Published on 01/17/2022

What Do You Mean I Haven't Slept in Three Days?

No you're out of order! This whole article is out of order!

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I'm feeling '22
We're a couple of weeks into the new year now. How are you doing? Did you make any resolutions? Are you sticking to them?

We've started to get some teasers, short stories, and so on about Kamigawa Neon Dynasty. I don't know about y'all, but I'm pretty excited about this set. I like cyberpunk. I like ninjas. Heck, maybe we can finally achieve optimal Trading Card Game gameplay by giving the people what they really want: card games on motorcycles.

As a friendly reminder, if you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We answer every question we get, and your question could show up in a future article.

Q: I control Lazav, Dimir Mastermind. My opponent's commander dies. Can I have Lazav become a copy of their commander?

A: You can! Even though they can move their commander to the command zone before the trigger goes on the stack, the trigger knows what triggered it. It can still copy "that card" even if it's no longer in the graveyard.

Q: My opponent casts Sphinx of the Guildpact. Can I counter it with Counterspell?

A: Absolutely. The Sphinx's "hexproof from monocolored" only functions while the Sphinx is on the battlefield.

Q: I attack with Geist of Saint Traft and make a 4/4 Angel creature token. After combat, I flash in a Dress Down. Do I still have to exile the Angel token?

A: Unfortunately yes. The trigger that had you create the Angel token also set up the delayed trigger to exile it later. It's not an ability attached to the token itself.

Q: Can I exile Sunforger with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon's -3 ability?

A: No, you cannot. Sunforger is a colorless permanent, even though its color identity may be .

No ping, me angy
Q: I control Spellskite and four 1/1 Faerie tokens. My opponent casts Fury, choosing to deal 1 damage to each of my four Faeries. Can I active Spellskite's ability several times and redirect all of that damage to Spellskite?

A: Nope. You can redirect at most 1 damage.

Fury only uses the word "target" once in its ability. This means that any given object — like your brave Spellskite — can only be targeted by it once.

Q: I control Lithoform Engine. I cast Alesha's Vanguard for its dash cost and copy it with Lithoform Engine's last ability. Does the permanent token the copy becomes have haste? Will it be returned to my hand later?

A: Yes and yes. A copy of a spell knows if any alternative or additional costs were paid. It can tell if something was dashed, kicked, or cast for a madness cost. The copy's dash cost was paid, so the resulting permanent will have haste. At the beginning of your end step, you'll return both the "real" Vanguard and the token copy to your hand. Then the token copy will cease to exist.

Q: I control 12 artifacts. If I cast Reshape and want to get Mycosynth Golem, what value of do I have to pay?

A: will have to be at least 11. Mycosynth Golem's mana value is always and forever 11. Even if you had the Golem in your hand and cast it for free thanks to its affinity for artifacts, the spell's mana value would still be 11.

Q: I control Chatterfang, Squirrel General. If my opponent destroys it with Beast Within, will I make a Beast token and a Squirrel token?

A: Unfortunately not. We resolve Beast Within in the order it's written. First Chatterfang is destroyed. Then, after it's already gone, you create the Beast token. Chatterfang's no longer around for its replacement effect to apply.

Q: I control Mairsil, the Pretender and have Flailing Soldier exiled with a cage counter on it. Are my opponents limited in how many times they can activate those abilities per turn?

A: No, they aren't. The "once per turn" restriction Mairsil mentions only applies to you. Other players can activate the abilities he gains from the Soldier as many times as they like.

Q: I control Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor. I give an opponent control of the Curse of Opulence enchanting them. If the Curse is destroyed, does Lynde still trigger?

A: It sure does! If the Curse is destroyed, it moves directly to your graveyard from the battlefield, which is all Lynde's trigger condition cares about. Cards that you own can never be in an opponent's graveyard, hand, or library. If a card you own would go to one of those zones for your opponent, it goes to the right zone for you instead.

Q: I control Sarkhan's Unsealing and I have 7 life. I cast Death's Shadow. I'm not sure what part of Unsealing triggers.

A: Unsealing will trigger the "power 7 or greater" part.

Death's Shadow's power and toughness aren't defined by a characteristic-defining ability (like our good friend Tarmogoyf has). Its static ability that gives it -X/-X only functions while it's on the battlefield. As such, it is always a 13/13 creature when you cast it, so Unsealing goes "that's a pretty big creature!" and its trigger does a whole lot of damage. Neat!

Q: I enchant my own Sol Ring with Artifact Possession. I tap it for mana, then use Zedruu the Greathearted to give my opponent control of the Sol Ring with the Possession trigger on the stack. Who takes the 2 damage?

A: Your opponent does. That's not very greathearted of you.

Possession's trigger only checks to see who "that artifact's controller" controller is as the trigger resolves. If your opponent controls the artifact at that moment, they're the one taking the damage.

Q: My opponent controls Call to the Grave. With the trigger on the stack, can I Cloudshift my only creature to save it?

A: Unfortunately not, friend.

Call to the Grave doesn't target anything. It just wants you to sacrifice a non-Zombie creature as the trigger resolves. If you have a non-Zombie creature available as the trigger resolves, you'll have to sacrifice it. It doesn't matter if the creature left and re-entered the battlefield while the trigger was on the stack.

what's cooler than being cool?
Q: I control Ice Cave. If an opponent casts Living End, what can I pay to counter it?

A: Bad news: nothing.

It's important to notice that Ice Cave wants a player to pay the spell's mana cost, not mana value. Living End's mana cost is [unpayable cost], so there's nothing you can pay that matches that. Chilling!

Q: I cast a bunch of spells this turn, then cast Mind's Desire and copy it 40 times. Do I really have to shuffle each time? That seems like a lot of work.

A: Thankfully, no. Since your library is already random, you can just exile the top card and play it if you want to. An already random library isn't going to get more random by shuffling it again.

Note that this is only true if every card is still random. If you cast, say, an Opt, the card you scried makes the library non-random, so you'd have to shuffle before resolving the next copy of Mind's Desire.

That's all for this week, friends! Stay shiny. Stay golden. Join us again next week for more thrilling rules questions.

- Andrew

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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