Hangarback Walker / Return to Hand Interaction
Asked by mailpip 8 years ago
I looked on Gatherer and while it doesn't address this question specifically it does say: "If enough -1/-1 counters are put on Hangarback Walker at the same time to make its toughness 0 or less, the number of +1/+1 counters on it before it got any -1/-1 counters will be used to determine how many Thopter tokens you get. For example, if there are three +1/+1 counters on Hangarback Walker and it gets four -1/-1 counters, youll get three Thopter tokens. Thats because Hangarback Walkers triggered ability checks the creatures existence just before it leaves the battlefield, and it still has all those counters on it at that point." Which makes me think the ability is actually triggered when Hangarback Walker "leaves the battlefield" regardless of whether it dies.
Thanks in advance,Mike
The ruling you found just clarifies that in the event that Hangarback Walker would die due to -1/-1 counters reducing its toughness to 0 or less, you still get tokens.
July 21, 2015 7:34 p.m.
To "die" means being put from the battlefield into the graveyard, nothing more and nothing less. It's already quite in your favor, as it includes you sacrificing the creature, for example, but it has to be on the battlefield and it has to go to the graveyard in order for the corresponding ability to trigger.
July 22, 2015 3:29 a.m.
Thanks folks - that is what I suspected, I just wanted to double check!