Order of Resolution.

Asked by Faiths_Guide 2 months ago

[Custom Card]

Magmat, Volcanic Force {2}{u}{r}{w}

Legendary Creature - Minotaur Wizard (Mythic)

If a spell you control deals damage while Magmat, Volcanic Force is on the stack or the battlefield, you may copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

{w/u}{w/u}: Return Magmat to its owner's hand.

Cascade

[4/4]

Would his first ability work? Would the copy be created during the original spell's resolution before it hit the yard?

Epochalyptik, I think you'd know the answer to this?

Faiths_Guide says... #1

DemonDragonJ & zephramtripp,

One of you may have some insight here.

June 8, 2018 6:32 p.m.

Faiths_Guide says... #2

New wording:

Whenever a spell you cast deals damage while Magmat, Volcanic Force is on the stack or the battlefield, you may copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

June 8, 2018 6:45 p.m.

FancyTuesday says... #3

If you mean to ask what would happen if a damage spell is placed on the stack (through any means, possibly cascade) then that card will "hit the yard" before the ability triggers and makes a copy.

As worded, the triggering occurs when the spell deals damage, which is part of the spell's resolution. The spell is moved to the graveyard as the final step of that resolution, which must be completed before a player gets priority and new items can be placed on the stack. Some abilities "look back in time" as an essential part of their functionality, but there is no rule that says "abilities that trigger when a spells resolves" do so, so I don't believe you would be able to copy the spell in this way. By the time the trigger is placed on the stack the source of damage is no longer a spell, it's now a card in a graveyard (under normal circumstances).

You could say "Whenever an instant or sorcery card you control deals damage [to a creature, player, or planeswalker] you may create a copy of that card and cast it without paying its mana cost." If you don't include the qualifier that the source must be a card then the ability would trigger from the copies. Indeed, the ability as worded in your example is self triggering if it worked as intended.

Edit: Thought with your new wording that wouldn't be the case.

June 8, 2018 6:54 p.m.

Faiths_Guide says... Accepted answer #4

FancyTuesday Thanks, but I got some judge help and it actually does work, but we reworded it again slightly.

https://i.imgur.com/M5HQiOD.jpg

June 8, 2018 8 p.m.

FancyTuesday says... #5

I'd say it's safe to use your own answer as the answer to this question then, though this question sticks in my craw a bit and I've done some digging that someone in the future may find enlightening.

I can find no case where an ability that copies a spell is contingent on a condition that can only be satisfied after the spell has resolved. By the time the trigger is produced there is no spell to point to and say "that spell," the source is now a card and that language would require (in my assessment) a new rule that enables abilities with that wording to look back.

I can however find a case for abilities to look forward in time. Equinox. This card suggests to me that it's possible to assess conditions based on what would happen if a spell resolved. From there I would say it's perfectly sound to say "If a spell you cast would deal damage..."

But in the end that is just my two cents. I qualified as a Level 1 and have judged a couple FNMs through the mentorship program, but my mentor and I had too many schedule conflicts and he wasn't able to see me through the program completely. It doesn't help that hypothetical rules are quite the kettle of fish.

June 10, 2018 12:38 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #6

If it makes you feel any better Fancy Tuesday, there is a precedent for being able to copy a spell that has left the stack. Casting Counterspell on Grapeshot with the storm trigger on the stack will not prevent the copies from being made.

June 10, 2018 2:06 p.m.

FancyTuesday says... #7

Gidgetimer: In Grapeshot's case the storm trigger triggers before the spell resolves (when it's cast) and goes onto the stack before Counterspell goes onto the stack or resolves. The trigger can see a "spell" at the time it goes on the stack, even if it isn't there when it resolves.

Many abilities can look back and use information from cards that aren't in the zone or state they expect when they resolve, but if they aren't there when they go on the stack they fail. The ability in question names "spell", and when the ability goes on to the stack the object it's pointing to isn't a spell, that's what's throwing my chain off the gear. It's why in my first suggestion I recommended using language we find in cards like Spellweaver Helix, which copies a card and not a spell.

But I appreciate attempting to help me parse the ability with the rules.

June 10, 2018 4:07 p.m.

Faiths_Guide says... #8

FancyTuesday

My original wording had an “If a spell would” phrasing, but the judges I spoke with said that made it sound like a replacement effect instead of a triggered ability.

June 10, 2018 7:41 p.m.

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