Okay I stumbled upon a weird situation of control abilities between two creatures. However, there may be more instances of this...

Say I controlled a Willbreaker and then cast a Molten Primordial, targeting one creature that each of my opponents controlled, Would i take control of them until I lose Willbreaker or would it be until end of turn with primordial?

Willbreaker requires that I target a creature an opponent controls to gain control of it for as long as I control will breaker. This would mean that the spell/ Ability targeting said creature would have to resolve am I correct?

If that is the case, would the primordial take control of them first making them Illegal targets for Willbreaker as it states it has to be a creature an opponent controls. My thinking is that they are already under my control after I targeted them with Primordials ETB ability...

Or can I choose which Trigger happens first in this instance?

  • Good question, what is the end result you are going for/trying to understand with this? Trying to find out if you lose control of the creatures when Willbreaker leaves, or at end of turn, or both?
    – Malco
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 14:17
  • @Malco Yeah when do I control the creatures until? Until end of turn with Primordial or until I lose Willbreaker? Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 14:24
  • To answer your intermediate question, Willbreaker only requires that an opponent's creature "becomes the target of a spell or ability you control". Targets are chosen when the spell is cast or the ability is put on the stack. Whether the spell or ability actually resolves is irrelevant for Willbreaker. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


The creature will come under your control by Willbreaker's effect, Molten Primordial's ability will not be applied.

Let's break down the interaction step by step:

  1. Aaron (Active player) controls a Willbreaker. Nick (Non-Active Player) controls a Bear Cub.
  2. Aaron casts Molten Primordial, there are no responses, and it enters the battlefield. Stack is Empty
  3. Molten Primordial's ability goes onto the stack, then you choose targets for it. Aaron chooses to target Nick's Bear cub. Bear cub is a legal target, as it is a creature that Aaron's opponent controls.
  4. The Bear cub has been targeted, so this triggers Willbreaker's ability, which goes onto the stack.

The Stack now looks like this:
(Top) Willbreaker Control ability
Molten Primordial's Control ability
and begins to resolve.

  1. Aaron gains control of Nick's Bear Cub (through Willbreaker).
  2. Bear cub is no longer a legal target for Molten Primordial's ability, as it is not a "creature that player (Nick) controls". As a result it is countered as per the comprehensive rules(emphasis mine):

    608.2b: If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that’s no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal. If the spell or ability is not countered, it will resolve normally. Illegal targets, if any, won’t be affected by parts of a resolving spell’s effect for which they’re illegal. Other parts of the effect for which those targets are not illegal may still affect them. If the spell or ability creates any continuous effects that affect game rules (see rule 613.10), those effects don’t apply to illegal targets. If part of the effect requires information about an illegal target, it fails to determine any such information. Any part of the effect that requires that information won’t happen.

Final Result:

Aaron control's Willbreaker, Molten Primordial, and Bear cub. If at any point Willbreaker leaves the battlefield, Nick will gain control of the bear cub again, even if it is this same turn.

  • I was just about to ask another question regarding this interaction but I believe the answer is probably the same as this... Does this situation apply to if it were two Willbreakers as Opposed to a Molten Primordial? Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 9:30
  • @ThunderToes Yes, same would apply, though the triggers go on the stack simultaneously so you get to choose which Willbreaker is controlling the Bear Cub.
    – Malco
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 14:24
  • nice one. Saved me a lot of time on a duplicate there :P Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 14:50

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