Published on 03/28/2022

To Seventeen Years!

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Don't sit in that chair.
It's... an antique.

Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! This week, we're celebrating out 17th anniversary! It's amazing to think that's we've been putting out consistent article for so long. And hopefully, everyone brought the tradition gift one brings for a 17th anniversary, furniture! I guess what this means that we're going to have 17 mismatched chair that people are going to give us, which will be fine when we have draft night, but a little awkward otherwise.

And as we celebrate another anniversary, don't forget you can send us your rules questions. We may even use your questions in a future article! If you have a short question, you can send it to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and you can send longer questions to our e-mail at .

Q: I control Tatsunari, Toad Rider, a Keimi token, and a Phyrexian Altar. Can I cast an enchantment spell, get a Keimi trigger, then sacrifice Keimi and get a new Keimi from Tatsunari's trigger?

A: No, this doesn't work. Tatsunari has an intervening if trigger - it won't trigger at all if you control a Keimi after you cast the enchantment spell and we're checking for cast triggers.

If Keimi is still in play when you cast the enchantment spell, you'll get a Keimi trigger,but you won't get a Tatsunari trigger. And if you sacrifice Keimi before you cast the enchantment spell, you'll get a Tatsunari trigger to replace it, but no Keimi trigger. So you can get one trigger or the other, but not both triggers.

Q: My Kura, the Boundless Sky just died, and with its dies trigger, I choose to create the spirit token. Will the token get bigger as I play more lands?

A: Nope, your token's power and toughness are locked in when the token is created. The power and toughness setting ability isn't an ability given to the token, the power and toughness are set when Kura's trigger resolves. Compare the wording to Wrenn and Seven's -3 ability - that token is given an ability that sets its power and toughness, so it will update as land enter or leave your control. Since Kura doesn't do the same with the spirit token it creates, the token's power and toughness are locked in when it's created and won't update later on.

Q: I have a Go-Shintai of Life's Origin, along with some Shrine tokens from its triggered ability. I cast Starfield of Nyx. If I control at least five enchantments, what happens to my Shrine tokens?

A: Your tokens are dead. Starfield of Nyx doesn't make an exception for an enchantment that's already a creature. And the mana value of the shrine token is 0. The Shrine tokens will become 0/0s thanks to the Starfield, and without something to boost their toughness, the Shrine tokens will die.

Q: I control a 3/3 creature equipped with a Rabbit Battery. My opponent casts a Languish to wipe the board. Does my Battery also die?

A: Nope, your Battery survives to fight (and equip) another day. Languish only affects creatures on the battlefield when it resolves. While the Battery is on the battlefield, it's not a creature - it's only an equipment since it's attached to your 3/3. Since your Battery isn't a creature when Languish resolves, it won't be affected by Languish and, while the creature it was equipped to will die, the Battery will survive.

Q: I control a Beloved Chaplain. If I control a Cloudsteel Kirin, can I reconfigure it onto my Chaplain?

A: It depends - is the Kirin currently a creature or just an equipment? If the Kirin is not attached to anything, then it's a creature, so you could not target the Chaplain with the reconfigure ability. But if the Kirin is currently attached to a creature, then the Kirin is not a creature - it's just an equipment. Since it's not a creature, you could activate the reconfigure ability and move the Kirin to the Chaplain.

Q: I control The Reality Chip. If I cast Fact or Fiction, can I see the next card down before I choose which pile I want to put into my hand?

A: No you cannot. The cards you revealed to Fact or Fiction are still in your library when you're choosing which pile you want to take. So you will not see the sixth card down until after you've chosen which Fact or Fiction pile you want to put into your hand and which pile ends up in your graveyard.

Q: My opponent channels Boseiju, Who Endures to blow up my land. Can I search for a Wastes and put it onto the battlefield?

A: You may not. Boseiju lets you search for a land with basic land types, but since Wastes don't have any basic land types (despite being a basic land), you won't be able to search for a Wastes with the ability.

Lamps! Just what we needed!

Q: I attack with a 4/4 creature. My oppoent responds by channeling Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire targeting my 4/4 creature. Can I respond by using Maze of Ith to save my 4/4?

A: The Maze won't help you here. Maze of Ith doesn't actually remove the attacking creature from combat - it just untaps the creature and prevents all combat damage that would be dealt to it and by it. Since your 4/4 is still in combat, it's still a legal target for Eiganjo's channel ability, so it will still be dealt 4 damage when the ability resolves.

Q: I control an Imposter Mech that's currently a copy of Esper Sentinel. If my opponent casts a noncreature spell, how much mana do they have to pay to stop me from drawing a card?

A: Unless you crewed your Mech, they'll be paying 0. When the Sentinel's trigger resolves, they'll have to pay mana equal to the Sentinel's power to stop you from drawing. If the Sentinel isn't a creature, then it doesn't have a power, and we treat an undefined power as zero. So your opponent will have to pay 0 to stop you from drawing.

Q: I control Lazav, Dimir Mastermind. My opponent controls a Thundersteel Colossus that they crewed and blocked with, and the Colossus died. Can I make Lazav into a copy of the Colossus?

