Can i respond to a cost being payed?

Asked by synchi64 2 years ago

Let's put that question into context, i want to build a human tribal deck around Saskia the Unyielding, as i bult it, i found the deck lacking of remouval, so i concidered adding Mangara of Corondor, since i run Ashnod's Altar, and since i care about graveyard interaction, here's the real question, asuming i tap Mangara of Corondor to put Mangara of Corondor's activated ability on the stack, can i sacrifice Mangara of Corondor using Ashnod's Altar after i pay the cost of Mangara of Corondor's activated ability but with the ability still on the stack, to exile target permanent but puting Mangara of Corondor into the graveyard instead of exiling it?

Epochalyptik says... Accepted answer #1

You can activate Ashnod's Altar's ability sacrificing Mangara of Corondor, but it's not because you're responding to a cost.

The full cost of Mangara of Corondor's ability is just "." After you finish paying this cost, the ability activation process is complete. Players then get priority and can respond to the ability itself as it waits on the stack.

Players do not get priority to respond to a cost being paid.

June 14, 2018 7:51 a.m.

synchi64 says... #2

ok, so you always respond to the ability and not the cost being payed. so with priority involved the interraction would works this way:

-It's my turn, and I pay the cost of Mangara of Corondor's activated ability -The ability goes into the stack -I pass priority to my oponent and does nothing -The priority is passed back to me and sac Mangara of Corondor with Ashnod's Altar -The abiliy goes into the stack -I pass priority to my oponent and does nothing -The priority is passed back to me and I do nothing -first Ashnod's Altar's ability trigger, putting Mangara of Corondor in the yard -Then Mangara of Corondor's ability trigger, exiling targeted permanent and since Mangara of Corondor is no longer on the field he stays in the yard

am I getting it right?

June 14, 2018 8:47 a.m.

Boza says... #3

Yes, you are correct, just a few notes:

  • it does not have to be your turn to activate Mangara's ability. You can do it any time you could cast an instant.
  • -first Ashnod's Altar's ability trigger - In fact, the cost of Ashnod's Altar is to sac a creature - there is no trigger. Additionally, altar has a mana ability - it does not even use the stack and does not require passing priority to resolve.

A mana ability is such that it doesn’t have a target, it could add mana to a player’s mana pool when it resolves, and it’s not a loyalty ability. Also, mana abilities are the only thing you are allowed to do while a spell is being cast - activate mana abilities to pay for costs.

Other than those, entirely correct.

June 14, 2018 9:48 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #4

No, those details aren't quite right. If all players pass then the top object on the stack resolves (if the stack is empty, the game moves on to the next step or phase instead). Here's how it works:

  • Activate Mangara's ability. It's now on the stack and you have priority again
  • Instead of passing priority, activate Ashnod's Altar sacrificing Mangara. This is a mana ability, so it resolves immediately without going onto the stack. You still have priority
  • Pass priority to your opponent
  • If they have no responses, they pass back to you
  • Both players have passed, so that means Mangara's ability resolves

The Mangara card in the graveyard won't be exiled because the specific "Mangara of Corondor" that the activated ability is referring to is the object that used to be on the battlefield. The resolving ability will do as much as it can and will only exile the creature you targeted. The Mangara card in the graveyard will stay in the graveyard.

Note that only triggered abilities (abilities that start with the word "when/whenever/at") can "trigger", and this refers to the point where they're put onto the stack. The word you want to use in your explanation above would be "resolve". The distinction does matter when digging into the details of how different types of effects interact.

June 14, 2018 9:59 a.m.

synchi64 says... #5

First of all, thank you for helping me better understand the interraction with the stack, i knew that Mangara of Corondor's ability can be used any time, but i made it simple saying that it was my turn, but you are right to point that out, also i used "triggered" instead of "resolve" and that is a mistake from my part and thank you for pointing it out.

However i have one more question, is Ashnod's Altar's ability a mana ability? since in order to sac a creature you need to target the creature you want to sac and that would make it not a mana ability by definition, so i don't quite understant why it is a mana ability

June 14, 2018 12:10 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #6

You do not target a creature you want to sacrifice--you merely place it in the graveyard directly. This makes sense--after all, you can sacrifice creatures with Shroud, which would not be possible if sacrificing required a target. As such, Ashnods alter still passes the mana ability test.

June 14, 2018 12:23 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #7

An ability only targets if it specifically says so, either in the printed text or inside the full rules text for a keyword ability (like Equip, etc.). There's also nothing in the rules to say that an object sacrificed to pay the cost for a spell/ability becomes a target of that spell/ability. The Altar's ability doesn't target anything.

June 14, 2018 12:47 p.m. Edited.

synchi64 says... #8

thanks for clearing that out for me

June 14, 2018 12:49 p.m.

Gus440 says... #9

I have a situation with Ashnod's Altar. My opponent is going to sacrifice a creature to the altar. I have a goblin sharpshooter out and wish to respond by tapping it to kill one of his creatures. Can I do that or does he retain priority until the creature is sacrificed?

May 16, 2020 5:16 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #10

Gus440 - It's probably better to make your own thread rather than necrobump an old one.

To answer your question, you cannot do that. They sacrifice the creature as part of paying the cost--by the time you can activate any abilities or cast any spells, the creature has already been sacrificed and the costs for the ability have been paid.

May 16, 2020 7:01 p.m.

Gus440 says... #11

but can I kill another creature in resp to him sacrificing a creature not the sacrificed creature

May 17, 2020 1:48 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #12

No, you can't respond to Ashnod's Altar's ability because it's a mana ability. Mana abilities don't use the stack and resolve immediately. Whoever had priority to take an action when a mana ability was first activated/triggered has priority again after it resolves, and no one can make any responses.

May 18, 2020 8:58 a.m.

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