How Magic Cards work
Ajani’s Chosen

Ajani’s Chosen Russian

Last Modified 29.03.2020

There are some intersting things about Auras entering the battlefield without casting

The Red Keep was full of cats: lazy old cats dozing in the sun, cold-eyed mousers twitching their tails, quick little kittens with claws like needles, ladies’ cats all combed and trusting, ragged shadows prowling the midden heaps.

“A game of thrones” by George Martin

Ajani’s Chosen

Oracle Text:

Creature — Cat Soldier

Whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, create a 2/2 white Cat creature token. If that enchantment is an Aura, you may attach it to the token.

Ajani’s Chosen is a white creature with two creature types — Cat and Soldier. If you need to choose a creature type, for example, to use Cavern of Souls, you’ll have to choose either Cat or Soldier. You cannot choose Cat-Soldier.

If you attack with  Preeminent Captain, when its triggered ability resolves, you’ll be able to put Ajani’s Chosen from your hand on the battlefield tapped and attacking, because Ajani’s Chosen has a Soldier subtype.

If you play Cats deck in Tribal Wars format, you might think of including Raksha Golden Cub in the deck. While Rashka is equipped, he buffs all your Cats including Ajani’s Chosen with +2/+2 and Double Strike.

If you control an entire pride of Cat Soldiers: Ajani’s Chose, Ajani’s Pridemate and Kemba’s Legion and a Coat of Arms flies above them, each Cat will get +1/+1 twice, regardless of the number of shared creature types. Take a closer look at the Coat of Arms text and notice that it counts creatures and not types.

Now that we are done with creature types for today, let’s move on to the Ajani’s Chosen’s ability. Ajani’s Chosen has a single ability that reads: “Whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, put a 2/2 white Cat creature token onto the battlefield. If that enchantment is an Aura, you may attach it to the token.”

  • Whenever” is a keyword that helps us define at this is a triggered ability. The following event triggers this ability:
  • an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control” is the triggering event.
    • As you may have noticed the trigger is ignorant to the way enchantments enter the battlefield.
    • To trigger this ability an enchantment must enter the battlefield. Changing control ( Aura Thief) or turning a pumpkin object into an enchantment ( Calming Licid) doesn’t cause the ability to trigger.
  • put a 2/2 white Cat creature token onto the battlefield. If that enchantment is an Aura, you may attach it to the token” is the triggered ability effect that only happens on resolution of the ability.
    • Note that this triggered ability isn’t conditional, although it has the word “if”.  This is not an intervening “if” clause, because it is not placed right after the triggering event description. This means that triggering and resolution of this ability do not depend on this condition. If the condition is met on resolution, you simply get to an additional part of the effect.

How does it work?

Sneak Attack
Show and Tell
Sun Titan

You cast and resolve Sneak Attack; or put a Detention Sphere on the battlefield on resolution of Show and Tell; or return Spirit Mantle from the graveyard on resolution of Sun Titan’s ability… any of these events will cause Ajani’s Chosen’s ability to trigger.

When the ability resolves for any of these cases, you’ll get a kitten token. However, only in the Spirit Mantle case will you get a chance to attach the Mantle to that kitten. Note that getting a token and attaching an Aura to it are both parts of the ability effect. At this time no player has a priority, so your cunning opponent won’t be able to kill the Cat token to prevent you from attaching an Aura to it.

What happens when an Aura enters the battlefield under your control during resolution of an Aura spell?

Lightning Talons
2/2 white Cat creature token

Let’s imagine that we cast Lightning Talons targeting a Bear. You know that Aura spells need a target, right? On resolution Lightning Talons enter the battlefield attached to the Bear. Ajani’s Chosen’s ability triggers and on its resolution we first get a token and then, if we want, we may attach the Aura to it.

Note that you can’t cast an Aura spell if there are no legal targets for it. For example, if your Ajani’s Chosen is the only creature on the battlefield and has Shroud, you won’t be able simply cast an Aura to attach it to the token.

Awaken the Ancient
2/2 white Cat creature token

If Awaken the Ancient enters the battlefield, it will cause the ability to trigger. When the ability resolves, you will get a Cat. But you won’t be able to make the Cat a 7/7 killing machine, because Awaken the Ancient can only enchant Mountains.

As the Aura that Ajani’s Chosen’s effect moves is already a permanent and does not target anything, you’ll be able to attach it to a Cat token even if it has Shroud.

Spiritual Asylum
2/2 white Cat creature token

If you control Spiritual Asylum, all creatures under your control have Shroud. In this case you may cast Rancor targeting an opponent’s creature and then attach it to your newborn kitten.

If you have an opportunity to copy Ajani’s Chosen’s triggered ability, the Aura that caused the ability to trigger can be moved twice.

Lightning Prowess
Strionic Resonator
Ajani’s Chosen

Let’s cast Lightning Prowess targeting Ajani’s Chosen. When the Aura hits the battlefield the Chosen’s ability triggers and we can copy it with Strionic Resonator. Next we activate the newly acquired ability of the Ajani’s Chosen and deal 1 damage to the foe or to an enemy creature. Then, we resolve the copy of the trigger, get a Cat and attach the Aura to it. We can then ping with the Cat, resolve the original ability and get another Cat we can attach the Aura to and ping.

Sweet bonus for dessert:

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Spirit Mantle
2/2 white Cat creature token

Your cunning opponent controls Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. You control Ajani’s Chosen and have Spirit Mantle in hand. You may cast and resolve Spirit Mantle targeting the Chosen. On the resolution of the triggered ability you get a 0/0 Cat creature token. But since the game doesn’t check the game state at this point the Cat stays on the battlefield. You can then attach the Aura to the token so that  it becomes 1/1 and survives the next time SBA (state-based actions) are performed.

Now a few words on forgetfulness. On a Competitive REL tournament Ajani’s Chosen’s triggered ability will be considered missed if its controller didn’t show awareness of the trigger or didn’t perform any actions that are part of the ability’s visual effect:

  • A player cast and resolved Pacifism and immediately put a Cat on the battlefield without saying a word. Everything is fine. It wouldn’t be bad manners to ask that player if he or she wants to attach Pacifism to that token.
  • A player casts and resolves Awaken the Ancient. He then casts a sorcery. Unfortunately, if at this point he remembers about the token, the trigger is already missed.
  • A player casts and resolves Awaken the Ancient. He then casts an instant, then puts a Cat token on the battlefield. Everything is fine. We assume that he cast that instant in response to the triggered ability.
  • A player casts 2 Auras in succession, informing you that he or she is getting 2 tokens and those Auras will be attached to the newest one. While this action is not technically correct, everything is fine, as it is considered Out-of-Order Sequencing*.
  • A player casts and resolves an Aura. Then he thinks and casts a second one. When it hits the table the player wants two kittens. In this case we will be assuming that he has forgotten the first trigger because you can only cast Auras while the stack is empty, so there were no triggers there.

In a Regular REL tournament, a player who forgets the trigger will often be able to get his or her Cat. However, he or she needs to remember about the trigger early enough so that the judge won’t change his mind to give away kittens to the forgetful people. “Early” in this case means early both in terms of time passed and game state complexity. If players have taken serious decisions based on the absence of the trigger, the game state will be left as is.

P.S. Fans of perpetuum mobile combos will love the interaction between  Enchanted Evening and Ajani’s Chosen. Remember to check your hand for a Disenchant of some sort before casting this enchantment, otherwise your game will end in a draw.

Translated by Lev Kotlyar