Today we turn to eternal formats again to discuss Animate Dead and remember whether Protection works in graveyards.
Animate Dead is one of those cards that makes you dig through the Oracle to understand properly. Thanks to GP Amsterdam in Legacy format, I actually managed to learn its text. My dear readers have a chance to study it carefully. I stressed the most important words in the rules text. Let’s analyze them.
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature card in a graveyard
Animate Dead is an aura, its Enchant ability defines what this aura spell may target, and what this aura permanent may enchant. We have already scrutinized auras when we got Spirit Mantle under the microscope. If you are confused with any words in this paragraph, I suggest you read that article.
Anyways, we can see that the Animate Dead spell is targeted, and a legal target for it is any creature card in a graveyard. It doesn’t have to be your graveyard.
What happens when the creature card is removed from the graveyard?
The text that follows:
”When Animate Dead enters the battlefield, if it’s on the battlefield, it loses “enchant creature card in a graveyard” and gains “enchant creature put onto the battlefield with Animate Dead.” Return enchanted creature card to the battlefield under your control and attach Animate Dead to it. When Animate Dead leaves the battlefield, that creature’s controller sacrifices it” -
is a triggered ability. Its triggering event is Animate Dead entering the battlefield. That is when the ability triggers. In fact, it doesn’t matter how exactly Animate Dead appears on the battlefield: through casting it or applying another effect that allows putting it directly onto the battlefield (such as Show and Tell or Sun Titan).
In order to get some effect from this ability, you need to get it to resolve. Otherwise none of the things described above takes place.
The word “if” in the text of the triggered ability, and the very condition “it’s on the battlefield” tell us that this ability is conditional. If the condition isn’t met, the ability doesn’t trigger. The condition is checked yet again as the ability resolves. This process is similar to checking the legality of targets.
If the triggered ability resolves, the following things take place:
- Animate Dead loses the “Enchant creature card in a graveyard” ability and gains a new Enchant ability: “Enchant creature put onto the battlefield with Animate Dead”. Now Animate Dead may only be legally enchanting the creature that was put onto the field through the effect of its trigger.
- The enchanted card is put onto the battlefield under the control of the player in control of Animate Dead’s trigger (see example in the end of this article), and Animate Dead is attached to that creature if that is possible.
- A delayed triggered ability is created: “When Animate Dead leaves the battlefield, that creature’s controller sacrifices it”.
If the creature put onto the battlefield through Animate Dead has any EtB-abilities or static abilities modifying the way they enter the battlefield, such triggers go off, and such abilities have effect.
Neither the delayed triggered ability created as Animate Dead’s trigger resolves, nor its static ability “Enchanted creature gets -1/-0” grant enchanted creature any abilities. Therefore, they may not be removed with effects that “erase” abilities:
Turn’s effect won’t save the creature from the trigger reacting to Animate Dead leaving the battlefield. By the way, your Weird will be 0/1.
A vanilla creature enchanted with Animate Dead gets the bonus from Muraganda Petroglyphs.
Oh and sure thing, the delayed trigger may be countered after it is put onto the stack. In that case you don’t sacrifice the creature.
- ⇑ Fizzle — slang expression to describe the event when a spell or ability doesn’t resolve due to having lost all of its targets.
Translated by Witas Spasovski