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I have two closely-related questions regarding Djinn of Infinite Deceits. I think I understand how both of these cases work, but my rules-fu is rusty and I'd love the opinion of the experts here.

  • Case 1: A permanent control effect, such as Control Magic. If I use the Djinn to give away a creature that I have enchanted with Control Magic, which reads "You control enchanted creature.", what happens? My understanding is that after the Djinn's ability finishes resolving, states would update and Control Magic would cause the creature I gave away to return to my control.

  • Case 2: An ongoing control effect, such as Rubinia Soulsinger's activated ability. If I use the Djinn to give away a creature I'm currently controlling using Rubinia's ability that reads "Tap: Gain control of target creature for as long as ... Rubinia remains tapped.", what happens? My understanding is that Rubinia's effect doesn't continue to update, and so the creature would remain under my opponent's control.

  • When considering the interactions of continuous effects, it's of no consequence whether the continuous effects were created by a static ability or by the resolution of spell/ability. – ikegami Dec 7 '14 at 4:52
  • Nothing permanent about Control Magic. Destroy the Enchantment, and the enchanted creature will return to its previous controller (unless an effect is overriding Control Magic's). – ikegami Dec 7 '14 at 6:17
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In both cases, the result is the same: the new control effect overrides the old one. This is because Magic uses a timestamp system: whenever there are effects that modify the same thing (like control, or type, or color), the one that was created last and hasn't ended determines the final result.

This is part of rule 613: Interaction of Continuous Effects:

613.1. The values of an object's characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object. For a card, that means the values of the characteristics printed on that card. For a token or a copy of a spell or card, that means the values of the characteristics defined by the effect that created it. Then all applicable continuous effects are applied in a series of layers in the following order:

  • 613.1b. Layer 2: Control-changing effects are applied.

613.2. Within layers 1-6, apply effects from characteristic-defining abilities first (see rule 604.3), then all other effects in timestamp order (see rule 613.6).

613.6. Within a layer or sublayer, determining which order effects are applied in is usually done using a timestamp system. An effect with an earlier timestamp is applied before an effect with a later timestamp.

  • 613.6a. A continuous effect generated by a static ability has the same timestamp as the object the static ability is on, or the timestamp of the effect that created the ability, whichever is later.

  • 613.6b. A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability receives a timestamp at the time it's created.

Please note that these rules do not describe a sequence of actions to take, but rather a process to determine the current characteristics of an object. Also, timestamps don't really have a "value." The only important thing is what order they are in.

All of the effects discussed here are continuous effects. That is because rule 611.1 says

A continuous effect modifies characteristics of objects, modifies control of objects, or affects players or the rules of the game, for a fixed or indefinite period.

So, here's how we determine the controller in each of your situations:

Case 1

Your Control Magic has a static ability that says "You control enchanted creature." This creates a continuous effect that causes you to control the creature with a timestamp corresponding to when the Control Magic entered the battlefield (613.6a). Then you activate your Djinn's ability. When the ability resolves, it creates a continuous effect that says that your opponent controls that creature (and one that says that you control one of your opponent's creatures, but that's not relevant), with a timestamp corresponding to when the ability resolves (613.6b).

Then, when we want to determine who controls the creatures, we see that there are two control changing effects. We apply them in timestamp order, so we first apply the Control Magic effect, which says that you control it. Then we apply the Djinn's ability's effect, which says that your opponent controls it. The end result is that your opponent controls it.

If the Control Magic ever goes away, the Djinn's ability's effect will be the only control changing effect. It says that your opponent controls the creature, so they control it.

Case 2

First, your Rubinia Soulsinger's ability creates an effect that says that you control the creature, with a timestamp corresponding to when the ability resolved. Then your Djinn's ability creates an effect that says that your opponent controls the creatures, with a timestamp corresponding to when that ability resolved.

Then, when we want to determine who controls the creatures, we again see that there are two control changing effects. As in case 1, we apply the effects in timestamp order. This means that we first apply Rubinia's ability's effect, then your Djinn's ability's effect. And, as in case 1, the result is that your opponent controls the creature.

If you then decide to untap Rubinia, there will then be just one control changing effect: the one that says that your opponent controls the creature. So, they control it.

  • The Djinn's effect is considered a continuous effect? That seems... counter-intuitive, at least. It appears to be a one-time effect. – gatherer818 Dec 7 '14 at 2:40
  • You can't have a one-time control changing event. It wouldn't stick. I'm looking for a rule for that now. – murgatroid99 Dec 7 '14 at 2:42
  • If you can find it, I'll accept ASAP - I thought effects like the Djinn were one-time effects that just "set" the controller and leave it set to the new controller, where a continuous effect like Control Magic would keep "setting" it every time states updated. I wasn't really sure which way to look at Rubinia's - did it set it once and then set it back when she untaps, or did it keep setting it like Control Magic would? However, if the Djinn's is also considered continuous as well, that would totally clarify the situation. – gatherer818 Dec 7 '14 at 2:48
  • I added a reference to rule 611.1. Also, consider this: continuous effects and one-shot effects can't do the same sort of thing because there is no rule for how they interact. – murgatroid99 Dec 7 '14 at 2:51
  • Yep, that... completely kills my combo, but I can't complain too much, as I felt it was WAY too powerful for a two-card combo in EDH anyway. Thanks a ton, I would never have realized that a one-off ability like that could still be considered continuous without some help. – gatherer818 Dec 7 '14 at 2:57
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You have Case 2 correct, but not Case 1. There's not any real difference between the two. In both cases, there is one continuous effect giving you control of a creature, and then you apply a second effect giving control to an opponent. In general, the most recent effect "wins out", and so you've given away your creature. The rules don't make a distinction between what you refer to as "permanent" and "ongoing"; both are simply "continuous effects".

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