Published on 08/05/2013

Twenty Questions

or, Forty Answers

Cranial Translation
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Note: This article is over two years old. Information in this article may be out of date due to subsequent Oracle and/or rules changes. Proceed with caution.

You can't say no to
that mustache.
Howdy, folks! Welcome back to another action-packed week of Cranial Insertion. This one's a little more packed than usual. The writers are off for a week, so you're stuck with me again. I'm Moko, the zombie mail-sorting chimpanzee and Vintage aficionado, and also the only one on the team small enough to crawl through air ducts to steal top-secret prototypes. We're celebrating Magic: The Gathering's twentieth anniversary this week - the very first release was on August 5th, 1993. What better way to celebrate than by hopping into a stolen Time Machine and heading back through Magic's past, looking at rules questions through the ages?

Lots of things would be better. Especially things involving cake and devouring the brains of the innocent. After we're done with this, I'm going to continue my celebration by eating a few dinosaurs. We'll see how many are left in Australia when I'm through with them.

So here's the plan. We're going to go back to 1993, then each year after that one at a time. In each year we'll look at some cards and find a rules question. I'll give you some answers to choose from. Your challenge is to pick the correct answer or answers... but not only the correct answer from now! What, do you want to stand out as some dorky time traveler in the past? No, you also need to pick the correct answer at the time. Twenty questions, forty answers. At least. Some questions have multiple correct answers, even.

If you think of other questions along the way, click my button on the top left to email , or send us a tweet @CranialTweet. Now, hop in this contraption and squeeze in tight. It's not bigger on the inside.

Q: You control Ali from Cairo and you're at 3 life. Your opponent casts Flames of the Blood Hand targeting you. After Flames of the Blood Hand resolves, what will your life total be?

A: The answer is...

A: -1
B: 0
C: 1
D: 3
E: 3, and Ali from Cairo will die

The answer is
Then A, now C.

Hey, stop bringing artifacts from the future to the past! Or instants from the future. Even I know better than that.

As originally printed, Ali from Cairo had a damage-prevention effect; he'd let your life total get to 1, then try to prevent any further damage. But since damage from Flames of the Blood Hand can't be prevented, Ali would fail to save you and you'd be at a very, very dead -1 life.

Here in 2013, though, the rules of Magic now have a more nuanced way of processing damage, which allows for effects to prevent damage, or to change the result of the damage. Ali from Cairo — and similar cards like Worship, Platinum Emperion and Elderscale Wurm — now can just change what happens as a result of damage, in order to keep your life total where they say it should stay, or even to keep it from changing at all.

Q: You're sitting down to play in a local tournament, and your deck contains four copies of Orcish Oriflamme. When you draw one and decide to cast it, how much mana do you need to pay?

A: The answer is...

B: because of the Trinisphere
D: This isn't legal.
E: It depends.

The answer is
Oh boy. Back then, D or E. Now, C in most tournament formats, though D is still possible.

Back in 1994 Orcish Oriflamme was restricted in tournament play, meaning a deck could only contain one copy of it. But if your deck was legal, say due to only playing a single Oriflamme, then what you pay will depend on what printing of Orcish Oriflamme you have. Orcish Oriflamme was restricted because one version of it — the version from the initial limited Alpha print run — was misprinted, with a mana cost of instead of the correct . The Beta print run fixed the error, but it was too late: the rules at the time said to play cards as printed, so an Alpha Orcish Oriflamme would only cost you two mana to cast. That was deemed a bit too powerful for tournament play, which is why the card was restricted.

Meanwhile, here in 2013 Orcish Oriflamme isn't in a Standard or Modern-legal set, so you can't play it in Standard tournaments. But if you're playing a format where it's a legal card, you'll pay to cast your Oriflamme, even if the one you're playing is from Alpha, making the correct answer for Legacy and Vintage play. Cards are now considered to have their "Oracle text" — basically the latest, updated-to-current-rules, version, which you can look up for any card at — on them, regardless of what may have been printed on the original piece of cardboard you're holding in your hand.

