Published on 10/03/2022

Assemble Your Army

Cranial Translation
Deutsch Español Français

Their number is legion.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! This week, we're going to take a look at some of the cards from the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks that will be coming out in October. Now, I'll be honest, I'm not super-familiar with Warhammer 40,000 — turns out that Magic fills that gaming space for me, so I've never felt the need to look into it — but from hearing the reactions of players online who are familiar with both, it seems like Wizards did an excellent job of translating the lore and characters from Warhammer 40,000 to Magic. Heck, I may pick one up too. That Necron deck looks pretty interesting.

And if you have any other questions about cards from the Warhammer 40,000 decks (or any other Magic card), feel free to send it in, and we'll send you an answer back. 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: If I attack with Anrakyr the Traveller, when do I cast my free artifact spell?

A: You cast it when the attack trigger resolves during your declare attackers step. The trigger is giving you permission to cast it while the trigger is resolving (and there's no time frame given to cast the spell, like "until end of turn"), so you'll be casting that artifact spell while its attack trigger is resolving during the declare attackers step, not later on during your main phase.

Q: If I cast Technomancer, can my opponent wait for me to mill the cards, then exile cards from my graveyard before I can return them?

A: No they can't. No one gets priority in the middle of Technomancer's trigger resolving. After you've milled the three cards, you immediately choose the artifact creatures that you want to return. They can exile cards before the trigger resolves to restrict what you could return, but they won't be able to interact with the cards you milled to the first part of the effect before you choose what to return.

Q: I control Trazyn the Infinite. If I have a Cranial Plating in my graveyard, what happens if Trazyn activates the equip ability targeting another creature I control?

A: Nothing happens. Trazyn isn't an equipment, so it can't be attached to anything (and a creature can't be attached to anything unless you're using the reconfigure ability). You're free to activate the equip ability that Trazyn has, but when that ability resolves, nothing will happen, since Trazyn can't attach to anything, and you've effectively wasted your mana.

Q: If I have multiple Plague Drones in play, will my opponent lose twice as much life if they would gain life?

A: Nope. The Drone has a replacement effect that replaces the opponent gaining life with that opponent losing that much life instead. Since it's a replacement effect, only one Drone will get a chance to apply - the other won't apply anymore since your opponent isn't gaining life. Multiple Plague Drone will be useful if you think one of them may die soon, but they are redundant and won't cause your opponents to lose twice as much life.

Q: I have Anrakyr the Traveller in play with a Resurrection Orb attached to it. One of my opponents casts Hour of Revelation to destroy all nonland permanents. Will I get Anrakyr back at the beginning of the next upkeep?

A: Yep, you'll get it back. Even if the Orb is being destroyed at the same time as the creature it's attached to, the Orb will still trigger and can return the creature it was attached to. While everything will end up destroyed, you'll end up getting Anrakyr back at the beginning of the next upkeep.

Blood for the Blood God!

Q: If I have to sacrifice Khârn the Betrayer to my opponent's Lokhust Heavy Destroyer trigger, will I draw two cards?

A: Yes you will. Losing control of Khârn will also include it leaving the battlefield. If you controlled Khârn when it left the battlefield, the lose control ability will trigger and you will draw two cards.

Q: I cast Blight Grenade targeting my opponent's Space Marine Devastator. In response, they cast Mortify on their own Devastator. Will Blight Grenade still give -3/-3 to all creatures?

A: It will not. Blight Grenade has a single target - a target creature to destroy. If that target isn't legal when the Grenade goes to resolve, the entire spell does nothing, even the parts that don't target. Since the only target for the Grenade is illegal when it goes to resolve, the entire spell does nothing and creatures will not get -3/-3 for the turn.

Q: Can I cast Chaos Mutation and target all of my opponent's creatures?

A: You cannot. You can target as many creatures as you want, but they have to controlled by different players. It's similar to Lagrella, the Magpie. If you're in a game with four players, you can target up to four creatures, but those four creatures have to be controlled by different players.

Q: I control Poxwalkers and I have a Cabal Therapy in my graveyard. If I flashback the Therapy, sacrificing the Poxwalkers, will the Poxwalkers return to the battlefield?

A: They will! You sacrifice Poxwalkers as a cost to casting the Therapy. After costs are paid, the Therapy becomes cast and we check for anything that should trigger off of the Therapy being cast. Poxwalkers is in your graveyard, and you just cast a spell from your graveyard, so Poxwalker's ability will trigger and it will return to the battlefield tapped. It doesn't matter that it wasn't in the graveyard when you started to cast the Therapy, what matters is that it ended up in the graveyard by the time the spell became cast, so its ability will trigger.

Q: My commander is Lucius the Eternal. He dies, but I leave him in the graveyard so I can exile him targeting an opponent's creature. But my opponent responds to Lucius's trigger by sacrificing the creature I targeted. Can I just move Lucius out of my graveyard to the command zone, or is he stuck in the graveyard?

A: Your commander is stuck in the graveyard for now. You have one chance to move your commander from the graveyard to the command zone - when state-based actions are checked after it goes to the graveyard. If you choose to leave Lucius in the graveyard, then you've lost your chance to move him out of the graveyard to the command zone. Since you left Lucius in the graveyard, you've lost your chance to move him to the command zone, and if his ability fails to resolve, he'll be stuck in the graveyard.

For the Emperor!

Q: How does miracle work with a creature card, like Sister Repentia? I thought I couldn't cast creature spells during my draw step.

