More precursor golem questions?

  • #1
    First, sorry I didn't get time to finish my post on this before. My son woke from his nap and I submitted so I could just find my post when I returned and edit it. I'll repost what I had and complete my thought this time.

    Today my Innistra desk proved to be another one of my math decks, I didn't even know it would do it until I had the cards in play. Had 3 Parallel Lives in play. Cast my Precursor Golem, got 16 tokens. Then I cast Cackling Counterpart targeting one of them... If my math doesn't fail me that ended me up with 17 Precursor Golems and 528 3/3 golem tokens. Now add that I had 2 Intangible Virtues in play and that was a lot of something going out next turn if someone could not target one with a disenchant or something. He didn't LOL!

    But, my question turns to this: If I had Demonmail Hauberk in play and he attempted to cast a Disenchant, Doom Blade or other removal could I sacrifice the Precursor Golems to the Demonmail Hauberk before the copies are made. If not Demonmail is there any sacrifice, maybe for a mana source ability that would prevent the copies that removes all the golems?
    Last edited by Screech: 11/10/2011 8:57:15 PM
  • #2
    No, there's nothing you can do in response. The Golem's ability triggers when an instant or sorcery is cast targeting them. As soon as that spell is cast, the ability triggers and goes on the stack.

    So by the time you know that they cast a spell targeting one of your golems, the copy effect is already there and so getting rid of the original golem won't help any.
  • #3
    First of all the math for Cackling Counterpart is flawed.

    The Precursor Golem trigger will copy it for each golem meaning you will get one targetting a precursor golem and 16 targetting each golem token. Each spell targetting a golem token will result in 8 Golems been created.
    The spell targetting the precurser golem will make 8 precursor golems which in turn make 16 golem tokens each.
    You'll end up with a total of 9 Precursor Golems (8 copies + 1 Original = 9)
    and 272 Golem Tokens (16 Original tokens + 16*8 Created from cackling counterpart + 8*16 created from precursor copies = 16*(8+8+1) = 16*17 = 272)

    Now to the question: Equip abilities can only be activated when you could cast a sorcery and as the stack is not empty you cannot activate it.

    Even if you could sacrifice the Golem, this does not stop the copy effect as it triggered as soon as your opponent cast doom blade, the only way to stop it is to counter the activated ability via a spell such as Stifle
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  • #4
    Yeah, I got 16 happy when I started the spread sheet. He really just looked at his next card, couldn't do anything and called it so the math in the game didn't have to be figured.

    Ok back on the prevention of the loss of golems then. If I happen to have another Cackling Counterpart and cast it before the removal resolves it would again target all of them. When Cackling Counnterpart resolves I should get an additional 72 Precursor Golems and 3328 golem tokens that should be safe since they came into play after he cast his removal that was targeting the original 9 and 272. Is this correct?
    Last edited by Screech: 11/10/2011 9:24:45 PM
  • #5
    It depends on the timing. You have to cast your Cackling Counterpart after the copy ability resolves (so there are absurd numbers of Doom Blade on the stack) but before those Doom Blades go off. If you do it before the copy ability resolves, you get a bunch more golems that are about to die. If you do it after the Doom Blades resolve, you have nothing to copy.
  • #6
    Quote from d24478667
    ... You have to cast your Cackling Counterpart after the copy ability resolves (so there are absurd numbers of Doom Blade on the stack) but before those Doom Blades go off...


    That is the timing I was thinking of.

    Now, for the next part that just bounced into my head. Some abilities stack, like the Intangible Virtues (all the tokens have +1/+1 for each one in play).... Would the same be true for the number of Precursor Golems in play?

    Think if the target creature gets +3/+0 from whatever instant until end for turn with 2 precursor golems in play. Would the spell get copied twice to each other golem, with only the original target only getting the affect once? If this is true wouldn't it be for Cackling Counterpart too.