Q: Your opponent just drew and is casting his big game-winning Fireball. Which of these can save you from it? (pick all the options that are legal)

A: The answer is...

A: Cast a Counterspell from your hand.
B: Cast Brainstorm, find a Counterspell in the top 3 cards of your library, and then cast Counterspell.
C: Cast Deathlace to turn Fireball black, then activate Circle of Protection: Black to prevent the damage.
D: Cast Sleight of Mind and Red Elemental Blast, changing "blue" to "red" in Red Elemental Blast's text, to counter Fireball.
E: Cast Sleight of Mind and Pyroblast, changing "blue" to "red" in Pyroblast's text, to counter Fireball.

The answer is
Then A, C and E, now all answers except D. If you got that one right give yourself a big pat on the back, and maybe also have your head examined, because it's unhealthy to know that much about ancient timing rules.

Under Fourth Edition rules, there were instants and there were interrupts. Only interrupts could counter or modify a spell, and all interrupts had to be used before responding to the spell with any instants. So B wouldn't have been legal. But you'd get a chance to activate damage-prevention abilities in a separate later step, making C legal (since by then the Fireball would be black from the Deathlace).

The key difference between D and E is that Red Elemental Blast requires its target to be of the correct color when you cast it, while Pyroblast only checks the color on resolution. So you couldn't legally cast Red Elemental Blast targeting Fireball (making D illegal), but you could cast Pyroblast targeting Fireball, then interrupt Pyroblast with Sleight of Mind, changing Pyroblast to say "red", and then Pyroblast would counter the Fireball, making E a legal play. Although the timing rules are different now, E still works

B became legal when Magic switched from interrupts and "batches" of spells to the stack, as part of the 6th Edition overhaul; although many players still think so (and though it was true back in the early days), there's no requirement to let everything resolve once one spell has resolved. So Brainstorm can now resolve and draw you a Counterspell, and you can cast the Counterspell right away.

Q: Zuberi, Golden Feather and Humility are both in play. Is Zuberi a Griffin?

A: The answer is...

A: No, Zuberi is dependent on Humility, which removes Zuberi's type-setting ability.
B: No, under pre-layers systems Zuberi's ability got removed before it had an effect.
C: Yes, Zuberi just is a Griffin; it doesn't have an ability saying so.
D: Yes, type-changing happens in layer 4 and ability-removing in layer 6, so Zuberi's already been made a Griffin when the ability gets removed.
E: I was told there would be no questions about Humility.

The answer is
Then, C. Now, C.

Ain't Humility grand?

In the early days of Magic, legendary creatures didn't get printed with creature subtypes since their type line just read "Summon Legend". If they needed a relevant creature subtype, they'd have text saying "Counts as a (whatever)". So why wouldn't Humility remove that? Because under Fifth Edition rules, text saying something "counts as" a particular type wasn't an ability, because that text needed to function in all zones and creature abilities couldn't do that without additional special wording. So "counts as" was defined as being a special non-ability thing that functioned everywhere, and removing all of Zuberi's abilities wouldn't make it stop being a Griffin.

Today, meanwhile, Zuberi has received errata to provide a proper type line with subtype: "Legendary Creature — Griffin". Since that's on the type line, it's still not an ability and Humility still won't remove it.

Q: How much total mana can you get out of a Wall of Roots before it dies, assuming you don't do anything to pump its toughness or remove counters?

A: The answer is...

A: 5
B: 4
C: 6, if you sneak in an extra activation while it's "on the way to the graveyard"
D: Ask a judge.
E: To infinity and beyond!

The answer is
Then, D and possibly E or A. Now, A.

Oh, Wall of Roots.

Once upon a time, there was a problem card. That problem card was Time Vault. Specifically, there needed to be a defined moment at which you could make the choice to skip your next turn in order to untap Time Vault. And, for a brief period, that was accomplished by giving Time Vault an activated ability with a cost of "Skip your turn", and creating a "between-turns step" in which that ability could be activated.

