Published on 09/19/2022

Random Questions for a Random Week

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français

I wanted to learn something new,
I just didn't know what.

Today has no plan or theme, just twenty random questions I came across that people wanted answers to. May they be as enlightening to you as a few of them were to me.

We are always looking for new material, so 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 . If you do so, we may use your question in an upcoming article.

Q: In a two player game, I attack with several creatures including a Port Razer that is wielding a Fireshrieker and it goes unblocked. How many extra combat steps will I get this turn?

A: You will get two extra combat steps! Its important to note, Port Razer can't attack in the extra combat steps, and during the third combat step of the turn, only creatures that are untapped at the end of the second combat step can attack. The second trigger for Port Razer untaps the creatures for a second time, before going into the second combat. So to get three attacks from any of the other creatures you need things like vigilance or some other means of untapping them.

Q: I'm playing Two-Headed Giant and at the beginning of my team's turn, one of my opponents resolves Teferi's Protection. What can we do to the opposing team this turn?

A: Let's assume opponent A is protected by Teferi.
You can target opponent B with spells and abilities, but damage or life loss won't change the team's life total.
You can affect opponent A with spells and abilities that don't target, but damage or life loss won't change the team's life total. Additionally opponent A likely has no permanents to affect as they should all be phased out.
You can attack opponent B, but their life total can't change.
You can attack opponent A, but the damage will be prevented and their life total can't change.
You can make opponent A discard cards if the spell or ability that causes the discard doesn't target.
If you have an ability that causes you or your partner to win the game, your team still wins the game.
If you can make opponent B lose the game, your team immediately wins the game.
If you can make opponent A lose the game without targeting them, your team immediately wins the game.

Now for maybe the strangest thing, if you deal lifelink, poison, or commander damage to opponent B, the opposing team's life total won't change, but the damage is still considered to have happened. So lifelink will still gain you life, and if the opposing team collects 10+ poison or 21+ commander damage from one commander, the team still loses the game.

Q: I control Hofri Ghostforge and cast In Thrall to the Pit kicked targeting my opponent's commander. When I sacrifice the commander at the end of the turn, assuming my opponent tries to put it in the command zone, do I still get a copy with Hofri?

A: You do not. When you sacrifice the opponent's commander, it goes to the graveyard. Then, before Hofri's trigger can but put on the stack, all state based actions are checked. One of those state based actions is the "move my commander to the command zone" action, and the opponent can (and in this case likely will) move the commander. Then when Hofri's trigger tries to resolve, no commander in the graveyard for him to exile, so no token.

Q: I control Spirit of Resistance and Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder and no other non-land permanents. Is Spirit of Resistance currently protecting me?

A: It is! You have a permanent of each of the five colors, even though you only have two colored permanents. This is actually covered by the only ruling under Spirit of Resistance in Gatherer. If you are unsure of an interaction, Gatherer is a good first resource to check. It can be found at

Blow it up!
No, not that one!

Q: I control Death Tyrant, Diregraf Horde, and two decayed Zombie tokens. If I attack with the two decayed Zombies and they go unblocked and get sacrificed to the decayed trigger, does Death Tyrant still make me tokens?

A: It sure does! A creature that attacks stops being an attacker only once it leaves the battlefield or the combat phase ends. Since the Zombies get sacked at the end of combat, they are still attacking.

Q: While resolving Gyruda, Doom of Depths's enter the battlefield trigger, my opponent mills Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. Can I steal Kozi or will he get shuffled away first?

A: You may steal Kozi. Once an ability begins to resolve, other abilities that trigger during that ability won't be put on the stack until after the original ability has fully resolved. In this case you yoink Kozi from the graveyard, then a moment later that player has to shuffle what's left in their graveyard into their library.

Q: If I cast Myojin of Blooming Dawn from my opponent's hand using Silent-Blade Oni, will the Myojin have the indestructible counter?

A: It will not. Myojin requires that it was "cast from your hand", and you cast it from your opponent's hand in this example.

Q: On an earlier turn, I awakened Westvale Abbey with Ruinous Path, and I just transformed the abbey using its last ability. How big is Ormendahl, Profane Prince?

A: He is a 4/4. Before transforming, Westvale Abbey is a land that becomes a 0/0 creature, then benefits from four +1/+1 counters. After transforming he is a 9/7 creature, that becomes a 0/0 creature, then benefits from four +1/+1 counters.

When you transform a card, you change its "Layer 0 stats", then any other changes to it will apply.

Q: My opponent controls Satoru Umezawa and put Blightsteel Colossus into their hand last turn with Diabolic Tutor. If I cast Pithing Needle naming Blightsteel Colossus will that make it so my opponent can't ninjutsu out the Colossus?

A: Yes, that stops the Colossus from putting on his Ninja suit. Ninjutsu is an activated ability and the Colossus has it while it's in your opponent's hand. As a side note, naming Satoru Umezawa does nothing, as it has a static ability that grants activated abilities to cards in its controller's hand.

Q: My opponent controls Eidolon of the Great Revel and casts Lightning Bolt targeting me. I respond with Flusterstorm knowing the opponent has no available mana. How many times does the Eidolon shock me?

A: Only once. You do make one copy of Flusterstorm, but the copies are not cast, so only the original Flusterstorm triggers Eidolon.

Q: As this turn began, there were only two cards in all graveyards, my opponent's Evolving Wilds and my Lord of Extinction. My Body Launderer gets Murdered by my opponent right after it attacks. Can I reanimate Lord of Extinction with the Launderer's death trigger?

