Nightmare Shepherd exile interaction mechanics

Asked by FalconForce 1 month ago

I know that Nightmare Shepherd 's triggered ability happens when the affected creature enters the graveyard and then you can exile that card. Also when multiple exile effects trigger simultaneously you can pick the resolution order.

Because of that I believe that Whip of Erebos 's triggered ability doesn't work with it because it goes directly into exile instead of anywhere else when it dies. But Diabolic Servitude would work because the creature actually enters the graveyard before it's exile triggers. Let me know if I'm wrong.

But how does it interact with the haunt mechanic? Is 'haunting' only a delayed trigger that doesn't require the card? Could you haunt the Shepherd and make a token or is it an either/or? Blind Hunter as an example.

Or what if the exiled card would be brought back by another effect? I'll use sacrificing the creature to Rescue from the Underworld as an example. I looked at the 3rd and 4th rulings on it and I think they might mean that if the card is exiled face up or goes to the command zone instead of the graveyard it'll get returned, but if it hits the graveyard before going to one of those places then it'll be treated as a new object.

So, if I understood that correctly, why does the delayed trigger track the card when it changes to a new zone the first time but not the second? Or does the trigger only work because the creature was sacrificed as a cost and it's therefore already in whatever zone it goes to before the delayed trigger is applied to it?

Gidgetimer says... Accepted answer #1

So there is a lot to unpack here. I am going to go through each statement/question and give a yes/no and try to explain the reasoning behind each to help understand the interactions. This is going to be a bit of a fragmented response since each case has to be considered separately.

If you return a creature with Whip of Erebos it gets exiled instead of going anywhere else on the next end step or when it would leave the battlefield. Nightmare Shepherd will not trigger.

If a creature returned to the battlefield with Diabolic Servitude dies you can stack the triggers so that you get the 1/1 copy or not, but the Diabolic Servitude is returned to your hand. If instead the Diabolic Servitude leaves the battlefield, the returned creature will be exiled and will not trigger Nightmare Shepherd .

The rules on Haunt state that the card "haunts" the creature if it is put into exile as a result of the Haunt ability. This means if you exile it to Nightmare Shepherd it will not "haunt" a creature.

702.54b Cards that are in the exile zone as the result of a haunt ability “haunt” the creature targeted by that ability. The phrase “creature it haunts” refers to the object targeted by the haunt ability, regardless of whether or not that object is still a creature.

Abilities track an object through a maximum of one zone change. If the creature goes directly to exile Nightmare Shepherd will not trigger. If Nightmare Shepherd moves it from the graveyard to exile, the ability that expects to find it in the graveyard will not find it in exile.

I also have some clarification on the subject of Commanders and the command zone. The replacement effect now only applies to Commanders going to hands and libraries. They changed how they interact with going to libraries and exile to a SBA that is only checked once immediately after the event happens (much like how Deathtouch is handled). This means that Rescue from the Underworld will no longer be able to track Commanders into the command zone since they hit the graveyard first.

February 26, 2021 1:11 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #2

Sorry. I was just rereading my comment and in the last paragraph it should read "The replacement effect now only applies to Commanders going to hands and libraries. They changed how they interact with going to GRAVEYARDS and exile to a SBA that is only checked once immediately after the event happens (much like how Deathtouch is handled).

February 26, 2021 3:10 p.m.

FalconForce says... #3

Thank you Gidgetimer. You did a great job of covering all of it.

To clarify- when commander goes to the graveyard or exile then the moment after it arrives the owner is given the opportunity to move it to the command zone at the first moment that anyone would be allowed to do anything?

February 26, 2021 6:45 p.m.

FalconForce says... #4

And the official ruling on the card is outdated because they didn't update it after making that change to commander rules?

February 26, 2021 6:48 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #5

Correct. There are two current rules pertaining to commanders changing zones.

903.9a If a commander is in a graveyard or in exile and that object was put into that zone since the last time state-based actions were checked, its owner may put it into the command zone. This is a state-based action. See rule 704.

903.9b If a commander would be put into its owner’s hand or library from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead. This replacement effect may apply more than once to the same event. This is an exception to rule 614.5.

I wouldn't say that the rulings on Rescue from the Underworld are necessarily outdated. It is just much harder to get it to apply to the command zone. An enchanted commander that is sacrificed to Rescue from the Underworld with Necromancer's Magemark out can still go directly to the command zone.

February 26, 2021 8 p.m.

FalconForce says... #6

Ok, thanks

February 27, 2021 6:15 p.m.

Please login to comment