Except some enterprising players ran with the idea and reasoned:

If there's a between-turns step, then it's not during any turn. If it's not during any turn, then a "once per turn" restriction can't apply. If that restriction can't apply, I can activate Wall of Roots as many times as I want!

Believe it or not, this made sense; "Rule Effects" killed creatures for having zero toughness, but you could respond to those by using mana sources, and you could float mana from step to step (mana pools only emptied at the end of phases). So in theory you could get to your upkeep with effectively infinite green mana. The preferred outlet for this was a Magma Mine, whose flavor text gave the combo its name: Wall of BOOM!

At first, officially the answer to whether this was legal was "Ask the Head Judge of the tournament you're playing in". By February of 1998, though, this loophole was closed by a rules update, which clarified that you couldn't use mana sources in the between-turns step. Wall of Roots went back to producing only 5 total mana, and only one per turn.

Which is where it remains today; and Time Vault was long ago fixed properly, so the "between-turns step" is no longer a part of the game.

Q: If Fog Bank blocks Cradle Guard, how much damage gets dealt to me?

A: The answer is...

A: 0.
B: 2.
C: Up to 4.
D: Always 4.
E: 37.

The foggy answer is
Then D, now B.

Right now, you don't look at effects that will double, halve, prevent, pamper, or canoodle the amount of damage being dealt when figuring out how much "lethal" damage is. You assign 2 and 2, and 2 is prevented, yay. I'm pretty sure that answer A was true at some point in the past, but at the time of Urza's Saga, the answer was that you could not assign damage to Fog Bank at all since it couldn't be dealt damage, so you'd assign it all to the defending player.

Q: I activate Oracle's Attendants targeting my Blinding Angel and choosing the Flowstone Overseer it's blocking to have its damage prevented. After that resolved, my opponent cast Snuff Out on my Attendants! What happens now?

A: The blinding answer is...

A: The damage is dealt to nothing instead.
B: The damage is dealt to Oracle's Attendants in the graveyard.
C: The damage is dealt to Blinding Angel.
D: The damage is dealt to you.
E: The damage is dealt to Snuff Out.

The answer is
Then A, now C.

Oracle's Attendants got some pretty quick errata since, at the time, the rules manager realized that redirecting the damage to the now-dead Attendants would just prevent it by having it splash into nothing, and nothing doesn't like taking damage. The rules changed shortly after that so that if damage would be redirected to something that isn't there anymore, it simply isn't redirected rather than deal with the existential angst of slamming your fist into the void.

Q: What can I turn my Spiritmonger into with Unnatural Selection?

A: The answers are (choose all that apply. Hah!)...

A: Forest.
B: Jellyfish.
C: Penguin.
D: Changeling.
E: Rutabaga.
F: Lady-of-Proper-Etiquette.
G: Goblin Wizard.
H: Antidisestablishmentarianism.
I: Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.

The answer is
Then B, C, D, E, F, H, now only B.

At the time of Invasion, you could name any single word when asked to name a creature type, as long as that word didn't have another meaning in Magic. Changeling is borderline, really, since if you used the cards now under the old rules you wouldn't be able to name Changeling as a creature type - it's a keyword ability, not a creature type. Hyphenated words worked, and Lady-of-Proper-Etiquette was actually in the Comprehensive Rules as a creature type for a while thanks to Unglued. Two years later with Onslaught being a super tribal block, creature type rules were consolidated and you had to name one from a list which does not include silly long words nor classical literature.

Q: I cast Careful Study and discard Arrogant Wurm. Can I play the Tainted Wood I just drew so I can cast the Wurm for its madness cost?

A: The maddening answer is...

A: No, you must pay the cost as you discard the Wurm.
B: No, you can't play a land before the madness trigger resolves.
C: Yes, you can cast the Wurm at any time during that turn.
D: Yes, you can cast the Wurm any time before you pass priority.
E: Yes, because are you going to say no to an Arrogant Wurm?

