If I cast a spell that has an "on cast" effect, does the effect still trigger even if the spell is countered? For example, if I play Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and it gets countered by a counter spell, do I still get to exile 2 target permanents?

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  • 5
    This does not look like a duplicate of that question at all. That one is asking about if an opponent can tap his lands that are targeted for exile by Ulamog; this one is about if you still get the exile effect if Ulamog is countered.
    – GendoIkari
    Dec 7, 2016 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


Yes. A player doesn't have a chance to cast a counterspell until after you have finished "casting" your spell, and any "when cast" triggers are triggered and put on the stack. At that point, a player could counter your spell, but the triggered ability is still there as a completely separate thing.

601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect.

112.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability.

  • Sidenote if anyone comes here looking for answers about Throne of Eldraine's new Adamant mechanic. WoTC have stated that the Adamant check only goes on the stack when the spell resolves, even though the help text is worded like a casting trigger Nov 27, 2019 at 9:21

A small point of clarification: If your opponent counters your Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger with Summary Dismissal it will counter both the spell and the "when you cast" triggered ability. Similarly, your opponent could use a couple spells to counter your spell (e.g., with a Ceremonious Rejection) and the triggered ability (e.g., with a Stifle or Disallow).

  • This isn't entirely accurate: (1) Summary Dismissal doesn't counter, it exiles; and (2) Summary Dismissal exiling Ulamog isn't what counters/exiles the "when you cast" triggered ability, Summary Dismissal exiling the triggered ability specifically is what exiles the ability (in addition to Ulamog, which is a wholly unrelated event for this purpose). Jun 13, 2017 at 19:30
  • @doppelgreener is 1 for 2. Summary Dismissal doesn't counter Ulamog, but exiles it from the stack, but it does counter the triggered ability with the condition "When you cast..." Jun 14, 2017 at 0:05
  • @DrunkCynic afaik, immediately after casting ulamog, the triggered ability goes on the stack — before anyone receives priority and can cast Summary Dismissal. If Ulamog was countered, the triggered ability would then resolve independently anyway (as a ruling on Ulamog notes). Jun 14, 2017 at 0:14
  • @doppelgreener He was just pointing out that Summary Dismissal doesn't exile abilities, it counters them. So your first point is only half right (it does exile the spell, just not the ability). So you're more like 3 for 4.
    – GendoIkari
    Jun 14, 2017 at 1:09
  • Oops. You're right! I thought it read exile all spells and abilities! Thanks for that correction. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:58

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