Cranial Insertion: Under the Knife



Cranial Insertion
Under The Knife!
By Eli Shiffrin, Tom Fowler, and Diane Colley


Mathematical Induction
is Serious Business.
Hello again, loyal readers, and welcome to another installment of Cranial Insertion, our weekly attempt to impart vital rules knowledge into your skulls via surgical implantation. Moko has been surprisingly light on mail this week, so send more questions to [email][email protected][/email]. Chimp’s orders!

The Urchin is scrubbed up and ready for surgery. Just relax, breathe, and count backwards from 20. You won’t feel a thing…




Q: With Trinisphere out, I want to play Shattering Spree and replicate it twice. How much will this cost me?

A: It will simply cost you RRR. Replicate is an additional cost, and Trinisphere checks for the total cost of the spell after every other factor has been added in. With the replicate cost paid twice, your Shattering Spree costs three, so Trinisphere will leave it alone.

I’ve always wanted them to print a full cycle of spheres (like Monosphere and Binisphere) just for completeness, but then you’d have to print them up to Infinisphere, which seems like a bad idea.




Q: With Crovax, Ascendant Hero in play, I cast Mirrorweave targeting a 1/1 Scathe Zombies. Will all creatures in play die as 0/0s because of Crovax, or become 1/1 Scathe Zombies?

A: You will have a horde of 2/2 zombies. When copying something, the characteristics written on the card (with a few exceptions) are all that get copied. Everything will become a regular 2/2 Scathe Zombie, including Crovax, Ascendant Zombie.

Quote from 503.2 »
The "copiable values" are the values that are printed on the object, as modified by other copy effects, by "as . . . comes into play" and "as . . . is turned face up" abilities that set characteristics, and by abilities that caused the object to be face down.


They're hungry for brains now, but wait till the turn ends and they see what they've been eating...




Q: My opponent controls Wilt-leaf Liege, and plays Godhead of Awe. How big is his Eager Cadet after Godhead of Awe resolves?

A: His Eager Cadet will be a 2/2. Godhead of Awe applies in layer 6b, while Wilt-Leaf Liege applies in layer 6d of the layers of continuous effects. The order that they came into play will not affect this.

Quote from 418.5a »
Inside layer 6, apply effects in a series of sublayers in the following order: (6a) effects from characteristic-defining abilities; (6b) all other effects not specifically applied in 6c, 6d, or 6e; (6c) changes from counters; (6d) effects from static abilities that modify power and/or toughness but don't set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value; and (6e) effects that switch a creature's power and toughness. Within each sublayer, apply effects in timestamp order.





Q: I control two Goblin Brigands, and my opponent controls Propaganda. If I have two untapped Mountains, must I pay 2 and attack with one Brigand? What if I have two mana in my mana pool?

A: No. The Brigands must attack only if they are able to do so, and Propaganda makes them unable to do so unless you pay 2. No part of the game will force you to pay 2 in order to attack with them, though. As long as the Brigands are, for whatever reason, unable to attack, they will not attack.





I’m in ur kitchen,
finkin’ ur time counters!
Q: I have Greater Gargadon suspended with one time counter on it. I also control Kitchen Finks née Body Double. Can I sacrifice my Finks to the Gargadon’s ability, retain priority, return itself as a Reveillark, sacrifice it again, bring itself back as the Finks, and repeat this process before any of the Gargadon activations resolve?

A: Yes you can. Because removing the time counter from Greater Gargadon is part of the resolution of its ability instead of the cost, you can stack as many activations as you like before letting them resolve to pop the counter and play the Gargadon.




Q: What happens if a Clone that is copying a Dread is destroyed? Does it get Shuffled back into its owners library?

A: I apologize for this, but:

What a Dreadful question!

Dread will not be shuffled into its owner’s library. Because Dread triggers on being put into the graveyard from "anywhere," it fails the bolded clause of 410.10d below. These "anywhere" triggers are different from ordinary leaves-play triggers, which this rule refers to.

