Published on 10/16/2023


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Everyone has a favorite doctor.
Which one's your favorite?
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to Cranial Insertion! We're continuing our look at the latest Magic release, the Doctor Who commander decks! I've watched Doctor Who in the past - mostly the newer versions starting with the Ninth Doctor. I didn't really latch onto the Ninth Doctor very much (only being around for one season didn't quite give me enough to latch onto him), but I loved the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors — especially David Tennant. I haven't watched as much of the newer Doctors (that's not for a lack of interest, but the series moving to a different streaming service that I didn't have access to at the time), but it continues to hold a special place in my heart, and I'm looking forward to playing with these decks — especially the Timey-Wimey deck.

But if you have any questions about the Doctor Who cards or any other Magic cards, feel free to send them in. We may even use your question in a future article. If you have a shorter question, you can find us at @CranialTweet, but if you have a longer question, you can e-mail us at .

Q: Can Everybody Lives! prevent me from losing the game due to having 10 or more poison counters?

A: Only for a brief time. If you resolve Everybody Lives! before you get the tenth poison counter, you can't lose the game this turn. However, during the cleanup step of the turn, when the effect from Everybody Lives! wears off, unless you have some other effect preventing you from losing the game (or you've managed to lose poison counters), you'll lose the game during the cleanup step.

Q: I don't understand how Gallifrey Falls // No More works. If I cast it fused, won't my creatures die before they phase out?

A: Nope, your creatures are safe. If you cast a spell via fuse, then you're casting and resolving a single spell, not multiple spells. There's no priority being passed or state-based actions being checked after you deal the damage with Gallifrey Falls, but before your targeted creatures phase out with No More. Even if your creatures take lethal damage, they'll phase out because of No More before we check state-based actions, and since they're phased out, they won't be destroyed.

Q: When does The Ninth Doctor's trigger go on the stack?

A: More than likely, during your upkeep. While the ability will trigger during your untap step, since no one gets priority during the untap step, that trigger won't go on the stack until the next time players would get priority. This is almost certainly going to be during the upkeep step, which is the step after the untap step, so The Ninth Doctor's trigger will go on the stack and will resolve during the upkeep step.

Q: Will Return the Past let me cast an adventure spell from my graveyard like Lupari Shield from my graveyard?

A: Surprisingly, yes! This works the same way as Lier, Disciple of the Drowned works with adventure spells. Before we put the spell on the stack when we begin casting it, we use its alternative characteristics to see if we're allowed to cast it. If you're casting Lupari Shield, you're casting an instant or sorcery spell, which means that the Return gives it flashback, and that means you can cast it for its flashback cost.

And, as an added bonus, when it resolves, you can choose to exile it to adventure, and can cast Karvanista from exile later on!

Q: I control Alistair, the Brigadier, four lands, and four Treasures. When I attack with Alistair, if I sacrifice those Treasures to pay for his triggered ability, will those Treasures count for the bonus that Alistair gives my creatures?

A: They will not count. After you've paid 8 mana, the ability will count how many historic permanents you control. Those Treasures you sacrificed aren't on the battlefield during this check, since they were sacrificed to pay for the triggered ability, so those sacrificed Treasures won't count for Alistair's effect.

Q: If I crew RMS Titanic and equip it with Assault Suit, what happens if it deals combat damage to a player?

A: You get your Treasures, and you get to keep the RMS Titanic around. You're not required to sacrifice the RMS Titanic when its trigger resolves in order to get the Treasures. Because of Assault Suit, you can't sacrifice the RMS Titanic when the trigger resolves, but you'll still get the Treasures, and you'll be able to keep the RMS Titanic around for another attack on your next turn.

Don't blink. Blink and you're dead.

Q: How exactly does Blink work?

A: We're used to Sagas that list their chapters in a normal progression. The first chapter is followed by the second, which is followed by the third, and so on. But Blink works a little differently than what you're used to. The first ability is the first and third chapters, not the second chapter, and the last ability is the second and fourth chapters.

When it enters, you'll do chapter I, and can shuffle a creature into its owner's library and its controller investigates. Then the second chapter happens, and you makes the 2/2 Alien Angel token. The third chapter is a repeat of the first chapter, so you shuffle a creature into the library and its controller investigates again. Then the fourth chapter happens, and you make another 2/2 Alien Angel token.

Q: I attack my opponent with Weeping Angel. After attackers are declared, my opponent casts Thijarian Witness. What happens to my Angel?

A: Your Angel turns into a statue and isn't attacking anymore. Since your opponent cast a creature spell, the Angel's ability will trigger, and when that trigger resolves, the Angel stops being a creature. Since it's no longer a creature, the Angel is removed from combat, so it's no longer attacking (and thus will not deal any damage in combat).

Q: Since Amy Pond has both Partner With Rory Williams and Doctor's Companion, does that mean I'm allowed to have three commanders?

A: No, you can still only have two commanders. Amy can share the command zone with Rory Williams, or you could have a Doctor in the command zone with Amy (like The Eleventh Doctor) and include Rory in your deck (that you could then search for when Amy enters the battlefield), but you can't have all three in the command zone.

Q: I have The War Doctor in play. I attack with Ryan Sinclair, and I exile four lands and a nonland card to his trigger. How many counters does The War Doctor get?

A: The surprising answer here is that The War Doctor gets five counters, not one counter. Those of you who have encountered Laelia, the Blade Reforged/cascade probably understand why.