The answer is
Then D, now B.

Casting a spell during the resolution of a trigger is a relatively new invention. In the days of Torment, it was an unthinkable blasphemy, just like my very existence. So madness used to use a goofy hack to say that after exiling the card with madness you could cast it any time until you passed priority, at which point it would be put into your graveyard. Playing a land doesn't and didn't cause you to pass priority, so you could play a land and then cast the madness spell. Now, you have to cast it during the resolution of the madness trigger, and you can't play a land with a trigger on the stack.

Q: Is there any way I can deal 2 combat damage with Wall of Deceit face down and also have it survive the Krosan Vorine it's blocking?

A: The walla walla answer is...

A: No, players don't receive priority in combat.
B: Yes, you don't need priority to turn morphs face up so you can do so after assigning damage.
C: Yes, you receive priority after assigning damage before it's dealt.
D: No, you don't receive priority after assigning damage before it's dealt.
E: Maybe, are you really going to trust a guy named Wall of Deceit?

The answer is
Then C, now D.

Most of you probably remember this M10 change. Before, combat damage was put on the stack and could be responded to - by, for example, turning a morphy Wall face up so it'd deal damage. Now, you can't do that. If you turn it up before the combat damage step, it doesn't deal damage because it has 0 power. If you wait till the combat step, damage is already dealt and it will be dead. Even though turning a thingy face up for its morph cost is a special action, you still need priority to take special actions, so B is right out.

Twang. You're dead.
But which one is you?
Q: I control Bosh, Iron Golem, and my opponent Clones it. What happens?
A: The copycat answer is...

A: Bosh dies, because it's been on the battlefield for the longest length of time.
B: Both the Clone and Bosh die, because they're legendary permanents with the same name.
C: Nothing, because Bosh and the Clone are controlled by different players.
D: Nothing, because Bosh has a different name than the Clone.
E: The Clone dies, because it's been in play for the shortest length of time.

The answer is
Then E, now C, but for a long time in between it was B.

Way back when Legends was released and Legends first made their debut (as a creature type), the legend rule said that if more than one Legend with the same name was on the battlefield, the newest one died, and that remained the rule for almost a decade until Akroma ruined everything. In a mirror-match where both players were playing the same Legend, games could become a race where the first player to land their Legend gained a huge advantage. After that very thing happened in a high-profile match in Onslaught-era Standard, R&D decided the rule needed to change.

With the release of Champions of Kamigawa, R&D did just that, changing the legend rule to kill off not just the newest legend, but the older one as well. (And scrubbing "Legend" from the creature type list in the process, giving existing Legends the legendary supertype instead.) That rule lasted another almost-decade, until it was changed again to its current form with Magic 2014.

Now, if the same player controls multiple legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them to keep, and the rest die. If different players control the two, though, nothing happens—the rule only applies when the same player controls both.

Q: I control Azusa, Lost but Seeking. I play two lands, then cast Summer Bloom. My opponent responds with Unsummon targeting my Azusa. After the stack empties, I recast Azusa. If I have ten lands in hand, how many of those ten will I be able to play this turn?

A: The answer is...

A: 3
B: 4
C: 5
D: 6
E: Something is wrong here.

The answer is
Then either C or D, but you don't know which because E. Now, it's B.

You might remember this one from the Magic 2014 rules changes. Originally, if something was allowing you to play more than one land in a turn, when you dropped a land you needed to specify what you were using to do so, whether it was your "normal" land drop, or one granted by an effect—and if it was one granted by an effect, which one it was.

In practice, nobody really ever bothered doing that, because it almost never mattered. But then occasionally someone would do something to make it matter and all of a sudden you had a problem.

So now the rules are different. In order to determine whether you're allowed to play a land, you count up the number of lands you've already played this turn, and count up the number of lands you're currently allowed to play. If the number you've already played is smaller than the number you're allowed to play, you can play another land. Very simple.

