Cranial Insertion: The Logical Song

Cranial Insertion
The Logical Song

By Eli Shiffrin, Tom Fowler, and Diane Colley

Extended season is drawing to a close soon, so get your Grim Lavamancers and Vedalken Shackles out there while you can! Grand Prix Philly, next weekend, winds down the season, after which we get to see the effects of the new Extended rotation policy. The good news: you can play your Fetch lands one more year. The bad news: Duress and Cabal Therapy are still on the October chopping block. Frown I’ll be in Philly and should be doing event coverage for the mothership, so come up and say hi if you’re there.

You can also say hi to us at [email][/email], where our mailbag is full of rules questions. Today, we’re turning that mailbag upside down, shaking it, and seeing what falls out. We have questions on cards old and new, on formats competitive and casual. “Something for everyone,” that’s our motto. Well, it’s next in line after, “don’t feed the monkey.”

Here’s what was in the mailbag:

Q: My opponent has a Secluded Glen and a Swamp in play. He plays Vesuva copying the Glen. Can he show me a faerie card and have Vesuva come into play untapped?

He can show you a faerie card, or a handful of them, but it won’t help. Normally, Secluded Glen comes into play untapped. If you don't reveal a faerie, it comes into play tapped instead. Vesuva, on the other hand, normally comes into play tapped. If you don't reveal a faerie, it will still come into play tapped. If you do reveal a faerie, Vesuva will still come into play tapped. Nowhere on the card does it say that revealing anything will make it come into play untapped.

Q: I didn't see Butcher Orgg in the revised rules for "supertrample" in the Morningtide Update Bulletin. Can a blocked Butcher Orgg deal its combat damage to a planeswalker?

A: Certainly—if it's attacking a planeswalker and is unblocked. Otherwise, it does exactly what its ability says, which is assign combat damage to the defending player and some number of his creatures. This is nothing at all like "supertrample," where the attacker basically pretends it's not blocked. Nor is it anything like Supertramp, who sang songs like “Breakfast in America.”

Q: Can a creature like Silhana Ledgewalker be blocked by something with reach?

A: Not anymore. In fact, it was the introduction of the reach keyword ability that changed this interaction. In the CR for reach we see:

502.70b. A creature with flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach. (See rule 309, "Declare Blockers Step" and rule 502.4, "Flying.")

What does the Ledgewalker itself say about this?

Silhana Ledgewalker can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.

The old "~ can block as though it had flying" used to allow a Giant Spider to block a Silhana Ledgewalker. Not anymore. Silhana Ledgewalker can't be blocked except by creatures with flying, and reach no longer means, "can block as though it had flying." It simply redefines flying.

Q: I have a creature equipped with Deathrender and my opponent plays Akroma's Vengeance and destroys everything. Can I still bring a creature into play with the Deathrender? If so, will the attach ability still work?

A: The key here is that Akroma's Vengeance destroys all artifacts and creatures (and enchantments, for that matter) at the same time. Deathrender has a "leaves-play" ability, so the game will “look back in time” to the last moment the equipped creature was in play to determine whether or not Deathrender triggers. At that last moment, Deathrender was in play and attached to some creature, so it will indeed trigger and let you put a creature card from your hand into play.

However, since Deathrender is currently rending dead things in the graveyard, the "attach Deathrender to it" part of the ability will fail to do anything.

Q: If Countryside Crusher's ability goes on the stack and the Crusher leaves play before it resolves, does the owner of Countryside Crusher reveal just one card, or does he/she keep revealing cards until he's revealed a nonland card?

A: The Crusher’s ability is on the stack and is independent of the deceased Crusher in your graveyard. You’ll resolve the ability like you would if the Crusher were in play, except for the +1/+1 counters part. If a land is revealed, you keep flipping until you find a card that isn’t a land. This is all once instance of the ability.

Q: If I have a Doubling Season in play and then I play a Flash Foliage, do both the Saprolings block or does only one of them block?

A: Both tokens will have to block the targeted creature. Doubling Season simply doubles the number of tokens an effect would make. The extra tokens will be identical to the ones normally made, and will be bound by the same blocking restrictions.

Glacial Ray's Oracle text and alt art
Q: Is "Arcane" a valid creature type? Are Tribal Instant and Tribal Sorcery cards with Changeling subject to shenanigans with, oh, say . . . Glacial Ray?

A: Arcane is not a creature type. Glacial Ray scoffs at your proposed tribal shenanigans and freezes your birds.

Bonus: This seems like a good time to point out just what the creature types are. You can find them listed in the CR glossary under “creature type.”

