Overview -- Priority

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Originally by John Carter:

Priority is the condition of being able to announce a spell or ability-- basically who is in command of the Stack. Priority is mentioned throughout the Comprehensive Rules but can be readily summarized. First, a few terms should be discussed:
Spell: a non-land card that is played and is therefore on the stack.

Ability: the instructions on a permanent or a card. Abilities produce effects. (e.g.: Cycling is an ability of a card. Crusade produces a beneficial effect.)

Action: a singular portion of gameplay directed by a spell, ability, or rule. Actions do not use the stack. (Playing a land is a special action; discarding is an action; putting a land into the graveyard and then putting the spell that destroyed it on top of the land are each actions in resolving that spell.)
NB: “action” is not an official DCI term. “Action” is used in this work to help clarify examples.

APNAP: Active Player / Non-Active Player. The order in which all actions or instructions are performed-- first the active player makes his or her choices, then the non-active player.

· The active player receives priority at the beginning of every step or phase except the Untap step and Cleanup step
· A player retains priority as long as he or she wishes to add spells or abilities to the stack
· Only the player with priority may play spells and abilities
· Both players receive priority at least once before resolving any spell or non-mana ability
· The active player receives priority after each spell or ability resolves
· State-based effects (SBEs) are checked as each player receives priority
· After SBEs are checked, triggered abilities are added to the stack APNAP