basalt monolith and rings of brighthearth question.

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I understand how this combo uses stack manipulation to produce infinite colorless mana by using Rings of Brighthearth to copy Basalt Monolith's untap ability.

The Basalt monolith-Power Artifact combo produces colorless mana 2 at a time (I make sure to use even amounts so i don't burn) while the Grim Monolith-Power Artifact combo makes it one at a time, so you don't have to worry about burn.

My question is about the practical application of the Rings combo in a game. What is the minimum amount of mana you can produce with this combo and return your artifacts to their original position? Everytime i do it in my head, it seems as tho, it requires 2 external mana to "prime the pump" and if you don't leave 2 mana floating in your pool, you can't produce infinite mana again in the same turn.

So in game, as long as you have the 2 artifacts in play, the correct way to shortcut this process is to say "As long as i have these 2 artifacts in play (the monolith is untapped) I can pay 2 mana (ie: from 2 lands) to produce any amount of mana." Is this correct?

Thanks in advance.


For those who don't know how the brighthearth combo works, here it is:
1. Basalt Monolith is tapped and you have {5} floating.
2. Pay {3} to put the "Untap Basalt Monolith" on the stack.
3. Pay {2} to put a copy of "Untap Basalt Monolith" on the stack.
Stack starts resolving.
4. Resolve the copy of "Untap Basalt Monolith" and Basalt Monolith untaps.
5. Tap Basalt Monolith for {3}. Abilities that add mana to your mana pool don't use the stack. You get the mana immediately. Basalt Monolith is now tapped.
6. Resolve the original "Untap Basalt Monolith" and Basalt Monolith untaps.
7. Now tap Basalt Monolith for {3} you now have Basalt Monolith tapped and you have {6} floating and you are back to your starting position with 1 extra mana.
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So in game, as long as you have the 2 artifacts in play, the correct way to shortcut this process is to say "As long as i have these 2 artifacts in play (the monolith is untapped) I can pay 2 mana (ie: from 2 lands) to produce any amount of mana." Is this correct?

Yes, that seems correct, as does everything else in your post. By putting in two "external" mana, you can provide any amount of colorless mana from {0} on up. (If you produce more than you end up needing, you have an indefinite "mana sink" by repeating the process except without tapping the Monolith in between the two untaps.) Hooray for removing power-level errata... someday they'll have to restrict Basalt Monolith because of that, mark my words ;)

why do you have to pay 2 external mana if you can just tap basalth monolith once and the 3 generated mana is used to untap it, then tap it again for 3, then since the untap ability had activated, you could use the 2 from the 3 floated mana with rings of brighthearth to untap basalt monolith.


i think as long as these 2 artifacts are out, you don't need an external source of 2 mana to make infinite mana.


 


 

At the beginning, when you have no mana in the pool, you need 3 mana to untap the monolith (which it can produce itself if it is untapped) AND 2 mana to copy that ability with the rings. That 2 mana has to come from somewhere other than the combo to begin with. Once the combo is started, however, you're set and can produce as much mana as you want (including enough to start the combo again if you want), but at the very beginning you need the 2 extra.

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i am still not convinced. i still think you could float the mana for 3 the second time you tap basalt then use that mana to pay the ability of ring of brighthearth. i don't see why you cannot do this?


i am still not convinced. i still think you could float the mana for 3 the second time you tap basalt then use that mana to pay the ability of ring of brighthearth. i don't see why you cannot do this?




By the time the Monolith's untap ability resolves (so you can tap it again), you can't copy that ability with rings, since the Rings trigger will have resolved some time before. Like this:

1. Tap Monolith. Mana ability, hence add 3 immediately.


2. Pay 3 for untap ability, untap ability goes on stack.


3. Rings sees an activated ability going on stack, triggers.


4. Rings trigger resolves. At this point, you have to choose whether or not to pay 2.


5. (assuming you don't pay 2) Untap ability resolves.


6. Then you can tap Monolith again.

Still not clear to me and i am still not convinced. sorry for being so hard headed but it just doesn't make sence to me. Doing the process give's you one floated mana. Once you repeat the process,  will you need another 2 outside mana to pay rings' ability?


 


 


 

Okay, I'll annotate my previous response with mana in pool.


 


(0 in pool)


1. Tap Monolith. Mana ability, hence add 3 immediately. (3 in pool)


2. Pay 3 for untap ability, untap ability goes on stack. (0 in pool)


3. Rings sees an activated ability going on stack, triggers. (0 in pool)


4. Rings trigger resolves. At this point, you have to choose whether or not to pay 2. (0 in pool, so you can't pay the 2 without an external source of mana, since Monolith is still tapped at this point)


5. (assuming you don't pay 2) Untap ability resolves. Monolith untaps. (0 in pool)


6. Then you can tap Monolith again. (3 in pool)


 


If you don't inject 2 mana in there from somewhere else, all you can do is tap and untap the Monolith endlessly. The key point is: assuming you don't have any other sources of mana, you can never use Rings. This is because The Monolith will always be tapped when the Rings' ability is on the stack. Hence, you can't tap the Monolith again to pay the 2. Regardless, in the very act of untapping the Monolith (its resolution), the activated ability is removed from the stack, and hence can't be copied by Rings.


