Published on 08/01/2022

Sweets for a Sweet

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What sweets will we eat this year?
Hi everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! As we approach the end of summer, one tradition my family always had was to make a weekend trip to our state fair. Sure, we could ride the rides and see the exhibits they have that year, but really, the highlight was eating all of the food. Cheese curds, funnel cakes, cotton candy, or a deep-fried Twinkie on a stick (don't knock it until you try it) were always foods we tried to seek out during our trip, and often multiple times during the day.

And while I'm sure I've made you hungry, let's start feeding your brain and covering some Magic rules questions. And don't forget you can send your questions in to us as well. We may even use your question in a future article. If you have a short question, you can send it to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and if you have a longer question, you can send it to our e-mail at .

Q: I control a Widespread Thieving. If I cast Fatal Grudge, sacrificing the Thieving, will the Thieving's last ability still trigger and gives me a treasure (and a chance to play the hideaway card)?

A: Nope, you don't get a Thieving trigger. You sacrifice the Thieving as a cost to cast Fatal Grudge. Since the Thieving is not on the battlefield when when Grudge becomes cast, the Thieving won't trigger and you won't get your treasure (or your chance to play the hideaway card).

Q: Will Animar, Soul of Elements help reduce the cost of a channel ability like one of Colossal Skyturtle's channel abilities?

A: It will not. Animar only reduces the cost to cast creature spells, but doesn't reduce the cost to activate the ability of a creature. Channeling the Skyturtle is an activated ability, not casting a spell, so Animar won't reduce the cost of your channel abilities.

Q: Earlier in the game, my opponent exiled my Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to Elite Spellbinder's triggered ability. Later on, I cast the Fable from exile, but my opponent claims they can counter it with Disdainful Stroke now since I paid five mana to cast it. Are they correct?

A: They are incorrect. The mana value of the Fable is always 3, since mana value is derived from the mana cost of the card. You had to pay five mana to cast the Fable because of the opponent's Spellbinder tax, but that tax doesn't affect the mana value of your spell. Since your Fable still has a mana value of 3, it's not a legal target for your opponent's Disdainful Stroke.

Q: If I have a Roiling Vortex in play, will that deal damage to my opponent when they cast Storm the Festival and put two permanents onto the battlefield?

A: Nope, the Vortex won't matter here. Storm the Festival doesn't have your opponent cast the chosen cards, they're put onto the battlefield. Since the cards are not being cast, the Vortex's last ability will not trigger and your opponent won't take any damage.

Q: There's an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play. If I play Obscura Storefront, can I tap the Storefront for mana before it's sacrificed to its own trigger?

A: Yep, you can do that. You'll get priority after the Storefront enters the battlefield, but before it's sacrificed to its own enter the battlefield trigger. Since it has a mana ability from Urborg, you'll be able to tap the Storefront for mana before you have to sacrifice the Storefront to its own trigger.

Q: If I control Tomik, Distinguished Advokist, will that stop my opponent from being able to activate the first ability of Deathrite Shaman?

A: Yes it will. All of the abilities of Deathrite Shaman target a card in the graveyard. Because of Tomik, your opponent can't target land cards in graveyards, so they'll be unable to activate the Shaman's first ability and won't be able to produce mana with the ability.

Q: My opponent casts Go Blank targeting me. If I discard a Big Game Hunter, will I get a chance to cast it for its madness cost, or will Go Blank exile it?

A: You will be able to cast it. When you discard the Hunter, instead of it going to the graveyard, you exile it and the madness ability of the Hunter will trigger. Since the Hunter isn't in the graveyard when Go Blank tells you to exile your graveyard, it won't be affected by it. Then, once Go Blank is done resolving, the madness trigger from the Hunter will go on the stack and you'll be able to cast it for its madness cost.

You can pretty much put any food
on a stick.

Q: I control a Keimi token from Tatsunari, Toad Rider. If I cast Curiosity on the Keimi token, will casting future enchantment spells also draw me a card?

A: Nope, you won't draw. Curiosity triggers when the enchanted creatures deals damage to an opponent, but Keimi's triggered ability doesn't deal damage to the opponent - they lose life. Since they're not taking damage from the trigger, Curiosity won't trigger and you won't draw any cards.

Q: I finally got my Midnight Clock to twelve counters, but in response to the last trigger, my opponent counters the trigger with Tale's End. What happens?

A: The Clock's last ability will only trigger when you add the twelfth counter to it. Countering the ability means that the ability won't resolve, and it won't trigger again. Even if you add more counters during the upkeep, you're not adding the twelfth counter to it, you're adding the thirteenth, fourteenth, etc counter to it. Unless you can remove counters from the Clock to bring it to eleven or less, your Clock will keep ticking up and you'll never get your new hand of cards.

Q: Will Kappa Cannoneer trigger itself when the Cannoneer enters the battlefield?

