Published on 08/22/2022

Here Comes a New Challenger!

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Attack me if you dare.
I will crush you.
Hi everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! Recently, the Secret Lair x Street Fighter cards have started arriving in player's hands. Not only are they mechanically unique Magic cards, but each ties closely to each character. For example, Chun-Li has multikicker, and one of Ryu's abilities uses the untap symbol, which looks a lot like the input command for a Hadoken in the games. And since they're fun new commanders, players have been asking questions about them, so we're going to take some time this week and go over all of the mechanically unique cards from the set and answer some questions about them.

But if the fighter you want to pick isn't here, or you have a question you want us to answer, you can feel free to send it in to us, and we may even use it 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 E. Honda, Sumo Champion and a Basri Ket. I activate Basri Ket's -2 and attack. Can I stack my triggers so I create the tokens first, then target them with E. Honda's ability?

A: No, you cannot. While you can choose the order the triggers are put on the stack, you have to choose targets for E. Honda's trigger when it's put on the stack. You can't create the tokens from Basri Ket's trigger before you have to put E. Honda's trigger on the stack, so you won't be able to target the tokens with the trigger.

Q: How does the untap symbol in Ryu, World Warrior's Hadoken ability work?

A: The untap symbol () works very similar to how the tap symbol () works, just in reverse. In order to activate the ability, you have to untap the creature as part of the cost to activating it. You can only untap Ryu to activate the ability if he is currently tapped, just like how a creature with an ability using the tap symbol has to be untapped to activate the ability. And similar to abilities with the tap symbol, you can't activate an ability with the untap symbol if the creature is affected by "summoning sickness", so without a way to give Ryu haste, you'll have to wait until your next turn after you play him before you can activate the Hadoken ability even if you find a way to tap him.

Q: I attack with Ken, Burning Brawler who's currently a 4/2. If I deal combat damage with him, assuming I want to cast Crater's Claws, what's the largest X I can choose?

A: The largest X you can choose is 0. Ken lets you cast a sorcery spell, but without paying its mana cost. And since you're casting the spell without paying its mana cost, the only value you can choose for X is 0. So you're free to cast Crater's Claws with Ken's trigger, but X will be 0. Then again, since you do control a creature with power 4 or greater, it will at least deal two damage to the target.

Q: I cast Bounty of Might targeting Blanka, Ferocious Friend with all three effects. How many times does Blanka's Electric Thunder ability trigger?

A: Just one time. While Bounty of Might is targeting Blanka multiple times, it's only becoming the target of a spell once. So even if you target Blanka with all three effects of the Bounty, you'll only get a single Electric Thunder trigger, not three triggers.

Q: Do I have to pay for the copies cast by Chun-Li, Countless Kicks's attack trigger?

A: Yes you do. Chun-Li doesn't say you get to cast the copies without paying their mana cost, so you'll have to pay for the copies you want to cast.

Q: How long do I have to cast the copies made by Chun-Li, Countless Kicks? If I copy a Counterspell, can I cast it later on during my turn?

A: You won't be able to do that. Since there's no time frame given to cast the copies in, like "this turn", or "until end of turn", you cast the copies while Chun-Li's trigger is resolving or not at all. Any copy you don't cast while the trigger is resolving will cease to exist once the trigger is done resolving, so you won't be able to cast the copies later on during your turn.

Q: I have a Chun-Li, Countless Kicks in play, and a Cyclonic Rift exiled with a kick counter on it. If I attack with Chun-Li, can I cast the Rift for its overload cost?

A: You can! Chun-Li tells you to cast the copies, but not cast them via an alternate cost. If the spell has its own alternate cost, like overload, you're free to cast it for its alternate cost. So you'll be able to cast the Rift for its overload cost via Chun-Li's triggered ability.

I will meditate and then
destroy you.

Q: I control a Dhalsim, Pliable Pacifist and a Giant Spider. I attack with Giant Spider, and Dhalsim's ability triggers. My opponent blocks with a 2/2, then casts a Giant Growth on their 2/2. Since my Giant Spider can't be blocked by creatures with power greater than 2, will casting the Giant Growth undo the block my opponent made?

A: No, it will not. The power of the blocking creature only matters when it's declared as a blocker. Once the legal block has been declared, their 2/2 will be blocking your Spider for the rest of combat. Casting the Growth on the 2/2 after blockers are declare won't undo the block that's already been made, so your 2/4 Spider is going to deal and receive damage from their now 5/5 creature.

Q: How does Guile, Sonic Soldier work with a Panharmonicon? Will I be able to add a charge counter, then immediately remove one to Sonic Boom a creature?

A: Yep, you can do that. Because of Panharmonicon, Guile's triggered ability will trigger twice when he enters. The first trigger to resolve will let you add a charge counter to Guile. Then the second trigger resolves, and you can either add another charge counter to Guile, or remove the charge counter you just added with the first trigger and you'll be able to Sonic Boom something.

Q: How does Zangief, the Red Cyclone work if I give him trample? If Zangief attacks and is blocked by a 4/4, will I be able to take advantage of his Spinning Piledriver ability?

