Published on 01/03/2022

Hello Tomorrow (and Goodbye to Yesterday)

Cranial Translation
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Just a peek of what's to come.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! We've once again managed to travel another year into the future, so everyone, please welcome 2022 to our ranks! I know the last few years probably haven't gone as most have planned, but I'm optimistic that we can use 2022 to turn things around and make this a good year for everyone.

And part of looking ahead to tomorrow is looking for your rules questions. Feel free to send them in to us, and we'll send you an answer back. We may even use your question in a future article. If you have a short question, you can Tweet it to us at @CranialTweet, and you can send us longer questions to our e-mail at .

Q: I have a Welcoming Vampire in play, along with a Hiveheart Shaman and three different basic land types among my lands. If I activate the Shaman's ability, will I get to draw a card from the Vampire's triggered ability?

A: You do! The Shaman's activated ability doesn't cause the token to enter with the counters - you create the 1/1 token, then you put three +1/+1 counters on it. Immediately after the token enters, we check for triggers, and since the token entered as a 1/1, the Vampire's ability will trigger and you can draw a card.

Q: I have a Grolnok, the Omnivore in play that has exiled some cards with croak counters on them, but then my opponent killed Grolnok. Can I still play those exiled cards, or do I have to get Grolnok into play again?

A: Grolnok has to return before you can play those exiled cards again. The permission to play the exiled cards is an ability that Grolnok has, not an ability that was created when the cards were exiled. If Grolnok leaves play, then your permission to play those exiled cards also goes away, and you'll need to get Grolnok back onto the battlefield if you want access to those cards again.

Q: I control Prosper, Tome-Bound, and I cast Wildfire Devils, exiling an instant from my graveyard and casting the copy. Will Prosper trigger and give me a copy?

A: Prosper will not trigger. Prosper only triggers if you play a card from exile, and while the copy is being cast from exile, the copy is not a card. So while the copy is being cast, since the copy is not a card, Prosper will not trigger and won't give you a treasure.

Q: I control a Mazemind Tome with three counters on it, plus I have a Tale's End in my hand. Can I activate the ability of the Tome, then counter the sacrifice trigger to keep the Tome on the battlefield?

A: You could counter the trigger, but it will ultimately be a waste of the Tale's End. The Tome's triggered ability is called a "state trigger" - once the ability has triggered, it won't trigger again until that trigger has left the stack. So once you've added the fourth counter to the Tome, the sacrifice trigger goes on the stack, and you could counter it with the End. But after the trigger is countered, since the Tome is still on the battlefield with four counters on it, the ability simply triggers again and it will still end up exiled.

Q: My opponent controls a Sludge Monster, while I control a Giant Spider. On my turn, I cast Cryptolith Rite. On my opponent's next turn, they attack and put a slime counter on my Spider. Can my Spider still tap for mana?

A: It can! The relevant timestamp for the Monster is when the Monster entered the battlefield, not when the slime counter was added to the opponent's creature. Since the Rite has a later timestamp than the Monster, the Spider can still tap for mana, even it gets the slime counter after the Rite enters.

Q: My opponent has a Grasp of Fate in play that's exiled my God-Pharaoh's Statue. Can I use the -2 ability of Karn, the Great Creator to get my Statue back?

A: Yep, you sure can. The Statue is an artifact card that you own that's in exile (and it's face up), so you can get your Statue back with the -2 ability. While most commonly used to get a card from outside the game, Karn can also get cards in exile back into your hand, so Karn will be able to free your Statue from your opponent's Grasp and get it back into your hand.

Q: I control a Thing in the Ice with four counters on it and a Vampire Hexmage. If I use the Hexmage's ability to remove all of the counters from the Thing, will it immediately transform?

A: Not immediately, no. The Thing only checks the number of counters on it as part of the triggered ability resolving. It's not something that the Thing constantly checks for. While you can speed things up by using the Hexmage to remove all of the Thing's counters, you still need to cast an instant or sorcery spell to have the Thing check the number of counters on it.

Yes, I promise that tomorrow will come.
You can trust me.

Q: I cast Spelltwine, targeting a Spring // Mind in my graveyard and a random instant in my opponent's graveyard. Am I allowed to cast Mind via Spelltwine, or only Spring?

A: You cannot cast Mind. The side with aftermath can only be cast from the graveyard and nowhere else. Spelltwine has you exile the cards and cast the copies from exile, so you're not casting them from the graveyard. Since you're casting the copy from exile, aftermath will stop you from casting Mind from exile.

Q: If I have a Sandstorm Eidolon in my graveyard, will casing either side of Claim//Fame cause the Eidolon to return to my hand?

A: It won't. When you cast the split card, it only has the characteristics of the side you're casting. While Claim // Fame anywhere but the stack is a red and black card, when you cast it, it's either a red spell or a black spell. Since it's not a multicolored spell, the Eidolon won't trigger and it will stay in your graveyard.

Q: I have 40 cards in my deck. If I cast Teach By Example, then Enter the Infinite, will I end up decking myself since I'll try to draw from an empty library?

A: Nope, you won't. Enter the Infinite will check the number of cards in your library when it resolves to determine how many cards you should draw, not how many cards were in your library when it was put on the stack. The copy resolves first, and you draw 40 cards and put one cards back. Then the original spell resolves, and since you only have one card in your library, you draw one card (don't act too surprised when you see it), then you put one card back.

