Published on 08/24/2020

Double, double toil and trouble

Cranial Translation
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Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
Fillet of a fenny snake,
Welcome to Cranial Insertion, and today we might as well double up on some Double Masters. We already did an article two week back, but its a set all about doubling, so we might as well double up on articles!

If you have any questions, you can email them to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. One of our authors will send you a reply, and your question might appear in a future article.

Q: I control Alabaster Mage and a 3/3 green beast token. I activate Alabaster Mage's ability 3 times, each targeting the beast. The beast attacks and goes unblocked. How much life do I gain this turn?

A: Only 3 life. The beast does have 3 instances of lifelink, but the ability does not stack.

Q: My opponent controls a Blood Moon and a Spreading Seas enchanting my Urza's Mine. What color mana can I tap the Mine for?

A: This depends which entered the battlefield more recently. If the Seas happened after the Blood Moon, than blue mana. If the Blood Moon more recently, than red mana. Both effects are trying to change the "types" of the Mine in the same layer, so they are applied in Time Stamp order, the youngest one wins.

Q: I control a Phantasmal Image which is currently copying a Driver of the Dead. My opponent Murders the image. Can it bring itself back to the battlefield?

A: Yes, yes it can. By the time the trigger is put on the stack, the Image's mana cost is back to 2 mana, and it a legal target for the trigger.

Q: I have an Isochron Scepter with a Lightning Axe imprinted on it. When I activate the Scepter, what happens?

A: If you wish to cast the Lightning Axe copy, you will have to either discard a card, or pay an additional mana. If you don't want to pay either additional cost (or can't) then you will fail to cast the copy and the copy will cease to exist the next time state based actions are checked.

In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Q: I control Mana Echoes and no creatures. If I cast Chatter of the Squirrel, how much mana does echoes make?

A: . The squirrel token shares a creature type with itself.

Q: My opponent control's Jace, Telepath Unbound. If I activate my Ratchet Bomb's second ability while it has no counters on it, does it destroy the Jace?

A: Sadly no. The back face of a double face card, has the same converted mana cost as it's front face (in the case of Jace, its converted mana cost is 2). This is a rules change from when Double Face cards where first introduced, it used to be the back face was always converted mana cost zero.

Q: I control a Springleaf Drum. I cast Chatter of the Squirrel. In the same turn, can I use the new squirrel token to power Springleaf Drum to help me cast Chatter from my graveyard?

A: Yes, you can. Although the squirrel has "summoning sickness", Springleaf Drum doesn't care how long you have controlled it.

Q: I control Divine Visitation and then cast Batterskull. What happens to the token?

A: Divine Visitation replaces the 0/0 Germ with a 4/4 Angel, and the Living Weapon ability doesn't care, it just tries to complete its actions as best as it can, so it makes a token and attached Batterskull to it. You have a nice 8/8 Vigilance, Flying, Lifelink Angel.

Q: I cast Morkrut Banshee, but before it resolves my opponent sacrifices their only creature. When the Banshee enters the battlefield its the only creature, does it have to target itself?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: I control Overbeing of Myth and three 1/1 Squirrel tokens and the only card in my hand is Shamanic Revelation. If I cast the Revelation do I gain any life from it?

A: Unfortunately, you don't because Overbeing of Myth is put into the graveyard for having zero toughness after you cast Revelation but before it even starts to resolve.

Q: I have an Alms Collector and my opponent casts Sift. He wants to dredge a Stinkweed Imp from his graveyard to his hand. We have no idea what happens next, HELP!

A: Alms Collector is going to take effect before the opponent can even choose to dredge. This means if he chooses to dredge, he will draw no cards, put the Stinkweed in his hand, and then must discard a card. This discard may be the Stinkweed, and if its the only card in his hand, it must be the Stinkweed.

Q: On my turn I first cast Tempered Steel, then I cast Ethersworn Canonist. Can I still cast Myrsmith later in the same turn?

A: Sadly, no. The canonist will look back and see you cast a non-artifact before it came down, and will now prevent you from casting the Myrsmith.

Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Q: As my turn begins, I control a Kemba, Kha Regent with 2 equipment attached to her. While her trigger is on the stack, my opponent Pongifys her. I believe I still get the two cat tokens, my opponent says I don't. Who is right?

A: You are correct. Kemba's trigger will use last known information to see she had 2 equipment attached to her the last time she was on the battlefield.

Q: I control a Inkwell Leviathan and try to equip my Sword of War and Peace onto it. My opponent says I can't because of Shroud, but I think I can since the Sword doesn't have the word target anywhere on it.

A: Your opponent is correct. Equip means "pay : attach this equipment to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery".

Q: I control Geth, Lord of the Vault and can make colorless mana and one mana this turn. The only card in my opponents graveyard is Goblin Guide and my opponent has only 9 cards left in their library. Can I activate Geth for equal to to mill out the rest of their library?

A: Nope. Since you have access to only a single mana, you can activate Geth at most once this turn and Geth can not be "over" activated, he must hit exactly the amount of equal to the converted mana cost of the target card in the opponents graveyard. In this case mana for Goblin Guide.

Q: My opponent cast Braids, Conjurer Adept on their last turn. I used the trigger from Braids to put Driver of the Dead onto the battlefield this turn, can the Driver attack this turn since it has been in play this whole turn?

A: Sadly, no. It actually hasn't been on the battlefield continually since this turn began, so it can't attack.

Q: I cast Imperial Recruiter and with its trigger reveal Tarmogoyf from my library. Between all graveyards we have 3 card types. My opponent says I can't choose the goyf because it has 3 power, I believe I can because its ability only works on the battlefield. Am I right?

A: Unfortunately, you are wrong. You are correct that most abilities on creatures only work while they are on the battlefield. However, Tarmagoyf's ability is one of those exceptions that works from all zones. Its called a Characteristic Defining Ability (often shortened to CDA). CDA define a characteristic of a card or object in all zones, in this case it defines both Power & Toughness.

Q: My opponent controls Sen Triplets and chooses me as the target for the Triplet's trigger this turn. During the end step of the that same turn, can either of us use the Faerie Macabre from my hand to exile cards from graveyards?

A: No, neither of you can. Sen Triplets stops you from activating this ability since its a activated ability. The opponent can't do it since it doesn't allow them to activate abilities you own or control.

Q: Earlier this turn I cast a kicked Rite of Replication on my Nyxbloom Ancient. I currently control many tapped lands including a Urza's Power Plant and Urza's Mine. The only untapped land I control is a Urza's Tower. If I tap it for mana, how much mana do I make?

A: More than you need? Ok, so each Ancient stacks. The first turns 3 into 9. The 2nd turns 9 into 27. The 3rd turns 27 into 81. The 4th turns 81 into 243. The 5th turns 243 into 729. The 6th and final Ancient turns 729 into 2,187 mana. Hopefully that's enough colorless mana for what ever you need.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

- Later!


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