Published on 12/24/2018

Red & Green on Christmas Eve

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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 hope it's not socks again like last year.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! Even with Christmas right around the corner (in this case, tomorrow), we're not taking any breaks here. We did try something a little different this week though - in the spirit of the holidays, all of the cards featured in this week article and red and green (and colorless) cards! So feel free to sit back, start a fire, gather the family, and read through this week's questions together (note: depending on your family, this might not go over as well. Your mileage may vary).

If you have a question of your own that you'd like answered, feel free to contact us and we'll answer your question. Shorter questions can be sent to us at Twitter at @CranialTweet. And if you have a longer question, you can e-mail us at .

Q: I have a Path of Discovery on the battlefield, and I cast Siege-Gang Commander. How many times do I get to explore?

A: You get to explore a total of four times - once for the Commander entering the battlefield, and three more times for the three tokens that just entered the battlefield. The Path triggers whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, and that includes a creature token being created under your control. Since you had a total of four creatures enter the battlefield, you get to explore a total of four times (you can even do tricky things like leave a nonland card on top of your library for each trigger to ensure that all of the creatures that just entered get a +1/+1 counter).

Q: I have a Deathgorge Scavenger and a Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma in play, and my opponent has a noncreature card in their graveyard. If I attack with both creatures, is is possible to stack the triggers so the Scavenger can also get a boost from Goreclaw?

A: Yep, that's possible. What you need to do is put the Scavenger's trigger on the stack last so it resolves first. The trigger resolves, exiling the opponent's card and making the Scavenger into a 4/3. Then Goreclaw's trigger resolves, and gives all of your attacking creatures wiht a power of 4 or greater +1/+1 and trample. And thanks to the boost that the Scavenger just got from its own trigger, the Scavenger qualifies and the Scavenger ends up as a 5/4 with trample for the rest of the turn.

Q: I control Hallar, the Firefletcher with a Helm of the Host attached to it. Do I have to attack with a creature for the Helm to trigger, or can I just enter combat, get the token, and not attack with anything?

A: The latter. The combat phase always happens during the turn, we just skip some steps of the combat phase (namely, the declare blockers and combat damage steps) if the active player doesn't attack with anything. The beginning of combat step, which is the step that the Helm triggers in, will always happen, so you'll be able to get a copy of Hallar with the Helm trigger and not be forced into attacking with a creature (if you'd rather cast some kicked spells after combat and benefit from having two Hallars in play).

Q: I cast Cathartic Reunion, discarding a Worldspine Wurm and another card. Do I shuffle the Wurm in before I draw three cards or after?

A: Before. The trigger from the Wurm goes on the stack above the Reunion, since it's discarded as a cost to casting the Reunion, and the triggered ability resolves first. Worldspine Wurm ends up shuffled back into your library before the Reunion resolves (and you could potentially redraw it).

Q: I cast Doublecast, then I cast Grow from the Ashes kicked. Will the copy made by Doublecast also be kicked?

A: Yep, it will be. When you copy a spell, you copy additional costs that were paid for the original spell, like whether it was kicked or not. Your copy of Grow from the Ashes, assuming the original was kicked, will also be kicked, and you'll be able to search for a total of four basic lands from your library.

Q: I have an Experimental Frenzy in play, and the top card of my library is Stomping Ground. If I play it, do I get to see what the new card on top of my library is before I decide whether to pay 2 life or not?

A: You don't get to see the new card quite yet. The choice of whether or not the Grounds should enter tapped or untapped is made before it enters the battlefield, not after. Since you make that choice before it enters, it's still in the previous zone (in this case, the library) before it enters the battlefield. You'll have to make the choice of whether the Grounds enter the battlefield tapped or untapped before you see what the next card on top of your library is.

Don't worry - we're just as weird as your family.

Q: I still have an Experimental Frenzy in play, and I draw my first card for the turn - Blessings of Nature. Will I be able to cast the Blessings for its miracle cost?

