Backlash vs Delirium

Asked by Gruss029 6 years ago

I'm considering adding one of these to my Prossh, Lord of the skies deck, but I'm unclear of the differences here.

According to Gatherer, Backlash has a targeting restriction: "Being untapped is a targeting restriction. If the target is tapped before this spell resolves, then this spell is countered."

According to Gatherer, Delirium does not. "Tapping the creature is part of the effect and not the cost, therefore you can cast this targeting a tapped creature."

Why the difference? Why is "Tap target untapped creature" ( Backlash ) a cost while "Tap target creature that player controls." ( Delirium ) is an effect? How can you tell?

Epochalyptik says... Accepted answer #1

You're misunderstanding.

"Tap target untapped creature" is not a cost. First, costs never target. Second, targeting restrictions are not the same as costs.

When a spell or ability specifies "target [object]," it defines exactly what that spell or ability can target. Backlash reads "target untapped creature," so Backlash can only target an untapped creature. Tapped creatures are not untapped creatures, so they are not legal targets. Delirium reads "target creature," so the only restriction is that the targeted object must be a creature. Although Delirium 's effect attempts to tap that creature, Delirium does not require that the target be untapped.

A spell can only be cast, an activated ability can only be activated, and a triggered ability can only be put onto the stack if all targets for those spells or abilities are legal at that time. If all targets (not just some of them) become illegal by the time the spell or ability would resolve, then that spell or ability is countered by the game rules.

September 8, 2014 10:06 a.m.

I still give the vote to Backlash simply because you are not restricted on what turn you can play it. The move I see here is declare attackers, then wait for them to declare blockers (or don't), then cast Backlash on the creature they would block with.

April 2, 2015 10:56 a.m.

Epochalyptik says... #3

@Enlightened_Magi: Please check the post dates before commenting. This thread is seven months old. Further, the Q&A is not the place to discuss strategy. If you'd like to discuss the merits of one card over another, please begin a new thread in the forums.

April 2, 2015 4:11 p.m.

This discussion has been closed