    So in my previous post with 3 parallel, 9 precursors and 272 as a starting post. That would be an additional 648 precursors and 27784 basic golem tokens... if cackling targeted on of the basic 3/3 golem tokens. If a precursor was the target there would be 584 precursors and 28928 basic golem tokens
    Last edited by Screech: 11/10/2011 10:24:36 PM
  • #7
    The math gets really complicated if you have an additional cackling counterpart.

    You start with 9 Precursor Golems and 272 Golem Tokens. This means you'll get 9 precursor triggers overall for each other Golem but only the original copy for the Golem you originally target. This means the math is slightly different depending on if you target a token or a precursor.

    Also each copy trigger will resolve seperately, meaning with that you make a copy for each Golem then create those Golems then when the next copy trigger resolves it will make copies for all the new Golems as well.
    The result is exponential, I'll try do the math if you want but in the end this is irrelavent as it won't save your Golems.

    When you opponent cast doom blade, if there is more than one precursor Golem, there will be more than one Copy trigger, similiar to above the copies will resolve before then next copy trigger and if you go the the effort of making copies they will become targets when the following copy trigger resolves.

    This means to have to wait for all the copy trigger to reolve and the created doom blades. At this point the stack will have the original doom blade cast by your opponent targetting the Golem he targetted, the only Golem left alive now.

    At this point you can cast cackling counter part
    -if that Golem is a Golem Token you'll end up with 8 Golems being created, then then original dies to doom blade, so you have 8 Golems.
    - if that Golem is a Precursor Golem you'll end up with 8 Precursor Golems and the 16 Golem Tokens they create.
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  • #8
    Whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery that only targets a single golem, each Precursor Golem would trigger.

    As each resolved, it would copy that spell for each other golem.
  • #9
    Still don't have the math quite right, close.

    Got it, I think.

    If Precursor is the target: 584 new precursor tokens and 28928 non-precursor tokens
    If a non-precursor is the target: 648 new precursor tokens and 29888 non-precursor tokens
    Last edited by Screech: 11/10/2011 10:48:09 PM
  • #10
    Quote from Screech
    Still don't have the math quite right, close.


    Actually not close at all. Math for a Golem Token Targetted, After the first copy trigger resolves you'll have.

    1st Trigger

    81 Precursors + 3591 Golem Tokens + 1 Golem Originally Targetted.

    Copies are then created for the 2nd Trigger of 9, the resulting number after that is

    729 Precursors + 42687 Golem Tokens + 1 Golem Originally Targetted.

    And so on

    Final Copy Trigger Resolves.

    3.49 Billion Precursor Golems and 551 Billion Golem Tokens
    -----------------------

    If you target a Precursor Golem with Cackling Counterpart you end up with

    3.10 Billion Precursor Golems and 502 Billion Golem Tokens
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  • #12
    How are copies being applied to the new tokens, I thought the copy affect happens when Cackling Counterpart is put onto the stack, and that as it resolves and the new tokens enter play more copies are not created because the copies of cackling counterpart were made and targeted all legal targets at the time Cackling Counterpart was put on the stack. I don't see how a new token being created creates a new copy of cackling Counterpart on the stack to re-trigger the precursor golem's 2nd ability.

    Too bad Fleeting Distraction is not standard any more.
    Last edited by Screech: 11/11/2011 6:04:29 AM
  • #13
    Quote from Screech
    How are copies being applied to the new tokens, I thought the copy affect happens when Cackling Counterpart is put onto the stack, and that as it resolves and the new tokens enter play more copies are not created because the copies of cackling counterpart were made and targeted all legal targets at the time Cackling Counterpart was put on the stack. I don't see how a new token being created creates a new copy of cackling Counterpart on the stack to re-trigger the precursor golem's 2nd ability.
    I'm not sure what your misunderstanding is. I'll try and describe what happens, with expalantions as to why, and see if it helps.

    We start with nine Precursor Golems and 272 tokens on the battlefield, along with three Parallel Lives. Someone casts a [c]Cackling Counterpart targeting one of the tokens.

