Published on 01/18/2021

Calm before the Viking Storm

Cranial Translation
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Dooom! DOOOM!

Our oracles claim Vikings will be pillaging our villages soon. Those old kooks are always raving about this danger and that danger, but they seem to rarely be correct. So I'm not going to worry about "impending doom" that will never come. Instead I'm gonna dig into our mailbag and answer some fan questions.

If you have any questions about magic cards don't hesitate to send us a tweet @CranialTweet, or for the more in-depth questions an email to .

Q: I know I have 4x copies of Eternal Scourge in my library. I then cast Inverter of Truth. Can I cast the Scourges?

A: No, you can not. Inverter exiles your library face-down. Scourge may only be cast from exile if its face up or some ability grants you access to look at it.

Q: Mirri, Cat Warrior is my commander. Can I put Hungry Lynx into her deck even though it makes black tokens?

A: You can. The commander color restriction rule: Color Identity, only cares about the color of the card or the color of mana symbols in its rules text, not any tokens it makes.

Q: My opponent is enchanted with my Curse of Bounty and they control a Necropotence. I then use Role Reversal to swap control of these two enchantments. Does my opponent get to move Curse of Bounty to me? Does it fall off the opponent into the graveyard?

A: No and no. When an Aura's controller changes, this has no effect on what it enchants. So the new controller can not change who it enchants. Curses are not limited to enchanting opponents. So the cursed player can legally control their own curse, no worries of it being placed in the graveyard for being illegally attached.

Q: I have an animated Blinkmoth Nexus and then copy it with Glasspool Mimic. Can I use the Mimic this turn to give +1/+1 to the original Nexus or does summoning sickness stop me?

A: You can give the original Nexus +1/+1 this turn. The Mimic will enter the battlefield as a non-animated Nexus, so it is a land and not a creature and unaffected by summoning sickness.

As a skeptic, I need more
than your premonitions to run in fear.

Q: Using Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist's trigger I attach my Thirsting Axe to my opponent's creature and choose to not attack with any creatures this turn. At end of turn, will my opponent have to sacrifice the creature I put the Axe on?

A: Thirsting Axe will will trigger at the end of turn. It will see that the attached creature didn't deal combat damage. When the trigger attempts to resolve, it will ask you to sacrifice the creature (since you still control the axe), but as you don't control the creature so you can't sacrifice it, so nothing really happens.

Q: I control Necrotic Ooze and have a Goblin Replica in my graveyard. Can I sacrifice the ooze to destroy an opponent's artifact? Or does the fact that the Ooze is not named Goblin Replica stop the ability from working?

A: You can sacrifice the Ooze to destroy the artifact, despite the names being different.

The specific rule for this is 201.4b "If an ability of an object refers to that object by name, and an object with a different name gains that ability, each instance of the first name in the gained ability that refers to the first object by name should be treated as the second name."

That sentence is a little hard to parse, but it mean you can treat both Necrotic Ooze and Goblin Replica as having ", sacrifice this object: Destroy target artifact."

Any time an object (such as a card, token, or copy of a spell) references it's own name, you can swap out the name for "this object".

Q: I control Bolas's Citadel and currently have a Cyclonic Rift on top of my library. Can I pay 7 life to overload Cyclonic Rift off the top of my library?

A: No, you can not. Both Bolas's Citadel and Overload are alternate costs, and you can only ever use one alternate cost at a time.

Q: I control Colfenor, the Last Yew and two Bonebreaker Giants and the only creatures in my graveyard a two Woodland Mystics. My opponent casts Day of Judgment, whats the most creatures I can return to my hand because of Colfenor?

A: When Colfenor dies, he sees the Giants dying with him and triggers once for himself, once for the first giant, and one more time for the second giant. Each giant can target an elf for return, and Colfenor can target either giant for return. So the best you can do is, get back 2 elves and 1 giant for a total of 3 creatures returned to your hand from your graveyard.

Q: I control a Luminous Broodmoth and a Savai Sabertooth with no counters on it. My opponent controls a Rest in Peace and then casts Planar Cleansing. Does my Sabertooth come back with a flying counter?

A: No, because all non-land permanents are destroyed at the same time, the Rest in Peace will exile itself and everything else that goes to the graveyard at the same time. As an additional note; because sorcery and instants do all their text first, then afterward go to the graveyard, the Planar Cleansing will end up in the graveyard while everything else ends up exiled.

