In conjunction to my previous question here, I created some confusion for myself. I want to know how this scenario would pan out:

  1. My opponent casts 2-3 huge creatures (say Eldrazi Devastator, Ruin Processor, and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger)
  2. On my next turn, I play Aligned Hedron Network, exiling these three creatures.
  3. On my opponent's next turn, he is unable to destroy AHN.
  4. I play Ulamog's Despoiler, and choose to send Ulamog and Eldrazi Devastator to the Graveyard from Exile.

After this process, if my AHN is still in play, will my Ulamog's Dispoiler be exiled? I think not, because of the text, "When Aligned Hedron Network enters the battlefield exile ...". However, the last bit threw me off "until Aligned Hedron Network leaves the battlefield."

Which of these interpretations is correct?

  • Until AHN leaves the battlefield, all creatures with power 5 or more are exiled whenever they enter the battlefield.
  • All creatures on the field with power 5 or more at the time that AHN enters are exiled until AHN is destroyed.

3 Answers 3


Network's ability is a triggered one, which triggers, as stated, when Network enters the battlefield. All creatures with power 5 or greater will be exiled when this ability resolves (unless something happens, like Network being destroyed before it resolves), and will stay exiled until Network leaves the battlefield. If the ability was worded, for example, "Whenever a creature with power 5 or greater enters the battlefield, exile it as long as X remains on the battlefield", then it would trigger every time a creature enters the battlefield.

  • Ah I see thanks yes that makes sense I thought it would be this way. Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 7:52

The second option is correct: the Aligned Hedron Network has a triggered ability, that exiles a set of creatures when it enters the battlefield. This exile effect lasts until the Network leaves the battlefield, at which time the creatures return to the battlefield. It does not continuously exile creatures that enter after it does.

First, the rules describing Triggered Abilities, specifically 603.1, say

Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and begin with the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” They can also be expressed as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger event], [effect].”

In the case of Aligned Hedron Network, the trigger condition is

When Aligned Hedron Network enters the battlefield

and the effect is

exile all creatures with power 5 or greater until Aligned Hedron Network leaves the battlefield

When the Aligned Hedron Network spell resolves, it enters the battlefield as a permanent and the ability triggers. That is the only time it happens, because it is the only time that the trigger condition is true.

Then, the effect has the "until Aligned Hedron Network leaves the battlefield" clause. The rules regarding One Shot Effects say

  • 610.1 A one-shot effect does something just once and doesn’t have a duration. Examples include dealing damage, destroying a permanent, putting a token onto the battlefield, and moving an object from one zone to another.

  • 610.3 Some one-shot effects cause an object to change zones “until” a specified event occurs. A second one-shot effect is created immediately after the specified event. This second one-shot effect returns the object to its previous zone.

So, as soon as the Network leaves the battlefield, the objects it exiled return to the battlefield under their owners' control.

  • Nice thanks for the detail I think my chain of thought was that the power of the creatures were the trigger of AHN as opposed to "When AHN enters the battlefield" Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 5:44

Aligned Hedron Network will exile the creatures. Set those aside as they will come back when it leaves play. The wording on the card is key here as its effect only happens as Alligned Hedron Network comes into play. Therefore any cards that are played after are not effected.

For example: I play Aligned Hedron Network on one turn, exiling a fair amount of cards. The next turn I Play a Desolation Twin, because the Aligned Hedron Network is already in play Desolation Twin will come into play and summon the 10/10 token and remain there, leaving your opponent very vulnerable.

  • "Aligned Hedron Network will exile the creatures" is misleading because from the context of the question it sounds like "Aligned Hedon Network will exile the creatures that enter the battlefield after Aligned Hedron Network does"
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 12:11
  • That's true but the cards text explicitly states that the effect happens when it enters the battlefield and does not state while it is on the battlefield Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 8:34
  • @StanleyYork - correct, but Kevin's criticism is that "the creatures" in your answer would be interpreted (correctly) by most readers as referring to "creatures that enter after it does" from the question, which runs exactly opposite to the rest of the content of your answer. A clearer summary might be, "Aligned Hedron Network only exiles already-played Creatures, not ones played after it". I also think changing "leaving you opponent" to "probably leaving your opponent" would be an improvement, since there are of course odd situations where you lose in spite of the combo. Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:23

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