Forthcoming Nessian Demolok has the following abilities.

Tribute 3 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may place three +1/+1 counters on it.)

When Nessian Demolock enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn't paid, destroy target noncreature permanent.

Assuming the reminder text is complete and accurate, what happens if you cast Clone choosing a Nessian Demolok? Specifically, does your opponent get a chance to pay tribute?

By the letter of the rules, choices for "As this permanent enters the battlefield" occur before the permanent the battlefield[CR 614.12a], but doesn't Clone's replacement effect happens at the point it enters the battlefield?

1 Answer 1


Yes, your opponent gets a chance to pay the Tribute. From the Clone rulings:

Any enters-the-battlefield abilities of the copied creature will trigger when Clone enters the battlefield. Any "as [this creature] enters the battlefield" or "[this creature] enters the battlefield with" abilities of the chosen creature will also work.

This is the same behavior as when you Clone a Triskelion; the Clone will get 3 +1/+1 counters.

  • duh, should have checked the rulings! That's what I thought, but the rule wordings is flaky. (The choices supposedly happen before the permanent enters the field, but the replacement effect should only come into when it does...)
    – ikegami
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 14:27
  • What happens if you clone a Marath? I assume it checks for the cost of the clone? Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 5:11

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