Published on 11/13/2006

A Fine Vintage

or, An Extended Legacy of Puns

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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

Following Tom's article last week on Standard, Eli decided to write an article involving older cards. Then he decided to go out to California early for GenCon and stuffed me in the trunk. So this is my revenge. I'm writing his article in the trunk of his friend's car as we go bumping down Interstate 10.

I think we just hit an armadillo.

I won't be around for the next week or so to sort emails at , but if you write in, I'm sure Tom, Ted, or Brian will catch it among all of the delicious spam.

[And Eli, too busy in Anaheim with -- er . . . let's not go there -- doesn't have time to undo Moko's evil deeds and write a real article. We apologize in advance for any trauma, repressed memories, mindless horrors, or loss of IQ that this article may cause. Should you see Eli at GenCon SoCal, you are more than welcome to take out your newfound psychoses on him.
-- Cranial Insertion Management

Stabby death!
Q: If I Trickbind my Masticore's upkeep trigger, can I still play its regeneration ability?

A: Trickbind says that activated abilities can't be played "if a permanent's ability is countered this way" –- that includes both triggered and activated. You've just countered the permanent's ability, so no, no activating its other abilities. Try regenerating it a few times in response to the upkeep trigger, since regeneration shields last until the end of turn.

Q: Can I play Panglacial Wurm using my Millikin for mana if the Wurm is the top card of my library?

A: Yeah, but be careful how you do it. The first step of playing a spell is to move it to the stack from the zone it's in, so you won't have to worry about milling away the wurmy goodness, but make sure that it's abundantly clear that you have not altered the order of your library before using the mana ability. Savage cheating makes judges sad.

Q: Can I play Shimmer, choosing Urza's, or do I have to choose Urza's Mine, Urza's Tower, or something?

A: Oddly enough, "Urza's" is a land type unto itself. Look at Urza's Factory. Doesn't "Land -- Urza's" look dumb? But hey, it's a subtype.

You can't even possibly choose "Urza's Mine," "Urza's Tower," "Urza's Power-Plant," or "Urza's Hot-Tub." Those are each two subtypes, not one, and you only get to choose one for Shimmer. And Hot-Tub isn't even really a subtype.

Q: After all of Urza's stuff phases out, can I get rid of Shimmer so they can't get it back?

A: They will come back. Only objects with phasing will phase out during the untap step, but everything phased out will phase in unless something specifically prevents it.

Q: Will Commandeer get me the storm copies of Tendrils of Agony, too?

A: No copies for you! By the time you can play Commandeer, the storm trigger is already on the stack. Since your opponent controlled Tendrils when it triggered, he controls the storm trigger and will get the copies. It doesn't matter who controls the Tendrils when the trigger resolves, since "controller" is not a copiable value.

Q: I play Tormod's Crypt, and my opponent has a Psychatog on the board, a full graveyard, and a Naturalize in hand. Can he blow up my Crypt before I smash his graveyard?

A: Not unless you let him. After the Crypt resolves, the active player gets priority again. Since you just played an artifact spell, it's probably your turn, so that's you. Now you can sacrifice the Crypt, and then it's gone and can't be Naturalized anymore.

Q: Could we sanction a Two-Headed Giant Vintage tournament?

A: Sure, have fun. Any format except for booster draft that you can sanction for one-on-one play can also be sanctioned for 2HG.

Killing 20 Survivor tokens with
Pyroclasm is just funny.
Q: May I choose a different opponent for each age counter on Varchild's War-Riders?

A: Yup. Rule 502.13a says in part:

If [the CU cost] has choices associated with it, each choice is made separately for each age counter, then either the entire set of costs is paid, or none of them is paid.

Spread around the Survivor love.

Q: I don't understand why Contested Cliffs won't deal damage if one of the creatures is bounced.

A: This is an obscure one. Rule 413.2a is a long block of text, but here's the important sentence:

If a target is illegal, the spell or ability can't perform any actions on it or make the target perform any actions.

The creature that's gone can't be made to deal damage. If the Cliffs were going to deal the damage itself, it would use last-known information, but that's not the case.

Q: What if I target a black creature and give my Beast protection from black in response to the Contested Cliffs ability?

A: Hey, the Cliffs aren't black. Your Beast is still a legal target. Just an unfair one, since the black creature's damage will all be prevented.

