Cranial Insertion: Goyf Season!
By Brian Paskoff on January 19th, 2009 · Filed in Cranial Insertion · Comments not available just now
By Eli Shiffrin, Brian Paskoff, and Aaron Stevenson
Every time the season changes, CI's mailbox fills with good questions. With the Extended PTQ season just beginning, there's been a huuuuge influx of questions about cards and interactions in the new format, which is great for us writers and good for you too! Not every question this week will be about Extended, of course; that'd be boring. I've also got a heaping helping of Standard, Vintage, and yes, even Elder Dragon Highlander questions.
So send your rules questions into firstname.lastname@example.org! Remember, we can't answer any questions about Conflux cards here just yet, so save those until the prerelease!
Bouncy bouncy, not countery countery.Q: Can a hellbent Demonfire on the stack be countered by Venser, Shaper Savant?
A: Venser's spell-bouncing has basically the same effect as Remand, but the key difference is that he doesn't actually counter anything. Anything that causes a hellbent Demonfire or any other uncounterable spell to leave the stack before it resolves for any reason won't counter it, but it will stop it from being able to resolve.
Q: When I cycle a card with a special kind of cycling, like Eternal Dragon, do I still draw a card like normal cycling?
A: The word "cycling" in an ability means you can pay a cost and discard it from your hand for an effect. Usually that effect is "drawing a card," but any special type of cycling like plainscycling or wizardcycling only lets you search your library for a card with certain characteristics.
Q: My Tarmogoyf is being targeted by a hellbent Demonfire. If I tap my Mother of Runes to give the Tarmogoyf protection from red, will it save it from Demonfire?
A: Demonfire can't be countered by spells or abilities, but it can still be countered by the rules of the game! Mother of Runes's ability isn't actually countering Demonfire, so the "can't be countered by spells or abilities" clause doesn't affect it. In order for Demonfire to resolve, its target must be legal both when it's announced and when it tries to resolve. It was legal to target the Tarmogoyf with a red spell when Demonfire was announced, but once it tries to resolve and sees that Tarmogoyf can no longer be targeted by red spells, it'll be countered by game rules.
Q: I control an Aeon Chronicler, and my opponent plays a Wheel of Fortune. Does my Aeon Chronicler die as soon as it becomes a 0/0?
A: State-based effects would see that Aeon Chronicler is a 0/0 and put it into its owner's graveyard, but state-based effects aren't checked during the resolution of a spell! By the time they get around to it, Aeon Chronicler is a 7/7.
When worlds are warped,Q: If a creature with Devour and another creature are brought into play via Warp World, would it be possible to stack the triggers in such a way that the devour creature devours the other, but the other's CIP ability still triggers?
many rules questions appear.
A: Creatures with devour eat as they come into play, not when they come into play. It'll only be able to devour a creature that's already in play, which is fairly hard to do as there's nothing in play, thanks to Warp World.
Q: If Spitebellows warps out during a Warp World, can I use its ability to kill a Tarmogoyf that warps in?
A: Yep! While triggered abilities can trigger during the resolution of a spell, such as when Spitebellows leaves play, they don't go onto the stack until the spell's finished resolving, and that's when you pick a target for it.
Q: Can I use Maze of Ith on my own creature after it deals damage to give it some kind of freaky viligance?
A: Sure! Once combat damage resolves, you have the rest of the combat damage step and until the end of the end of combat step to use Maze of Ith on your creature. It's still an attacking creature, even though it's finished doing everything an attacking creature usually does.
Q: If a player has a Jagged-Scar Archers, Great Bow Doyen, and Gratuitous Violence in play and uses the Jagged-Scar Archers's ability on a Shivan Dragon, how much damage does their opponent take?
A: Assuming you have no other Elves in play, the opponent will receive 12 damage. The Jagged-Scar Archer's power is 3 (there are 2 elves in play plus the Doyen's +1/+1 to elves ability), so it will try to deal 3 damage to the dragon. This will be doubled to 6 by Gratuitous Violence. Then the Doyen's second ability triggers dealing 6 damage to the opponent, doubled to 12 by Gratuitious Violence.
The replacement effect of Gratuitous Violence gets to apply both times here because the damage to the creature and the damage to the opponent are coming from two separate abilities and are therefore two separate events.
Q: I have a Prismatic Omen in play and play a Gaea's Might on my Kird Ape. I attack, and my opponent Disenchants my Prismatic Omen, so all I have now are a Mountain and a Forest. How big is my Kird Ape now?
A: It's still a 7/8. Gaea's Might sets the bonus it gives to the creature it's targeting when it resolves. It doesn't continually check how many basic land types you have in play.
