Cranial Insertion: Heavy Metal Goyf



Cranial Insertion
Heavy Metal Goyf
or, M10? This one goes to M11!

By Eli Shiffrin, Brian Paskoff, and Aaron Stevenson


I tried showing Moko my
Wintersun shirt, but he was more
interested in my brain-meats.
Welcome to the show! It's good to be back in [insert your town here, to cheering roars]! These past two weekends have been particularly brutal, and have caused a flurry of head-bangingly hard rules questions, from within and without the Magic 2010 set. And speaking of "brutal" and "head-banging", as anyone who's met me knows, two of my favorite things are Magic and metal, and it's high time I combined them. So, in honor of this all these heavy rules questions, here's an all-metal Magic rules article, care of your own heavy metal Goyf!

Of course, we also take requests. Send your questions to [email][email protected][/email] and we might play them in our next CI show!




Q: I activate a Stinging Licid, trying to attach it to my opponent's Cemetery Reaper. In response, he sacrifices it to his Vampire Aristocrat. Since my Licid is now an Aura attached to nothing, is it put into my graveyard?

A: No, your Licid won't follow the Reaper into the graveyard. Stinging Licid's activated ability has a target, and its target has become illegal, so the entire shebang is countered on resolution. And that includes the part where it becomes an Aura.




Q: If my opponent casts Thought Hemmorhage on me and names Harm's Way, can I play one from my hand to redirect two of the damage it'd deal me back to my opponent?

A: Not quite. He won't name a card until Thought Hemmorhage starts to resolve, and you can't play Harm's Way while it's resolving. You can play Harm's Way in response to Thought Hemmorhage, but then he'll probably just name something else.




Q: I'm at 2, and so's my opponent. If he attacks me with a Leviathan, can I draw the game by redirecting two damage at him with Harm's Way?

A: Sure! Your Harm's Way will redirect two damage to your opponent. You'll take 8, he'll take 2, and then state-based actions will be checked and you'll both lose the game.




Q: If I use my Goblin Artillery to blow an Illusionary Servant out of the sky, do I take 3 damage?

A: You won't. As you announce Illusionary Servant as the target for the Artillery's ability, the Illusion's ability triggers. Once Goblin Artillery's ability is fully activated, Illusionary Servant's goes on the stack above it. It'll resolve first, and then Goblin Artillery will find that its target is illegal and be countered when it tries to resolve, not sending Goblin shrapnel at your face.





Kill the Orcs!
Slay the Orcs!
Destroy the Orcs!

Q: I'm at 3 life and have a Goblin Artillery enchanted with Lifelink, and my opponent has an Ironclaw Orcs. Can I tap my Artillery to destroy the Orcs without losing the game?

A: Yep! You'll gain the life at the same time Goblin Artillery deals damage to you, so you'll actually end up gaining more life than you lost.




Q: I'm being attacked by an Angel of Despair. Can I Harm's Way its damage to my opponent, and then redirect the damage to his Ajani Goldmane?

A: No - the planeswalker damage redirection only works if a source you control would deal damage to an opponent who controls a planeswalker (and vice-versa). Harm's Way isn't dealing the damage, your opponent's morbid Angel is. It's combat damage and Ajani's controller controls the source, so you can't redirect it.




Q: Is it breaking the law to call the battlefield "in play" if you don't like the new name for it?

A: Not at all! Even before the terminology was changed, players had many different nicknames for different parts of the game. Even though it's officially known as the battlefield, you can call it whatever you like. The important thing is that the wording on the cards and in the rules was changed to make it clearer for players what was going on, so as long as both players know what you're referring to when you say "in play", it's fine.




Q: Someone was trying to tell me he could drop Phage the Untouchable onto the battlefield with Elvish Piper, and then Quicken in a Donate to give Phage to me so I lose the game. Is that true?

A: As soon as Phage is on the battlefield, he's lost. He controlled her when her ability triggered, so he controls the trigger and will lose the game as soon as it resolves, whether he still controls Phage or not.




Q: Can I kill a field of two Illusionary Servants and a Birds of Paradise with a Fireball just by paying 3R?

A: A single Fireball with three targets and X=1 will kill 'em all with no remorse. A spell can't do anything at all to illegal targets, so once Fireball resolves, the Birds will be the only one left to jump in the fire, and will have the 1 damage divided equally into itself.




Q: My friend says that if he equips a Mistbind Clique with "summoning sickness" with Lightning Greaves, then unequips it to equip the Greaves to another creature with summoning sickness, then the Clique would still have haste because it lost summoning sickness when it was equipped. Is this true?

