Cranial Insertion: Target Player Loses Next Turn



Cranial Insertion
Target Player Loses Next Turn
By Eli Shiffrin, Brian Paskoff, and Carsten Haese

Cranial Translations
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Sorry I'm late folks! Daylight Savings Time has started... or ended? I'm never sure which, I'm just happy when I get the extra hour and grumpy when I lose the hour of sleep. Along with the jump forward an hour, I seem to also have jumped forward an entire rotation in the schedule thanks to Moko's monkeying around (I have to put a dollar into the Pun Jar every time I do one of those, but it's so worth it). But now we're back on track, and I'm ready to answer some more of your rules questions!

And just as a reminder, Carsten's doing his Cast a Spell on MS tournament this Saturday, the 19th, in Toledo, Ohio. All the entry fees go to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, so go down and win some prizes along with the feeling of helping.

As always, send your rules questions in to [email][email protected][/email], and let's get started!


Daylight Savings Time
feels a lot like this.




Q: My opponent plays a Mistbind Clique and has two Faerie tokens. In response to its first champion ability, I kill it with a Go for the Throat. When the trigger resolves, he says he champions a Faerie token, and that I'll have to tap my lands. Is he right?

A: Nope, not at all! Mistbind Clique has three triggered abilities:

1. The champion enters-the-battlefield ability.
2. The champion leaves-the-battlefield ability.
3. The land-tapping ability.

In response to the first one, you've killed the Clique, triggering the leaves-the-battlefield ability. Whatever he championed will return, which is nothing because the first ability hasn't resolved. Then the enters-the-battlefield ability resolves, and he can exile a Faerie he controls... forever. Even if he does, Mistbind Clique isn't on the battlefield any longer, so its land-tapping ability can't trigger.




Q: I was wondering how Liquimetal Coating and Echoing Ruin interact, specifically with regards to basic lands. Would it wipe all lands of that type or only the one(s) that has been turned into an artifact?

A: Echoing Ruin doesn't destroy permanents with the same name as the targeted artifact, it only destroys artifacts with the same name. If you managed to turn some other same-named permanents into artifacts (maybe with even more Liquimetal Coatings!) you'll get to blow those up too, but the ones that aren't artifacts when Echoing Ruin resolves won't be affected.




Q: According to my friend, Necrotic Ooze cannot use the ability of Birds of Paradise or Elvish Archdruid in my graveyard because their ability is mana ability not activated ability, is it true?

A: It's not true. Birds of Paradise and Elvish Archdruid have activated abilities that produce mana, so they're mana abilities... but still activated, so Necrotic Ooze can use them.




Q: My Kor Skyfisher has two -1/-1 counters on it, but my opponent has no fliers and a Contested War Zone that I really want. If I attack and connect with my Kor Skyfisher, will the 0 "damage" bring the War Zone over to my side?

A: Your Kor Skyfisher will thrash wildly at your opponent's face, but won't actually deal any damage. It's actually explicitly written out in rule 119.8:

If a source would deal 0 damage, it does not deal damage at all. That means abilities that trigger on damage being dealt won't trigger.





Q: What would happen if I play Balance and cause someone to discard a card, then pay the cost of Spirit Cairn to make a spirit token? Would the token be immediately placed on the battlefield between steps of Balance and then sacked immediately when it counts creatures? Or would the tokens come into play after Balance has resolved?

A: Though things might trigger between each of Balance's effects, they need to wait until Balance is finished resolving to go onto the stack. Your token will come in after Balance has finished doing its thing, so it won't be tallied up amongst the creatures you control.




Living weapons that are alive can't
equip anything living.
Q: Suppose I use Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas to turn my Bonehoard into a 5/5 artifact creature. What happens if I equip it on itself?

A: Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature, especially not itself! This is one of those rules that thankfully stops some very weird things from happening.




Q: If you exile an artifact with Semblance Anvil, can you cast things like Ichor Wellspring for free and also can you cast Everflowing Chalice without paying the kicker cost and still get a counter on it?

A: There seems to be a bit of confusion among players who think that the cost for anything can't be reduced to less than 1. This is only true of certain cards, like Heartstone, but all of them tell you in their rules text that they don't let you get free stuff. You'll get a free Ichor Wellspring, and one free multikicker on Everflowing Chalice since multikicker factors into the cost to cast it.




Q: What happens if I counter my opponent's commander with Desertion? Do I get it, or does he get to put it back in the command zone?

A: Desertion has a self-replacement effect, which means it replaces part of its own effect with something else. These always take effect before any other replacement effects, so his commander will desert over to your side.




Q: I'd heard that you need 15 poison counters to kill someone in Commander and Two-Headed Giant now. Is this true? Where is this rule announced?

A: It's not true, though it might happen some day. Many players are unhappy with how fast poison kills in the more casual formats, but although they might've made some house rules to keep their games going longer, it's not an official rule. If that rule ever changes, you can be sure that will be posted along with all the other rules for that format, and probably a big announcement of the change to boot. Additionally, it was announced at PAX that no change along these lines will be made to the Commander rules until after Scars of Mirrodin block has been entirely released-so stay tuned!




