There are many cards that can put multiple permanents onto the battlefield simultaneously, such as Scapeshift, Living Death, or Pyxis of Pandemonium. How do these interact with the following types of abilities?

As [this permanent] enters the battlefield...

You may have [this permanent] enter the battlefield as...

[This permanent] enters the battlefield with...

When [a permanent with certain characteristics] enters the battlefield...


There have been many questions already about particular instances of this situation. This question is intended to be a canonical question and answer to all questions such as:

What happens when multiple Canker Abominations enter the battlefield simultaneously?

How does Valakut trigger with a card like Harrow or Scapeshift putting multiple mountains into play?

Cards entering the battlefield simultaneously and "Enter the Battlefield" effects

Do creatures that enter the battlefield at the same time see each other enter?

Pyxis of Pandemonium and 'enters the battlefield' abilities

Note to moderators: three of these five questions have already been marked as duplicates pointing to this one. Can we do the same for the remaining two?

  • Four of the five linked questions are about triggered abilities, one is about replacement effects. Likewise, three of the templates at the top are replacement effects, and one is a triggered ability. Both halves of the question are a duplicate, and so I'm voting to close the whole as a duplicate. I see no added value from joining together these two categories of questions.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:57
  • I haven't looked at the possible past duplicates carefully, but I can say that my first thought on seeing this question was confusion - the title says "enter the battlefield" which generally means triggered abilities, while the question asks about both triggered abilities and replacement effects. Definitely makes more sense to me to separate the two. (Yes, a beginner wouldn't see the difference, but fortunately those of us who'll be closing questions as duplicates of canonical questions aren't beginners!)
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:16
  • The key piece of confusion in all of these questions is that multiple objects enter simultaneously. The resulting explanation is fairly simple, even handling both cases. The replacement efforts also contain the phrase "enters the battlefield".
    – Zags
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:51
  • I think it would be a good idea too keep this open as the canonical question. Many people may not know the difference between the replacement effect and the triggered ability, so they may not be able to find one of the other questions that handles the case they do care about. This also covers the fact that there is a difference in how the two are handled, which other such questions only do implicitly.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 23:56
  • @murgatroid99 Right, but when we get a new question that's about one of these two cases, might it be less confusing to point them at a canonical that's about only one of them? Or are you saying you think people might find this one by searching but not the others?
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


The replacement effects (As [this permanent] enters the battlefield, You may have [this permanent] enter the battlefield as..., and [This permanent] enters the battlefield with) will look at the state of the battlefield before the group of permanents enters.

The triggered abilities (When [a permanent with certain characteristics] enters the battlefield) will trigger for all eligible permanents entering the battlefield. This is true even if the ability is on one of the permanents that is entering the battlefield.


If you use Scapeshift to find several copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, some mountains, and several copies of Vesuva, you will have a group of lands entering the battlefield simultaneously. Vesuva's ability is a replacement effect, and so can only copy lands on the battlefield before the group of lands enters (so if you sacrificed all of your lands to Scapeshift, Vesuva would only be able to copy an opponent's land). Meanwhile, Valakut has a triggered ability. All of the Valakut abilities will trigger for all of the mountains entering the battlefield. If the Valakuts happen to be mountains as well, such as due to Prismatic Omen, they will trigger their own and each others abilities.

If you use Living Death, any instances of Clone that come back to life will have no valid copy targets and Canker Abomination will be a 6/6, since both of these are replacement effects. Meanwhile, Goldnight Commander has a triggered ability, and so will give all of your creatures +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature besides himself that entered the battlefield.

Rules Justification

The behavior of the triggered abilities comes from the following core rules:

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, "When [this object] enters the battlefield, ..." or "Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, ..." Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.

603.3b If multiple abilities have triggered since the last time a player received priority, each player, in APNAP order, puts triggered abilities he or she controls on the stack in any order he or she chooses. (See rule 101.4.) Then the game once again checks for and resolves state-based actions until none are performed, then abilities that triggered during this process go on the stack. This process repeats until no new state-based actions are performed and no abilities trigger. Then the appropriate player gets priority.

The behavior of the replacement effects comes from the following core rules:

608.2g 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

614.1c Effects that read "[This permanent] enters the battlefield with ... ," "As [this permanent] enters the battlefield ... ," or "[This permanent] enters the battlefield as ... " are replacement effects.

614.12. Some replacement effects modify how a permanent enters the battlefield. (See rules 614.1c–d.) Such effects may come from the permanent itself if they affect only that permanent (as opposed to a general subset of permanents that includes it). They may also come from other sources. To determine which replacement effects apply and how they apply, check the characteristics of the permanent as it would exist on the battlefield, taking into account replacement effects that have already modified how it enters the battlefield (see rule 616.1), continuous effects generated by the resolution of spells or abilities that changed the permanent’s characteristics on the stack (see rule 400.7a), and continuous effects from the permanent’s own static abilities, but ignoring continuous effects from any other source that would affect it.

614.12a If a replacement effect that modifies how a permanent enters the battlefield requires a choice, that choice is made before the permanent enters the battlefield.

614.4. Replacement effects must exist before the appropriate event occurs—they can’t “go back in time” and change something that’s already happened. Spells or abilities that generate these effects are often cast or activated in response to whatever would produce the event and thus resolve before that event would occur.

101.4. If multiple players would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) makes any choices required, then the next player in turn order (usually the player seated to the active player’s left) makes any choices required, followed by the remaining nonactive players in turn order. Then the actions happen simultaneously. This rule is often referred to as the “Active Player, Nonactive Player (APNAP) order” rule.

  • I don't think 614.12a exactly justifies your conclusions regarding enters-the-battlefield replacement effects. Canker Abomination's ability, for example, involves no choices.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:12
  • @murgatroid99 "As Canker Abomination enters the battlefield, choose an opponent." I'm probably missing a rule reference on the replacement effects though.
    – Zags
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:13
  • Oh, you're right. What about Sunburst, then? Your answer implies that it would work the same.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:14
  • @murgatroid99 Custodi Soulbinders is a better example. I'll see if I can find the right rule to fit it
    – Zags
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:18
  • 1
    I don't see how that relates to the Custodi Soulbinders example.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:26

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