My mate just attacked with 2 creatures. One is unblockable and has Hidden Strings as a cypher on it. The other has been blocked by Wall of Frost, which now doesn't untap next untap step. Can hidden strings untap it?

We are assuming it can.

  • Yup. It just prevents that untapping that happens from entering the untap step.
    – ikegami
    Jun 5, 2014 at 14:49
  • Keep in mind that you have to actually announce that Wall of Frost triggered directly after you declare blockers. If you wait until your opponent's next untap step and say, "I blocked him with Wall of Frost, so it can't untap.", then your opponent can say, "Sorry. You missed your trigger." and untap it anyway. This is not likely to happen when playing with friends (unless your friend is a jerk), but I wanted to point it out in case you decide to play in a tournament.
    – Rainbolt
    Jun 5, 2014 at 16:54
  • 1
    @Rusher: I don't think that's consistent with the current missed trigger policy. As there is no visible indication or targeting, the triggered ability is assumed to have resolved, and its controller only needs to demonstrate awareness when it would first have an effect (opponent's next untap step).
    – Hao Ye
    Jun 5, 2014 at 17:00
  • @HaoYe I watched the Wall of Frost missed trigger happen during Grand Prix Oakland, and (according to the commentators) it sounded like the judge ruled that the trigger was missed, but I can't find the exact video among the hours of coverage on Youtube. I watched it happen again with Triton Tactics during a recent tournament with Luis-Scott Vargas playing, but I don't know if that's exactly the same case because Triton Tactics' trigger is slightly different. In both cases, the player pointed a finger as if to say "That shouldn't untap.", and in both cases they were overruled.
    – Rainbolt
    Jun 5, 2014 at 18:24
  • @Rusher, That's weird because that goes against the current rules. A Missed Trigger is defined as "A triggered ability triggers, but the player controlling the ability doesn’t demonstrate awareness of the trigger’s existence the first time that it would affect the game in a visible fashion." For this type of of ability, awareness is demonstrated as follows: "The controller must prevent an opponent from taking any resulting illegal action." In other words, all you are required to do to avoid a Missed Trigger error here is to prevent the creature from untapping.
    – ikegami
    Jun 5, 2014 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


Yes it can because Wall of frost says:

Whenever Wall of Frost blocks a creature, that creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

But it doesn't say anything about untapping by another way.

  • I never liked the wording of these texts. Does it mean that it can't untap during the untap step at all? Or simply that the untap step doesn't cause it to untap. For example, I could imagine a card: "When you untap this card, untap all other permanents you control". Surely this triggered ability could untap them on your untap step.
    – Cruncher
    Jun 5, 2014 at 18:45
  • 3
    @Cruncher no, the triggered ability would go on the stack during your upkeep and untap the permanents during your upkeep. Only one thing ever happens during the untap step.
    – David Z
    Jun 5, 2014 at 19:36
  • 2
    @Cruncher - David is correct, as per 502.3. No player receives priority during the untap step, so no spells can be cast or resolve and no abilities can be activated or resolve. Any ability that triggers during this step will be held until the next time a player would receive priority, which is usually during the upkeep step. (See rule 503, "Upkeep Step.")
    – corsiKa
    Jun 5, 2014 at 20:31
  • @corsiKa / David Z, thanks. I'll leave my comment there as it's probably relevant for other who may make the same mistake.
    – Cruncher
    Jun 5, 2014 at 20:35
  • 2
    502.3 is fairly relevant in the current standard, as inspired triggers and upkeep triggers will get put on the stack at the same time, meaning they can potentially be reordered. (e.g. Pain Seer and Thassa, God of the Sea)
    – Hao Ye
    Jun 6, 2014 at 1:40

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