Q: I control a Hunted Dragon, a Skeletal Vampire, and two Bat tokens created by the Vampire, plus ten other permanents. My opponent controls three Knight tokens (the ones my Dragon gave him), a Skeletal Vampire he took from my library with Mimeofacture, the two Bat tokens created by that Vampire when it entered the battlefield, and ten other permanents. I cast Warp World. How many cards do I and my opponent each reveal, and why?

A: The answer is...

A: I reveal 13 cards, and my opponent reveals 10 cards. I own my opponent's Skeletal Vampire, and tokens aren't included in the count because they aren't actually shuffled into the library—they just cease to exist.
B: I reveal 17 cards, and my opponent reveals 13 cards. I own my opponent's Knight tokens, because I controlled the effect that created them. My opponent owns his Vampire and the tokens it generates.
C: I reveal 18 cards, and my opponent reveals 12 cards. I own my opponent's Knight tokens, because I controlled the effect that created them, and I own my opponent's Skeletal Vampire, but my opponent owns the tokens it generates because he controlled the ability that created them.
D: I reveal 12 cards, and my opponent reveals 11. My opponent owns his Skeletal Vampire, and tokens aren't included in the count because they aren't actually shuffled into the library—they just cease to exist.
E: I reveal 15 cards, and my opponent reveals 15 cards. My opponent owns his Knight and Bat tokens, because they entered the battlefield under his control, but I own his Skeletal Vampire.
F: I reveal 20 cards, and my opponent reveals 10. I own my opponent's Knight tokens, Skeletal Vampire, and Bats, because the Skeletal Vampire came from my library and I own the cards that created the tokens.
G: I reveal 14 cards, and my opponent reveals 16 cards. My opponent owns his Knights, Bats, and Skeletal Vampire, because they entered the battlefield under his control.

The warped answer is
Then C, now E.

Under the rules as of Ravnica's release, a token was owned by the controller of the spell or ability that created it—if something of yours made a token, you owned it. Seems simple enough on paper, but unfortunately it didn't make a lot of sense in practice. The only times it ever mattered were when someone explicitly decided to abuse it by playing cards like Brand, Brooding Saurian, and yes, Warp World—the initial reaction to such shenanigans was almost invariably a deeply suspicious glare as your opponent tried to figure out whether or not he or she was being cheated.

With the release of Magic 2010, the rule was changed so that tokens were owned by the player under whose control they entered the battlefield. Perhaps not as Johnny-friendly, but a lot more newbie-friendly.

Q: I cast AEther Web on my Trespasser il-Vec. Which, if any, of the following creatures can it potentially block, and do I need to activate its ability to do so?

A: The answer is...

A: Gnat Alley Creeper
B: Looter il-Kor
C: Silhana Ledgewalker
D: Corpulent Corpse
E: None! None at all!
F: Amrou Seekers

The shadowy answer is
Then B, C, D if you don't activate its ability, and none of them if you do. Now, A, B, D if you don't activate the ability...but still none of them if you do.

"Can though" is a very slippery fish. It basically means "does though". So when Time Spiral was released, if you enchanted a non-flying creature with AEther Web and tried to block Gnat Alley Creeper, the game wouldn't let you, because Gnat Alley Creeper can't be blocked by creatures with flying, so a creature that blocks "as though it had flying" couldn't block it either. By the same token, the creature could block Silhana Ledgewalker, because while the Ledgewalker can't be blocked except by creatures with flying, your Webbed creature is blocking as though it had flying. So it could block.

Then reach was introduced with the release of Future Sight, and all of a sudden the "as though" wording wasn't necessary any more, because flying could be redefined to reference reach in the same way it references itself. Everything that had or granted "as though it had flying" was given errata to use reach instead. And that switched the Gnat Alley Creeper/Silhana Ledgewalker scenario—the creatures were no longer blocking as though they had flying, so now they could block the Creeper, but not the Ledgewalker.

