Triggered abilities from the graveyard

Asked by ReVoLynx 6 years ago

Do triggered abilities of creatures always also work from the graveyard, or does some special condition have to be met?

If I have Ink-Treader Nephilim in my graveyard, and I cast a Breath of Life targeting it, does Nephilim trigger? So that I would copy the spell for each other creature in my graveyard?

On one hand, this seems utterly broken and of course it wouldn't work. But on the other hand, cards like Bloodghast clearly do trigger while graveyard, as if observing what is happening outside of it. So I don't know, could you help me out with this one?

emask says... #1

In the case of Bloodghast there is text specifically saying a land can bring it back. For Ink-Treader Nephilim there is no such text. Therefore, what you're saying won't work and no other cards in your graveyard will be targeted.

Important to note that most cards and their effects only work on the battlefield unless otherwise stated. Also, cards in your library and graveyard are just that, cards, not creatures, spells, etc...

That said, there are cards that allow you to find creatures in your graveyard, library etc., but they aren't tread as they'd be on the battlefield--again, unless otherwise indicated.

April 17, 2015 5:15 a.m.

emask says... #2

Sorry, dying keyboard battery on that last post, should say treated, not 'tread'. Here's a few others on this topic if you want more confirmation. Would be cool if it worked though!

So to clarify, Ink-Treader Nephilim's ability is only active when it's on the battlefield. If you look at a card like Proclamation of Rebirth, notice how it refers to the creatures as "creature cards". While creatures are in the graveyard/library, they are cards and not technically creatures as they are when they're on the battlefield (Arc Trail--notice it indicates creature, not creature cards).

Anyway, hope it's helpful. This stuff confused the heck out of me when I was working on some graveyard shenanigans.

Best of luck!

April 17, 2015 5:24 a.m.

sonnet666 says... Accepted answer #3

Abilities of creatures (anything really) always function only in the zone that they're relevant in. Usually that's only on the battlefield, but if an ability refers to zone that would be the only place it could function in, the way Bloodghast does, then the ability functions in that zone, and it will usually only function in that zone or in every zone.

This is true for any ability not just triggered ones. Some examples include Misthollow Griffin for static abilities and Reassembling Skeleton for activated abilities. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge's first ability is an example of an ability that functions in every zone, and is why it's second ability needed to specify what zone it needs to be in to function.

In the case of Ink-Treader Nephilim, Breath of Life would not get copied, because since ITN's ability does not specify a zone it defaults to only functioning on the battlefield.

This is about the closest Magic ever gets to having a "common sense" rule.

April 17, 2015 5:27 a.m.

This discussion has been closed