Cranial Insertion: Carpe Capram!




Cranial Insertion
Carpe Capram!
or, Errata Killed the Dinosaurs

By Eli Shiffrin, Tom Fowler, and Ted Dickinson


The first Magic card
to care about goats.
All is not well in the happy, sun-drenched meadows of Lorwyn. The birds have stopped singing, the butterflies have stopped soaring, and the kithkin have stopped hump... humming. A roar washes over the fields, a roar composed of millions of voices, with many common threads: "WHAT DOES THIS DO?!"

So either Lorwyn is a rules nightmare, or you all trust us a lot more to answer your questions, because the [email][email protected][/email] mailbox is fuller than ever (by about 25%) and the questions are still rolling in. We'll be looking strictly at Lorwyn this week, and we'll be back to non-Lorwyn questions next week (not that we'll be done with Lorwyn, oh not at all!)

So send in your questions for the new set, for the old sets, but not for sets not yet printed. Those give Moko an upset tummy.




Q: What happens if we tie on a clash? Do we reveal the next card?

A: Nope, you're done. No one wins the clash—what a pity. Nowhere in clash's rules does it say to repeat the process on a tie, and your revealed card must have a higher converted mana cost than every other card revealed to win.




Q: If I have a Cairn Wanderer in play and a Kithkin Greatheart in my graveyard, does the Wanderer have first strike? I thought the new rules for abilities in the graveyard would give the Greatheart first strike so the Wanderer gets it, too.

A: Your Wanderer will be rather slow to the draw. The new rules that you refer to only cause characteristic-defining abilities (CDAs) to apply in the graveyard. The Greatheart, though, does not have such an ability. You can tell because it doesn't set power, toughness, color, or type. Rule 405.2 notes those as the requirements to be a CDA.




Q: If I wish to play a card like Silvergill Adept is it possible to reveal a Shapeshifter as my Merfolk card because of its changeling ability or because it is shown as a "Shapeshifter" does it not count?

A: Any old Shapeshifter won't do, but a Shapeshifter with changeling (aka "Changelings" for ease of reference) will happily hoodwink the Adept into thinking it's a Merfolk. The changeling ability applies in all zones because it sets types, making it a CDA.




Q: Do my Changeling spells cost 1 less if I have Undead Warchief in play?

A: Sure - they're Zombie spells, Zombie cards, Zombies once in play . . . All of the Warchiefs love them some Changelings!





What would we do without oddball,
three-card "I win" combos?
Q: If I sacrifice a Mogg Fanatic equipped with Deathrender while I have Enduring Renewal in play, can I return him to my hand then put him back into play with Deathrender's ability?

A: Let's look at what happens. You put the Mogg's activated ability on the stack and sacrifice it. Now, you have two triggers: Enduring Renewal says, "Return that creature to your hand," and Deathrender says, "you may put a creature card into play and attach me." You control both triggers, so you choose the order in which to put them on the stack and resolve them. If you resolve the Renewal first, you get your Mogg back. Deathrender doesn't care how or when the creature card in your hand got into your hand, and you don't choose which creature to put into play until the trigger resolves, so you can put the Mogg back into play.

Looks like a combo!




Q: I have a question from the Lorwyn Prerelease. I have a Timber Protector and a tonne of very impressive Treefolk on the table. My opponent plays Austere Command and chooses to destroy all creatures. Do I get to keep my tonne of very impressive Treefolk as they are indestructible? Or do they go down with the Timber Protector?

A: Your army of trees will live on happily to mourn their dead Protector. The Commands all perform their actions in the exact order written, so your opponent will first destroy all cheap creatures, and then destroy all expensive creatures.

These two mass destructions are two separate events, but all of the destructions within each event occur as one event—that is, the Command will try to destroy all of your expensive Treefolk at once, and only the Protector will die because it can't destroy any other Treefolk.




Q: If I play Delay while Guile is in play, will the spell be remove from the game suspended with three counter or will it be removed from the game for me to play? We were arguing that it is a trigger or replacement effect.

A: Both Guile and Delay set up replacement effects. Delay replaces what happens upon countering a spell, but Guile replaces the countering itself! So Guile will always win, and you'll be able to play the spell.

Bonus: If you choose not to play the spell, it's still never removed by Delay, so your opponent can't play it later.




Q: Cloudgoat Ranger says, "Tap three untapped Kithkin you control" as a cost. Can I tap a non-creature Kithkin, such as Militia's Pride, to pay it?

A: You sure can! This is the benefit, beauty, and arguably the entire point of the tribal type: each tribal card is its subtypes, and anything that refers to "a Kithkin" refers to any sort of permanent that happens to have the subtype "Kithkin." Rule 200.9 is awesome for this.




Q: Who controls a spell while its on the stack? Or does Peppersmoke only work the way I think it does (i.e. if you have a Faerie permanent)?

A: The player who played a spell is its controller, but that's irrelevant here because Peppersmoke and the like do work the way you think. Rule 200.9 kicks in again and says that "a Faerie" means "a Faerie permanent," which Peppersmoke is not; it's just a Faerie spell.