    This causs all the Precursor Golems to trigger. The triggers are put on the stack above the original spell. The stack now looks like this.
    PG9 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG8 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG7 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG6 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG5 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG4 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG3 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG2 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    PG1 trigger (Cackling Counterpart).
    Cackling Counterpart => Token 1
    Objects on the stack resolve one at a time. New spells and abilities can be added to the stack after each object resolves. In particular, if the resolving spell or ability creates or copies spells or abilities, those go on the stack above the resolving ability, which then disappears.

    One of the PG triggers resolves. It asks the game "How many Golems are on the battlefield in addition to the target of the Cackling Counterpart?" It gets the answer 280 (9 PGs plus 271 tokens) so it creates 280 copies of the spell. Because they are on the stack above the PG triggers, they must all resolve - all 280 of them - before the next PG trigger can resolve.

    Each copy of the Cackling Counterpart spell resolves one at a time. What happens depends on whether the copy targeted a PG or a token.
    • If it targeted a token, CC creates one token. The three effects of Parallel Lives cause this to become eight tokens.
    • If it targeted a PG, CC creates one token PG. The three effects of Parallel Lives cause this to become eight token PGs. Each of these PGs trigger their ETB ability, adding them to the stack above all remaining copies of Cackling Counterpart. Each trigger produces 16 tokens.
    So, after clearing all the copies of Cackling Counterpart, we have 9*8 = 72 new PGs and 271*8+72*16 = 3,320 new 3/3 tokens. In total then we have 81 PGs and 3,592 3/3 Golems. One of the 3/3 golems is targeted by the original Cackling Counterpart.

    We then resolve the next PG trigger. It asks the game "How many Golem creatures are on the battlefield that are not targeted by Cackling Counterpart?" It gets the answer 3,672. So this trigger creates 3,672 copies of Cackling Counterpart. It doesn't just restrict itself to the 280 golems that existed before the first trigger resolved.

    This is because a spell or ability that needs information from the game gets that information only when the spell or ability resolves. It doesn't "lock in" when the spell or ability goes onto the stack.

    This cycle then repeats itself, with each PG trigger that resolves creating one copy for each Golem on the battlefield at the moment of resolution.

    That's why the numbers at the end are so big.
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  • #14
    OK, I see the difference in how you did it from how I was thinking.

    I was thinking that all nine of the Precursor Golems' 2nd ability would activate at once before the Cackling Counterpart or any of its copies resolved. I think I now understand how you are say it would work. The Precursor Golems "get in a line" wait until the copies of Cackling Counterpart from the Precursor Golem's 2nd ability in front of it to finish resolving before firing its own 2nd ability, and when if fires it gets all of them that are in play at that time....

    Wow, that is just insane. I hope that never happens.

    Now to simplify it a little and make sure I got it.

    Relovent Board:
    1 Parallel Lives
    2 Precursor Golems
    4 Golem Tokens


    1 Cackling Counterpart targeting a token would result in a total of 18 Precursor Golems and 126 Golem tokens.

    Anyway, glad I registered for this question. Sadly I normally understand the stack fairly well(as a programmer I deal with stacks everyday at work), just this one messed me up.. Been playing since Ice Age with a break from 2003 until the Eldrazi set.
    Last edited by Screech: 11/11/2011 8:23:40 PM
  • #15
    However it is important to note that with 9 precursor golems in play, it is not possible to save them from a doom blade:
    Doomblade gets cast, copy ability triggers 9 times
    trigger 9 happens, targeting every other golem, if you let the copies resolve, all golems except the original die. If you cast cackling coutnerpart, when trigger 8 resolves, it will target the new golems, so on, so on.
    The best thhing you could do is either have 9 cackling counterparts... or cast cackling counterpart at the end of the copy triggers, before the original doomblade resolves, targeting the only golem that's left, the original target
    ... as i see now that sauce has pointed out

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  • #16
    Yes, I understand that one. Still figuring the math out if I happen to just cast the cackling while more than one precursor is in play.... Out of school 16 years and this one of the best math problems I've come up with since...
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