Stack Related Questions

Asked by Trevorlb21 3 years ago

Hey everyone, I am just now getting back into standard after not having played for 5 years. With that being said, I have some questions about card interaction that I was hoping you all could answer (seeing as I know a lot of people here are actively playing at FNMs and probably some of you are even rule judges). Thank you!

  1. Seal Away --> I am wondering about this card's interaction specifically when used against activated abilities from other creatures tapping. For example, when Llanowar Elves is tapped to create a green mana, could you play Seal Away in response to the trigger from the creature being tapped, so then it would go on the stack and they wouldn't get the mana?

  2. Disallow --> All I don't understand is how the (Mana abilities can't be targeted) works. I originally assumed that you couldn't target an activated ability that costs mana to activate, but I watched an MTG Pro Tour on Youtube and the announcer was mentioning that you could Disallow in response to Hazoret the Fervent 's activated ability, so now I am unsure.

  3. Jace's Defeat --> This one might be dumb, but the spell doesn't have to be mono-blue does it? Like you can counter Teferi, Hero of Dominaria with it?

  4. In general (I am needing a refresher here): Sorceries, creatures, and artifacts or enchantments without flash or other board states that specify otherwise (Like having Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage on the battlefield) and therefore cannot interact with the stack, correct? So, for example, I could play Blink of an Eye in response to my opponent using their Planeswalker's ultimate (and Planeswalker abilities can only happen any time you could play a sorcery) and then it would blink back to their hand before the ultimate resolved, correct?

  5. I'm sure there are other questions I haven't even thought of. The game has evolved and changed quite a bit since the days when I played Blasphemous Act while I had 2 Boros Reckoner on the battlefield. That was always the best, haha!

Thank you!

Trevorlb21 says... #1

Number 5 is not a question. It was formatted like that automatically and I didn't notice.. Whoops

May 17, 2018 11:03 a.m.

Neotrup says... Accepted answer #2

1) Once an ability is activated, removing the source of the ability doesn't counter it, but you could still cast Seal Away in response to the activation just to get it off of the field. Also, a mana ability like that of Llanowar Elves can't be responded to, but you could cast Seal Away later in the turn to exile it so it can't be used on subsequent turns.

2) A mana ability is an ability that can add mana to a player's mana pool. In order to be a mana ability it cannot target (not stanadard relevant), and cannot be a planeswalker ability (like Chandra, Torch of Defiance's second ability). It only needs to be able to add mana to a mana pool, not necessarily do so, as such Sanctum of the Sun's ability is a mana ability even if you have 0 or less life.

3) Yes, as long as a spell is blue it can be countered by Jace's Defeat even if it has additional colors.

4) Yes, but as addressed earlier the ability will still resolve, and many abilities do not effect their sources so bouncing it will have little effect most of the time, especially with planeswalker ultimates.

5) This is exactly the sort of situation addressed in 1 and 4, Boros Reckoner would die from the 13 damage well before it's ability resolved, but your opponent would still be dealt the damage.

May 17, 2018 11:38 a.m.

Trevorlb21 says... #3

Thank you for your response!

If I remember correctly, my opponent could use Unsummon on Boros Reckoner in that situation and it wouldn't deal them 13 damage. Is that not how it actually works?

Thanks again

May 17, 2018 11:51 a.m.

Epochalyptik says... #4

Some important clarifications to support the above answer:

Llanowar Elves doesn't have a triggered ability. Tapping LE is a cost to activate its activated ability; it doesn't result in a trigger being generated.

The reason mana abilities can't be responded to is that they don't use the stack. When a mana ability is activated or triggered, it resolves immediately. Specifically, mana abilities are any abilities that (1) don't target anything, (2) aren't a loyalty ability, and (3) add mana to a player's mana pool upon resolution. If the mana ability is a triggered ability, it has to trigger from another mana ability (see Wild Growth).

A mana ability is NOT an ability that costs mana.

May 17, 2018 12:01 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #5

Regarding your follow-up question:

No, that's not how it works. You can return Boros Reckoner before its ability resolves, but the ability remains on the stack and will still resolve as it normally would. The source of an ability that deals damage doesn't actually need to remain present in order for the ability to work (this is how Mogg Fanatic is able to function).

In the event the game needs information about the source of an ability at that source leaves the battlefield, the game uses the "last known information." For example, if you gave Mogg Fanatic a Basilisk Collar, then activated its ability, the damage it deals will be lifelink and deathtouch damage.

May 17, 2018 12:07 p.m.

Neotrup says... #6

What was happening with Unsummoning Boros Reckoner is that they would return it to your hand before Blasphemous Act resolved, so the Boros Reckoner never took the damage. If a creature takes lethal damage (such as the 13 damage to a 3/3 in this situation) it is put into the graveyard before any player can respond, so they wouldn't be able to target it with Unsummon. If the creature never takes the damage though, it's ability cannot trigger.

May 17, 2018 12:12 p.m.

Trevorlb21 says... #7

Thanks for the responses guys! That helps a lot.

What about me playing Blink of an Eye in response to someone casting Walking Ballista while they have a Winding Constrictor on the battlefield? If I Blink the Constrictor in response to the Ballista being cast, then the ability for the Constrictor never triggers, right? Because Constrictor isn't on the battlefield when Ballista enters?

Thank you again

May 18, 2018 1:35 a.m.

xram666 says... #8

That is correct.

Walking Ballista is on the Stack. So it hasn't entered the battlefield yet.

You cast Blink of an Eye, put it on the stack, wait till it resolves and the Winding Constrictor is return to opponents hand.

Now the Walking Ballista resolves, enters the battlefield and as Winding Constrictor isn't on the battlefield any more its ability can't trigger.

May 18, 2018 4:34 a.m.

Trevorlb21 says... #9

Awesome. Thanks!

Okay last one --> Similar to the last question: What about playing Abrade on Walking Ballista in response to a Winding Constrictor's trigger when the Ballista enters the battlefield? Would the Ballista still get those triggers plus one?

May 18, 2018 4:38 a.m.

xram666 says... #10

I am not complete sure about this one but Walking Ballista does not enter the battlefield and then get it's counters. It enters the battlefield with the counters already on it.

So the first time you can chose it as a target it already has its counters.

Ant the ability of Winding Constrictor is a replacement effect.

So the Ballista enters with X+1 counters and your enemy can respond to your Abrade and use the counters on Ballista to deal damage to you or your creatures

May 18, 2018 4:50 a.m.

Trevorlb21 says... #11

Okay sounds good, thanks!

May 18, 2018 4:58 a.m.

Neotrup says... #12

Both Walking Ballista's ability to enter with counter and Winding Constrictor's ability to increase the number of counters are replacement effects, so Walking Ballista will enter with the extra counter and once it resolves the active player will get priority back with an empty stack (unless another ability triggers). This means that you will have to wait for them to do something before you can cast Abrade.

May 18, 2018 11:40 a.m.

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