Q: I have a Hivestone in play. Would it give Sliver to those tribal cards that have a creature type on them such as Elvish Promenade?

A: Even though tribal cards have creature types, they are not creatures. Hivestone only lets real creatures into the hive, so those tribal enchantments won't be Slivers. Unfortunately.




Q: If a planeswalker is sent to the graveyard, can it be the target of Dread Return?

A: Planeswalkers look sorta like creatures, and they act sorta like creatures, but they're not creatures—they're planeswalkers. Dread Return only lets you grab creature cards, so no planeswalkers will return from the dead.




Q: What happens I search out Crib Swap with Amrou Scout?

A: Then you've committed a Game Rules Violation. There are two issues here.

1) Armou Scout has happy shiny errata saying that it can only fetch a Rebel permanent, not any Rebel card.

2) Instants can never come into play. If they try to, they stay right where they are instead. (212.5d)




Q: My opponent played a Changeling Hero and chose to champion his creature. Can I kill that creature in response so he has to sacrifice the Hero, or can he change the target?

A: Champion does not target. The choice of which creature to remove is made as the trigger resolves, and that choice can't be responded to.

If he only has one creature, though, you can respond to the champion trigger by killing that creature so he won't have anything left to choose to champion!





If you surround Kraj with
the right cards, he will be
very, very loyal.
Q: Through March of the Machines, Mycosynth Lattice, and Experiment Kraj, I got my planeswalker to be a creature with a +1/+1 counter on it. Is that legal? If so, can Kraj play the abilities? How often?

A: That is indeed legal. Planeswalkers are permanents, so the Lattice makes them artifact planeswalkers (Karn?), and the March makes them artifact creature planeswalkers (yup, Karn). As creatures, Kraj will happily slap a counter on them and borrow their abilities.

So now what? Well, the "one activated ability per turn" limit is built into the planeswalker type, not the abilities, so Kraj can play the abilities as many times as he likes. And while loyalty is a characteristic that only planeswalkers have, loyalty counters are fair game for anything.




Q: Chandra Nalaar got another activated ability from Flame Fusillade. Can she ping twice, once with her +loyalty ability and once by tapping?

A: Nope. 212.9f clarifies that you can play an activated ability of a planeswalker "only if none of its activated abilities have been played that turn." "Its activated abilities" refers to any activated abilities it may have, and isn't specifically linked to the three plus and minus loyalty abilities.




Q: Can I evoke out Shriekmaw if Gaddock Teeg is in play?

A: Sure—Shriekmaw is a creature, and Gaddock only cares about noncreature spells.

Now, based on the number of times we've seen this question, let's pretend that Gaddock didn't say "noncreature" for the sake of education!

Evoke is an alternative cost to play the spell, but you're still playing it; and evoke does not alter the mana cost nor converted mana cost of the spell, only what you pay for it. Shriekmaw is spell with a converted mana cost of 5, so Teeg would flip out over that cost if Shriekmaw were not a creature.




Q: Can I attack my opponent, then ninja in a creature to hit the planeswalker once he chooses not to block?

A: Your ninja can't change his mind; it has to attack the same thing the bounced creature was attacking. Rule 502.43c in the Ninjutsu section of the rules has been updated to handle planeswalkers.

Bonus: The rules for banding were updated to work with planeswalkers, too! So very important!




Q: I played Hoarder's Greed and my opponent had a land on top of his library, so I won the clash. I draw another two cards and lose 2 life, but then do we clash again?

A: You do. "This process" is everything: the draw, the life, the clash. And it can repeat many, many times.




Q: How does clash work in Two-Headed Giant?

A: Each time you go to clash, you pick an opponent. It doesn't always have to be the same one—in the case of Hoarder's Greed, you can even pick different opponents each time you clash during the resolution of that one spell. So if your first clash gets an opponent with a land, you can clash with the teammate to try to get luckier.




Q: Can I Momentary Blink a Sower of Temptation in response to its comes-into-play trigger to steal a creature permanently?

A: No, you can't cheat that kind of thing. Rule 418.3d tells us that if a duration ends before the effect begins, the effect never starts.




Q: If I put Lignify on a Changeling, will that creature still have all of its types?

A: Nope. The changeling ability will still make the Changeling all of its types, but then Lignify makes it into a Treefolk and only a Treefolk. (Rule 212.1b)




Q: If I have Coat of Arms in play and two Changelings...

A: Just like Mistform Ultimus + Mirror Gallery, only now there are a zillion ways to get multiple creatures that share over one hundred types! And the answer is still: Coat of Arms counts creatures that share types, not how many types they share. Two Changelings and Coat of Arms will only get them each +1/+1.




It's time to sign off for this week. Enjoy your release tournaments this weekend, and remember:

Changelings are Slivers, and are therefore the best things ever.

Until next time, may you find a shape that fits.

- Eli Shiffrin
Tucson, Arizona

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