Creature Type
Creatures and tribals share the same set of subtypes. These subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: "Creature - Human Soldier," "Artifact Creature - Golem," and so on. These subtypes are also called creature types.
The list of creature types, updated through the Lorwyn set, is as follows:
Advisor, Anemone, Angel, Anteater, Antelope, Ape, Archer, Archon, Artificer, Assassin, Assembly-Worker, Atog, Aurochs, Avatar, Badger, Barbarian, Basilisk, Bat, Bear, Beast, Beeble, Berserker, Bird, Blinkmoth, Boar, Bringer, Brushwagg, Camarid, Camel, Caribou, Carrier, Cat, Centaur, Cephalid, Chimera, Citizen, Cleric, Cockatrice, Construct, Coward, Crab, Crocodile, Cyclops, Dauthi, Demon, Deserter, Devil, Djinn, Dragon, Drake, Dreadnought, Drone, Druid, Dryad, Dwarf, Efreet, Egg, Elder, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Elk, Eye, Faerie, Ferret, Fish, Flagbearer, Fox, Frog, Fungus, Gargoyle, Giant, Gnome, Goat, Goblin, Golem, Gorgon, Graveborn, Gremlin, Griffin, Hag, Harpy, Hellion, Hippo, Homarid, Homunculus, Horror, Horse, Hound, Human, Hydra, Illusion, Imp, Incarnation, Insect, Jellyfish, Juggernaut, Kavu, Kirin, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold, Kor, Kraken, Lammasu, Leech, Leviathan, Lhurgoyf, Licid, Lizard, Manticore, Masticore, Mercenary, Merfolk, Metathran, Minion, Minotaur, Monger, Mongoose, Monk, Moonfolk, Mutant, Myr, Mystic, Nautilus, Nephilim, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Ninja, Nomad, Octopus, Ogre, Ooze, Orb, Orc, Orgg, Ouphe, Ox, Oyster, Pegasus, Pentavite, Pest, Phelddagrif, Phoenix, Pincher, Pirate, Plant, Prism, Rabbit, Rat, Rebel, Reflection, Rhino, Rigger, Rogue, Salamander, Samurai, Sand, Saproling, Satyr, Scarecrow, Scorpion, Scout, Serf, Serpent, Shade, Shaman, Shapeshifter, Sheep, Skeleton, Slith, Sliver, Slug, Snake, Soldier, Soltari, Spawn, Specter, Spellshaper, Sphinx, Spider, Spike, Spirit, Splinter, Sponge, Squid, Squirrel, Starfish, Survivor, Tetravite, Thalakos, Thopter, Thrull, Treefolk, Triskelavite, Troll, Turtle, Unicorn, Vampire, Vedalken, Viashino, Volver, Wall, Warrior, Weird, Whale, Wizard, Wolf, Wolverine, Wombat, Worm, Wraith, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie, Zubera

We at CI are still trying to get them to add Judge and Urchin to that list. So far, we have been unsuccessful.

Q: Can I Stifle Goblin Piledriver’s ability? What determines if a triggered ability is protected by protection from whatever?

A: Goblin Piledriver’s triggered ability is unprotected, so you can certainly target it with Stifle. Stifle targets only the ability, never the Piledriver itself. As far as I know, nothing in Magic will give an ability protection from anything.

Q: If I play Oblivion Ring on a permanent one of my opponents controls during a multiplayer game and I die, still with Oblivion Ring out, what happens to that permanent?
If I play Confiscate on a permanent one of my opponents controls during a multiplayer game and I die, still with Confiscate out, what happens to the permanent?
If I play Arrest on a permanent one of my opponents controls during a multiplayer game and I die, still with Arrest out, what happens to the permanent?

A: Three questions at once? That’s cheating! Do you multiplayer fans have no shame?

There is actually one ring to rule them all one rule that covers all of these scenarios:

600.4a. When a player leaves the game, all objects (see rule 200.8) owned by that player leave the game, all spells and abilities controlled by that player on the stack cease to exist, and any change-of-control effects which give that player control of any objects end. Then, if there are any objects still controlled by that player, those objects leave the game. (Any objects leaving the game this way that aren't owned by the player leaving the game are placed in the removed-from-the-game zone.) This is not a state-based effect. It happens as soon as the player leaves the game. If the player who left the game had priority at the time he or she left, priority passes to the next player in turn order who's still in the game. A player leaving the game doesn't affect combat damage on the stack.

So in the first case, your O-Ring leaves the game and your opponent's permanent will return to play. [Whoops, this is wrong - 600.4c points out that the triggered ability from the leaving O-Ring will never be put on the stack. Sorry we didn't catch this in time.] In the second case, Confiscate leaves play and your opponent gets their pilfered permanent back. In the third case, Arrest leaves play, and your opponent's creature is free to do mean things to people again.

Q: I have Magus of the Moon and Yixlid Jailer in play. I somehow sacrifice Dark Depths and then play Second Sunrise. Will Dark Depths come into play as a Mountain with ten ice counters?

