+1/+1 & -1/-1 counters on the same creature?

Asked by Metroid_Hybrid 7 years ago

Say I have an undying creature (such as Geralf's Messenger ..) that's had it's undying ability triggered, therefore it has a +1/+1 counter on it, and I use (3)mana to cast Black Sun's Zenith for one, thereby placing a single -1/-1 counter on said creature... What happens?

Personally I've heard two schools of thought on this one; 1) the effect of the two counters negate one-another but still continue to exist simultaneously, and therefore still subject to proliferate(etc.) & prevent a second undying trigger.. OR 2) the two opposite counters completely nullify each other and cause them to fizzle away & cease to exist all together (and thus technically allowing a for second undying trigger to occur)..

Which is it? And if possible, reference what rule says so.. Thanks.. :)

erabel says... Accepted answer #1

The second one. To wit:

704.5r If a permanent has both a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter on it, N +1/+1 and N -1/-1 counters are removed from it, where N is the smaller of the number of +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it.

It's a state-based action, which means it happens after the resolution of BSZ, before anyone else gains priority.

June 2, 2014 2:12 a.m.

Drilnoth says... #2

Prior to around the release of Lorwyn, they did not cancel out, so some people who say they exist simultaneously may not have known of the rules update.

June 2, 2014 2:27 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #3

In case you're wondering: For a BSZ in this situation where X is 3 or more, Undying won't trigger again. This is because removing opposing +/- counters and dying for 0 or less toughness are both state based actions, and state based actions are checked and executed simultaneously. It means the Messenger dies and the counters are removed at the exact same time, so when Undying checks the Messenger's last-known-information to see if it will trigger, it will read that Messenger still had a +1/+1 counter at the moment before it died.

June 2, 2014 1:20 p.m.

This discussion has been closed