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My opponent has a number of illusion creatures on the board. Let's just say they're Phantasmal Bear.

I cast a Lightning Bolt on one bear. I then respond to my own bolt with a Wild Ricochet, which gives my original bolt a new target, and copies the bolt.

Assuming my original bolt targeted Bear A, and I redirected it to Bear B, and I target Bear C with the copied bolt, are all three bears sacrificed by my opponent? When does that sacrifice have to take place?

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2 Answers 2

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Yes, all three bears are sacrificed, as they were all at some point the target of a spell or ability. Because the stack is "last in, first out," spells & abilities resolve in the opposite order that they were placed on the stack; thus, the order of events after resolving Wild Ricochet is as follows:

  • Bears B and C are sacrificed. The order in which this happens is decided by their controller immediately after Wild Ricochet resolves, but it doesn't have to be carried out immediately, and actions may be taken after sacrificing one and before sacrificing the other.

  • The copy of the Lightning Bolt tries to resolve, and it fizzles due to lack of a living target.

  • Bear A is sacrificed

  • The original Lightning Bolt tries to resolve and fizzles.

Additional spells & abilities may be cast/activated and resolved in between these steps, but (unless the Bears die earlier, or a Stifle or Time Stop or the like is involved), they can only delay the sacrifices, not eliminate them or change their order.

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Two things: 1) you could change the order by targeting bear A with something else, which according to your answer would cause it to be sacrificed first. 2) Do you have a citation for them being sacrificed as the spell tries to resolve and not when the spell is announced? –  corsiKa Oct 23 '13 at 19:07
    
1) True, I forgot that option. 2) I never said anything was sacrified "as" a spell tries to resolve. The sacrifice from being targeted by a spell happens after the spell is cast and before the spell resolves. –  jwodder Oct 23 '13 at 19:09
    
Allow me to rephrase my followup question then: Do you have a citation for Bear A being sacrificed after Bears B and C, and not being sacrificed immediately after the original Bolt is announced, paid for, cast and goes on the stack? –  corsiKa Oct 23 '13 at 19:13
    
You said that you "respond to [your] own bolt with a Wild Ricochet," which means that you cast the Wild Ricochet immediately after casting Lightning Bolt, without passing priority, and thus you have given Bear A's sacrifice trigger no time to resolve. Triggered abilities don't have to be resolved immediately, after all; you can still take actions in response to them that resolve before they do. –  jwodder Oct 23 '13 at 19:15
    
Ah, so we're looking at... Bolt, Bear A's trigger, Ricochet, pass priority with no shenanigans on any account, Bolt redirect (B's trigger) and Bolt copy (C's trigger), B and C sac, copy fizzles because C is gone, A sac, bolt fizzles because B is gone. Is that right? –  corsiKa Oct 23 '13 at 19:55

603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as "[Trigger condition], [effect]," and begin with the word "when," "whenever," or "at." They can also be expressed as "[When/Whenever/At] [trigger event], [effect]."

The bear's ability is a triggered ability.

603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that's not a card the next time a player would receive priority. See rule 116, "Timing and Priority." The ability becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. It remains on the stack until it's countered, it resolves, a rule causes it to be removed from the stack, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

After you cast the lightning bolt, you are a player and you get priority, bear A's sacrifice ability is put on the stack. You still have priority. You cast the ricochet.

So the stack looks like this:

  • Wild Ricochet
  • BearA Sacrifice
  • Lightning Bolt

Then if everyone passes, wild ricochet resolves. As it resolves you choose to target bears B and C.

Now the stack looks like this:

  • BearB/C Sacrifice
  • BearB/C Sacrifice
  • (copy) Lightning Bolt
  • BearA Sacrifice
  • Lightning Bolt

If all players pass priority after each ability resolves then the bears would be sacrificed in the order you see on the stack.

Between each sacrifice ability resolving, priority passes and players can add to the top of the stack.

So yes all three are sacrificed, and none of them are actually dealt any damage.

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That is a good point. –  Pow-Ian Oct 23 '13 at 19:56
1  
I think you forgot to change the stack illustration, shouldn't there be 2 lightning bolts in place of that wild richochet since it has already resolved? –  Colin D Oct 23 '13 at 20:00
    
You Are Right again. –  Pow-Ian Oct 23 '13 at 20:03
1  
The only target you choose when casting Wild Ricochet is the spell to redirect & copy. The targets for the redirection and copy aren't chosen until Wild Ricochet resolves, so Bears B and C aren't sacrificed until after that happens. –  jwodder Oct 23 '13 at 20:21
    
That is a really good point. –  Pow-Ian Oct 23 '13 at 20:23

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