Quote from 410.10d »
However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially because the object with the ability may no longer be in play, may have moved to a hand or library, or may no longer be controlled by the appropriate player. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger. Abilities that trigger specifically when an object leaves play, when an object is put into a hand or library from a public zone, or when a player loses control of an object will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward.





Q: If I resolve Mirrorweave, making all creatures into copies of my Fugitive Wizard, what will my Stalking Stones be if I animate it later that turn?

A: Your Stalking Stones will be a normal 3/3 Stalking Stones. Mirrorweave will only change the creatures that are in play when it resolves, not creatures that come into play or become creatures afterwards. The copies will not change if the targeted creature later changes, either.

Stalking Stones are not to be confused with Facebookstalking Stones, their younger, more tech savvy cousins.




Q: I control Everlasting Torment. My opponent plays Primal Command, choosing to gain 7 life and shuffle Everlasting Torment into my library. Will he gain the 7 life?

A: No. Multiple actions on a card are always carried out in the order printed, so Everlasting Torment is still in play when your opponent attempts to gain the 7 life.

Quote from 413.2b »
The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written.





Q: I have a card in my deck that is creased, but if I put it in the sleeve, you can’t see the crease from the back. You can still feel it on the front, though. Is this a marked card?

A: Yes. A card is marked if you can, by any means, identify that card, or something about that card, without looking at its front. Touching it is a means other than looking at its front, thus it is marked. Quod erot demonstratum.

Like most things in the judgeosphere, this is widely open to individual judgment, and certain degrees of markedness may be overlooked (or in one particularly interesting case of a blind player, encouraged) as impossible to identify without ridiculously obvious touchy-feely.




Q: My opponent controls a creature, and I Crib Swap it, giving him a 1/1 token. He controls Mycosynth Lattice and Scrapheap. If I Shock the token, will he gain a life?

A: No. Because you controlled the source that put the token into play, you are the owner of that token. As such, the token will go to your graveyard when it dies, not his, and his Scrapheap will not trigger.

Quote from 216.1 »
A token is controlled by whoever put it into play and owned by the controller of the spell or ability that created it.





Q: I have Primordial Sage in play. Can I choose to play Dryad Arbor as a creature spell so I can draw a card with my Sage?

A: No. Druid Arbor can only be put into play using your one-per-turn super-special land-playing ability. You cannot play it as a spell, so there is no way you can use it to trigger your Primordial Sage.

Quote from 212.6j »
If an object is both a land and another card type, it can be played only as a land. It can't be played as a spell.






Hey now, hey now now
Sing “This Corrosion” to me…
Q: My opponent plays a Chalice of the Void with X equaling 2. I then resolve Corrosion. How many counters do I need to destroy his Chalice? Will his Chalice immediately be destroyed for having zero counters on it?

A: You need zero counters for Corrosion to destroy the Chalice, but the Corrosion’s destruction effect happens only as part of the resolution of its trigger. Unless something else happens, the Chalice will remain in play until the trigger resolves during your next upkeep.




Q: My opponent plays Mistbind Clique, and with the champion ability on the stack, I Terror it. Will he still get to tap my lands?

A: No. The land-tapping triggered ability triggers on a creature being championed. Since Mistbind Clique is no longer in play when its champion ability resolves, its tapping ability cannot trigger.




Q: If I put Clone and Grizzly Bears into play via Tooth and Nail, can I choose the Grizzly Bears for Clone’s copy effect since they’re coming into play at the same time?

A: No. Clone’s copying ability is a replacement effect, so the choice of what to copy is made before it, and Grizzly Bears, are in play. Therefore, you can’t choose Grizzle Bears for Clone.

Quote from 419.1b »
Effects that read "As [this permanent] comes into play . . . " are replacement effects.





Good morning, this is your sturgeon surgeon speaking. This week’s procedure is over. You’ll feel a bit nauseated as the anesthesia wears off, but within a few hours you should find yourself with a great deal more insight into the rules of Magic. That, or a strange desire to venerate sea creatures.

As always, fill the mailbag! [email][email protected][/email]!

Diane Colley
DCI Level 3 Judge
Oberlin, Ohio

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