"Whenever (this) or another creature dies..." + board wipe

  • #1
    Could someone please clarify a few points for me? I will start with the specific case I'm concerned with, but I have one or two follow-up questions.

    I have a Falkenrath Noble in play, and cast Divine Reckoning. The spell's resolution results in the Noble and 4 other creatures being sent to the graveyard. The question: How many activations of Noble's ability go on the stack? I'm pretty sure the answer is 5, but could someone confirm and cite a ruling for me? My T.O. ruled differently (1 activation), and I feel I should have something I can go back with if I'm going to mention it next week. (Assuming I'm correct, of course.)

    Follow-up question 1: If the Noble were replaced with Deathgreeter, would the number of activations be 4?

    Follow-up question 2: Is the wording on Noble functionally different from something that says, "Whenever a creature dies...?" Or is the text simply making explicit the fact that the Noble includes itself?

    Any assistance would be most appreciated.
  • #2
    If multiple objects enter or leave the battlefield simultaneously, they see each other enter or leave for the purpose of any triggered abilities. You will indeed get 5 instances of the trigger (wording nitpick: Not "activations" because it isn't an activated ability) in your example.

    Follow-up 1: Yes. Deathgreeter doesn't count itself, so you would get 4.
    Follow-up 2: For most practical purposes, Falkenrath Noble's ability will do the same thing as "Whenever a creature dies..." but there's a small technical difference: As printed, if an effect caused Falkenrath Noble to somehow stop being a creature, it would still trigger on itself hitting the graveyard.
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  • #3
    Quote from Vyktori
    Could someone please clarify a few points for me? I will start with the specific case I'm concerned with, but I have one or two follow-up questions.

    I have a Falkenrath Noble in play, and cast Divine Reckoning. The spell's resolution results in the Noble and 4 other creatures being sent to the graveyard. The question: How many activations of Noble's ability go on the stack? I'm pretty sure the answer is 5, but could someone confirm and cite a ruling for me? My T.O. ruled differently (1 activation), and I feel I should have something I can go back with if I'm going to mention it next week. (Assuming I'm correct, of course.)

    5. Relevant rule:
    603.6d. Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially because the object with the ability may no longer be on the battlefield, may have moved to a hand or library, or may no longer be controlled by the appropriate player. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward.

    Example: Two creatures are on the battlefield along with an artifact that has the ability "Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you gain 1 life." Someone plays a spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. The artifact's ability triggers twice, even though the artifact goes to its owner's graveyard at the same time as the creatures.


    Quote from Vyktori
    Follow-up question 1: If the Noble were replaced with Deathgreeter, would the number of activations be 4?

    Yes.
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  • #4
    Your TO is wrong.

    You get 0 activations. You do, however, get 5 triggers. There is a difference to when those 2 words are used Smile

    When a lot of creatures go to the graveyard at the same time, they all "see" each other go there. This means that the Falkenrath Noble sees both itself and the other 4 creatures die. Remember that it includes itself as a creature that can cause it to trigger.

    Follow-up answer 1: The number of triggers would be 4, yes. This is because the Deathgreeter's ability does not include itself.

    Follow-up answer 2: "Whenever a creature dies" would include the creature that has the ability in question as well for as long as that permanent is a creature.
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  • #5
    Quote from Artscrafter

    Follow-up 2: For most practical purposes, Falkenrath Noble's ability will do the same thing as "Whenever a creature dies..." but there's a small technical difference: As printed, if an effect caused Falkenrath Noble to somehow stop being a creature, it would still trigger on itself hitting the graveyard.

    Except non-creature permanents don't die(iirc), which is required for the trigger

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  • #6
    Quote from Id_Ego
    Except non-creature permanents don't die(iirc), which is required for the trigger

    "dies" replaces the phrase "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield." A Falkenrath Noble that is somehow changed into a non-creature will still trigger when it is sent to the graveyard.
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  • #7
    from the comprehensive rules:

    700.6. The term diesmeans “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.” It is used only when referring to creatures.
    so wouldn't this mean only creatures can die? not to say only creatures can be put into the GY from BF, but that only creatures actually die, and therefore only creatures create this trigger?

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  • #8
    Quote from Id_Ego
    from the comprehensive rules:

    700.6. The term diesmeans “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.” It is used only when referring to creatures.
    so wouldn't this mean only creatures can die? not to say only creatures can be put into the GY from BF, but that only creatures actually die, and therefore only creatures create this trigger?

    They only use it on creatures, meaning they're not going to have a card that says "Whenever an artifact dies" or the like. However, the term "dies", as the rules say, just means "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield."
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  • #9
    The word "dies" is intended to be functionally identical to "is put into the graveyard from the battlefield." While it's true that it's only used if the object going to the graveyard is likely to be a creature, that doesn't mean that the ability necessarily excludes non-creature permanents.

    For more information, see the Magic 2012 FAQ.

    http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/faq/m12
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