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  • posted a message on Priest of Forgotten Gods, responding to sacrifice
    The activated ability of Priest of Forgotten Gods is no different from that of Altar of Dementia in this respect.

    In both cases, sacrificing creatures appears as part of the cost to activate the ability (for the former, "T, Sacrifice two other creatures", and for the latter, "Sacrifice a creature") (C.R. 601.2, 601.2a). (Remember that an activated ability's cost is "everything before the colon" [C.R. 601.2a].) And in both cases, while the ability is being activated, players don't have priority to cast spells (including spells that would remove creatures from the battlefield) (C.R. 601.2a-i and 602.2a-b have no priority window until the spell is cast or ability activated; C.R. 116.1a-b).

    See also this thread, this thread, and this thread.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on When Cauldron Dance is countered?
    In general, no. You choose whether to put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield when Cauldron Dance resolves, not when you cast it (review C.R. 601.2 for choices made while casting a spell). If the spell is countered, none of its effects happen (C.R. 701.5a), so that in general, no other player will know whether you would have chosen to put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield this way.

    A similar principle applies to Aether Vial's activated ability and Kari Zev's Expertise.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Copy spell Interaction
    With Fork and Reverberate, this can indeed cause a loop as described in this thread (although the loop I describe there involves Wild Ricochet, not Reverberate, Wild Ricochet's feature of choosing new targets for the targeted spell is not relevant to the loop).

    This loop is not necessarily pointless, though, especially if you control a permanent with a triggered ability that triggers whenever you copy (as opposed to cast) an instant or sorcery spell. See also this thread.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Spirit link trigger
    This is a matter of timing.

    Serendib Efreet's triggered ability only triggers as your opponent's upkeep begins but doesn't do anything yet (C.R. 603.2). If your opponent cast Disenchant on Spirit Link in response to that ability (that is, before Serendib Efreet deals damage), and that spell resolves, Spirit Link will be destroyed and leave the battlefield before Serendib Efreet could deal damage via its ability.

    However, once Serendib Efreet deals damage and makes Spirit Link's triggered ability trigger, that ability won't do anything immediately (C.R. 603.2), but you will still gain 1 life when it resolves, even if Spirit Link is destroyed in the meantime (C.R. 113.7a).

    Remember that a triggered ability, like Serendib Efreet's and Spirit Link's, has no effect unless and until it resolves (C.R. 608.2c, 609.1).
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Archelos and Fabled Passage
    Both of Archelos's abilities express replacement effects (C.R. 614.1d). With Archelos:
    • If Archelos is tapped, other permanents will enter the battlefield already tapped; they don't enter the battlefield untapped and then become tapped (C.R. 400.6).
    • If Archelos is untapped, other permanents will enter the battlefield already untapped; they don't enter the battlefield and then become untapped (C.R. 400.6).

    In general, if you put a land card onto the battlefield with Fabled Passage while Archelos is on the battlefield untapped, the land will enter the battlefield untapped rather than tapped due to Archelos, and the land will be already untapped by the time it enters the battlefield (see also C.R. 110.5b and a ruling for Archelos).

    See also this thread.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on How does Breena, The Demagogue work?
    I have received a response by the rules manager. Consistent with that response, Breena's triggered ability checks whether there is "another of your opponents" than the opponent being attacked. If there is no other opponent, then the ability won't trigger (C.R. 603.4).
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on How does Breena, The Demagogue work?
    Quote from natesroom »
    so your initial response is not correct as of yet, though might be once the release notes are out?
    The release notes for Commander 2021 (along with Strixhaven: School of Mages), are already available on the official Magic Web site, and as I mentioned, none of the notes for Breena (at the time of this writing) cover the case when "you" attack "your" only opponent. It's possible that a future Magic set might update the Oracle text of Breena to better reflect that card's intent, or that additional rulings might be added for that card to clarify the case when "you" attack "your" only opponent.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on How does Breena, The Demagogue work?
    In any case, Breena as it stands has an unfortunately poor wording that might not reflect its intent clearly (especially because none of the rulings for that card, at the time of this writing, covers the case when "you" attack "your" only opponent). If Breena's triggered ability said, "... if that opponent's life total is the highest among your opponents ...", Breena's ability could clearly trigger even if "you" attack "your" only opponent. On the other hand, if Breena's triggered ability said, "... if that opponent has more life than another of your opponents and you have two or more opponents ...", Breena's ability would clearly not trigger in the same circumstance. Also compare Breena with Malignus or Sorin, Grim Nemesis.

