10

Is drawing multiple cards an atomic action, or do effects triggered by drawing a card trigger for each card drawn instead?

Consider Spiteful Visions, which reads:

Whenever a player draws a card, Spiteful Visions deals 1 damage to that player.

If a player were to be compelled to draw more than one card, would that player be dealt the damage all at once, or one at a time? For example, how many times would Circle of Protection: Black need to be activated to prevent all damage?

Furthermore, if there exist additional effects that are triggered by damage dealt in this way, are such effects resolved together atomically or is each resultant effect resolved individually?


How about tutors, or other cards not using the word 'draw', eg: Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar

If you would draw a card, look at the top three cards of your library instead. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

  • Abilities resolve one at a time, so multiple instances of an ability that "deals 1 damage to that player" cannot possibly deal N damage simultaneously. – ikegami Dec 10 '14 at 16:16
  • Are you asking whether Tomorrow's ability would cause Spiteful Visions to trigger or whether the cards put in your hand by Tomorrow are put there one at a time? – murgatroid99 Dec 10 '14 at 17:31
12

Spiteful Visions would trigger once for each card drawn, so if you cast Divination to draw 2 cards it would trigger twice and you would be dealt 1 damage for each trigger, and CoP:Black would need to be activated twice to prevent all the damage. Anything that triggers off of this damage would then trigger once for each time the artifact triggered.

For Tomorrow it would not trigger because it does not contain the word "Draw", if it doesn't specifically say "Draw" it does not count as drawing cards they are just put into your hand.

  • 1
    This answer is supported by a ruling on Courser of Kruphix: While playing with the top card of your library revealed, if you draw multiple cards, reveal each one before you draw it. – Rainbolt Dec 10 '14 at 14:59
  • Also of note is that each draw can be individually responded to. If you watch professional players, they will never, for example, draw three cards in one swipe. The will draw one, carefully and visibly look at it, and then move it to their hand, and then repeat this action for each of their cards. Of course, they still do all this faster than I could draw them in one go, because they do it so much. – corsiKa Dec 10 '14 at 19:29
  • 8
    @corsiKa, No, you cannot respond in the middle of "draw 2 cards". – ikegami Dec 10 '14 at 20:09
  • 1
    If you want to not depend on 120.2 (though it does make it really clear, I wouldn't call it irrelevant), I think the right rule is 603.2c: "An ability triggers only once each time its trigger event occurs. However, it can trigger repeatedly if one event contains multiple occurrences." Beyond that, the main thing to point to is cards that use the "one or more" phrasing like Sidisi - if they really want only one trigger for multiple occurrences, they make it clear. – Cascabel Dec 10 '14 at 23:55
  • 3
    @Rainbolt, depending on deck and format, being careful to look closely at the first card drawn each turn is also important for Miracles. – Brian S Dec 11 '14 at 18:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.