A: Yep, it will. The Cannoneer is an artifact, so it will trigger off of itself entering the battlefield and will get a +1/+1 counter (and can't be blocked this turn, but that won't be too relevant unless you can give it haste).

Q: I control a Delaying Shield with 30,000 counters on it (don't ask). During my upkeep, can I Disenchant my Shield before its trigger resolves to avoid losing life?

A: You can! When the upkeep trigger from the Shield resolves, you'll remove all of the counters from it, then you'll have to pay for each counter you removed or lose life. However, the Shield has to be on the battlefield when the trigger resolves for you to remove the counters from it. If you can get rid of Delaying Shield before its upkeep trigger resolves, you won't be able to remove any counters from the Shield when the trigger resolves and you won't have to pay mana or lose any life.

Q: I cast Test of Talents to counter my opponent's Banishing Coils. Will I be able to go through and exile all of their Guardian Nagas from their hand, graveyard, and library?

A: You won't exile anything. Test of Talents cares about the name of the spell that was countered, not what its name is when it's no longer on the stack. There are no cards named "Banishing Coils" in your opponent's hand, graveyard, or library, since the adventure part of the Naga only exists if it's on the stack and being cast via adventure. You won't even be able to exile the card you just countered, since it's back to being a Guardian Naga in their graveyard, and is no longer named Banishing Coils.

Q: If my Wrathful Red Dragon is dealt damage, can I choose to deal the damage to my opponent?

A: Sure. Your opponent isn't a Dragon (even if you happen to be playing Nicol Bolas), so your opponent is a legal target for your Wrathful Red Dragon trigger.

Is that a candied apple I spy?

Q: I have a Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald in play. If I cast Primal Surge, will I get a Wolf token for each permanent I put onto the battlefield?

A: Only for the lands that are put onto the battlefield. Faldorn will trigger if you cast a spell from exile or a land enters the battlefield from exile under your control. Putting a land onto the battlefield with the Surge will cause Faldorn's ability to trigger, but the other permanents are being put onto the battlefield, not cast, so Faldorn will not trigger for the nonland permanents that were put onto the battlefield with the Surge.

Q: Elminster and Eligeth, Crossroads Augur don't work very well together, right?

A: Depends - do you like drawing cards? If you so, this works out for you. But if you like reducing the cost of your instants and sorceries, these two don't work together.

Eligeth will effectively let you draw three cards from Elminster's +2 ability, since Eligeth will replace scry 2 with drawing two cards, so you'll end up drawing three cards from the +2 ability. However, since Eligeth is replacing scrying with drawing cards instead, Elminster's triggered ability won't trigger and you won't get a cost reduction on your instant and sorceries since you're no longer scrying but drawing cards.

Q: I control Myrkul, Lord of Bones and Athreos, God of Passage. If another one of my creatures die, can I stack the triggers so I can return the creature to my hand and get a token copy of it?

A: Nope, you can't double dip here. In order to make a copy of the creature that died, Myrkul has to exile it when its trigger resolved. If it's not in the graveyard when the trigger resolves, you can't choose to exile it, and cannot make a token. And in order for the creature to return to your hand, it must be in the graveyard when Athreos's trigger resolves. If you resolve Myrkul's trigger first, then the creature isn't in the graveyard anymore and Athreos loses track of it, and it won't return to your hand if your opponent doesn't pay the life.

Q: I gave my opponent a creature with Jon Irenicus, Shattered One in a multiplayer game, but then that opponent lost the game. What happens to my creature?

A: You get the creature back. When your opponent loses the game, the change of control effect from Jon Irenicus ends, and you get control of the creature back. Keep in mind that while you've regained control of it, everything else from Jon Irenicus's ability is still applying to it, so it's still goaded and can't be sacrificed.

Q: I've cast my commander three times from the command zone this game. Will that increase the -X/-X given by Cloudkill?

A: It will not. While the commander tax will keep going up each time you cast your commander from the command zone, that doesn't affect your commander's mana value - that's not going to change. For example, if your commander's mana value is 5, then it will be 5 for the entire game, even if you're going to pay eleven mana the next time you want to cast it from the command zone. Since the commander tax doesn't affect the mana value of your commander, you can't get a bigger Cloudkill by repeatedly casting your commander from the command zone.

Q: I'm playing a game of Commander, and my commander is Wilson, Refined Grizzly with Raised by Giants as its chosen background. Can I use mana from a Jeweled Lotus to cast Raised by Giants?

A: Yes you can! Since it starts the game in your command zone, it counts as a commander. And since it counts as a commander, you can use mana from the Jeweled Lotus to cast your chosen background.

Q: If Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes is my commander, does my Boo token count as a commander?

A: Sadly, Boo does not. While the Boo token is created by your commander, your commander doesn't pass on its "commanderness" to the token it makes, so your Boo token doesn't count as a commander.

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


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