Published on 05/03/2021

Study Hall, Detention, and Make Up Tests

Cranial Translation
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I swear I'd learn more but someone always pays .

I'm excited to finally get to play with Strixhaven cards. There is however, something that bugs me about the set, it reminds me too much of my time in school. Too much time in trouble, too much time making up for missed tests, and not enough time studying. Lucky for me that was a long time ago, and things have worked out quite well since.

If you have questions for us, please email them to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. Your question might even appear in a future article.

Q: My opponent casts Academic Probation choosing the first mode. I currently have multiple Lightning Bolts in my hand, and its reasonable the opponent may guess I have at least one. When is the latest point I can cast them, before Probation will stop me if the opponent happens to name Lightning Bolt?

A: The latest safe point for you, is after they cast Probation, but before it begins to resolve. Once it begins to resolve, you can't respond until after it has fully resolved. By this point if Bolt is named, your stuck waiting for the next turn to cast them.

Q: I activate my Access Tunnel targeting my Eager First-Year who is still currently a 2/2. After that resolves I target it with Kaya's Onslaught. Making it a 4/3 with Double Strike. I then attack. My opponent claims he can block it, because it now has power greater than 3. Is this true?

A: That is false. Creatures can not block the Eager First-Year this turn. Access Tunnel can only target a small creature to make it unblockable, but if it happens to get bigger later then its still unblockable the rest of the turn.

Q: My opponent has controlled Rest in Peace for several turns. I would like to cast Aether Helix from my hand. Can I?

A: I'm gonna assume no. Aether Helix requires both a target on the battlefield and in your graveyard. If you don't have both, you can't cast it. Its exceedingly hard to have a card in your graveyard while there is a Rest in Peace.

Q: I know this would probably never happen, but what happens if I'm attacking with lots of creatures and my Blade Historian leaves that battlefield after first strike damage was dealt, but before normal damage has happened?

A: All your creatures would have already dealt first strike damage because they had double strike earlier. When we get to dealing normal damage, each creature that doesn't have double strike through some other means, will deal no damage.

The rules are rather long on this, but basically, if a creature already dealt first strike damage, it can only deal normal damage if it currently has double strike.

It was one spit-wad, this is overkill.

Q: If I destroy 4 permanents with Culling Ritual do I have to make all the mana the same kind { or } or can I make a combination of two types?

A: You can make any combination of and totaling up to 4 mana.

Q: I cast Culmination of Studies with a X of 4. I end up exiling 3 lands and a 2nd copy of Culmination of Studies. I know I create 3 treasures, but do I only deal 1 damage, only draw 1 card, or do I get to do both?

A: You get to do both! A card that is both Red and Blue will cause both abilities to happen.

As a silly side note, you could exile 1 land and get the treasure, deal 1 damage, and draw a card, if you happen to have two Painter's Servant one choosing Red and the other choosing Blue.

Q: My opponent just cast Plumb the Forbidden sacrificing 2 creatures to it, to make 2 copies of itself. Can I Divide by Zero one of the copies? I know most tokens have a mana value of zero, do copies of spells also?

A: You can safely target the copy of Plumb. Copies of spells have the same mana value as the original spell.

Q: I control Soul of the Harvest and cast Emergent Sequence. Does this cause Soul of the Harvest to draw me a card?

A: No, it does not. Emergent Sequence puts a land onto the battlefield, then turns it into a creature. So Soul of the Harvest doesn't trigger at all from this.

Q: My opponent controls Megrim and I currently have 4 cards in my hand. If I cast Harness Infinity will I be dealt a bunch of damage from the Megrim?

A: You will be dealt no damage from Megrim. Megrim specifically looks for when an ability tells you to "discard". Although this is similar (putting a card from your hand into your graveyard) it is not the game action discard.

Q: I control Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and cast Pigment Storm targeting my opponent's 4/4 elemental token. How much damage do I do to my opponent? Is there more than one possible answer? And if so, who decides the result?