A: You can not. Lord of Extinction has a CDA (characteristic defining ability) that determines its power and toughness. We know this is a power & toughness CDA because it has */* written in the bottom corner. CDA abilities function in all zones, not just on the battlefield. Lord of Extinction is a 4/4 at the time Body Launderer's trigger tries to choose a target because there are four cards in all graveyards: Evolving Wilds, Lord of Extinction, Murder, and Body Launderer. This makes Lord of Extinction too big to be a legal target for Body Launderer's trigger that is looking for a creature card with power 3 or less.

Q: I currently have no cards in my hand and have activated Words of Wind once already this turn. If I now activate Merfolk Looter, do I discard before or after returning a permanent to my hand?

A: Words of Wind sets up a replacement effect, so it changes Merfolk Looter's ability and makes it look like ": Each player returns a permanent they control to its owner's hand, then you discard a card".

Q: My opponent controls Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Psychosis Crawler, and Underworld Dreams. I control Valkmira, Protector's Shield and am currently at 20 life. During my draw step I will draw two cards (one normal and one from Nekusar), what will my life total be at the end of my draw step?

A: 20 life. Nekusar will trigger twice to deal 1 damage each trigger, as will Underworld Dreams. Each 1 damage will be prevented by Valkmira. Psychosis Crawler only triggers when its controller draws a card. It's worth noting, when your opponent draws two cards on their turn, you will lose 2 life, as Valkmira can only prevent damage being dealt, not life being lost.

I'm starting to see a pattern here.

Q: Luxior, Giada's Gift is currently attached to my Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and I control Myrkul, Lord of Bones. If my opponent Murders Ugin, will Ugin return as an enchantment?

A: He will! He won't be a planeswalker at all anymore, so he will enter the battlefield with zero loyalty counters. As he is not a planeswalker anymore, he doesn't die for having zero loyalty. As he is not a planeswalker, he can no longer be attacked. He can still use one loyalty ability on each of your turns at sorcery speed. If you use his +2 loyalty ability, it will place loyalty counters on the enchantment Ugin. Since he is at zero loyalty starting out, you won't be able to use his -10 until you build up to it, and his -X can only be as big as you have built up to.

Q: If I have Umori, the Collector as my companion, and I'm trying to make all the non-land cards in my deck creatures, can I include cards like Halvar, God of Battle and Curse of Leeches in my deck?

A: Yes to Halvar, no to Curse of Leeches. When deck building, Umori is only concerned with the front faces of the cards. Umori doesn't see nor care that Halvar is sometimes an Equipment, and Umori only sees Curse of Leeches as an enchantment.

Q: My commander is Gonti, Lord of Luxury. If I use Gonti's trigger to cast my opponent's Boros Guildmage, can I use Treasure tokens to pay the or to activate the Guildmage's abilities? I've seen websites that say you can't make mana outside your commander's color identity.

A: You can make mana outside your commander's color identity. It's true you can't include Mountains or Battlefield Forge in your Gonti deck, but you can use black cards that make Treasure or lands like City of Brass.

These websites that say differently may be out of date. For a long time in Commander/EDH if you made mana outside your commander's color identity you instead made colorless mana. This rule was removed from Commander after the introduction of during Oath of the Gatewatch.

Q: If I control Swarm Shambler, Winding Constrictor, Hardened Scales, and Corpsejack Menace, how many counters does the Swarm Shambler gain if I activate its ability?

A: Its your choice of six, five, or four +1/+1 counters. What we have here is multiple replacement effects trying to modify how the same event affects a permanent. As you control the affected permanent (the Swarm Shambler) you choose the order you would like to apply each replacement effect in. Since none of these replacement effects replace putting counters on the Shambler with doing something completely different, each will get to apply once no matter the order you choose.

Choice A) Corpse First -> 1 doubles to 2, then Constrictor -> 2 becomes 3, then Scales -> 3 ends up at 4.

Choice B) Constrictor First -> 1 becomes 2, then Corpse -> 2 doubles to 4, then Scales -> 4 ends up at 5.

Choice C) Constrictor First -> 1 becomes 2, then Scales -> 2 becomes 3, then Scales -> 3 doubles to 6.

There are technically three more options where you just switch Scales and Constrictor on the above options, but they end up with the same results.

Q: My commander Nicol Bolas is currently under a Darksteel Mutation. If I copy Bolas with Spark Double, do I get a full fledged Bolas or a sad 0/1 insect?

A: You get a mighty non-legendary Nicol Bolas with a +1/+1 counter. Clone effects like Spark Double ignore all benefits and detriments the card or token they copy are getting to determine what it's copying.

So ignore Auras, Equipment, Giant Growths, losing abilities, gaining abilities, type changes, etc.

The only exception is that Clone effects will copy any copy effects the original may already have. If you Spark Double a Vesuvan Doppelganger that is currently copying a Nicol Bolas, you will get a mono-blue Bolas that can reselect what it is copying each upkeep.

Q: My Brago, King Eternal is enchanted by Curator's Ward. When Brago deals combat damage to my opponent, can I have him "blink" both himself and the Ward to draw two cards?

A: Yes, you can. However, when they return, you can not attach Curator's Ward to Brago, since it can only be attached to a permanent still on the battlefield, not a permanent entering the battlefield simultaneously with it. In the unlikely scenario that there is no such permanent, Curator's Ward will remain in exile for the rest of the game.

Q: I control Wheel of Sun and Moon enchanting me, and my opponent targets me with Glimpse the Unthinkable. How do we determine what order the cards end up on the bottom of my library?

A: All ten cards are revealed, then you choose the order you put them on the bottom of your library. The order they are placed on the bottom is not revealed to your opponents.

May your day be safe with just enough randomness to make it interesting,

- Justin Hovdenes AKA Hovey
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

Send quick questions to us in English for a short answer.

Follow our RSS feed!