What happens if I tap a Llanowar Elves for its ability and the creature is destroyed in response with an Ultimate Price? And why? (a brief explanation will suffice)

This may sound as a silly question but the opinion between my friends is divided. Some think that the green mana is generated and the others say that the mana is not generated.

  • 3
    @doppelgreener This question deals with mana abilities, which is a special case of activated abilities.
    – corsiKa
    Dec 10, 2015 at 2:50
  • 3
    I think this is actually a duplicate (and really a subcase) of boardgames.stackexchange.com/q/7893/1500.
    – murgatroid99
    Dec 10, 2015 at 5:08
  • I don't think the question is a duplicate because as corsiKa said, the oponent never has the chance to destroy the creature in response(I actually can use the green mana to protect the LLanowar Elves if I want). Anyway thanks for the answer corsiKa. Dec 10, 2015 at 14:44
  • I vote not duplicate. While the final end result is the same (the ability can't be stopped), the mechanics behind what happens are completely different with mana abilities.
    – GendoIkari
    Dec 10, 2015 at 16:41
  • 2
    Honestly, Does killing a creature mana source that's being tapped for mana to pay for a spell counter that spell? would have been a better duplicate target. I didn't see it until after I voted.
    – Rainbolt
    Dec 10, 2015 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


Your opponent would be better off waiting until later in your turn to kill your dork.

Llanowar Elves has a mana ability. This doesn't go on the stack, and thus cannot be responded to.

605.3b An activated mana ability doesn't go on the stack, so it can't be targeted, countered, or otherwise responded to. Rather, it resolves immediately after it is activated. (See rule 405.6c.)

So your opponent doesn't even get the chance to bolt your creature before you get your mana. He can only bolt once he has priority, which presumably you won't pass until you perform whatever action it was you were tapping for mana for.

But even if it were a card like Nettle Drone, the ability would go on the stack, and when it resolved the damage would still be dealt. The ability itself will never be countered solely on the actions of your opponent, short of a Stifle effect that specifically counters the ability. It would only get countered if it would have got countered anyway (lack of targets, illegal targets).

So your opponent would be best off waiting to bolt your dude. You might play a creature that he'd rather bolt instead, or you might do something else that he might want to use the mana for. Once it's tapped, it would have to be untapped (something that -can- be responded to) and then he could bolt. If nothing else, he can bolt on end step.

  • 3
    Deathrite Shaman would let your non-mana-ability example actually have mana (potentially) produced; in some sense a more direct analogy to the OP's situation.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 10, 2015 at 3:39
  • 5
    This answer is correct, but the starting sentence is misleading. Destroying the source of an ability never stops an ability from resolving (unless it's also the only target). Destroying all targets does counter an ability, but that is tangential to the actual question asked.
    – murgatroid99
    Dec 10, 2015 at 5:07
  • Yeah my first reaction was also that "It depends on the ability." is not correct at all. Whether it's a mana ability or not doesn't change the outcome
    – Ivo
    Dec 10, 2015 at 13:29
  • @murgatroid99 You're absolutely right. I've clarified this because ambiguous opening sentences piss me off too. :-)
    – corsiKa
    Dec 10, 2015 at 16:33
  • "The ability itself will never be countered solely on the actions of your opponent." This is false for a non-mana ability like Nettle Drone, eg if your opponent has a card like Azorius Guildmage.
    – Dan Staley
    Dec 10, 2015 at 18:37

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