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Subject: Sacrifice rules Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:39 pm
I was wondering if anyone knew if sacrifices stacked? For instance if I were to sacrifice a creature for its ability, could I also use that sacrifice for another card's ability. I can't seem to find the answer to this any where :/
Alright just for a little clarification, and perhaps speeding up the process of a possible response that would help me, I'll give an example:
Let us say that I play Putrefax, a 5/3 trample, haste, infect that I must sacrifice at the beginning of the end step. Well I do the attacking and I get to the end step, now if I were to play a card like...oh say Vivisection which requires the sacrifice of a creature to go along with its mana cost, could I use Putrefax to satisfy its need for a sacrifice?
117.10. Each payment of a cost applies to only one spell, ability, or effect. For example, a player can’t sacrifice just one creature to activate the activated abilities of two permanents that each require sacrificing a creature as a cost. Also, the resolution of a spell or ability doesn’t pay another spell or ability’s cost, even if part of its effect is doing the same thing the other cost asks for.
That helps somewhat, but I'm still a bit confused. So a couple questions that should help me get it I suppose: Is there a difference between sacrificing a creature and a creature just going to the graveyard from the field, definition wise of course. Also, more specifically (going back to Putrefax) if the card says to sacrifice it at the end of your turn, thus not specifying a direct purpose for the sacrifice other than sacrificing the creature, does that mean I can use the sacrifice for another spell ability (I now know that sacrifices don't stack, but this is in regards to one ability mind you).
I believe there is a difference, since 'Sacrifice' is relevant to paying a cost, whereas sending a card to the graveyard is more of an 'effect'.
As for the second question, think of mana: you cant tap one land to pay two costs. One cost to one ability. Putrefax's sacrifice is still an ability (even though it doesn't trigger anything further), which must be paid by the sacrifice of the card itself.
Here's an example of the scenario you suggested, using Putrefax and Fling:
Putrefax is on the battlefield.
You begin the end step; Putrefax's ability triggers and goes on the stack.
With the trigger on the stack, you cast Fling, sacrificing Putrefax to pay its additional cost. Putrefax goes to the graveyard.
Fling now resolves, dealing damage, and Fling goes to the graveyard.
Putrefax's triggered ability resolves and does nothing because Putrefax is no longer on the battlefield.
Notice that Putrefax was only sacrificed once, to pay Fling's additional cost. When its triggered ability resolved, Putrefax was not sacrificed again; the ability had no effect.
Differences are based on whether the sacrifice is part of the cost or the resolution.
In the case of Fling, Putrefax is sacrificed before the spell goes on the stack as part of the cost. Your opponent does not have time to respond to this sacrifice by destroying your creature, just as they can't tap your lands in the middle of you paying for a spell with them. If Fling were to be countered, Putrefax would still be in your graveyard.
In the case of Putrefax's ability, Putrefax is sacrificed upon the ability's resolution. There is time to respond to this ability before Putrefax is sacrificed, allowing you to play a spell like Fling, Momentary Blink, or Stifle. If the triggered ability is countered, Putrefax remains on the field and is not sacrificed. If Putrefax leaves the battlefield while this ability is on the stack, but before its resolution, the ability will fail.
You cannot replace Fling in the above scenario with Vivisection, because Vivisection is a sorcery spell. Sorcery spells can only be played during your main phase with the stack empty of all spells and abilities.
You could cast Vivisection during your second main phase (before Putrefax's trigger went on the stack but after you attacked with him) and sacrifice Putrefax to pay its cost.
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