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So, this recently happened to me in playtesting:

It's my upkeep. My opponent casts Mistbind Clique.

Mistbind Clique

I don't have a relevant counter, but I do have Path to Exile. He has multiple fairies on the field, as well as enough mana to animate his Mutavault, so I can't get a two-for-one by Pathing anything before the Clique resolves. I let the Clique resolve.

Mistbind Clique's champion trigger goes on the stack. In response, I Path the Clique before its champion trigger resolves.

Path resolves.

What happens when the Clique's champion ability resolves after it's already been exiled?

My understanding is that my opponent still gets the option to exile a faerie (which would stay exiled, since the Clique has already left the battlefield). If he does so, though, does the Clique's tap-down ability apply?

When a Faerie is championed with Mistbind Clique, tap all lands target player controls.

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This is a really good question, I'm going backwards and forwards on what I think the answer is! –  thesunneversets Apr 2 '12 at 17:07
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

You are correct in thinking your opponent still gets the option to exile a faerie. However, if he/she does so, the Clique's tap-down ability does not apply.

Mistbind Clique's ability reads "When a Faerie is championed with Mistbind Clique, tap all lands target player controls." The when there implies that it is a triggered ability:

112.3c 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." Whenever the trigger event occurs, the ability is put on the stack the next time a player would receive priority and stays there until it's countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 603, "Handling Triggered Abilities."

Since Mistbind Clique is no longer present on the battlefield when the Champion triggered ability resolves, the tapping triggered ability will not trigger.

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Out of interest, what sort of ability on Mistbind Clique (other than a triggered ability) would enable the tapping to take place? Given the way Champion is (key)worded, I'm having trouble visualising any way a subsequent ability could be worded to allow it to still take place, given that the Clique has been removed in response to the Champion triggered ability. –  thesunneversets Apr 2 '12 at 17:19
    
Aha, so the crux of the argument is that they're entirely separate abilities? That's definitely borne out by the formatting of the card. –  Alex P Apr 2 '12 at 17:19
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@thesunneversets If it were actually part of the Champion ability, that would work - like "Champion a Faerie (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another Faerie you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.) If you do, tap all lands target player controls." –  Ian Pugsley Apr 2 '12 at 17:22
    
Makes sense! Ta! –  thesunneversets Apr 2 '12 at 17:30
    
+1 for a correct answer that was much more confident than my somewhat cautious attempt... which I've deleted accordingly! –  thesunneversets Apr 4 '12 at 9:08
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You said yourself, you Pathed the Clique before its champion trigger resolves, so it would make little sense to assume that your opponent still exiles another faerie.

If your opponent had exiled another faerie, then of course the tap-down ability would apply, but since the champion trigger didn´t even resolve, there also is nothing to tap-down - simple as that.

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I agree that exiling a Faerie to the champion trigger after the Clique has left the field would be a 2-for-1. In the context of the original scenario, though, it might still be worthwhile if you got to use the tap-down ability (in the original situation, tapping down all my lands with Mistbind was the only way for my opponent to avoid a soft lock long enough to kill me with dudes -- of course, as Ian wrote, it doesn't actually work that way). –  Alex P May 22 '12 at 17:55
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