Published on 06/08/2020

You guys I'm like really smart now.

You don't even know. You could ask me, Andrew what's the biggest power/toughness aura in the game? And I'd be like, 'blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah.' Giving you the exact right answer.

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I actually posed for this
My mom always told me that there's got to be more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking. I haven't figured out what that is, just yet, but maybe I'll figure it out in 2021. 2020, obviously, should just be written off.

I do know one thing that is almost as great as being very handsome, though: answering your rules questions! I am handsome and wise. And modest.

As a friendly reminder, if you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We answer every question we get, and your question could show up in a future article.

Without further ado: let's get into some beautiful Magic: the Gathering rules knowledge.

Q: I control Sparring Construct. My opponent has my Serra Angel exiled with their Isolation Zone. If I cast Planar Cleansing, is my Angel back in time to get the counter from Sparring Construct's triggered ability?

A: It is! Isolation Zone doesn't have a leaves-the-battlefield trigger like Oblivion Ring. The moment Isolation Zone leaves, the thing it was exiling is back on the battlefield. When it's time for Sparring Construct's trigger to go on the stack, your Angel is back on the battlefield, so it's a legal target.

Q: I control Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. My opponent plays Quicksilver Fountain, and on my next upkeep I put a flood counter on my Overgrown Tomb. What is my Overgrown Tomb, exactly?

A: It'll just be an Island. Urborg's effect and Quicksilver Fountain's effect apply in the same layer, so whichever one most recently affected the land wins! For Urborg, that's when Urborg entered the battlefield. For Quicksilver Fountain, that's whenever you put the flood counter on the land.

And yes, that means just what you think it does - if a land has a flood counter on it already, then Urborg enters, that land will be an Island Swamp. (It won't be an Underground Sea, though. Unfortunately.)

Q: If I sacrifice Char-Rumbler to Call for Blood, what's the -X/-X?

A: It'll be zero, actually. This changed a couple years ago. Now, if some variable effect needs to use a number in its calculation, and that number is less than 0, it just uses 0 instead.

Some Death's Shadow players are still writing us angry letters about this change.

Q: My opponent exiled my Bonecrusher Giant with Path to Exile. Can I cast Bonecrusher Giant from exile?

A: No, you can't. An adventurer card is only castable from exile if it's "on an adventure." For that to happen, its adventure spell has to resolve. Being in exile for any other reason doesn't count.

Help! Help! I'm bein' repressed!
Q: I copied Vedalken Shackles with Mirage Mirror and gained control of my opponent's Grizzly Bears. We're both confused on what happens when Mirage Mirror stops being a copy.

A: At the end of your turn, Mirage Mirror stops being a copy of Shackles. That's okay, though! Since the ability refers to the thing it's on by name, it lasts "for as long as [this thing] remains tapped." You'll keep control of your opponent's Bears for now, since the object is still tapped

But! At the beginning of your next untap step, your Mirror is no longer a copy of Shackles, which means you can't leave it tapped. When you untap it, your opponent will get their Bears back.

Q: Can I redirect my opponent's Scale Up with Spellskite's ability?

A: No, you can't. Scale Up targets a "creature you control," so it has to target a creature your opponent controls still. Spellskite doesn't give you control of the spell or ability, it just lets you change its target.

Q: I cast Mairsil, the Pretender and exile Reassembling Skeleton. If Mairsil dies later, can I pay to put him back on the battlefield?

A: No, this doesn't work. Mairsil's ability that grants him abilities of things with cage counters only works while he's on the battlefield. In the graveyard, he doesn't have any extra abilities at all.

Q: Sewer Nemesis is in my graveyard. Can I bring it back with Alesha, Who Smiles At Death's triggered ability?

A: Absolutely! While Sewer Nemesis is in the graveyard, it doesn't know anything about a chosen player. It's a 0/0 creature, so Alesha can bring it back. Then, when she does, you can choose a player, and the Nemesis's power and toughness will become equal to the number of cards in that player's graveyard! Neat!

Q: I control Orcish Oriflamme and Cavalcade of Calamity. If I attack with a bunch of 1/1 creatures, does Cavalcade trigger for them?

A: It doesn't. Oriflamme starts applying to those creatures the exact moment they're declared as attackers. When Cavalcade checks if it should trigger, it sees a bunch of 2/1s, so there will be no calamity tonight.

Q: If I copy Supreme Will with Kalamax, the Stormsire, can I choose different modes?

A: No, you can't. You don't get a chance to choose new modes for copies of spells.

Q: I cast Dimensional Breach, and my opponents understandably eliminate me from the game shortly after. What happens to the rest of the permanents that are still be in exile from my Breach?

A: They're stuck in exile for good. You controlled the Breach, so normally you'd control the delayed triggers it created. But, since you're no longer in the game, your triggers no longer exist. The suffering you caused lasts long after you leave the game.

Q: I control God-Eternal Kefnet and Twinning Staff. Can I make two copies from Kefnet's triggered ability?

A: Nope, you can't. Kefnet copies a card, and Twinning Staff only cares if you copy spells.

Q: Can I cast Regal Leosaur for its mutate cost from the graveyard with Lurrus of the Dream-Den's ability?

A: Sure! It doesn't matter that you're casting Leosaur for 3 mana. The only thing Lurrus cares about is what's printed in the top right of the card. Leosaur's CMC is forever and always 2, no matter how you cast it, so Lurrus will let you do that.

So long, farewell
Q: I cast Curtains' Call, targeting Grizzly Bears and Whitemane Lion. My opponent destroys Grizzly Bears in response. Does Curtains' Call still destroy Whitemane Lion?

A: Yes, it does. Curtains' Call still has one legal target, so it will do as much as it can. Your opponent wasted their removal spell, but the show must go on!

Q: If I cast Marath, Will of the Wild from the graveyard using Horde of Notions's ability, will Marath enter with 0 or 5 counters?

A: Marath will have 0 counters. You paid 5 mana to active Horde of Notions's ability, but you didn't spend any mana at all to cast Marath. It will die immediately after it enters the battlefield unless you've got something like Glorious Anthem to get its toughness above 0.

Q: My opponent has zero devotion to blue and is casting Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. Can I use Bone to Ash to counter Thassa?

A: You can. Thassa's ability that makes her not a creature only works on the battlefield. While she's a spell on the stack, she's both a creature spell and enchantment spell.

That's all for this week, dear readers. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get an orange mocha frappuccino.

- Andrew

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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