Published on 02/01/2021

There's No Business Like Snow Business

Cranial Translation
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A winter wonderland.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! It's the week many of you have been waiting for - the arrival of Kaldheim! I'm sure many of you played online or virtually thanks to your local game store release. Here, the weather has decided to get into the mood of Kaldheim, and it's pretty much been snowing all week. I guess that's one way to get into the snow-covered theme.

While I dig myself out of the snow, I'll take some time to answer some of your rules questions. You can also send us your rules questions, and we'll send you a response back. We may even use your question in a future article! You can send us short questions to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and you can send us longer questions to our e-mail account .

Q: How exactly does foretell work?

A: Foretell is a new ability, and it does two things. First, any time you have priority on your turn, you can pay two mana and exile the card with foretell face down. This is a special action - it does not use the stack and cannot be responded to, so your opponent can't try to interact with the card before it's exiled. Then we wait. Starting with the next turn (likely, your opponent's turn), you can now cast the card you foretold card for its foretold cost. But keep in mind that foretell doesn't change when you can cast the card, so you couldn't cast a creature on your opponent's turn unless it had flash.

So let's take a look at Vengeful Reaper. You could cast it normally, by paying . Or you could foretell it, by paying two mana on your turn and exiling it face down. You can't cast it the turn you foretell it, nor could you cast it as a surprise blocker on your opponent's turn (since it doesn't have flash), but once you get back to your turn, you can cast it from exile (or even wait for a future turn) by paying , and now it behaves like any other spell.

Q: If I have a foretold card in exile, can I use As Foretold to cast it for free?

A: Thematically, that might make sense, but it doesn't work in the rules. Foretell is, in part, an alternate cost, and As Foretold is also an alternate cost. And when you're casting a spell, you can only use one alternate cost. Only foretell lets you cast the foretold card from exile, so you can only cast it by paying its foretell cost, not for free by using As Foretold.

Q: Do I have to reveal my foretell cards at the end of the game?

A: Yep, we handle it just like we handle face-down creatures. At the end of the game, if you have any foretold cards still exiled face down, you reveal them to your opponents, and they'll know what cards you foretold, but didn't get a chance to cast that game.

Q: If I attack with Horizon Seeker, when is the first chance I get to activate its boast ability?

A: During your declare attackers step. As soon as you've declared the Seeker as an attacker, you've fulfilled the boast condition and can activate the ability. So if you want to search for a land, you can do so in the declare attackers step, as soon as the you're done declaring attackers. You don't have to do it at that point - as long as the Seeker doesn't die in the meantime, you have until the end of the turn to be able to activate the ability. So you could even hold up mana for a combat trick, and if you end up not needing to cast that combat trick, activate the Seeker's ability after combat.

Q: I control Winota, Joiner of Forces and I attack with a nonhuman. With Winota's trigger, I put Battershield Warrior onto the battlefield. Can I activate the Warrior's boast ability?

A: You cannot. Boast only works if you declared the creature as an attacker. If the creature is put onto the battlefield attacking, it is not declared as an attacker and won't enable your boast abilities. So you won't be able to activate the ability of Battershield Warrior since it wasn't declared as an attacker.

Q: I cast Haunting Voyage, and I choose to return Bloodline Pretender and an Elderfang Disciple to the battlefield. If I choose "Elf" with the Pretender's ability, will the Pretender trigger off of the Disciple entering?

A: Yes it will. You choose a creature type for the Pretender as it enters the battlefield (it's not a triggered ability), and after the Pretender and the Disciple enter, we check for triggered abilities. The Pretender sees that an Elf just entered the battlefield, so its ability will trigger and the Pretender will get a +1/+1 counter.

Q: I control Narfi, Betrayer King and a Grim Draugr. Does my Draugr get +2/+2 from Narfi's ability or just +1/+1?

A: It only gets +1/+1. Narfi has a single ability that gives your zombies and snow creatures +1/+1. It doesn't care if the permanent is both snow and a zombie (it would have to be two separate abilities like Glen Elendra Liege to give it +2/+2). Your Draugr will only get +1/+1 from Narfi's ability.

In an effort to keep warm,
please do not set yourself on fire.

Q: I cast Dual Strike, then I cast Tundra Fumarole with mana from three Snow-Covered Mountains. Will the copy of the Fumarole made by Dual Strike also give me three mana?

A: Nope, it won't. Mana used to cast a spell isn't copiable. Even though you spent three snow mana to cast the original Fumarole, the copy of the Fumarole from the Strike trigger doesn't copy the fact that you spent snow mana on the original spell. Since no mana was spent on the copy of the Fumarole, the copy won't give you any mana.

Q: I control a Deathknell Berserker with a +1/+1 counter on it. My opponent targets and kills the Berserker with Weigh Down. Will I get my token when the Berserker dies?

A: You will not. Before Weigh Down resolves, the Berserker's power is 3, which would qualify it for its triggered ability. But Weigh Down doesn't just kill the creature - it gives it -3/-3, reducing the Berserker's power and toughness. When the Berserker dies, it's a 0/0, not a three-powered creature, so its ability will not trigger and you won't get the token.

Q: I control Ascendant Spirit that's fully leveled up. Can I keep activating the last ability to keep adding counters to it?

A: Yep, you sure can. There's no limit to the number of times you can activate the Spirit's last ability. All the last ability cares about is if it's an Angel or not. Not only will you be adding two counters each time you resolve the ability, but the Spirit will also get multiple instances of the triggered ability. If you've activated the last ability three times, not only do you have a 10/10 flying Ascendant Spirit, but you'll also draw a total of three cards when it deals combat damage to a player.

