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The rules for the Unearth ability are as follows:

702.82a Unearth is an activated ability that functions while the card with unearth is in a graveyard. Unearth [cost] means [Cost]: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step. If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

If I unearth a creature, and then cast Flicker to exile and return it, does the replacement effect cause Flicker to lose track of it, or is Flicker still able to see the exiled card and return it to the battlefield?

(Are there similar combinations of spells or abilities that would result in a different outcome?)

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"If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else." means that if the creature would leave the battlefield for some zone other than exile (because exile doesn't fit the condition of "anywhere else"), it's exiled instead. Therefore unearth replacement effect doens't apply here. Obviously flicker won't lose track of the creature and will return it to the battlefield just fine.

But even if the unearth replacement effect could apply, the creature would still return. Replacemt effects modify other actions, they don't do anything by themselves. It's still flicker who is exiling the card even if we could apply unearh replacement effect, therefore it can track the card because of rule 400.7g. Rule 400.7g doesn't actually apply here, because it refers to cards that changed zones while the card/ability was being played/activated. Flicker finds the card because it doesn't need to know that it was the same card that was on the battlefield. It just knows that there is a card in exile that is going to be put on the battlefield.

Note: I'll edit this and quote the rule to support that replacement effects don't do aything by themselves when I get home, right now I can't access the rules (I couldn't find a rule talking specifically about this, but there is an official ruling here that talks about the same thing)

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@ghoppe I don't think so. I can't find anything definitive for this, but the Shards of Alara FAQ says this: * If a creature returned to play with unearth would leave play for any reason, it's removed from the game instead -- unless the spell or ability that's causing the creature to leave play is actually trying to remove it from the game! In that case, it succeeds at removing it from the game. (...) –  Pablo Feb 15 '12 at 20:29
    
@ghoppe I'm not arguing that a replacement effect has no effect if it replaces the exact same effect. If it just said "If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead." (whithout "anywhere else") of course it would be applied. The point is if "anywhere else" means "anywhere else than the battlefield" or "anywhere else than exile". –  Pablo Feb 15 '12 at 21:42
    
I've come around to your point of view. The english is a bit ambiguous, but the intention seems clear. Sorry for the confusion. :) –  ghoppe Feb 15 '12 at 22:08
    
Really, 702.82 should include the "cards already moving to the exile zone aren't replaced by unearth's effect" caveat to make this clear. –  ghoppe Feb 15 '12 at 22:15
    
@ghoppe They probably didn't include it in 702.82 because there are no existing cards that would care about this small difference. At least I can't find any. –  Pablo Feb 15 '12 at 22:25
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Unearth's replacement effect doesn't apply. It is looking for the unearthed card being put someplace other than exile, and then replacing that event with placing the card in exile. Since Flicker is moving the card to exile, it isn't being put "anywhere else." (There is nothing for unearth to replace, since it is already going where unearth is trying to send the card).

The Unearthed creature would remain on the battlefield as a new object, it will not be exiled by the delayed trigger setup by the original "Unearth."

400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence.

Yes, different spells would have different outcomes. (you need to clarify what you mean here).

One such difference would be a card that phases a card out (example Tefari's Veil). The delayed trigger from Unearth will trigger at the beginning of the current turn's end of turn step, and it will fail to remove the creature (since it doesn't exist). But, because the creature has never left the battlefield, the next time the creature would leave the battlefield, it will be exiled instead.

702.24b If a permanent phases out, its status changes to “phased out.” Except for rules and effects that specifically mention phased-out permanents, a phased-out permanent is treated as though it does not exist. It can’t affect or be affected by anything else in the game.

603.7b A delayed triggered ability will trigger only once—the next time its trigger event occurs unless it has a stated duration, such as “this turn.”

