Last updated: 02 August 2017
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- What is it a triggered ability? How do you recognize it?
An ability whose text have “When”, “Whenever”, or “At”, and that is set in motion by an event defined in the ability itself.
- When do the triggered abilities trigger? When do they enter the stack?
As soon the trigger condition is met. They will be placed in the stack the next time that a player would receive priority, before this happens, and after the state-based actions are checked.
- What is it a state triggered ability?
An ability that triggers when the game state meets certain conditions.
- What is it a “zone change” triggered ability? And, what about a “leave the battlefield” one? A “entering the battlefield one”? Where each one are triggered from?
A zone change ability is an ability that triggers when the object is moved from a zone to another.
A “leaves the battlefield” ability, is an ability that triggers when a permanent moves from the battlefield to another zone. Never are “leaves the battlefield” those who state “this object goes to certain zone from anywhere”.
A “enter the battlefield” ability triggers whenever a permanent goes to the battlefield from any zone (stack, graveyard, library…).
The change zone abilities triggers from the zone they are at the moment which the triggered ability is placed on the stack.
Leave the battlefield abilities will trigger “from the battlefield”, so an ability that triggers whenever a creature goes to the graveyard from the battlefield, will look for the creature characteristics when it was on the battlefield.
Enter the battlefield abilities triggers in the battlefield. They look in the permanent characteristics in the battlefield once it has entered.
- Alfredo controls a Mayor of Avabruck and Norberto controls a Huntmaster of the Fells, none of them transformed yet. During his last turn, Norberto didn’t cast any spell and during Alfredo’s upkeep the abilities trigger. What will happen?
Both abilities will trigger. The ability controlled by Alfredo (the Mayor one), goes to the stack first, because he is the active player, on top of it goes the one controlled by Norberto (the Huntmaster one)
Norberto’s ability will resolve first and then his Huntmaster will transform. When is resolved, will trigger the ability from it back face, the one who makes 2 points of damage to a target, and may kill the Mayor of Avabruck of Alfredo’s before it transform.
- Norman controls an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, and August cast Eternal Witness. Does he can return with the triggered ability the same Witness?
Yes, he can. Whenever the Eternal Witness enters the battlefield, it enters the battlefield ability triggers, but isn’t placed in the stack yet. Then, state-based actions are checked and the Witness will be destroyed for having toughness lower than 1. Next, the ability is placed on the stack and will be able to target the same Witness that is already in the graveyard.
- My opponent send an Emrakul to his/her graveyard, do I can avoid that he/her shuffle it with the graveyard using my Deathrite Shaman? And, what if a Blightsteel Colossus dies?
In the case of Emrakul it can be avoided, since the Emrakul’s ability of shuffling is a triggered ability that triggers and is placed in the stack whenever the creature touch the graveyard. In that moment, if the opponent use the Shaman to exile Emrakul, even the ability will resolve shuffling graveyard in the library, Emrakul has been removed from there already.
The ability from the Colossus in other hand, is a replacement ability, so it never touches the graveyard. In fact, technically he will never “die”.
- I have 4 Mountains and a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle in the battlefield. With a Primeval Titan I put two more mountains in the battlefield. Will it trigger the Valakut ability? If it’s triggered, what would happen if in response I destroy one of the mountains that just entered the battlefield? And, if is one of the ones that were already in the battlefield?
It will trigger two times, one for each mountain that enters. Both mountains enters at the same time and each one see that there are another 5 mountains (the old 4 and the new one), so the trigger condition is met.
If in response one of the mountains that just entered is destroyed, we will have two responses when is checked in resolution (by the “if intervening” clause) if the condition is met that there are other five mountains:
– The ability generated by the destroyed mountain see that there are other 5, so it will resolve.
– The ability generated by the not destroyed mountain will see that there are other 4 mountains in battlefield, so it will be countered on resolution.
If in response one of the old is destroyed, both triggered abilities will see that there are only other 4 mountains, so both abilities will be countered on resolution.
- I have a Cloudfin Raptor with a +1/+1 counter on it and I cast a Grizzly Bears. In response to Evolve, I cast a Virulent Wound on the Grizzly Bears. What will happen when the Evolve from Raptor resolves?
Because the Raptor ability is a conditional triggered ability, the condition is also checked during resolution. In this case it will see that the evolve condition isn’t met as it resolves, so it will no gain any counters.
