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I came across this issue with my friend a while ago and came up with many possible answers:

How many golems will you get if you copy Precursor Golem with a kicked Rite of Replication?

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It depends on how many golems you have in play when the Rite of Replication is cast. –  Origami Robot Dec 3 '12 at 22:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The short answer, assuming that your Precursor Golem still has (exactly) his two buddies with him: 28. The sequence goes something like this:

  1. Rite of Replication (kicked) targets Precursor Golem. Note that the text of Rite now effectively reads 'Put five tokens that are copies of target creature onto the battlefield', and the copies of Rite of Replication will all copy that version of the text. (From rule 706.10: "A copy of a spell or ability copies both the characteristics of the spell or ability and all decisions made for it, including modes, targets, the value of X, and additional or alternative costs.")
  2. Precursor Golem's ability copies Rite and targets the 'lesser' golems (the ones without the 'make extra golems' ability); note that these copies of Rite go on the stack on top of the original Rite (this isn't relevant here, but can be if you kick another Rite!)
  3. The copies of Rite resolve, each one making an additional five 'dumb' golems; this puts 10 new golems into play. You now have 1 Precursor Golem and 12 'dumb' golems.
  4. The original Rite resolves, making five additional Precursor Golems. Each of the five 'make two dumb golems' abilities of these new Precursor Golems goes on the stack. Right now you have 6 Precursor Golems and 12 dumb golems.
  5. The new Precursors' token-making abilities resolve, giving you 10 more dumb golems. You end up with 6 Precursor Golems and 22 dumb golems.

Beyond this - well, beyond this things get interesting. The next step in the sequence - a second kicked Rite - brings you up to more than four million Golems; for the details, see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L_FIQrjBdh5J66KKAT2JJ2gTx1KfbXJUfXrdydjzhrY/edit - which also goes into what happens if you kick yet a third Rite...

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I thought it would be (3 * 5 * 3 ) +3 which would be 48 as there will be 15 original golems * 3 which would be 45 + the original 3 which would make it 48. –  wesdfgfgd Dec 5 '12 at 15:00
    
You only cast one spell. –  ikegami Dec 5 '12 at 16:56
    
Precursor golems copy the state of the spell that targeted on to it. So if you cast a kicked rite of replication spell it would copy 5 time on 3 golems. Then each those golems would make 3 a piece. Then add in original 3 to start with. –  wesdfgfgd Dec 5 '12 at 18:46
    
wesdfgfg Not all of those golems have the 'when this comes into play, put two additional golems into play' - that's a triggered ability on the original Precursor Golem but NOT on the 'dumb' golems it makes. (And a good thing - otherwise you'd have an infinite loop!) –  Steven Stadnicki Dec 5 '12 at 18:57
    
Oh right. The normal golems don't make copies –  wesdfgfgd Dec 5 '12 at 19:04

For a kicked Rite of Replication, you will get

  • 15 new golems for each Precursor Golem on the battlefield (Five new Precursor Golems which will create two Golem tokens each)
  • 5 new golems for each other golem on the battlefield

So if you have a Precorsor golem and the two tokens it created, you will get 25 new golems for a total of 28 golems.

Note: Your Rite of Replication will be copied for any golems other players control.

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