I’m looking at the ability of one of the upcoming Eldrazi releases, and was wondering when payment happens and when the ability goes on the stack.

Ulalek, Fused Atrocity has the ability

Whenever you cast an Eldrazi spell, you may pay {C}{C}. If you do, copy all spells you control, then copy all other activated and triggered abilities you control. You may choose new targets for the copies. (Mana abilities can’t be copied.)

When I cast an Eldrazi, does the trigger go on the stack and then I pay, and if I do does it create a new trigger without the payment part saying to copy, or do I pay before it goes on the stack at all?

Part of the confusion is with the period after the payment, I know having a period or not can change things and this is why I’m asking.

1 Answer 1


This is a single triggered ability. A triggered ability is indicated by the word "when", "whenever", or "at". This ability only has one of those, once, so there's no part that creates another triggered ability.

You follow all of the instructions in the ability as the ability resolves. First, you decide whether to pay the cost, and you can activate mana abilities to do so. Then, if you do pay it, you follow the rest of the instructions, otherwise nothing happens.

I know having a period or not can change things

This is not the case. It generally doesn't matter whether an ability is one sentence or multiple sentences.

  • 1
    So the ability would go to stack, the resolve all at once? Commented May 24 at 1:30
  • 1
    Yes, that is always how all activated and triggered abilities work. The only exception is if the ability creates another triggered ability during its resolution. That only happens if it uses the specific wording for a triggered ability in the middle of the ability, and this one does not do that.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 24 at 1:32
  • @Littleinhuman To be clear, when Ulalek's triggered ability resolves (if you paid 2 colorless), it will put a copy of all your other spells, activated and triggered abilities on the stack. When you put them on the stack, you make any choices about targets, etc., but then the stack will unwind as normal, with each player getting priority before each subsequent item resolves.
    – BradC
    Commented May 24 at 13:51
  • So if you cast two Eldrazi, you have the option of paying CCCCCC to put three copies of everything onto the stack? Commented May 24 at 23:06
  • 1
    @murgatroid99 "This works because each time you copy everything, that includes the first instance of this ability" — No, the ability only copies other abilities, not itself.
    – jwodder
    Commented May 26 at 23:50

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