Irecently played a game with my group and I used Jinxed Idol at the beginning of my end step so I sacrificed a small 1/1 token to pass to 1 of my 3 opponents (next in turn after me) but then a game of hot potato began.

Me sacrificing token and passing it to next person in turn.

Them “I sacrifice this to pass to another person”

2nd person does same thing to third person,

3rd P does same to me, so I sacrificed another token and pass it to next person, they then sacked another creature and this is how it went until one person (not the person who’s turn it was at the end of my turn) controlled the idol but no creatures left to sac.

So is this allowed or have we been too ambitious with the wording as it doesn’t specify when you can do it but it’s not an instant either.

Also can I in response to my own sacking of a creature sacrifice another creature using jinxed idol and repeat process until I sacrifice as many as I want? Then let it resolve and pass to opponent?


3 Answers 3


You played correctly.

Jinxed Idol has an activated ability (in addition to the triggered ability that causes its controller damage). Activated abilities can be activated by a player who has priority, and unless there is a restriction written into the ability itself, there is not a limit to how many times it can be activated on a single turn. As long as you can pay the cost, you can activate the ability.

602.1. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]”

117.1b A player may activate an activated ability any time they have priority.

Once an opponent gains control of Jinxed Idol, they can now use the activated ability the next time they have priority.

While the activated ability is on the stack, you could activate it again in response, but unless you get some benefit from sacrificing creatures, this wouldn't help you. The second activation would go on top of the stack, and after everyone passes priority, it would resolve, giving control of Jinxed Idol to your opponent. Then, if everyone passes priority again, the other activation would resolve, which would also give control of Jinxed Idol to your opponent. But because your opponent already controls it at that point, there would be no effect from trying to give control of it to your opponent again.

Technically, your opponent could activate Jinxed Idol after your second activation resolves but before your first activation resolves... in which case you would gain control of Jinxed Idol back temporarily, before your original activation resolves and control goes back to your opponent. But unless your opponent actually wants Jinxed Idol; they can just wait until all your activations have resolved, and then activate it themselves to get rid of it.


You can play Jinxed Idol's activated ability whenever you can play an instant, as long as you have priority and the creature to sacrifice to pay the cost.

Your opponents can do the same if they control the Jinxed Idol and have priority.

You can respond to the ability by playing the ability again before the ability resolves, if you have priority.

  • 1
    Your final paragraph is a bit unclear, but it sounds to me as though you're saying that you can respond to an opponent giving you the idol by giving away the idol before your opponent's donation resolves. This doesn't work.
    – Arthur
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 19:25
  • Apologies I mean I have the idol, I sacrifice a creature, but in response to me sacking the creature I activate the affect of idol, so I sacrifice a 2nd creature, in response to that I trigger it again to sacrifice a 3rd 4th or 5th creature, then when I have nothing left I want to sack let it resolve and pass it to an opponent. Or is this not possible? Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 20:59
  • @LyndonBrocklesby you can, and at the end of it all whoever you first were going to pass the idol to would have it. If you're using it as an outlet to get off effects when your creatures die that's not too bad, otherwise you're probably better off just using it the once.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 21:42

You all played it correctly, at least legally - though that's a lot of creatures being sacrificed to pass the "hot potato" around. Lets look at your real question. It's your turn (active player(AP)), there are 3 other players(non-active players (NAP1, NAP2, NAP3), you have the idol and 3 1/1 creature tokens. Lets look at how this works.

  1. AP uses Jinxed idol, targeting NAP1 and sacrificing a 1/1 token.
  2. AP keeps priority and uses Jinxed idol, targeting NAP2 and sacrificing a 1/1 token.
  3. AP keeps priority and uses Jinxed idol, targeting NAP3 and sacrificing a 1/1 token.
  4. All players pass priority, the top on the stack resolves and NAP3 controls the idol.
  5. All players pass priority, the top on the stack resolves and NAP2 controls the idol.
  6. All players pass priority, the top on the stack resolves and NAP1 controls the idol.

This is fully legal, but a bit complicated and rarely something you'd want to do:

First while the other players NAP2 and NAP3 did control the idol for a few seconds, they don't control it at the beginning of their upkeep so it does nothing to them, only NAP1, if he still controls it when his turn starts, will take any damage from it.

Second you now are down 3 creatures, it will take NAP1 only 1 to give you the idol back - using it only once would still have thrown it to NAP1, and given you 2 more tokens to use however you needed to.

NAP3 or NAP2 could have sacrificed a creature while they had the idol to pass it, but it wouldn't have mattered because the idol would still keep moving in reverse order through the players you targeted with it. In the end it would still be in NAP1's lap - and if they had creatures they were willing to sacrifice they could always pass it on again.

Generally you want to use something like this at the last second - block a creature that doesn't have trample and sacrifice it to the idol since it's going to die anyways or at the end of the turn on the player before you, right before your turn starts and you would take damage. If you have something that gives you benefits when your creatures die like Grave Pact sacrificing tokens like this could be made more useful - but there are better outlets like Ashnod's Altar for that,

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