Helm of the Host states: at the beginning of combat create a creature token. Is there a stack to put this on and resolve, or is there no way for your opponents to respond to this triggered ability, or cast some other spell? A similar question regarding Sigiled Sword of Valeron. That happens later in the combat phase: 'Whenever equipped creature attacks, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance that's attacking.' Is there a stack where this goes, allowing your opponent to respond?

2 Answers 2


Yes, both are triggered abilities and can be responded to, e.g. countering them with Stifle. If the ability triggered, it's too late to counter the ability by destroying the source with e.g. Naturalize. Even though the artifact is gone before the ability resolves, the ability itself is now a different 'object' and won't be affected by this.

603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger condition or event], [effect]. [Instructions (if any).]”

603.2b When a phase or step begins, all abilities that trigger “at the beginning of” that phase or step trigger.

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 117, “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.

  • I noted those conditions except in the case of either of these they appear to resolve before anyone gets priority. The assign attackers is over and the token is attacking. The begining of combat has the token appearing and it has haste so it can be assigned as an attacker. I can not find any place for a stack till after assign attackers which is too late.
    – Bill
    Jul 26, 2019 at 22:16
  • 3
    @Bill it seems to me you are mixing up to concept of the stack with the concept of priority. There is only one stack ever, into which all spells and abilities go. You can cast spells and activate abilities whenever you have priority, which happens at least once every step, and also whenever something goes into the stack. Jul 27, 2019 at 11:32
  • 2
    @Bill You are correct that attackers are done being declared before Sigiled Sword's ability resolves. There's nothing preventing an ability from adding extra attackers after the player has finished declaring their attackers. Jul 27, 2019 at 21:25

There are 6 steps to the combat phase:

  1. Beginning of combat <-- Helm of the Host triggers here
  2. Declare attackers <-- Sigiled Sword of Valeron triggers here
  3. Declare blockers
  4. First strike damage <-- Skipped if no creatures involved have first strike or double strike
  5. Normal Damage
  6. End of combat

Each player gets priority in each of these steps. The game advances to the next step when the stack is empty and each player passes priority without taking an action.

So the sequence for Helm of the Host and Sigiled Sword of Valeron looks like this:

  1. Players pass from the first main phase
  2. Beginning of combat step starts
  3. Helm of the Host triggers; it's trigger is placed on the stack
  4. Active player gains priority and may cast spells and activate abilities; assume player takes no action
  5. Next player in turn sequence gains priority and may cast spells and activate abilities; assume player takes no action
  6. Repeat step 5 for each additional player
  7. Helm of the Host's trigger resolves; a token that's a copy of the equipped creature is placed on the battlefield
  8. Repeat steps 4-6
  9. Declare attackers step begins
  10. Active player declares which creatures they will attack with
  11. Sigiled Sword of Valeron triggers; it's trigger is placed on the stack
  12. Repeat steps 4-6
  13. Sigiled Sword's trigger resolves; a 2/2 knight token is placed on the battlefield attacking
  14. Repeat steps 4-6
  15. Declare blockers step begins

You must log in to answer this question.

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