Published on 07/10/2023

Do I Betray Jace and Many Other Quandaries

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Hey Jace, I have something
cool to show you.
Today is a simple mail bag episode answering questions from our many fans. As you might guess, these questions have no theme as they come to us from a variety of sources and types of players hitting up old and new cards and nearly every format.

If you have Magic rules questions, we would love to answer them and might even include them in an upcoming article. For short questions, you can send them 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 use Vraska, Betrayal's Sting's -2 ability to turn my opponent's Primalcrux into a Treasure, does the Primalcrux still count to my opponent's devotion to green?

A: The Primalcrux still gives its controller six devotion to green. The cards types are changed to Artifact - Treasure and it loses all abilities, but its name and mana cost are still there.

Q: My commander is The First Sliver and every nonland in my deck is a Sliver. When I cast The First Sliver it cascades. If I cascade into another Sliver, let's say Battering Sliver, do I get to cascade again?

A: You do not. The First Sliver is still on the stack when you cascaded into Battering Sliver. The First Sliver's ability that gives Slivers you cast cascade only functions while The First Sliver is on the battlefield.

Once The First Sliver is on the battlefield, you can start chaining Slivers that cascade into smaller Slivers, but when you cast The First Sliver itself, usually the best it can do is get you one Sliver.

Q: I control Elenda, the Dusk Rose, two Barony Vampires, and two 1/1 Vampire tokens. Elenda currently has two +1/+1 counters on her. If my opponent casts Day of Judgment, how many Vampire tokens does her death trigger make?

A: The short answer is three. Elenda died with 3 power, so her trigger makes three Vampires.

Long answer, when Elenda dies to the Day of Judgment, she triggers five times. Four triggers to give her a +1/+1 counter and one to make Vampires based on her power. As you control all of these triggers, you can put them on the stack in any order you like, though it will make no difference. Each ability that tries to put a +1/+1 counter on her will fail to do anything as she is now in the graveyard. Her own death trigger will check the power she had as she died, not as she exists in the graveyard, and see she had two +1/+1 counters when she died and makes a total of three Vampires.

Q: So last week in a four player game of Commander, my opponent played Wheel of Misfortune. When it went to resolve, each player revealed their chosen number as five. We didn't know what to do. So we guessed everyone was dealt damage and discarded their hand and drew seven. Did we resolve that correctly?

A: You resolved it half correctly. Everyone chose the highest number, so everyone is dealt 5 damage. Everyone also chose the smallest number, so no one "wheels".

Q: If I cast Thief of Blood what happens to my Urza's Saga that currently has two lore counters on it?

A: It loses both lore counters and stays on the battlefield. It also can still be tapped to make a and can still be tapped to make the Construct token. On your next turn, it will gain a lore counter and gain the mana ability a second time. On your next turn after that, it will gain the ability to make a Construct token a second time. On your next turn after that, it attempts to search for an artifact that costs or and then gets placed in the graveyard.

Q: I control Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence and use Mana Confluence to make a . Does this put a +1/+1 counter on Auntie Blyte?

A: It does not. Auntie Blyte is looking for damage dealt to you by your permanents. Mana Confluence is paying life as a cost. Paying life as a cost or losing life do not count as being dealt damage.

You could use City of Brass and that would work as the City deals 1 damage to you when it becomes tapped.

Q: If I attack with Ilharg, the Raze-Boar can I choose Archers of Qarsi for the creature Ilharg puts onto the battlefield tapped and attacking?

A: You can. A creature with defender can't be declared as an attacker during the declare attackers step, but Ilharg is bypassing this by just putting the creature onto the battlefield already attacking.

Q: If I use Eerie Ultimatum to return both Recycle and Thought Vessel from my graveyard to the battlefield, what is my maximum hand size?

A: Because you control both permanents and they enter at the same time, you chose which to apply first and which to apply second. Whichever you apply second wins. So in short you choose, and I have a guess you may want to apply Thought Vessel second to end up with no maximum hand size.

Q: If I cast Breach the Multiverse and one of the creatures I get back with it is Eternal Witness, can the Witness return Breach back to my hand?

