Published on 05/16/2022

Dancing in the Streets of New Capenna

Cranial Translation
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Oh it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
Greetings and welcome to another episode of Cranial Insertion! Streets of New Capenna has been out for a few weeks now, but it's still producing lots of interesting rules questions, especially as the new cards are mingling with existing cards and producing fun and exciting new interactions. To help you navigate the Streets of New Capenna, let us take a look at some of those interactions from our inbox so you don't get lost in a dark alley surrounded by shady figures.

Speaking of our inbox, if you have questions for us, please email them to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. Your question will be answered by one of our authors, and it might even appear in a future article, possibly accompanied by some song lyrics or an obscure pop culture reference!

And now, without further ado, let us take to the streets!

Q: Let's say I blitzed Plasma Jockey, and then I phase it out with Slip Out the Back. What happens?

A: The delayed trigger from the blitz cost wants you to sacrifice Plasma Jockey at the beginning of the end step, but because Plasma Jockey is phased out, you treat it as though it doesn't exist, so you can't sacrifice it. It remains on the battlefield in phased-out status until it phases back in during your next untap step. The delayed trigger only triggers once, and it already happened, so you won't have to sacrifice Plasma Jockey after it phases back in. However, you still get to draw a card when Plasma Jockey eventually dies of natural (or unnatural) causes. That's because it gained the "when this creature dies, draw a card" ability from being blitzed, and being phased out didn't remove that ability.

Q: I control Civic Gardener and Civil Servant and attack with both of them. Can I untap Civic Gardener with its own ability and then tap it for Civil Servant's ability?

A: Absolutely! Both abilities want to go on the stack at the same time and you control both of them, so you choose the order in which they go on the stack. Just remember that the first ability you put on the stack is the one that resolves last, so you get the result you want by putting Civil Servant's ability on the stack first.

Q: If I target two of my opponent's creatures with Incriminate and then respond with Act of Aggression to gain control of one of them, does my opponent have to sacrifice the other one?

A: Nope. When Incriminate starts to resolve, it checks if its targets are still legal, and it finds that the targets are no longer controlled by the same player. Since the spell's targets are illegal now, it doesn't resolve and none of its effects happen.

Q: When Corpse Appraiser's ability resolves, is the creature card I exile from the graveyard among "those cards" of which I choose to put one into my hand?

A: Nice try, but no, that doesn't work. "Those cards" refers to the most recently established group of cards, which is the top three cards of your library that you're looking at.

Q: Does Etrata, the Silencer count creatures that were exiled with hit counters on them by Mari, the Killing Quill?

A: It sure does! Counters with the same name are interchangeable, and both Etrata and Mari look for hit counters on exiled cards regardless of how the counters got there. Mari's second ability can turn hit counters from Etrata into card draws and Treasures, and, perhaps more usefully, creatures exiled by Mari can help you reach Etrata's win condition sooner.

Q: I have Tasha's Hideous Laughter and Galvanic Iteration in my graveyard, and use Invoke Calamity to cast both of them. Can Galvanic Iteration copy Tasha's Hideous Laughter?

A: No, that doesn't work. Galvanic Iteration applies to the next spell you cast after it resolves, so you'd need to cast Galvanic Iteration, let it resolve, and then cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter. However, Invoke Calamity doesn't let you do that. It lets you to cast two spells during its resolution, but those spells only resolve some time after Invoke Calamity has resolved, after players have received and passed priority several times. You choose the order in which you cast the two spells, but either way you are casting Tasha's Hideous Laughter well before Galvanic Iteration gets the chance to resolve.

The right man in the wrong place
can make all the difference in the world.
Q: I control Parallel Lives and play Citizen's Crowbar. What happens?

A: The Crowbar's enter-the-battlefield ability, as modified by Parallel Lives, creates two Citizen tokens and asks you to attach the Crowbar to both of them. That's clearly impossible, so you do as much as you can, which is to choose one of them and attach the Crowbar to it. (I suggest the one named Gordon, he looks like he knows how to use it.)

Q: Prosper, Tome-Bound's "Mystic Arcanum" ability has exiled a card. Can I still play that card if Prosper gets destroyed?

A: As long as it's before the end of your next turn, sure! The "Mystic Arcanum" ability creates a continuous effect that allows you to play the exiled card, and the duration of that effect is "until the end of your next turn." Once that effect has been created, it exists independently from Prosper for the given duration, and destroying Prosper won't end the effect early.

