I don't think I understand State Based Actions (SBA) and how they work with Immortal Coil.

I understand that at ANY time I have Immortal Coil on the battlefield with no graveyard, I lose. I understand that I cannot "cast a spell" and have it resolve in time to be put in the graveyard.

However, I saw this question about Sacred Mesa and responding to the trigger by tapping mana, which made me think about Immortal Coil and how I can respond to it.

If I have a Bazaar Trader in play, and play Immortal Coil with no graveyard, can I respond to the triggering of the SBA and tap Bazaar Trader to give it to my opponent? Or do I lose before I can respond to it, because I have no graveyard?

  • Immortal Coil + Bazaar Trader + Tormod's Crypt ... Tehehehe
    – Cameron
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 12:58
  • @Cameron I was playing with Boguka Bog but it's really just mean so I took the cards out. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


That is not a State Based Action; it is a State Triggered Ability, so it goes on the stack, and you have a chance to respond before it resolves. However, the ability will still be there after you respond, so you still lose the game. Rule 603.1 defines triggered abilities:

Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and begin with the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” They can also be expressed as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger event], [effect].”

The ability on Immortal Coil says

When there are no cards in your graveyard, you lose the game.

so it matches that description.

Rule 603.8 describes state triggered ablities:

Some triggered abilities trigger when a game state (such as a player controlling no permanents of a particular card type) is true, rather than triggering when an event occurs. These abilities trigger as soon as the game state matches the condition. They’ll go onto the stack at the next available opportunity. These are called state triggers. (Note that state triggers aren’t the same as state-based actions.) A state-triggered ability doesn’t trigger again until the ability has resolved, has been countered, or has otherwise left the stack. Then, if the object with the ability is still in the same zone and the game state still matches its trigger condition, the ability will trigger again.

Once the Immortal Coil is on the battlefield, as soon as your graveyard is empty, the ability will trigger. At that point, giving it away with Bazaar Trader won't help, because the ability will still be on the stack, and you will still lose when it resolves.

  • 1
    if my opponent has no graveyard either, will I still lose first? Or does the stack resolve before he gets control of it? Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 13:36
  • @JacobRaccuia That's a good follow up question. It looks like someone else had the same question, and they already posted it.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:11
  • @Rainbolt ahh, thank you! missed that one in searching Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:39

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