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If I have a Champion of the Parish in play and play an Adaptive Automaton, choosing human, does the Champion's ability activate?

I believe it does since

  • the declaration of human occurs "as the AA enters the battlefield", not "once the ..."
  • the declaration takes place immediately and is not stack based (per gatherer ruling)
  • Champion's affect reads "whenever a Human enters the battlefield"

Thus the AA is a human when it enters the battlefield.

Can anyone clarify this more conclusively?

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think i just found a new card for my deck! –  DForck42 Dec 29 '11 at 17:28
    
@DForck42 If you're using Adaptive Automaton as a Human "lord", note that there are also two actual Human "lords" in Innistrad: Hamlet Captain and Mayor of Avabruck. –  Alex P Dec 29 '11 at 22:15
    
@alexp yeah, but they're off-color for my deck. both of them are also iffy lords. –  DForck42 Dec 29 '11 at 22:20
    
@AlexP ~@dforck42 Both of them are great in a green/white deck, for example in commander. At the moment I have a hard time justifying green/white in 60 card standard, but I may change my mind in a few days :) –  Stephen Dec 30 '11 at 3:29
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Adaptive Automaton will enter the battlefield already possessing the chosen creature type, which will trigger Champion of the Parish.

Automaton's first ability is a "replacement effect". Relevant rules are under the heading "Replacement Effects". Relevant excerpts:

614.1. Some continuous effects are replacement effects. Like prevention effects (see rule 615), replacement effects apply continuously as events happen—they aren’t locked in ahead of time. Such effects watch for a particular event that would happen and completely or partially replace that event with a different event. They act like “shields” around whatever they’re affecting.

[...]

614.1c Effects that read “[This permanent] enters the battlefield with . . . ,” “As [this permanent] enters the battlefield . . . ,” or “[This permanent] enters the battlefield as . . . ” are replacement effects.

[...]

614.6. If an event is replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. Note that the modified event may contain instructions that can’t be carried out, in which case the impossible instruction is simply ignored.

For more information about how this interacts with Champion of the Parish, let's look at "Handling Triggered Abilities" -- specifically:

603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones. During resolution, these abilities look for the object in the zone that it moved to. [...]

[...]

603.6b Continuous effects that modify characteristics of a permanent do so the moment the permanent is on the battlefield (and not before then). The permanent is never on the battlefield with its unmodified characteristics. Continuous effects don’t apply before the permanent is on the battlefield, however (see rule 603.6e).

Example: If an effect reads “All lands are creatures” and a land card is played, the effect makes the land card into a creature the moment it enters the battlefield, so it would trigger abilities that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield. Conversely, if an effect reads “All creatures lose all abilities” and a creature card with an enters-the- battlefield triggered ability enters the battlefield, that effect will cause it to lose its abilities the moment it enters the battlefield, so the enters-the-battlefield ability won’t trigger.

So, in essence, "As Adaptive Automaton enters the battlefield, choose a creature type" replaces the normal "~ enters the battlefield" action that you perform when summoning a creature with a subtly different action: "~ enters the battlefield and its controller chooses a creature type".

"Adaptive Automaton is the chosen type in addition to its other types" is a static ability just like shroud or flying, so your Automaton is an "Artifact Creature - Human Construct" (or "Construct Human", I suppose, the rules aren't picky) when it enters the battlefield, and this is the type that all triggered abilities (like Champion's) will see.

If you'd like to see an official example of Adaptive Automaton interacting with a Human-enters-the-battlefield ability, look at the Rulings section for Dearly Departed.

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The Champion's ability does not activate.

The Automaton's first ability creates a replacement effect that defines what creature type is being referred to by his other two abilities, which are both static effects. According to the comprehensive rules:

604.2. Static abilities create continuous effects, some of which are prevention effects or replacement effects. These effects are active as long as the permanent with the ability remains on the battlefield and has the ability, or as long as the object with the ability remains in the appropriate zone, as described in rule 112.6.

This means that in order for the Automaton's static abilities to be in effect, it must be a permanent on the battlefield. As it's entering the battlefield, it's not yet a permanent, so it's not yet a human, so the Champion won't trigger.

EDIT:

Further discussion has revealed that I am incorrect. Please refer to AlexP's answer and the comments on this answer for more info.

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From the very moment it becomes a permanent, the card's own static abilities apply. –  Alex P Dec 29 '11 at 16:57
    
@AlexP Yes, but since a permanent is defined as "a card or token on the battlefield," (110.1) it doesn't become a permanent until after it has entered the battlefield. –  edsobo Dec 29 '11 at 17:00
    
See 603.6b (especially the example) and 603.6d ("Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like.") –  Alex P Dec 29 '11 at 17:11
    
@AlexP You're absolutely right. Guess I didn't look far enough for confirmation when writing my answer. +1 to you. –  edsobo Dec 29 '11 at 17:24
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