Published on 04/25/2022

The Gang's All Here

Cranial Translation
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Funny story about how we all ended up here...
Welcome back to this week's Cranial Insertion! Today, we're taking our first look at Magic's latest set, Streets of New Capenna! You're probably all tired out from playing in the prerelease this last weekend, but we're ready for our first deep dive into the set! Hopefully, you all got a chance to play some games with your favorite family (it will probably not come as a shock that the family I fit in best is the gang of lawyers known as the Brokers).

But let's dive right in and start answering some of your questions from New Capenna. Remember that you can reach out to us as well if you have a question that you'd like answered, and we may even borrow your question for a future article. If you have a short question, you can send it to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and you can send us longer questions to our e-mail at .

Q: My opponent casts Echo Inspector. Can I let the enter the battlefield trigger resolve, and if they discard a nonland card to connive, cast Call In a Professional to kill it before it gets the counter?

A: You cannot. The counter is added as part of the trigger resolving (assuming they discarded a nonland card). It's not a reflexive trigger that goes on the stack after it connives. If you want to ensure that you can kill the Inspector with the Call, you have to cast the Call before the connive trigger resolves, not after.

Q: Can you explain how a shield counter works?

A: Shield counters are a new type of counter that a permanent can have. If a permanent with a shield counter would be destroyed or dealt damage, instead you remove a shield counter from it to prevent it from being destroyed or prevent the damage that would be dealt to it. Note that removing a shield counter is not optional, so if your 4/4 with a shield counter would be dealt 1 damage, you don't get the choice of just letting the damage be dealt to your 4/4 - you have to prevent the 1 damage and remove the shield counter.

Q: What if the damage can't be prevented, like my Disciplined Duelist with a shield counter was targeted by Stomp?

A: Shield counters work poorly with damage that can't be prevented. Even if the damage can't be prevented, your creature is still going to lose the shield counter, so your Duelist is going to lose its shield counter and will take 2 damage from Stomp.

Q: What if my creature has multiple shield counters on it and it would be Murdered? How many counters does it lose?

A: It only loses a single shield counter. We remove one shield counter to prevent the destruction by Murder, and since it's no longer being destroyed, no other shield counters will be removed - they'll get to hang around until the next time it would be destroyed or dealt damage.

Q: Palliation Accord uses shield counters, so will the Accord protect itself once it gets a shield counter?

A: Alas, it will not. The Accord has received errata so it uses "palliation counters" instead of "shield counters". Counters with the same name are interchangeable, so the Accord now uses a different counter so it doesn't get a functionality change now that shield counters have rules baggage.

Q: I heard there was a change with how hideaway works. Is that true?

A: Yep, there are two changes. First off, it used to be built into the rules for hideaway that the permanent with hideaway entered tapped. That's no longer true. Hideaway no longer causes it to enter tapped, but the older hideaway cards from before New Capenna have received errata so they enter the battlefield tapped.

The second change is that hideaway is no longer locked in to only looking at four cards. Hideaway will now specify a certain number of cards that you can look at (for example, Wiretapping lets you look at five cards instead of four). And just like above, older hideaway cards now specify that you look at four cards when the hideaway trigger resolves.

Q: I cast Rabble Rousing when I already have ten creatures in play. Can I play the exiled card immediately, or do I still have to attack?

A: You can't cast it yet - you'll have to attack first. The permission to play the card exiled by the hideaway trigger happens only as part of the attack trigger resolving. So you can't cast it as soon as you have ten creature, but you'll likely get your chance soon, once you move to combat and attack with at least one creature.

And if someone is late, we
have ways of filling their place.

Q: I control a Halo Fountain. I turn the Fountain into a creature by casting Majestic Metamorphosis targeting it. Can I effectively make a 1/1 token by paying one white mana and tapping and untapping the Fountain?

A: Yep, you can. When we're paying costs, we can pay costs in any order we want. And since the Fountain itself is currently a creature, if it's tapped, it can be chosen as the tapped creature we want to untap. So you can activate the Fountain's ability, tapping the Fountain and untapping the same Fountain since it's a creature, and paying one white mana, and you can repeat that for as long as we have the white mana.

Q: If I attack with a Ballroom Brawlers and a Gathering Throng, can I choose to give the Brawlers lifelink and the Throng first strike?

A: You cannot. The choice you make with the Brawlers' trigger affect both the Brawlers and the targeted creature. You don't get to make a different choice for each creature. So you can give both the Brawlers and the Throng first strike or lifelink, but you can't give different abilities to each creature with the Brawlers' trigger.

Q: Can you please explain how Lagrella, the Magpie works?

A: To put it simply - it's a Banisher Priest that can exile a creature from each player, and when Lagrella leaves play, the creature you return gets two +1/+1 counters.

To go into a little more detail - when Lagrella enters the battlefield, you can choose up to one creature controlled by each player to exile. You're not required to exile a creature from each player, so if one player doesn't have a creature to exile (or nothing that you want to exile), you just choose not to exile a creature from them. And the creatures have to have different controllers, so you can't exile multiple creatures controlled by the same player. Later, when Lagrella leaves play, those exiled creatures return under their owners' control. Any creature that enters under your control (for example, the creature that you controlled and exiled with the trigger) will also get two +1/+1 counters from the delayed triggered ability from Lagrella.

