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Should we consider this question (1) Does the Thorncaster Sliver's ability damage have to be assigned before or after blockers are declared? a duplicate of this one (2) Do Thorncaster Sliver's triggered abilities go on the stack?.

It's true that question (2) has the answer to question (1) if we read the answers, but it seems to me that the questions are different, and question (2) answering also question (1) is just incidental.

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    With five questions about it currently on the front page, Thorncaster Sliver is apparently the most confusing Magic card in history. – sitnaltax Aug 9 '13 at 2:37
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    @sitnaltax Just wait til the Illusionary Mask reprint in M15! – Cascabel Aug 10 '13 at 23:27
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These two questions aren't duplicates. Even going by the rule of thumb of "if two questions have the same answer, they're duplicates", they're not duplicates. It only appears that way at first glance because of the lengthy citation which explains both situations.

In reality, though, the answers are more like this:

  • Yes, you use the stack. Here's the lengthy process involved if it makes things clearer.
  • You resolve that ability before blockers. Here's the lengthy process involved from another answer.

The answers are more than the citation of that process. The answers to one are not appropriate for the other. The process itself, appearing in both answers, is not in itself a decent answer to the question - clearly both answerers felt that way, since they both added explanation and a direct response to the question at the beginning of their posts.

Just because the answer to one question can be found somewhere in the answer to a completely different question does not mean the questions are duplicates.

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I agree it is not a duplicate (of that question), they ask different things. One asks if something uses the stack, and the other is about stack resolution during combat.

My original comment on the question caused the question's author to mark it as a duplicate himself which I assume caused the 'close vote frenzy'.

This is likely a duplicate or can be gleaned from the other questions that have been asked/answered recently relating to Thorncaster Sliver

I should have been more clear in my comment on the question. I did not mean that this question was a duplicate of another question about Thorncaster Sliver, but that there is probably a question that specifically addresses 'priority/stack resolution during combat' either generically or using a different card.

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Looking at both questions (although I am hardly fluent in M:tG-ese) I would say that no, they are not duplicates.

The questions themselves don't necessarily need to be asking the exact same thing to be duplicates, but unless you can be reasonably sure that every answer to the original question (be they extant answers or future posts) would also answer the duplicate, closing is not the appropriate course of action. Otherwise, the basic problem of link-only answers would apply: The user still needs to actually search for the answer amidst all the information that is not the answer to his question.

Note that closing as duplicate can only link to a question, not an answer. Even if the linked question has an answer that fully and completely answers the question, anyone following the link would still need to read through and figure out which answers are (and are not) relevant and/or useful. Voting — the Stack Exchange system designed explicitly for filtering such things — couldn't even be relied on as votes would be based on relevance to the original question, not the duplicate.

A better solution would be to post a new answer summarizing and linking directly to the relevant answer on the original question.

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