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So recently in a four way battle a weird situation came up that I would like clarification on. This was casual as it gets so I'm not concerned about the outcome; I just want to learn from the situation to play my deck better.

Anyways here's the setup: It is currently my turn, and I plan on playing three spells this turn: starting with Insult, then Lightning Strike, and then another Lightning Strike. During this I am also dealing damage to the remaining two players due to Electrostatic field, which brings one opponent down to 6 life.

In the midst of all this, specifically between my first and second Lightning Strike, that player taps Tree of Redemption, a monster that switches his life total with it's toughness (13). So that stack would be Insult, LS, Monster tap, LS (I'm assuming). Due to the double damage on Insult for the turn would the first resolved LS deal 6 damage, effectively killing that player? Would this also mean his tap to switch his monsters toughness with his life works because it's still on the stack? Thanks for any help hopefully this makes sense.

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    Welcome to B&CG! There is a lot of unnecessary information in this question, such as player two (who isn't actually involved) and player four (who is already out). Please consider editing your question to include only the players and cards that are relevant; it would also be helpful to use some paragraphs for readability. – BJ Myers Jan 28 at 0:39
  • Welcome! I have edited some to help with readability; adding links to relevant cards and removing some information that did not seem to be relevant to the question. Feel free to edit further or replace my edit with your own if you feel I've missed something important. – GendoIkari Jan 28 at 0:41
  • @BJ Myers thanks for the comment there was actually continued play past this point. Which is why I included player 2 so that if I was right (definitely wasn't) something else happened after this encounter that I wanted to clarify but no need! – Morgan McClintock Jan 28 at 1:32
  • @Gendolkari Thanks for the edits! I didn't know I could link stuff that's good to know. – Morgan McClintock Jan 28 at 1:33
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    You wouldn't want the stack to look like that, if it did your Insult would resolve last, and all the damage your spells would have done would not be doubled. You need to let insult resolve then start a new stack with the lightning strikes OR cast the lightning strikes first and end with Insult, so it resolves first. – Andrew Jan 28 at 20:55
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I'm assuming here that the player you've named Tree began this exchange with 9 life and Dino began with 18. That means the sequence will most likely go something like this:

  1. You cast Insult
  2. Electrostatic Field triggers. It's triggered ability is placed on the stack above Insult, so the stack is currently:
    1. Electrostatic Field trigger
    2. Insult
  3. Each player passes priority. Electrostatic Field's ability resolves and does one damage to each of your opponents. This reduces Tree to 8 life and Dino to 17. Insult is now the only thing on the stack.
  4. Each player once again passes priority. Insult resolves creating a continuous effect that doubles damage for the rest of the turn.
  5. You cast Lightning Strike targeting Tree.
  6. Electrostatic Field triggers again. No one has a chance to act between you casting Lightning strike and Field's ability being put on the stack. The stack is now:
    1. Electrostatic Field trigger
    2. Lightning Strike

From here, there are a couple ways things could play out depending on when Tree acts. I'll go over the most likely scenario:

  1. Each player passes priority. Field's trigger resolves dealing 2 damage to each opponent due to Insult's continuous effect. This reduces Tree to 6 life and Dino to 15 life. Lightning Strike is now the only thing on the stack.
  2. Tree activates Tree of Redemption, placing it's activated ability on the stack. The stack now looks like this:
    1. Tree of Redemption's ability
    2. Lightning Strike
  3. You cast another Lightning Strike targeting Tree.
  4. Electrostatic Field Triggers again. The stack is now:
    1. Electrostatic Field trigger
    2. Lightning Strike
    3. Tree of Redemption's ability
    4. Lightning Strike
  5. Each player passes priority. Electrostatic Field's ability resolves, dealing 2 damage to each opponent. This reduces Tree to 4 life and Dino to 13 life. The stack is now:
    1. Lightning Strike
    2. Tree of Redemption's ability
    3. Lightning Strike
  6. Each player passes priority again. Lightning Strike resolves, dealing 6 damage to Tree due to Insult's continuous effect. Tree is reduced to -2 life and loses the game. All objects owned by them immediately disappear from the game. This includes all of their permanents on the battlefield as well as the Tree of Redemption ability they own on the stack. That leaves only your other Lightning Strike on the stack.
  7. Each remaining player passes priority. Lightning Strike tries to resolve, but it no longer has a target. Since it has no target it is moved to your graveyard without resolving (often referred to as "Fizzling").
  • In step 7, I believe you have the most likely scenario backwards. Tree would have no reason to activate Tree of Redemption before Electrostatic Field deals a damage. He knows he'd be better off taking that 2 damage from Field, then setting his health to 13, before taking more from Lightning Strike. – GendoIkari Jan 28 at 0:45
  • For step 13, as of a recent rules update, the spell will not be "countered" by the game rules, it will simply not resolve. Still a good answer though. – GendoIkari Jan 28 at 0:45
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    Huh, guess I missed that update. I agree 7 is probably in the wrong place. I'll update. – Miles Budnek Jan 28 at 0:46
  • Fixed. The rules change @GendoIkari mentioned doesn't actually change the outcome. It really just makes the wording on cards like Abrupt Decay cleaner. – Miles Budnek Jan 28 at 1:01
  • @Miles Budnek Thanks for the comment and helping me understand, I appreciate the time you spent laying this out! – Morgan McClintock Jan 28 at 1:35
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What happens depends completely on the specific order things were cast in. As you describe it, it sounds like you responded to Insult with Lightning Strike. If so, then Lightning Strike would resolve first, only dealing 3 damage, because Insult has not resolved yet.

Insult must resolve before it does anything to help you. So what you want/need to do is cast Insult, then let it resolve. THEN cast Lighting Strike, dealing 6 damage.

While Lightning Strike is on the stack, your opponent can respond by tapping Tree of Redemption. This would make the stack look like:

  • Tree of Redemption's ability
  • Lightning Strike

Tree of Redemption would resolve first (Because it is the top of the stack), which would set your opponent's life to 13. After that, Lightning Strike would resolve, dealing him 6 damage, which would reduce his life to 7.

If you still have another Lightning Strike in hand, and enough mana, then you can respond to this by casting it. Then the stack would look like this:

  • Lightning Strike (b)
  • Tree of Redemption's ability
  • Lightning Strike (a)

Lighting Strike (b) would resolve first, dealing 6 damage to your opponent, which would kill him if he is at 6 health. Tree of Redemption's ability would not be able to save him, as he would die before it has a chance to resolve (which would make the ability go away).

So it sounds like you are close to having things correct when you say

So that stack would be insult, LS, Monster tap, LS

Except that if Insult really is on the bottom of the stack, then your Lightning Strikes would only deal 3 damage, not 6. Don't cast Lightning Strike until after Insult has already resolved and would no longer be on the stack.

  • @Gendolkari always fun realizing you been playing a card wrong! Atleast now I understand so thanks for the comment and clarification. – Morgan McClintock Jan 28 at 1:36

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