Goblin Charbelcher

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Do you have to choose the targets for Goblin Charbelcher ability before or after you activate it and reveal the cards?
Do you have to choose the targets for Goblin Charbelcher ability before or after you activate it and reveal the cards?


While activating it.  The cards don't get revealed until it eventually resolves.
602.2. To activate an ability is to put it onto the stack and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Only an object's controller (or its owner, if it doesn't have a controller) can activate its activated ability unless the object specifically says otherwise. Activating an ability follows the steps listed below, in order. If, at any point during the activation of an ability, a player is unable to comply with any of those steps, the activation is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that ability started to be activated (see rule 717, "Handling Illegal Actions"). Announcements and payments can't be altered after they've been made.

602.2a The player announces that he or she is activating the ability. If an activated ability is being activated from a hidden zone, the card that has that ability is revealed. That ability is created on the stack as an object that's not a card. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. Its controller is the player who activated the ability. The ability remains on the stack until it's countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

602.2b The remainder of the process for activating an ability is identical to the process for casting a spell listed in rules 601.2b-h. Those rules apply to activating an ability just as they apply to casting a spell. An activated ability's analog to a spell's mana cost (as referenced in rule 601.2e) is its activation cost.

601.2c The player announces his or her choice of an appropriate player, object, or zone for each target the spell requires. A spell may require some targets only if an alternative or additional cost (such as a buyback or kicker cost), or a particular mode, was chosen for it; otherwise, the spell is cast as though it did not require those targets. If the spell has a variable number of targets, the player announces how many targets he or she will choose before he or she announces those targets. The same target can't be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word "target" on the spell. However, if the spell uses the word "target" in multiple places, the same object, player, or zone can be chosen once for each instance of the word "target" (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). If any effects say that an object or player must be chosen as a target, the player chooses targets so that he or she obeys the maximum possible number of such effects without violating any rules or effects that say that an object or player can't be chosen as a target. The chosen players, objects, and/or zones each become a target of that spell. (Any abilities that trigger when those players, objects, and/or zones become the target of a spell trigger at this point; they'll wait to be put on the stack until the spell has finished being cast.)

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

So you choose target before you know how much damage you will deal, right?
So you choose target before you know how much damage you will deal, right?


As with any activated ability, it doesn't resolve until after it is activated.  The selection of a target is part of activating it.  The effect (including the reveal of cards and the determination of the amount of damage) is the resolution.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

So you choose target before you know how much damage you will deal, right?



Yep.

You have to pick targets when activating the ability. But you don't ressolve the ability until later.
… and then, the squirrels came.
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