4

Murder Investigation reads:

When enchanted creature dies, put X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is its power.

Flowstone Slide reads:

All creatures get +X/-X until end of turn.

Suppose I enchant my 1/1 white Soldier creature token with Murder Investigation and then cast Flowstone Slide with X = 3. The poor token dies for sure, but would I get 4 white Soldier creature tokens because he was a 4/-2 at the time he was destroyed, or would I get 1 white Soldier creature token because that is the power of the enchanted creature as it last existed on the battlefield?

  • @Jefromi, you didn't misunderstand, that was a typo. – Luke May 6 '15 at 0:56
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You'll get 4 tokens, because that's the power of the enchanted creature as it last existed on the battlefield.

It doesn't die quite immediately upon having negative toughness; it exists on the battlefield for just a moment until state-based actions are checked. The overly detailed sequence of events is:

  1. Flowstone Slide resolves, making it a 4/-2 creature, still on the battlefield.
  2. As soon as it finishes resolving, state-based actions are checked, and since its toughness is 0 or less, it's put into its owner's graveyard.
  3. The token has now died, so Murder Investigation's ability triggers.
  4. State-based actions keep being checked; Murder Investigation is put into your graveyard and the token ceases to exist.
  5. Murder Investigation's triggered ability resolves. Since the object it refers to ("enchanted creature") is no longer on the battlefield, it uses last known information to check its power - and the last known power of the creature was 4, so X is 4 and you get 4 tokens.
  • And none of those tokens are affected by Flowstone Slide, because they were not on the battlefield when it resolved? – John May 6 '15 at 15:19
  • 1
    @John Yes, same as creatures played after it are unaffected. – Cascabel May 6 '15 at 15:58
  • If instead of Flowstone Slide, it was Flowstone Blade's ability being used, only 2 tokens would be made, since SBA occurs between 0 toughness and -1 toughness, correct? – JonTheMon May 6 '15 at 16:19
  • @JonTheMon Yup, SBAs are checked every time anyone would gain priority, e.g. after one instance of Flowstone Blade's ability resolves, and no one can do anything until they're done. – Cascabel May 6 '15 at 17:01
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You get 4 Soldier tokens, because the creature had power 4 when it was last on the battlefield.

This is the exact sequence of events when the Flowstone Slide resolves:

  1. Your soldier gets +3/-3 until end of turn, so it is a 4/-2 creature until end of turn.
  2. State Based Actions are checked. By rule 704.5f, the Soldier dies. Murder Investigation's triggered ability triggers.
  3. State Based Actions are checked again (as detailed in 704.3). Murder Investigations is put in the graveyard by 704.5n.
  4. State Based Actions are checked again. Nothing happens this time.
  5. Murder Investigation's ability is put on the stack.
  6. Murder Investigation's ability resolves. Since the soldier is no longer on the battlefield, the ability uses the last known information of the creature. The creature had power 4 when it died, so you get 4 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens.

The important point to note here is that the Soldier token becomes a 4/-2 creature, then the spell finishes resolving, then the Soldier dies. So, there was a time when it was on the battlefield as a 4/-2.

Rule 608.2g says

If an effect requires information from the game (such as the number of creatures on the battlefield), the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied. If the effect requires information from a specific object, including the source of the ability itself or a target that's become illegal, the effect uses the current information of that object if it's in the public zone it was expected to be in; if it's no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public zone to a hidden zone, the effect uses the object's last known information. See rule 112.7a. If an ability states that an object does something, it's the object as it exists—or as it most recently existed—that does it, not the ability.

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