When we're resolving Ryan's trigger, we don't know how many cards we need to exile ahead of time, since we're exiling until we exile a nonland card. That means we have to exile the top card of the library card, stop, look to see what that card is, and if it's a land card, exile another card (and if it's a nonland card, proceed with the rest of the ability). Because we are exiling until we exile a card of a certain type, we exile those cards one at a time, not all at the same time, and that means The War Doctor triggers for each card exiled with Ryan's attack trigger. In this example, The War Doctor ends up with five time counters and not one time counter, since Ryan's trigger ended up exiling five cards before we found a nonland card.

Q: I have an Auton Soldier in play that's a copy of an opponent's Clara Oswald. If I attack with the copy Clara Oswald and The Seventh Doctor, do I get the myriad tokens in time to give me more Seventh Doctor triggers?

A: Nope, you get the tokens too late. The Seventh Doctor's ability triggers when he's declared as an attacker. At the point when his ability is triggering, you only control one Clara - the myriad trigger hasn't even gone on the stack yet. Since you only control one Clara, you get one additional trigger. Later on, when the myriad trigger resolves, you'll get some more Claras, but since they're entering after The Seventh Doctor's ability has triggered, they won't go back and make his ability trigger more times.

Q: If I have Clara Oswald in play, will that let The Sixth Doctor's ability trigger twice when I cast a historic spell?

A: Nope, Clara won't help out that trigger. The Sixth Doctor's ability can only trigger once each turn. Not even Clara is powerful enough to get around that restriction, so even with Clara in play, the ability will still only trigger once each turn.

Q: I attack my opponent with Atraxi Warden. In response, my opponent casts Cyber Conversion targeting my Warden. What happens to my Warden? Is it still attacking?

A: Yep, the Warden is still an attacking creature, just a 2/2 instead of a 6/6. The Conversion turns the Warden into a face-down 2/2 Cyberman artifact creature. Turning it face down doesn't remove it from combat, and since it's still a creature, it's still attacking, and the defending player is free to block with their 3/3 creature and kill it.


Q: I attacked my opponent with a Cybership, and one of the creatures I put onto the battlefield face down is a creature with morph - a Krosan Colossus. Can I turn it face-up?

A: Sure. Cybership puts the two cards onto the battlefield face down as 2/2 Cyberman artifact creatures. Since they're face down, they can be turned face up if one of them has morph, like the Colossus. If one of those creatures is turned face up, the effect that makes them 2/2 Cyberman artifact creatures ends and they'll be back to their normal self (in this case, a green 9/9 creature).

Q: I have a Dan Lewis in play. I cast Hijack on my opponent's Sol Ring, then use the equip ability from Dan Lewis to attach the Sol Ring to a creature I control. What happens when the turn ends?

A: During the cleanup step, when the effect from Hijack wears off, you lose control of the opponent's Sol Ring. Since you don't control your opponent's Sol Ring anymore, it's no longer affected by Dan Lewis's ability, and Sol Ring stops being an equipment. Since Sol Ring isn't an equipment, it unattaches from your creature, and remains on the battlefield, back under your opponent's control but not attached to anything.

Q: Last week, you wrote about how exiling Ancestral Vision to The Eleventh Doctor won't let you cast it. But since the Vision is in exile, could I cast Wibbly-wobbly, Timey-wimey to time travel and add a time counter to it, letting me cast it on my next turn?

A: Sorry, that doesn't work either. In order for a card to be "suspended", it must be in exile with at least one time counter on it. While the Vision is in exile, it's not considered to be a suspended card since it doesn't have any time counters on it. You won't be able to use time travel to add a time counter to the Vision since it's not exiled with at least one time counter on it.

Q: The only creatures I control are token copies of The Master, Multiplied and a Dreadfeast Demon. During my end step, do I just get a free Dreadfeast Demon token?

A: You don't get anything. In order to get the Dreadfeast Demon token, you have to sacrifice a non-Demon creature. You can't sacrifice Dreadfeast Demon since it's a Demon, and you can't sacrifice your token copies of The Master, Multiplied since they can't be sacrificed to a triggered ability. Since you didn't sacrifice anything to the Demon's trigger, you don't get a token copy of Dreadfeast Demon.

Q: My commanders are The Twelfth Doctor and Vislor Turlough. If I demonstrate Vislor Turlough, do I get the chance to give the token copy of Vislor to an opponent before the original enters the battlefield?

A: Yes you do! The copy from demonstrate will resolve first, and Vislor enters the battlefield and its enter the battlefield trigger goes on the stack. We have to deal with that enter the battlefield trigger before the original Vislor resolves, so you'll be able to give your token Vislor to an opponent (probably not the opponent who currently has the other token copy of Vislor under their control), then your original Vislor will enter the battlefield, and you can either keep him or give him to another opponent.

Q: What happens if I cast Start the TARDIS but we're not playing planechase?

A: You'll resolve the spell mostly like normal, you just ignore the instruction to planeswalk. You'll surveil 2 and will draw a card. But since you're not playing planechase, you can't choose to planeswalk and you'll just ignore that part of the spell.

Q: I control River Song. If I search my opponent's library with The Stone Brain, will River Song's last ability trigger?

A: No, you don't get a trigger. River Song's last ability will only trigger if the opponent searches their own library, not if you search an opponent's library. Since your opponent isn't searching their own library, you don't get a River Song trigger.

Q: If I cast Carpet of Flowers during my first main phase, can I get mana from it during my second main phase?

A: You can! Carpet of Flowers will trigger during each of your main phases until you've added mana with its ability that turn. If you play it during your first main phase, when you get to your second main phase, because the Carpet hasn't added mana that turn, the Carpet will trigger and you can get mana from its triggered ability.

Looks like we're out of time this week. See you again next week!


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