In Magic the gathering you have the concept of priority. This gives every players a chance to respond to every one's spells. But I knew you could keep priority between spells. Playing a spell and without passing priority (and without this spell to resolve), play another.

Until now, I was okay with that and understood it but I thought it was only for instant speed.

In this Video, at 4m15, Reid Duke explain a play with Kor Spiritdancer and an Aura spell. He said : "You go Kor Spiritdancer and without passing priority you cast an Aura...". This making him draw a card even if his opponent has a response to Kor Spiritdancer.

My question is, if it is possible to keep priority between non-instant spells, when can you keep priority? What is the rules for that? In my exemple, why did the Kor Spiritdancer resolved? what if his opponent wanted to counterspell it?

Thanks in advance.

  • you should check out the MTG comprehensive rule: 116. Timing and Priority
    – Colin D
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 14:35
  • 4
    He misspoke, or at least was unclear, in the video. He said "you get to draw a card whether they have removal or not; whether they have a counterspell or not". Really, it's just removal that doesn't stop you from drawing a card. If they have counterspell, and they counter Kor, then you don't get a card. But you do if they counter the aura.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


I believe you have slightly misunderstood the explanation in the video, and you misunderstand how priority works and the difference between instants and noninstant spells (from the Comprehensive Rules: "A player may cast an instant spell any time he or she has priority. A player may cast a noninstant spell during his or her main phase any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty"; what happens next is the same for both types).

In the video, Reid is explaining how to draw a card before losing your Kor Spiritdancer to any creature destruction effects (such as Doom Blade, which he mentioned by name). Your opponent may not cast any creature destruction effects until 1) the creature exists (i.e. the spell has resolved) and 2) the opponent has priority.

The mtgsalvation wiki has the text of the priority rules; here 117.3 and 117.4 are particularly important:

  • 117.3. Which player has priority is determined by the following rules:
    • 117.3a The active player receives priority at the beginning of most steps and phases, after any turn-based actions (such as drawing a card during the draw step; see rule 703) have been dealt with and abilities that trigger at the beginning of that phase or step have been put on the stack. No player receives priority during the untap step. Players usually don't get priority during the cleanup step (see rule 514.3).
    • 117.3b The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves.
    • 117.3c If a player has priority when he or she casts a spell, activates an ability, or takes a special action, that player receives priority afterward.
    • 117.3d If a player has priority and chooses not to take any actions, that player passes. If any mana is in that player's mana pool, he or she announces what mana is there. Then the next player in turn order receives priority.
  • 117.4. If all players pass in succession (that is, if all players pass without taking any actions in between passing), the spell or ability on top of the stack resolves or, if the stack is empty, the phase or step ends.

The sequence Reid is describing works like this:

  1. Cast Kor Spiritdancer and pay its costs; it is now on the stack.
  2. You still have priority (117.3c); pass it to your opponent (117.3d).
  3. Your opponent may do something, e.g. counterspell. Let's say that they don't do anything. They pass priority (117.3d again).
  4. Kor Spiritdancer resolves (117.4). You now have priority again (117.3b).
  5. Cast an Aura; it goes on the stack and Kor Spiritdancer's triggered ability (whenever you play an Aura spell card, you may draw a card, goes on the stack).
  6. You may now pass priority, and now your opponent may cast some instant or activate some ability that removes the creature from play, but you still got one card draw.

Note that if you have some way to play auras at instant speed (e.g. the aura has flash, you have a card like Vedalken Orrery in play), you can cast multiple auras in succession without passing priority, although of course none of them will resolve before your opponent has a chance to play creature removal.

  • Can I understand that my opponent does not have any priority when My create enter the battlefield? Or it is only when it has a "enter the battlefield" trigger? Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 14:42
  • @Sinity, "116.3b The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves." If you cast the creature on your turn, you get priority when it resolves. If you cast the creature on someone else's turn (e.g. if it has Flash), they get priority when it resolves. (Avoid asking negated questions like that.)
    – ikegami
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:02
  • 1
    I think what Sinity was getting at was: If I control an Essence Warden or something with a similar triggered ability, my opponent can Doom Blade my Spiritdancer after it enters the battlefield, but before I can play an aura. Even though I initially retain priority, I have to pass it to get the "gain 1 life" ability off the stack, before I can play "sorcery speed" spells. That gives my opponent a window of opportunity.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 16:05
  • 3
    Note that in a formal setting you'll have to be careful about this - the normal shortcut is "Whenever a player adds an object to the stack, he or she is assumed to be passing priority unless he or she explicitly announces that he or she intends to retain it."
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 16:20
  • 2
    @Jefromi, I don't think that applies to this situation. In order to pull of the "trick", you don't put 2 objects on the stack without passing priority. Rather, you wait for 1 object to resolve (which involves passing priority anyway), and THEN cast another spell. Tournament shortcuts don't stop you as the active player from getting priority after a spell resolves.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 17:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .