7

The action of casting a spell is only apparently simple. There are many steps, and it is for this reason that I propose this question.

Taking into account rule 601.2a only (without taking into account the several successive steps, by now, and in particular without referring to the choice of targets which is however essential), which reads

To propose the casting of a spell, a player first moves that card (or that copy of a card) from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

and using at the same time the blue rare card Moonlace, I wondered if it was possible, by keeping priority, to use the latter card to make another spell colorless before making my choice of its possible targets.

For example, if I have a Lightning Bolt and I want to cast it on a creature with protection from red – e.g. Repentant Blacksmith – may I use Moonlace to make the Bolt colorless, thus allowing to legally target the Repentant Blacksmith – or, possibly, other cards that have the ability "protection from colored spells", too?

The question is set in an open way, because at the moment I don't know if the action described is or is not possible, based on my current knowledge of the rules. In other words, thinking about the question by myself, I don't think it is possible to cast the Lightning Bolt first and then the Moonlace, since for a correct casting of the Lightning Bolt I think it is included the choice of the target, which cannot be legal since the creature is protected from red. On the other hand, casting Moonlace first is all the same wrong, because the spell that should target doesn't exist yet, and therefore this action would be illegal too, for the same reason. That's the reason why I said to refer to rule 601.2a only.

The key to the question then is simply: is there someone knowing any “sleight of hand” to grant devoid ability on Lightning Bolt, before his target is chosen - via Moonlace, or via any other ways, otherwise? And, if that kind of sleight does exist, what spell should I cast first? It is possible to cast two spells simultaneously?

  • I realize you're asking about a particular interaction, but you can get the desired effect using [mtg:Mind Bend] on the Blacksmith. – John Dec 9 '19 at 18:23
  • Ok John, it's a good interaction that you propose, but I would have preferred something that could give devoid to a particular magic. I am really asking too much:I hoped my Moonlace method would work,but it doesn't. With Mind Bend you change only the color from which a given creature is protected. Instead I was looking for a little something that, in doing so, could have hit creatures with "protection from colored spells", that is ... Emrakul, for example! – ManoFromBerlin Dec 10 '19 at 15:41
  • you can get your desired impact, if instead you used a non-targeting spell such as Chain Reaction. – John Dec 10 '19 at 16:02
  • Obviously...too bad it is ...a sorcery...!! But no problem: I could create good fast decks against oddities like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn... – ManoFromBerlin Dec 10 '19 at 16:35
  • Murgatroid, i'm really sorry you had to edit the question, cancelling the last part of rule 601.2 as i write it: "The fact that it is legal to cast the proposed magic is not checked at this time” - but there are some online sources that also include that part in the rule's text, and so I thought of linking to it to try to make possible the combination of the two spells I intended to propose - failing - with this question. If your sources do not report the text this way, then I trust you. – ManoFromBerlin Dec 11 '19 at 15:50
13

Moonlace only works on Lightning Bolt when it's a spell, i.e. an object on the stack. To get it there, you have to cast it, which includes specifying a legal target. As you indicated, Repentant Blacksmith isn't one.

What would work is casting the Lightning Bolt on another target (e.g. your opponent), Moonlacing it so it becomes colorless, and then change the target with another card, e.g. Misdirection.

  • Wow, too bad the links to the card - misdirection, this time - almost never work! Anyway, this is what I call "sleight of hand", although it is quite hard to accomplish,since you need two specific cards in hand, plus of course lightning! It is really a pity that there is no way to cast Moonlace BEFORE the choice of legal targets...anyway, that's a great answer. – ManoFromBerlin Dec 9 '19 at 10:59
  • @Massimiliano, 601.2a doesn't describe casting a spell. 601.2 does. 601.2a is just one step of many. These steps include 601.2c, choosing of (legal) targets. – ikegami Dec 9 '19 at 11:51
  • 1
    @Massimiliano That card link works fine for me. However, the link is not actually to the card but to a gatherer search for the card, which redirects to the card page since there is only one search result. This is important because if your Gatherer settings specify a default language other than English, the search will fail. Unfortunately, this is the way that all [mtg:...] links are created on this site, which may be why you are having trouble with all of them. – Benjamin Cosman Dec 9 '19 at 17:08
  • FYI, here's a better link, I think. gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/… – RBarryYoung Dec 10 '19 at 14:43
  • 1
    @Glorfindel the link didn’t work right for me when I posted my comments earlier. I didn’t realize that this was a site function, and just thought that you had a bad link imbedded. The link is working fine for me now, so maybe it was a SE site maintenance issue or something. – RBarryYoung Jan 4 at 22:19
0

No, that won't work. While you are in the process of casting a spell, you can't even begin casting another spell, let alone have that second spell resolve before you finish casting the first. If Lighning Bolt would have an illegal target from the start, it's not going to be on the stack to be modified by Moonlace.

As you already noted, the rules of casting a spell are quite extensive, and in most cases, the steps can be walked over because they are intuitive. However, in your scenario, we have to dig down a bit.

It's important to note here that casting a spell is a process. You follow the steps in the exact order described. There is no rule that would allow you to interrupt this process with any other action, in particular you can't begin casting a second spell while you are playing the first.

601.2a To propose the casting of a spell, a player first moves that card (or that copy of a card) from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

We can continue to targeting:

601.2c The player announces their choice of an appropriate object or player for each target the spell requires. [..]

The process of casting Lightning Bolt stops here, because a creature with protection from red is not an "appropriate" target for a red Lightning Bolt. The game returns to the point just before you proposed casting LB: You have priority, and the Bolt is in your hand rather than on the stack:

601.2e The game checks to see if the proposed spell can legally be cast. If the proposed spell is illegal, the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed

If Lightning Bolt was legally cast, you would gain priority afterwards and thus the right to cast another spell if you wish, such as Moonlace. Of course, if Lightning Bolt would have been legally cast from the start, you wouldn't need Moonlace to make it legal.

  • Ok Hackworth. I know your answer is correct. I found some online sources that add this text to the last part of rule 601.2a: "The fact that it is legal to cast the proposed magic is not checked at this time” - so I thought it would mean it is possible to cast something even if his target was illegal - at the very beginning of the casting of a spell, only. Later on, Moonlace would be able to grant devoid to the spell, and making the target legal at the same time. Too bad the whole thing i s uncorrect...! – ManoFromBerlin Dec 11 '19 at 15:57
  • It's possible you just misunderstood what that source said. At the very first step, in 601.2a, it really is not checked whether the spell is legal. But like I wrote, in the following steps there are checks. If any of those fail, the spell was illegal. – Hackworth Dec 11 '19 at 16:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.