Player A taps Goblin Fireslinger targeting Player B; its "deals 1 damage to target player" ability is placed on the stack.

Player B gets priority and responds with Snap, targeting Goblin Fireslinger.

Both players pass priority. Snap resolves, and Goblin Fireslinger is returned to its owner's hand.

Does Player B still take 1 damage from Goblin Fireslinger's activated ability?

I know that if the creature had been killed/sent to the graveyard, the ability would still resolve, but I was told recently that because a player's hand is a private zone it couldn't. If anyone could confirm or deny this for me, it would be most appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Yes, Player B still takes damage from the Goblin Fireslinger. Rule 112 covers this adequately. Rule 112.3a tells us that Activating an ability puts it on the stack, until it resolves, is countered (Stifle), or it otherwise leaves the stack (Time Stop). Rule 112.7a tells us that the activated ability exists independent of the source, and does not quality this separation with objects moving to a hidden zone.

112.3b Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]” A player may activate such an ability whenever he or she has priority. Doing so puts it on the stack, where it remains until it’s countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 602, “Activating Activated Abilities.”

112.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability.

It is possible that they are confusing this with the rules regarding tracking objects that are moving between zones. Normally, objects have no memory of their previous existence in another zone, and become new objects. There are 7 exceptions, and (d/g) are probably the ones that they are confusing this with. These exceptions exist, because cards like Rancor exist that need to have rules that allow the cards to actually work.

400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:

400.7d Abilities that trigger when an object moves from one zone to another (for example, “When Rancor is put into a graveyard from the battlefield”) can find the new object that it became in the zone it moved to when the ability triggered, if that zone is a public zone.

400.7g A resolving spell or activated ability can perform actions on an object that moved from one zone to another while that spell was being cast or that ability was being activated, if that object moved to a public zone.

  • 1
    Does this also work for triggered abillities?
    – Eowyn12
    Dec 21, 2016 at 15:51
  • @Eowyn12 as stated in 112.7a in the first quote, triggered abilities work the same way.
    – Patters
    Dec 21, 2016 at 16:38
  • Is it necessary for the ability of Goblin Fireslinger to track it as it returns to hand, as the source of the damage? Is it still possible to choose the GF as the source for Pay No Heed? Oct 31, 2022 at 23:25

The ability still resolves.

Once the costs of the ability are paid and targets are chosen, the ability goes on the stack. Once the ability is on the stack, the source of the ability can be destroyed, returned to hand, shuffled into a library, or exiled --- none of this affects the ability which is already on the stack.

Additionally, because of the rules of priority, the non-active player is not able to respond to you beginning to play a spell or ability by unsummoning your Goblin. Your opponent must allow you to finish declaring your ability, and only then does he have an opportunity to respond with spells or abilities of his own.

  • Minor correction: The player who does not have priority must wait not just until the ability is declared, but until the player with priority passes priority after activating the ability (see 116.3c).
    – darch
    Nov 2, 2012 at 7:26

yes from what I looked up whatever the ability targets as long as the target is there the effect takes place

if the 1 damage is the issue the only way to NEGATE it still will resolve is to have a card that resolves first such is a prevent all damage for target monster until the end of the turn as long as he casts the ability it will resolve if you had one health left and that was the win then you could have a card to resolve first giving you 1 or more health so you don't die and your top card will resolve first the only way to ever prevent direct damage from resolving in the stack is to kill the opponent then get up and walk away before he can write it down but if you have one health left and you kill him before it resolves I do believe you win may need to check the official rules though could be classified as a double ko

I was looking to see if any ability's can be activated and resolve immediately without saying so such as ones you pay 1 light and 3uncolored for and it gives 2/2 to all creatures you control until the end of the turn

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