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I've recently had a debate with someone on how interrupting works for transform cards. Let's say I have just played an Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, and the opponent has a Scorpion God, as well as enough mana to put as many -1/-1 counters on Ulrich to kill him. If I interrupt his using of Scorpion Gods ability to play Waxing Moon, transforming Ulrich, will Ulrichs Transform effect be interruptible by further use of Scorpion Gods ability?

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    It's worth noting that in the situation you're describing, nothing is "interrupting a transform effect". This is simply activating an ability in response to an instant. This is no different than if you had played a Lightning Bolt instead of Waxing Moon - your opponent can respond with instants or abilities regardless. – Nuclear Wang Dec 6 '17 at 17:05
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    Recommended reading: In plain English, how does casting spells and using creature abilities work with the stack and priority? (This helped me out a lot when I started, and from the terminology you're using it looks like it would be helpful for you as well to clarify what's going on.) – doppelgreener Dec 6 '17 at 17:33
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Yes, your opponent will be able to kill your Ulrich.

Whenever a spell is cast, or an ability is activated, it goes on the top of the stack. When both players pass priority, the top of the stack resolves. In this case, your opponent will be able to respond to your Waxing Moon spell by activating Scorpion God, and the -1/-1 counters will be placed on Ulrich, killing him before Waxing Moon ever resolves.

The stack will look like this at each step:

Step 1; opponent activates Scorpion God's ability 4 times, targeting Ulrich:

  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter

Step 2; you respond with Waxing Moon:

  • Waxing Moon
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter

Step 3; your opponent responds by activating Scorpion God's ability 4 times:

  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Waxing Moon
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter
  • Ulrich gets a -1/-1 counter

Then, if neither of you do anything else, the stack will resolve from top to bottom. 4 steps down, Ulrich will go to the graveyard for having 0 toughness. Then Waxing Moon will be countered because it has no legal target (Ulrich is in the graveyard now). Then each of the 4 original activated abilities will be countered because they have no legal target.

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    Wouldn't the opponent generally wait for each Scorpion God's activation to resolve before activating it again? – Dan Staley Dec 6 '17 at 21:56
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    @DanStaley Yes, that would usually be the correct play. Rather than actually waiting, I would offer a shortcut like, "I'll activate and resolve Scorpion God's ability four times." At Competitive REL and above, you are assumed to be passing priority after you add an object to the stack unless you explicitly state otherwise. If your opponent decides to intervenes after the fourth activation, then the first three activations are assumed to have resolved already. – Rainbolt Dec 6 '17 at 22:39
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Yes, your opponent will kill your Ulrich of the Krallenhorde.

In Magic the Gathering spell and creature effects resolve using a First in Last out process called The Stack. This allows players to respond to their opponents actions and control the order in which effects resolve. Let's break down your specific example:

  • You control an Ulrich of the Krallenhorde. Your opponent controls a Scorpion God and an arbitrary amount of mana.
  • Your opponent uses Scorpion gods ability targeting Ulrich a total of 4 times to place 4 -1/-1 counters. These effects go onto the stack, but have not happened yet.
  • You respond to your opponent using Scorpion God's ability by casting Waxing Moon. Waxing Moon is now on the top of the stack (it will happen before the -1/-1 counters are applied).
  • Your opponent now has the option to either let the stack resolve (Ulrich will survive and Transform), or respond to you casting Waxing Moon by using Scorpion Gods's ability again (Put another 4 -1/-1 counters on Ulrich to kill him before he can transform).

The comprehensive rules define how timing (when a player can use an action) and priority (which player gets to preform the action) in Section 116 if you are looking for the official game rules.

This article from mtg Salvation does a decent job of going through the concepts as well if you are looking for a good starting point for learning more:
Priority and the Stack

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