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Let's say I control Athreos, God of Passage and my opponent casts an Anger of the Gods. I'm fairly sure any creatures I own that die this turn are just exiled without Athreos' ability triggering, but I can't bring to mind a concrete explanation of exactly why that's the case.

Can anyone explain how abilities that trigger when a creature dies interact with effects along the lines of "If X would die this turn, do Y with it instead"?

marked as duplicate by Rainbolt, murgatroid99, corsiKa, jwodder, Pablo Oct 24 '14 at 22:48

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The creature never died, so the ability doesn't trigger.


Anger of the Gods creates a replacement effect.

614.1. Some continuous effects are replacement effects. [...] Such effects watch for a particular event that would happen and completely or partially replace that event with a different event. [...]

614.1a Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

So the creatures never went to the graveyard.

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.

So the creatures never died.

700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”

If you have an ability that triggered on a creature being exiled, that ability would trigger.

  • Great stuff, this is the kind of answer I needed. I was fairly sure this was the case but I've not read the comprehensive rules in any serious depth and wasn't 100% sure whether the replacement effect stepped in before or after the event it is replacing. – Aiken Oct 24 '14 at 13:12
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Dies is short for "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield". Anger of the Gods say exile instead of dies (replacement effect), so the Athreos trigger will not be triggered because it completely replaces the die keyword.

700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”

and

419.1. Replacement and prevention effects are continuous effects that watch for a particular event to happen and then completely or partially replace that event. These effects act like "shields" around whatever they're affecting.

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