Cranial Insertion: Trip to the Optometrist



Trip to the Optometrist
or, See Eye Exam

By Eli Shiffrin, Brian Paskoff, and Aaron Stevenson


The eyes have it.
[This article is available in Spanish here.]

Welcome back! Good to see all of you again. As always, we've got a delightful pile of rules questions to be answered...but this time we're going to make you answer them. That's right, after many months of absence, the popular CI Quiz is back!

We'll give you the question and a set of multiple-choice answers. Try to guess the answer before clicking the spoiler button to reveal the correct answer. There's a little twist to this one that we haven't done before – you'll know it when you see it.

Meanwhile, if you have other questions that don't come printed with a convenient choose-the-right-answer-out-of-five option, go ahead and mail them to [email][email protected][/email], and we'll answer your question without making you think.

Pencils ready! Set! Go!



Q: I control Dominating Licid and use its ability to steal my opponent's Dominating Licid. Then I use that Licid's ability to make it an Aura on another creature, and take my Licid off in response. Now who gets that creature and who can pay to end the effect?

A: The parasitic answer is...
A: You get the creature, and you can end the effect.
B: Your opponent gets the creature, and your oponent can end the effect.
C: You get the creature, and your opponent can end the effect.
D: Your opponent gets the creature, and you can end the effect.
E: The Licid elopes with the creature in Vegas, and the Nevada courts can end this effect.

D, Licids are weird!

As soon as you take your Licid off his Licid (whoa...), he gets control of it back. When the ability, which still does resolve as normal, makes the Licid into an Aura, he still controls it, so he'll control the resulting Aura and the creature it enchants. However, since you controlled the ability that made it an Aura which said that "you" may pay to end the effect, you're the only one that gets to do so.


Q: My Odious Trow blocks a 2/2 with double strike and deathtouch. How many times do I need to regenerate my Trow to keep it alive?

A: The answer is...
A: Once.
B: Twice.
C: Thrice.
D: Force. Er, four times.
E: Six times.

B, two times!

In the first-strike combat damage step, your Trow will be smacked around like a Little Girl. It has to regenerate then (only once despite taking 2 damage) and deathtouch will trigger. It needs to regenerate from that, too, but as part of regenerating, the Trow is removed from combat, so normal combat damage won't be dealt to it, and deathtouch won't trigger again.


Q: I control Hissing Iguanar, its identical twin brother, and Figure of Destiny when my opponent plays Wrath of God. What's the most damage I can deal here?

A: The wrathful answer is...
A: No damage at all.
B: 1 damage.
C: 3 damage.
D: 4 damage.
E: 548,761,357 damage.

D, 4 little pew pews!

Since you've got a trigger that triggers on a leaves-play event, the game will look back in time to determine what, if anything, should trigger. Looking back, you have two Iguanars that want to trigger. All of the creatures leave play at the same time, not one at a time, so the Iguanars will trigger off of each other as well as both triggering off the Figure of Destiny for a total of four triggers and 4 damage.


Q: If I play Master Warcraft on my opponent's turn, can I...

A: Oh no, choose all the correct answers, there might not only be one! This is a change from the normal questions! AAAAAUGH!!!
A: Have none of his creatures attack?
B: Have his creatures attack my planeswalker?
C: Have his creatures attack his planeswalker?
D: Have his creatures attack himself?
E: Eat his cards?

A. Only A. Haha, fooled you!

After playing Master Warcraft, you get to choose which creatures attack. However, you don't get to choose how they attack. He'll get to choose whether his creatures attack you or your planeswalker. Having his creatures attack himself or his planeswalker is never an option, even for him when he chooses.

But eating his cards might be, if they're made of delicious, delicious cake. Mmm.



Nantuko Husk's vision is so bad
that it doesn't realize that the
answer is to the right.
Q: What happens if my opponent has a Prison Term on one of my creatures and I play a Nantuko Husk, then sacrifice it to itself with the Term's trigger on the stack?

A: The answer is...
A: Your opponent can choose to move Prison Term, and it's put into his graveyard.
B: Your opponent can attach Prison Term to the Nantuko Husk before you can play its ability to stop you from doing this.
C: Your opponent can't choose to move Prison Term at all.
D: Your opponent can choose to move Prison Term to another creature.
E: Your opponent can choose to move Prison Term to enchant the Nantuko Husk in your graveyard.

C, there isn't any choice here!

This one's pretty simple: Prison Term cannot be moved to enchant the now-dead Husk, so your opponent can't choose to move it. It won't try to move and then fall off, and you can indeed respond to the Prison Term trigger by sacrificing the Husk.


Q: I control Ajani Goldmane and my opponent controls Tezzeret the Seeker and Jace Beleren, then I play Volcanic Fallout. Which of the planeswalkers can damage be redirected to?

A: The answer is...
A: Ajani and Tezzeret and Jace
B: Ajani and Tezzeret or Jace
C: Tezzeret or Jace
D: Tezzeret and Jace
E: Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker Not Appearing in This Question

C, one of his, none of yours!

The planeswalker damage redirection effect only applies if a source you don't control would deal damage to a planeswalker you do control, so Ajani is right out. You can choose for the 2 damage to be redirected to either Tezzeret or Jace, but once you apply one of the effects, both points of damage will be redirected; you can't split up the damage.


