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The first Theros god card was unofficially spoiled today. Although it may change, it currently reads:

Thassa, God of the Sea {2U}

Legendary Enchantment Creature - God

Indestructible

As long as your devotion to blue is less than five, Thassa isn't a creature. (Each U in the mana costs of permanents you control adds to your devotion to blue.)

At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.

1U: Target creature you control can't be blocked this turn.

Looks pretty insane. Anyways, my question is would this clause only matter when Thassa is actually on the battlefield? For example if my "devotion to blue" is zero, can I still discard it to Lotleth Troll or return it to my hand with Corpse Hauler?

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More importantly, you can Essence Scatter it. ;) –  Alex P Aug 27 '13 at 20:03
    
@AlexP Yeah that's a more relevant example. I doubt we'll be seeing the Thassa/Lotleth deck. –  Wesley Murch Aug 27 '13 at 20:13
    
This seems like it's missing some text. Creatures (inherently) have a power and toughness, and they couldn't readily add the 'creature' type to a permanent without specifying one. (Looking at the site again, I see it's labeled as a 5/5.) –  Steven Stadnicki Aug 28 '13 at 6:44
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Based on the information you presented, it only functions on the battlefield. Even with no devotion to blue, it's a valid target for Lotleth Troll and Corpse Hauler.


The ability would only function outside of the battlefield if it was a characteristic-defining ability. For example, Ghostfire is colorless in all zones and even when deck building.

604.3. Some static abilities are characteristic-defining abilities. A characteristic-defining ability conveys information about an object’s characteristics that would normally be found elsewhere on that object (such as in its mana cost, type line, or power/toughness box). Characteristic-defining abilities function in all zones. They also function outside the game.

However, it fails to meet two of six1 criteria for a characteristic-defining ability.

604.3a A static ability is a characteristic-defining ability if it meets the following criteria: (1) It defines an object’s colors, subtypes, power, or toughness; (2) it is printed on the card it affects, it was granted to the token it affects by the effect that created the token, or it was acquired by the object it affects as the result of a copy effect or text-changing effect; (3) it does not directly affect the characteristics of any other objects; (4) it is not an ability that an object grants to itself; and (5) it does not set the values of such characteristics only if certain conditions are met.

  • (1) It defines a characteristic other than the object's colors, subtypes, power and toughness.
  • (5) It sets the characteristic only if certain conditions are met.

  1. The sixth is that it must be a static ability.
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Sweet, I thought so but wasn't 100% sure, this seals it for me. It's good info to have for the upcoming prerelease tourneys, thanks. –  Wesley Murch Aug 27 '13 at 20:10
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This is true with the current rules, and will probably be the right answer, but the wording "As long as [some condition], [this] is not a creature" is new and as far as I know has never appeared on a card before. The rule update will most likely clarify it. –  Pablo Aug 28 '13 at 1:28
    
@Pablo When will this rule update occur? –  Wesley Murch Aug 28 '13 at 15:43
    
A short while before set's release. They should appear in here in the new set's FAQ as soon as its released. –  ikegami Aug 28 '13 at 15:54
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