Quote from RileyThere's quite a bit of debate and confusion in my playgroup about activated abilities and resolution. I've been going with the consensus, but I definitely want an expert opinion as this detail has a major impact on the outcome of many of our games. I apologize if this is face-palmingly simple, but...
What happens very often is that a player will use an activated ability of a creature or an artifact, and then another player will target one or the other in the following manner:
Player A taps to activate Knight of the Reliquary, and in response to her ability going on the stack, Player B will cast Go for the Throat, targeting the Knight.
Some players insist that the Knight's ability will still resolve, despite the targeted removal having resolved first. It seems to me and a few others that, after the abilities resolve in order, the Knight's ability couldn't possibly resolve since the creature casting the ability is now dead, but players in my group are split on this.
Some insist that only something like Sudden Death will prevent the Kinght from triggering, but I think they're confusing stack rules with response rules. It's granted that you can't RESPOND with anything (that's not a mana ability) after Sudden Death has been cast, and that Split Second also prevents the activated ability from resolving... but would a normal kill/destroy spell without Split Second also prevent the activated ability from resolving?
This has also come up in non-creature instances. For example, a player attempts to tap and draw a card with Sensei's Divining Top, and another player casts Naturalize in response. Unless the player had some means of untapping the artifact (Voltaic Key, for example) and tapping it again, wouldn't the artifact be destroyed before its ability could resolve since Naturalize resolved first, thus preventing its draw ability? Or does the Top's draw ability happen anyway despite having been targeted for a destroy spell (even though that spell doesn't have Split Second), as is the popular consensus in my playgroup?
So confused, any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.
112.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won't affect the ability. Note that some abilities cause a source to do something (for example, "Prodigal Sorcerer deals 1 damage to target creature or player") rather than the ability doing anything directly. In these cases, any activated or triggered ability that references information about the source because the effect needs to be divided checks that information when the ability is put onto the stack. Otherwise, it will check that information when it resolves. In both instances, if the source is no longer in the zone it's expected to be in at that time, its last known information is used. The source can still perform the action even though it no longer exists.
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Quote from Riley
Some insist that only something like Sudden Death will prevent the Kinght from triggering,
Quote from Summon_Legendonce an ability is activated or triggered, it goes on the stack. once it's on the stack, it exists independent of its source. if that ability targets and the targets all become illegal, the ability is countered. if the ability has an intervening if clause like valakut, the molten pinnacle, and that if clause isn't met, the ability is countered. stifle or trickbind can also counter the ability.
removing the source of the ability NEVER has an effect on whether or not the ability on the stack resolves.