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I am thinking about adding the card Orcish Captain to my Okaun and Zndrsplt deck. I was wondering, if I activated Orcish Captain say, 7 times at once, and he dies at the first flip. Do the other 6 still happen so I can get Okaun/Zndrsplt triggers?

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2 Answers 2

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No, this doesn't work.

You can place as many instances of the ability on the stack as you can afford, before any of them resolve, by responding to each one with another one. But you need to choose targets for each one as you place it on the stack. Assuming that Orcish Captain is the only Orc creature you have, then that will be the target for all of the instances of the ability.

The first time you lose a flip, Orcish Captain will die before the next ability resolves. After that, the ability will fail to resolve due to having no legal targets, so you won't do the coin flip.

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that's no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. If all its targets, for every instance of the word "target," are now illegal, the spell or ability doesn't resolve. It's removed from the stack and, if it's a spell, put into its owner's graveyard.

So you will only get to flip coins until you lose a coin flip, similar to what your Okaun and Zndrsplt do. You can still add this into the deck, but you would be better off paying just {1}, letting it resolve, then repeating if you won the coin flip.

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    My original answer was based on a misreading of Orcish Captain; I thought it's simply affected itself, rather than being targeted.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 21, 2019 at 18:51
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No they don't. The problem is that Orcish Captain's ability requires a target. The card ruling specifies.

You choose the target when you activate the ability. You don’t flip a coin until the ability resolves.

This, a copy of the ability on the stack won't resolve if its target is invalid (emphasis is mine).

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that's no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. If all its targets, for every instance of the word "target," are now illegal, the spell or ability doesn't resolve. It's removed from the stack and, if it's a spell, put into its owner's graveyard.

Consequently, you will only flip coins as long as the ogre you targeted is on the battlefield.

The card you want to create super combos here is Frenetic Efreet, whose ability doesn't require targets and thus still flips a coin even if the Efreet leaves the battlefield, allowing you to flip as many coins as you want (provided you put all of the coin flips on the stack at once).

Unrelated to your specific question, check out Krark's Thumb and Chance Encounter; these are great in a coin-flip commander deck.

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  • Frenetic Efreet is a neat combo, but it's tricky... you can't shortcut a loop of a million coinflips, but you also have to declare how many times you will flip it ahead of time, and you can't know for sure what a good number of flips is. You have to pick something small enough that you can physically do the flip that many times.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 21, 2019 at 18:56
  • @GendoIkari Depends on the play group. At least in casual, you should be able to say: I flip a million coins, with 99.999% probability, Okaun, Eye of Chaos has power/toughness in excess of 10^100 and I attack with him. Alternatively, there is the Python snippet import random; sum(random.randint(0,1) for _ in range(10**6)). I just got 500,315 heads; it took about 2 seconds to run. If your play group doesn't allow either of these, then I suppose you have to settle for flipping a mere hundred coins.
    – Zags
    Feb 21, 2019 at 19:01
  • I almost mentioned casual play vs tournament play in my comments. It really does depend on the group; if someone I were playing a casual game with pointed out that you aren't allowed to use shortcuts for non-predictable results, I wouldn't accuse him of being petty or having bad sportsmanship. But I personally would probably allow it.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 21, 2019 at 20:12
  • Also, if you are doing it to draw a lot of cards with Zndrsplt, it's even trickier, because you don't want to mill yourself, but you might want to draw 10 or so cards. You could activate it 20 times and hope for the best.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 21, 2019 at 20:13
  • ... or cast Laboratory Maniac and hope for the best. But yes, the right number of flips is certainly tricky with Zndrsplt.
    – Zags
    Feb 21, 2019 at 20:38

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