A Friend and I were playing a game last night. I tapped 4 mana, and I had 4 Creatures in my graveyard to help reduce Ghoultree's mana cost. So I summoned him, my friend then cast an instant that exiles creatures from my graveyard. Does Ghoultree then fizzle, because I now don’t have enough mana to cast it?

Or because he wasn’t countered he still enters battlefield because I am the active player and have priority?


2 Answers 2


Your Ghoultree will still resolve fine; your opponent can’t prevent it by exiling cards from your graveyard after you have cast Ghoultree.

The casting cost of a spell only matters when you are casting it. You declare your spell, put it on the stack, pay it’s costs; and only then does your opponent have a chance to respond.

Your opponent could have cast his instant earlier; before your main phase, but he would have had to know that you were planning to cast Ghoultree. There is no time between you declaring you are casting Ghoultree and you paying the cost where your opponent can act.


During your turn, if the stack is empty and you're not moving to another phase, then you and only you have priority. This means that you are the only person that can do anything. When you go to cast a spell, naming it, revealing it, and paying for it all happen (I forget the specific order, though).

Once all of that happens, you can either hold priority to do something else, or you can pass priority. Only then can someone respond to what you've done, but not to prevent you from doing it, except by countering it. Because of that, no one can ever remove your ability to cast a spell or activate an ability before you have a chance to do so when you can legally do so.

Edit: fixed some stuff; I wrote the original response on my phone, hence the errors.

Edit 2: if you want to move to your next phase, then there is a passing of priority before that happens; this is usually done by way of a shortcut, e.g. by saying, "Move to combat/second phase/end step," at which point your opponents can either do nothing or respond by doing something before moving to the proposed phase because they have been given priority.

  • I assume by "attack" you mean "stack"? This sentence is misleading, because either player could have priority while the stack is empty. The active player gets priority first in each phase, but that doesn't mean that you and only you have priority while the stack is empty.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 8, 2019 at 2:46
  • I fixed it to what, I believe, is more correct: unless you're moving to another phase, if nothing is on the stack, there is not a scenario where anyone can have priority except you. Am I wrong? If not, can the -1 get removed?
    – John Doe
    Jul 8, 2019 at 20:32
  • I was not the downvoter. I don’t think “moving to another phase” is clear; moving to another phase is simply what happens after each player passes priority while the stack is empty. It is not a period of time; it is a single event. The game can be in a state where it is my main phase on my turn; the stack is empty; and my opponent has priority. This happens whenever the active player passes priority while the stack is empty. So it’s not true that it can only be the active player’s turn to act.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 8, 2019 at 23:02
  • But how/why are you passing priority? You can just pass priority because you feel like it, it has to be...triggered, for lack of a better term, by something. Yes, passing to another phase is an event, not a period, but you can't move to another phase without passing priority, and that is the only time that priority can be passed while the stack is empty. In other words, you say, "Move to combat/second main/end step," and someone says, "In response..." That is the passing of priority which, again, needs a specific trigger to happen. When else is the active player able to pass priority?
    – John Doe
    Jul 9, 2019 at 15:45
  • Saying "move to combat" is only proposing a shortcut. The actual steps that happen are that active player first passes priority, which gives other player priority. Then other player passes priority, which causes the game to move to the next phase. You don't jump straight from having priority to going to the next step. If you are playing without shortcuts at all, then at the start of your main phase, you would say "I am passing priority", after which your opponent would have priority.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 9, 2019 at 16:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .