Published on 04/18/2022

An Eggcellent Easter Eggstravaganza

Cranial Translation
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We've got spicy eggs...
Greetings and welcome back to another issue of Cranial Insertion! It's Easter and Passover, so depending on what you celebrate, I wish you a happy Easter, happy Passover, or just a happy Monday! While we're anxiously awaiting the Streets of New Capenna prerelease, I figured we'd pass the time with a fun Easter egg hunt and give you a special article all about eggs. We're going the eggstra mile and are putting all of our eggs in one basket.

Before we start, I'd like to remind you that you're welcome to email your rules questions to , or tweet them at @CranialTweet. One of our writers will take a crack at answering it, and your question might appear in a future article, possibly alongside a funny yolk.

And now, let us break out of our shell and begin the hunt!

Q: I control a Smoldering Egg and my opponent has cast three spells this turn, so I cast Mindbreak Trap for free. How many ember counters does the Egg get?

A: None at all, unfortunately. Unlike similar abilities that look at the mana value of the spell, which isn't changed by paying an alternative cost, Smoldering Egg's ability cares about the actual amount of mana you spent to cast the spell. Since you didn't spend any mana on the spell, the Egg doesn't get any counters.

Q: I control a Smoldering Egg with six ember counters on it, and my opponent targets it with Unfriendly Fire. If I give the Egg protection from red with Stave Off in response, does the Egg transform into Ashmouth Dragon, and does it still have protection from red after it transforms?

A: Yes and yes. When you cast Stave Off, this triggers the Egg's ability, which goes on the stack on top of Stave Off, which itself is on top of Unfriendly Fire. The Egg's ability resolves, puts the seventh counter on the Egg, so then the ability transforms the Egg into the Dragon immediately as part of its resolution. Even though it now looks quite different, it is still the same permanent it was before, so it's still the target of Stave Off. Stave Off resolves next and gives the now-Dragon protection from red. Finally, Unfriendly Fire wants to resolve, but it fails to do so because its target is illegal now on account of having protection from red.

Q: Suppose I control a Smoldering Egg without any counters on it, and I also control Veyran, Voice of Duality. If I cast Cruel Ultimatum, does the Egg transform twice, or just once?

A: It transforms just once. Thanks to Veyran, two instances of the Egg's ability go on the stack, and they resolve one at a time. The first one puts seven ember counters on the Egg, then removes them, and transforms the Egg into the Dragon. Then the second instance resolves and does as much as it can. It puts seven ember counters onto the Dragon, because the name "Smoldering Egg" in the ability just means "this permanent", and remember that the Dragon is still the same permanent as the Egg. The ability then removes the counters again and attempts to transform the Dragon. However, that last bit fails because a triggered ability telling a permanent to transform only does so if it hasn't already transformed since the ability was put on the stack.

Q: I control a Chimeric Egg with six charge counters on it. I remove three of them to turn it into a 6/6 creature. After it's a creature, my opponent casts Square Up on it to make it 4/4. Can I activate its ability again, and will that make it a 6/6 again?

A: Yes to both. Square Up only changes the Egg's base power and toughness. It doesn't remove any abilities from it, so it still has its activated ability. After you activate the ability a second time, its effect to set the Egg's power/toughness to 6/6 has a later timestamp than Square Up's effect, so the Egg is a 6/6.

Q: I have a Biolume Egg on the battlefield and target it with Mystic Reflection. Then I play an Accursed Witch, which enters as a copy of Biolume Egg. If the Egg-Witch gets sacrificed, does it come back as Infectious Curse?

A: Yup! Sacrificing the Egg-Witch triggers its ability that'll return it to the battlefield transformed at the beginning of the next end step. Since the card that represents this permanent is a transforming double-faced card, it can enter the battlefield transformed, so that's what it does. Since it's entering the battlefield as an Aura, you choose a player to attach it to as it enters the battlefield.

Q: If I sacrifice Darkwater Egg to get mana and draw a card, can my opponent Stifle the ability?

A: Nope. Darkwater Egg's ability is a mana ability because it's an activated ability that could add mana, doesn't have a target, and is not a loyalty ability. As a mana ability, it doesn't use the stack and resolves immediately, including the card draw.

Q: I activate Bloodline Shaman's ability and choose Egg as the creature type. The top card of my library is a Dingus Egg. Does it go into my hand?

A: I'm afraid not. Bloodline Shaman looks for a creature card of the chosen type, and Dingus Egg is not a creature card at all, let alone a creature card of the chosen type.

...colorful eggs...
Q: I control a token that's a copy of a Mysterious Egg and mutate it with Dreamtail Heron. Is the result a token or not?

A: That depends on whether you put the Heron on top of the Egg token or underneath it. If you leave the token on top, the resulting creature is a token. If you put the Heron on top, the resulting creature is a nontoken creature. Either way, the creature has the abilities of both the Heron and the Egg, so it has flying and the two "whenever this creature mutates" abilities.