Q: I control a Rumor Gatherer. After having two creatures enter the battlefield under my control, I play a third creature. What happens with Rumor Gatherer's trigger?

A: You get to scry 1. Unless it's the second time the Gatherer's trigger is resolving that turn, you will always scry 1. So the first trigger will have you scry 1, the second trigger will let you draw, and the third trigger and beyond for the turn will have you go back to scry 1.

Q: My opponent controls a Jetmir, Nexus of Revels and a Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second. If I play two Witness Protections, one on each creature, will that force my opponent to get rid of one of them?

A: Yes, it will! Witness Protection changes the name of the enchanted creature from what it would normally be to "Legitimate Businessperson". And while the creature will lose its normal abilities and card types, it won't get rid of a supertype like legendary. Your opponent will end up with two legendary creatures named "Legitimate Businessperson", so the legend rule will apply and your opponent will choose one to keep and the other will go to the graveyard.

Q: Speaking of Legitimate Businessperson, if something asks me to choose a card name, can I choose "Legitimate Businessperson"?

A: Nope. While the effect of the Protection will change the name of the creature to "Legitimate Businessperson", there's no actual card named "Legitimate Businessperson", so it's not a legal choice if an effect asks you to choose a card name.

Now that we're all here, please
don't kill each other.

Q: I cast Grisly Sigil, choosing to sacrifice a creature to copy it and target my opponent's 4/4 creature that hasn't been dealt damage yet this turn. What happens?

A: The copy of the Sigil will resolve first, and when the copy resolves, since the 4/4 hasn't been dealt noncombat damage yet, the copy of the Sigil deals 1 damage to the creature and you gain 1 life. But when the original resolves, it sees that the 4/4 has been dealt noncombat damage this turn (by the copy of the Sigil that resolved earier), so the original is going to deal 3 damage to the 4/4 and you gain 3 life. The net result is that the 4/4 takes a total of 4 damage and you gain 4 life.

Q: I cast Soul of Emancipation, and with its enter the battlefield trigger, I target a creature I control with a shield counter on it. Will I still get an Angel token from that creature, even though it wasn't destroyed?

A: Yep, you'll still get the Angel token. The Soul's ability doesn't require the target to actually be destroyed for you to get the token. So you're free to target something you control with a shield counter on it to effectively transform that shield counter into an Angel token.

Q: I have a Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, Xorn, and a Goldhound in play. If I activate Kiki-Jiki's ability targeting Goldhound, do I also get a bonus token from Xorn?

A: You do, with one important note. Kiki-Jiki's ability would make a token copy of Goldhound, and Goldhound is a treasure. Since you're creating a treasure token, Xorn will apply and you'll get a normal treasure token along with your Goldhound token.

However, both of these tokens are created by Kiki-Jiki's ability, so you'll have until the end of the turn to use the bonus treasure token, otherwise it will end up sacrificed to Kiki-Jiki's delayed trigger. That's because Xorn doesn't make tokens, it causes other spells and abilities to create an extra token, so the extra treasure token is technically made by Kiki-Jiki's ability.

Q: I activate the ability of Spara's Adjudicators, targeting a land I control. In response, my opponent channels Mirrorshell Crab and counters the ability. Can I still cast the Adjudicator from exile later on?

A: You cannot. The effect that lets you cast the Adjudicators from exile is only set up if the activated ability of the Adjudicators resolves. If the ability doesn't resolve or is countered, then that effect isn't set up, and the Adjudicators is stuck in exile and can't be cast later on.

Q: Earlier, I activated the ability of Masked Bandits targeting my Skybridge Towers. Then my opponent played Blood Moon. What colors of mana can my Towers tap for?

A: It can still tap for black, red, or green mana, since it still has the ability from the Bandits. The reason why it still has that ability is thanks to [url=ooo]layers[url]. Blood Moon applies in layer 4, and that causes the Towers to lose all of its normal abilities and to be just a Mountain. But adding and removing abilities is applied in a later layer - layer 6. The effect from the Bandits adds the ability to the Towers in layer 6, so the Towers will still have the ability to tap for black, red, or green mana, despite the Blood Moon that's in play.

Q: My opponent controls a Sphere of Resistance. If I want to cast Security Rhox via its alternate cost, do I have to use three mana from treasures to cast it, or just two?

A: All three mana must be mana produced by treasures. If you're choosing to cast the Rhox via its alternate cost, then the entire cost has to be paid with mana from treasures. Since the Sphere increases the cost to cast the Rhox by 1, the cost to cast it is , and all three of that mana must be paid by mana from treasures, not just the part of the cost.

Q: I control Urabrask, Heretic Praetor. On my opponent's turn, after Urabrask's trigger has resolved, I cast Stroke of Genius with X=10 targeting the opponent. Will my opponent end up exiling ten cards from their library?

A: Nope, they only exile one card. Urabrask's ability applies to the next card they would draw that turn. And with card draw spells, even if you're instructed to draw multiple cards, those draws are actually happening one at a time, not all at the same time. Since the draws happen one at a time, Urabrask will only apply to the first draw that happens, not the other nine draws, so they'll end up exiling one card from the top of their library, then drawing nine cards like normal.

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


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