A: Normally, you can't cast a creature during your draw step, since a creature spell can normally only be cast during one of your main phases when the stack is empty. But miracle gives you permission to cast the spell when the miracle trigger resolves (no matter when that may be). Even if you draw your first card of the turn during your draw step, or even on your opponent's turn, the miracle trigger will let you cast it for its miracle cost while that trigger is resolving.

Q: If I gain some life, then cast Celestine, the Living Saint, will Celestine know about the life gained before it entered the battlefield for its end step trigger?

A: Yes it will. Celestine doesn't need to be on the battlefield when you gained the life to know about it. When you're putting its end step trigger on the stack, Celestine will count all life that you've gained that turn, including life that you gained before it entered the battlefield, to determine a legal target for its triggered ability.

Q: If I'm in a game of Two-Headed Giant and I attack with Epistolary Librarian, will it also count the attacking creatures controlled by my teammate?

A: Yes it will. The Librarian's effect will count all attacking creatures when its trigger resolves, not just attacking creatures controlled by you. Your teammate attacking along with your Library means you'll be able to cast a spell with a higher mana value than if you were just attacking alone.

Q: If I have The Golden Throne in play, and my opponent does their Thassa's Oracle/Demonic Consultation thing to exile their library and win the game, will the Throne prevent me from losing the game?

A: Nope, the Throne won't do anything here. The Throne will apply if you would lose the game, but doesn't do anything if an effect says your opponent wins the game. When the Oracle's trigger resolves, your opponent wins the game, and the Throne won't prevent your opponent from winning the game, so the game is over.

Q: I have Volo, Guide to Monsters in play. If I cast Vanguard Suppressor with no other Astartes or Warriors in play and pay an additional to make two copies via its squad ability, how many Vanguard Suppressor do I end up with?

A: You end up with a total of six Suppressors. Choices made when you cast the original are copiable. When Volo makes a copy of the Suppressor, the copy also was cast with the squad cost being paid twice. When the Volo copy of the Suppressor enters, you create two Suppressors, and when the original Suppressor enters, you get two more copies, for a total of six Suppressors.


Q: I have a Hardened Scales in play. If I cast Termagant Swarm with X=4, since it will enter with five counters thanks to the Scales, will I get to draw a card from Ravenous when the Swarm enters the battlefield?

A: You do not. Ravenous cares about what value you picked for X when you cast it. It doesn't care how many counters the creature with ravenous entered the battlefield with. When you cast the Swarm, you cast it with X=4, and since X was not five or greater, you do not get to draw a card when the Swarm enters the battlefield.

Q: I have a 2/2 Venomthrope in play, and I cast Tyranid Prime. When Tyranid Prime enters the battlefield, will evolve trigger for Venomthrope?

A: Yes it will! When the Prime enters, it gives your other creatures evolve, and then we check for enter the battlefield triggers. Venomthrope has evolve from Tyranid Prime, and the Prime's toughness is greater than Venomthrope's toughness, so evolve will trigger for Venomthrope and Venomthrope will get a +1/+1 counter.

Q: How does Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph interact with a card like Fiery Confluence? If I pick the first mode three times, how many times will Ghyrson Starn trigger?

A: It will trigger three times for each creature that was damaged. The Confluence doesn't deal all 3 damage to each creature at the same time. It deals 1 damage to each creature three times. Since the damage is being dealt in 1 damage increments, Ghyrson Sarn triggers three times for each creature that was dealt damage by the Confluence's three modes. Once all of Ghyrson Starn's triggers are done resolving after the Confluence is done resolving, each creature will have taken a total of 9 damage — 3 from the Confluence, and 6 damage from the Ghyrson Starn triggers.

Q: I cast Mawloc with X=2 and have my 4/4 Mawloc fight my opponent's Trazyn the Infinite. After the fight, I cast Shock to deal two more damage to Trazyn. Will Trazyn end up in the graveyard or exiled?

A: It's exiled. Once Mawloc's fight trigger resolves, if the other creature would die that turn, it's exiled instead of going to the graveyard. It doesn't need to be dying due to the damage from the fight, it just needs be dying at some point later in the turn. And the replacement effect still exists even if Mawloc is no longer on the battlefield, since it was set up by the fight trigger resolving. In this case, casting the Shock after the fight has happened would cause Trazyn to die, but the replacement effect causes it to be exiled instead of going to the graveyard.

Q: If I have an Ashaya, Soul of the Wild in play, and then play Toxicrene, what happens?

A: It turns out that those two don't work very well together. For those of who you remember how Ashaya/Blood Moon worked out, this is going to be the same story.

In layer 4, Ashaya makes all of your creatures into lands. In layer 6, Toxicrene removes all abilities from all lands (including the creatures that are lands because of Ashaya) and they gain the ability to tap for one mana of any color. This includes removing Ashaya's ability that sets its power and toughness, before it gets a chance to apply. In layer 7, Ashaya doesn't have its abilities, so its power and toughness will be undefined which means it becomes a 0/0. Ashaya dies as a 0/0, and your creature stop being lands (since Ashaya left the battlefield). Since your creatures are no longer lands, they're no longer affected by Toxicrene's ability, and they'll have their normal abilities back.

And that's we have for you this week. See you again next week, where we'll dive into the crazy world of Unfinity!


No comments yet.


Follow us @CranialTweet!

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

Follow our RSS feed!