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Heart-Piercer Manticore has an ability that reads “When Heart-Piercer Manticore enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice another creature. When you do, Heart-Piercer Manticore deals damage equal to that creature’s power to target creature or player.”

If you cast two of these creature spells and then sacrificed one creature would that trigger the abilities for both creatures as they enter the battlefield?

Second example is two permanents say the same thing; “Whenever an opponent loses life, you gain that much life.” So would the event the opponent loses life trigger both permanents so you would gain two life , or would the event only trigger one meaning you would only gain one life?

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Yes, a single event can trigger more than one triggered ability.

For example, if you had two Exquisite Blood on the battlefield, both trigger on an opponent losing life, so you will place each Exquisite Blood's ability on the stack, and they will resolve one after the other.

  1. An opponent loses life.
    • Exquisite Blood #1's ability triggers.
    • Exquisite Blood #2's ability triggers.
  2. You place Exquisite Blood #1's ability and Exquisite Blood #2's ability on the stack in the order of your choice. (Here, we'll place #1 on the stack first.)
  3. Exquisite Blood #2's ability resolves,
    1. You gain as much life as your opponent lost.
  4. Exquisite Blood #1's ability resolves,
    1. You gain as much life as your opponent lost.

The converse is true as well. If multiple instances of a event occur simultaneously, an ability can trigger more than once.

For example, a Dingus Egg's ability will trigger once for each land sent to a graveyard, even if multiple lands are sent there at the same time (e.g. from Armageddon). For each time the ability was triggered, it will go on the stack, and it will resolve separately.


That can't happen with Heart-Piercer Manticore, however.

  1. "When Heart-Piercer Manticore enters the battlefield" means "When this object enters the battlefield".

    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 a Heart-Piercer Manticore's ability won't trigger when a different Heart-Piercer Manticore enters the battlefield. For that to happen, the ability would have been phrased "Whenever a creature named Heart-Piercer Manticore enters the battlefield".

  2. "When you do" means "When you sacrifice another creature to the first part of this ability". Other sacrifices, including sacrifices to another Heart-Piercer Manticore, do not trigger this ability.

    603.12. A resolving spell or ability may allow a player to take an action and create a triggered ability that triggers “when [a player] [does or doesn’t]” take that action. These reflexive triggered abilities follow the rules for delayed triggered abilities (see rule 603.7), except that they’re checked immediately after being created and trigger based on whether the trigger event occurred earlier during the resolution of the spell or ability that created them.

    Example: Heart-Piercer Manticore has an ability that reads “When Heart-Piercer Manticore enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice another creature. When you do, Heart-Piercer Manticore deals damage equal to that creature’s power to target creature or player.” The reflexive triggered ability triggers only when you sacrifice another creature due to the original triggered ability, and not if you sacrifice a creature for any other reason.

No matter how many Heart-Piercer Manticore there are on the battlefield, the following happens when one enters the battlefield:

  1. Heart-Piecer Manticore enters the battlefield.
    • This HPM's ability triggers.
  2. You place this HPM's first ability on the stack.
  3. The ability resolves.
    1. You may sacrifice a creature other than this HPM. If you don't, nothing further happens. Let's say you do.
      • The reflexive triggered ability triggers.
  4. You place the reflexive triggered ability on the stack.
  5. The ability resolves.
    1. This HPM deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to the targeted creature or player.
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Yes, a single event can trigger more than one trigger, but you are misunderstanding how Heart-Piecer Manticore works.

Your second example is a good example of this. If you have 2 Soul Wardens on the battlefield, then each one will trigger when a creature enters the battlefield, and you will gain 2 life. Or if you control 2 Bloodbriars and find a way to sacrifice a permanent, both of them will trigger and they will each get the counter. Note that while both trigger at the same time, the 2 abilities are placed on the stack separately and resolve one at a time.

However, your first example is a different thing. The "when you do" in Heart-Piercer Manticore's ability is not simply “when you sacrifice a creature”, but rather it is part of the “when Heart-Piercer Manticore” enters the battlefield.” ability. When that trigger resolves, you can choose to sacrifice another creature to create another trigger to deal damage; but you are only in the middle of resolving one "enters the battlefield" trigger.

You can only cast creatures one at a time, and you cannot sacrifice the same creature twice.

The sequence of events would be this:

  • Cast Heart-Piecer Manticore.
  • It resolves and enters the battlefield.
  • Its ability triggers and goes on the stack.
  • Its ability resolves, and you sacrifice a creature to trigger the when you do trigger. (Or chose not to, and the ability does nothing).
  • The when you do trigger resolves and you deal damage.
  • Cast another Heart-Piecer Manticore.
  • It resolves and enters the battlefield.
  • Its ability triggers and goes on the stack.
  • Its ability resolves, and you sacrifice a creature to trigger the when you do trigger. (Or chose not to, and the ability does nothing). The creature you sacrificed the first time is already dead, so you need to choose a different one this time. You could choose that first Manticore if you wanted.
  • The when you do trigger resolves and you deal damage.

So by the time you are casting a second Manticore, it is far too late to deal with the first one's triggered ability. That will have already finished, and you will have either sacrificed a creature for damage or not. If you want to do it again, you have to sacrifice another creature.

Note that even if you used some other ability to place both Manticores on the battlefield at the same time, that wouldn’t matter. Each one would trigger at the same time, and you would choose the order to put the triggers on the stack. They would still then resolve one at a time, and you would have to choose to sacrifice a creature for the ability one at a time.

  • @ikegami I see, I misread the "when you do" as "if you do". Maybe I should ask a separate question; but is there a particular reason why an ability would use this format over "if you do"? Seems strange to simply create a separate, second trigger rather than just resolve it there and then. – GendoIkari Feb 8 '18 at 13:12
  • 1) It would be weird to have an ETB that targets. 2) It's effectively a damage-dealing activated ability ("Sacrifice another creature: Heart-Piercer Manticore deals damage equal to that creature’s power to target creature or player.") that's only usable when HPM ETBs, and as such, the affected player should get a chance to respond. If it was "If you do", the affected player would have to respond before you decide to "pay the cost", which would be very unusual. – ikegami Feb 8 '18 at 16:05
  • @ikegami Regarding #1... tons of ETB triggers target? Snapcaster Mage, Abyssal Horror, Acid Web Spider. But regarding #2, point taken. I guess the ability would be stronger the other way, because this way the opponent can wait until you've sacrificed the creature before doing something that nullifies the damage. – GendoIkari Feb 8 '18 at 16:17
  • Yeah, #1 retracted :) And the now-obsolete comment has been deleted. – ikegami Feb 8 '18 at 16:18

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