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The second part of this answer is incorrect. The delayed trigger is created by the resolution of Unearth. It couldn't care less if the creature is still there. It will go on the stack and exile nothing, then the creature is yours indefinitely when it phases back in. –  Affe Feb 16 '12 at 6:39
    
I thought phasing out triggered "leaves play" effects, while phasing in didn't trigger "enters play". Doesn't that mean that when it phases out it triggers the "leaves play" and so is exiled? Or is "Leaves the battlefield" and "leaves play" not the same term? –  Nick Feb 4 '13 at 10:26
    
@Nick, Phasing used to trigger leaves play, but now it is a status of an object (flipped, tapped, etc.) –  user1873 Feb 4 '13 at 12:49
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Yes, Flicker will allow the creature to return to the battlefield, and it won't be exiled at the beginning of the next end step.

Unearth sets up a replacement event: "If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else."

Big Edit

To me, there is some ambiguity in the english here. Does the "anywhere else" refer to "anywhere other than the battlefield" or "anywhere other than the exile zone"?

I've thought about it, and I've come around to the other point of view. If it meant "anywhere other than the battlefield" then "exile it instead" would have sufficed. The Shards of Alara FAQ and Wizards Community Wiki makes the point that exile effects still happen, even to a creature "unearthed".

Since my conclusion is the same, but the path taken, different, I shall revise this answer accordingly.

Oracle text for Flicker:

Exile target nontoken permanent, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control.

So "Exile" means the creature will leave the battlefield. Because of the above interpretation of the Unearth keyword's rules text, this event will go on unmodified, as the exile zone is where the creature was heading.

According to:

400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:

400.7g A resolving spell or activated ability can perform actions on an object that moved from one zone to another while that spell was being cast or that ability was being activated, if that object moved to a public zone.

Since the Exile zone is public, the second part of the resolving Flicker spell still happens due to 400.7g. It hasn't "forgotten" that the creature in the exile zone is the same one that was on the battlefield. The creature returns to the battlefield under your control.

There is no exception to 400.7 for Unearth, it lost track of the creature when it was exiled. Therefore, it will not be exiled at the beginning of the next end step. Flicker has allowed it to live on.

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It remains exiled

What happens is that Unearth replaces Flicker's exile effect with its own effect, which happens to be an exile effect as well. However, since the creature was exiled through an effect other than Flicker's, Flicker won't return the creature in this case, because the creature is now a different object, despite being in the same zone.

The rules reference should be this one:

607.1. An object may have two abilities printed on it such that one of them causes actions to be taken or objects to be affected and the other one directly refers to those actions or objects. If so, these two abilities are linked: the second refers only to actions that were taken or objects that were affected by the first, and not by any other ability.

So Flicker's ability is linked: (1) It exiles a non-token permanent, and then (2) returns exactly that object to the battlefield. However, since (1) never happened (it was replaced by Unearth), it also can't do (2).

I could also say the opposite:

400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:

400.7g A resolving spell or activated ability can perform actions on an object that moved from one zone to another while that spell was being cast or that ability was being activated, if that object moved to a public zone.

I retract my answer since it's not an answer any more.

I'm just not sure. Does Flicker lose track of the creature because of the replacement effect, or not? The object is clearly in the correct zone, and it has been in public zones all the time, and it didn't change zones wildly, so it might be able to keep track via 400.7g. I'm excited to see a convincing rules reference!

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Man that's a tricky one. Can't really get my head around it. The rules reference is likely wrong because Flicker has only one ability, not two, so linked ability rules can't apply. This has nerd-sniped me... –  Hackworth Feb 15 '12 at 13:51
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I think 400.7g is pretty clear. Flicker is still resolving, therefore can still keep track of the creature even if the exile part of the spell is replaced, since the Exile zone is public. –  ghoppe Feb 15 '12 at 16:57
    
Check out rulings for Anvil of Bogardan‌​: "If the draw part of the effect is skipped due to a replacement effect, the discard part of the effect is not skipped." Same situation here, even if the part before then is skipped/replaced, the second part is unaffected (as long as it can still track the creature as per 400.7g). –  ghoppe Feb 15 '12 at 17:06
    
The replacement effect does not apply. "Instead of anywhere else" is the condition, it's not going somewhere else. –  Affe Feb 16 '12 at 0:36
    
Note - Deleting your own post is possible, and badge worthy in this case. It's up to you if it's warranted or not. –  Pat Ludwig Oct 1 '12 at 14:28
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