Q: Can I steal my opponent's Spined Megalodon by enchanting it with Confiscate?

A: Normally no. When you cast an aura, it targets a creature. So you can't target a Hexproof creature your opponent controls when cast normally.

However, if you can put the Confiscate onto the battlefield (such as with Flicker of Fate, Show and Tell, or Replenish) the aura doesn't target. It gets around Hexproof and can enchant Spined Megalodon.

Q: In a three player game, opponent A stole my Mosscoat Goriak using Sakashima's Will last turn. During this turn opponent A losses the game for having 0 or less life, leaving me and opponent B still in the game. What happens to the Goriak?

A: When opponent A loses the game, they first removal all objects they own from the game, then all control effects they have end, and everything left over gets exiled. Because they had stolen control of the Goriak, it will return to your control as you were the last player to control it before them.

Had they gotten the Goriak by using Bribery it would end up exiled as no one else had ever controlled it.

Q: I currently control Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, Blurred Mongoose, and a 2/2 Bird token. I cast Sakashima of a Thousand Faces announcing my intent to copy Atraxa. Before Sakahima resolves, my opponent responds by Murdering Atraxa. What happens now?

A: Sakashima enters the battlefield either as a copy of the Bird token, the mongoose, or not copying anything (your choice). Sakashima doesn't target so Atraxa dying doesn't effect her at all, and also allows her to copy the mongoose despite it having Shroud.

Q: I control both Belle of the Brawl and Familiar Ground. Is Belle basically unblockable?

A: Yes, it is. There are two blocking restrictions with no way to appease both.

Ok, I have to admit, those
ships don't look friendly.

Q: Humility has been on the battlefield for several turns. I cast Scion of Ugin and then Expedite it during the same main phase, can it attack this turn?

A: Yes, the dragon can attack this turn. Both humility and expedite effect the dragon in the same layer (layer 6), so they are applied in time stamp order, oldest first. The dragon losses flying, then gains haste, and then turns into a 1/1. So you have a non-flying haste 1/1 dragon.

Q: I control Marchesa, the Black Rose and a morph with a +1/+1 counter on it ( its secretly Zoetic Cavern). If the morph dies in combat, does it come back?

A: Marchesa will bring the Zoetic Cavern back to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. Marchesa doesn't care that its not a creature anymore, she only cares that the Cavern died as a creature with a +1/+1 counter.

Q: I control Juri, Master of the Revue and Blood Artist. If I cast Rite of Replication kicked targeting Juri, and then choose to keep only the original Juri. When all is said and done, how many counters does Juri have and how many times did the Blood Artist trigger this turn?

A: The legendary rule, is not a sacrifice, instead you directly put all extra copies of a legendary permanent directly into the graveyard. This however does trigger Blood Artist 5 times (because for a moment you had 6 Juri). Dies include any way a creature moves from the battlefield to the graveyard (damage, destroy, sacrifice, legendary rule, having zero toughness).

Q: I control Arasta of the Endless Web. My opponent casts Terminus, do I still make a spider token?

A: Yes, you will create a spider token because the opponent cast the sorcery Terminus. However, that token will be shortly lived as it and Arasta are put on the bottom of your library moments later.

Q: My commander is currently a land because its enchanted by Imprisoned in the Moon. Can I still cast Fierce guardianship for its free cost?

A: Yes, you can. "Commanderness" can't be lost. So even though your commander isn't a creature, and has none of its normal abilities, its still a commander.

Q: My opponent controls a Vivid Creek with no counters on it and a Gemstone Caverns with no counters on it. What color(s) can I tap my Fellwar Stone for?

A: You can tap it for any of the five colors. This is because of the Vivid Creek. It has an ability that can tap for any color (Fellwar Stone doesn't care that your opponent can't actually pay the cost necessary to do so). The Cavern however, does nothing for the Fellwar stone, it doesn't even allow you to tap for colorless. That is because its only tap ability currently makes colorless.

Q: I attack with a 3/3 lifelink double strike creature. My opponent blocks with a vanilla 3/3 creature. How much life do I gain this turn?

A: You only gain 3 life. The double striker will kill the defending creature during the first strike damage step and gain you 3 life. Then when it gets to the normal damage step, because your creature is still considered blocked but has no creatures still blocking it, it will do no damage during this normal damage step and gain no additional life.

See you all next week.

- Justin Hovdenes AKA Hovey
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


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