A: No you cannot. Lazav doesn't trigger from a creature dying, it triggers when a creature card is put into a graveyard "from anywhere". With "from anywhere" triggers, we look at how an object looks like in the graveyard, not in the previous zone (even if that zone is the battlefield). While the Colossus was a creature when it died, in the graveyard, it's just an artifact, so Lazav will not trigger and you will not be able to make Lazav into a copy of the vehicle.

Q: If I control a Shorikai, Genesis Engine, do I have to crew it before I can activate its ability, or can I activate it ability even if it's not a creature?

A: You can activate the ability just fine even if Shorikai isn't a creature. You're not required to crew it before you can activate its ability (since it doesn't say that it has to be a creature to activate the ability), so you can play Shorikai and immediately activate its ability, without having to crew it first.

Q: I control a General's Enforcer and a General Kudro of Drannith. If my opponent casts Blasphemous Act, what happens to my creatures?

A: Both of your creatures will end up dead. After the Act resolves, we check state-based actions. Both of your creatures have 13 damage marked on them, but since you still control the Enforcer, Kudro is indestructible so it survives and the Enforcer dies. But then we check state-based actions a second time, and since the Enforcer left play, Kudro no longer has indestructible, and now the damage from the Act will also cause Kudro to die. So the Enforcer dies first, followed shortly afterwards by the General it was protecting.

Q: I cast It of the Horrid Swarm for its emerge cost, choosing to sacrifice Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty. Do I still get a cascade trigger since it has a mana cost six or greater?

A: By sacrificing Imoti, you don't get a cascade trigger. The Horrid Swarm needs to have cascade when it becomes cast in order for cascade to trigger. However, by sacrificing Imoti, the Swarm loses cascade, and since it lost cascade before it cast, cascade would not trigger.

What do you mean "not that kind of table"?

Q: My opponent is attacking me with a 1/1 Cephalid Constable. Can I use the ability of Dark Sphere and prevent the damage from the Constable?

A: You could activate the Sphere's ability, but it won't be useful here. The Sphere will prevent half of the damage, but half of the damage rounded down, not up. Half of 1, rounded down, is 0, so you'll be preventing zero damage from the Constable (so effectively, you won't be preventing any damage at all).

Q: I control a Netherborn Altar and a Soul Diviner. Can I activate the Altar's ability, and remove the soul counter with Soul Diviner and not lose any life to the Altar's ability?

A: Yep, that's legal (and makes sense flavor-wise: using a Soul Diviner to remove a soul counter). The counter is put on the Altar as part of the cost of activating the ability, but the ability will check the number of soul counters on it when the ability resolves to determine how much life you lose. You can respond to the ability by activating the Diviner's ability and removing the soul counter. When the Altar's ability resolves, since it has zero soul counters on it, you won't lose any life.

Q: If I control a Sheltering Prayers and one land, can I play Boros Garrison and not have to bounce a land back to my hand?

A: No you cannot. While your lands have shroud due to the Prayers, the Garrison's triggered ability doesn't target the land you want to return to your hand. Shroud won't help out the Garrison, and you'll still have to return a land you control to its owner's hand when the trigger resolves.

Q: My opponent controls an Angel's Trumpet. On my turn, I play a creature and can't attack with it since it doesn't have haste. Will it become tapped at end of turn?

A: Yep, it'll become tapped. Angel's Trumpet doesn't care why the creature couldn't attack, just that they didn't attack. So even though your creature couldn't attack because it was affected by "summoning sickness", the Trumpet won't care and it will become tapped at the end of your turn.

Q: If I cast Riding the Dilu Horse targeting my creature, when does the effect end?

A: As long as the creature stays on the battlefield. Riding the Dilu Horse is kind of a weird card, in that it's a sorcery with an effect that doesn't have a duration. Per the printed text, the effect doesn't say that it lasts until end of turn or some other length of time, so for as long as that creature remains on the battlefield, it will continue to have +2/+2 and horsemanship from the spell.

Q: I have Inalla, Archmage Ritualist in the command zone and an Impact Tremors in play. If I cast Naban, Dean of Iteration and want to copy it, how many Tremors triggers will I get?

A: A total of five triggers. When Naban enters, the Tremor's ability will trigger twice because of Naban and Inalla will trigger once (since Inalla is in the command zone, not on the battlefield, Naban won't cause Inalla's ability to trigger twice). When Inalla's trigger resolves, you can pay to make a copy of Naban. After we make that copy, but before state-based actions are checked, we check to see if any enter the battlefield abilities will trigger. The Tremors wants to trigger, but since you control two Nabans at this point, each Naban will cause the Tremors to trigger an additional time. One of the Nabans will then leave play, but the three Tremors triggers will still go on the stack. The net result is two triggers from the original Naban entering the battlefield and three more when the token copy briefly enters the battlefield, for a total of five Tremors triggers.

Q: I'm in a multiplayer game, and earlier, I Donated my Delusions of Mediocrity to an opponent. That opponent didn't like that, so they ended up killing me on their next turn. Will my opponent still lose life from my Delusions leaving play?

A: They will! When you left the game, everything you owned will leave the game with you. That includes the Delusions that you gave to an opponent. And because the Delusions left the battlefield, the opponent that controlled it when it left the battlefield controls the leave the battlefield trigger (not you), and that opponent will end up losing 10 life to the trigger.

Thanks for celebrating with us. We'll see you again next week!


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