Bestow Confusion

General forum

Posted on Sept. 4, 2013, 12:33 a.m. by raithe000

According to this article, bestow works like regular auras (i.e., target creature dies, the aura is countered), but I know Mark Rosewater has stated that it actually should become a creature if the target is destroyed.

Thoughts on who is right, and how this will change how powerful Bestow is?

JWiley129 says... #2

He's saying it's a 2-for-1 on the caster's side. You can kill my Akroan Crusader with my Nighthowler enchanting him, but I'll just get a Nighthowler with another +1/+1. Does that make sense?

Also, I'd go with the guy who designed the game over someone who commentates on the game.

September 4, 2013 12:39 a.m.

There's a fundamental difference between countering an aura spell by removing its target and destroying a creature that's already enchanted.

If the target of an aura spell is destroyed, then the aura will fizzle upon trying to resolve because its only legal target no longer exists. This bypasses the effect that would turn the bestowee back into a creature, effectively countering it. This all happens on the stack, before the enchantment ever touches the battlefield.

If a creature that is already enchanted by a Bestow creature dies, something completely different happens. The Bestow aura sees that it is no longer attached to a creature, and becomes a creature instead of an aura, as described on the card.

September 4, 2013 12:43 a.m.

raithe000 says... #4

No, either I'm going crazy or the article was just edited. Under the "Option 2" header, he said that if we cast them as auras, but the targeted creature is removed while they are on the stack, the spell is countered. If you read the "Risk" header, that's why he was talking about instant speed removal deciding how powerful it was.

Well, I guess this means he was definitely wrong.

September 4, 2013 12:45 a.m.

Slycne says... #5

As I understand it, and what Marshall Sutcliffe is saying, is that Bestow still has the risk of getting 2 for 1'd if you use removal in response to the casting. Because it never got attached to the creature, it simply fizzles like a normal aura would for having no target. Much like how Rancor could be sent to the graveyard permanently this way.

It's only once it's resolved on the battlefield is Bestow "safer" from removal.

September 4, 2013 12:47 a.m.

raithe000 says... #6


Rosewater has stated in his tumblr (which is why I don't have a link, since i can't search it and i'm not looking manually) that if a Bestow creature is cast as an aura but its target disappears while it is on the stack., it still resolves as a creature. That's why the previous version of this article was surprising, because it said the opposite.

September 4, 2013 12:48 a.m.

I would just sit back for now and wait for Wizards to release their Theros FAQ, which will clear up everything you will ever need to know with Theros card rulings. I'm sure they know that Bestow isn't very intuitive, so they'll clear it up in detail there.

September 4, 2013 12:50 a.m.

As Bestow is written, though, you're casting a creature as an aura. Because an aura has to have a legal target to resolve, it would make sense to be able to counter it by removing its target.

September 4, 2013 12:51 a.m.

Slycne says... #9

The post in question.

goldenpineapples asked: My players are asking me why bestow creatures enter as creatures when their target is removed, citing rancor as a card that proves bestow's wording wrong: rancor can't attach to a creature that isn't there, so it doesn't get it's "die" trigger. Bestow creatures never attach to their creature so they should never hit the battlefield to become creatures. I've been telling them "because wizards says so." Can I say anything else?

Bestow creatures have two states. If one state cannot work it reverts to the other.

September 4, 2013 1:01 a.m.

Slycne says... #10

Ok yeah, the DailyMTG Editor-in-Chief confirmed that the article was written without being given full knowledge of the mechanic. So I guess the intention is that they do behave differently from auras in this regard.

September 4, 2013 1:17 a.m.

Dritz says... #11

From The Mechanics of Theros Article.

"If the target creature leaves the battlefield after you cast a card with bestow as an Aura but before the spell resolves, the Aura spell will resolve as an enchantment creature rather than being countered like a normal Aura spell. If the target creature is still on the battlefield when the Aura spell resolves, it resolves as an Aura enchanting that creature."

