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  1. #1
    MagicMagic's Avatar
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    Default mtg how does priority work

    how does priority work in magic

  2. #2
    Kappu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    This is from a post that I posted when I was asking about Priority (Search function FTW)....

    Here was my Question:

    I've seen Seba say that priority is complex so simple question here.

    Player A is defender

    Player B is attacker

    Player B Untaps Upkeeps and Draws card

    Player B uses Blightning for X damage

    Does Player A now have Priority and if so what can be used?

    I believe you do have priority because you could counter or play a card to negate the damage. But what other cards could be played can I play a spell like Blightning as well? or am I restricted to only certain types of spells?


    Here is Seba's Reply:

    ok here goes :P

    lets go though your example:

    in the untap step no player recives priority. why ? beacause the rules say so ^^

    the active player B (the one whos turn it is) get priority (the chance to do something) for the first time in his upkeep after all mandatory things have been dealt with. if a card for instance would say pay 1 at the beginning of your upkkep or sacrifice player B would first have to deal with that. once all mandatory actions have been dealt with player B get priority.

    now he want to play blightning but can not because he is in his upkeep and blightning is a sorcery. so he passes priority.

    when he does that player A recives priority and could for instance play an instance. player A chooses not to and also passes.

    at that point there is nothing on the stack. when the stack is empty and all players pass priority the phase or step of the turn changes.

    so when player A chooses to pass the draw imidialy starts.

    we are now in the draw step.

    all mandatory actions will be dealt with first. this includes the active player drawing a card from the top of his library. once all of that has been dealt with the active player recives priority again. works same as above, both pass and we move into the first or pre-combat mainphase.

    now any abilitys that trigger at the begining of the main phase trigger. in the example there are non so we ignore them for the time being.

    now the active player get priority. he now chooses to play blightning. blightning is put on the stack the sorcey card becomes a sorcey spell and the physical card itself it put into the graveyard.

    so far so good but what happens now ?

    player B did not pass so he still has priority. since there is a spell on the stack he can only play instance or cards that can be played at the time you could play an instant. he can also use activated ability.

    blightning is still on the stack not doing anything at the moment but player A can not do anything befor player B passes. he could choose to play terminate targeting a creature of player A then he could choose to play a lightning bolt targeting player A etc. non of these take effect yet the are all only on the stack. at some point player B passes.

    now player A gains priority. he could now play a counter spell etc. if player B had player blightning, terminate, lightningbolt one after another player A now gets to pick wich to counter. that should make it clear why people usualy only play one spell at a time to denie the opponent to pick the best.

    lets say player B only played blightning and then passed. player A played counterspell targeting blightning and then passed. since player A took an action (play the counter spell) after player B had passed this is not both players have passe after on another. it was play - pass - play - pass. so player B gets priority again. let say he passes. now its play - pass - play - pass - pass.

    if the stack was empty we would now move to the combat phase. it is not so the consecutive passing results in the top spell on the stack being resolved. in this case this is the counterspell. when it resolves it removes the blightning from the stack. if a spell liek a creature would be countered it would now be put into its owners graveyard.

    with only blightning and counterspell on the stack, it would now be empty and the active player would recive priority.

    what if player B played blightning and lightning bolt befor he passed and player A played the counter targeting blightning ?

    we will start looking at the scenario when the counterspell resolves. everything is as befor the blightning is countered. no only the lightning bolt is on the stack. will it resolve now ? no. after each resolution the active player gains priority. once he passes player A gains priority just like above. this happen after the resolution of every effect on the stack.

    in most cases this is deal with in a reduced manner. sometimes players ask things like resolve all spells now ? what that means is we both pass after each resolution and move on to the next.

    it is however not unimportant. here is a quick example. player B has played 9 spells this turn. player A has a Children of Korlis in play. player B now plays Tendrils of Agony.

    ther will be 10 x tendrils on the stack. after 9 have resolved player A will have lost 18 live. he can now sacrifice the children to gain 18 life befor the last tendrils resolves. thus he only looses 2 life. quite a diffrence to loosing 20 ^^.

    ok i think this is enough fopr now. yes there is more :P there is handeling static effects, triggers and when they go on the stack etc. but thats a bit too much for now. try digesting this first

  3. #3
    Arix's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    I'm going to try to simplify that a bit and see what happens.

