Let's say I cast Word of Command, and during its resolution I see that my opponent has a Word of Command in their hand, and I decide to cast it (as my spell that I make them cast due to my WoC, let's call it WoC1) targeting myself. Who controls the resolution of the second WoC, let's call it WoC2? Them or me? Do I have restrictions on what I can do to cast the spell I would choose for WoC2, since I'm not myself but I'm myself controlling myself through control of my opponent, and WoC1 and 2 would impose restrictions on how I can cast a spell? Let's say the only cards left in my hand are lands and Lightning Storm, can I or my opponent discard lands while it is on the stack or do I still control my opponent? Can my opponent counter Lightning Storm?

  • 2
    I would like to point out that you don't discard lands during the resolution of Lightning Storm. Lightning Storm has an activated ability that functions while it is on the stack.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 1, 2018 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


The rules don't actually address how multiple player control effects interact, so strictly speaking, it's ambiguous how this works. Logically, the player control effect created by Word of Command 1 encompasses the entire resolution of Word of Command 2, including the effect that has your opponent make decisions for you while playing the card for WoC2, so you will make those decisions. However, once you have played that card, no more player control effects from WoC1 apply, so if that last card is a spell, your opponent will control you while it resolves.

As for Lightning Storm, Word of Command specifically says that you control your opponent while casting the spell and while it is resolving. In between those two times, no player control effect is active, so either player can make their own choices to activate Lightning Storm's ability.

To sum up, with the ambiguous part in bold:

  1. You cast Word of Command 1. No player control effects apply, and you make your own decisions.
  2. Word of Command 1 resolves. You choose for your opponent to cast Word of Command 2. While casting it, you control your opponent and choose what mana abilities they activate.
  3. Word of Command 2 resolves. You control your opponent while this spell resolves. You choose the Lightning Storm to cast. While casting it, your opponent controls you but your control effect is broader, so you have overall control. You choose what mana abilities to activate and what the spell's initial target should be.
  4. While Lightning Storm is on the stack, no player control effects apply, and each player can choose to activate Lightning Storm's ability.
  5. Lightning Storm resolves. Your opponent controls you while this spell resolves. There are no meaningful choices to make while the spell resolves.
  • Thanks! Follow-up: Word of Command's rulings state that you can't force a player to play a card not in their hand. Does this mean that we can't make the opponent crack a fetch or cast Sylvan Scrying and play Panglacial Worm or WoC them while the have Past In Flames active to use their graveyard, or Flashback cards?
    – Hal T
    Apr 2, 2018 at 3:06
  • I could also see WotC ruling that looping control effects force a draw, the same as mandatory loops do. I think that giving the first player total control like you suggest is more likely, but that both are plausible. Apr 2, 2018 at 3:08
  • If you read the text of Word of Command, it specifically says that you choose a card from their hand and play that card. Doing other things, like activating abilities of fetch lands or casting cards from graveyards, are not covered by that instruction. However, if you cast a spell that results in them searching their library, you should be able to make them cast Panglacial Wurm at that time because it says that you control them during the resolution of the spell without putting any restrictions on that control.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 2, 2018 at 3:15

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