Magic Ruling: Interrupting the Catastrophe
This week, we’re going back to a basic idea, but one that’s always worth a refresher—and we’ll use a new card from the upcoming Core Set 2019 to illustrate it.
Our opponent controls a Tattered Mummy. They then cast Demon of Catastrophes, planning to sacrifice the mummy as the demon’s additional cost.
Can we cast Murder to kill the Tattered Mummy before our opponent has a chance to sacrifice it, thus prohibiting them from casting the Demon?
This week’s answer is a big, demon-sized No.
- Rule 601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell includes proposal of the spell (rules 601.2a–d) and determination and payment of costs (rules 601.2f–h).
This rule introduces the important concept that the act of paying a spell’s cost(s) is a part of casting that spell. This means that there is no opportunity for us to respond to this spell being cast until its costs have already been paid.
Because sacrificing a creature is one of the Demon’s costs, the Tattered Mummy will die, we will lose 2 life to its ability, and then we will have a chance to respond—too late to stop the Demon from arriving.
Though we can now just use our Murder on the Demon of Catastrophes, which is probably a better plan in the first place.