    1. At the beginning of each step, except the untap step and the cleanup step (that is, the very first and very last steps of a turn), the active player (the player whose turn it is) receives priority. This means they can cast spells and activated abilities.
    2. If the active player decides to play a spell or ability, it goes on the stack (and goes through a bunch of other steps that are irrelevant here). Once that's done, they get priority again and can choose to respond with another spell or ability.
    3. Once the active player doesn't want to do anything else (or if they didn't do anything in the first place), priority gets passed to the next player in turn order.
    4. This repeats until every player has passed priority in succession without adding to the stack. Once this happens, the object on top of the stack resolves.
    5. Once the top object has resolved, the active player again receives priority.
    6. This repeats until the stack is empty. Once all players pass in succession with an empty stack, the game moves on to the next step or phase.

    That's all you really need to know about priority. There are some other things about it, but they're mostly specific situations.
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  4. #4
    hunts23 is offline Common
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    so i have a question about priority if i have a creature that hase an ability and my apponent hase a creature with an ability and their abilities efect each other does the player that have priority get to use their ability first or is it a race to who does it first for example i have blinding mage and my apponent also has blinding mage and i have priority do i get to chose to tap his blinding mage before he uses his ability on me?

  5. #5
    Arix's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    Physical speed has no place in Magic. Whoever has priority can activate their Mage.

    Keep in mind that before the ability resolves, you have to pass priority to your opponent, who can then use that to activate their own Mage.
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  6. #6
    Psyduck is offline Uncommon
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    so who has priority when u have both have blinding mage

  7. #7
    Arix's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    The active player always starts with priority. Then it passes in turn order.
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  8. #8
    hunts23 is offline Common
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    so then blinding mage only helps when your attacking and when you dont want a creature to attack because blinding mage cant stop a creature from using their ability when its your opponents turn is that correct?

  9. #9
    Kappu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    It's not so much that it can't stop the creature from using it's ability more than when you use your creatures ability it goes on a stack and then your opponent gets priority to use his ability so then the stack looks like this.

    Your ability on Stack
    There ability on stack

    Imagine that it is stacked your ability is on the bottom of your opponents, which leads to the "Last In First Out" rule which means that your opponents ability resolves make your ability just fizzle due to your creature being tapped before your ability could resolve.

    So yes Blinding Mage is more helpful for you to use prior to thier attack phase, but the problem your getting is that you are both running the creature and that is screwing you is that he can just wait for you to activate your ability and halt you from doing so.

  10. #10
    Arix's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    ...no, he can't. Tapping your Mage with his Mage while its ability is on the stack won't prevent the ability.
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  11. #11
    guyarney is offline Uncommon
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    Sorry Kappu, but you're quite wrong here.

    Only Stifle, Trickbind, and a couple of other cards stop activated and/or triggered abilities from resolving. Removing a permanent from the battlefield in any way shape or form does not stop it's ability from resolving once it's been activated or triggered.

    Example:
    It's my turn. I have priority and cast Nekrataal.
    You get priority and do nothing.

    I get priority and do nothing. Nekrataal resolves/enters the battlefield thereby triggering its ability - I target your Prodigal Sorcerer with Nekrataal's ability.
    You get priority and respond by activating Prodigal Sorcerer's ability targeting Nekrataal.

    I get priority and do nothing.
    You get priority and do nothing.
    Since all players pass priority, the stack resolves.

    Nekrataal takes lethal damage and is put into my graveyard.
    Prodigal Sorcerer is then destroyed by the Nekrataal's ability even though Nekrataal is no longer on the battlefield.

    I get priority and the process begins again.
    Correct me if I'm wrong Arix.

  12. #12
    Kappu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    What I mean by his ability fizzling is that it resolves but the mage is already tapped so his ability really did nothing since they person used his or her mages ability this was for instance when someone is tapping a mage in which case the other person taps there mage. The kids at my local shop do this all the time not knowing that it dosn't matter since both will be tapped in the end anyhow. Like if you read his post he is talking about blinding mage. So aside from maybe using a wrong term I was correct in what I stated his opponent can tap his mage as well but it makes no difference....... because they are both going to be tapped regardless.

    The best choice would be say:

    Opponent wants to tap your mage you gain priority and use your mage ability to tap another of his creatures getting at least some use outta the mage when the stack resolves. My bad for lack of explaination in my post before since I know the ability will resolve even if something happens. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #13
    Arix's Avatar
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    Default Re: mtg how does priority work

    Just keep in mind that the word "fizzle" has a meaning when it comes to Magic rules - "countered due to lack if legal target". Try to stay away from terms that mean something to the rules when explaining something, unless you actually mean those terms. Just makes things easier to understand for all.
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