Devotion of gods in Theros

  • #1
    The wording: as long as your devotion to color is less than five, ~ isn't a creature.

    English isn't my first language but couldn't you understand that so that once devotion goes to or is 5+, ~ becomes a creature, but if it goes below from 5+, it wouldn't stop being a creature. If 'as long as' were replaced with 'while', I'd have no problem understanding that ~ could switch from non-creature to creature and back many times.

    And semantics aside, is there an official ruling for this?
  • #2
    To determine whether or not one of those Godswith the "as long as your devotion to {COLOR} is less than five" abilities is a creature, count the number of mana symbols of that color in the mana costs of permanents you control. If it's five or greater, the God is a creature. If it's less than five, it's not.

    In other words, it can indeed stop being a creature if your devotion to its color drops from being five or greater to being less than five. "As long as" is just used on these cards to specify something that's indefinitely true given that a certain condition is true.

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  • #3
    Quote from Arska
    The wording: as long as your devotion to color is less than five, ~ isn't a creature.

    English isn't my first language but couldn't you understand that so that once devotion goes to or is 5+, ~ becomes a creature, but if it goes below from 5+, it wouldn't stop being a creature. If 'as long as' were replaced with 'while', I'd have no problem understanding that ~ could switch from non-creature to creature and back many times.

    And semantics aside, is there an official ruling for this?


    Yes there is an official ruling for this. From the Wizard's website:

    Each of the Theros Gods has indestructible, and each one is a creature only if you have enough devotion to its color. If a God enters the battlefield while your devotion to its color is less than the required number, abilities that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield won't trigger. If a God on the battlefield is a creature and your devotion to its color drops below the required number, it immediately stops being a creature. A God can't attack the turn it enters the battlefield unless it has haste, even if it wasn't a creature as it entered the battlefield.

    Gods are always legendary enchantments, and their abilities work whether they're creatures or not. Nylea always gives your creatures trample, regardless of your current devotion to green.

    You can find all the information on this at http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/therosmechanics#d

    Hope that helps!
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  • #4
    I understand the word choice is difficult to understand but it had to be worded that way. Because the Gods are card type -Creature, the rules have to specify when they are not creatures.

    As long as your devotion is Five or more they will be creatures. If your devotion drops below five, they stop being creatures because you aren't faithful enough for their attention.
  • #5
    Is devotion checked at all times or just when it is on the battlefield?

    For example if I have 0 devotion to black and Erebos is in my GY can I target him with zombify ?

    What about if he is in the library and I cast tooth and nail?
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  • #6
    Quote from Ogrefoot
    Is devotion checked at all times or just when it is on the battlefield?

    For example if I have 0 devotion to black and Erebos is in my GY can I target him with zombify ?

    What about if he is in the library and I cast tooth and nail?


    you can always target an Erebos in a GY with zombify.
    that static ability only works when it's on the battlefield.
    Anywhere else he's a creature at all times.
  • #7
    Here's a question about timing and the God cards. When you cast one, while it's on the stack, it's still a creature and can be countered by Essence Scatter regardless of your loyalty to its color. It's not until it enters the battlefield that the Devotion issue occurs and it can stop being a creature.

    If you have a creature on the battlefield with the evolve keyword and you cast a God and do not have the devotion to its color, could you stack the "enter the battlefield" triggers? Could you have it trigger the evolve trigger on the other creature than trigger its own ability making it not a creature?
  • #8
    Quote from Bataar
    Could you have it trigger the evolve trigger on the other creature than trigger its own ability making it not a creature?

    No, for the very simple reason that the ability making the god a non-creature is not triggered; it's a static ability that is "on" before triggered abilities are checked.
    Quoted from here:
    If a God enters the battlefield while your devotion to its color is less than the required number, abilities that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield won't trigger.
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  • #9
    Static abilities are always applied when the creature is on the field. As soon as the God resolves, it is either a Creature or an Enchantment. There is no point where a God is a creature if you don't have enough devotion, and there is no point where it it isn't a creatuer if you have enough Devotion. This can even happen during the resolution of a spell.

    If you control a devoted God, and your opponent casts a fused Far // Away, your God can lose devotion once the creature is bounced, making it impossible to sacrifice to the second half.
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  • #10
    Quote from seilaoque
    you can always target an Erebos in a GY with zombify.
    that static ability only works when it's on the battlefield.
    Anywhere else he's a creature at all times.


    For my own terminology refresher, what are abilities like kagemaro, first to suffer that give him P/T when he is in my hand as opposed to on the battlefield? I know there is a special term for that but I can't remember.
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  • #11
    Quote from Ogrefoot
    For my own terminology refresher, what are abilities like kagemaro, first to suffer that give him P/T when he is in my hand as opposed to on the battlefield? I know there is a special term for that but I can't remember.

    CDA (Characteristic Defining Ability).
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  • #12
    Quote from Ogrefoot
    For my own terminology refresher, what are abilities like kagemaro, first to suffer that give him P/T when he is in my hand as opposed to on the battlefield? I know there is a special term for that but I can't remember.

    This is a special case of static ability, it's a "characteristic-defining ability" (usually abbreviated as CDA):
    604.3. Some static abilities are characteristic-defining abilities. A characteristic-defining ability conveys information about an object's characteristics that would normally be found elsewhere on that object (such as in its mana cost, type line, or power/toughness box). Characteristic-defining abilities function in all zones. They also function outside the game.
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