The Stack is a game zone area where spells and abilities are played and wait to be resolved. Spells and abilities go to this area as the first step in play and are removed from it as the last step of playing. It’s also an area where other players can ‘respond to’ with their spells and/or abilities while it's still on the stack. The stack is played from the top to the bottom, where the ‘respond to’ spells are played first since it's on the top of the stack. The picture below depicts the stack and is the best representation I have found.
Actions that do not use the stack are as follows:
- Paying cost.
- Playing mana abilities.
- Turning a face down creature face up (Morph).
- Playing a land card
I’m sure most experienced players have a good idea of how the stack operates. To a new player, when we mention the stack, they probably think it means this:
Be sure to use the stack as often as you can, as correctly as you can, if you are in a Pro Tour or Grand Prix-like event, where they will have judge’s all over the place. Also, be sure to explain to the new players what the stack is and how to use it. Sure it will be confusing at first, but if they like the game enough they will learn about it quickly.
As always, thanks for reading my blog!