Dreadhorde Arcanist lets you recast a instant or sorcery spell from your graveyard for free when it attacks.

Now I had this situation come up: I had two Arcanists on the field. In the main phase I buffed one of them with Collision // Colossus (+4/+2) which costs 2 mana. When I attacked I got two trigger for both the abilities. I used the trigger of the now 5/5 Arcanist to cast Collision // Colossus again and wanted to buff the 1/3 Arcanist with it, while it's trigger was still on the stack. Sadly, the enemy conceded, so I didn't see how Arena would have handled it.

In this situation, would my second Arcanist trigger resolve with 5 power, or with 1?

Thank you.

  • 1
    Note that Collision // Colossus has a converted mana cost of 4, not 2. So if Dreadhorde Arcanist had 3 power when it attacked; you would not be able to cast Colossus with its ability.
    – GendoIkari
    May 1, 2019 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


You would only be able to cast a spell with a converted mana cost of 1.

This is confirmed by the rulings on Dreadhorde Arcanist:

The instant or sorcery card you target must have converted mana cost less than or equal to Dreadhorde Arcanist’s power immediately after Dreadhorde Arcanist has attacked. Any other abilities that trigger when creatures you control attack won’t have resolved yet.

This is because you must choose targets when you put the ability on the stack, before it resolves, and at the time you are choosing targets, Dreadhorde Arcanist still has a power of 1. You will be placing both triggered abilities on the stack before either one of them resolves.

603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that's not a card the next time a player would receive priority.

Note that targets are checked for legality again when a spell or ability resolves, so Dreadhorde Arcanist must still have a high enough power to cast the chosen spell when its ability resolves. If the Arcanist's power were lowered after its ability was put on the stack, this could cause its ability to fizzle (not resolve).

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. [...] 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.

  • 3
    I think it's it's a it's a bit misleading to say that the number can't be changed once the ability is on the stack. What can't be changed is the target, which is chosen when the ability goes on the stack and is restricted based on the power.
    – murgatroid99
    May 1, 2019 at 16:53
  • @murgatroid99 Thanks, I missed that the reason the ruling worked was because it was targeted.
    – GendoIkari
    May 1, 2019 at 17:06
  • 1
    If you chose the spell at resolution, the number wouldn't be locked in; it would be evaluated at resolution.
    – murgatroid99
    May 1, 2019 at 17:10
  • 1
    Is it worth noting that it does check the power on resolution as well, in case the power is reduced after the trigger is on the stack?
    – JonTheMon
    May 2, 2019 at 19:03
  • @JonTheMon thats the part that confused me the most, because it gives some credences to checking the power only when it resolves. May 2, 2019 at 19:43

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