I played a Lightning Bolt during my turn (3 damage to target creature or player) to kill a face down creature. Then, my opponent said he was going to morph the creature which was a 0/5 defender with flying (Monastery Flock).

Can my opponent morph a dead creature, or does morphing the creature save it because it is a 0/5 and Lightning Bolt only deals 3 damage?

  • 2
    You might want to have a look at the basic rules, which will answer a lot of questions you might run into. (For this case, they'll mention the stack.)
    – Cascabel
    Apr 6, 2015 at 4:53
  • Just an aside, Morphing doesn't use the stack.
    – John
    Apr 6, 2015 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


Yes morphing will save it because your opponent will get a chance to respond after you cast your spell and there is a ruling related to morphing the card that would apply here.

Any time you have priority, you may turn the face-down creature face up by revealing what its morph cost is and paying that cost. This is a special action. It doesn’t use the stack and can’t be responded to. Only a face-down permanent can be turned face up this way; a face-down spell cannot.

So this would allow him to morph it and turn it into a 0/5 creature which would save it.

  • 4
    I think this warrants a bit of explanation - the OP said "can he morph a dead creature?" But the creature isn't dead yet when they cast Lightning Bolt targeting it; Lightning Bolt goes on the stack and everyone gets a chance to respond (as you say) with things including morph but also other instants and activated abilities, and only when that's all done does it resolve and (maybe) kill the creature.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 6, 2015 at 5:37
  • Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. I am still learning things and it is good to have a place like this to ask direct questions and get answers from people in the know! Thanks again everyone!
    – user12298
    Apr 7, 2015 at 5:20
  • 1
    @user12298 If an answer satisfies your question, click on the green check mark to accept it. This rewards the author with a small amount of bonus reputation. You are not obligated to accept an answer if none of them satisfy you, and you can always change the accepted answer if someone writes a better one.
    – Rainbolt
    Apr 8, 2015 at 21:56

As Cascabel said in a comment, the phrasing "Can my opponent morph a dead creature" is a bit inappropriate, because the creature isn't dead. What happens is that when Lightning Bolt is cast, it's put on the stack. If it were to resolve at that point, it would deal damage to the creature, and then the creature would die as a State Based Action. However, before it resolves, your opponent gets priority, and if they use their priority to morph their creature at that point, the Lightning Bolt hasn't resolved yet, and the creature hasn't received damage or died yet.

Since morphing doesn't use the stack, the creature would immediately become a 0/5. There would then be another round of priority, so if you have another Lightning Bolt, you could cast it at this time. But if nothing else happens, the Lightning Bolt would then resolve, and by this time the creature is 0/5, and so would not die.

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