But that still didn't fix AEther Web's other problem: when the creature it's on has shadow, that creature can't block at all. When it tries to block a non-shadow creature, its shadow ability says no, because creatures with shadow can't block creatures without. But when it tries to block a creature with shadow, AEther Web's "as though" ability kicks in, and says to block that creature as though that creature didn't have shadow...and the Webbed creature's shadow says no again, because creatures with shadow (like the Webbed creature) can't block creatures without.

What a mess.

Q: I control Ajani Goldmane, Garruk Wildspeaker and three of his Beast tokens, plus five Forests, a Mountain, and an Island. I tap a Forest and the Island, untap them with Garruk, and tap the Island again to cast Jace Beleren. I activate Jace's second ability to draw a card, and then tap four lands, including the Mountain, to cast that card: Flame Fusillade. How much damage can I deal to my opponent by tapping my permanents?
A: The answer is...

A: 5
B: 6
C: 7
D: 8

The answer is
Then B, now D.

When Planeswalkers made their debut in Lorwyn, the only-one-only-once restriction on their abilities was tied to the planeswalker card type: a player could only activate one activated ability of a given planeswalker each turn, and only on their turn during their main phase when the stack was empty. It didn't matter what the ability did, where it came from, or what it cost, just that it was on a planeswalker.

Then the Johnnies got ahold of things and realized that if they could find a way to grant a planeswalker's normal abilities to something that wasn't a planeswalker, the restriction would no longer apply and suddenly they could instantly have infinite mana, creatures, and trampling power, draw their library and deck their opponent, or similar. And they found just such a way: Mycosynth Lattice, March of the Machines, and Quicksilver Elemental. (Or Experiment Kraj—they weren't picky.)

Naturally, Wizards realized this was crazy and silly, and the fact that the planeswalker card type also affected abilities like the one granted by Flame Fusillade didn't make much sense either, so when Zendikar was released they changed the rules so that planeswalkers' abilities were restricted based on the fact that their costs involved adding or removing loyalty counters. Johnny was a little sad, but everyone else was pretty happy about it.

If I had a hammer...
Q: I control two Battlegrace Angels, and one of them is equipped with a Behemoth Sledge. If I attack with the hammer-swinging Angel by itself, how much life will I gain?

A: The answer is...

A: 7
B: 8
C: 14
D: 24
E: 42

The invigorating answer is
Then D, now B.

The Angel is 8/8 and has three instances of lifelink due to the Sledge and two exalted triggers. Before M10, lifelink was a triggered ability and each triggered separately, so you would have gained 24 life back then. Now, lifelink is redundant in multiples, so you gain "only" 8 life. On the other hand, the life gain now happens at the same time as the damage instead of having to wait on the stack for a while, so the change wasn't strictly for the worse.

Q: Suppose I put a stylish Basilisk Collar onto my Pelakka Wurm and I attack with the Wurm. My opponent blocks the Wurm with a Caravan Hurda and a Grazing Gladehart. What's the maximum amount of trample damage I can assign to my opponent?

A: The answer is...

A: 0
B: 2
C: 5
D: 7
E: 42

The earth-shattering answer is
Then A, now C.

Trample means that you have to assign lethal damage to all the blockers that block the trampler before you can assign any remaining damage to your opponent. Prior to the M11 rules change, "lethal damage" strictly meant damage that's at least equal to the blocker's toughness (with some deductions that don't apply here). That definition didn't care about deathtouch damage being lethal, so you had to assign 5 damage to the Caravan Hurda and 2 damage to Grazing Gladehart, leaving no leftover damage for your opponent. Nowadays, trample recognizes the deadliness of deathtouch, so just 1 damage from a creature with deathtouch is considered lethal. This means that you'll have 5 damage left over to assign to your opponent, who will endure the beating and dream of time travelling back to the good old pre-M11 days.