A: Your opponent will take 3 damage from Pigment Storm and the token will take 6 damage. This is the only possible answer. You are onto something here though. Normally if multiple replacement effects try to change the same action, the order is decided by the affected player or the controller of the affected permanent. However in this case, because Pigment Storm has a self replacement affect, it has to be applied first, then you must apply Torbran.

If we added a third replacement effect, like Furnace of Rath, you still must apply Pigment Storm first, then the opponent as the affected player and controller of affected creature could choose Torbran 2nd, followed by Furnace (dealing 6 to the opponent and 12 to the token) or they could swap Furnace 2nd followed by Torbran (dealing 4 to the opponent and 10 to the token).

Q: If I cast Secret Rendezvous and my opponent becomes an illegal target before it resolves, do I still draw 3 cards?

A: You do not. Rendezvous only has one target, an opponent. If they are no longer a legal target, Rendezvous will fizzle and be put into the graveyard.

Q: I cast Tend the Pests sacrificing a 4/4 elemental token. Before it resolves, I target Tend the Pests with Twincast. Do I need to sacrifice another creature to get pests out of the the Twincast?

A: You do not. In fact, you can't sacrifice another creature even if you wanted to. The Twincast version of Tend the Pests will use the X from the original Tend the Pests and also give you 4 pests, for a total of 8 across both copies.

Q: I currently control 2 untapped The Biblioplex and have no cards in hand. Can I activate one, then before the ability resolves activate the 2nd, and if I'm lucky put a card for each one in my hand?

A: Yes, you can. Biblioplex's restriction only matters on activation, during resolution of the ability it doesn't care how many cards are in your hand.

So maybe gym class isn't for me.

Q: The only card in my hand is Torrent Sculptor. If I cast its backside Flamethrower Sonata what happens?

A: Because you don't have any cards in your hand as it resolves, you simply just draw a card. You don't deal any damage, heck you don't even choose a target to deal no damage to.

Q: Is Breena, the Demagogue's last ability useless once you only have one opponent?

A: Yes. That ability can't trigger unless you have two opponents and even if you have two or more opponents, they must be at different life totals for it to have a chance of triggering.

Q: My opponent Norman controls Nils, Discipline Enforcer and I control Kathril, Aspect Warper which currently has a Lifelink counter, Menace counter, and a Deathtouch counter but no +1/+1 counters. I go to attack Norman with Kathril, he says I need to pay 3 mana to attack. Is this true?

A: It is true. Nils taxes creature no matter the type of counters on them, even if they don't have a single +1/+1 counter.

Q: I was thinking of building a Ruxa, Patient Professor commander deck. What exactly is a creature with no abilities?

A: Grizzly Bears and most token creatures are simple examples. But even creatures like Colossal Dreadmaw have one ability (trample). Even abilities that don't work on the battlefield like Barkhide Mauler count as having an ability. You also have to be careful of granting your creatures abilities such as Akroma's Memorial. You can use some cards to make your creatures better with out granting them abilities such as Umezawa's Jitte, Gaea's Anthem, and Bloodscent.

Q: I have a tapped Colossal Dreadmaw on the battlefield. My opponent attacks me, before blocks, I cast Double Major targeting my tapped Dreadmaw so I'll have an untapped Dinosaur token to block with. My opponent says this doesn't work, is she right?

A: She is right. Double Major can only target creature "spells". So you would have to cast Double Major while your Dreadmaw was still a spell on the stack.

Q: Alright, I've got another question then. I have three Doubling Seasons on the battlefield. I cast a Colossal Dreadmaw and before it resolves I target it with Double Major. How many Dreadmaw tokens do I end up with?

A: Only one Dreadmaw token. Doubling Season doubles the number of tokens you create. However, Double Major doesn't create a token, it makes a copy of a spell that becomes a token. This very minor difference means no extra Dreadmaw tokens.

Q: How does Dragon's Approach's last ability work in commander?

A: Perfectly you could run as many as 99 in your commander deck if you so choose. The ability of this card gets around the one of rule in commander. Just like Relentless Rats, Persistent Petitioners, Rat Colony, Seven Dwarves, and Shadowborn Apostle

I studied hard this time, did well on the make up test, and finished the after school detention, its time I head home and play video games.

See you all next week.

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


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