Urza. 3.
W: Add R to your mana pool.

So yeah, it gets haste because you really spent some red to play it. With the original wording, it would not get haste, since you really did spend WWGG for it.

If I play Ghor-Clan Savage with a Leyline of Lightning out, will the Savage get bloodthirst counters?

If you pay 1 for the Leyline, then yes. The Leyline triggers on playing a spell, so it'll trigger and resolve long before the Savage actually gets into play. And the Savage doesn't sniff the air for the scent of crispy opponent until after it gets into play, so that one Leyline damage will make him thirsty. FOR BLOOD. BURN BABY BURN.

I tapped Living Inferno equipped with Sword of the Paruns, and wanted to divide 10 damage, but my opponent says that I can't. Who's right?

He is. Even though most players tap a creature before actually declaring its ability, that's not how it works. Rule 409.1e marks where you have to do the upsplitting, but the Inferno doesn't actually become tapped until 409.1h, three steps later. Back at 409.1e, the Inferno is still untapped, so it's 8/7.

Okay, I'm done. Now I'm going to eat bananas. LOTS OF BANANAS. And your mother.

-Moko, Zombified Rules Chimp

***Until next time, may you and your mother have fun playing with the new guilds of Guildpact! We're done with the guild weeks, so we'll be back next week with normal articles again. For whatever standard of "normal" we have around here.
-CI Management

About the Author:
Moko was born in Tanzania, and died in a tragic accident involving a catapult while being transported from Eli Shiffrin to Thijs van Ommen between the first two Cranial Insertion articles. Subsequently zombified, he helps sort their mail and occasionally answers questions. His pastimes include bananas and brains. Mmm brains.


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