Published on 05/30/2022

1 877 Kwestions 4 Kids

That's Kwestions with a K!

Cranial Translation
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The cream will rise to the top,
ooh yeah
Nothing means nothing.

I'm talkin' about all the way to the top, yeah. Unjustifiably in a position that I'd rather not be in, But the cream will rise to the top, ooh yeah. I, yeah, I've got more to offer than y'all think that I got, yeah, and let me tell you something right now, cards stacked against me, let me say it, yeah, let me say it out loud, and let me point, I am not happy with your decision, yeah.

Nothing. Zero. Pure athlete yeah and I've been, uh, yeah, maligned from the top to the bottom and because they can't handle me: the cream of the crop. Nobody does it better.

But lemme tell ya, reader, if you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We answer every question we get, ooh yeah, and your question could show up in a future article.

Q: My opponent casts Swan Song targeting my Lightning Bolt while I control Lier, Disciple of the Drowned. Do I still make a Bird token?

A: Yes, you do. Even though your Bolt can't be countered thanks to Lier, making the Bird token doesn't depend on Swan Song actually countering something.

Note this is different from Swan Song's target being illegal; in that case, the spell would do nothing. Here with Lier, though, the Bolt is still a legal target. Lier just stops the "counter target spell" part from actually doing anything.

Q: When I cast Violent Outburst and cascade into Dead // Gone, can I cast Gone or only Dead?

A: Unfortunately you won't be able to cast either side. Violent Outburst's mana value is 3. A split card's mana value while it's in the library is the sum of both sides, so Dead // Gone's mana value is 4. Since 4 is larger than 3, you'll just keep exiling cards

Q: Wait, what? Am I misremembering? Didn't this used to work like this?

A: It did a while ago, but the rules for split card mana values were changed a few years back when Brain in a Jar decks were doing cute things at FNM. Cascade has changed since then, too, so unfortunately the dream of cascading into Dead // Gone like this is, well, dead and gone.

Q: My opponent made a bunch of Cleric enchantment creature tokens with Heliod, God of the Sun. If I target one of them with Echoing Calm, how many of them will be destroyed?

A: All of them, along with any other Cleric tokens that may happen to be enchantments because of something like Enchanted Evening. Anything that makes a Cleric creature token, like Heliod or Rite of Belzenlok, creates a token named Cleric Token. Since you targeted a Cleric Token with Echoing Calm, all enchantments named Cleric Token will be destroyed.

Might sound crazy but it ain't no lie
Baby, bye bye bye
Q: I cast Synchronized Strike. Can I target my Llanowar Elves twice, untap it once, tap it for mana, then untap it again?

A: No, this doesn't work for a couple reasons.
First, Synchronized Strike targets "up to two target creatures." Since it uses the word "target" once, any individual thing can only be the target one time. If you want the spell to target two creatures, they have to be two different ones.

Second, unless a spell says otherwise, nobody can do anything in the middle of a spell or ability resolving. Even if this spell said something like "Untap target creature. Untap target creature." and you targeted your Elves twice, there would be no way to activate the Elves' ability betwen the two untaps

Q: Can I return my Archon of Absolution to my hand with Deputy of Acquittals' triggered ability?

A: No, you can't. Even though Deputy of Acquittals isn't monowhite, it's still white. Its ability can't target Archon of Absolution.

Similarly, Deputy of Acquittals is also blue, so it couldn't target Voice of Reason, either.

Q: How does Fa'adiyah Seer interact with something like Teferi's Ageless Insight?

A: If the draw from Seer's ability is replaced by something — even another draw — you won't perform the rest of its effect. Nothing is revealed, nothing is discarded.

Q: My opponent cast Sleep with the Fishes on my Grizzly Bears. If I get rid of the enchantment, does that also destroy the blue Fish creature token it created?

A: No, it doesn't. Once the token is created, it doesn't care at all about the enchantment anymore. (That's the thing about fish. Short memories.)

Q: If I target an opponent's creature with Burn Away, does it only exile their graveyard if the creature dies because of Burn Away? Or if it dies for any reason?

