Q:Hey. I have a question regarding a couple of cards. I run a white life-gain deck. In it I have an Ajani's Mantra and Cradle of Vitality. I was wondering that when I gain health at the start of my upkeep, I can untap my lands and draw a card before I decide if I want to tap 2 lands to add a +1/+1 counter to someone?
Untap, Upkeep, Draw. That is the order of the Beginning Phase.
You untap your lands, and then your Upkeep happens. Ajani’s Mantra goes off and you pass priority. If the other player(s) have no response, you gain life - triggering Cradle of Vitality once. You may then pay 1W and add that many +1/+1 counters to a target creature. You pass priority again, and if no other player has a response, the ability resolves.
It is important to note that Cradle will only trigger once (no matter how much life you gain), but will put how ever many life you gain as +1/+1 counters on a target creature.
Example: You gain 3 life off of Angel of Mercy. You only pay 1W (not 3WWW) and get three +1/+1 counters to distribute to target creatures you control.