3

Will Karlov of the Ghost Council gain its counters if I use extort right after playing it?

E.g.: I play him, then I use extort because I played him, will it gain its counters?

8

No, Karlov will not gain counters.

Extort will resolve before Karlov. When you gain life from Extort, Karlov will not be on the battlefield yet, and his ability only works while on the battlefield.

702.100a Extort is a triggered ability. “Extort” means “Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the total life lost this way.”

The order of play is:

  • You cast Karlov, it goes on the stack.
  • Because of the completed cast of Karlov, Extort triggers. It goes on the stack on top of Karlov.
  • Extort resolves first because it is the top-most item on the stack. You decide to pay the costs, and you gain life.
  • Karlov resolves and enters the battlefield. His triggered ability starts listening for life-gain events.
4

No, he will not gain counters.

From the comprehensive rules (emphasis mine):

702.100. Extort

702.100a Extort is a triggered ability. “Extort” means “Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the total life lost this way.”

702.100b If a permanent has multiple instances of extort, each triggers separately.

Because Extort is an ability that triggers when a spell is cast, in this case Karlov, it will go on the stack above Karlov; it will resolve before he enters the battlefield. The order would look like this, assuming nothing else happens on the stack:

  1. Cast Karlov
  2. Extort triggers, adding it to the stack, and you decide to pay W or B
  3. If you pay, each opponent will lose life while you gain the life lost
  4. Karlov enters the battlefield

As you can see, Karlov will enter the battlefield after Extort resolves, so he will not gain counters.

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