When I cast a creature with an ability that costs 2 mana to gain hexproof.Can I activate its ability as I'm casting it ?

  • Which card is this? Horror of the Dim comes to mind, but that only costs one mana and I'm aware of a creature that costs 2. The wording could be important here - or it might be irrelevant, but I'd be interested to know the answer to this. Oct 18 '13 at 16:41


The only kind of abilities you can possibly activate during casting are mana abilities.

Even if you could activate arbitrary abilities, you couldn't activate its ability because that ability (like most) can only be activated when the object on which it resides is on the battlefield. From the time you start casting the creature until it resolves, it's on the stack.

Finally, hexproof (like most static abilities) only work when the object on which it resides is on the battlefield, so even if he spell had hexproof (e.g. Ascended Lawmage being cast), it wouldn't have any effect whatsoever.

  • Does this mean hexproof creatures can still be countered whilst they're being cast? Oct 18 '13 at 17:05
  • 3
    Yes, static abilities of permanents only function while the card is on the battlefield unless otherwise stated or required. Hexproof does nothing while a card is on the stack. (Neither does, Protection From Blue, for example.)
    – Affe
    Oct 18 '13 at 17:08
  • 2
    @Jonathan Hobbs, Correct. You'd find "This can't be countered" to prevent it from countered. (It can target, you'd find ""This can't be countered by spells or abilities" so it could still be countered for lack of valid targets, though.) See Thrun, the Last Troll
    – ikegami
    Oct 18 '13 at 17:25
  • @ikegami Thrun isn't the best example because he also has hexproof (he's so hipster he had hexproof before it was called hexproof). I think a better example would be Loxodon Smiter.
    – corsiKa
    Oct 18 '13 at 22:38
  • 2
    @corsiKa, Quite the contrary, Thrun is a better example because it has hexproof. If hexproof prevented countering, there would be no need for Thrun's additional ability.
    – ikegami
    Oct 18 '13 at 23:16

Really depends on what you mean, a real example would help a lot.

You can respond to a spell on the stack by activating an ability, yes (assuming there is no timing restriction and that the spell doesn't have Split Second). But you can't activate the ability of the spell itself while it's not in play and still on the stack. It means that you can't give your spell hexproof (and that doesn't make any sense anyway) to prevent countermagic for example.

Each players receive priority before each elements of the stack resolve. Every time you receive the priority, you can do things as long as you respect timing restrictions. But you can't activate an ability during the resolution of a spell (you can't split the spell in two even if it has 2 sentences). For example, you can't activate Elixir of Immortality during the resolution of Brainstorm (shuffling your deck after you draw only 1 or 2 cards).

  • Your brainstorm example is in contrast to something like Jace's Ingenuity where you can draw the first card, cast it if it's an instant, activate elixir to shuffle, and potentially draw it again with the next two draws.
    – corsiKa
    Oct 18 '13 at 22:47
  • 1
    @corsiKa, No, you can't activate or cast anything between Ingenuity's draws. Like dnLL said, you don't get priority during the resolution of spell.
    – ikegami
    Oct 19 '13 at 1:47

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