I was playing at my local gaming shop yesterday and the guy I was playing started to use a mechanic he called "Chaining". According to him, Chaining allows him to play a spell, after I have enacted one of my own, and his become pre-emptive, thus circumnavigating my cards that were being played.
I've been looking through the rules, and hunting for sometime on threads and websites, and have not come across this mechanic. Will someone please tell me what "Chaining" is, it's legality, etc. It just seems to be a cheaters way to undo their inability to anticipate their opponents moves.
It's not called chaining. It's called "responding" or "using the stack."
Players can respond to each others' spells or abiltiies. When this happens, the most recently casted spell or ability resolves first, the next most recently cast spell/ability resolves next, and so on.
I think there's a section on it in the basic rulebook.
"Chaining" is actually a term from Yuu-Gi-Ou.
YGO Chains are similar to MTG's stack, with the exception that once all players stop adding to the Chain, no one can add anything new until the entire Chain has resolved.
His terminology is non-standard, or on one case, just plain wrong - saying "circumnavigate" (do one complete circuit around) when he obviously meant "circumvent" (negate). But this sounds like nothing worse than a rather awkward attempt to describe responding to things. It's pretty fundamental to Magic and well-described in several of the above posts.
However, there is a common point of confusion here you should be aware of, and that he might have been trying to exploit (it's hard to tell from your rather vague description). Suppose I tap my Prodigal Pyromancer to deal a point of damage to one of your creatures, which will kill it, and in response you Murder the Pyromancer. This is perfectly legal, and the Murder will resolve first. However, this does not prevent the damage from happening - your creature will still die. Removing the source of an ability that's already on the stack does not counter or otherwise mess with that ability.
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