Q: Can I use the mana from Smokebraider to turn up a Brine Elemental?

A: The answer is...
A: Yes, because it's an elemental when face up.
B: No, because it's not an elemental when face down. Conspiracy would fix this.
C: No, because it's not an activated ability.
D: Yes, because it's an elemental spell.
E: Yes, because pickles are delicious.

C, there is no activation going on!

Brine Elemental sleeping on its stomach isn't an elemental, but that doesn't matter a lot; what matters is that this isn't an activated ability at all. Paying a morph cost is a special action. It's definitely not a spell, so D is right out.

E is partially correct. The answer is no, but om nom nom.


Q: I have an animated Treetop Village, Humility, and Muraganda Petroglyphs. What does the Village look like?

A: The answer is...
A: 1/1 with trample.
B: 3/3 without trample.
C: 3/3 with trample.
D: 5/5 without trample.
E: A layer question without clearly-stated timestamps? *headexplody*

E, headexplody!

Surprise, the joke answer is the correct one! The answer does depend on timestamps.

If Humility came into play after you activated Treetop Village - possibly due to a Vedalken Orrery or because you're a masochist - you'll first apply the "has trample" ability and then "lose all abilities." Then you'll make it a 3/3 with the Village's ability, then make it 1/1 due to Humility, and then Muraganda Petroglyphs will apply in layer 6d.

If Humility came into play first, which is more likely, you'll apply the "lose all abilities" first, then "has trample," and then you'll make it 1/1 then 3/3 in layer 6b. Petroglyphs won't apply in 6d anymore, so it's still 3/3.

Options B and C are possible answers, depending on them thar timestamps. 1/1 and 5/5 just aren't options, no matter how much topiary work you do.


Q: What minimum level judge is required to run Friday Night Magic?

A: The answer is...
A: 0
B: 0, but must be a Rules Advisor
C: 1
D: 2
E: 11

A, they must be certifiable but not certified!

The judge for events must be present and acting in the capacity of a judge, but this person needs not be a certified judge, nor even has to have proven his or her skills via the Rules Advisor exam. Now, this person should optimally be a judge or at least able to pass the Rules Advisor exam, but this isn't a requirement.

Note that the judge program does not, in fact, go to 11.



Would Progenitus with glasses
be called "twenty-eyes?"
Q: Will Soul Snuffers put a -1/-1 counter on Progenitus?

A: The answer is...
A: Yes, and then it falls off since Progenitus has protection from -1/-1 counters.
B: No, since Progenitus has protection from black.
C: No, since Progenitus has protection from -1/-1 counters.
D: Yes, protection doesn't matter.
E: No, because Soul Snuffers can't reach high enough to put anything on Progenitus's towering heads.

D, he's only 9/9 now, hahaha!

Protection prevents damage, enchantment, equipping, blocking, and targeting. Soul Snuffers does none of these things; it just puts a counter on Progenitus. The counter has no color, and is not an Equipment nor Aura, so it'll get all comfy on one of Progenitus's many heads and make him so, so much smaller and manageable.


Q: What color mana will a Chrome Mox with Ghostfire imprinted make?

A: The answer is...
A: Colorless mana.
B: Red mana.
C: No mana.
D: Instant mana.
E: Ghostly mana.

C, nothing at all!

Ghostfire is colorless, even in the removed-from-game zone, so it won't make red mana. "Colorless" is a type of mana, but not a color, and Chrome Mox only cares about color. And... well... instant and ghostly mana simply do not exist, unless you're reading a really, really bad translation of the Comprehensive Rules.


Q: When is a player required to appeal a Floor Judge's ruling to the Head Judge?

A: The most appealing answer is...
A: Never.
B: If the player knows for sure that the Floor Judge is incorrect.
C: If the player believes that the Floor Judge is incorrect.
D: If the player doesn't like the Floor Judge's answer.
E: If the player rolls below 7 on his Sense Motive check.

A, you never have to!

It's certainly sporting and appropriate to appeal if you know that the Floor Judge is wrong. It's always a good idea to appeal if you believe the judge is wrong. It's sort of dumb to appeal just because you don't like the answer, but if you think it could be wrong, sure. But there is never any requirement to appeal.


Q: From where can you wish for a card in a sanctioned event if, for some reason, possibly relating to alternate dimensions, it allows ante?

A: The answer (again with this "multiple answers may be right" thing? Waugh!) is...
A: Sideboard.
B: Ante zone. (Hint: this is really a zone.)
C: Phased-out zone.
D: Removed-from-game zone.
E: Binder zone. (Hint: this is not really a zone.)

AnD, only outside the game!

Surprisingly enough, the ante zone is actually inside the game, despite being harder to interact with than the removed-from-game zone. The phased-out zone is, too, leaving A and D as the correct answers. E... well, maybe in your alternate dimension, but not in a real event.


So, how did you do? If you got 14 of the questions correct, you are truly stunning and win a pack or something! If you got 13 correct, you are just awesome. If you chose the fifth answer for all of the questions, I approve of your methods, even though you probably need to brush up on your rules knowledge.

Until next time, remember: pencils are not as tasty as cards.

- Eli Shiffrin
Tucson, Arizona

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