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I played a game yesterday where I had Cathars' Crusade and Sorin, Grim Nemesis on the battlefield. I managed to activate Sorin's -9 action:

Put a number of 1/1 black Vampire Knight creature tokens with lifelink onto the battlefield equal to the highest life total among all players.

One of my opponents had 35 life at that point, so I got 35 tokens.

Cathar's Crusade says:

Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

How will this play out? As far as I can tell, this will result in one of the following scenarios, ranging from the least to the most powerful:

  1. I put 35 tokens on the battlefield at the same time. This will trigger the effect once, giving all of them one counter.
  2. I put the first token on the battlefield, it gets one counter. I put the second token on the battlefield. It gets one counter, and the first token will get one counter for a total of two. Continuing this pattern will end with a battlefield with 35 tokens with an increasing number of counters (ranging from 1 counter on the last token to 35 counters on the first token)
  3. I put 35 tokens on the battlefield at the same time. This will trigger the effect 35 times, giving all the tokens 35 counters.

We went with option 2, but I had some other bolster cards on the board (Captivating Vampire, Legion Lieutenant and Door of Destinies with three counters) so I would have easily won even if we had chosen option 1, but I'm still curious which option is the correct one.

marked as duplicate by Hackworth magic-the-gathering Jun 19 at 13:48

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  • 2
    You might be interested in the modern Scapeshift deck, which kills a similar way: get to 7 lands, play Scapeshift, then get a Valakut and 6 mountains from your deck. All the mountains enter the battlefield at the same time, so Valakut's condition is met and it triggers 6 times, doing 18 damage to opponent. In the same way, all your tokens see all the other tokens enter the battlefield at the same time, triggering 35 times. – Allure Jun 19 at 1:29
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All 35 tokens enter the battlefield at the same time. All creatures you control, including the 35 tokens you just created, will get 35 +1/+1 counters.

As Sorin's ability resolves, you carry out its instructions; in this case, create 35 1/1 creature tokens.

Cathars' Crusade will be triggered 35 times:

603.2c An ability triggers only once each time its trigger event occurs. However, it can trigger repeatedly if one event contains multiple occurrences.

If it were to trigger only once, its trigger condition would have to be worded differently, for example as "Whenever one or more creatures enter the battlefield, [..]". As it is, it triggers once for every single creature entering the battlefield.

All abilities that do trigger during the resolution of a spell or ability wait until that spell or ability is fully resolved before they enter the stack:

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.

116.3. Which player has priority is determined by the following rules:

116.3b The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves.

The abilities created by Cathars' Crusade work on all creatures on the battlefield at the time they resolve, not when it is triggered or when it enters the stack. Assuming that no player takes further action, the 35 Cathars' Crusade triggers will resolve and give every creature you control, including the tokens, 35 +1/+1 counters each.

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It's 3.; you'll get a lot of giant Vampire tokens. Cathars' Crusade has a triggered abilities, of which the rules state

603.2c An ability triggers only once each time its trigger event occurs. However, it can trigger repeatedly if one event contains multiple occurrences. Example: A permanent has an ability whose trigger condition reads, “Whenever a land is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, . . . .” If someone casts a spell that destroys all lands, the ability will trigger once for each land put into the graveyard during the spell’s resolution.

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. See rule 116, “Timing and Priority.” The ability becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. It remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, a rule causes it to be removed from the stack, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

All tokens enter the battlefield at once, and by the time the Cathars' Crusade ability triggers resolve, they'll all be ready to receive the +1/+1 tokens.

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