Blaze Commando and multiple targets

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This is something I was recently asked and, surprisingly, was initially wrong about:

Active player casts Cone of Flame targeting, say, a bear, another bear, and a third bear. (In other words, the targets aren't relevant aside from the fact that they exist.) Active player also controls a Blaze Commando. How many times does that creature's ability trigger?

I wanted to say three.

Oracle ruling says one.

And I'm baffled.

Why is this?

As a rules advisor/guru/what-have-you, I strive to understand why every part of Magic works the way it does. I don't understand this working. In other words, my question isn't so much "What happens?" as it is "Why does this happen?"

Furthermore, oracle comments also mention casting an overloaded Electrickery or Mizzium Mortars; how many times would these trigger the same ability? And, more importantly, why? 
I'm not (yet) a certified judge, but I do understand the rules and logic of Magic quite well. That said, I'm still human and can make mistakes. If what I say conflicts with a more-certified source, I'm probably wrong.
Its to do with the number of times damage is dealt, not the number of things damage is dealt to. Look for the word "deals" - if it is only on the card once then Blaze Commando only triggers once.

Imagine I have a torch (flashlight), and I say that whenever I shine it's light, I will give you an apple. If I shine it once but light up 3 different objects simultaneously, how many apples would you expect to receive? If you ask for 3 I will point out that I never mentioned giving you an apple for each object I lit up, just for the number of times I shine the torch, which was once.

~ Tim 
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)

Active player casts Cone of Flame targeting, say, a bear, another bear, and a third bear. (In other words, the targets aren't relevant aside from the fact that they exist.) Active player also controls a Blaze Commando. How many times does that creature's ability trigger?

Once.
Why is this?

Because all the damage is dealt simultaneously, and blaze commando's trigger condition doesn't care what the damage is dealt to. Hypothetically if Blaze commando said "Whenever an instant or sorcery spell you control deals damage to a creature", it could trigger three times from using cone of flame on 3 creatures (was damage dealt to Bear A? Yes! was damage dealt to Bear B? Yes! was damage dealt to Bear C? Yes! 3 triggers for you). But since the trigger condition doesn't say it cares what the damage is dealt to, it doesn't care.

Now, a handful of burn spells will trigger blaze commando, but they do so by dealing damage multiple times. For example, if you cast Incendiary Command with the 1st and 2nd modes, the spell will deal 4 damage to the target player and then it will deal 2 damage to each creature. Blaze Commando triggers twice as a result.

To figure out times damage is dealt, count the verbs. If the spell only says "deals" once, it deals all its damage simultaneously. If it says "deals" multiple times, it deals damage multiple times.
Furthermore, oracle comments also mention casting an overloaded Electrickery or Mizzium Mortars; how many times would these trigger the same ability?

Once. All the damage is dealt simultaneously.

EDIT: oh, this rule is a useful one for this situation:
700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they're looking for. One "happening" may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.
Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked" but two events for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature."

"Whenever... deals damage to a permanent or player" is what you would like the commando to spell out. :P

Rules Advisor

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

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