Can the ability granted by Equinox counter Desolation Angel if the angel is kicked. Or is it considered to be indirectly destroying lands as it requires it to enter the battlefield first?


No, Equinox cannot counter Desolation Angel. Equinox says

Enchanted land has "{T}: Counter target spell if it would destroy a land you control."

When a creature spell resolves, its only effect is to put the creature onto the battlefield. In the case of Desolation Angel, after it enters the battlefield its ability triggers. That ability is what would actually destroy the lands, and it is a separate game object from the Desolation Angel creature spell—and is in fact not a spell at all (it's an ability) so Equinox can't counter it. So, if you activate the ability granted by Equinox targeting a Desolation Angel spell, it will do nothing because the spell itself won't destroy any lands.

  • "When a creature spell resolves, its only effect is to put the creature onto the battlefield." Some creatures have replacement effects affecting how they enter the battlefield (usually with counters, or as a copy of something, but there are others). Would that be included in the effect of the creature spell? – Arthur May 6 '18 at 11:28
  • @Arthur Pretty sure not; spells and abilities are 2 separate things; a static ability that creates a replacement effect is still an ability; separate from the spell. – GendoIkari May 6 '18 at 14:26

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