Counterbalance/Sensei's Divining Top

Discussion in 'Rules Questions' started by Killer Joe, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Killer Joe Active Member

    Sensei's Divining Top

    I'm not so sure this can work the way I think it can.

    My opponent plays a spell, the Counterbalance trigger's but it doesn't go on the stack until I put it there, right? Before I put it on the stack I top to look at my top 3 cards (and hopefully find the right mana cost card). I finish that and then put the trigger on the stack to resolve, right?

    Somehow I just think I'm NOT right on this and I can't put my finger on it as to 'why'.
  2. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Players don't put triggered abilities on the stack "when they want to", they just go on the stack.

    Once Counterbalance is on the stack, you can use the Top and put it on the stack.


    Resolve the Top, look at your top three cards. Resolve Counterbalance, revealing your top card and hopefully countering the spell.
  3. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    The Top works and was VERY popular during the short time between Cold Snap and Time Spiral (when Kamigawa was still Standard legal).

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  4. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Yeah. They go on the stack at a very specific time....

    404.2. Triggered abilities aren't played. Instead, a triggered ability automatically "triggers" each time its trigger event occurs. Once an ability has triggered, it goes on the stack the next time a player would receive priority.
  5. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    <---was called a Noob on MTGO for having a Top in his deck....heh
  6. Budget Player Cadet Where in the world is BPC

    ^ Noob with top
    < Building deck with Top
    v Yo Momma on top!
  7. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Top is amazing. Call them idiots.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Yeah, but from KJ's question, it sounded like he was thinking he got to choose when the ability goes on the stack. It goes on at a specific time, but it's still automatic (and since it's triggering from the playing of a spell, it pretty much goes on immediately since a player has priority right after that).
  9. Killer Joe Active Member

    and that was the part where I wasn't sure of. Thanks, Guys!
  10. Modus Pwnens Eligible for User Title

    They key thing to remember (in this example and in many, many others) is rule 410.4:
    "When a triggered ability goes on the stack, the controller of the ability makes any choices that would be required while playing an activated ability, following the same procedure (..)"
    In short, you usually will only choose targets (if any) for a triggered ability (and sometimes a mode). Anything else will be checked for or chosen on resolution.

    Some examples (X = trigger condition)

    When [X], target player draws a card.
    The player is chosen by the ability's controller as it goes on the stack, that player draws a card when the ability resolves.

    When [X], choose a player. That player discards a card.
    The player is chosen when the ability resolves, then discards immediately.

    When [X], choose one - target player puts a 1/1 elf token into play or do [Y] and [Z] (some random things, not including the word "target")
    You choose the mode right away, if you have chosen the first mode, you announce the targeted player as well, if you've chosen the second mode, the actions [Y] and [Z] will be taken as the ability resolves.
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I don't think choosing the mode or targets was the question here, it was when and if the Top's ability could be played to take advantage of the Counterbalance ability...
  12. Killer Joe Active Member

    Correct. That was my question.
  13. Modus Pwnens Eligible for User Title

    Hmm, i related it to what part of putting an ability on the stack have to be done on announcement, and which on resolution. The revealing part of counterbalance ability isn't targetted or modal, so it happens upon resolution.l
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Nope, like KJ said, he was just trying to take advantage of the Top's digging ability to make sure that when the Counterbalance resolved, the top card was the one that would be the most effective.
  15. Modus Pwnens Eligible for User Title

    Yea, and I figured that the ability of the top didn't really need explanation, so maybe he thought he had to reveal the card straight away for the balance, so I cleared that up :)
  16. Killer Joe Active Member

    Exactly. Man, you guys are good! Thanks, again but have pity on my opponent's soul for my next multiplayer game. :)
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Is that Mooseman? :D
  18. Killer Joe Active Member

    <shhhhhhhhhh> ;)
  19. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I heard that...... I will have the hate deck by then....... and I will hate all of you..... or die quickly and bemoan others bad plays...... :D
  20. Killer Joe Active Member

    I got one word to say to that: Letitgooooo! :D :p

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