Cranial Insertion: I Call Shenanigans!

Cranial Insertion
I Call Shenanigans!
or, A Swap at the Fair

By Eli Shiffrin, Tom Fowler, and Ted Dickinson

The Lorwyn questions continue in what has been one of the most active weeks for the [email][email protected][/email] mailbox in recent memory. Plenty of confusion is surrounding the new influx of Tribal and Changeling cards, so we're here to cut through it with a linoleum knife! (Or whatever other kind of blade would be useful for cutting through abstract concepts.)

Q: If I sacrifice a creature, can I regenerate it?

A: Regeneration is a replacement effect that changes what happens when a creature would normally be destroyed. Creatures are destroyed either by suffering lethal damage or by effects that use the verb “destroy.” Even though destruction and sacrifice both typically end up with the permanent in question going to its owner’s graveyard, they’re not the same thing. So having a “regeneration shield” on a creature will be meaningless if it’s sacrificed.

Q: If I have multiple Boggart Shenanigans in play, do I do multiple damage if I place a goblin from play into the graveyard? Does this also go for Prowess of the Fair?

A: When multiple triggered abilities trigger off the same event (in this case, a Goblin or Elf permanent being put into the graveyard), all the abilities trigger individually. You will get multiple “deal 1 damage to target player” or “put a 1/1 green Elf Warrior token into play” effects. (Note that Prowess of the Fair only cares about your graveyard.)

Q: Do tribal instants and tribal sorceries, when played, count for Boggart Shenanigans or Prowess at the Fair?

A: No. Both of these cards specify that the Goblin or Elf has to go to the graveyard from play. Instants and sorceries can never be in play, therefore they can never be going to the graveyard from play.

Q: Does Teferi's Moat prevent creatures of the chosen color from attacking my planeswalkers?

A: We’ve been seeing this question and slight variations of it (also involving Propaganda) quite a bit. When an effect says that creatures can’t attack you, they really mean you; your planeswalkers are still wide open for attack. So try as you might, it’s just not possible to get Garruk to stand on the right side of that moat.

Q: I have a Twinning Glass and I play a Blaze. If I have another in hand, can I use Twinning Glass to play it for 1 mana and declare the value of X to be my opponent's life total?

A: When you play a spell without paying its mana cost, you skip several parts of the normal process of playing a spell (which is section 409 of the Comprehensive Rules). One of the steps you skip is determining a value for X. Therefore, X will always be 0.

Q: In a recent game I played, I put an Avian Changeling into play. My opponent pointed out that it is a Wall in addition to all other creature types, and therefore cannot attack. Is this true, or can I declare it as an attacker? Do all Walls still have this restriction, or only if they have Defender?

A: Your opponent was partially correct: that Avian Changeling is indeed a Wall, as “Wall” is still an existing creature type in Magic . . . so you can do fun things like target it with Glyph of Destruction and Goblin Digging Team’s ability. And back in the old days, that creature type had rules baggage associated with it that prevented it from attacking.

When Champions of Kamigawa was released, the designers decided having creature types with rules baggage wasn’t such a great idea. So at the same time “Legend” stopped being a creature type, “Wall” stopped meaning that creature couldn’t attack. All creatures that had the Wall subtype at that time were errated to add the Defender ability to prevent them from attacking;

(For you card text historians, this rules change is why the “may attack as though it weren’t a Wall” text was necessary on the Legions printing of Mistform Ultimus but not on the timeshifted reprint in Time Spiral).

So while all the cards with the Changeling ability are Walls, they don’t also have defender. Attack away!

Q: Suppose I have Magus of the Abyss and Wort, Boggart Auntie in play, with a Mudbutton Torchrunner in the graveyard. Can I bring back the Torchrunner with Wort in time to destroy it for the Magus?

A: This question may be relying on an older version of the Lorwyn spoiler. Wort only puts Goblin cards into your hand, so there’s no way you could normally play the Torchrunner during your upkeep at all.

Even assuming it did (let’s say you have Aluren in play), you still have to choose a target for the Magus’ ability when the ability is put onto the stack, so only creatures that are already in play at the beginning of your upkeep are eligible.

Q: So, since the searching Rebels like Amrou Scout have been errated, does this also mean that Crib Swap (and other Changeling instants) cannot be played from the graveyard by Haakon, Stromgald Scourge?

A: Not at all. The Rebels were errated because their effect tries to put the Rebel card directly into play. Even though there are rules to prevent sorceries and instants from ever entering play, the word “permanent” was added to the search criteria to prevent confusion.

Haakon only lets you play Knight cards from your graveyard; they still must follow the normal path of going through the stack as a spell, so the errata would not be necessary here. Cards such as Crib Swap and Nameless Inversion are Knights in every zone, and therefore work with Haakon.

Q: What happens if I were to play a Crib Swap from my graveyard with Haakon, Stromgald Scourge in play? Where exactly would my Crib Swap go?

A: Even though your Crib Swap might have a different starting location than normal in this scenario, everything else is done exactly the same as if you were playing it from your hand; the first step of playing it is moving it to the stack, and the last step of resolving it is moving it to your graveyard . . . where you can play it again.

Q: Can I still play the "Demand" part of Supply // Demand if Gaddock Teeg is in play?