 


Okay, new approach, if it still isn't clear. How it seems to me that you view the process is this:


 


1. Tap Monolith. (3 in pool)


2. Play Monolith's untap ability. (0 in pool)


3. Rings ability triggers. (0 in pool)


4. Tap Monolith in response. (3 in pool)


5. Use that mana to pay for Rings. (1 in pool)


6. Monolith untaps. (1 in pool)


7. Rinse and repeat.


 


This is impossible because you cannot perform step 4. The Monolith is still tapped at this time - unlike its first ability (which is a mana ability and hence uses special rules, including immediate resolution), the untap ability does not resolve immediately. Rather, it goes on the stack. At this point, you have paid the 3, but nothing has happened yet. This is also the point where Rings triggers. Assuming nothing else happens, you have to pay 2 immediately. You cannot do so at any later time - either you pay 2 now and Rings copies the untap ability, or you don't and the Rings' triggered ability goes away without having an effect, and will not trigger again until you untap Monolith again. Even if you could pay the 2 later, it would no longer do anything: once the Monolith's untap ability resolves (that is, the Monolith actually untaps), the ability itself ceases to exist. hence Rings won't have anything to copy even if it could try to copy something at this point.


 


If that doesn't make it clear, then I don't know how to. I suggest you read the rules on the stack.


 


And don't apologise for being hard headed. Firstly, it's much better to understand the rule than to just blindly accept its consequences. Secondly, it's a slow night and I'm bored, so thanks for giving me something to do.

alas!!!! it's starting to make sense now. your step 1-7 illustration is exactly what i was thinking (which is of course incorrect).


One more thing, on the next step of getting infinite mana, what do i do next. is it possible to itemised them again just like what you did with steps 1-7 so that i am clear as to how to actually get the unlimited mana?


because from the first cycle of mana generation, i get 1 extra mana right? so do i need 1 outside mana to add to the floated mana generated on the first cycle to pay for ring's ability or could i now use the generated mana from the basalt?


as much as i wanted to read the rule book, i am afraid that it will just confuse me more  but i will try to look at it later


thanks


 

How to actually get the infinite mana:


 


1. Tap Monolith. (3 in pool)


2. Activate Monolith's untap ability. (0 in pool, ability goes on the stack)


3. Rings triggers (0 in pool, Rings' triggered ability goes on stack on top of Monolith's)


4. Rings' triggered ability resolves. At this point, you choose to pay 2 from an external source. (-2 in pool (well not really, but you get what I mean), Rings' ability removed from stack)


5. A copy of the untap ability is placed on the stack. (-2 in pool, copy of untap ability on top of actual untap ability on stack)


6. Copy resolves. Monolith untaps. (-2 in pool, actual Monolith untap ability still on stack)


7. Tap Monolith. (1 in pool, ability still on stack)


8. Original untap ability resolves. (1 in pool, back to starting board position)


9. Repeat ad infinitum. (you'll need another mana the next time round as well, then it's self-sustaining)

aha! So you do need 3 mana to get the combo going. 2 for the first cycle and 1 for the next. i am starting to follow and agree now on the rule.


cheers


 

I have another question which came up when i tried to use Rings of Brighthearth, basalt, carrion ants and willow-the-wisp today to an oppponent. Could someone please tell me if i've done this right.


Rings of Brighthearth says that " whenever you activated an ability, if it's not a mana ability, you may pay 2, if you do, copy that ability. You may choose new targets for the copy"


 


First -  I generated and floated 10+20=30 manas from the rings of brighthearth.


Second - i pumped carrion ants from the floated mana with 10 to give it +10/+10


Rings trigger when ever i pump the carrion ant so i pay 2 each time from the floated 20 manas  to copy the ability and chose willow-the-wisp as the target giving it +1/+1 (10 times) giving it +10/+10.


i attacked with both creatures with 20/21 on each creature.


thanks


AOK


 


Rings trigger when ever i pump the carrion ant so i pay 2 each time from the floated 20 manas  to copy the ability and chose willow-the-wisp as the target



Target?  I see no target here.

{1}: Carrion Ants gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

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

Carrion ants' ability does not have a target. The copies of the ability will pump carrion ants.

sorry i was using 4th edition carrion ants. i noticed that they changed the wordings on the reprinted editions and even still, i think i got it all wrong.


i understand now. thanks for the help


cheers


 

I never thought I would be the guy that would be correcting people on a MtG forum, but...
You do not need a third mana to make the combo self-sustaining.

{}=amount of mana in your mana pool

Add 2 mana from any source other than the Monolith you intend to use in the combo. {2}
Tap Monolith {5}
Spend 3 to put Monolith's untap ability on the stack {2}
Pay 2 to copy the untap ability {0}
Copy resolves, Monolith untaps, tap it as a mana source before the original ability resolves {3}
Original ability resolves, Monolith untaps. {3}
Tap Monolith {6}
Spend 3 to put Monolith's untap ability on the stack {3}
Pay 2 to copy the untap ability {1}
Copy resolves, Monolith untaps, tap it as a mana source before the original ability resolves {4}
Original ability resolves, Monolith untaps. {4}  No extra mana needed.

Remember that as soon as you have the ability to pay the untap and the copy you will net one mana.  Since you started with 2 from another source you will end with 3, you don't magically lose that two mana you injected from outside the combo...