A: If it dies for any reason this turn, its controller's graveyard will be exiled. The creature could die to combat damage, or being sacrificed, or a good old-fashioned Doom Blade.

It's important to remember, though, that the creature has to die this turn for Burn Away's delayed trigger to exile their graveyard. Once the turn is over, the delayed trigger no longer exists.

Q: Will Alluring Suitor transform if I attack with just Falconer Adept?

A: Unfortunately not. For you to "attack with exactly two creatures," you have to declare exactly two creatures as attackers in the declare attackers step. The token created by Falconer Adept wasn't declared as an attacker. It simply entered the battlefield already attacking.

Q: If I copy Deadeye Navigator's soulbond ability with something like Strionic Resonator, can I pair the Navigator to do different creatures?

A: No, you can't. The reminder text for Soulbond isn't quite accurate to how it actually functions. It might help to quote the rules text, here. I've added a little emphasis.

"702.95a Soulbond is a keyword that represents two triggered abilities. "Soulbond" means "When this creature enters the battlefield, if you control both this creature and another creature and both are unpaired, you may pair this creature with another unpaired creature you control for as long as both remain creatures on the battlefield under your control" and "Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, if you control both that creature and this one and both are unpaired, you may pair that creature with this creature for as long as both remain creatures on the battlefield under your control."

See, Soulbond has intervening if clauses, which effectively mean that if that clause isn't true when a trigger would trigger and when it would resolve, the trigger does nothing.

So here's the sequence of events.

Deadeye Navigator enters the battlefield.
The trigger sees that you control the Navigator and an Eager Cadet and both are unpaired.
The trigger goes on the stack.
You copy the trigger. You still control the Navigator and another creature and both are unpaired, so the copy goes on the stack.
The copy checks and sees that you still control the Navigator and another creature and both are unpaired.
The copy resolves, and you pair the Navigator and Cadet.
The original checks and sees that... oh no! Your Navigator is no longer unpaired!
The original is removed from the stack without doing anything.

...That's a much longer explanation than I intended it to be. The short version is that "you can't usefully copy a creature's Soulbond trigger."

Q: If I'm casting Lightning Bolt and my opponent responds with Time Stop, what happened to my Bolt?

A: It gets exiled. When a spell or ability ends the turn, any objects on the stack are exiled, even the spell or ability that ended the turn. In this case, that means your opponent's Time Stop is also exiled.

Q: I control Kilnmouth Dragon with five +1/+1 counters on it. I activated its ability targeting my opponent, and they destroyed my Dragon with Doom Blade in response. How much damage does my Dragon's ability deal to my opponent?

A: Good news! It still deals 5 damage to your opponent. When the ability resolves, it goes and asks "Hey, Mr. Dragon, how many counters do you have?" If Mr. Dragon isn't where it's expected to be anymore, like if it phased out or got exiled or died, the game uses the Dragon's last known information. The game has fond memories of the number of counters the Dragon used to have, so it will use that amount to determine how much damage is dealt.

All roads lead to home
Q: I have Sword of Hearth and Home equipped to my Grizzly Bears. My opponent gains control of my Bears and attacks me with it. We can't figure out how the Sword works here. Help?

A: The Sword triggers when the equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, but the creature isn't doing any of the actions in the triggered ability. Since you still control the equipment, it instructs you to perform actions. You'll exile a creature, search for a basic land card, then put them both into play.

For comparison's sake, look at the wording on Ceremonial Knife. The Knife gives the creature the ability. If your Bears had a Knife instead of the Sword and dealt combat damage to you, the creature's controller — your opponent — would create a Blood token.

Q: My opponent is searching their library and casts Panglacial Wurm and they control a Selvala, Explorer Returned and —

A: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me stop you right there, chief. On that note, I'm out of here.

I have had the honor to be your obedient servant
A. Vill

(Editor's Note: Andrew is leaving the Cranial Insertion team to pursue other interests, so this is his last Cranial Insertion article. We thank him for his contributions and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.)

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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