Ordering ETB effects correctly between Ghired, Flamerush Rider, and Parallel Lives

Asked by TypicalTimmy 2 months ago

In playtesting my Ghired, Conclave Exile deck to fine tune it a bit more, I happened upon a boardstate I wasn't really planning. I literally only had three spells that had been cast thus far:

The number of pre-existing Rhino tokens are not really important; What is important is what I chose to do when I attacked.

I decided I wanted Flamerush Rider to make a copy token of Ghired, Conclave Exile . In doing so, I realized that the token copy of Ghired would fizzle out into the aether due to the Legendary Rule. However, this didn't matter to me because I wanted to get the free additional Rhino token that comes along for the ride (Pun wholly intended). I knew with Parallel Lives , I'd actually get 2x Rhino tokens :D

But... that's when I realized the juxtaposition of problems I created.

Okay, that's simple enough... until I realized the ORIGINAL Ghired, Conclave Exile was actually declared as an attacker. Okay, so I could copy a Rhino token...

... or could I copy one of the Ghired tokens? Thus making 2x more Ghired tokens, with each making 2x more Rhino tokens?

So here is the issue:

  • Flamerush Rider attacks at the same time Ghired is attacking
  • Both of these creatures ask me to create a token
  • Can Flamerush Rider make a token of Ghired, and before the Legendary Rule fizzles that token out, can the original Ghired populates it?

If I am correct on this, I would have created 4x Ghired tokens with 8x Rhino tokens.

  • 1.) FRR copies Ghired
  • 2.) PL triggers, making a copy of Ghired
  • 3.) Both Ghired tokens have their ETB trigger
  • 4.) Both tokens create a single 4/4 Rhino
  • 5A.) PL triggers, creating a duplicate Rhino on each
  • 5B.) A total of 4x Rhinos now exist
  • 6A.) Before Legendary Rule vanishes the Ghired tokens...
  • 6B.) Original GCE Populates since he is attacking
  • 7.) GCE Populates one of the Ghired tokens
  • 8.) PL triggers, creating a second Ghired token
  • 9.) Each of these two new Ghired tokens have their ETB trigger happen
  • 10.) 2x Rhinos are created; One for each Ghired
  • 11) PL triggers, making a copy of each Rhino
  • 12.) 4x total Rhinos enter
  • 13.) Legendary Rule finally kicks in
  • 14.) All Ghired tokens vanish
  • 15.) Leaving behind 8x total Rhino tokens

Is this correct? I know the Legendary Rule doesn't "use the stack", but I also know triggers / state based actions are allowed to resolve. I learned this when I asked about a year ago what happens if I make a copy of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and the consensus was that for the very brief moment in time when both exist on the board together, all creatures get -4/-4 and +4/+4 depending who controls them. Then the token vanishes and it reverts back to the -2/-2 and +2/+2.

So does the same thing apply to the tokens being generated?

Caerwyn says... Accepted answer #1

Parallel Lives is a replacement effect, not a triggered ability. It changes any effect that creates tokens into an effect which creates twice as many tokens.

Here's what happens

  1. FRR and Ghired attack, both abilities go on the stack. The way you ordered it, Ghired's goes on the stack first, so is the second to resolve.
  2. FRR copies Ghired, PL modifies this so you get two Ghired tokens. Both Ghired tokens' abilities trigger since the creatures enter the battlefield. FRR's ability finishes resolving. Both these triggers are put above Ghired's on the stack, and thus will resolve first.
  3. Since an ability finished resolving, state-based actions are checked. The two Ghired tokens are sent to the graveyard as a SBA due to the legend rule. Their abilities, however, triggered when they ETB, and exist even though the creatures are gone.
  4. The first Ghired rhino ability resolves - you get 2 rhino tokens due to PL's replacement effect.
  5. The second Ghired rhino ability resolves - you get 2 rhino tokens due to PL's replacement effect. You now have 4 rhino tokens.
  6. The stack now has the initial Ghired populate ability.
  7. The Ghired tokens were sent to the graveyard way back in step 3, so cannot be populated. Your only valid option is one of the Rhino tokens; PL will replace that, so you get two rhinos tapped and attacking.

In the end, you will have:

One Ghired; two attacking rhinos; 4 not attacking rhinos; one FRR.

August 12, 2019 11:40 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #2

Also, with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite , the reason there is a -4/-4 when SBAs are checked is because Elesh Norn’s ability is a static ability that always is in effect when Elesh Norn is on the field, not a triggered ability.

So, since the legend rule is only implicated when SBAs are checked, there are two Elesh Norns in play when SBAs are checked, for a -4/-4. It doesn’t matter than one dies due to SBAs, since check for death due to 0 toughness was checked when the -4/-4 static abilities were in effect.

August 12, 2019 11:51 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #3

What you could do is in step 3 of Caerwyn's explanation is keep one of the token copies of Ghired so that when the populate trigger from the non-token resolves you have a Ghired token. You could then keep one of the attacking tokens so that you still have a 2/5 attacking. The token will of course not deal commander damage and not have any auras or equipment that the original had. This makes this line unviable for voltron strategies, but allows you to make 8 rhinos.

August 13, 2019 6:05 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #4

Sorry, I misworded what I was trying to say about keeping one of the populate tokens. All Ghired tokens would be attacking, I meant keep one of the populate ones so that it lasts after combat.

August 13, 2019 6:10 a.m.

Monomanamaniac says... #5

You would have to kill the actual ghired to do that, but I think it would work. The original would still get the populate trigger even if dead. What's more juicy is if you keep the populated token it wouldn't die at the end of combat. That's why populate is amazing, the populated token wouldn't be recognized by the card that created the original. Sadly because all the ghired are already attacking you wouldn't get their when they attack trigger, but that would give you a sick populate target. This is why Seance and Mimic Vat are great with populate

August 13, 2019 4:36 p.m.

Monomanamaniac says... #6

As a side note, the tokens that are created by parallel lives are not so lucky, they'll die like the original due to the fact that its a modification to the original ability

August 13, 2019 4:41 p.m.

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