A: You can. Trample isn't an automatic thing. You can choose to assign more damage to the creatures blocking it and assign less damage to the opponent. In order for Zangief to deal excess damage here, you have to assign at least 5 damage to the blocking 4/4. Zangief can then assign 2 damage to the defending player, and he'll deal damage to the blocker. Since he dealt excess damage to the blocker, you'll get his Spinning Piledriver trigger as well.

Q: I control a Blade of the Oni that has a Heirloom Blade attached to it. If Blade of the Oni dies, and I reveal Leech Gauntlet, will I put the Gauntlet into my hand?

A: You will not. Heirloom Blade has you reveal until you reveal a creature card that shares a creature type with it. While the Gauntlet is a creature, and they do share a type, they don't share a creature type - Equipment is an artifact type, not a creature type. Since the Gauntlet is not a Demon, you'll keep revealing cards until you reveal a Demon creature card from your library to put into your hand.

Q: If I have an Obsidian Battle-Axe in play, will that help out my party cards like Acquisitions Expert?

A: Nope, the Battle-Axe won't help out your party. While the Battle-Axe does count as a Warrior, only creatures can fill a spot in a party, and since the Battle-Axe isn't a creature, it will not be able to fill a role in your party.

Q: I control Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and my opponent controls Gisa, Glorious Resurrector. If my Kozilek dies, does it get shuffled into my library before Gisa exiles it?

A: Your Kozilek won't even hit the graveyard. Gisa has a replacement effect, not a triggered ability. It replaces going to the graveyard with being exiled instead. Your Kozilek won't go to the graveyard at all, and its ability will not trigger - your opponent's Gisa will exile it, and unless you can get rid of Gisa, your opponent will get a decayed Kozilek on their next turn.

My strength is much
greater than yours.

Q: My opponent controls Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Can I cast Solitude and exile my opponent's Emrakul?

A: You sure can! Emrakul has protection from colored spells. Solitude (the spell) doesn't target anything, but its enter the battlefield trigger does. But at that point, Solitude is a permanent, not a spell, so Emrakul's protection will not save it. You'll be giving your opponent a large amount of life, but you can exile their Emrakul with your Solitude.

Q: My opponent controls an Angel of Serenity. I cast Cursed Mirror, choosing to copy my opponent's Angel and exile three of their creatures. What happens at the end of turn when my Mirror stops copying the Angel?

A: Nothing happens. The Mirror hasn't left the battlefield, so the creatures that were exiled are still in exile. But even worse for your opponent, since Cursed Mirror doesn't have the Angel's leave the the battlefield trigger anymore, the exiled creatures are going to stay in exile permanently even if Cursed Mirror leaves play. If your opponent wants their creatures back, they have to get rid of the Mirror while it's a copy of the Angel.

Q: My opponent controls Mirrodin Besieged with "Phyrexian" chosen. If I play a Runed Halo and name Mirrodin Besieged, what happens?

A: You won't lose the game, and you may stop your opponent from being able to loot. The Phyrexian trigger does target an opponent (no matter how many cards are in their graveyard), so if you end up having protection from Mirrodin Besieged, your opponent won't be able to target you with the trigger. If there are no other players they could target, then they won't be able to target a player with the trigger, and the trigger will be removed from the stack and won't resolve (and your opponent will not be able to draw and discard, since the entire trigger is removed from the stack).

Q: I control Toski, Bearer of Secrets and a Giant Warthog, but my opponent controls a Silent Arbiter. Can I attack with my Warthog, or do I have to attack with Toski?

A: You'll have to attack with Toski. When declaring attackers, you have to fulfill as many requirements as possible without violating any restrictions. Toski has one requirement - attacks each combat if able - and the Arbiter has one restriction - only one creature can attack. While you may want to attack with your 5/5 trampler, because attacking with Toski will fulfill more requirements than attacking with the Warthog, you have to attack with Toski.

Q: I have a Hickory Woodlot with one counter and an Elvish Reclaimer in play. Can I tap the Woodlot for mana and sacrifice it to the Reclaimer's ability?

A: No you cannot. The check to see if the Woodlot has no depletion counters on it happens as part of its mana ability resolving. It's not a separate trigger. If you activate the ability and remove the last counter, the Woodlot is sacrificed when its mana ability resolves. Since it's no longer on the battlefield, you won't be able to then sacrifice it to the Reclaimer's ability. You can either tap it for two mana one last time, or sacrifice it to the Reclaimer's ability, but not both.

Q: I control a Kill Switch, which I activated last turn to tap all artifacts, including my Sol Ring. During my untap step, will Sol Ring untap, or will Kill Switch prevent it from untapping?

A: It stays tapped. During your untap step, we determine which permanent will untap, and then untap them all at the same time. When we're figuring out what artifacts will untap, your Kill Switch is still tapped, so Kill Switch will prevent Sol Ring from untapping. Then we untap everything that we determined should untap, so that would be your other nonartifact permanents and the Kill Switch, but not the Sol Ring.

Q: How does a card like Damia, Sage of Stone work in Two-Headed Giant?

A: Its controller will love Damia - their teammate, not so much. The controller of Damia will draw up seven cards during their upkeep. However, Damia also causes its controller to skip their draw step, and if one member of a team skips a step or phase, the entire team skips that step or phase. Hopefully, this means that the controller of Damia can carry their team, since their teammate won't be drawing their card like normal for the turn.

Continue? 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...0

Game Over!


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