Published on 02/28/2022

Racers, Start Your Engines!

Cranial Translation
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Yep, big things can still go fast.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! We're still digging through everything that our return to Kamigawa brought us, and it while it brought us a lot of references to the old Kamigawa, it also brought us something new with a focus on vehicles. Vehicles didn't exist when we originally visited Kamigawa, but they seem to fit right into the world that they've constructed for Kamigawa. So everyone hop on to your hoverbike and we'll see if we can set a new lap record answering these questions.

And during a pit stop during the race, you can send us your questions. We may even use your question in a future article! If you have a short question, you can send it to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and longer questions can be sent to our e-mail at moko@cranialinsertion.com .



Q: If I control Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh, will that reduce the cost of a channel ability like Mirrorshell Crab?

A: No it will not. Tezzeret says that it reduces the cost of the first activated ability of an "artifact" you activate each turn. That only refers to an activated ability of an artifact on the battlefield, not an artifact card in another zone like your hand. Tezzeret will not be able to reduce the cost to activate the Crab's channel ability.



Q: It's the end of my opponent's turn, and there are no damaged creatures in play. Can I cast You Are Already Dead without a target just to draw a card?

A: You cannot cast it. You need to be able to target a damaged creature to be able to cast You Are Already Dead. Since there are no damaged creatures in play, you can't cast it at all since you can't choose a legal target for the spell.



Q: I control a Surgehacker Mech that I really need to crew this turn. Can I attach Enormous Energy Blade to my Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom, and then use it to crew the Mech before it's tapped to the Blade's triggered ability?

A: Yep, you can do that. Go-Shintai won't become tapped as soon as the Blade becomes attached to it - it will become tapped when the Blade's triggered ability resolves. You can respond to that trigger by tapping the Go-Shintai to crew the Mech and make the Mech into a creature, before Go-Shintai would become tapped by the Blade's triggered ability.



Q: I control Branch of Boseiju and my opponent played Tamiyo's Compleation on it. Now my opponent says that the Branch is dead. Are they right?

A: Yep, your Branch will die here. The Branch is a base 0/0 with an ability that gives it +1/+1 for each land you control. But one of the things that the Compleation does is remove the enchanted permanent's abilities. The Branch loses its power and toughness boosting ability before it can apply, and if nothing else is affecting its power and toughness, the Branch will die since it's now a 0/0 creature (my opponent found this out the hard way in a Magic Arena draft, when I played the Compleation on their Branch in response to their Spinning Wheel Kick that tried to wipe my board).



Q: I played Kotose, the Silent Spider and exiled a card from my opponent's graveyard. But before I get to chance to cast it, my opponent casts Tamiyo's Compleation on Kotose. Can I still cast a card exiled by Kotose?

A: You can still cast it. The permission to play one of the exiled cards was set up by the enter the battlefield trigger resolving. It's not a separate ability that Kotose has. Since you still control Kotose, you can still play one of the exiled cards, even if Kotose loses its abilities.



Q: If I control Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose and I have five mana available during my end step, can I pay for the triggered ability five times and get five times the tokens?

A: No you cannot. Go-Shintai has a triggered ability, not an activated ability. When the triggered ability resolves, you can pay once to use the ability. You can't choose to pay more, so you can only pay once for the trigger when it resolves, not as many times as you want.



Q: I'm attacking with a Spring-Leaf Avenger that has trample. My opponent blocks it with a 5/5 creature. Will I be able to return the Avenger to my hand with its own trigger?

A: Yes you can! After combat damage is dealt, before we put the Avenger's trigger on the stack, we check state-based actions. The Avenger has lethal damage marked on it, so the Avenger dies and goes to your graveyard. After that, we put the Avenger's trigger on the stack. Since the Avenger is in your graveyard at this point, you'll be able to target it with its own trigger and you'll be able to return it to your hand.


I hear this guy loves to drive around Parhelions.


Q: I cast Gravelighter, and no creatures have died yet this turn. After Gravelighter enters the battlefield, but before the enter the battlefield trigger resolves, my opponent casts Reckoner's Bargain and sacrifices their only creature. What happens when the Gravelighter's trigger resolves?

A: You will draw a card. The Gravelighter's trigger will check when the trigger resolves to see if a creature has died or not. It doesn't check when the trigger is put on the stack. When the trigger resolves, it sees that a creature has died this turn, so you'll be drawing a card instead of making each player sacrifice a creature.



Q: I have The Reality Chip attached to one of my creatures, and the top card of my library is Moonsnare Prototype. Can I activate the channel ability from the top of my library?

A: You cannot, for a few reasons. The Chip just lets you play the top card of your library, it won't let you activate abilities of that card. And channel only works if the card is in your hand (since the hand is the only zone you can discard a card from). All you can do here is cast it normally, or wait for the Prototype to get into your hand so you can channel it.



Q: The only nonland permanent I have in play is Golden-Tail Disciple. I cast Okiba Salvage, targeting my Chainflail Centipede. Will the Centipede get two +1/+1 counters from the Salvage?

