Does Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi trigger the ability of Simic Ascendancy?

Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi says:

Put nine +1/+1 counters on target land you control. It becomes a legendary 0/0 Elemental creature with haste named Vitu-Ghazi.

So either the land gets the +1/+1 counters and afterwards becomes a creature. Or it becomes a creature and then receives the +1/+1 counters.

To me the last assumption seems correct because it is irritating to me to be able to put +1/+1 counters on a land.

  • It was probably done that way to avoid the situation where you temporarily have a 0/0 creature. It wouldn't be a problem because SBAs aren't checked during the resolution of a spell, but it would confuse some people. – ikegami May 10 '19 at 21:16
  • @ikegami well amass does exactly do this. Create a 0/0 token and then put +1/+1 counters on it. – bautista May 13 '19 at 6:05
  • Amass was probably done that way to keep the text short. It avoids an entire "otherwise" clause. – ikegami May 13 '19 at 18:45

The two actions (adding counters and the permanent type change) are two different steps of the same spell. That means they're executed separately:

608.2c The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written.

There's no rule prohibiting +1/+1 counters on a non-creature permanent. For example, the land Llanowar Reborn enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter.

So unfortunately Simic Ascendancy wouldn't trigger, as the counters are put on the land while it's not a creature yet.

Simic Ascendancy would trigger if the land was already also a creature prior to the spell resolving: for example, casting Awakening a second time on the same animated land, or casting it on a land that was animated by Nissa, Who Shakes the World.

  • damn. thanks for clarification, I thought I was on something there ☺ – bautista May 10 '19 at 8:40
  • 7
    @bautista however if you animate it first with Nissa, then cast awakening, it does work... – fireshark519 May 10 '19 at 9:54
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    And of course, there's always Dryad Arbor – ikegami May 10 '19 at 21:17
  • @ike but unfortunately not standard legal – bautista May 21 '19 at 7:18

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