Published on 02/08/2021

Kaldheim Runesmithing

Cranial Translation
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Runes can be insightful.

Making runes is hard work. It's not just about knowing magic, its also about physical labor. Swinging the hammer down true. There is a dedication to getting the work done correctly and timely, not unlike writing Magic articles. Was that my best segue? No. Did it get me through my intro? Yes.

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: My opponent cast a Rune of Flight enchanting his Faceless Haven. Can he do this? And if so, if he animates the Haven, will it have flying?

A: Yes and yes. Although the Runes only benefit a creature or equipment, they can enchant any permanent. Then later if that permanent becomes a creature (or even equipment), it will start gaining the benefit for as long as it is a creature (or equipment). So feel free to enchant any Vehicle, any Gideon, landfolk, or enchantmentfolk with Runes.

Q: My opponent controls both a Guardian Gladewalker and a Elvish Champion. If I put a Heliod's Punishment on the Gladewalker, does it stop getting +1/+1 and forestwalk from the champion?

A: As strange as it sounds, it gets the +1/+1 but loses the forestwalk. This is a layers question, we have a more in-depth article on it here. The short answer is type changes (layer 4) happen in a earlier layer than losing or gaining abilities (layer 6), so although the Gladewalker no longer has "changeling" it had already gained all creature types before it lost the ability. It still has all creature types and so when it gets to Layer 7c it still gets +1/+1. It loses forestwalk at the same time and for the same reason it loses changeling, Heliod's Punishement removes both abilities in Layer 6.

Q: I control Aegar, the Freezing Flame and Drannith Stinger wearing a Basilisk Collar. I attack my opponent with the stinger and she blocks with her 3/3 beast token. Do I draw a card this turn with Aegar?

A: Yes, you do. Excess damage accounts for deathtouch damage. Since 1 deathtouch damage is lethal, as long as you deal more than the 1 deathtouch damage to the beast, you get to draw a card with Aegar.

Q: If I cast Burning-Rune Demon with it's trigger can I choose Egon, God of Death and a different copy of Egon but naming it's back side Throne of Death?

A: You can not. When searching through your library, only the front face of a modal double face card is visible to you.

Some people give runes freely.

Q: Over the coarse of several turns, I have used Kaya the Inexorable's first ability on my Giant Ox three times. If my opponent Murders the Ox, I know the Ox returns to my hand, but do I get three 1/1 spirit tokens or only one?

A: You get three! Each of these abilities with trigger independently when the Ox dies. The first to resolve will return the Ox to your hand and make one spirit token. The next two triggers will each try to return the Ox to your hand (but can't) and will then complete the rest of the instructions as best it can.

Q: Earlier in the game, I exiled my opponents Battle Mammoth with a King Narfi's Betrayal that I no longer control and the Mammoth is still there. I just resolved the 2nd chapter on a new Narfi's Betrayl, can I cast that Mammoth this turn?

A: You can not. Each Narfi's Betrayal will have its own group of cards linked to it. Even if you recast the same physical card, it will not be linked to the cards previously exiled by it, only to the new set.

Q: I currently control Simic Keyrune that made itself into a creature earlier in the turn. If I have Moritte of the Frost enter the battlefield as a copy of the Keyrune, does he get the additional counters and the changeling ability?

A: He does not. First thing of note, when you copy a permanent that is not normally a creature, but currently is because of some ability, your copy won't necessarily enter the battlefield as a creature. In this case it won't because whats animating the Keyrune into a creature is only effecting itself. However if all artifacts were constantly being animated into creatures than the copy would enter the battlefield as a creature (such as with March of the Machines being on the battlefield).

The final thing of note is Moritte doesn't care if what he copied was a creature, but instead cares if he enters the battlefield as a creature.

So to answer the main question, Moritte enters the battlefield as a "unanimated" keyrune that is a snow legendary artifact with no +1/+1 counters and does not have the ability changeling.

Q: The only cards in my graveyard are Pilfering Hawk and Grim Draugr. Can I return them both with Raise the Draugr since they are both snow creatures?

A: You can not. Snow is a super type, not a creature type.

Q: If I reanimate Adaptive Automaton with Return Upon the Tide and choose the Automaton to be a elf, will I get the elf tokens from Return Upon the Tide?

A: Yes, you will. Return Upon the Tide checks the creature's type as its on the battlefield, not as it was in the graveyard.

Q: My opponent casts Shepherd of the Cosmos targeting the Pacifism in her graveyard. She claims she can put the Pacifism on my Spined Megalodon even though it has hexproof. Is she right?