A: Yep, it will get the counters. The Salvage will check after the creature or vehicle is returned to see if you control an artifact and an enchantment. Since the Centipede is on the battlefield, along with an enchantment, you fulfill the condition, so the Centipede will get two +1/+1 counters from the salvage.



Q: I control a Living Breakthrough, and my opponent casts Eiganjo Exemplar. If I respond by casting Short Circuit, will that effectively counter my opponent's spell?

A: It won't do anything to their spell. A spell on the stack has already been cast, so making it illegal for the opponent to cast spells with a mana value of two won't do anything to the Exemplar that's already on the stack. Their Exemplar will resolve like normal.



Q: I control Spirit-Sister's Call, and I use its ability to put Boseiju Reaches Skyward onto the battlefield. If the saga gets its third lore counter, what happens to my saga?

A: It's exiled...and returned to the battlefield transformed. The replacement effect from the Call will only apply if the card would try to go anywhere except exile. If it would go to exile, then the replacement effect doesn't care and will let that other effect exile the saga. Since Boseiju Reaches Skyward's own trigger will exile it, it will returned transformed (and, as a bonus, since it left play and returned, it's a different object and won't that the replacement effect from the Call anymore, so if it dies, it will go to the graveyard).



Q: I control a Kami of Restless Shadows enchanted with a Twisted Embrace. If my opponent casts Invoke Despair, can I sacrifice the Kami and the Embrace, or will the Embrace go to the graveyard before I can sacrifice it?

A: You'll be able to sacrifice the Embrace. State-based actions are not checked in the middle of the Despair resolving. If you choose to sacrifice the Kami, the Embrace isn't attached to anything, but we need state-based actions to be checked for the Embrace to go to the graveyard. Since it's still on the battlefield when you're asked to sacrifice an enchantment, you'll be able to sacrifice the Embrace to the Despair.


Who cares about the motorcycle,
we just want that jacket.


Q: I control a Nezumi Road Captain that's equipped with my Eater of Virtue. The Captain dies and is exiled to the Eater. If I attach the Eater to a new creature, will the new creature have menace?

A: It will not have menace. The Eater will look at what abilities the card has in exile to determine what abilities it gives to the equipped creature. And since it's not on the battlefield and transformed, only the front face exists. The front face doesn't have any of the abilities listed on the Eater, so the Eater won't give any abilities from the exiled Okiba Reckoner Raid.



Q: If I cast Farewell with all four modes chosen, will Farewell end up in my graveyard or will it exile itself?

A: It will end up as the only card in your graveyard. Until Farewell is completely done resolving, it's still on the stack. It's not in the graveyard when Farewell exiles all cards in graveyard, so Farewell will end up as the only card in graveyards once it's done resolving.



Q: Can I activate Tameshi, Reality Architect's ability even if I don't have an artifact or enchantment card in my graveyard, just so I can draw a card?

A: No you may not. The ability requires a target artifact or enchantment card in your graveyard to be able to activate it. If you don't have any in your graveyard, you won't be able to activate it (no matter how badly you want to return a land to your hand and draw a card).



Q: I control Tameshi, Reality Architect. My opponent plays a Gruul Turf on their turn, returning a land to their hand. Will Tameshi trigger?

A: Yep, you'll get a trigger. Tameshi will trigger the first time a noncreature card is returned to a player's hand during the turn. It doesn't have to be your hand, and it doesn't have to be returned to their hand by a spell or ability you control. Since your opponent returned a land they controlled with the Turf's trigger, your Tameshi will trigger and you'll get to draw a card.



Q: If I control a Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, will that reduce the cost to cast Fiery Encore?

A: Nope, you don't get a discount. The Encore spell has no targets. When it resolves, you discard and draw a card, and if you discarded a nonland card, a reflexive trigger goes on the stack that will deal damage to a target. But that's a separate trigger from the spell, not a target required when you cast the Encore. Since the Encore itself has no targets, Hinata will not discount the Encore.



Q: I discard Boseiju, Who Endures to activate its channel ability, targeting my opponent's Spirit of the Labyrinth. If my opponent activates their Mother of Runes to give it protection from green, will that save the Spirit?

A: Their Spirit is still dead. Boseiju is a colorless card, since it's a land and nothing is giving it a color. Green mana is required to activate the channel ability, but that doesn't make Boseiju green. Protection from green will not save their Spirit here (if they had Giver of Runes in play instead of the Mother, they could give it protection from colorless to save the Spirit, but that's not possible with Mother of Runes).



Q: If I enchant my Devoted Druid with Swift Reconfiguration, is that infinite mana?

A: Yep, you have all the green mana you want. The Reconfiguration makes the Druid into a vehicle, but it doesn't remove its abilities. So you're free to tap the Druid for mana, activate the untap ability by putting a -1/-1 counter on the Druid (which won't do very much since the Druid isn't a creature), and then repeat as much as you want for unlimited green mana.



And we've crossed the finish line for this week's article. We'll see you all again next week!


 

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