Interfering with a Triggered Oath of Druids

@varal said:

@McAra It's the requirement to use the word target that makes the sentence weird.

Ah, I can see how making the text use "target" makes the wording tricky, now. Makes sense why they did it the current way.

@Aaron-Patten said:

@Hagrid said:

In example A you cannot tap to add a creature to the opponents side because there isn't a point in the untap step where you can do anything. You go to untap step permanents and such untap then you're immediately in the upkeep step at that point Oath of Druids has already checked and saw that the creature count is 1:1.

Not quite. It has checked the creature counts in that it has had it's target assigned but the ability goes on the stack and thus anyone can respond to it.

Im not sure this is how it works. Maybe im misunderstanding your point, but the ability won't go on the stack because of what Hagrid mentioned, right? You cant respond to the trigger if its not on the stack, and it won't be on the stack if there isn't a legal target for Oath at the very instance of the start of your upkeep. There won't be a legal target because there is no point at which you can change the number of creatures the opponent has before the start of your upkeep

last edited by Minkar

@Minkar said:

@Aaron-Patten said:

@Hagrid said:

In example A you cannot tap to add a creature to the opponents side because there isn't a point in the untap step where you can do anything. You go to untap step permanents and such untap then you're immediately in the upkeep step at that point Oath of Druids has already checked and saw that the creature count is 1:1.

Not quite. It has checked the creature counts in that it has had it's target assigned but the ability goes on the stack and thus anyone can respond to it.

Im not sure this is how it works. Maybe im misunderstanding your point, but the ability won't go on the stack because of what Hagrid mentioned, right? You cant respond to the trigger if its not on the stack, and it won't be on the stack if there isn't a legal target for Oath at the very instance of the start of your upkeep. There won't be a legal target because there is no point at which you can change the number of creatures the opponent has before the start of your upkeep

Neither player receives priority in the untap step (abilities that trigger when a permanent is untapped carry over to upkeep).

At the beginning of the upkeep, Oath of Druids triggers. The controller of Oath of Druids is then required to pick a legal target. If they cannot do so, the ability cannot be placed on the stack and "fizzles". If they are able to do so, the trigger is placed on the stack. After other upkeep triggers are placed on the stack, the active player receives priority and this is the earliest point they would be able to tap Orchard.

The ability will check when it is about to resolve whether or not the target remains legal. If the target is now illegal (opponent is untargetable or creatures are now equal), the ability will be "countered on resolution", just like every other spell and ability without a legal target. If the target remains legal, the player chooses whether or not he or she would like to use the ability as it is a may ability. Cards are milled, creature is put into play (or whatever), and then the active player gets priority, yada yada yada.

The reason for the somewhat convoluted wording is that the player who controls Oath of Druids is the controller of the ability. "Target opponent" refers to an opponent of the controller and so it cannot be used for the wording on Oath. Why is this relevant? Well, it is the controller's responsibility to remember their triggers and they must trigger Oath on their opponent's turn if the conditions are met. If they forget, it should be a game-rule violation and the opponent should have the ability to put it on the stack like any other detrimental trigger. If they intentionally do not put the trigger on the stack, this is blatant cheating and the punishment could include a disqualification. This is of course at the judge's discretion.

Hopefully, this was an adequate summary.

@ChubbyRain said:

At the beginning of the upkeep, Oath of Druids triggers. The controller of Oath of Druids is then required to pick a legal target. If they cannot do so, the ability cannot be placed on the stack and "fizzles". If they are able to do so, the trigger is placed on the stack. After other upkeep triggers are placed on the stack, the active player receives priority and this is the earliest point they would be able to tap Orchard.

I guess im getting caught up in this sentence because I always thought trigger meant "event happens (spell played, some condition met, etc) and something goes on the stack". So Oath triggers at the start of upkeep but does NOT go onto the stack until a legal target is declared (or does it go onto the stack, but immediately fizzle before anyone gets priority because there are no legal targets??) . If this is the case, in the proposed Example A in the original post where both players have one creature and the player controlling Oath untaps with an Orchard in play, there is no way for him to resolve the Oath effect on his turn, right? There has to be a legal target for the trigger to go on the stack, but there can't be a legal target because both players have one creature and the player controlling Oath won't receive priority to activate Orchard at any point and change the number of creatures in play until after the Oath has fizzled because there are no targets.

Sorry if that was a really convoluted way of writing it, just trying to make sure I follow it correctly

last edited by Minkar

@Minkar said:

@ChubbyRain said:

At the beginning of the upkeep, Oath of Druids triggers. The controller of Oath of Druids is then required to pick a legal target. If they cannot do so, the ability cannot be placed on the stack and "fizzles". If they are able to do so, the trigger is placed on the stack. After other upkeep triggers are placed on the stack, the active player receives priority and this is the earliest point they would be able to tap Orchard.

I guess im getting caught up in this sentence because I always thought trigger meant "event happens (spell played, some condition met, etc) and something goes on the stack". So Oath triggers at the start of upkeep but does NOT go onto the stack until a legal target is declared. If this is the case, in the proposed Example A in the original post where both players have one creature and the player controlling Oath untaps with an Orchard in play, there is no way for him to resolve the Oath effect on his turn, right? There has to be a legal target for the trigger to go on the stack, but there can't be a legal target because both players have one creature and the player controlling Oath won't receive priority to activate Oath at any point and change the number of creatures in play until after the Oath has fizzled because there are no targets.

Sorry if that was a really convoluted way of writing it, just trying to make sure I follow it correctly

"Using a triggered ability is not optional. When triggered, the controller can't refuse to put the ability on the stack. Nor can he or she choose an illegal target, if a target is required. If a targeted ability has no legal targets in play, it still triggers and goes on the stack, but is taken off immediately."

From http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Triggered_ability

Hopefully that further clarifies it. The end result is as you say - Player A cannot give Player B a token in his or her upkeep/untap step in order to trigger Oath.

So if you're being a real rules stickler, you could call out an opponent who controls Oath but has less creatures than you for not placing the ability on the stack during your upkeep? Wonder if anyone has ever done that in a tournament before...

@Minkar said:

So if you're being a real rules stickler, you could call out an opponent who controls Oath but has less creatures than you for not placing the ability on the stack during your upkeep? Wonder if anyone has ever done that in a tournament before...

Called out? You could... It's not likely to be a particularly harsh punishment unless you can prove your opponent did it intentionally. There is enough confusion surrounding Oath of Druids that the opponent easily could have misunderstood how the card/rules works (this thread is evidence of that). I've on several occasions let my opponent know that I was going to use his Oath in my upkeep and won by flipping over Salvagers. It doesn't come up a lot but I look out for those corner cases. However, I'm never going to try and get my opponent a warning unless I think they should know the interaction and are forgetting intentionally (which is cheating by the rules definition). The better play in my opinion would be to explain it to the opponent after the match.

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