I am very new to the game, and I have a basic question about the mechanics. Some spells have multiple abilities; for instance, the creature Azorius Guildmage has two abilities, and it is my understanding that you can play any one of them whenever you have priority and have enough mana to pay the cost.
However, spells with abilities that cost nothing confuse me. Take Intellectual Offering, for example. Are you forced to play both abilities when you cast the spell? Is that because those are spell abilities, whereas in the first example above they are activated abilities? Is the following outline of what is supposed to happen when you play that spell correct? (Assuming we have priority.)
- Pay the mana cost, add Intellectual Offering on the stack.
- If it resolves, do as instructed (choose one opponent for each ability and apply the effects).
Since the abilities are both spell abilities, they don't go on the stack. So there is no counterplay possible once Intellectual Offering resolves. Is that correct?