Published on 05/10/2021

Yeah, I'm Thinking I'm Back

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Wise from yow gwave
Oh. Hello again.

Life has gotten a bit less hectic around here lately. I missed writing, and I missed you, our lovely readers, so I thought I'd rejoin the fold! I'm officially graduating from Strixhaven this weekend, so expect a big party announcement sometime soon. You're all invited. Bring snacks.

As a friendly reminder, if you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We answer every question we get, and your question could show up in a future article.

Q: I control Rootha, Mercurial Artist equipped with Illusionist's Bracers. If I activate Rootha's ability, can I copy it with the Bracers?

A: You cannot. Part of the cost of activating the ability is returning Rootha to your hand. An ability doesn't become "activated" until after all of its costs are paid, at which point Rootha is in your hand and the Bracers aren't equipped to anything at all.

Q: I control Beledros Witherbloom. Can I activate its ability, then cast another Beledros and activate that ability, too?

A: Yes, you can. The "activate only once each turn" clause applies to that specific instance of the ability, not every instance of the ability. If you play a new Beledros, that new Beledros's ability hasn't been activated yet.

Q: I attack with Kari Zev, Skyship Raider. If she dies in combat, do I still have to exile the Ragavan token at the end of combat?

A: Yes, you do. The trigger to exile Ragavan is a delayed trigger set up when Kari Zev's trigger resolves. The delayed trigger will still happen whether or not Kari Zev is still around.

Q: I control Codie, Vociferous Codex. If I activate its ability on an opponent's turn and cast an instant, can I cast a sorcery that I reveal?

A: Not unless you can give it flash somehow. Because Codie's ability gives you a window of time ("until end of turn") in which to cast the spells, you can only cast those spells at a time you could normally cast them.

Hello. It's me (and him too)
Q: My opponent destroyed my Agadeem, the Undercrypt with their Wasteland. Can I bring it back to the battlefield with Brought Back?

A: No, you can't. In your graveyard, the modal double-faced card only has the characteristics of Agadeem's Awakening, so it's not a legal target for Brought Back.

Q: What happens if I cast Mercurial Transformation targeting my opponent's Angelic Gift?

A: When Mercurial Transformation resolves, Angelic Gift becomes a creature. Creatures can't be attached to anything, the Gift becomes unattached. At the end of the turn when it becomes an Aura again, it's an Aura that isn't attached to anything, so it's promptly put into the graveyard.

Q: I attack with Shadrix Silverquill. We're playing a two-player game, and my opponent has hexproof. What happens with Silverquill's trigger?

A: Nothing, unfortunately. Since all the trigger's options require targets, and you have to target two players, there is no way for you to pick two legal targets. The trigger won't ever do anything until you and your opponent are both legal targets.

Q: I control Bold Plagiarist. If an opponent plays a Stonecoil Serpent with =2, do they also have to put two counters on my Plagiarist?

A: Yes, they do. A creature entering with counters has those counters put on it.

Q: I cast Plumb the Forbidden and sacrifice Mindslicer. How does this work out?

A: The trigger to make Plumb copies and the trigger to make everybody discard their hands both want to go on the stack at the same time, immediately after Plumb the Forbidden becomes cast. Since you control both triggers, you can control the order they go on the stack and resolve. You probably want to resolve Mindslicer's trigger first, then make your copies of Plumb and draw some cards.

Q: I cast Return to Dust during my main phase. My opponent cast Sudden Substitution and exchanged Return to Dust with their Grizzly Bears. Which target(s) can they change? How many targets are exiled?

A: They can change zero, one, or both targets if they so choose. However, since they didn't cast the spell during their main phase, only the first target will be exiled.

Q: I control Killian, Ink Duelist. Can I cast Fortuitous Find targeting a creature card in my graveyard for ?

A: No, this doesn't work. Killian reduces the costs of spells you cast that target "creatures." Creatures only exist on the battlefield. On the stack they're "creature spells" and anywhere else they're "creature cards."

Q: Can I sacrifice Nikya of the Old Ways to pay for Natural Order's additional cost?

A: No, you can't. The legality of casting a spell happens before you pay that spell's costs. At that time, Nikya is still around and will prevent you from casting Natural Order.

Q: If I control two Daemogoth Titans and no other creatures, what happens if I attack with both?

A: Each Titan triggers. As each trigger resolves, you'll have to sacrifice a creature. You can't sacrifice one Titan to both of the triggers, so you'll end up with no creatures when everything has resolved.

Watch and learn, kids.
Q: I cast Replication Technique while I control Swarm Intelligence, and I decide not to demonstrate. But since Swarm Intelligence makes a copy of Replication Technique, does that mean my opponent gets a copy of the Technique anyway?

A: No, thankfully! Demonstrate will only make a copy for your opponent if you choose to create a copy of the spell due to the demonstrate triggered ability. Copying it for any other reason doesn't count.

Q: Can I cast Volcanic Vision if my opponents don't control any creatures?

A: Sure! Volcanic Vision's only target is an instant or sorcery in your graveyard. It doesn't need to target any creatures at all. If your opponents don't control any creatures, that part of the spell just won't do anything.

Q: I control True-Name Nemesis, naming my opponent (of course!). When my opponent activates Arena, can I choose True-Name Nemesis as my target?

A: You cannot! Even though you're the one choosing your target, your opponent is still the one who controls the ability. True-Name Nemesis has protection from your opponent which means it can't be targeted by abilities they control. You'll have to pick another creature to send to the Arena.

That's it for this week, friends! See you next time.

- Andrew Villarrubia

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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