Q: I control Volo, Guide to Monsters. If I play a Dryad Arbor, will I get a copy of the Arbor?

A: You will not get a copy. Volo will only trigger when you cast a creature spell, and since Dryad Arbor is a land, it can only be played, not cast. Since you didn't cast Dryad Arbor, Volo will not trigger and will not give you a copy.

Q: I cast Read the Runes with X=5 while I control Eruth, Tormented Prophet. Will I end up having to discard or sacrifice anything?

A: Nope, you won't discard or sacrifice anything. Read the Runes looks to see how many cards you just drew to determine how many cards you need to discard or sacrifice. But because of Eruth, you didn't actually draw any cards - all of the draws were replaced with exiling cards from the top of your library instead. Since all of your draws were replaced, you don't have to discard or sacrifice anything.

Q: In my beginning of combat step, I tap my Sol Ring to animate my Mishra's Factory and attack with it. My opponent flashes in a Needlebug to block. Can I use that extra floating mana from Sol Ring's ability to help cast Disenchant on the Needlebug before they can block with it?

A: You cannot. The mana pool empties at the end of each step and phase. The extra mana from Sol Ring's mana ability was lost when the beginning of combat step ended and you move to the declare attackers, so you don't have that mana when you're in the declare attackers step (and you cannot use that mana to cast the Disenchant here).

Just looking ahead to the future.

Q: If I control an Oath of Druids and an Ivory Mask, will that prevent my opponent from taking advantage of my Oath?

A: Yes it will. The Oath's trigger targets a player that controls more creatures than they do. But if you have shroud, then you can't be targeted by the Oath trigger on your opponent's turn. Even if you control more creatures than your opponent, since you have shroud, your opponent won't be able to target you with your Oath of Druids trigger and won't get a creature for free.

Q: I'm attacking with Silas Renn, Seeker Adept and Hope of Ghirapur. Can I deal combat damage, then respond to Silas Renn's trigger by sacrificing the Hope and targeting the Hope with Silas Renn's ability?

A: That won't work (unless you can give the Hope first or double strike). After combat damage is dealt, we have to put Silas Renn's triggered ability on the stack. Since the trigger targets, you have to choose a target for the trigger when you're putting it on the stack. You don't have priority yet, so you can't sacrifice the Hope, so you can't target the Hope with Silas Renn's trigger (even if you plan to sacrifice it before the trigger resolves).

If the Hope had first or double strike, then you could let it deal first strike damage, then sacrifice it before you move to the normal combat damage step. The Hope is in the graveyard when you're putting Silas Renn's trigger on the stack during the normal combat damage step, so you can target the Hope.

Q: I control a Serpent's Soul-Jar. If I encore back an Elvish Dreadlord, will I get to exile the token copies to my Soul-Jar when they die at the end of turn?

A: Nope, the tokens can't end up in the Soul-Jar. While the tokens would go to the graveyard when they die (triggering the Soul-Jar), before the Soul-Jar's trigger can even go on the stack, state-based actions see that the token Dreadlord isn't on the battlefield, and the tokens cease to exist. Since they're no longer in the graveyard, they can't be exiled to the Soul-Jar and can't be cast via the Soul-Jar's activated ability later on.

Q: My opponent controls a Jeska, Thrice Reborn (one of their commanders) and a Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar. If they use the -X and target three of my creatures to deal 1 deathtouch damage to them, can I remove Falthis to save them?

A: That depends on if Jeska is still on the battlefield or not. If Jeska isn't on the battlefield anymore, then removing Falthis won't do anything here - since Jeska isn't on the battlefield when the ability resolves, we use the last-known information about it, and since it had deathtouch when it was last on the battlefield, the damaged creatures will be destroyed. If Jeska is still on the battlefield, then you can remove Falthis in response to the ability. When Jeska's ability resolves, she doesn't have deathtouch, so the damage isn't from a source with deathtouch and your creatures will just be dealt one normal damage.

Q: I control Blim, Comedic Genius and one of my opponent has an empty graveyard. If I attack them with Blim and give them my Nefarious Lich, will that cause them to immediately lose the game?

A: Not immediately, no. You're free to gift them the Nefarious Lich, which will cause them to lose life and discard cards. However, the Lich only cares if they would take damage - it won't care if they would lose life, so your opponent losing life because of Blim's trigger will not cause them to have to exile cards from their graveyard or lose the game.

Q: I'm in a multiplayer game, and one of my opponents controls a Vial Smasher the Fierce. They cast a spell, and in response to the Vial Smasher's trigger, I cast Teferi's Protection. Can I still be chosen for Vial Smasher's triggered ability?

A: Yep, you can still be chosen. Vial Smasher's trigger doesn't target anything, so you having protection won't prevent you from being chosen. If you are chosen at random, thanks to the Protection, you won't be dealt any damage by the trigger, but you can't use the Protection to ensure that one of the other opponents will be chosen.

Q: It's my turn, and I cast a spell, but it's countered by an opponent's Arcane Denial. I really did not appreciate my spell being countered like that, so I attack and kill that opponent. Will I still get to draw two cards during the next turn's upkeep?

A: You got your vengeance, but at the cost of not being able to draw two cards. Your opponent controlled the Denial, so they'll control the delayed triggers from the Denial. However, since they're no longer in the game, the delayed triggers from the Denial can't go on the stack (if you're not in the game, you can't put triggers on the stack), so you will not get to draw any cards from your countered spell.

That's it for this week. We'll see you again next week!


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