A: It's not. The Clique only has haste as long as the Faeries wear boots. Not having "summoning sickness" and having haste are two different things: a creature having haste just makes it unaffected by summoning sickness, but it still has it - having haste just sort of masks the symptoms.




Q: My opponent has a Capricious Efreet and targets my Man-o'-war, my Gravedigger, and his Siege Mastodon with its triggered ability. If the Gravedigger is chosen at random to be destroyed, can I Regenerate it?

A: Once Capricious Efreet's effect starts resolving, it's too late to do anything before a permanent is destroyed. The last chance you have to play Regenerate is when Capricious Efreet's ability is put onto the stack.




Q: I attack with a bunch of creatures, any my opponent declares he's going to block with his Guardian Seraph. Can I tap it with a Blinding Mage in response to him declaring it as a blocker so it can't block?

A: No, his blind Guardian will still be blocking, even though it's tapped. Once the declare blockers step begins, the defending player announces which of their creatures are blocking, so the last time you can tap any would-be blockers is during your declare attackers step.




Q: If my opponent pays to regenerate his Cudgel Troll and I respond by hitting it with a Doom Blade, does the Troll live or die?

A: Your doom sword will do the trick. The Troll's regeneration cost is paid, but the ability that puts the regeneration shield on it hasn't resolved yet. Unless your opponent has another green mana available, the Troll's off to Valhalla.




Triva question time!
What metal song's lyrics include both
Damnation and Wrath of God?
Q: I cast a Baneslayer Angel, and my friend tries to counter it with a Sage's Dousing. Can I play Artificial Evolution to give my Angel protection from Demons and Wizards, effectively countering the Sage's Dousing?

A: Baneslayer Angel's protection ability doesn't state that it works in non-battlefield zones, so it only works while it's on the field. As a weird side effeect of its evolution though, if it does manage to enter the battlefield, it'll still have protection from Demons and Wizards.




Q: Say I have an opponent at 1 life and with one card in their library, but a Lich's Mirror in play. If I target them with Sign in Blood, do they lose for good since they're dying "twice"?

A: As long as they have Lich's Mirror in play, they're effectively immortal, no matter how many times they die. State-based actions that cause a player to lose the game from a single action don't happen one by one, so he'll just lose once.




Q: Does a Selfless Exorcist who exiles a Sickle Ripper end up with two -1/-1 counters, or just two damage?

A: Two -1/-1 counters. The Ripper has wither, and a source with wither deals damage in the form of -1/-1 counters.




Q: In a multiplayer game, I'm about to die thanks to a player's board full of Black Vises and Iron Maidens. If I somehow manage to kill him in response to the triggers, am I safe?

A: The Iron Maiden wants you for dead, but you can definitely save yourself by killing its controller. In a multiplayer game, once a player leaves the game, all spells and abilities they control on the stack cease to exist.




Q: If I'm forced to discard an Arrogant Wurm and a Basking Rootwalla to Mind Shatter while there's an Arcane Laboratory in play, which one can I play with madness?

A: It's up to you. You control all the madness triggers, so you decide which order they go onto the stack. Whichever one you put onto the stack last will resolve first, so you'll play that one and the other will just wind up in your graveyard.




Q:If I cast Brainstorm from an otherwise-empty hand, if I draw a Force of Will and some other blue cards, can I remove one of them to play the Force before I have to put the two cards on top of my library?

A: No one gets priority during the resolution of a spell, even though there's a pause between taking actions as part of the spell's effect. Unless the blue card you keep is a Pact of Negation, you're not going to be able to counter anything in this situation.




Q: How does Eye of the Storm interact with Hive Mind? Is it just an unending chain of spells when someone casts a Lightning Bolt?

A: Not really - it'll be a fun display of fireworks, but it won't last forever. Let's say Eye of the Storm's trigger resolves first, because that causes the most chaos (and that's metal). The Bolt goes into the Storm, and then the Bolt gets copied and you get to cast the copy. Hive Mind copies the Bolt twice - once for the first time Lightning Bolt was actually cast, and once again for Eye of the Storm's copy being cast. But the copy isn't cast by each other player, it's just copied and put onto the stack under their control. So, you get one Bolt, everyone else gets two. It doesn't work out for you right away, but hey, you get to ride the lightning the next time someone casts a sorcery or instant!




Some of our more astute metal-head readers might've noticed something about this week's CI: I've included a metal reference in every question and/or answer! I was planning on having some sort of contest to see who could pick up on the most, but I'm afraid I might've included some without even realizing... I mean, what black card isn't the name of a metal song?

Tune in next week when Aaron takes the stage!

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