A: Actually, yes, it will. With the Future Sight CR update, we got a new rule to handle wacky Jailer interactions. It’s 419.6i and it says,

419.6i Some replacement effects modify how a permanent comes into play. (See rules 419.1b-c.) Such effects may come from the permanent itself if they affect only that permanent (as opposed to a general subset of permanents that includes it). They may also come from other sources. To determine how and whether these replacement effects apply, check the characteristics of the permanent as it would exist in play, taking into account replacement effects that have already modified how it comes into play, continuous effects generated by the resolution of spells or abilities that changed the permanent’s characteristics on the stack (see rule 217.1c), and continuous effects from the permanent’s own static abilities, but ignoring continuous effects from any other source that would affect it.

Basically, it means you ignore continuous effects that are not native to the object coming into play (like the Jailer’s) when you’re figuring out which effects to apply. Thus, Dark Depths comes into play with 10 ice counters on it (its own replacement effect) and as a Mountain (Magus of the Moon’s continuous effect, which we apply because it’s very much a part of a nonbasic land coming into play).

Arch Rivals 2: Off the Court
Q: I have in play a Moongolve Winnower, a Benthicore, and its two Merfolk Wizard tokens. My opponent plays a Rivals' Duel targeting my Moonglove Winnower and my Benthicore. I tap my Merfolk Wizard tokens to give my Benthicore shroud. What will happen to the Rivals' Duel?

A: Part of rule 413.2a says, "If the spell or ability is not countered, it will resolve normally, affecting only the targets that are still legal. If a target is illegal, the spell or ability can't perform any actions on it or make the target perform any actions."

In this case, Benthicore is an illegal target, so Rivals’ Duel can’t make it deal damage, nor can it make the Winnower damage it. There’s still one legal target (Winnower), so the Rivals’ Duel isn’t countered, but it might as well be, since it won’t do anything.

Q: Does Suppression Field have an effect on flashback?

A: Other than to point and wave, not really. Flashback represents two abilities: a static ability that lets you play the spell from the graveyard by paying its flashback cost, and the static ability that makes sure a spell played that way gets removed from the game. Since neither of those are activated abilities, Suppression Field won’t affect a flashback spell in any way.

Q: I have Leaf-Crowned Elder in play. It's my upkeep and the kinship trigger goes on the stack. I look at the top card and find Verdeloth the Ancient. I choose to reveal it and then choose to play it without paying its mana cost. Can I pay the kicker cost of X?

A: You can. When a card says, “play it without paying its mana cost,” it really means, “pay it without paying what’s printed in the upper right corner (or down the left side for those bloody hideous cards in Future Sight).” I bet you never knew abilities could be so wordy or so opinionated. When you play a spell without paying its mana cost, you are required to pay any mandatory additional costs (a la Sphere of Resistance), and have the choice of paying optional additional costs, like kicker. So you can feel free to pay X and kick your Verdeloth. Just not too hard, since you might break your foot.

Q: For Tarmogoyf, do tribal instants and regular instants count as two different types? If so, why don't creatures and legendary creatures count separately?

A: A tribal instant has two card types—tribal and instant—and will be counted as two types when Tarmogoyf is figuring out his power and toughness. The card types are listed in the CR (205.2a), and are printed as reminder text on the ‘Goyf itself. Legendary, as a supertype, is not a card type and won’t be counted by Tarmogoyf. The same is true for the other supertypes (basic, snow, and the one everyone forgets. . . .)


Q: Let’s say I have two Sensation Gorgers in play; if I can stack the deck with a shaman before my upkeep, triggering the first kinship, do I have a chance to Spin into Myth another shaman before the second one triggers?

A: Not before it triggers, but you can do that before it resolves. At the beginning of your upkeep, the kinship abilities of both Sensation Gorgers will trigger. We’ll call these Gorger1 and Gorger2, resolving in that order. You reveal a shaman for Gorger1, then do the mini-Wheel of Fortune ability. With Gorger2 on the stack, you can play Spin into Myth and put another Shaman card atop your library, which Gorger2 will see when it resolves.

Q: Did Root Sliver receive errata?

A: It did. As printed, Root Sliver simply read, “Sliver spells can’t be countered.” That was all well and good, when all sliver spells were creatures. Cards like Nameless Inversion are sliver spells (among many other types) when you play them, though. Look at Urza’s Rage, which tells us that it can’t be countered by spells and abilities. It can still be countered by the rules of the game, though (its target becomes illegal), which isn’t a concern with a creature spell, since they never target. Since there were noncreature sliver spells out there which were perfectly capable of being countered by the game rules, Root Sliver was issued errata to reflect that. It now says, “Sliver spells can’t be countered by spells and abilities.”

Bonus: You can find the latest card wording in Gatherer, which is always updated with the latest Oracle wordings.

That’s all we have for this edition of CI. Next week: Root Elemental and Root Greevil lobby for their own errata.

-Tom Fowler


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