A: Rule 505.2 states that while a split card is a spell on the stack, it only has the characteristics of the side being played. So if you’re playing Demand, at no point does the game see a spell with an X in the mana cost, and Gaddock Teeg will give your opponent the bad advice of allowing it to be played.

Q: I control an Ajani Goldmane and a Purity. My opponent has a Shock and wants to remove two loyalty counters from Ajani. Is there any way he can do this? Or will I, as the affected player, always be able to say that I want to apply Purity's replacement effect to the damage first, effectively blocking his ability to hit my Ajani with noncombat damage?

A: Rule 212.9g states that choosing to deal non-combat damage to a Planeswalker is a redirection effect and subject to the normal rules for ordering replacement effects. (Redirection effects are a type of replacement effect.)

The “normal rules” (Rule 419.9) state that when multiple replacement effects would replace the same event, the affected player (or controller of the affected permanent) chooses in which order to apply them.

Since you’re the player taking the damage in this scenario, you’re the “affected player.” Assuming you choose to apply the Purity’s replacement effect first, all the damage will be turned into life gain, and there will be no damage left for your opponent to choose to redirect to your planeswalker.

Q: When I play the Mirror Entity ability, do I lose any of the abilities of the creatures that I control?

A: No. Mirror Entity doesn’t interfere with any abilities other creatures you control may have, even though it’s changing their power/toughness and giving them all creature types.

This kind of interaction is confusing for some players because of two reasons:

1) Other cards that set power/toughness to a specific number (such as Humble) remove abilities. This is because those effects specifically do so, not because of something inherent in changing a creature’s power/toughness.

2)When lands gain a basic land type, they lose all their other abilities and only have the ability intrinsic to that land type, unless the effect says otherwise. This is because of rule 212.6h:

212.6h If an effect changes a land's subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text and its old land types, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. Note that this doesn't remove any abilities that were granted to the land by other effects. Changing a land's subtype doesn't add or remove any card types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic, legendary, and snow) the land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types and mana abilities.

This rule only applies to a land getting a basic land type (from an effect like Blood Moon) and has nothing to do with creatures gaining new creature types.

Q: If I have 4 Militia's Pride in play and I pay the cost. Do I get 4 attacking creatures or do I get just 1?

A: Each Pride will trigger when one of your creatures attacks . . . however you’ll have to pay W for each trigger that you want to generate a creature. You can’t use the same single W to pay for four different abilities.

Q: If I play Marshaling Cry, do the tokens I get from Militia's Pride still come into play attacking or do they come in with vigilance?

A: Marshaling Cry changes the characteristics of creatures, therefore it only affects your creatures that are in play when it resolves. Assuming you play it during your precombat main phase, the tokens created by Militia’s Pride won’t be in play yet and therefore wouldn’t be affected.

Even if they did gain vigilance it wouldn’t matter for the turn they entered play; Militia’s Pride puts them into play tapped and having vigilance won’t change that.

Q: I play Sower of Temptation. My opponent plays Familiar's Ruse, attempting to counter my Sower. If I play a Spellstutter Sprite, will its ability counter his Ruse, as I control 2 Faeries (1 in play and 1 on the stack)?

A: This is possibly the most common question we’ve seen come out of Lorwyn.

When something counts “the number of [subtype] you control,” without any other qualifying nouns (just “Faerie” as opposed to “Faerie card” or “Faerie spell”), it means “the number of permanents you control in play with this subtype.” So Spellstutter Sprite won’t count any Faeries that may be on the stack waiting to resolve.

Q: I activate my Arena and, after everyone chooses targets, my opponent destroys the creature I targeted. According to the Arena rulings on the Gatherer autocard, no damage is dealt. My question is, why doesn't the game use the last known information and deal damage to the remaining creature?

A: This is just one of the many quirks of a fairly quirky card. None of the creatures will take damage because Arena isn’t the source of the damage; Arena makes the two creatures do damage to each other. If one of the creatures isn’t in play, then Arena is trying to make that creature do something illegal, so nothing happens.

Q: What is the sequence of events after resolving a Momentary Blink on a "champion" creature? Or do you get to choose, since you control all triggers involved?

A: For purposes of this question, we’re assuming you own and control the creature with champion, and own the object that was removed from the game.

When a Momentary Blink resolves on a creature with champion, the first ability that triggers is Champion’s “when this permanent leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control” ability. Then immediately afterwards (still during the resolution of Momentary Blink) the new object’s “when this permanent comes into play, sacrifice it unless you remove another [object] you control from the game” ability triggers.

After the Momentary Blink is finished resolving, right before you gain priority, the game sees that two abilities triggered since the last time anybody had priority. Since you control both abilities, you can choose the order in which they go on the stack. If you want to keep the creature with Champion in play, then all you have to do is put the “comes into play” trigger on the stack first, then the “leaves play” trigger. This will bring the other object back into play first so you can choose to remove it again.

If you were to stack the abilities in the other way, with the “leaves play” ability going on the stack first, then you will most likely have to sacrifice the Champion creature as the other object won’t be back into play yet.

With some questions from the mailbox still left unanswered, Tom will certainly have his hands full bringing you next week's article!


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