Q: Telling Time and Shared Fate – do I get to play with my opponent's library?

A: Just because you're pretending to draw from your opponent's library doesn't make it yours. You'll still look at the top three cards of your library, and since Telling Time doesn't make you draw a card, you'll put a card in your hand from your own library. Yay.

Q: What do I reveal if I use Sindbad with Shared Fate out?

A: Sindbad loses interest very quickly if any replacement effects fiddle with his ability. In many cases, this is obvious -– if you replace the draw with dredge, you certainly can't reveal the "drawn" card since no card was drawn.

It's a little more obscure that no matter what replaces the draw, the rest of his ability wanders off to do nothing. Even if you end up drawing a card from a replacement effect like Zur's Weirding, you won't have to reveal and discard it if it's nonland. The revealing is part of the draw itself, not a separate effect that happens following the draw.

Q: How is Ertai's Meddling different from suspend?

A: Ertai's Meddling is a card. Suspend is a mechanic. That was easy!

To be more specific, the Meddling ends up putting a copy of the spell on the stack, and suspend has you play the spell. This can cause wacky situations with face-down spells and preserves the X in variable spells.

Q: Will Children of Korlis gain back life spent on Yawgmoth's Bargain?

A: Any decrease in life total is a loss of life, and paying life sure makes your life total go down. Just don't go down to zero or the children will be unable to perform CPR on you before state-based effects drag you off.

Q: I have a really awesome mint condition Beta Black Lotus! Can I bring it with me and have a proxy made for Vintage tournament so I don't ruin it?

A: Noooo, that's a big no-no. :( Proxies may only be issued under two circumstances: When a card becomes marked during the tournament, and when a card is opened in sealed or draft and is marked. The head judge is the only one who can issue proxies. If you really want to keep your precious safe, the only options are really good sleeves or not playing with it.

You! Out of the gene pool!
Q: Do tokens cease to exist after they're phased out, or does phasing break that rule, too?

A: Amazingly enough, the existence of tokens works the same with phasing as it does with everything else! Your token will cease to be! It will be an ex-token!

Q: What if I have a Galvanic Arc attached to a token? Will it come back and shoot someone?

A: Your Arc will NEVER phase back in! It lives in phase-out zone forever! This "indirect" phasing is not subject to the rule that "all objects" phase back in - Auras and Equipments won't come back unless the thing they're sitting on comes back.

Do remember that even if the Arc phases in on a creature, come-into-play abilities do not trigger when things phase in, so you won't get to deal 3 damage.

Q: If I play Wrath of God with Teysa, Orzhov Scion and two Mourning Thrulls in play, will I get some new fliers?

A: You will. Abilities that trigger on things leaving play will trigger if the permanent that they're on leaves play at the same time as other stuff.

Q: How does Trinisphere interact with suspend? What about storm?

A: It won't bother storm a bit. Those copies are put on the stack, not played.

With suspend, however, you'll be playing that card as it comes out of the blue. Trinisphere sees you trying to play a spell and paying less than 3 for it, so it spazzes out and starts screaming at you. You can either pay that 3, or you cannot play the spell.

Note that if you add a voice chip to Trinisphere to make it actually scream, your card will most likely be marked. And you won't get a proxy.

Q: A Mischievous Quanar and Enraging Licid both loan their abilities to Quicksilver Elemental. The elemental turns into an enchantment and sits on a creature, then turns face-down. What now?

A: Turning face down, the Elemental becomes a creature. Creatures are not allowed to sit on other things, since their weight causes them to get all smooshy and because the rules say so (420.5m). Your face-down Elemental falls off and cries like a little girl, and then the game sees that the Licid ability still makes it an Aura and it's not attached to anything, so it goes to the graveyard and stops crying.

Q: Can we run a Dark-Fallen Empires-Homelands drafts just for kicks, or is that bad because those packs only have 8 cards apiece?

A: That's fine, but you'll only have 24 cards for your deck. Better make sure you stay very strictly on color.

So far we've hit 21 rules questions, one armadillo, three tumbleweeds, one UFO, six movie stars, and two emus. We're coming into the city now, so I'm sure we'll be in contact with a whole slew of pedestrians soon, and I'm getting hungry for some fresh meat. Ted will be back next week with some more one-topic goodness; I'm off to munch on a surfer babe.

-Moko, Zombie Chimp

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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