When a creature card like Agent of the Fates is not on the battlefield but for example in the hand or graveyard, will its triggered abilities still trigger when I play Animate Dead or my opponent plays Ostracize and chooses the Agent?

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    Welcome to this site. You ask a question, and hopflly you will get some answers. Aug 29, 2015 at 7:24
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    @doppelgreener OP's asking whether triggered abilities of permanents trigger when the cards representing them are not on the battlefield, i.e. when they're not permanents, i.e. no.
    – Hackworth
    Aug 29, 2015 at 8:10

1 Answer 1



Unless specifically stated otherwise in the ability text, or they could only function from another zone (such as in Flashback), abilities of creatures, lands, artifacts, etc., only work while they are permanents, i.e. when they are on the battlefield.

Also note that Ostracize does not even target creatures, it only targets opponent players, so it could never trigger the Agent.

  • There's one exception to the "explicitly stated" rule that's tangential to the actual question but may still be worth bringing up: characteristic-defining abilities. The rules text doesn't say so, but they function everywhere, including exile/outside of the game. CR 604.3 defines this type of ability, but the most obvious one is possibly "CARDNAME's power and toughness are each equal to...". Several other abilities key off of P/T for e.g. fetching or countering, and it's worth noting that those values are set in all zones and update as a state-based action.
    – matthias
    Sep 2, 2015 at 22:04
  • @matthias I'm not sure if this has changed since last year, but characteristics defined by static abilities are updated continuously, not as a state-based action.
    – KSFT
    Sep 12, 2016 at 20:55

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