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My guess is that the player who controlled Wurmcoil Engine doesn't get the tokens because Mimic Vat's exile resolves first and the creature doesn't land in the graveyard. Am I correct?

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You might have been onto something if Mimic Vat read something like "if a nontoken creature would go to the graveyard, exile it instead". As it is, the creature very much has to die (go to the graveyard) before you even get an opportunity to exile the card. And as soon as the Wurmcoil hits the graveyard, your tokens will also be on their way to you by express delivery, whether or not the card stays there for long. –  thesunneversets Oct 22 '11 at 7:36

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your interpretation is incorrect.

Each card has a triggered ability. The current oracle rules are:

Wurmcoil Engine

When Wurmcoil Engine dies, put a 3/3 colorless Wurm artifact creature token with deathtouch and a 3/3 colorless Wurm artifact creature token with lifelink onto the battlefield.

Mimic Vat

Imprint — Whenever a nontoken creature dies, you may exile that card. If you do, return each other card exiled with Mimic Vat to its owner's graveyard.

{3},{T} : Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of the exiled card. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.

So both triggered abilities go on the stack when the non-token Wurmcoil Engine dies. What is confusing you is that they do not immediately resolve. (See section 603 of the Comprehensive Rules.) Technically, whoever has priority puts their triggered ability on the stack first, but in this case, it doesn't matter much.

Therefore, the controller of the Wurmcoil Engine gets the two artifact tokens and the controller of the Mimic Vat may have the Wurmcoil Engine imprinted on their Mimic Vat. If they choose to do so, the Wurmcoil Engine card is exiled and any other imprinted card is returned to the owner's graveyard.

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Thanks for the answer. –  Adam Arold Oct 24 '11 at 8:10
    
I have profited from this many a time when playing with my Mimic Vat. –  JSBձոգչ Nov 19 '11 at 20:54

If and when a Wurmcoil Engine dies and goes to the graveyard, its ability will trigger and go on the stack. If it was a non-token creature at the time it died, Mimics Vat will also trigger at the same time and go on the stack. The active player decides the order in which they are put on the stack, but either way, both effects will resolve unless countered. Meaning: for a non-token Wurmcoil Engine, 2 tokens will be created and it can be exiled with the Vat.

A Wurmcoil Engine (or a token copy thereof) that gets exiled neither gives tokens nor triggers the Vat. However, if you have a way to destroy or sacc a Wurmcoil Engine token before it is exiled, the token Engine will also create its 2 smaller tokens, though still not trigger the Vat.

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I'm confused by the second paragraph. When you sac the Wurmcoil Engine, it dies. Whatever exile effect was targeting it doesn't have a permanent to target anymore. Normal death triggers will go on the stack, including Mimic Vat's. –  Alex P Oct 22 '11 at 18:32
    
@AlexP: Hackworth is talking about sacrificing a token Wurmcoil Engine, and Mimic Vat's ability only triggers when a nontoken dies. –  jwodder Oct 23 '11 at 0:09
    
Gotcha. I think I technically the token dying still puts the Vat's trigger on the stack, you just can't carry out the trigger because there's nothing to exile. –  Alex P Oct 23 '11 at 1:10
    
@AlexP No… The Vat says "Whenever a nontoken creature dies" so a token dying would not trigger the Vat. –  ghoppe Oct 23 '11 at 18:33
    
@ghoppe Lol, forgot to look at the text of Vat itself. Yeah, nevermind! –  Alex P Oct 23 '11 at 21:33

The players gets the tokens. The key here is that both the abilities are triggered abilities and no replacement effects. If it would have been worded something like: "If a creature would be put into your graveyard from play you may exile it instead. If you do imprint that creature on ~this~.". Then the creature would never be put into the graveyard and the creature's "When put into graveyard" would not trigger.

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