Cranial Insertion: Set Phasers to Ban



Cranial Insertion
Set Phasers to Ban
By Eli Shiffrin, Tom Fowler, and Diane Colley

Hello again, zombies and shamans, and welcome to another week of rules questions and brain surgery at Cranial Insertion. As always, send us more questions at [email][email protected][/email]. Moko will love you, and perhaps dribble a bit of his fetid zombie ooze into an envelop and sent it to you.

We have for you today a smorgasbord of questions from the terrifying to the bizarre, and, without further slow play, here they are!


Do me a favor and don't say
"fascinating."




Q: If I phase my opponent's creature out with Reality Ripple, but that creature does not have phasing itself, will it return to play?

A: Yes. Phasing is a static ability that modifies the rules for the untap step.

Quote from 502.15b »
During each player's untap step, before the active player untaps his or her permanents, all permanents with phasing the player controls phase out. Simultaneously, all objects that had phased out under that player's control phase in.


Phasing only specifies that a permanent phase in if it phased out previously. It does not require that the permanent actually have phasing.

Phase in, phase out… the phaser?




Q: I control Liliana Vess, Memnarch, and Karn, Silver Golem. I use Memnarch's ability to turn Liliana into an artifact, then I use Karn's ability to turn her into a 5/5 artifact creature. If a creature attacks Liliana, can she block for herself? Will she lose loyalty counters from combat damage incurred while blocking?

A: In this case, Liliana Vess is a 5/5 artifact creature planeswalker, and obeys the rules for all of those card types. Your opponent may choose to attack her because she is a planeswalker. You may choose to block attacking creatures with her because she is a creature, even if those attacking creatures are attacking Liliana herself. Damage dealt to her will remove loyalty counters from her, as well as counting as regular damage. She could die either from lethal damage as a creature or 0 loyalty as a planeswalker. Also, she can be shattered. Just tell her she looks fat in that dress.




Q: Can I play a Lotus Bloom off of Mind's Desire? Can I choose to play it for its suspend cost if I want to?

A: Yes, you can play Lotus Bloom off of Mind's Desire. Mind's Desire allows you to play the bloom without trying to pay its unpayable cost.

Quote from 203.1b »
Attempting to play a spell or ability that has an unpayable cost is a legal action. However, attempting to pay an unpayable cost is an illegal action.


You may not choose to suspend the Lotus Bloom off of Mind's Desire, though. Suspending can only be done when you could play the spell from your hand. Because Lotus Bloom is in the removed-from-game zone, you cannot pay to suspend it.

Quote from 502.59a »
"Suspend N-[cost]" means "If you could play this card from your hand, you may pay [cost] and remove it from the game with N time counters on it. This action doesn't use the stack."






When the music's over
Turn out the lights
Q: I'm playing in a multiplayer game with a range of influence of 1 seat. If I control two Doors to Nothingness, can I kill off the two players to my left this turn?

A: Not unless you're playing a three-player game. Also, where did you get four mana of each color?!

Quote from 601.2c »
The particular players within each player's range of influence are determined as each turn begins.


Now, let's say you have three doors. Behind one of the doors is a car and behind the other two are goats




Q: My opponent controls a Tarmogoyf, and there are sorceries and lands in the graveyard. I cast Nameless Inversion on the Tarmogoyf, but it doesn't die! What the heck?

A: Well, first off, Nameless Inversion will be moved to the graveyard as the last part of its resolution, before state-based effects are checked. The Tarmogoyf will be beefed up before if can get caught with 0 toughness.

In addition to this, "Tribal" is a type, not a supertype, so the Goyf will count it.

Quote from 205.2a »
The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal.


I'm still wondering what happens if you find a way to make something a Tribal with no other types.




Q: If I cast Final Fortune, then Time Stretch, when will I lose the game?

A: You will lose the game in three turns unless I kill you first. Mwahaha.

The first extra turns to be taken are those most recently created. Effectively, the turns form a separate last-in-first-out stack. Since the Final Fortune turn is the oldest, it will be taken after the two Time Stretch turns.

Quote from 300.6 »
Some effects can give a player extra turns. They do this by adding the turns directly after the current turn. If a player gets multiple extra turns or if multiple players get extra turns during a single turn, the extra turns are added one at a time. The most recently created turn will be taken first.





Q: I have Vedalken Orrery in play. My opponent casts Beacon of Tomorrows targeting himself during his main phase, and I respond by casting Time Walk. Whose turn is it after he finishes the current turn?

A: Following up on the previous question, since your Time Walk resolves first, then your opponent's Beacon, he will take his extra turn before you take yours. The turn order will go current turn (his), his extra, your extra, your normal turn, his normal turn, and so on.

If you want your extra turn first, wait until his Beacon has resolved, then Time Walk. After all, it's just a jump to the left...