Q: Does the same logic apply to Laelia, the Blade Reforged?

A: It does! The duration of "this turn" is a bit shorter, but it doesn't change the fact that the resolution of Laelia's ability creates a continuous effect with a duration, and that effect exists independently from Laelia.

Q: If I sacrifice Dragon's Rage Channeler to pay Ob Nixilis, the Adversary's casualty cost, do I still get to surveil 1?

A: Nope. A triggered ability that's triggered by casting a spell only checks after the process of casting the spell is complete, which includes paying the total cost of the spell. Since you sacrificed Dragon's Rage Channeler as part of that cost, it's no longer on the battlefield at the time the ability would be checked, so the ability doesn't trigger.

Q: I control a Dreamtail Heron mutated on top of a Mysterious Egg, and I make a token copy of this mutate stack. If I mutate the token with Huntmaster Liger, is the X for its ability 1 or 2?

A: Only 1. The token copy takes on the copiable values of the mutate stack, which includes all the abilities it has thanks to its mutations, but it doesn't include the number of times the creature has mutated. When Huntmaster Liger's ability resolves, this is only the first time that this creature has mutated, so X is 1.

Q: If I mutate Dreamtail Heron underneath a Hexdrinker and then level the Hexdrinker up to gain protection from everything, does Dreamtail Heron fall off?

A: Nope. Mutating a creature is not like attaching an Aura to a permanent, where you have two distinct permanents and one is attached to the other. The mutated Hexdrinker is one merged permanent that's represented by a stack of two physical cards, and gaining protection doesn't "unmerge" this merged permanent.

Q: I'm in a game of Commander with two other players, and opponent A is attacking me with a creature. Can I activate Dulcet Sirens' ability to make it attack opponent B instead?

A: Not if your opponent already declared attackers. Dulcet Sirens' ability creates an attack requirement, but attack requirements and restrictions are only checked when attackers are declared, so creating an attack requirement after that point does nothing. If you suspect that your opponent will attack you with a particular creature, you can use Dulcet Sirens' ability on it before they declare attackers, but then your opponent could still attack you with another creature if they have one.

I want to run, I want to hide
Q: Does Ancient Greenwarden double Brokers Hideout's ability?

A: Not in any useful way. Thanks to Ancient Greenwarden, the ability goes on the stack twice, and it resolves twice, but you can only sacrifice Brokers Hideout once, and the sacrifice is what triggers the search and life gain part. When the second instance of the ability resolves, you can't sacrifice Brokers Hideout, so the second instance of the ability does nothing.

Q: If I somehow control two Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia, do both of them make Zombie tokens in my end step if I don't control any creatures with decayed?

A: No. The condition "if you control no creatures with decayed" in Jadar's ability is an intervening-if clause that's checked both when the ability would trigger and when it would resolve. The condition is true when the ability triggers, so both abilities go on the stack. The first ability resolves and sees that the condition is still true, so it gives you a Zombie with decayed. Then the second ability starts to resolve, but now the condition is no longer true, so the second ability doesn't resolve and doesn't give you a Zombie token.

Q: Does Oskar, Rubbish Reclaimer allow me to cast a sorcery on my opponent's turn?

A: Absolutely, as long as some effect or cost actually allows you to discard the card in the first place. ("I really want that card in my graveyard" is not enough of a reason.) Discarding the card triggers Oskar's ability, which allows you to cast the card during the resolution of that ability. This permission goes beyond the usual permissions that are granted by the rules, which is a good thing because you don't have priority at that moment, so the rules wouldn't even allow you to cast an instant.

Q: Does Ledger Shredder's ability trigger a second time when a player casts their fourth spell in a turn?

A: Nope. Ledger Shredder's ability doesn't restart the count after its ability has triggered. After a player has cast their second spell that turn, no other spell they cast will ever be their second spell that turn, so Ledger Shredder's ability won't trigger again for that player in that turn.

Q: If I pay the casualty cost for Ob Nixilis, the Adversary, is there a triggered ability that I can copy with Strionic Resonator to copy Ob Nixilis a second time?

A: Yup! Casting Ob Nixilis for its casualty cost triggers a triggered ability, and that ability creates the copy of that spell when it resolves. That triggered ability uses the stack, and while it is on the stack, you can respond to it and copy it with Strionic Resonator.

And that's all the time we have for today. Thanks for reading, and please come back next week for more Magic rules questions and answers!

- 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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