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There was an interesting board state that came up the other night while my friends were playing Commander, involving a sliver deck and Padeem, Consul of Innovation. The board state involved two players, who I will call Aaron (Active player) and Nick (Non-Active player), a simplified version of the board was as follows:

Aaron's Board

  • Brood Sliver (Whenever a Sliver deals combat damage to a player, its controller may create a 1/1 colorless Sliver creature token)
  • Harmonic Sliver (All Slivers have "When this permanent enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact or enchantment.")
  • Silverback Ape (it's a 5/5, that's it.)

Nick's Board

During combat Aaron attacked Nick with his entire board, and Nick assigned blocks as follows:

  • Harmonic Sliver is blocked by Ornithopter (No effects)
  • Silverback Ape is blocked by Padeem (Padeem dies)
  • Brood Sliver is unblocked (Brood Sliver's ability triggers)

My question is, when the 1/1 Sliver token created by Brood Sliver enters the battlefield, will Aaron be able to destroy Nick's Ornithopter? Or will the Ornithopter still have hexproof, even though Padeem is killed by Silverback Ape?

That is to say, do Nick's artifacts lose hexproof before or after Aaron is able to target them with the ETB of the created Sliver token?

  • I have tried to simplify the board state from the other night by removing the cards that didn't affect this interaction. It was quite the headscratcher for us, but let me know if anything is unclear in the way I presented the question. – Malco Sep 11 '17 at 16:42
  • This question narrowly avoids a slightly more tricky situation, rule-wise. Since you have the sequence combat damage->Brood Aliver's ability->Harmonic Sliver's ability, the way this plays out is relatively simple. I think it would have been more interesting to look at a creature like Rustmouth Ogre with a "destroy target artifact" effect that triggers directly from combat damage, so that Padeem's death and choosing targets for the ability both occur before any player gains priority. – murgatroid99 Sep 11 '17 at 17:01
  • @murgatroid99 I agree that the Rustmouth Orge interaction would be more interestingand now kind of want to know how that would resolve... perhaps as another question, or as an addendum to an answer to this one. You seem to be pretty knowledgeable about how this works (as by correction comments on the answers below) would you be interested in writing an answer? I usually like to hold off for at least 24 hours before accepting anyway if you need time to write one. – Malco Sep 11 '17 at 17:05
  • If you want to know that, I would recommend asking a new question. It really is tangential to this question, and it wouldn't make sense to answer this question again just to write an addendum about a related question – murgatroid99 Sep 11 '17 at 17:17
  • @murgatroid99 Alright I asked it as a new question here. Looking forward to any explanations. – Malco Sep 11 '17 at 17:55
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tl;dr: Padeem dies from lethal damage before triggered abilities do anything, so the artifacts will not be protected by Hexproof.

When combat damage is assigned, Brood Sliver's ability triggers. However:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.

603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack [...] the next time a player would receive priority.

State-based actions, such as Padeem dying from lethal damage, occur right before any player gets priority (see 704.3). Thus Padeem is off the board, and its static effect is gone, before Brood Sliver's ability is even put onto the stack, and long before it actually resolves (which is when the artifact-destruction ability would trigger).

  • Brood Sliver's ability doesn't have any targets, so the specific rule you're quoting doesn't actually come into play here. There's an entire round of priority after Padeem dies and before you have to choose targets for the ability granted by Harmonic Sliver. Also, for the point you are trying to make, I think it would make more sense to quote the actual rule that says that SBAs are checked before triggered abilities go on the stack: 704.3. – murgatroid99 Sep 11 '17 at 16:55
  • Ah oops, let me fix this... – Benjamin Cosman Sep 11 '17 at 16:55
  • I would recommend just omitting quotations of rule 603 entirely. It doesn't make a difference to how the situation plays out, and I think it's potentially confusion to emphasize the details of the timing of Brood Sliver's ability when it doesn't affect the outcome. – murgatroid99 Sep 11 '17 at 17:06
  • I'd like to leave it in because my guess is that it better addresses OP's missing knowledge than 704.3 does, even though in this case it isn't needed. Based on the general level of knowledge demonstrated in the question (complete with the A-N naming convention) I'm guessing OP is very likely familiar with 704.3, but perhaps not with the more subtle 603. Also, 704.3 is not conducive to concise quotes. – Benjamin Cosman Sep 11 '17 at 17:21
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The artifacts lose hexproof, and Aaron is able to target them

The sequence of events is:

  1. Damage is dealt
  2. Padeem dies; the artifacts lose Hexproof
  3. Brood Sliver's ability is placed on the stack
  4. Brood Sliver's ability resolves; the token is placed on the field
  5. The ability granted by Harmonic Sliver activates; Aaron chooses its target

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