I have Elder Deep-Fiend, a creature which has flash and allows me to sacrifice another creature towards the cost of its mana. When the creature is played, it allows me to tap 4 target permanents.

I have been doing this during the upkeep step/beginning phase of my friend's turn to tap 4 of their lands so they can't use them. However, they say they have priority and add mana to their mana pool before I can.

As I am playing an instant creature which has an ability when it enters the battlefield, just after they have untapped, I think they shouldn't be able to tap their lands first as they are not up to that phase yet.

Basically, they are saying I can only use it to tap creatures before their combat phase.

Who is right?

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    Are you talking about Elder Deep-Fiend? Please edit to include the specific card; as precise wording can matter, You can auto link to the card in Gatherer with [mtg:card name]. Welcome to the site!
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 5, 2019 at 6:24
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    This question/answer may help: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/12652/…
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 5, 2019 at 6:29
  • I am not quite sure what you are asking. Are you asking who gets priority at the start of a step/phase i.e. whether or not your friend can tap lands before you cast your creature? Or are you asking whether your friend can respond to you casting your creature spell? Or are you asking at what point in your friend's turn you can cast your creature?
    – Hackworth
    Jan 8, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


When you cast your creature, its triggered ability goes on the stack. At this point, all players have a chance to respond to the ability, before it resolves and taps the lands. They can respond by tapping the land for mana. The mana that is produced will go away at the end of the upkeep step, however, so they would have to use it then; they can’t keep it to use later.

So you can use this to tap their lands, but they have a chance to respond with an instant effect during the upkeep. It will prevent them from using those lands during their main phase.

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    106.4. [...] Each player’s mana pool empties at the end of each step and phase, and the player is said to lose this mana. [...]
    – ikegami
    Jan 5, 2019 at 17:17
  • Thanks so much Gendolkari... I had a look at the rules further last night and as @ikegami said, at the end of each step a players mana pool empties. So I get that they have a chance to respond to me tapping 4 of their mana before they do, however if they tap the mana themselves they wont be able to use it during their main phase to play mana spell/abilities. And yes... the specific card im talking about is [mtg:Elder Deep-Fiend]
    – Tom
    Jan 5, 2019 at 23:56
  • The last paragraph to be better worded. The lands wouldn't be available for the main phase, but they could respond with an instant speed effect in the upkeep. Jan 6, 2019 at 17:51
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    And the first paragraph states that they would have to use the mana then (in the upkeep).
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 6, 2019 at 18:16
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    The ambiguity of the sentence implied the lands could be used during the main phase to cast instants. I've made an edit that exemplifies what I'm saying. Jan 6, 2019 at 18:24

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