Banisher Priest is one of two cards of Magic 2014 edition that has had a special rule written for it. Let’s check it out now.
“Oathbreaker, I cast you out!”
Banisher Priest’s flavor text
Banisher Priest has only one ability: “When Banisher Priest enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield”.
- When — signal word indicating that we are dealing with a triggered ability. Such abilities go off independently from players as soon as their triggering event occurs:
- Banisher Priest enters the battlefield — is that very triggering event that the ability is waiting for.
- The trigger goes off when Banisher Priest hits the battlefield. It doesn’t matter how exactly that happens. You may resolve the Banisher Priest spell; or you may as well activate AEther Vial’s ability and put the Priest onto the battlefield from your hand.
- Events that do not trigger this ability include: change of control (Olivia Voldaren); change of state to phased-in; copying the Priest’s characteristics onto a permanent that is already present on the battlefield (Lazav, Dimir Mastermind) etc.
- exile target creature an opponent controls until Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield. — the effect of this trigger, we get it only when it resolves.
- This trigger is targeted. It is evident by the word “target”. If the target becomes illegal by the time the trigger resolves (for instance, through getting hexproof or protection from white), the trigger is countered.
- As any other trigger, this one may be countered with special spells like Disallow, then we obviously do not get the effect.
- The Priest’s trigger may only target creatures under an opponent’s control. You will not be able to remove a dangerous creature (such as Dark Confidant when you are low on life) under your control or under the control of your other head in Two-Headed Giant.
- If there is no legal target for the Priest’s trigger, it is simply removed from the stack. Being able to target something with the trigger is not related to being able to cast Banisher Priest! The spell and the trigger are two totally different objects.
How does it all happen?
When Banisher Priest’s trigger resolves, it creates two one-shot effects. One of those effects exiles the creature when the ability resolves.
The other effect returns the exiled card to the battlefield immediately when Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield. In order for that to happen, two conditions must be met:
- The Priest must actually leave the battlefield. This happens in case:
- Banisher Priest is moved to another zone (hand, graveyard, exile, library).
- Banisher Priest’s owner loses the multiplayer game.
- The exiled card is still exiled:
When Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield, having or not having this ability is irrelevant, as is the shape of the Banisher Priest object. The effect created on resolution of her trigger does not vanish even if the Priest turns into something humongous.
Turn // Burn with Fuse will send the Priest to the graveyard without abilities, but the owner gets his creature back.
If the Priest becomes an unanimated Mutavault and leaves the battlefield in that shape, the exiled card still returns to the battlefield.
If Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield before her trigger resolves, the target creature is not exiled.
Effects never go onto the stack; it is therefore not possible to counter the return of the exiled object, or somehow respond to it. Nothing happens between Banisher Priest leaving the battlefield and the exiled object returning. Neither player receives priority, and no SBA are checked.
When the card returns from exile, replacement effects that impact the way the card enters the battlefield are applied:
Concluding today’s article with a curious interaction:
If players forget about the exiled card, it is treated as Gameplay Error — Game Rule Violation. As soon as it is discovered, even if multiple turns have passed since that moment, the Judge will return the card to the battlefield.
This isn’t a trigger! Even in events on Competitive REL or higher, the Priest’s controller may not keep silence about the fact that the exiled card hasn’t been returned to the battlefield.
- ⇑ Naturally, the Planeswalker must currently be a creature for you to be able to target it with Banisher Priest’s target.
Translated by Witas Spasovski