Rules Question: when does "immediately" really mean "immediately"?


I want to clarify something regarding timing.

I’ll use Destructive Impulse as an example.

So, let’s say my monster makes an attack and triggers Destructive Impulse. I feel like it’s very clear that this falls under step 11 of the “Attack Timing” chart, because Destructive Impulse says “immediately after the attack is resolved” and the attacking player is the active player:

That’s fine and everything. The real question is: can the attacking player use Stepping before making the attack generated by Destructive Impulse?

The only restrictions on Stepping are found under Stepping:

I could see an argument for “No, because Destructive Impulse is resolved during Step 11 of the Attack Timing chart, meaning you are still in the middle of making an attack, thus preventing Stepping from being available.”

However, that interpretation feels really weird and complicated. I feel like the potential for unexpected rules situations exists if one recursively enters into the Attack Timing chart for the Destructive Impulse attack.

So: is the first attack fully resolved, i.e. “we finish and exit the timing chart” before the triggered Destructive Impulse attack resolves, thus leaving time to step in between? Or, do we potentially recurse as follows?

Attack Timing chart
–>Initial attack
----> Step 11
------> Attack Timing chart
--------> Potentially iterate again depending on the special rules involved in the second attack

Hey Michael,

Let me get back to you with an answer once I have a moment to give you a clear response.


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Sure thing! Thank you very much!

After reviewing this with my team here is the best way I can answer this.

Under most circumstances, a special rule’s effect happens as soon as it is legally able to. Because Destructive Impulse’s trigger resolves “immediately after the attack is resolved”, you’re required to resolve that trigger as soon as you are able, or you lose the opportunity. If a rule does give you a window to use steps or actions before resolving it, it will use the phrase “this turn”: see Onslaught, Sweeping Attack, and Steamroller for examples of this.

The short answer is “Yes, immediately means immediately.”


Thank you! I appreciate the response!

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I’m following up on this after seeing a comment from Jeff Gum on Facebook.

In a discussion about Ares Mothership, Jeff said the following:

Emphasis mine.

I’m trying to make certain I understand the reasoning here. Does that assertion stem from this part of the rules?

Yep! You can’t have special rules floating in limbo, so any attacks generated by a special rule automatically are pushed to the bottom of the queue in Step 11.