3

Opponent has taken takes control of my Metalwork Colossus. The card has an ability that states:

Sacrifice two artifacts: Return Metalwork Colossus from your graveyard to your hand.

Who can sacrifice two artifacts to get Metalwork Colossus to his hand - me, the owner, or my opponent, the controller?

  • Neither of you can - it's not IN the graveyard! Maybe you can rephrase the question, with an example card that returns to hand from play rather than from graveyard? Or include an explanation of how you plan to get it into your graveyard? – Benubird Nov 14 '18 at 12:15
6

If the card was in its owner's graveyard: It's owner's hand. (Even if someone steals control of the ability.)

If the card was in its another player's graveyard: Not possible.[CR 400.3]

If the card is elsewhere: The ability can't be activated.


There seems to be a lot of confusion behind this question, so I'm going to cover the scenario in baby steps.

The ability in question is an activated ability.[CR 112.3b]

When can the ability be activated?

Most activated abilities can only be activated when the card or token on which they reside is on the battlefield. That is not the case for Metalwork Colossus's. The ability can only be activated when Metal Colossus is in a graveyard because it tries to move Metal Colossus out of a graveyard.[CR 112.6k]

Who can activate the ability?

Activated abilities of permanents can only be activated by the controller of the permanent. Activated abilities of non-permanents can only be activated by the owner of the object.[Summary of various] That means that Metal Colossus's activated ability can only be activated by its owner.

What does the ability do?

For an activated ability, the words “you” and “your” refer to the player who activated the ability.[CR 109.5]

So, the player that activated Metalwork Colossus's activated ability must be its owner. They become the controller of the ability. Metalwork Colossus is moved to the ability's controller's hand, which is its owner's hand.

What if someone steals control of the ability?

In that situation, the ability instructs Metalwork Colossus to be moved to that player's hand. But the game doesn't let that happen. It still ends up in its owner's hand because the game doesn't allow cards to to the library, graveyard or hand of a person that doesn't own them.[CR 400.3]


112.3b Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]” [...]

112.6k An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it’s on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone [...]

109.5. The words “you” and “your” on an object refer to the object’s controller, its would-be controller (if a player is attempting to play, cast, or activate it), or its owner (if it has no controller). [...] For an activated ability, this is the player who activated the ability. [...]

400.3. If an object would go to any library, graveyard, or hand other than its owner’s, it goes to its owner’s corresponding zone.

  • Another rule that might be relevant here is 201.4: Text that refers to the object it’s on by name means just that particular object and not any other objects with that name, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects. That means that you can't use the ability of one Metalwork Colossus card to move a different Metalwork Colossus card. – ikegami Sep 29 '17 at 0:33
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That ability can only be activated while the Metalwork Colossus is in your graveyard, to return it to your hand. Your cards in general cannot be be in any other player's graveyard or hand.

Rule 400.3 says

If an object would go to any library, graveyard, or hand other than its owner’s, it goes to its owner’s corresponding zone.

and the rules regarding abilites have these subrules that describe when you can activate that ability:

  • 112.6. Abilities of an instant or sorcery spell usually function only while that object is on the stack. Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is on the battlefield. The exceptions are as follows:

    • 112.6k An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it’s on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability’s trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability’s cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone. The same is true if the effect of that ability creates a delayed triggered ability whose effect moves the object out of a particular zone.
3

Only you, the owner, can return it to your hand from your graveyard. This is in fact the only way and time that ability could possibly be used or work out. Cards always return exclusively only to their owners' hands, or libraries, or graveyard — they never get put into the hand, library, or graveyard of someone who doesn't own the card.

First, the ability returns to hand that creature from the graveyard. It can't return from the battlefield or anywhere else. There's a ruling on Metalwork Colossus clarifying this:

Metalwork Colossus’s last ability can be activated only if it is in your graveyard.

Second, a creature that's heading to someone's graveyard or hand always gets put into its owner's graveyard or hand. State-based actions for handling creature death/destruction all say "put it into its owner's graveyard". And then there's rule 400.3 on zone changes:

400.3. If an object would go to any library, graveyard, or hand other than its owner’s, it goes to its owner’s corresponding zone.

It's impossible for someone to get your own Metalwork Colossus into their graveyard, and so they couldn't possibly activate that ability for themselves. Further, even if somehow it would return to their hand for any reason (e.g. they cast Disappearing Act) it instead returns to your hand, always.

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It says from "your graveyard". If it's in the graveyard, then it's in its owner's graveyard, and has no controller. Only the player whose graveyard it is in (i.e. its owner) can use that ability.

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