Yes. In order to put the ability on the stack and choose targets for it, you need to pay all costs associated with activating the ability.
October 30, 2014 12:05 a.m.
October 30, 2014 12:09 a.m.
Actually, no, Devonin is not correct. Per 601.2, which applies to activating abilities as well as casting spells, targets are chosen before costs are paid.
October 30, 2014 12:10 a.m.
A lot of people outside Magic will colloquially use 'proc' to mean 'trigger' or 'cause to occur' so it's a common term to see people use in Magic. It's not the strictly correct term, which is why it is helpful for Drilnoth to mention it, but most people of a certain age will get what you mean.
October 30, 2014 12:11 a.m.
Ah so. Yeah that's right.
You will need to choose your target first, before paying the cost. Been a long day. Handling multiple tables of EDH questions appears to have burned me out :P
October 30, 2014 12:15 a.m.
well, if targets are chosen before costs are paid, would you have to say you're bolting a storm crow before you cast bolt? im not quite sure if I understand..
October 30, 2014 12:15 a.m.
Most players will generally add mana to their mana pool before actually announcing the spell, which is still perfectly legal, since mana abilities don't use the stack and can't be responded to, and the actual act of paying the cost is by removing mana from your mana pool, not just activating mana abilities.
But the course for casting a spell (and activating abilities) is basically
1/ Announce the spell/ability, It goes from wherever it is onto the stack.
2/ Choose any needed modes/targets/announce your intention to pay any additional or alternate casting costs.
3/ Calculate the cost of the spell/ability
4/ Pay the cost
The spell is now "cast" or the ability "activated" and you can either hold priority to continue casting spells/activating abilities, or pass priority to allow your opponent to respond, or pass back, causing the uppermost object on the stack to resolve.
October 30, 2014 12:21 a.m.
ahh that makes sense :) thanks!
October 30, 2014 12:25 a.m.
Yeah, you chose a target for a spell before it is cast so you actually announce the target before casting the spell. The process for casting a spell is in rule 601.2 which I will post the complete text of in a different reply.
The TL:DR version is:
Announce the spell and reveal it.
Chose targets, modes, and distributions
Determine the cost of the spell
The player casting the spell has an opportunity to activate mana abilities
Costs are paid
The spell is cast
October 30, 2014 12:27 a.m.
Sorry for the cock-up above. You do the shorthand enough times, and you forget that it's not actually how the ability works.
I think perhaps I got confused with how I would often use Master Transmuter to return itself and occasionally found reason to simply re-play itself upon resolution, and that somehow translated in my tired brain to "You pay the cost first, then choose the target" even though Master Transmuter doesn't actually target at any point.
October 30, 2014 12:27 a.m.
601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell follows the steps listed below, in order. If, at any point during the casting of a spell, a player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the casting of the spell is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that spell started to be cast (see rule 717, Handling Illegal Actions). Announcements and payments can't be altered after they've been made.
601.2a The player announces that he or she is casting the spell. That card (or that copy of a card) moves from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it's countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.
601.2b If the spell is modal the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.46), he or she reveals those cards in his or her hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it's being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 117.8 and 117.9), the player announces his or her intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2e). A player can't apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. If the spell has a variable cost that will be paid as it's being cast (such as an X in its mana cost; see rule 107.3), the player announces the value of that variable. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes hybrid mana symbols, the player announces the nonhybrid equivalent cost he or she intends to pay. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether he or she intends to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. Previously made choices (such as choosing to cast a spell with flashback from a graveyard or choosing to cast a creature with morph face down) may restrict the player's options when making these choices.
601.2c The player announces his or her choice of an appropriate player, object, or zone for each target the spell requires. A spell may require some targets only if an alternative or additional cost (such as a buyback or kicker cost), or a particular mode, was chosen for it; otherwise, the spell is cast as though it did not require those targets. If the spell has a variable number of targets, the player announces how many targets he or she will choose before he or she announces those targets. The same target can't be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word target on the spell. However, if the spell uses the word target in multiple places, the same object, player, or zone can be chosen once for each instance of the word target (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). If any effects say that an object or player must be chosen as a target, the player chooses targets so that he or she obeys the maximum possible number of such effects without violating any rules or effects that say that an object or player can't be chosen as a target. The chosen players, objects, and/or zones each become a target of that spell. (Any abilities that trigger when those players, objects, and/or zones become the target of a spell trigger at this point; they'll wait to be put on the stack until the spell has finished being cast.)
Example: If a spell says Tap two target creatures, then the same creature can't be chosen twice; the spell requires two different legal targets. A spell that says Destroy target artifact and target land, however, can target the same artifact land twice because it uses the word target in multiple places.
601.2d If the spell requires the player to divide or distribute an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided.
601.2e The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana cost or alternative cost (as determined in rule 601.2b), plus all additional costs and cost increases, and minus all cost reductions. If the mana component of the total cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it is considered to be . It can't be reduced to less than . Once the total cost is determined, any effects that directly affect the total cost are applied. Then the resulting total cost becomes locked in. If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.
601.2f If the total cost includes a mana payment, the player then has a chance to activate mana abilities(see rule 605, Mana Abilities). Mana abilities must be activated before costs are paid.
601.2g The player pays the total cost in any order. Partial payments are not allowed. Unpayable costs can't be paid.
Example: You cast Altar's Reap , which costs and has an additional cost of sacrificing a creature. You sacrifice Thunderscape Familiar, whose effect makes your black spells cost 1 less to cast. Because a spell's total cost is locked in before payments are actually made, you pay , not , even though you're sacrificing the Familiar.
601.2h Once the steps described in 601.2ag are completed, the spell becomes cast. Any abilities that trigger when a spell is cast or put onto the stack trigger at this time. If the spell's controller had priority before casting it, he or she gets priority.
October 30, 2014 12:47 a.m.
Even the examples are copied from the rules. It is a pain to copy and paste from a PDF into this text entry box by the way.
October 30, 2014 12:49 a.m.
You could always just link to them rather than copy/pasting.
October 30, 2014 3:13 a.m.
I for one, had no idea what 'proc' meant until it was explained here.