Q: I've got an opening hand full of three Mox Opals and no land. Can I dump them all out and tap them for RRR before they die?

A: You'll never have three Mox Opals on the battlefield this way. The first one comes in fine, but the second one will cause both to be put into their owner's graveyard due to state-based actions. Even if you had three artifacts at this time, state-based actions would cause both Moxes to spontaneously combust before you got priority to activate them. I guess after the dust has settled, you can cast the third Mox, but it seems to me that a better play would be to mulligan.




Q: Can I sacrifice my Myr Sire to Piston Sledge to equip the Sledge onto the Myr token the Myr Sire sires?

A: Nope. First you'll need to pick a target for Piston Sledge's equip ability, then pay the costs, which includes sacrificing an artifact. Since the Myr token isn't on the battlefield yet, you can't pick it as the equip target.




Q: If I bring back an Arrest with Sun Titan, can I slap it on my opponent's Emrakul, the Aeons Torn?

A: You can! Emrakul has protection from colored spells, and Auras are only spells while on the stack. If you're just putting the Aura onto the battlefield, you'll choose what it goes on to, but it doesn't target.




Q: Let's say I have a Nacatl War-Pride and a Sovereigns of Lost Alara on the battlefield, with a juicy Eldrazi Conscription waiting in my library. I attack with the Nacatl. Can I stack the triggers so that I get a bunch of 13/13, trampling, annihilator 2's?

A: This won't work the way you want it to. Nacatl War-Pride is attacking alone, so you'll get the exalted trigger to go off as well as Sovereign's Aura-finding ability, but a copy of a permanent only copies the printed characteristics; they won't have the exalted bonus, the +10/+10 from the Aura, or any other abilities the Aura gives it.

Even Nacatl War-Pride's own annihilator won't trigger, as it's already past the point of "When this attacks" things triggering when it's declared as an attacker, which is why the tokens don't create copies of themselves infinitely!




Q: I hit my opponent with a creature equipped with a Sword of Body and Mind, and made the Wolf, but forgot that it made him mill. Two turns later, he cast a Squadron Hawk, we got into a counter war, and then we both realized that he forgot to mill. We called a judge, who said that the game continued with nothing happening. Why shouldn't he put the Hawks back, mill ten cards, and then search?

A: Waaaaay too much has happened here to rewind the game. There's two turns worth of stuff, including searching, both players casting spells, etc. This isn't a Missed Trigger; you forgot part of the trigger, but got your Wolf, so it's a Game Rule Violation. Though judges can back up, all actions have to be rewound, and care has to be taken to make sure that there isn't much disruption to the game. You'd be hard pressed to find a judge who feels comfortable rewinding this much of a game to fix this Game Rule Violation, so you'll both get Warnings for Game Rule Violations, and the game will continue on, hopefully with you having the incentive to be more careful in the future.




Q: I've got a Rhystic Study out, and my opponent casts a Brainstorm. It resolves, but then we both realize he didn't pay 1. Do I get a free card?

A: Probably not. In this case you've got a Missed Trigger, and one that requires a choice made by a player who didn't control the triggered ability. Since it's within a turn, you'll put the trigger on the stack and he'll get the choice whether to pay or let you draw a card.




Q: If Vesuvan Shapeshifter copies Changeling Berserker when it enters the battlefield and exiles Silver Myr, would Silver Myr still be returned to the battlefield if Vesuvian Shapeshifter has turned into something else before it dies?

A: Nope. Champion represents two linked abilities, one to exile the creature, and one to bring it back. If Vesuvan Shapeshifter ever copies something else, the championed creature will be gone forever since the link is broken.




Q: If Experiment Kraj uses Dominating Licid's ability to turn into an enchantment, does it lose its other abilities? If it did and the Licid later turned into an enchantment as well causing Kraj to lose the ability, would Kraj be unable to turn back into a creature unless Licid does?

A: All of the Licid abilities say they lose "this ability", not "all abilities", so Kraj will only lose the ability to become an Aura. Some of his abilities may be useless if he's not a creature, but Licids are strange things.





Like Squee's cooking, Phil Foglio's
art is an acquired taste.
Q: Which wins in a fight, Recycle or Reliquary Tower?

A: Personally, I've always liked Phil Foglio's art, so it wins! Oh, you meant as far as hand size. Well, that's all up to timestamps. Whichever permanent entered the battlefield last will set your hand size.




Q: Lately I found some boosters without any rares inside. What if this case happens in a booster draft or sealed deck tournament? Should the local store change the booster?

A: These freaky things do happen from time to time, but Wizards and your tournament organizer can't guarantee the rarity distribution in a pack. If you have this happen, you'll have to call a judge to verify that the pack is indeed missing a rare. The tournament organizer can replace it if they want or are able to, but it's not required.




Q: I've got a Glissa, the Traitor and two Gold Myrs, and my opponent has two creatures. If I cast a Day of Judgment. Can I return the two Myr to my hand?

A: Sure! Glissa will see your opponent's creatures being put into the yard, and trigger twice. When she triggers, your Myr are already in the yard and are valid targets for Glissa's ability.




Well that's all for me this week. Eli will be here next week an hour earlier or something (his state doesn't believe in Daylight Savings), so stay tuned!

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