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When I play MTG, sometimes I can't kill creature which entered the battlefield under opponent's control right away. To give example Lurrus of the Dream-Den entered the battlefield but I could not kill him instant speed even when I had both mana and spell. But at other occasions (if I remember correctly) I could kill a creature which entered the game before it could activate its ability (not ability activated "When entered" but something like use mana to deal damage so similar to Lurrus).

Should not I be able to react instant speed on Lurrus and since his ability is casting from graveyard which is not instant speed he should not even be able to react with it on my instant removal?

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    I've removed the Arena references here, everything here applies just as much in paper as it does in Arena. – Philip Kendall Nov 16 '20 at 13:13
  • @Andrew Yes, it is a specific case of my general question, incidentally with Lurrus provided as an example too. If I confirm that the question to be similar, will it still stay visible to public? I think that because of less general wording of the other question you provided, someone could again ask the same question as I did again, so by keeping this open I think it can help to avoid more 'duplicates' in the future. – eXPRESS Nov 17 '20 at 18:04
  • @eXPRESS Yes, your question will still be visible if it is closed as a duplicate, but people won't be able to add answers, instead they will be directed to the other question. They will still be able to see everything already on your question here. – Andrew Nov 17 '20 at 18:16
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    @Andrew thanks for the information, marked it. – eXPRESS Nov 17 '20 at 18:25
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This has to do with priority. When anything goes on the stack (a spell being cast, a trigger from anything etc), players get "priority" (a word to describe the chance to do something) in APNAP order (active player, non-active player).

When a creature enters the battlefield and has a triggered ability that triggers when it enters the battlefield, that trigger goes on the stack and then all players get priority before it resolves. When a creature does not have such an ability, then the active players gets priority until they either pass actively (such as "moving to end step") or cast/activate something else.

To go into your example, they have a moment with Lurrus on the battlefield where they have priority (i.e. you cannot cast/activate something) and they can for example cast a creature from their graveyard. Only when they do this, you get priority and can then kill Lurrus in response.

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  • I understand. So maybe what happened in the case where the ability was not auto triggered but manually triggered is that opponent auto-skipped. It seemed like I had the priority to react when the creature entered the battlefield but in fact he was the activate player and could have chained another action, for example activate manually the ability of the entered creature, but he only opted not to. – eXPRESS Nov 16 '20 at 13:18
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First things first, there is no "speed" in Magic. Instants/abilities/flash affect when you can do something, not how fast it happens. This term leads to misconceptions like yours.

After an effect resolves, each player gets priority starting with the active player. To cast a spell or activate an ability, a player must have priority. In the example you give, it goes as follows.

Opponent casts Lurrus, (both pass priority) it resolves and enters the battlefield Opponent gets priority since it is their turn. Opponent casts Grizzly Bears and passes priority.

There is no point in between Lurrus entering the battlefield and your opponent casting Grizzly Bears where you can cast Murder.

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    "There is no speed in Magic" - other than Split Second anyway. – Philip Kendall Nov 16 '20 at 23:12
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    Split second isn't really a "speed" either. It just creates restrictions on what actions players can take. – murgatroid99 Nov 17 '20 at 8:43
  • I understand, I maybe phrased myself poorly, but I heard the term "instant speed" when referring to the fact that instant can be played without waiting for certain phase but rather any time you choose to. – eXPRESS Nov 17 '20 at 18:24
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As a general rule, experiences magic players wait until the last second something will be useful before using their mana and abilities. The more mana you have, and the more spells in hand you have, the less your opponent knows about what you can do, and that's always an advantage. The last second to cast anything sorcery speed is the second main phase, the last second to cast something instant speed is the end of your opponent's turn before yours begins.

Players don't use Heliod, Sun Crowned to give lifelink to a creature until right before combat damage, there's no point to having lifelink until damage is going to happen. Players don't sacrifice Fanatical Firebrand as soon as they play it, they wait until they are using it to block, or it is about to die for some other reason to get a little extra out of it.

Lurrus is used this way too. Players will wait to cast Lurrus until the last second, when they want to play a card in their graveyard or they are otherwise ready to end their second main phase. If you're going to be casting something like Dead Weight using Lurrus, casting Lurrus before combat then immediately using Dead Weight to weaken or kill an opponent's creature matters. If you're going to be playing a creature with Lurrus, unless that creature is going to have haste or some other ability that will change the coming combat (like casting Charmed Stray out of the graveyard to pump ones already on the battlefield), you usually wait until you're ready to end your turn - this isn't about speed, it's about priority and strategy, and the player who's turn it is always gets priority before their opponent does.

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    Good general advice, unnecessary hastiness personally cost me many recent games for sure. Going only mono red and cycling from B4 to D1 (cards being kinda expensive) did not teach me much about it and after picking up Rogues my W/R went from 65% to 45% and in my opinion the problem was exactly in what you describe, one most hold, give enemy as little info as possible and prolong until the last possible chance to cast or react. – eXPRESS Nov 17 '20 at 18:21
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    @eXPRESS in mono red, that wait is less of a thing, but it's still there. Holding off on burn spells to use them as removal so you can use Shock if your opponent plays say Daxos turn 2 rather than doing 2 damage with it directly, or using it directly if they didn't play anything worth killing immediately can make all the difference in a game. – Andrew Nov 21 '20 at 16:43
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    agree, combination of dmg spell with Fervent Champion's first strike is also what came to my mind and what I missed when I picked up mono red. Just holding the mana open with 2 Fervent's attacking potentionally removing even Lovestruck Beast or at least make the opponent let extra damage pass and drop Bonecrusher Giant or Anax in the second main before Embercleave round. – eXPRESS Nov 22 '20 at 13:05

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