Q: Why is a spell like Terror countered if it's targeting a Mistbind Clique and the Clique's controller flashes out a Scion of Oona? Terror was legal to play because the Clique didn't have shroud then.
A: Spells check whether their target is illegal or not twice - once when they're played, and again when they go to resolve. If they find that their target is illegal at either time, they'll be countered by the rules of the game.
Q: I used Bribery to pull a Chromium out of my friend's EDH deck, and then another player stole it from me with a Vedalken Shackles. If I destroy the Shackles, who gets Chromium back?
A: Bribery's effect is still there tugging at Chromium, but since Shackles's ability was played later, its controller has Chromium. But when the Shackles effect ends, you'll get Chromium back, thanks to Bribery.
Q: Can I sacrifice a Force of Savagery to my Ooze Garden to get an 8/8 for cheap?
A: Before you even get priority to play Ooze Garden's ability, Force of Savagery will be put into your graveyard due to state-based effects. The only way to get Force of Savagery to stick around is with some kind of ability that continually pumps your creatures' power and toughness, like a Gaea's Anthem.
Q: How does suspend interact with Trinisphere?
A: The answer is anywhere from "no interaction" to "badly," depending on what you're actually asking. Suspending a card is a special action, so Trinisphere won't bother it at all; you'll just pay the usual suspend cost and follow the rest as usual. But if Trinisphere's in play when the last counter comes off, the spell will cost , because Trinisphere will see that it would be played for less than and raise its cost to triple that. Pretend that math made sense.
I couldn't bring myself to use Q: If my opponent controls a Sleeper Agent I gave him and three Spirit tokens, what happens if I Mirrorweave the Sleeper Agent at the beginning of his upkeep?
the Mirrorweave picture again.
A: He'll take two damage. The first time you get priority to play Mirrorweave is at the beginning of his upkeep, after triggered abilities have already triggered and gone onto the stack. Short of a Paradox Haze, you're not going to get "at the beginning of upkeep" abilities to trigger more than once in a turn.
Q: Can you stop Chameleon Colossus from being able to pump itself by turning it black with something like Painter's Servant?
A: It would if Chameleon Colossus's ability targeted itself; but as far as I know, there's no ability in the game that refers to a "target this card".
Q: I remove the last loyalty counter from my Garruk Wildspeaker and put a Beast into play. Can I then play another Garruk and make another Beast token?
A: Sure, that works. New Garruk won't even notice his twin made a Beast earlier in the turn, because he's a new object. Even if the same Garruk were to wind up in play again, you'd be able to use his ability again, because an object that changes zones is treated as a new object.
Q: I Extirpated my opponent's Tarmogoyfs, but missed one in his library while I was searching. What happens if he draws it?
A: Then he gets to play a big, angry, lonely Goyf. Any time you're searching a hidden zone, you're allowed to "fail to find" any cards, as long as there's a quality you're searching for. (You can't fail to find "a card", but failing to find a card named Tarmogoyf is fine.) Of course, this even applies if you missed it unintentionally; you simply have until you pass the library back to your opponent to find as many copies of the card as you want to and/or can.
Q: If I use Fist of the Suns to play a Bond of Agony, can I choose to pay any amount of life I want for X?
A: Only if you want to pay zero life.
If you're playing a spell that has in its mana cost, the value of X isn't defined by the text of that spell, and an effect lets you play that spell without paying any cost that includes X, then the only legal choice for X is 0.
Q: I know we can take the tokens and tips and tricks cards from the packs in a draft, but what about the basic lands? Do we get to keep those too?
A: The official stance on keeping the lands in the packs for the draft is that as long as everyone does the same thing, it's fine. If some people leave lands in the packs and some don't, then you get confusing situations like getting passed the same number of cards you just passed. It should be noted that in high level events where the cards are taken out of the packs and stamped, the basic lands are removed entirely and they use fourteen-card packs.
Q: Since you're the self-proclaimed "EDH guy," can you tell me what's actually banned in EDH?
A: Of course! EDH is a fun format, and I love helping people get into it any way I can. EDH uses the Vintage banned list, for the most part, with a handful of additional cards. You can find the full list on the official EDH rules page.
Until next time, this is your friendly neighborhood Goyf signing out. Remember, hold those Conflux questions just a couple more days!
By Brian Paskoff on January 19th, 2009 · Filed in Cranial Insertion · Comments not available just now
About Brian Paskoff
Brian Paskoff is a Level 2 judge based in Long Island, NY, and frequently judges in NY, NJ, and PA. You can often find him at Brothers Grim in Selden or Friendly Neighborhood Comics in West Islip. He runs a newsletter for Long Island Magic players called Islandhome, which can be signed up for by contacting him.