I want to cast Polymorphous Rush on a strong creature on my battlefield so that my Hamletback Goliath's ability will trigger. The creature that will become the copy is already on the battlefield, but when it becomes a copy of the strong creature, will this trigger my Hamletback Goliath's ability?

For reference, Hamletback Goliath reads:

Whenever another creature enters the battlefield, you may put X +1/+1 counters on Hamletback Goliath, where X is that creature's power.


4 Answers 4


No, it will not trigger the Goliath since nothing is entering the battlefield, a creature is just changing characteristics.

What you can do, however, is wait for a new creature to enter the battlefield and trigger the Goliath. With the trigger on the stack, you can then Polymorphous Rush the triggering creature, and the Goliath will get counters based on the new power. This is because the Goliath's ability doesn't check to see what the power of the creature is when it enters, it checks as the ability is resolving.


The answer is stated plainly by comprehensive rule 706.4.

706.4. Some effects cause a permanent that’s copying a permanent to copy a different object while remaining on the battlefield. The change doesn’t trigger enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the battlefield abilities.

However, as you might have guessed by reading the other answers, this rule is redundant. Rule 603.6a tells us what we need to know.

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. [...]

Rule 603.6a doesn't care what the permanent's name is. It just cares that it is a permanent. The permanent could change names a hundred times, and it would still be the same permanent, (sitting there on the battlefield).

  • I think the rule is needed. Or at least, you need the rule explaining when "enters the battlefield" triggers trigger. Because the confusion comes from the fact that even though "the object" was on the battlefield before, "Hamletback Goliath" was not. So without rules saying otherwise, it's just as logical to say "Hamletback Goliath was not on the battlefield before, but now it is."
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:02
  • 1
    @Gendolkari It would be odd if the rule were necessary when there are three other answers without it, one of which has 5 upvotes.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:04
  • @Gendolkari Also, we don't care if the name "Hamletback Goliath" is or is not on the battlefield. In fact, it doesn't even make sense to talk about a creature's name being somewhere. We care about the object, not the name. Should I add this comment to the answer, or do you have a better way to word this?
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    @Gendolkari I like the look of this much better. The bulleted list that I had before sounded condescending for some reason that I can't really put my finger on (maybe the bold font).
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:46
  • 1
    Upvoted because redundant or not; answers with rules quotes are better.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 20:24

No. The creatures are already on the battlefield and merely change by copying the original, so they don't enter the battlefield.


No. Using Giant Growth or Polymorphous Rush to modify the characteristic of a permanent does not cause it to change zones. No creatures left or entered the battlefield.

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