Q: If I play Sower of Temptation and take my opponent's Sower of Temptation, which took my Grizzly Bears, do I get my Grizzly Bears back?

A: No. Sower of Temptation gave your opponent control of your Grizzly Bears until it leaves play. The Sower's change of control does not matter.

I guess she wasn't that tempting after all.




Q: I play Extraplanar Lens and remove a Swamp from the game. Then I play Thermal Flux on the Lens, making it snow. I then tap a non-snow swamp for mana. Will the extra mana be snow mana? What if I had used Thermal Flux to make the swamp snow, but not the Lens?

A: Technically, there's no such thing as "snow mana," only mana that has been generated by a snow permanent. Extraplanar Lens's triggered ability causes the Lens to create the extra mana, not the Swamps, so if you make the Lens a snow permanent, only the extra mana it produces can pay for :snow:, and if you make the Swamp a snow permanent, only the mana it produces can pay :snow:.

The state of Ohio produces snow mana. If you're ever in need of some, help yourself. We certainly have had enough of it.




Q: What happens when I Memory Lapse my opponent's spell while I have Leyline of the Void in play?

A: It goes to the… uh… I don't remember…

Quote from 414.1 »
To counter a spell is to move the spell from the stack to its owner's graveyard.


Memory Lapse sets up what is called a self-replacement effect. It replaces how you normally counter a spell. Leyline of the Void is another replacement effect that is trying to replace the same thing. However, self-replacement effects always apply before other replacement effects, so the countered spell will be placed on top of the library.

Quote from 419.6d »
Some spells and abilities replace part or all of their own effect(s) when they resolve. Such effects are called self-replacement effects. When applying replacement effects to an event, apply self-replacement effects first, then apply other replacement effects.





Q: I control Furnace of Rath. I attack my opponent, and he does not block, but he plays Reverse Damage. How much life does he gain?

A: Here again we see replacement effects in action. Furnace of Rath and Reverse Damage are both trying to replace the same event (the combat damage). When this occurs, the controller of the affected object gets to choose which replacement effect will apply to the given event.

What the heck does that mean? The damage is an event, not an object. The damage is being dealt to your opponent, so he is being affected by it (the rule also covers the "affected player." Surprise!). Because of this, he will get to choose whether to apply the Reverse Damage or the Furnace of Rath to the combat damage.

If he is a smart cookie, he will apply the Furnace of Rath first, then replaced the doubled damage with Reverse Damage for double the gain. That's the smart play in the pro way with Double Gain Fun.





No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Q: If I control Academy Ruins and Mindslaver, can I simply declare that I'm choosing to deck them?

A: No. Just because your opponent can't do much doesn't mean they can't do anything. You do control all of the optional actions in the loop, however you must give them a chance to draw those cards in case they can find a way out of the lock.

Cough Pact of Negation Cough




Q: If I Mindslaver my opponent, can I cast his Burning Wish and look at his sideboard?

A: No. The fact that Wishes can grab from the sideboard is a tournament mechanic, but one little policy point trumps the Wishes: A player may never look at an opponent's sideboard. Therefore a player can not access his opponent's sideboard if he controls his turn. This is the same logic that keeps Platinum Angel from being a shield against Game Losses.





I don't hate you
Q: If I have Stuffy Doll with Guilty Conscience on it, and my opponent controls Platinum Angel, what happens when I activate Stuffy Doll?

A: You divide by zero. The game is a draw.

What happens here is Stuffy Doll deals itself a damage, which is redirected to your opponent, which triggers Guilty Conscience, which deals one damage to Stuffy Doll, which is redirected to your opponent, which triggers Guilty Conscience, which deals one damage to Stuffy Doll, which is redirected to your opponent, which triggers Guilty Conscience, which deals one damage to Stuffy Doll, which is redirected to your opponent, which triggers Guilty Conscience, which deals one damage to Stuffy Doll…

Because your opponent controls Platinum Angel, state-based effects will never cause him to lose the game for having an infinitely negative life total. The loop is uncontrolled and the game is a draw.

To infinity, and beyond!

Quote from 421.4 »
If the loop contains only mandatory actions, the game ends in a draw.





Q: I cast Fatal Frenzy targeting my Archangel during my opponent's main phase. My opponent responds with Last Gasp targeting my Archangel, then casts Nausea after the Fatal Frenzy has resolved. How big is my Archangel?

A: Your Archangel is 3/1. First, Last Gasp makes Archangel a 2/2. Fatal Frenzy evaluates X when it resolves, so it will give the angel +2/+0, making it a 4/2. Nausea will then make it a 3/1. Fatal Frenzy checks to see what X is at resolution, and only at resolution. It does not change as the Archangel's power changes, no matter how queasy the Archangel may be.




Well, I hope you all had fun. Keep sending us questions! [email][email protected][/email] as always.

Urchin is over and out.

Diane Colley
Level 2 Judge Trainer
Oberlin, Ohio

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