Q: My opponent controls an Omen Machine, and its triggered ability exiles Living Destiny from the top of my library. What happens?

A: The answer is...

A: If you have a creature card in your hand, you are forced to reveal it to cast Living Destiny.
B: If you don't have a creature card in your hand, you have to get a judge to confirm that you're unable to pay Living Destiny's additional cost.
C: You're not forced to cast Living Destiny because you're searching a hidden zone for a card with a stated quality, so you don't have to find a creature card.
D: You're not forced to cast Living Destiny because it has a mandatory additional cost involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone.
E: Living Destiny is a terrible card and you should feel bad for having it in your deck, so you're disqualified on the spot.

The ominous answer is
Then A and B, now D.

This answer changed only recently, when M14 introduced the new rule 117.8c to cover this situation. Previously, the player was forced to cast the exiled card if at all possible, which led to the awkward possibility of a player having to prove that they had no creature cards in their hand. The "fail to find" rule from answer C was a tempting workaround to this awkward possibility before the new rule was introduced, but it is stretching the rule into an area where it doesn't belong because the "fail to find" rule only applies to effects that actually use the word "search."

Q: I control a recently transformed Garruk, the Veil-Cursed and my opponent plays a sunny-side up Garruk Relentless. What happens?

A: The answer is...

A: Both stay on the battlefield because Garruk Relentless and Garruk, the Veil-Cursed have different card names.
B: Both stay on the battlefield because each player is allowed to have one Garruk.
C: Both are put into the graveyard because both have the planeswalker type Garruk.
D: Your opponent's Garruk stays because it came last.
E: The resulting paradox creates a singularity that swallows the universe. Please be more careful with the next universe.

The relentless answer is
Then C, now B.

Before the M14 rules change, the planeswalker uniqueness rule checked all planeswalkers on the battlefield, and if there were more than one planeswalker with the same planeswalker type on the battlefield, they'd all be put into their owners' graveyards. Since M14, the planeswalker uniqueness rule only checks per player, asking the player to choose one to keep if a player controls more than one planeswalker with the same type.

Q: Earlier this turn, I cast Boros Charm to make my Bomber Corps and my Daring Skyjek indestructible. In the second main phase, I cast Knight Watch to make a couple of Knight tokens, and my opponent uses Turn on my Daring Skyjek. Which creatures are still indestructible?

A: The answer is...

A: All of them.
B: All of them except Daring Skyjek.
C: Bomber Corps and Daring Skyjek.
D: Only Bomber Corps.
E: 42

The charming answer is
Then A, now D.

Before M14, indestructible was just an English word that means "impossible to destroy," and Boros Charm created an effect that simply asserted that creatures you control are impossible to destroy. This effect didn't grant an ability to your creatures or change any of their characteristics, which led to two oddities. For one, ability-removing effects couldn't remove this impossible-to-destroy-ness. For another, this effect was a rules-modifying effect that could affect creatures that entered the battlefield after Boros Charm resolved.

With M14, indestructible became a keyword ability, and Boros Charm has received new Oracle text by which it grants this keyword ability to creatures you control. Since it is now an ability that's granted to a creature, it can also be taken away by things like Turn. Also, Boros Charm's effect has become an effect that changes characteristics, so it locks in what it applies to when Boros Charm resolves, and creatures that come in later are sad that they missed the party.

And we're back in 2013. Fun trip, and only three of you managed to kill your own grandfather.

This is where you all get off, and I go back for an apatosaurus burger. See you next week!


About the Author:
Moko was born in Tanzania, and died in a tragic accident involving a catapult while being transported from Eli Shiffrin to Thijs van Ommen between the first two Cranial Insertion articles. Subsequently zombified, he helps sort their mail and occasionally answers questions. His pastimes include bananas and brains. Mmm brains.

For the fog bank question: "A. 0" is a valid answer for now as you are not forced to assign just lethal damage to the blockers.
#1 • Date: 2013-08-05 • Time: 00:50:14 •

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