Published on 08/08/2005

Bon appétit

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 Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes.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

Ladies and gentlemen, today Cranial Insertion will bring you another high-quality selection of questions and answers, beginning with a dish from the freshly harvested multiplayer rules. The course after that will consist of bana... um, I mean, bon appétit!

Q: We played a Emperor game and one of the generals had a Platinum Angel in play and then his emperor lost the game. This made a weird situation since the rules say that he loses if his emperor dies, but the general is stuck there emperorless. Does that even work? We were quite perplexed on what to do.

A: Even with the new official multiplayer rules, the behaviour of Platinum Angel in the emperor format is a bit strange, so it's not out of the question that something will be changed here. Right now, the rules for the emperor variant say the following about winning and losing:
From the CompRules:
607.5a A team loses the game if its emperor loses.
When the emperor died, the rules didn't cause the individual generals on that team to lose, but rather caused the team to lose. Platinum Angel only stops individual players from winning and losing; it can't keep you in the game if your entire team loses.

Creatures you control have
Q: In a multiplayer game with the attack multiple players option, how does Tanglewalker work?

A: Tanglewalker was actually used as an example to clarify the new version of rule 308.1, but the example didn't explain everything. Mark Gottlieb, the new rules manager, archvillainly changed the example to the following:
Example: Tanglewalker reads, "Creatures you control are unblockable as long as defending player controls an artifact land." Whether each of your attacking creatures is unblockable depends only on whether the player being attacked by that creature controls an artifact land.
In a two-player game or even a multiplayer game where you can only attack one opponent at a time, it's always clear who the "defending player" is. It may get tricky if more than one player is being attacked at the same time, and multiple cards are all refering to different defending players. In this case, as the official example shows, the reference to "defending player" is evaluated separately for each attacking creature.

Q: Are all these rules changes that came with Ninth Edition official yet?

A: Yes, the new rules have been in effect since August 1. So are all the rewordings and other changes that came with Ninth Edition. You can find the most recent wordings of all cards in the Gatherer database. The text files on the official site haven't been updated yet, but they should be soon. Ninth Edition itself isn't tournament legal yet, though; it will rotate in on 20 August.

In related news, it was revealed this week that Two-Headed Giant will be available as a sanctioned format starting October 1!

Q: If I control Ronin Warclub and play Kira, Great Glass-Spinner. Does the automatic equipping work, or do I have to use the normal Equip ability that costs :5mana:?

A: The triggered ability that causes the Warclub to become attached to any new creatures will still function normally, because it doesn't target anything. The ability granted by Kira will cause the normal Equip ability to fail on creatures that haven't been targeted yet for that turn. You'd need :10mana: to equip the Warclub to one of those....

Q: I played Measure of Wickedness. My opponent let it resolve, then played Time Stop. What happens?

A: When Time Stop resolves, it ends the current turn. Rule 509 of the CompRules describes the exact process of abruptly ending the turn like that in much more detail, but the main thing is this: the game will skip past all other phases and steps of the turn directly to the very last step: the cleanup step. End of turn triggers normally occur during the end of turn step, but with that step being skipped, they don't get a chance to trigger. Measure of Wickedness will remain in play for a little while longer.

Q: I have eight poison counters and am attacked by Marsh Viper. I manage to destroy the Viper in response to its triggered ability. I know the ability will still go through even though the source is destroyed, so I will go to ten poison counters. But will that lose me the game if the Marsh Viper isn't in play?

A: You'll still lose the game. Losing due to poison counters is part of the game rules, just like losing due to having zero life or losing due to trying to draw from an empty library. The text on Marsh Viper and other poison cards that tells you that you lose the game if you get ten or more poison counters is just reminder text (which is printed between parentheses and in italics, like this). Reminder text doesn't have any effect on the game; it just reminds you of rules that apply all the time.

So we know what we're spell we're
using, what way in which were doing
it, and what we're doing it to. Move
'zig'. For great justice.
Q: I was thinking of building a deck around Heartless Hidetsugu. I know about the combo with Overblaze, to deal lethal damage to each player who was at an even life total. Can I do the same without Overblaze, by activating Hidetsugu, then untapping him with Freed from the Real or something and activating him again, all in response to the original activation?

A: That's still a scary combo, but it's not the same result as you would achieve with Overblaze. Hidetsugu's ability doesn't lock in how much damage it deals until the ability resolves. The two abilities from Hidetsugu would resolve one after another; the first one would halve everyone's life total, and the second would halve it again, putting everyone at a quarter of their original life total, rounded up (assuming no damage is prevented or modified in some other way).

Basically, information a spell or ability needs is determined on resolution. Only the following decisions are made as the spell is played:
  • choosing targets (and how different targets are affected if the spell can do different things to different targets),
  • how the player chooses to divide an effect among multiple things (see for example Liquid Fire),
  • choosing a mode (for a card which says "choose one", like Healing Salve),
  • and what costs to pay.

Q: I control two Initiate of Blood and have a Glacial Ray in my hand, but nothing to splice it on. My opponent controls a Meloku the Clouded Mirror (2/4) which I want to get rid of. If I hit Meloku with Glacial Ray, then ping it first with one Initiate and then with the other, will both of them flip (which would get them killed by the legend rule)? Does it make a difference whether I play the Initates' abilities in response to each other versus letting one resolve before playing the second?

A: I'm afraid they're gonna flip. When an Initiate pings anything, the ping ability also sets up a delayed triggered ability that keeps track of the victim, and if it dies that turn, causes the Initiate to flip whether you want it to or not. Regardless of the exact way in which you play it, both of these abilities will trigger and both Initiates will become Goka the Unjusts.

What happens under the table
stays under the table.
Q: While playing a subgame from Enter the Dungeon under the table, I play Shahrazad. I understand how nested subgames work in general, but what I want to know is this. Is the subgame from Shahrazad also played under the table?

A: The subgame is part of the game from which the subgame was created. (In this case, that means: the subgame from Shahrazad is part of the subgame from Enter the Dungeon, which in turn is part of the "root" game.) As such, the subgame follows the same rules as its associated main game. The subgame from Enter the Dungeon as well as any subgames created inside that subgame should all be played under the table.

(Note: This is an Un-ruling. If your opponent doesn't want to play under the table, you may need to fight over it.)

Q: If a spell is countered, which goes to the graveyard first: the counterspell or the spell that is countered? I need to know the order in which they are removed if Planar Void is in play.

A: The answer to your first question is that the countered spell goes to the graveyard before the counterspell: a resolving spell goes to the graveyard as the last part of its resolution. However, that doesn't actually answer your second question. Planar Void has a triggered ability, which triggers when a card goes to the graveyard. It will trigger for the countered spell first and for the counterspell immediately after, but both of these triggers occur during a single spell's resolution. The game doesn't care about the order in which triggers occured with such a high resolution: the next time a player would receive priority, all triggers that occured but haven't been handled yet are put on the stack, regardless of the order in which they occured. Because your both triggers are controlled by the same player (namely the controller of Planar Void), that player gets to choose the order in which the triggers go on the stack, and thereby the order in which the cards will be removed from the game.

Moko has been rather bored for the past few weeks. He needs you to send in new questions! If you have any questions that you would like to see appear in Cranial Insertion, please PM them to one of the authors. You will receive a short answer right away, and a more detailed answer will appear in one of these articles. Moko will be grateful!

-Thijs van Ommen, The Netherlands

About the Author:
Even though I'm not a judge, my interest in the rules of the game is the main reason for me to play. You'll usually find me answering questions in the rulings forum. I'm mostly a casual player: the only tournaments I visit are prereleases.


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