September 4, 2013 1:34 a.m.

But. Why? I'll take it on faith that you've got the right ruling there, but I can't for the life of me figure out how the wording on Bestow allows for it.

September 4, 2013 8:33 a.m.

Aerokid says... #13

For some reason I have a feeling the enchantment spell still resolves and enters the battlefield, but in the case of Rancor it isn't enchanting anything and is sent to the graveyard as a SBA. I'll look it up if someone doesn't ninja me first.

September 4, 2013 8:44 a.m.

Dritz says... #14


I would like to point out that the link I posted takes you directly to the Theros mechanics page. And that the quote says "rather than being countered like a normal Aura spell."

I mean, I suppose it could be wrong but that was how I thought it worked (normal auras being countered if their target is removed) and the article is supposed to be purposefully for the full explanation of how Theros mechanics mesh with current game rules. I'd say its pretty cut and dry at this point, but, perhaps I'm not seeing something.

September 4, 2013 8:52 a.m.

Aerokid says... #15

It doesn't actually explicitly state what happens in the comp rules. This is the closest thing I could find and it seems to support the "2 for 1" idea because the aura never actually enters the field. Maybe another Comp rules tweak is coming soon..

303.4g If an Aura is entering the battlefield and there is no legal object or player for it to enchant, the Aura remains in its current zone, unless that zone is the stack. In that case, the Aura is put into its owners graveyard instead of entering the battlefield.

September 4, 2013 8:54 a.m.

Aerokid says... #16

Dritz I see. Then I guess the difference will be noted when Bestow is added to the Comp rules.

September 4, 2013 8:57 a.m.

Dritz says... #17


Hopefully so.

Also, I feel like I might have sounded a bit harsh in my last post so I'd like to apologize for that, if thats how it came across, it wasn't intentional.

September 4, 2013 9:01 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #18

Normal Auras are countered if they start to resolve but have no legal target. The "unless that zone is the stack" part of 303.4g is there to address an extremely rare situation where the Aura starts resolving but something happens during resolution to get rid of the object it was supposed to enchant (I can't figure out how to actually make this happen; the rule might only be here as a "just in case").

The Official answer for a Bestow Aura spell is that it comes in as a creature instead of being countered. Matt Tabak (Rules Manager) and Aaron Forsythe (Director of R&D) were the first ones to confirm this, and others have already pointed out Mark Rosewater's confirmation and the Mechanics article. Marshall Sutcliffe simply got it wrong while writing his own article. Whether or not this is from a special sub-rule in the rules for Bestow or an upcoming change to Aura rules in the Comprehensive Rules remains to be seen.

September 4, 2013 1:31 p.m.

gufymike says... #19

September 4, 2013 1:40 p.m.

mbooma says... #20

The official rules for bestow are as follows:

702.102. Bestow

702.102a Bestow represents two static abilities, one that functions while the card with bestow is on the stack and another that functions both while it's on the stack and while it's on the battlefield. "Bestow [cost]" means "You may cast this card by paying [cost] rather than its mana cost." and "If you chose to pay this spell's bestow cost, it becomes an Aura enchantment and gains enchant creature. These effects last until one of two things happens: this spell has an illegal target as it resolves or the permanent this spell becomes, becomes unattached." Paying a card's bestow cost follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2eg.

702.102b If a spell's controller chooses to pay its bestow cost, that player chooses a legal target for that Aura spell as defined by its enchant creature ability and rule 601.2c. See also rule 303.4.

702.102c A spell's controller can't choose to pay its bestow cost unless that player can choose a legal target for that spell after it becomes an Aura spell.

702.102d As an Aura spell with bestow begins resolving, if its target is illegal, the effect making it an Aura spell ends. It continues resolving as a creature spell and will be put onto the battlefield under the control of the spell's controller. This is an exception to rule 608.3a.

September 17, 2013 5:39 a.m.

This discussion has been closed