The situation: I have 9 poison counters and no card in my library, and I control a Laboratory Maniac.

I cast Steady Progress, and I choose to proliferate the poison counters on me. Do I win the game due to Laboratory Maniac's ability before state-based actions would cause me to lose from having 10 poison counters?

  • You certainly know this, but for the possible benefit of others: you don't have to proliferate the poison counters to draw a card in this situation. Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 9:31
  • Should this specify that you have 0 cards in your library? It seems implied, unless I'm missing something.
    – bwarner
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 13:21
  • @bwarner You're right, I added an explicit mention of that.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


You would win because the Maniac's ability replaces the drawing a card with winning the game, so you win before SBA are checked and you lose the game due to having 10 poison counters.

614.1. Some continuous effects are replacement effects. Like prevention effects (see rule 615), replacement effects apply continuously as events happen—they aren’t locked in ahead of time. Such effects watch for a particular event that would happen and completely or partially replace that event with a different event. They act like “shields” around whatever they’re affecting.

614.1a Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

Since the card draw is getting replaced with winning the game during the resolution of the spell you will win as the spell is resolving. Since you won the game during the resolution of the spell you never get to the point where the game checks SBAs (including losing the game due to having 10 poison counters)

  • OK, I thought that's how it worked. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 22:59
  • 1
    Is there another rule you can quote that explains that when an effect says "you win", that the game ends immediately, before the next time SBAs are checked?
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:13
  • @GendoIkari There isn't a specific rule that says that, but this works exactly the same as any other effect. You don't wait until SBAs are checked to put a creature that has been Murdered into its owners graveyard, winning the game is no different.
    – diego
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:30
  • @diego Thanks. I suppose the fact that "check to see if a player has had a 'you win' effect" is NOT in the list of SBAs may be what I'm looking for.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:35

Laboratory Maniac is a replacement effect. The entire effect of Steady Progress has to be carried out, so I believe that you would win before state-based actions would occur.

704.4. Unlike triggered abilities, state-based actions pay no attention to what happens during the resolution of a spell or ability

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