Answer: When Angela resolves Transgress the Mind, Nicholas will reveal the Walking Ballista with a mana cost of 'XX.' A mana cost of 'X' is defined to be zero unless the spell is on the stack, so Walking Ballista's CMC will be less than the required 3 to be chosen by Transgress the Mind. For the second part of the question, Walking Ballista is on the stack, so the value of X = 3 results in a total CMC of 6. Walking Ballista cast with X = 3 will thus not be a creature spell with CMC of 4 or less and can't be targeted by Horribly Awry.
Hard: Allison and Norm each control a copy of Death's Shadow. Allison is at 6 life, and Norm is at 9. Allison attacks with her copy of Death's Shadow, and Norm blocks with his. Allison casts Temur Battle Rage on her copy of Death's Shadow. Assuming Allison would assign all possible trample damage to Norm, what is Norm’s resulting life total? (credit: Jarrod Feight)
Answer: Norm's life total will be 2. Since Allison starts at 6 life, her Death's Shadow will be a 7/7, and Norm's will be a 4/4 as he is at 9 life. Since Allison's Death's Shadow will have double strike and trample as a result of Temur Battle Rage, Allison will assign 4 damage to Norm's Death's Shadow and 3 damage to Norm during the first strike combat damage step (again assuming that Allison will choose to assign all possible trample damage to Norm). When state based actions are checked after first strike damage is dealt, Norm's life will be at 6 and his death's shadow will be a 7/7 with 4 damage marked on it. During the normal combat damage step, Allison is required to assign at least 3 damage to Norm's Death's Shadow because of the 4 damage already marked on it. This will leave an additional 4 trample damage that can be assigned to Norm. Since Norm will take 3 damage during the first combat damage step and 4 during the second, he will take a total of 7 damage leaving his life total at 2.
Corner Case: Abigail controls Painter’s Servant (naming blue) and Sword of Fire and Ice. Noel casts and resolves Sudden Spoiling targeting Abigail. What happens if Abigail tries to equip Painter’s Servant with Sword of Fire and Ice? (credit: Jarrod Feight)
Answer: Abigail will be able to equip Sword of Fire and Ice to Painter's Servant, but the sword will "fall off" the next time state based actions are checked.
Prior to Noel casting Sudden Spoiling, Abigail's Painter's Servant sets everything's color to blue. After Sudden Spoiling resolves, we have an ability attempting to set the color of everything and another effect which removes that ability. Since we have multiple continuous effects interacting, we use the layer system to determine which ones apply first. (For reference, it's Copy, Control, Text, Type Color, Abilities, and Power/Toughness in order). Since Painter's Servant's ability attempts to set color and Sudden Spoiling attempts to remove abilities, Painter's Servant will set the color of everything to blue before Sudden Spoiling's effect can remove it. Thus everything is still blue, including the Sword of Fire and Ice. When Abigail equips Painter's Servant with Sword of Fire and Ice, the Sword of Fire and Ice will grant +2/+2 and the abilities of protection from red and protection from blue. Since both Sudden Spoiling and Sword of Fire and Ice attempt to add or subtract abilities, both of their continuous effects operate in the same layer and we use times stamps to determine which abilities are present and/or absent. Since Sword of Fire and Ice grants the protection abilities to Painter's Servant after Sudden Spoiling removes all abilities, Painters Servant will have protection from red and blue. When state based actions are checked following the equipping of Sword of Fire and Ice to Painter's Servant, the game will see a blue Painter's Servant with protection from blue now equipped with a blue Sword of Fire. State based actions will thus remove the Sword of Fire and Ice from Painter's Servant.