Recently, I played a match where a player used a card that killed off everyone’s creatures above a certain power, including one of his own. Immediately after that card, when no other card was played by anyone else and in the same turn, he used a Planeswalker ability from Huatli, the Sun's Heart to regain the life points from the same creature he sacrificed.

Is that allowed since he activated the ability after?

  • 1
    "sacrifice" has a specific meaning in MtG, and the creature wasn't sacrificed. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 19:12

2 Answers 2


No, that won't work. If your opponent's creature has died, your opponent no longer controls it, and Huatli's ability will not see it.

If your opponent wants to get the life for the creature that would die from the sweeper, he has to activate Huatli before casting the sweeper.

Once your opponent has cast the sweeper (MtG slang for a spell or ability that damages/destroys/exiles etc. multiple permanents), it's on the stack and nobody can respond to it with a planeswalker's loyalty ability:

113.5. Some activated abilities are loyalty abilities. Loyalty abilities follow special rules: A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent they control any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn [..]

The sweeper resolves and kills all applicable creatures. A creature that dies moves to the graveyard:

700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”

Objects in the graveyard have no controller:

109.4. Only objects on the stack or on the battlefield have a controller. Objects that are neither on the stack nor on the battlefield aren’t controlled by any player.

"Creatures" is shorthand for "creature permanents", and permanents can only exist on the battlefield:

109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn’t include the word “card,” “spell,” “source,” or “scheme,” it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.

Therefore, when Huatli's loyalty ability selects the greatest toughness among creatures you control, it only looks at your creatures on the battlefield.


No, this is not allowed.

So your opponent casted a spell to destroy all creatures. He let you say that you do not have any response (meaning he passed the priority, then you passed it as well without doing anything). At this point (assuming a 2 player game for simplicity but it works the same in multiplayer) the spell resolves. Your opponent can not cast any spell or activate any ability before the creatures are destroyed.

But, anyway, even if he could, Huatli's ability is a loyalty ability. It can not be activated when the stack is not empty, which is not the case between the moment the spell is casted and the moment it resolves.

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