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Can I trigger an instant speed “Act of Treason” type effect (like with a Vedalken Orrery or Jeering Instigator, for example) to grab a Seedborn Muse before an opponent’s untap and untap all my permanents?

  • In case you wonder why the answers focus on being able to cast a spell before the untap step: You can't cast in response to Seedborn Muse's ability (because its not a triggered ability but a static ability that creates a replacement effect that modifies the rules), and it wouldn't help help to change the controller of a source of a triggered ability after it has already triggered anyway (since that doesn't change the controller of the ability). – ikegami Jan 30 at 13:25
  • Whether or not I could cast a spell (or trigger an ability- in the case of jeering instigator) before the untap step is the crux of my question. – Grenzo Winzo Jan 31 at 1:54
  • Mainly, I’m trying to figure good possible uses of the “act of treason” effect when you can do it on opponents turns. Other than the obvious one, where you pull an attacker out of combat and use it to block a different attacker- hopefully resulting in a two-for-one. – Grenzo Winzo Jan 31 at 1:58
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Well, obviously there will be points in the game prior to your opponent's untap step. For instance, on the turn before your opponents turn, you can grab the Seedborn Muse during the ending phase. If that's your turn, you can announce after your second main phase "I am casting Act of Treason using Vedalken Orrery's ability". Or, if you're in a multiplayer game, if that's another player's turn, then when that other player announces the end of their turn, you can say the same; when a player says they're ending their turn, they're just passing priority, and other players have the chance to take actions before the turn actually ends.

However, there are two problems.

First, Act of Treason only lasts until end of turn. If you do this during the end step you will pass Seedborn Muse back more or less immediately after it. You will not have Seedborn Muse by the time the next turn starts and it will be back under the control of whoever had it last.

Second, once the untap phase begins, it's too late to do anything to affect what happens in the untap phase. Even when something is "instant", you still have to wait until you receive priority, and

No player receives priority during this step so spells or abilities cannot be played. — Rules for the Beginning Phase

You first receive priority during your Upkeep, by which time Seedborn Muse has already had its effect and it is too late for gaining control of it to do much for you.

  • You're correct that you can cast whatever spell on a different turn, before Seedborn Muse's ability applies, but I think you should address the fact that if you do so with an Act of Treason-type effect, the control-change ability will unavoidably end during that same turn. Also, I don't think you understood what the card Vedalken Orrery does. – murgatroid99 Jan 29 at 23:42
  • I have updated this to (a) accurately reflect the interaction with Vedalken Orrery, since it is not an activated ability and therefore saying it is activated would be incorrect, (b) point out the end of turn issue with Act of Treason. – doppelgreener Jan 30 at 0:20
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There are ways to take control of a Seedborn Muse and use its ability to untap your permanents, but an effect that only lasts until end of turn like on Act of Treason won't help you there.

Seedborn Muse's ability happens during the untap step, the very first thing in a turn. You have no opportunity to act in that same turn before that happens. And if you use an effect like on Act of Treason or Jeering Instigator to take control of the Seedborn Muse on a previous turn, that effect giving you control of it will end during that same turn, so it will be back under its owner's control by the time you get to the next untap step. You would need a longer-term control effect like Control Magic to actually be able to use the Seedborn Muse's ability.

  • Thanks for the answers. My question was primarily about whether or not instant speed effects can resolve before untap. – Grenzo Winzo Jan 30 at 1:11
  • The rules reference from doppelgänger was very helpful. I was using the term trigger- not as a descriptor of the ability but just to mean “initiate.” Because in one example (jeering instigator)- I’m using a triggered ability, while in the other (Vedalken Orrery)- I’m using a static ability to cast a sorcery with flash- but in both cases I’m using the effect at instant speed. I was under the impression that “flash” allowed cards to resolve at instant speed. – Grenzo Winzo Jan 30 at 1:23
  • Does vedalken Orrery only allow casting at instant speed- but non-instant spells still resolve last? – Grenzo Winzo Jan 30 at 1:24
  • In what way did "Seedborn Muse's ability happens during the untap step, the very first thing in a turn. You have no opportunity to act in that same turn before that happens" not address the questions you are bringing up in the comments? – murgatroid99 Jan 30 at 1:41
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    That's how this site works. If you want clarification on an answer, you comment on the answer. If you instead have a new question, you should ask a new question as a separate post. Also, I didn't say you didn't understand Vedalken Orrery. That comment was addressed to the author of the answer it is attached to. – murgatroid99 Jan 30 at 3:30

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