Published on 05/23/2022

Word on the Street

Cranial Translation
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We have the answers - if you have the questions.

Hello, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! A little birdie told me that you're looking for something - answers. And we're just humble brokers of information. If the question has been asked, we have the answer - assuming you can pay the price. But I can see you're a little down on your luck, so tell you what - we'll cut you a small deal today. We'll give you a small taste of what we can offer, just so you know we're telling the truth. And all we ask in return is that you just spread the word about our little guild.

And how will you get in touch with us? Well, you know our address. But if you're looking for a specific answer to a question you have, you can contact us directly. We may even use that question in a future article, so that the masses can know about it - we want to share knowledge, not hoard it. 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: I control a Celebrity Fencer with no counters on it. If I cast Exotic Pets, will the Fencer get a counter in time to let me put a +1/+1 counter on one of my fish tokens?

A: Nope, you don't get to put a +1/+1 counter on one of your fish tokens. The Fencer's trigger won't go on the stack until after the Pets is completely done resolving. The Fencer doesn't have a +1/+1 counter yet when the Pets is looking for counters among creatures you control, so you won't get to put a +1/+1 counter on one of your pet fish.

Q: My opponent casts Prizefight, targeting their Civil Servant and my Obscura Initiate. In response, I cast A Little Chat and sacrifice my Initiate. Does my opponent still get the Treasure from Prizefight?

A: Yep, they still get the Treasure. When Prizefight goes to resolve, it checks to make sure its targets are still legal. Your Initiate is no longer on the battlefield, but their Servant is. Since one target is still legal, the spell will resolve as best as it can. The fight won't happen since one of the creatures is no longer on the battlefield, but your opponent will still create the treasure. So even if your creature no-shows the fight, your opponent will still make off with the purse and will still create a Treasure.

Q: I control Falco Spara, Pactweaver and the top card of my library is a land. Can I use Falco's ability to play the land?

A: No, you may not. Falco's ability only lets you cast spells from the top of your library. A land can only be played, not cast, so Falco won't let you play that land from the top of your library - you'll have to draw the land, and then hope the next card is something you can cast.

Q: I control Ziatora, the Incinerator and a random 3/3 creature. During my end step, I sacrifice my 3/3, intending to deal damage to my opponent's 2/2. But in response, my opponent phases out their 2/2 with Slip Out the Back. Will I still create three Treasures?

A: You will not create the Treasures. The reflexive trigger has a single target. If that target is illegal when the ability goes to resolve, then the entire ability does nothing (including the parts that don't target). Since the opponent's 2/2 isn't a legal target anymore, the entire reflexive trigger does nothing, and you will not create any Treasures.

Q: I still control a Ziatora, the Incinerator. This turn, I cast Pugnacious Pugilist for its blitz cost. During my end step, can I sacrifice it to Ziatroa's trigger before I have to sacrifice it to blitz?

A: You can! You control both end step triggers, so you choose the order the triggers are put on the stack. If you put Ziatora's trigger on the stack last, its trigger will resolve first, and you can sacrifice the blitzed Pugilist to Ziatora's trigger before you have to sacrifice it to blitz's delayed trigger.

Q: If my opponent and I both have an empty library, and I activate the ability of Sky Crier, what happens? Who will lose the game first? Or is the game a draw?

A: Assuming you're the only players in the game, the game will end up as a draw. After the Crier's ability is done resolving, we check state-based actions. The game sees that both you and your opponent tried to draw from an empty library, so you'll both lose the game. And since you both lose the game at the same time, the game ends up as a draw.

Q: If I cast a spell, and my opponent responded by casting Obscura Interceptor, can I Shock the Interceptor after it enters, but before it connives to prevent them from bouncing my spell?

A: Nope, that doesn't work. While you do get the chance to kill the Interceptor before the enter the battlefield trigger resolves, the trigger that triggers when it connives is built into the enter the battlefield trigger. There's no requirement that the Interceptor has to be on the battlefield for the reflexive trigger to trigger after it connives. So you can kill the Interceptor before the enter the battlefield trigger resolves, but they will still connive and can still bounce your spell afterwards.

We have eyes everywhere -
so be careful where you sit.

Q: If I attack with a Shakedown Heavy when I have an Isshin, Two Heavens as One in play, will I get to draw two cards if my opponent doesn't want my Heavy to be attacking them?

A: Probably not. Isshin will cause the Heavy's attack trigger to trigger twice instead of once. However, to remove it from combat, they just need to let you draw a card from one trigger. Once one trigger resolves and they choose for you to draw, the Heavy is untapped and removed from combat. There is technically a second Heavy trigger still on the stack, but unless your opponent is feeling really generous, they can simply ignore that trigger and can choose for you to not draw a second time, since your Heavy has already been removed from combat.

Q: What's the mana value of Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer that's on the battlefield if I previously cast it with X=4?

A: It's 3. Anywhere but the stack, we treat X in the mana cost as 0. So while Rocco was on the stack, its mana value was 7, but once it leaves the stack and enters the battlefield, its mana value goes back to 3.

Q: If I enchant my Queza, Augur of Agonies with a Grafted Exoskeleton, will my opponent get a poison counter each time I draw a card?