A: Yes, it can. Witness and any other creature you put onto the battlefield with Breach do so while Breach is still on the stack and resolving. However, Witness's trigger won't be put on the stack or choose targets until after Breach has fully resolved and been placed into the graveyard. At this point you can choose Breach as the target and get it back into your hand.

Q: My opponent cast The One Ring and this turn I'm attacking my opponent with Questing Beast. Does my opponent take damage this turn?

A: Your opponent does take combat damage from the Questing Beast. Protection is four abilities in one:
1) Prevent all damage from sources it has protection from
2) Can't have things attached to it that it has protection from
3) Can't be blocked by things it has protection from
4) Can't be targeted by things it has protection from

Questing Beast by virtue of being on the battlefields makes it so your combat damage can't be prevented.

Q: I just resolved the last chapter Urza Assembles the Titans and placed it into the graveyard. At the time I had no planeswalkers. If I now cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor can I activate him once or twice this turn?

A: Twice! Urza Assembles the Titans changes the rules of the game for you until end of turn, not just give a bonus activation to each planeswalker you controlled at the time it resolved.

Q: Does Pixie Guide help me roll to visit Attractions?

A: Maybe. Pixie forces you to roll two dice instead of one as your main phase begins. Pixie forces you to ignore the lower roll. This may help you visit an Attractionm or possibly hinder visiting an Attraction. If your only Attraction is visited on 2's and 6's, and you happen to roll 2 and 5 because of Pixie, you ignore the 2 and use the 5. In this case it may have prevented you from visiting the Attraction. You could mitigate this by making all the Attractions in your Attraction deck trigger on 4's, 5's, and 6's.

Q: Follow-up to the last question: If I have three copies of Pixie Guide, do I roll four dice and ignore the lowest three, or do I roll two dice and ignoring only the lowest?

A: Pixie Guide stacks! You roll four dice and ignore the lowest three results.

Q: If I have an Urabrask's Forge and choose not to attack with any creatures this turn, does the Forge still trigger?

A: Yes, it will. Each of your turns will have a combat phase even if you chose not to attack or can't use it because you have no creatures that can attack.

(Yes, it's possible to not have a combat phase because of cards like Moment of Silence, but the above answer is about usual turns.)

Great, just what I wanted:
Black goo. (rolls eyes, all six of them)
Q: Can I use a card that proliferates (like Norn's Choirmaster) to increase experience counters (like from Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas?

A: Yes, you can. Proliferate can increase counters on permanents or, more importantly for your question, counters that players have. Experience counters are counters that players have, so you can choose to increase them when you proliferate.

Q: I have Thrakkus the Butcher who I just equipped with Helm of the Host. As I move to combat I make the non-legendary copy of Thrakkus. If I attack with both Thrakkus, do their attack triggers stack?

A: Yes they do! Both Thrakkuses (Thrakki?) end up having 12 power. The first trigger makes them both 6/4. The second trigger doubles that to 12/4.

Q: Can I cast Natural Reclamation with no target just to get the cascade effect?

A: You can not. Natural Reclamation needs to have a target to be cast.

Q: I have a 0/0 Germ token wearing a Robe of Stars. If I use the Robes ability to phase out the token, what happens to both of them now and as I start my next turn?

A: Both permanents phase out. The token continues to exist. Phasing a token out doesn't eliminate the token. As your next turn begins, before you untap, both the Germ token and the Robe of Stars phase back in and the Robe of Stars will still be attached to the Germ token.

If the Germ had any other equipment or Auras attached to it, those too would phase out with it, and then phase back in as your next turn begins, all still attached to the Germ.

Q: Is Leyline of Anticipation and Errant and Giada a combo that works?

A: It is not. Errant and Giada only let you cast cards off the top of your library that actually have the flash ability. Leyline allows you to cast such spell "as though they had flash", but it doesn't actually give those cards the flash ability.

Q: My opponent controls four Bear Cubs and Asceticism. If I cast Seize the Spotlight and the opponent chooses fame, can I still steal one of their Bear Cubs?

A: Yes, you can. Seize the Spotlight doesn't target any creatures, you just choose a creature without targeting it for each opponent who chose fame.

So, lesson learned, don't trust your friends if they have gained a mysterious snake//scorpion tail.

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


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