The following situation came up in an EDH game and I'm not sure what is supposed to happen. I control a Cathars' Crusade, Nahiri, the Lithomancer and a Skullclamp on the battlefield.

I activate Nahiri's +2 and equip the Skullclamp to the 1/1 Kor token that is created. Does the 1/1 get the passive +1/+1 bonus from Cathars' Crusade before or after the Skullclamp gets equipped? This determines whether I get to kill my own token to draw cards or not.

  • 2
    I notice you use the word "passive" when describing Cathars' Crusade. It is a passive, in that it's not an activated ability, but calling it that can be confusing. The important distinction is between a static ability and a triggered ability (both of which are passive). If Cathars' said "Each creature you control enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter." it would be static, and would keep the Kor in question alive. Because it uses the word "when*" it's a triggered ability that uses the stack.
    – Samthere
    Sep 7, 2015 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


You will lose your token because the equipment is attached when instructed, but triggered abilities use the stack. On the plus side, you will be able to draw cards.

  1. You activate Nahiri's +2. It goes on the stack.
  2. [Players get priority]
  3. Nahiri's +2 resolves:
    1. Put a 1/1 white Kor Soldier creature token onto the battlefield. Cathars' Crusade's ability triggers.
    2. You may attach an Equipment to the Kor Soldier at this point. Say you attach Skullclamp to it.
  4. The Kor Soldier with Skullclamp equipped dies here. Skullclamp's triggered ability triggers.
  5. Cathars' Crusade's ability and Skullclamp's triggered ability are placed on the stack in the order of your choice. The order doesn't matter here, so say you place Skullclamp's triggered ability on the stack first.
  6. [Players get priority]
  7. Cathars' Crusade's ability resolves:
    1. Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
  8. [Players get priority]
  9. Skullclamp's ability resolves:
    1. Draw two cards.

Glorious Anthem would have saved your token since the token would be affected by Glorious Anthem's continuous effect at all times both are on the battlefield.

  • This is because Cathar's is triggered, correct? [mtg:Glorious Anthem] would keep it alive?
    – deworde
    Sep 7, 2015 at 7:55
  • @deworde Yes. Glorious Anthem is a static ability and so applies constantly; i.e. it is being already applied whenever state-based actions are checked. This also works because Skullclamp is attached as the token is created. Attaching Skullclamp normally would happen after the triggered ability resolves.
    – Samthere
    Sep 7, 2015 at 13:32

The token dies, and you get to draw the cards. Here's how it works, specifically:

  1. You activate Nahiri's +2 ability. The ability resolves, you put a Kor token into play, and attach the Skullclamp to it.
  2. Cathars' Crusade's triggered ability goes on the stack.
  3. State-based actions are calculated. The token has 0 toughness, so it dies. Skullclamp's triggered ability goes on the stack.
  4. Skullclamp's ability resolves and you draw two cards.
  5. Cathars' Crusade's ability resolves, and each creature you control gets a +1/+1 counter. The token you just made doesn't get a counter because it is already dead.

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