Lets say that at my opponent's end step I cast Bile Blight on his Pack Rat that he already has 3 of total on the field, then he activates the ability of pack rat in response, can I respond to the new pack rat resolving with Golgari charm and kill all 4 rats?

  • 2
    The proper wording is "to respond to him activating the ability", not "to respond to it resolving". e.g. "I cast a spell." "In response, I ..."
    – ikegami
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 18:35
  • Just to make what @ikegami says clear: You cannot respond to a spell resolving. After a spell resolves, the active player gets priority. There is no way for the non-active player to say at this point "before anything else, I do X". The active player has to pass before the non active player can do anything. Just bringing this up because it is a common misconception among newer players.
    – Trying
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 20:23
  • @jakeP Is "respond" actual official terminology in the rules, or just a common English word being used here? If the latter, then there's nothing wrong with "responding" to a spell having resolved. It would just mean taking an action that you are taking as a response to what just happened.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 21:34
  • @GendoIkari From the comprehensive rules, 116.7: "If a player with priority casts a spell or activates an activated ability while another spell or ability is already on the stack, the new spell or ability has been cast or activated “in response to” the earlier spell or ability. The new spell or ability will resolve first." The glossary entry for "Respond" (specifically "respond", as opposed to "in response to" in case you feel the phrasing is relevant) reiterates this and references 116.7
    – Trying
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 22:09
  • I should of worded it more clearly. I had meant to ask if the 4th rat would be in play if I cast the GC while the ability resolves. Since an ability resolving creates a window that give priority to the active player, and if that player then passed priority, I could (technically) be able to cast a spell in response to something resolving. Further digging has shown that it would not be in play yet, but there are several ways to get the result I wished and that I was just over thinking things.
    – Kinetik42
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 23:42

2 Answers 2


Yes, though it happens in a complicated way.

Golgari Charm's first mode creates a continuous effect that modifies characteristics (power and toughness). It only affects the creatures on the 'field when it resolves.

611.2c If a continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability modifies the characteristics or changes the controller of any objects, the set of objects it affects is determined when that continuous effect begins. After that point, the set won’t change. (Note that this works differently than a continuous effect from a static ability.) [...]

(Same goes with Bile Blight. Any Pack Rats entering the field after it resolves won't be affected by it.)

That means the following will happen:

  1. You cast BB
  2. In response, opponent activates his PR's ability
  3. In response, you cast GC
  4. GC resolves: 3x 2/2 PR
  5. PR's ability resolves: 3x 3/3 PR + 1x 4/4 PR
  6. BB resolves: 3x 0/0 PR + 1x 1/1 PR
  7. SBA kills the PR with non-positive toughness: 1x -2/-2 PR
  8. SBA kills the PR with non-positive toughness: No PR

It's a little cleaner if you wait before casting GC.

  1. You cast BB
  2. In response, opponent activates his PR's ability
  3. PR's ability resolves: 4x 4/4 PR
  4. You cast GC
  5. GC resolves: 4x 3/3 PR
  6. BB resolves: 4x 0/0 PR
  7. SBA kills the PR with non-positive toughness: No PR

No matter the order, creating a 5th PR before BB resolves would save them all. But which of the approach you used will affect how strong they are.

  • Using the first approach, he'll end up with 3x 1/1, 2x 2/2.
  • Using the second approach, he'll end up with 4x 1/1 and 1x 2/2.

Here what will happen.

  1. You cast Bile Blight, targetting Pack Rat
  2. Pass Priority
  3. Opponent Activates Pack Rat ability
  4. Opponent passes priority
  5. You cast Golgari Charm (presumably with the -1/-1)
  6. Full priority pass (you and opponent)
  7. Golgari Charm resolves, the current 3 pack rats all get -1/-1 so they are 2/2's now.
  8. Full priority pass (you and opponent)
  9. Pack Rat ability resolves, there are now 4. The original 3 are 3/3's, and the 4th is a 4/4.
  10. Full priority pass (you and opponent)
  11. Bile Blight resolves, killing the original 3, then when state based effects are checked the 4th one dies because it's a 1/1 with -3/-3.

Now, if you waited for the pack rat ability to resolve first, then the 4th would end up getting 1 more -1/-1 which although useless in this case, may be relevant if your opponent has more spells. So it is worth doing like this (and it seems this is what you meant in your question)


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