A: She is correct. Normally when you cast an Aura, it needs a target while the enchantment is on the stack, but if an Aura is put directly onto the battlefield (as is happening with Shepherd), it doesn't have or need a target and therefor gets around hexproof!

Q: My opponent control only one creature (Craven Hulk) and has only 2 untapped Mountains. They begin to cast Squash targeting one of my creatures. Can I use the Murder in my hand to prevent them from being able to finish casting the Squash?

A: You can not. Once a player begins casting a spell, no other player may take normal game actions before the spell has become fully cast (Fully Cast includes placed on stack, choices and modes chosen, target's announced, mana abilities activated, and costs paid). Just about the only action you can take while an opponent is in the middle of casting a spell is concede. Once you know the opponent is casting Squash its too late to remove the giant.

Q: Last week you answered a question on how Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider really made planeswalkers the opponents control have issues gaining loyalty. If I control Vorinclex, is it every bit as awesome with my planeswalkers as it looks?

A: Yes, it really is. Not only do + loyalty abilities on your planeswalkers get twice the number of loyalty counters as usual, but each planeswalker enters the battlefield with twice the normal loyalty. As an example if you already have Vorinclex, then cast Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and then activate Ugin's +2 ability, Ugin will end the turn with 18 loyalty.

Q: Rampage of the Valkyries is not in the normal Kaldheim set, but appear in the theme boosters. Will this card (and other cards from the theme boosters) be legal in standard once Kaldheim is legal in standard?

A: Yes, these cards will be legal in any format Kaldheim is.

Me, I use runes to win!

Q: Cosmic Intervention is not in the normal Kaldheim set, but appear in one of the Kaldheim Commander decks. Will this card (and other cards from the Kaldheim Commander decks) be legal in standard once Kaldheim is legal in standard?

A: The legality of cards in Kaldheim Commander come in three types:

Type A: Reprints of cards from the Kaldheim main set or Kaldheim theme boosters. These cards will be legal in any format normal Kaldheim is also legal in. Examples being: Jaspera Sentinel & Canopy Tactician

Type B: Reprints from not Kaldheim. These cards will be legal in any format the regular version are legal in. Examples being: Beast Whisperer(legal in nearly every format other than standard) & Wood Elves(legal in nearly every format other than standard & Pioneer)

Type C: Cards only found in Kaldheim Commander. These cards will be legal only in "Eternal Formats" such as Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. Examples being: Cosmic Intervention & Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Q: If I have a Hero of Bretagard with four +1/+1 counters on it, then give it a lifelink counter by cycling Splendor Mare, will it suddenly gain Flying and become an angel in addition to its other types?

A: Yes, it does. Hero of Bretagard only cares about the number of counters on it, not the type.

Q: My opponent attacks me with many 2/2 Goblins. I block one with Valkyrie Harbinger. At the end of the opponent's turn do I make an Angel token with the Harbinger?

A: Yes, you do. The Harbinger checks at the end of each players turn, not just yours, to see if you gained enough life to make an angel. Since the Harbinger has lifelink and 4 power, you gained 4 life earlier in the turn and get a Angel token as a reward.

Q: I control Starnheim Aspirant and Edgewalker. My opponent controls two Lodestone Golem. If I cast Firja, Judge of Valor how much many will I have to pay?

A: You only need to pay . You first start by calculating all increases bringing Firja to , then reduce Firja by for the aspirant, and lastly reducing her by a and a .

Q: I'm currently at 30 life and control a Righteous Valkyrie. A Serra Angel I cast just entered the battlefield, but before I can gain life from the Valkyrie's trigger my opponent Murders the Serra Angel. Do I gain any life when the Valkyrie's trigger resolves and if so how much?

A: You gain 6 life. Although you no longer control the Serra Angel when this trigger resolves, the game looks back at how the angel last existed on battlefield. In this case it was a 6/6 because it was getting +2/+2 from the Righteous Valkyrie.

Q: Earlier in the game I sneakily put Bloodline Pretender onto the battlefield using Illusionary Mask and in the turns since then I have turned it face up because it dealt damage to my opponent. This turn if I cast a morph creature from my hand face-down, does the Pretender get a +1/+1 counter because I put a creature onto the battlefield with no creature types?

A: It does not. No choice was ever made for the Pretender so it can never trigger even with a morph creature that has no creature types while face-down.

Q: I control Harald Unites the Elves that just had its Chapter II trigger earlier in the turn. I then cast Thornmantle Striker my only elf, using it to remove a lore counter from Harald Unites the Elves. Did I just re-trigger Chapter I?

A: You did not. Only increasing lore counters causes the different Chapters to trigger. However, you did set it back a turn, so next turn you will get Chapter II again.

See you all next week.

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


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