Published on 06/17/2024

Modernest Horizons

or, The Most Modern Horizons Yet!

Cranial Translation
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Time to expand your horizons!
Greetings and welcome back to another issue of Cranial Insertion! Modern Horizons 3 is out now, and it's generating lots of interesting questions as Magic players get their hands on these new cards and brew exciting decks with them.

As always, if you have questions for us, you can send short questions to us on X at @CranialTweet, or email longer questions to . One of our authors will send you a reply, and your question might appear in a future article.

And now, let's expand our horizons and see what Modern Horizons 3 has in store for us.

Q: I control Éowyn, Fearless Knight and Satya, Aetherflux Genius. I attack with Satya and make a token copy of Éowyn. If I choose to get rid of the Éowyn token to the legend rule, do I still get its enter-the-battlefield effect?

A: Absolutely. The enter-the-battlefield ability of the Éowyn token triggered when it entered the battlefield, so the ability goes on the stack even if you get rid of the token to the legend rule. The ability on the stack is independent from its source, so it will still resolve, you'll still exile a creature, and your legendary creatures still gain protection until end of turn.

Q: How do the effects from Omo, Queen of Vesuva and Harbinger of the Seas interact with each other on a nonbasic land with an everything counter on it?

A: Both the "is every land type in addition to its other types" and the "are Islands" effects apply in layer 4, and the two effects don't depend on each other, so they simply get applied in timestamp order. If Harbinger of the Seas entered more recently, the land is an Island. If Omo entered more recently, the land is every land type.

Q: Can I use Buried Alive to search for Crib Swap?

A: No. Buried Alive only lets you search for creature cards, which are cards that have the word "Creature" in their type line. Crib Swap has every creature type, but it's not a creature card. Crib Swap's card types are kindred and instant.

Q: Can I cast Crib Swap from my graveyard with Haakon, Stromgald Scourge?

A: Yup, that works. Unlike Buried Alive which explicitly looks for creature cards, Haakon's ability allows you to cast any Knight spell from your graveyard. Since Crib Swap has every creature type, Haakon sees a Knight spell and allows you to cast it.

Q: My opponent claims that they can use Bountiful Landscape to search their library for a nonbasic Mountain since the word "basic" is only attached to the word "Forest." Is that true?

A: No, that's not true, although there is no rule that directly justifies this answer. Rule 608.2c tells us to apply the rules of English to the text. By the rules of English and some common sense, the word "basic" should apply to all three listed land types because it can apply to all three, by much the same logic that the word "card" applies to all three listed land types. Also, the cycle of five "Landscapes" in Modern Horizons 3 is comparable to the cycle of Panoramas from Shards of Alara, and I've found an archived copy of the Shards of Alara FAQ that states "Each shard has a Panorama that allows you to search your library for a basic land appropriate to that shard and put it into play."

Q: Is Nulldrifter a colorless spell when I evoke it? Echoes of Eternity wants to know.

A: Yup. Nulldrifter is a colorless spell because there are no colored mana symbols in its mana cost. The fact that you paid blue mana to evoke it doesn't change this. Since it's a colorless spell, Echoes of Eternity's first ability applies to Nulldrifter's "draw two cards" trigger, so you'll end up drawing four cards. Additionally, Echoes of Eternity's second ability triggers and copies the Nulldrifter spell itself, but that's not super useful. The copy wasn't cast, so it doesn't result in additional card draws. The copy resolves into a Nulldrifter token, but it inherits from the original spell that its evoke cost was paid, so you'll end up sacrificing the token right away, too.

Q: I control Echoes of Eternity and I have a suspended Epochrasite in exile. When the last time counter comes off, does Epochrasite get copied? If so, does the copy have haste, too?

A: Yes and no. You are casting a colorless spell, so Echoes of Eternity's second ability triggers and you copy the Epochrasite spell. However, the added haste ability does not become part of the spell's copiable values, so the copy that resolves into a token won't have haste. It still gets three +1/+1 counters, though, since you didn't cast it at all, so you didn't cast it from your hand.

Hail Hydra!
Q: If I cast Nyxborn Hydra with X=1, can Metastatic Evangel proliferate the counter on the Hydra?

A: Sure. The Hydra enters with one +1/+1 counter, and then Metastatic Evangel's ability goes on the stack. When Metastatic Evangel's ability resolves, the +1/+1 counter is still on the Hydra, so it can be proliferated.

Q: Does casting Nyxborn Hydra with X=5 trigger Monstrous Vortex?

A: No. Monstrous Vortex looks at the power of the creature spell you cast. The Hydra won't get its +1/+1 counters until it resolves and enters the battlefield. Monstrous Vortex sees a creature spell with power 0, which falls well short of the "5 or greater" that it's looking for.