A: No you won't. Miracle triggers when you draw the card, meaning the card is in your hand when the miracle trigger goes on the stack. When the trigger from miracle resolves, it gives you permission to cast it for its miracle cost - but since the card is in your hand, the Frenzy steps in and prevents you from casting it for its miracle cost. You won't be able to cast the Blessings, since the Frenzy stops you from playing cards from your hand, and the Blessings will be stuck in your hand for now.

Q: I have a Doubling Season and a Xenagos, God of Revels in play. If I target Charging Monstrosaur with Xenagos's trigger, will the Monstrosaur become a 10/10, or a 15/15 thanks to Doubling Season?

A: Only a 10/10. The Season only applies if a counter would be put onto a creature. Xenagos's triggered ability gives the creature a static +X/+X bonus when the trigger resolves, but it doesn't involve putting any counters on the creature. Since there's no counters being put on the Monstrosaur when Xenagos's trigger resolves, Doubling Season won't apply, and the Monstrosaur will get a total of +5/+5 for the turn, making it a 10/10.

Q: My opponent controls a Sulfuric Vortex. I destroy the Vortex with Nature's Claim. Will my opponent gain 4 life?

A: Yes they will. You follow the instructions on the Claim in the order they're printed on the card. First, you destroy the targeted artifact or enchantment, then that permanent's controller gains 4 life. The Vortex is not on the battlefield when the life would be gained (since it was just destroyed), so there's nothing preventing them from gaining life and your opponent will gain 4 life.

Q: I have a Panharmonicon in play, and I cast Defiant Ogre. Can I choose to put a +1/+1 counter on the Ogre and destroy an artifact, or do I have to choose the same modes for both triggers?

A: You can choose different modes. Panharmonicon isn't copying the triggered ability of the Ogre when it enters the battlefield, it's causing the ability to trigger twice instead of once. Each trigger is independent from the other trigger, and you can make different choices for each triggered ability. You can choose the first mode for one triggered ability to put a +1/+1 counter on the Ogre, and you can choose the second mode for the other triggered ability and destroy an artifact.

Q: If I enchant my opponent's Canyon Minotaur with my Bear Umbra, do I get to untap my lands when their Minotaur attacks or do my opponent's land untap?

A: Your opponent will benefit from the trigger and will untap their lands. The Umbra doesn't have a triggered ability itself - it gives the enchanted creature the triggered ability that triggers when the creature attacks. That makes playing Bear Umbra on your opponent's lands a poor choice - they control the trigger, so your opponent's lands will untap when the Minotaur attacks, not your lands.

Q: I have a Mirage Mirror and a Primal Visitation attached to a creature I control. If I make the Mirror into a copy of the Visitation, do I get to attach it to a creature I control, or does it go to the graveyard?

A: You have chosen poorly, and your Mirror is going to end up in the graveyard. You can choose to make the Mirror into a copy of the Visitation, since it's an enchantment. But nothing is letting you attach the Mirror Visitation to a creature - it was already on the battlefield, then became a copy of an Aura. Since nothing is letting you attach it to a creature, it won't attach to anything, then when state-based actions are checked after the Mirror's ability has resolved, the game sees an Aura that's not attached to anything, and the Mirror Visitation ends up in the graveyard.

Q: I have a Satyr Hoplite in play, and I cast Bounty of Might, targeting the Hoplite all three times. How many +1/+1 counters does my Hoplite end up with?

A: Just one +1/+1 counter (and a total of +9/+9 from the Bounty). Heroic abilities, like the Hoplite's trigger, trigger when a spell is cast targeting the creature. It doesn't matter how many times it's being targeted by the spell. While the Bounty is targeting the Hoplite three times, you're still only casting one spell, so the Hoplite's heroic ability will only trigger once, not three times, and will only get one +1/+1 counter.

