If I have got a creature with "inflatable abilities" - just like Frozen Shade, or Granite Gargoyle - I want to know what happens when activating it. Since inflatable abilities are activated abilities, if I activate three times Granite Gargoyle's ability ({R}: +0/+1 until end of turn) in response to each other, they go on the stack one after the other, and my opponent may respond to this with a Shock targeting the Gargoyle. So, in such a situation, the Gargoyle dies, and goes to the graveyard before his ability comes to rescue. Is this correct?

  • Please tell Ikigami it is this a kind of question slightly different among others I already asked for.1°one concerned about the correct timing between enchantments/instants;2°one was about the timing between instants and other instants too;this one –3°– just involved special abilities and instants.The 3 questions ARE NOT exactly the same,and may serve well in order to understand whyLIFOrule is basically the correct way to recall any order of resolution.In this way, the 3 simple questions are summarized,and fast-recovering,for all beginners/old-time players returning playing after many years. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 11:21
  • I'm joking, Ikigami, you're welcome...obviously, this is not the kind of questions you really like...since you're an expert one and stuff like this is simply boring. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 11:23
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    The question is identical. They're all "how does the stack work". The very fact that you use "in respond" in all questions makes then identical.
    – ikegami
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:10
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    @Massimiliano before you ask more questions on this topic I suggest reading boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/12652/…. That may help you understand this topic more generally.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 20:49
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    This is pretty much the same as the Shock vs. Titanic Growth example in the online rules, it's just that it's an ability here and not a spell, but then the rules also mention casting spells and activating abilities both use the stack ("When you cast a spell or activate an ability [...] it goes on the stack.") Of course, with an ability, it's easier to just reply to Shock by pumping again.
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


Yes, there's not much difference between activated abilities and instants in this particular case. If you look at the Comprehensive Rules, you'll see that they are treated similarly, e.g. in rule 405:

405. Stack

405.1. When a spell is cast, the physical card is put on the stack (see rule 601.2a). When an ability is activated or triggers, it goes on top of the stack without any card associated with it (see rules 602.2a and 603.3).

405.2. The stack keeps track of the order that spells and/or abilities were added to it. Each time an object is put on the stack, it’s put on top of all objects already there.

405.4. Each spell has all the characteristics of the card associated with it. Each activated or triggered ability that’s on the stack has the text of the ability that created it and no other characteristics.

In this case, you're better off activating the Gargoyle's ability once, and let it resolve before activating it again. If your opponent responds with Shock, you can respond to that with activating the ability again, saving the Gargoyle.

  • Exactly. Thank you Glorfindel. It is a simple kind of question, but it could be important, since some players may think at "inflatable abilities" just like they were static ones:that is wrong. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 11:31
  • That's why it's best to wait for the Gargoyle's ability to resolve before activating it again. In fact, under tournament rules, that's what "I activate three times" means
    – ikegami
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:21
  • Well, properly talking...returning back to the Gargoyle example, activating the inflatable ability just one time - instead of two - in response to Shock, it is enough to rescue her. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:36
  • Yes, but that would require spending an extra {R} you didn't need to spend,
    – ikegami
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:59
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    'In fact, under tournament rules, that's what "I activate three times" means' This was unknown to me. I thought the tournament rules were pretty darn pedantic about what you actually say, and what you actually say in that case is that you activate it three times without paying priority and therefore without letting them resolve. Do you have a reference?
    – Arthur
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 15:12

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