Q: I control Ulalek, Fused Atrocity and cast an Eldrazi spell. In response to Ulalek's triggered ability, I tap a creature for an activated ability. If I pay for Ulalek, does that activated ability get copied, too?

A: No. The activated ability goes on the stack above Ulalek's triggered ability, so it'll resolve first. By the time Ulalek's ability resolves and asks you whether you want to pay , the activated ability is no longer on the stack, so it won't get copied by Ulalek's ability.

Q: Can I find Planar Nexus with something like Wooded Foothills?

A: No. Planar Nexus only has all the nonbasic land types. It doesn't have the basic land types like Mountain or Forest, so you can't find it with fetchlands that looks for basic land types.

Q: Since Planar Nexus counts as an Urza's Tower as well as an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Power Plant, can I tap it for ?

A: Not quite. Planar Nexus has the same land types that those lands have (and then some), but it doesn't have the mana abilities that are printed on those lands. Planar Nexus only has the ability to make . However, if you also control an Urza's Tower, for example, the fact that you control Planar Nexus satisfies Urza's Tower's condition for making .

Prepare to be amazed!
Q: I control three Gates and activate Sage of the Maze to turn one of my lands into a 6/6 creature. If I play another Gate afterwards, does the 6/6 grow to 8/8?

A: No. Sage of the Maze doesn't give the land creature an ability that continually looks at the number of Gates you control. It creates a continuous effect that sets the creature's power and toughness to a particular size that is determined just once, when the ability resolves. At that time, you controlled three Gates, so the effect is locked in to set the land creature's power and toughness to 6/6. For examples of animation effects that makes a creatures whose power and toughness continually get updated, check out Chimeric Mass and Druid Class.

Q: Since Emrakul, the World Anew has protection from spells, does that mean Wrath of God won't destroy it?

A: No, Wrath of God still destroys Emrakul, the World Anew. Protection from spells means that spells can't target Emrakul and damage that would be dealt by spells is prevented. However, Wrath of God doesn't deal damage, it destroys creatures outright, and protection does nothing to stop destruction.

Q: My opponent controls an Ornithopter that has a Colossus Hammer attached to it. Can I cast Kolaghan's Command with the third and fourth modes to destroy both the Hammer and the Ornithopter?

A: Sure, that works. The modes of Kolaghan's Command resolve in the order they're written on the card, so first the Hammer gets destroyed, and then Kolaghan's Command deals 2 damage to the Ornithopter, which is lethal damage. However, note that you'd get the same outcome even if the order of the modes were reversed. Damage gets marked on creatures and only gets removed in the cleanup step at the end of the turn. If a creature has damage equal to or greater than its toughness marked on it when state-based actions are checked, the creature is destroyed. This means that even if you deal 2 damage to the Ornithopter first, if the Hammer gets destroyed during the same turn, the Ornithopter still gets destroyed because the damage that's still marked on it is lethal now.

Q: If I control Renata, Called to the Hunt and cast Evolution Witness, does Evolution Witness's ability trigger because it's entering the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it?

A: Absolutely! An ability that triggers when counters are put on a permanent also triggers when a permanent enters the battlefield with counters on it.

Q: I control Rumbleweed and Ghired, Mirror of the Wilds, and I cast Tumbleweed Rising to make an 8/8 Elemental token. The I use Molten Duplication to make a copy of the token that has haste. Finally, I tap Rumbleweed and Ghired for the token-copying ability from Ghired to make two copies of the hasty token. Do those copies have haste, too?

A: That's a very elaborate plan you've hatched there, but it doesn't quite work out. Molten Duplication doesn't create the copy with haste. It makes the copy and then gives it haste. Because of this, the copiable values of the hasty tokens don't include haste, so the two copies you make of it won't have haste, either. On the bright side, the delayed triggered ability from Molten Duplication doesn't apply to them, either, so at least you don't have to sacrifice them in the end step.

Q: I control Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Kormus Bell. When I play a new land, can I tap it for black mana right away, or does it have summoning sickness because it's also a creature? Also, what creature type does it have?

A: Since the land is also a creature, it's subject to the summoning sickness rule, so its activated abilities that include in the activation cost can't be activated unless you've controlled it continuously since you started a turn. You haven't controlled this new land since the start of the turn, and its mana ability has in its cost, so you can't use that ability. The land creatures don't have a creature type because Kormus Bell doesn't specify a creature type for them. That's slightly unusual, but not unprecedented. Face-down creatures don't have a creature type, either, and Nameless Race is an existing creature card without a creature type.

And that's all the time we have for today. Thanks for reading, and please come back next week for more Magic rules Q&A!

- Carsten Haese

About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a former Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He is retired from active judging, but he still writes for Cranial Insertion and helps organize an annual charity Magic tournament that benefits the National MS Society.


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