Q: I'm attacking with an Elvish Champion and some other Elves. My opponent blocks the Champion with their Gnarled Mass. Will my other Elves still deal extra damage, or do they lose the buff from the Champion before they get to deal damage?

A: Barring an effect like first or double strike being involved, all combat damage is dealt at the same time, not one at a time. Since the Mass doesn't have either ability, it's dealing the damage at the same time your attacking Elves are dealing their damage. The Champion is still on the battlefield at that point, so your other Elves are still getting the boost and will deal extra damage in combat (then they'll lose the boost once the Champion dies after combat damage is dealt).

Let's just hope this gathering
doesn't end up like the last one.

Q: I cast Force of Savagery. Do I get a chance to cast Brute Force on the Force of Savagery before it dies?

A: Nope, your Force of Savagery is dead. Right after the Force resolves, before you get a chance to do anything, state-based actions are checked. The Force has a high power, but since it has a toughness of 0, it will die before you get the chance to cast Brute Force to save it. You would need a static ability, like the ability from Incandescent Soulstoke, to keep it alive long enough to be able to cast Brute Force on it.

Q: My opponent casts Summoner's Pact. I respond by targeting the Pact with Wild Ricochet. Do I get to search for two creatures or just one creature?

A: Only one creature. Summoner's Pact doesn't target anything, so the first part of the Ricochet won't do anything (that means you can't make the original Pact affect another player, like yourself). You can still make a copy of the Pact, and search for a green creature to put into your hand, but you can't change anything about the original Pact, so your opponent is still going to be the one searching when the original Pact resolves.

Q: I activate the ability of Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant, revealing a hand of seven lands. Before the ability resolves, my opponent tries to Lightning Bolt my Simian Brawler, so I discard a land to save it. What happens when Sasaya's ability resolves?

A: The number of lands in your hand only matters at one point: when Sasaya's activated ability resolves. In this case, when the ability resolves, you only have six lands in your hand, so the rest of the ability does nothing and Sasaya will not flip into Sasaya's Essence.

Of course, keep in mind that if you want Sasaya to flip and keep your Brawler around, you could activate Sasaya's ability again in response to your opponent's Bolt, let the ability resolve to flip Sasaya, then discard a card to save the Brawler from the Bolt. The cost of activating the ability is "Reveal your hand", so there's nothing preventing you from activating it again with one activation already on the stack.

Q: How does Pulse of Llanowar work with a dual land like Cinder Glade? Will it let my Cinder Glade tap for any color of mana?

A: No it won't. The Pulse only applies if you would tap a basic land you control for mana. While Cinder Glade has basic land types, it's not a basic land (since it doesn't have the basic supertype), so the Pulse won't affect it. Your Cinder Glade can only tap for red or green mana, not mana of any color.

Q: My opponent played Thought Prison, exiling a Grizzly Bears. Later on, I cast Balduvian Bears. Will I take two damage or four damage from the Prison?

A: Just two damage. When you cast a spell, the Prison checks to see if that spell shares a color with the exiled card or if the spell has the same converted mana cost as the exiled card. The Prison doesn't care if it shares both (it would have to have two separate triggers, one that checks color and one that checks converted mana cost to trigger twice). Even if the spell you cast share both color and converted mana cost, the Prison will only trigger once and you'll only take two damage.

Q: I'm in a multiplayer game, and I have an Invader Parasite in play that has exiled Barry's Forest. But eventually, Barry loses the game. Will the Parasite still trigger if one of my remaining opponents plays a Forest?

A: Nope, it won't trigger anymore. When Barry leaves the game, every card they own leaves the game with them - including cards in exile. And for the Parasite's ability to work, the land card has to remain in exile. Since Barry left the game, the Forest that the Parasite exiled leaves the game with them. Players playing a Forest after Barry has left the game won't take any damage from the Parasite's triggered ability, since there's no longer a land card exiled by the Parasite.

That's it for this week. Enjoy your holiday season!


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