Dumb Question

Discussion in 'Rules Questions' started by Tyriax, Apr 26, 2001.

  1. Tyriax New Member

    Just to clarify, if my opponent plays a spell, I counter it, he can't reclaim a counter out of his graveyard, tap an archivist to draw it, then cast it in response to my counter, can he? The stack resolves all at once, so he wouldn't actually have the card in hand, the effects of his actions would simply be on the stack until it resolves, when reclaim resolves first, archivist, then my counter, but you can't interrupt the resolving of a stack once both players have passed their opportunity to respond to an action, correct?

    Thanks,
    Mikey
  2. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    You ask a lot of questions all at once...let try going at them one at a time.

    If my opponent plays a spell, I counter it, he can't reclaim a counter out of his graveyard, tap an archivist to draw it, then cast it in response to my counter, can he?

    No, not exactly. The spell you're targetting with Counterspell (I'll assume) will remain on the stack until it resolves or is countered. It won't be in the graveyard for Reclaim to target until that happens.

    The stack resolves all at once...

    No. The stack resolves one spell/psuedospell at a time. After each resolves, the active player gets priority.

    ...so he wouldn't actually have the card in hand, the effects of his actions would simply be on the stack until it resolves, when reclaim resolves first, archivist, then my counter, but you can't interrupt the resolving of a stack once both players have passed their opportunity to respond to an action, correct?

    You get the right answer to the question you're looking for, but the logic is wrong, and will lead to wrong results on lots of other questions.

    See, since the active player gains priority after each spell resolves, it is possible to add things to a resolving stack. This won't allow your opponent to pull the Reclaim/Archivist trick though..at least not in the way you describe.

    What s/he can do is this, assuming the spell in question is an instant or can be played as one:

    (warning: detailed technical explanation)

    Say you have a 2/2 creature that you've just targetted with Armadillo Cloak. Your opponent doesn't want to deal with a 4/4 trampling spirit-linked beast, so she targets it with a Shock.

    You respond with Counterspell, targetting Shock.

    You both pass priority.

    Counterspell resolves, putting itself and Shock into the graveyard.

    Now you get priority, and pass, then your opponent gets it and playes Reclaim, targetting Shock, then passes.

    You're out of counters, so you pass, and Reclaim resolves, putting Shock on top of her library.

    You get priority and pass. Now, she activates her Archivist to draw the Shock.

    You both pass, Archivist resolves, causing her to draw the Shock.

    You get priority and pass. She plays Shock, targetting your 2/2. She passes, and you pass.

    Shock resolves and deals 2 damage to the 2/2. It dies.

    You both pass. Armadillo Cloak attempts to resolve, but is countered upon resolution, as its target is not there.

    whew

    So, while your opponent can't do exactly what you described, it is possible for him/her to use the stack in such a way as to get what she wants done, done.

    Note that if you did have additional Counterspells, you counld have added them to the stack any time you'd gotten priority, targetting the Reclaim or Shock as appropriate.

    Always remember, the stack is your friend.

    Or, in this case, your opponent's friend. ;)
  3. EricBess Active Member

    CT,

    I give you very high marks for technical merit on this one. However, I think you misread the question.

    Tyriax, if your opponent casts a spell and you counter it, the stack looks like this:

    <your Counterspell>
    <opp Spell>

    Your opponent, if I read your question correctly has:
    - A Counterspell, already in his graveyard
    - Reclaim in his hand
    - An Archivist, ready to do his bidding

    Chaos Turtle, if I understand his response properly, is assuming that your opponent wanted to recast the spell he was casting in response to the Counterspell. He is correct that you can't do that, because the spell is not yet in the graveyard until your Counterspell resolves.

    However, if the Counterspell is in the graveyard, he may cast Reclaim, putting the stack like this:

    <opp Reclaim - targetting Counterspell already in graveyard>
    <your Counterspell>
    <opp Spell>

    The Reclaim resolves and the Counterspell is now on top of his library. He activates Archivist:

    <Archivist>
    <your Counterspell>
    <opp Spell>

    The Archivist resolves and the Counterspell is now in his hand. He casts it:

    <his Counterspell - targetting your Counterspell>
    <your Counterspell>
    <opp Spell>

    His Counterspell resolves:

    <opp Spell>

    His spell resolves.

    It used to be that once the stack started resolving, it had to resolve all the way. This is no longer the case (since 6th ed. rules). You may now continue to add instants and abilities to the stack during any point of resolution when you have priority. Each player gets priority between resolution of each step.
  4. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    Oops. I sure did misread that. (I really must stop doing these at 5am :p)

    So the answer to your question is: yes, your opponent can Reclaim a Counterspell in, draw it with Archivist, then play it to counter your counter.

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