Question about abilities resolving that require creatures.

Asked by trentfaris242 6 years ago

Say I have a Polukranos, World Eater out. If I make it monstrous to deal, say, 1 damage to an Elvish Mystic, for example, and an opponent responds with Hero's Downfall, will the Elvish Mystic still die?

The reason I'm confused about this is because the text clearly states that Polukranos deals the damage. But if he dies to removal before the ability resolves can he kill something?

Devonin says... Accepted answer #1

Depends how they do it. There is actually an activated ability and a triggered ability which triggers when the activated ability resolves.

You activate the Monstrous ability by paying XXG, which goes onto the stack. If, in response, they kill Polukranos, when the Monstrous ability tries to resolve, it won't find a Polukranos around to put counters on and make monstrous, so the triggered ability won't ever trigger and you don't get the damage effect.

The damage dealing ability is triggered upon the Monstrous ability RESOLVING, and the Polukranos not already being Monstrous, and still being there to become Monstrous.

If they allow the Monstrous ability to resolve, and you add the counters, and make it Monstrous, the trigger from becoming Monstrous will go onto the stack presumably targeting the aforementioned Elvish Mystic . If that happens, the ability will still resolve even if the Polukranos is no longer on the battlefield.

July 2, 2014 2:51 p.m.

Sam_I_am says... #2

No, elvish mystic does not take damage.

Polukranos, World Eater has 2 abilities. One that makes him monstrous, and one that deals damage. The one that deals the damage triggers when the first ability resolves.

If you kill Polukranos when the first ability is still on the stack, The ability that actually does the damage doesn't even trigger, because there is no such creature with that ability.

July 2, 2014 5:18 p.m.

Devonin says... #3

As I said, Sam_I_am it depends where in the process the other player elects to cast Hero's Downfall

July 2, 2014 5:28 p.m.

PrimeEpoch says... #4

I've had to think about this, it's an interesting interaction, but what Devonin says is very correct. Sam_I_am has kind of simplified it, but without the full explanation. I will attempt (and probably fail) to have both.

Polukranos becomes monstrous upon the resolution of his monstrous ability, so if you can make the monstrous ability fizzle, then the second ability won't trigger. You can do that by destroying polukranos before it resolves, which means that the second ability won't trigger because he's not on the battlefield and the conditions of the triggered ability aren't met (polukranos being monstrous)

I hope that this helps if you still didn't get it.:)

July 2, 2014 7:07 p.m.

KingSorin says... #5

nayaftw: you can't fizzle an ability without targets, but yeah, you're pretty much correct.

July 2, 2014 8:21 p.m.

PrimeEpoch says... #6

KingSorin it effectively fizzles right?

July 3, 2014 7:42 a.m.

KingSorin says... #7

Effectively, but fizzle is a specific term, meaning countered by the game for lacking targets. This more just does nothing, like a Devour Flesh to an empty board.

July 3, 2014 9:42 a.m.

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