Okay the scenario I'm thinking of is as follows:

  1. I control a Mindcrank, Duskmantle Guildmage and 3 untapped lands (2 swamps, 1 Island to be perdantic).
  2. In my opponents turn he casts a burn spell to kill my duskmantle.
  3. I activate his first ability in response.

The way I am hoping the following interactions will go is:

  1. Duskmantles ability will hit the stack at the top and resolve
  2. The burn spell resolves dealing its damage to Duskmantle
  3. The burn spell card hits the graveyard and triggers the infinite loop for duskmantle and mindcrank killing my opponent
  4. Duskmantle perishes

Is this the way that the stack would pan out? Do I win in this situation regardless of the stack being correct or not above? (I am not fully familiar with how the stack really works in magic) You can see the cards from my deck here.

  • 2
    To learn about how the stack works, I suggest reading this answer that helped me understand it in the beginning. Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 16:28
  • 3
    It is hard to imagine a time when @doppelgreener didn't understand the stack.
    – John
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 20:00
  • @doppelgreener Why the change the title to Mill? While I understand the rest of the title edit, to improve the archival nature of the question, they question doesn't care about milling or damage, just that the end result is he wins. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 4:36
  • 1
    It's spelled "pedantic"
    – Deo
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 13:29
  • @Deo ironic comment is ironic :P hahaha Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


Your opponent will die

The first ability from duskmantle is a delayed triggered ability:

603.7. An effect may create a delayed triggered ability that can do something at a later time. A delayed triggered ability will contain “when,” “whenever,” or “at,” although that word won’t usually begin the ability.

603.7a Delayed triggered abilities come from spells or other abilities that create them on resolution, ...

After it is created, it does not matter what happens to the object that created it. Meaning that as soon as this ability resolves, the next time this turn that something goes to your opponents graveyard, they die.

Even though the last steps of the stack do not matter in this situation as your opponent has already lost after step 1, your stack is correct, because a spell going to the graveyard is the last part of resolving a spell and state-based actions that move your creature to the graveyard are only checked right before anyone gets priority.

608.2k As the final part of an instant or sorcery spell’s resolution, the spell is put into its owner’s graveyard.

  • 1
    I believe the OP's sequence is wrong. Doesn't the dusk mantel die before the opponent dies? Or does this loop somehow occur before state based actions are checked?
    – John
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 19:59
  • @John You are correct. SBAs are checked before triggers go on the stack, so Duskmantle dies before the loop begins. It doesn't change the outcome, but it is important enough that I decided to add my own answer.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:20

This is not really an infinite loop. It also doesn't necessarily end with your opponent losing the game. The loop ends when your opponent runs out of cards or life, whichever comes first.

The burn spell resolves and goes to the graveyard. Then, state-based actions are checked and Duskmantle Guildmage is moved to the graveyard. Lastly, triggers go on the stack and you begin the loop that will eventually kill your opponent.

Here is the correct sequence of events:

  1. Opponent casts a burn spell, targeting Duskmantle Guildmage.
  2. You activate Duskmantle's first ability.
  3. Duskmantle's ability resolves. It creates a delayed triggered ability.
  4. The burn spell resolves and goes to the graveyard.
  5. The delayed triggered ability triggers, but does not go on the stack yet.
  6. State-based actions are checked. Guildmage dies.
  7. The delayed triggered ability goes on the stack, and we enter the Mindcrank loop. If your opponent runs out of life first, you win. If your opponent runs out of cards first, the game continues.

You basically swapped the last two steps.

Most of the time this distinction will be irrelevant, but not always. If your opponent has a a card like Crypt Incursion in hand, the extra 3 life gained from Duskmantle being in your graveyard could give your opponent just enough life to survive the loop.

  • I understand your viewpoint here. There are ways round this loop. Just in the instance I was thinking of it would be against maybe a Red Green Ramp and/or a mono red burn deck... or Even infect... I despise infect decks... Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 7:07
  • @ThunderToes I love Infect. They are the reason I get to eat lunch at large tournaments (short matches). And yea, the distinction I made isn't going to be important against every deck. I only mentioned it because one of your sub-questions was "Is this the way the stack would pan out?".
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:55

The phrase "mill my opponent into defeat" would normally be interpreted as forcing your opponent to draw so many cards that they run out of cards. When a player is required to draw a card, but is unable to do so due to their library not containing any cards, they lose. However, the wording on Duskmantle Guildmage is not that your opponent draws cards, but that they move cards from their library. So you can't get a mill victory from just this combo, but you can get a damage victory, and you can leave your opponent with no cards in their library, which means that unless they can get more cards in their library, the next time they are required to draw a card they will lose.

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