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So during a game I had this scenario:

On my battlefield I have Thalia, Heretic Cathar, whose ability says

Creatures and nonbasic lands your opponent control enters the battlefield tapped.

Now the opponent played a creature that said

Whenever [this creature] enters the battlefield, return target creature an opponent controls to its owner's hand.

Now the question is, even if my Thalia is returning to my hand, I think that her ability still triggers or am I wrong? Would that creature be tapped?

In theory, since Thalia says that the creatures enter the battlefield tapped, this should resolve before the opponent's ability that says whenever the creature enters the battlefield, so according to the wording the opponent creature is already tapped before the ability resolves.

Is that correct?

15

Yes, this is correct. Thalia's ability is a so-called replacement effect

614.1. Some continuous effects are replacement effects. Like prevention effects (see rule 615), replacement effects apply continuously as events happen-they aren't locked in ahead of time. Such effects watch for a particular event that would happen and completely or partially replace that event with a different event. They act like "shields" around whatever they're affecting.

614.1d Continuous effects that read "[This permanent] enters the battlefield . . ." or "[Objects] enter the battlefield . . ." are replacement effects.

which doesn't go on the stack. Only when the new creature actually enters the battlefield (tapped), its enter the battlefield ability will trigger.

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    Absolutely correct, but perhaps worth pointing out that the end result would be the same even if this weren't a replacement effect (if it said, for example, "When a creature or nonbasic land your opponent controls enters the battlefield, tap that creature or land"). Thalia's ability would trigger along with the bounce effect, they'd both resolve (order depending on whose turn it is), and in the end Thalia gets bounced and the opponent's creature is tapped. – Nuclear Wang Mar 20 at 15:37
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    @NuclearWang If you note that, it's perhaps also worth noting that there are differences between Thalia's ability and "When a creature or nonbasic land your opponent controls enters the battlefield, tap that creature or land", as creatures with haste and nonbasic lands can tap immediately (before that triggered ability taps them), but with Thalia they cannot. – Spitemaster Mar 20 at 16:55
  • @Spitemaster Technically, abilities that have tapping as a cost can be used. Tapping a permanent, as an atomic act rather than as a cost or effect, is not allowed. – Acccumulation Mar 20 at 17:19
  • @Acccumulation Yes, I suppose that was not completely clear. I just wanted to be pedantic about "the end result would be the same even if this weren't a replacement effect". ;) – Spitemaster Mar 20 at 17:24

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