Today we will speak about special enchantments. We will learn everything about Auras and protection taking Spirit Mantle as an example.
Spirit Mantle is an enchantment. Enchantments have only tree subtitles: Aura, Shrine and Curse (the subtitle Curse first time appears in the Innistrad block). Our Snark is a Boojum!* I mean an Aura. That fact changes nearly everything in the life of this card.
The theory (a bit of it, frankly speaking):
During the game a Magic card can represent different objects. It depends on the zone where card is located:
- a permanent (only in the battlefield)
- a spell (only in the stack)
- a card — in any other zone (like graveyard) or outside the game (it’s not a zone!)
That means we use words "Aura permanent" only for auras on the Battlefield. Aura spell is a card or copy of the spell/card in the stack. In all other cases we are talking about aura card.
Why an Aura is Boojum among the enchantments?
- Every aura has an enchant ability;
- Every aura spell has a target; aura permanet doesn’t target anything.
- And unlike all other enchantments, auras can be on the battlefield in the "cat’s status" AKA "all by themselves" only in exceptional cases.
This is a static ability that defines what an Aura spell can target and what an Aura permanent can be attached to. Spirit Mantle can enchant and target a creature.В It doesn’t matter who is that creature’s controller.
Lets look at the other enchant abilities:
If the enchanted object doesn’t fit aura’s enchant ability, the aura unattaches indignantly and goes to its owner’s graveyard the next time SBA are checked.
Keep in mind that SBAs aren’t checked continuously. The game checks them only in proper time. Between these moments game state isn’t relevant:
Aura spells are always targeted
Why? According to the Magic rules:
114.1b Aura spells are always targeted. These are the only permanent spells with targets. An Aura's target is specified by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, "Enchant"). The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. An Aura permanent doesn't target anything; only the spell is targeted. (An activated or triggered ability of an Aura permanent can also be targeted.)
When you cast an Aura you have to choose legal target for the spell.
Aura permanent by the same rules doesn’t target anything. Therefore:
Here is a bit of theory (again!)
- a) If an Aura is enchanting an illegal object or player,
b) or if an Aura is not attached to anything,
an Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard. (This is a state-based action)
c) There is an exception from this rule: an Aura with Bestow loses enchant creature, falls off and remains on the battlefield as an Enchantment Creature.
- If a creature is attached to an object or player, it becomes unattached and remains on the battlefield.
Similarly, if a permanent that's neither an Aura, an Equipment, nor a Fortification is attached to an object or player, it becomes unattached and remains on the battlefield.
- If an Aura is entering the battlefield under a player's control by any means other than by resolving as an Aura spell (Show and Tell, Sun Titan, Retether), and the effect putting it onto the battlefield doesn't specify the object or player the Aura will enchant (Gift of Immortality, for example, defines), that player chooses what it will enchant as the Aura enters the battlefield. The player must choose a legal object or player.
- a) 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.
b) In that case, the Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard instead of entering the battlefield. And again, if it was an Aura spell, cast with the Bestow cost payed, we will have a permanent Enchantment Creature.
- If an effect attempts to put a permanent that isn't an Aura onto the battlefield attached to an object or player, it enters the battlefield unattached.
It's time to discuss one very obvious thing: the controller of the aura and the controller of the enchanted object may be completely different players. In some cases, the object has no controller. For example, nobody controls cards in the graveyard.
It seems I have told you everything you need to know about Auras. I hope now you will not be surprised that a creature with Shroud can be enchanted by one of them.
It’s time to look on the Spirit Mantle's bonuses. Not all
yogurt bonuses are the same health-giving. The first part just gives the creature +1/+1, i.e. modifies its characteristics, the second one gives the creature a static ability.
Protection from creatures
Here is mnemonic rule for protection (by Yaroslav Berezovsky)
Protection does exactly four things.
If a permanent or player is protected from FREAKs, that means:
- This permanent or player can not be the target of the FREAK's spell and ability from FREAK's sources.
- Damage that FREAKs trying to deal to this permanent or player is prevented.
- FREAK's Aura or equipment / fortification falls off this permanent or player (Auras are put into its owner’s graveyard, equipments remains on the battlefield). This is a state-based action.
- If this permanent attacks, FREAKs can't block it.
Aside from this, Protection does nothing more.
Hence we conclude that the creature enchanted by Spirit Mantle:
- can not be the target of creature's abilities;
- damage from creatures (both combat and noncombat) is prevented;
- it can not be blocked by any creature.
One more funny fact:
Aside from this, Protection does nothing more.
You can read about Protection from player taking an example True-Name Nemesis.