I summoned the Bristling Hydra and it was killed instantly before I declared I was making it Hexproof. Could I have prevented it's death if I had said it was Hexproof before the other player cast his spell?

The additional reason for asking this is due to the energy production of the card and the energy requirement for playing the ability.

When bristling hydra resolves it provides 3 energy and the ability requires 3 energy therefore this question has some additional implications about how the spell could potentially resolve i.e. does the energy resolve in time for the player to use the ability or do you need an additional source of energy

  • This seems like a question dealing with priority. I'm fairly confident I've seen this question before, but my base searching hasn't turned up any results. Maybe something like this? boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/18021/…
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:04
  • 2
    This looks like a duplicate at first glance, but I think part of the confusion in this question is not addressed by the other question. The author appears to think that the energy from Hydra's triggered ability is available the moment Hydra enters the battlefield. That's not right, and isn't covered by the proposed duplicates.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:11
  • When you say it was killed instantly, what was done to destroy it?
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Bristling Hydra is a bit tricky, because it has a triggered ability for when it enters the battlefield, that gives you energy. Making it hexproof also costs energy. If you had no energy before summoning it, your opponent could kill it in response to the "Enters the battlefield" trigger, and you wouldn't have the energy to activate its ability and make it hexproof in response.

However, if you had gotten energy from a different source earlier, you could activate its ability to make it hexproof in response.

(Also, if your opponent waited for the ETB trigger to resolve and give you energy, THEN cast a spell to kill it, you'd be able to pay energy to make it hexproof in response, although it seems unlikely that they would do that, seeing as it's a pretty bad play).

  • It should be noted that it's only a special case compared to the possible-duplicate-suggestions above, not in general, as it follows the normal rules for timing and priority as well as triggered abilities. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:39
  • @TheThirdMan Yup! That's why I decided to answer even though it looked a lot like a dupe
    – monoRed
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:57
  • Wait no I read your comment again and you weren't saying what I think you were saying. I can edit to remove "special case"?
    – monoRed
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:58
  • 1
    You read it right the first time - I was supporting you in posting this answer, as in my opinion, it's not a duplicate at least for the questions linked. The current phrasing works better though, I'd say, as with every other activated ability, you can activate it as long as you can pay the costs, with the only reason making this actually tricky being that energy is a lot harder to come by than mana or life. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 15:10

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