Can I pay a single activation cost (for a single card) but trigger abilities of one or more other cards?

Asked by Hydronvanquisher 1 year ago

I've seen some q&a about this in the Rules section but wanted to confirm.

Let's say I have a Zulaport Cutthroat, Butcher of Malakir, Altar of Dementia and several Zombie Tokens in play and a Dread Return and Mortician Beetle in my graveyard.

On my turn, I elect to sacrifice 3 of the zombie tokens to pay for the flashback cost of the Dread Return to move the Mortician Beetle back into play.

When this happens, do all the triggered abilities of the Zulaport Cutthroat and Butcher of Malakir take effect? If so, what about the triggered ability of the Mortician Beetle as it is in play before all the cards resolve? I would think that any cards my opponents had to sacrifice as a result of the Butcher of Malakir would take effect but not from my initial sacrifice.

I understand I can't pay a cost for multiple activated abilities (ie; the activated ability of Altar of Dementia won't occur) but didn't know how this applied to triggered abilities.

Thanks for any help you all can offer.

sonnet666 says... Accepted answer #1

Long story short: Zulaport Cutthroat and Butcher of Malakir will both trigger 3 times. Mortician Beetle won't trigger at all. Your opponents will lose 3 life and sacrifice 3 creatures, and you will gain 3 life.

I don't know where you got the idea that Mortician Beetle "is in play before all the cards resolve." That's not what happens.

Here's what does happen:

  1. You sacrifice 3 zombies to cast Dread Return from your graveyard, targeting Mortician Beetle. (Sacrificing the 3 zombies is a COST to flashback Dread Return.)
  2. Zulaport Cutthroat and Butcher of Malakir both trigger at this time, along with anything else on the battlefield that triggers when creatures die. 3 of each trigger are waiting to be put on the stack. Mortician Beetle does not trigger, because it is not on the battlefield yet.
  3. Once you've finished casting Dread Return, the game moves to give you priority. Any triggers that were waiting to be put on the stack get placed there before you're given priority.
  4. Since you control all 6 triggers, you can put them on the stack in any order you'd like, but that probably won't matter.
  5. If no one has any responses the triggers start to resolve, starting with the last one you placed on the stack.
  6. Once all of the triggers have resolved (with a round of priority in between each for players to respond), there's one more round of priority before Dread Return finally resolves.
  7. Dread Return resolves, returning Mortician Beetle to the battlefield. (Any creature that dies after this step will trigger Mortician Beetle.)

Altar of Dementia doesn't even factor into the equation if you're paying for Dread Return.

January 29, 2018 4:04 p.m.

Understood and thanks for clarifying Mortician Beetle for me. I appreciate it!

January 29, 2018 4:07 p.m.

Spirit_Logan says... #3

Yes Zulaport Cutthroat and Butcher of Malakir trigger all 3 times- each zombie is a seperate creature, and they get seperate triggers.

No, the mortician beetle won't be on the field.

January 29, 2018 4:07 p.m.

Thanks Spirit_Logan and sonnet666 for helping me to understand the rules.

January 29, 2018 4:11 p.m.

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