A: Nope, they lose life like normal. Infect only works if the permanent deals damage. Queza's triggered ability causes your opponent to lose life, but a loss of life doesn't count as damage, so infect won't do anything here. Your opponent will not get a poison counter, they'll just lose 1 life.

Q: I attack with a Cephalid Facetaker, choosing to copy my Rabbit Battery. After combat, I choose to reconfigure my Facetaker Battery onto one of my creatures. Will the Facetaker stay attached to the creature after the turn ends?

A: Nope, it will unattach. The effect from Facetaker will wear off during the cleanup step of the turn, and it stops copying the Battery and is back to being a normal Facetaker. Since the Facetaker is not an Equipment anymore, it can't be attached to anything, so the Facetaker will unattach from whatever it was attached to and will remain on the battlefield as its normal self.

Q: Who chooses the creature to return with The Beamtown Bullies's ability, the controller of the Bullies or the opponent who gets the creature?

A: The controller of the Bullies. The player activating the ability chooses the targets for the ability, so if I have the Bullies in play and I'm targeting you with the ability, I get to choose which creature card from my graveyard that you get. You don't get to make the choice of what creature you get, since you're not activating the ability.

Q: I control Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva and three other creatures. During my opponent's turn, can I choose to tap four creatures and goad two of the opponent's creatures?

A: No you cannot. When Kitt's trigger resolves, you get the option to tap two creatures you control to goad a creature, but the trigger doesn't give you the option to tap multiple times. You could goad creatures over multiple turns, since Kitt's ability will trigger on each player's turn, but you can't tap more than two creatures each time the trigger resolves.

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Q: Can I cast Grand Crescendo with X=0 just to give my creatures indestructible for the turn?

A: Yep, you can. The Crescendo doesn't say that X can't be zero, so you're free to cast the Crescendo for if you just want to give your creatures indestructible for the turn.

Q: If I control Oskar, Rubbish Reclaimer and I discard a creature card on an opponent's turn, will I be able to cast it?

A: Yep, you can cast it when Oskar's trigger resolves. When the trigger resolves, it gives you permission to cast the card that you discarded. Since it's not giving you a time frame to cast the card in (like "this turn" or "until end of turn"), it means you're casting it while the trigger is resolving, and that means you get to ignore normal timing restrictions. Even though it's the opponent's turn, you'll be able to cast the discarded creature card, since Oskar's trigger gives you permission to cast it while the trigger is resolving.

Q: If I control Oskar, Rubbish Reclaimer and a Lion's Eye Diamond, if I activate the Diamond's ability and discard my hand, will I have the mana from the Diamond by the time I'm casting the discarded cards via Oskar's trigger?

A: Yep, you already have that mana. While the Diamond has a restriction on when you can activate its ability, the ability is still a mana ability, so it will resolve immediately after you activate it. By the time you're putting the Oskar triggers on the stack from discarding your hand, you already have the three mana from the Diamond's ability, and you'll be able to use that mana to cast cards you just discarded to the Diamond's ability.

Q: What happens if I reveal a land when resolving Protection Racket's trigger?

A: More than likely, you're going to exile that land. The chosen opponent has to pay life equal to the card's mana value to exile it and prevent it from going into your hand. But a land has a mana value of 0, meaning that the chosen opponent can choose to pay 0 life and you'll have to exile the card. Revealing lands to the Racket's trigger isn't going to work out for you, since your opponent can force you to exile it by paying 0 life.

Q: I control an Arcbound Overseer with six +1/+1 counters on it and a Resourceful Defense. If I cast Cloudshift targeting the Overseer, can I use the Defense trigger to put the six counters onto my returned Overseer?

A: You can! Cloudshift exiles and returns the Overseer while the spell is resolving. While the Defense will trigger while Cloudshift is resolving, we can't put that trigger on the stack until after Cloudshift has returned the exiled creature to the battlefield. When we're putting the Defense's trigger on the stack, the Overseer is back on the battlefield, so you can target the Overseer with the Defense's trigger and put six +1/+1 counters on the Overseer (bringing it up to twelve counters).

Q: I have a Family's Favor in play. I attack with a 4/4 with trample, and I target it with the Favor's triggered ability. My opponent blocks with a 3/3 creature. Will I be able to remove the shield counter to draw a card?

A: You will not. While your trampler did end up dealing damage to the opponent, it took damage at the same time it was dealing damage to the opponent, which means that it lost the shield counter. So before we can even put the combat damage trigger on the stack, your attacking creature has already lost its shield counter, so you won't be able to remove the shield counter when the trigger resolves and you won't draw a card.

Q: I control a Smuggler's Share. It's my opponent's turn, and they're the monarch. Assuming they've only drawn one card by the time their end step begins, will they draw from the monarch in time for my Share to see they've drawn at least two cards that turn?

A: Nope, they'll draw too late. Since it's their turn, their monarch trigger will go on the stack first, followed by your Share trigger. When the Share trigger resolves, since your opponent has only drawn one card this turn, you won't draw from the Share. Later on during the end step, when their monarch trigger resolves, they'll draw their second card for the turn, but since the Share's trigger has already resolved, it's too late for the Share to count it and you won't get to draw a card from the Share's trigger.

That's all we have for this week. See you again next week!


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