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Suppose I have a Time of Ice and Opalescence on the battlefield. My Time of Ice (which is a creature) is at two lore counters and won't untap during my next turn because of my opponent's sleep.

Does Time of Ice's third chapter ability return Time of Ice to my hand before it is sacrificed?

For some reason the rule on this isn't intuitive to me: it appears that the game waits until after a saga's final ability resolves to be sacrificed.

12

You will get to return the Saga to your hand.

714.4. If the number of lore counters on a Saga permanent is greater than or equal to its final chapter number, and it isn’t the source of a chapter ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that Saga’s controller sacrifices it. This state-based action doesn’t use the stack.

The bold part makes it so that as long as the "return to your hand" ability is on the stack; the state-based action that would make you sacrifice it doesn't do anything yet.

4

The final ruling below the card in Gatherer says:

Once the number of lore counters on a Saga is greater than or equal to the greatest number among its chapter abilities—in the Dominaria set, this is always three—the Saga’s controller sacrifices it as soon as its chapter ability has left the stack, most likely by resolving or being countered. This state-based action doesn’t use the stack.

So its ability resolves (returning it to your hand) and it's not a Saga permanent anymore, so you can't sacrifice it. The corresponding rule is 714.4:

714.4. If the number of lore counters on a Saga permanent is greater than or equal to its final chapter number, and it isn’t the source of a chapter ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that Saga’s controller sacrifices it. This state-based action doesn’t use the stack.

  • In fact, it is not a very clear rule. However, all the Sagas also indicate the following wording on the card text: "Sacrifice after III", which should mean that, before sacrificing it, the players must wait for Chapter III of the Saga to resolve. So, if Time of Ice has become a creature, and it's tapped before the acquisition phase - before drawing the card - then its owner takes it back on his hand,as a result of the Chapter III's triggered ability. – ManoFromBerlin Jan 14 at 16:22

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