    Indeed, at the time of this writing, no card has the phrase "...than any other opponent" (in fact, only the Unglued card Ghazbán Ogress has the phrase "than any other", and then only in its Oracle text) and no other card than Breena has the phrase "...than another of your opponents".

    I have notified the rules manager.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on How does Breena, The Demagogue work?
    For purposes of Breena, if you control Breena and you attack your only opponent, that opponent "has more life than another of your opponents" if that player has more than 0 life. In this case, another opponent's life total is a "number that can't be determined", so that number is 0 instead (C.R. 107.2).

    EDIT: See comment 9.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Ghostly Flame and COP:Red damage prevention question
    No. Due to Ghostly Flame, "[b]lack and/or red permanents and spells" are treated as colorless for purposes of them dealing damage (even though they are not treated as colorless this way for any other purpose) (C.R. 101.1). Thus, such permanents and spells are even treated as colorless for purposes of effects that would prevent damage that red sources or black sources would deal, such as the ability of Circle of Protection: Red.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Vadrok questions
    1. When Vadrok (or any other mutating creature spell) resolves, if its target is illegal, it will still enter the battlefield as an ordinary permanent.

    2. Vadrok can't target Shifting Ceratops. Shifting Ceratops has protection from blue, so among other things, it can't be a target of blue spells such as Vadrok. (However, Vadrok could still merge with Shifting Ceratops by other means, since protection abilities don't specifically stop objects from merging with others, but at the time of this writing, the only way an object can merge with another is via the mutate keyword ability.)
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Do "Phantom" abilities go on the stack?
    Note that abilities that lack the word "when", "whenever", and "at" are not triggered abilities (C.R. 603.1, 603.7). For this reason, for example, neither ability of Phantom Nomad is a triggered ability.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Esix, Fractal Bloom + Teysa, EoG
    With Esix's second ability, you can choose any creature you control besides Esix, even if it can't be the target of certain spells or abilities (e.g., because it has protection from creatures). (In the case of Teysa's triggered ability, however, you first destroy the creature, then create a token, so that with Esix, you can't choose the creature destroyed this way [C.R. 608.2c]. See also your other question involving Oversimplify.)

    Esix's second ability isn't a triggered ability; it's a static ability with a replacement effect that can change what happens when you create tokens. Note that it lacks the word "when", "whenever", or "at". (See also Clone. It would be different if Esix had said, "Whenever you create one or more tokens for the first time each turn, you may choose target creature other than..." — compare Esix with Akim, the Soaring Wind.)
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Card interaction with Lazav, the multifarious + Spark Double + Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
    If you have Lazav become a copy of Kroxa, it will have Kroxa's copiable values, "except [among other things] its name is Lazav, the Multifarious [and] it's legendary in addition to its other types"; these changes will become part of Lazav's copiable values (C.R. 706.2, 706.9c). And if you then have Spark Double become a copy of Lazav (which will be legendary), Spark Double will have its copiable values, "except ... [among other things] it isn't legendary if that permanent is legendary" (C.R. 706.2, 706.9c). (But if you now control two or more permanents named Lazav, the Multifarious, only one of which is legendary, the legend rule won't apply [C.R. 704.5j].)
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Esix, the Fractal Bloom and spells and abilities that create different kinds of tokens.
    Quote from joejack8445 »
    Is Clone Legion and Garruk, Primal Hunter's -6 considered one token creation event or multiple for the purposes of Esix?
    For purposes of Esix, the tokens created with Clone Legion and Garruk's last ability are created at the same time, especially because the action verb "create" appears only once in both cases (C.R. 608.2f). (Indeed, if that weren't the case, then much of the intent of Esix, which says "the first time you would create one or more tokens", would be lost.)
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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