- I have the same Raptor with two counters and I cast an Elite Vanguard having an Honor of the Pure in the battlefield. What will happen with the Evolve?
It will trigger, since the Vanguard enter the battlefield as 3/2 directly, as the bonus effect given by the Honor of the Pure is a continuous effect.
- Alfonso controls only a Phantasmal Bear and cast a Restoration Angel. What will happen? Explain it step by step.
No matter he wants or not, the Angel ability will trigger. The only possible target for the ability is the Bear, so he will have to choose it as target. When he does will trigger the Bear ability that makes him to sacrifice it, which resolves first, dying by this the Phantasmal Bear before player can decide if he exiles it or not. When the ability is going to resolve, because there is no legal target, is countered in resolution.
- When is triggered the search for lands first ability of Primeval Titan?
At the moment it enters the battlefield, or when is declared as attacker, placing on the stack before players receives priority during Declare attackers step.
- I control a Blood Artist and a Kalastria Highborn. Both of them die due to a Pyroclasm. Does any ability trigger? Why?
Yes, they will trigger two times in both creatures, since the triggered abilities of enter or leave the battlefield check the game state just before zone change.
- When is the ability of a Pithing Needle triggered?
Pithing Needle ability doesn’t contain a “When”, “Whenever”, nor “At”, so isn’t a triggered ability. Is a static ability that generates a replacement effect that says whenever it enters you have to name a card in order their activated abilities that aren’t mana abilities cannot be activated.
- Armando has a Yixlid Jailer and cast a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth; Nerea cast a Cancel to counter it. What will happen with Kozilek?
Even though looks like it goes from the stack to the graveyard is a change zone ability, is not, because abilities that “go to certain zone from anywhere” never are.
This ability will trigger in the moment that Kozilek touch the graveyard, but just after the event of put the creature in the graveyard. When is checked for any ability that have to trigger, Kozilek will not have the ability anymore due to the Jailer, so Kozilek will remain where it is.
- Anton cast a Clone copying an Eternal Witness from his opponent. Don’t have any card in his graveyard. Will the ability from the Witness trigger? What happens with the ability?
Clone enters as a Witness. The ability will trigger because a trigger event has occurred: the Witness has entered the battlefield. But due that there’s no legal target for the ability it will be simply removed from the stack.
- I have a creature with an ability that says: When you don’t control any other creature, sacrifice it. Additionally I control three 1/1 creatures that die due to an opponent Pyroclasm. Can I save my creature with a Stifle?
Yes, once. This ability is a state triggered ability. By not controlling other creatures it ability will trigger once, and can be canceled by a Stifle; however as soon is resolved (countered in this case), the game state will be checked again and the ability will trigger again.
- If an ability has a clause of “if intervenient”, when are the trigger conditions verified? The trigger conditions of optional skills like “you can”, are they always triggered?
The “if intervening” clauses checks twice: when they trigger and when they resolve.
The optional abilities always triggers; other thing is that after it’s chosen that they have no effect, by the option “may” implicated.
- Adam cast Sharuum the Hegemon and choose to return a Sculpting Steel with Sharuum entering the battlefield ability. If Adam doesn’t have any other artifacts in his graveyard. Which are the legal targets for the entering the battlefield ability of Sculpting Steel (transformed now in a Sharuum)?
When Sculpting Steel enters the battlefield it does as Sharuum. It ability triggers but isn’t placed on the stack yet. Then state-based actions are checked: there is two legendary creatures with the same name controlled by the same player, so one will go to the graveyard.
That card which is going to the graveyard will be the only legal target to the ability once is placed on the stack, either is the original Sharuum or “Steel-Sharuum”.
- Arnold is in 40 lives and controls a Felidar Sovereign. During Arnold’s upkeep, after trigger goes to the stack, Nicodemus cast a Shock, targeting Arnold; in response cast a Healing Salve choosing to gain 3 lifes. What will happen after the Shock resolves?
That the triggered ability checks that if intervening clause condition is still being met, 40 lives or more, and therefore Arnold wins the game.
- Anson controls an Astral Slide and Cycles a Secluded Steppe, choosing to exile Nick’s Grizzly Bears. After resolve the spell, Nick cast Erase on Astral Slide. What will happen during end step?
The Bears will return to the battlefield. The Astral Slide establish a delayed triggered ability that will happen even if Astral Slide is no longer on the battlefield.