Q: I have exiled a few cards with The Dragon-Kami Reborn, and it gets destroyed. If I play another The Dragon-Kami Reborn and it successfully transforms into Dragon-Kami's Egg, will it allow me cast the cards I exiled with the earlier instance of The Dragon-Kami Reborn?

A: Absolutely. In contrast to linked abilities that look for cards exiled with a particular ability, Dragon-Kami's Egg's ability simply looks for cards you own in exile with hatching counters on them. The cards that were exiled by the earlier copy of the Saga fit that description just fine.

Q: Can I use Dragon-Kami's Egg's ability to cast a creature spell from exile on my opponent's turn even if the card doesn't have flash?

A: Certainly. There's no prohibition against casting creature spells on your opponent's turn. The only thing that's usually keeping you from doing so is a lack of permission, as the rules only allow you to cast creature spells during a main phase of your turn. The Egg's ability gives you permission to cast a creature spell right now, during the resolution of the ability, which is a time when you normally don't have permission to cast anything because you don't have priority.

Q: I control Panharmonicon and cast a Summoner's Egg, and I imprint two cards on it. What happens when it dies?

A: Even though Summoner's Egg refers to a single exiled card, the game simply pretends that it refers to all cards that were exiled by the first ability, and any action is performed on each card. This means that both cards are turned face-up, and if they're both creature cards, you put both of them onto the battlefield simultaneously.

Q: If I control a Summoner's Egg that has a card imprinted on it, and I Donate the Egg to my opponent, are they allowed to look at the imprinted card now?

A: No, and just to make sure there's no misunderstanding here, you weren't allowed to look at it, either. However, since you're the one who chose it, presumably you remember which card it is without having to look at it. When a card is exiled face-down, it can't be examined by any player except when instructions allow it. Summoner's Egg's imprint ability doesn't provide any instructions allowing anybody to examine the exiled card, so nobody can examine it.

Q: I control Nesting Dragon, Parallel Lives, and Anointed Procession. If I play a land, how many Eggs does the Dragon lay?

A: It lays four Eggs! The Dragon's ability wants to create one token, and there are two replacement effects that want to change this event. You choose one to apply, and the chosen effect doubles the number of tokens about to be created. However, the other effect is still applicable, so it also applies and doubles the number again. Now, both applicable replacement effects have been applied to the event, so the process is done, the modified event happens, and you get four fresh Dragon Eggs.

...and regular chicken eggs.
Q: Since die-rolling is a mainstream mechanic in Magic now, can I play Chicken Egg in Legacy tournaments?

A: Nope. Despite the fact that its effect could exist in the "black border" world of today, the card is still a silver-bordered card, and as such it's illegal in constructed tournaments.

Q: My Triassic Egg has two hatchling counters on it, and I activate its sacrifice ability targeting some creature card in my graveyard. In response, my opponent uses Tormod's Crypt to exile my graveyard. Can I choose to put a creature card from my hand onto the battlefield instead?

A: I'm afraid not. The choice of mode is locked in when the ability was activated, and choosing the second mode made it an ability that requires a target creature card in your graveyard. When the ability tries to resolve, it finds that its only target has become illegal, so the ability doesn't resolve and nothing happens.

Q: I use Atla Palani, Nest Tender's ability to make an Egg token. I also control Minsc, Beloved Ranger, and use its ability for to kill the Egg. Does the Egg's death trigger Atla Palani's second ability?

A: Yup! Minsc's ability sets the Egg to 0/0 and makes it a Giant in addition to its other types, so it is a Giant Egg, or maybe an Egg Giant? Either one is weird considering that it's 0/0, but I digress. What matters is that it's still an Egg, so when it dies, Atla Palani's ability makes something hatch out of it.

Q: I control Atla Palani, Nest Tender and an Egg token, and something like Damnation kills all creatures. Does Atla Palani's second ability still trigger?

A: It does! Damnation destroys all creatures at the same time, and creatures that die at the same time see each other dying for the purpose of "dies" triggers. The rules reason for this is that dies triggers look back in time to the game state immediately before the event to check if they should trigger. Immediately before the event, Atla Palani was on the battlefield, so its ability existed, which means that the Egg's death triggers its ability.

Q: Let's say I control Atla Palani, Nest Tender, a Pulmonic Sliver, and a Game-Trail Changeling. If something kills the Changeling, which is both a Sliver and an Egg, in which order do Atla Palani's ability and the Sliver's ability happen?

A: Your question implies that both effects happen, which isn't actually the case. Pulmonic Sliver gives the Changeling an ability that creates an optional replacement effect. That replacement effect, if you choose to apply it, changes the Changeling's trip to the graveyard with a trip to the top of your library instead. Since it doesn't go the graveyard at all in this case, it didn't die, so Atla Palani's ability doesn't even trigger. If you choose not to apply the replacement effect, the Changeling goes to the graveyard, and Atla Palani's ability triggers.

And that's all of todays eggs! Thanks for coming along, and please come back next week for our first look at Streets of New Capenna! Until then, be eggcellent to each other!

- Carsten Haese

About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a former Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He is retired from active judging, but he still writes for Cranial Insertion and helps organize an annual charity Magic tournament that benefits the National MS Society.


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