Q: My opponent controls Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. I control Tyvar Kell. Can I still activate Tyvar's +1 ability, or does Vorinclex's ability prevent me from activating it?

A: You can still activate the ability, you're just adding zero counters when you activate the ability. To activate the ability, you would add one loyalty counter to Tyvar. But because of Vorinclex's last ability, instead of adding one counter, you put half as many counters (rounded down) on Tyvar instead. Vorinclex won't stop you from activating the +1 ability of Tyvar, but you'll end up adding zero counters instead of one to activate it.

Q: If I cast The Birth of Meletis, can I search for a Snow-Covered Plains with its chapter I ability?

A: Yes you can. You need to find a basic Plains with the chapter 1 ability, and Snow-Covered Plains is both a basic land and has the Plains subtype. It also has the Snow supertype, but the Birth's trigger doesn't care if it's Snow or not. So you can find a Snow-Covered Plains with the chapter I trigger.

Q: I have Valki, God of Lies in my graveyard and a Lurrus of the Dream-Den in play. Can I cast Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor from my graveyard with Lurrus's ability?

A: Nope, you cannot. Lurrus says you can cast a permanent spell with a converted mana cost of two or less from your graveyard. That means that Lurrus cares about the converted mana cost of the spell on the stack, not the converted mana cost of the card in your graveyard. But Tiblat has a converted mana cost of seven, which is not two or less, so you can't cast Tibalt from your graveyard using Lurrus's ability.

Q: I cast Bloodbraid Elf, and I cascade into Valki, God of Lies. Can I choose to cast Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor instead of Valki?

A: Yep, that one works! Cascade cards about the converted mana cost of the card in the library, and Valki has a converted mana cost of two, so hitting that with the Elf's cascade trigger will stop and you can cast the card. But cascade only cares about the converted mana cost of the card when it's exiled, not the converted mana cost of the spell on the stack (this is why this differs from the Lurrus situation above - Lurrus cares about the converted mana cost of the spell on the stack, while cascade cares about the converted mana cost of the exiled card). In addition, if you are allowed to play or cast a card, you look at both faces of a modal double-faced card, and you can play or cast the relevant side. So when we cast the card we cascaded in to, there's no requirement that we have to cast the side that has a converted mana cost of three or less, so you're free to cast the Tibalt face off of Bloodbraid Elf's cascade trigger.

Time for everyone's favorite - ice sculptures!

Q: I control a Colossus Hammer that I've enchanted with Rune of Flight. If I attach the Hammer to a creature, will the creature have flying or not?

A: It will have flying! The timestamp for the Rune will be later than the Hammer, so while the Hammer would remove flying from the equipped creature, since the Rune has a later timestamp, the creature will gain flying because of the Rune. And even if you move the Hammer to another creature, the Rune will still have a later timestamp than the Hammer and the creature will still end up with flying (this is a confirmed rules change by the rules manager, and will be updated in the upcoming Kaldheim comprehensive rules update).

Q: I cast Stoneforge Mystic. Can I search my library for Halvar, God of Battle, since the back face is an equipment?

A: Nope, you cannot. Just like the modal double-faced in Zendikar Rising, unless you are trying to play or cast the modal double-faced card, you only look at the front face, not the back face. The front face is a legendary creature, not an equipment, so you will not be able to search for Halvar with the Mystic's triggered ability.

Q: I use the ability of Dream Devourer to foretell an Ancestral Vision. If I want to cast the Vision on my next turn, how much do I have to pay?

A: I have some bad news for you - your Vision isn't castable at all. To cast the Vision via foretell, you have to pay its mana cost (minus two). But the Vision doesn't have a mana cost, which makes it cost unpayable and it can't be cast via foretell. And it's not suspended either, so you effectively exiled your Vision without a way to cast it.

Q: If I control Vega, the Watcher, will I draw a card if I cast my commander from the command zone?

A: Yep, you will. You're casting your commander from somewhere besides your hand (in this case, the command zone), so controlling Vega means you'll draw a card when you cast your commander. Just note that casting Vega itself from your command zone won't be too useful - it will not trigger off of itself being cast and you won't draw a card.

Q: If Cosima, God of the Voyage is my commander, could I cast The Omenkeel from the command zone?

A: Yep, you can! Cosima can be your commander, since it's a legendary creature on the front face. And since you're allowed to cast your commander from the command zone, you can cast either face of the modal double-faced card. So if you'd rather your commander be a boat, you can do that.

Just keep in mind two things: the commander tax is applied to the commander, not one face or the other. What that means is if you cast Cosima, then Cosima goes back to the command zone and now you want to cast The Omenkeel, you'll have to pay the commander tax of an additional two mana to cast it. It doesn't matter that you haven't cast The Omenkeep from the command zone yet, the entire card is your commander and the tax applies to both faces.

Second, since the entire card is your commander, commander damage from both faces count and is added together. If you deal nine points of combat damage to the opponent with The Omenkeel and then you deal 12 points of combat damage with Cosima, they've taken 21 points of combat damage from the same commander, and they'll lose the game.

Q: If I'm in a Kaldheim draft, can I just add all snow-covered lands to my deck to help out the snow cards in my deck?

A: Nope, you cannot. In limited, you can only play snow lands that you drafted or opened in your sealed pool. You can only add an unlimited number of cards named Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, or Forest to your deck. You cannot add the snow-covered equivalents to your deck. If you want to play snow lands in your limited deck, you're going to have to make sure you draft them - you don't get to play them for free.

That's all we have for you this week. See you again next week!


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