If an effect or ability (are these two different cases?) lasts "until" a certain effent occurs, does this "delayed" condition use the stack? For example:

Banishing Light

I remove the Banishing Light is there a trigger placed on the stack afterwards? Or is the permanent placed on the battlefield while the spell/ability which removed the banishing light resolves?

1 Answer 1


If Banishing Light leaves the battlefield, the card it had been exiling returns immediately.

The "enters the battlefield" ability of Banishing Light uses the stack. When it successfully resolves, it creates a one-shot effect that exiles the targeted permanent, and another one-shot effect that happens as soon as the event happens; in this case, when Banishing Light leaves the battlefield.

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.

This is not to be confused with a triggered ability, which would indeed go on the stack. Banishing Light could be worded to use a triggered ability to return the card, but it wasn't. Some earlier cards with the same idea as BL but with a triggered ability to end the effect do exist, the canonical example being Oblivion Ring.

An effect is just something that happens because of a spell or ability. Only spells and abilities go on the stack. It's important to separate spells, abilities, and their effects.

609.1. An effect is something that happens in the game as a result of a spell or ability. When a spell, activated ability, or triggered ability resolves, it may create one or more one-shot or continuous effects. Static abilities may create one or more continuous effects. Text itself is never an effect.

When the ability created by BL has finished resolving, it has created two effects: One that exiles the target, and another that returns it later, when the condition is met. Both happen without them using the stack. Only the triggered ability from BL entering the battlefield uses the stack.

For example, if you had a spell that reads "Destroy all enchantments, then destroy all creatures", where the destruction effects are separate and BL has exiled a creature, then the exiled creature would return immediately after all enchantments are destroyed, then the creature would be destroyed by the "destroy all creatures" part of the spell.

  • So we don't place it onto the stack because the rules don't mention putting it on the stack. Out of curiosity, are there other effects/abilities which don't use the stack? I know of mana abilities and global effects like " all creatures get +1/+1 " and suspending.
    – Eggi
    Jul 1, 2019 at 9:00
  • An effect does not go on the stack because it can't. The effect that returns the permanent from exile is already happening, it just didn't do anything visible yet because its condition event hasn't happened. As you can infer from 609.1, only spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities use the stack and resolve, creating effects as they do resolve. Examples of things that don't use the stack are special actions (such as playing a land), and, as you wrote, mana abilities and static abilities that create a continuous effect.
    – Hackworth
    Jul 1, 2019 at 10:06
  • @Hackworth I am not sure I agree with your reading. "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." So the second effect is created when the event occurs. (In this case Banishing Light leaving the battlefield). I don't think it matters though since effects does not go on the stack.
    – Taemyr
    Jul 1, 2019 at 11:38
  • @Taemyr thanks, I fixed the wording. The 2nd effect is indeed created only after the event actually happened. The conclusion remains the same though, this 2nd effect is not an ability, does not enter the stack, and does not need the stack to resolve.
    – Hackworth
    Jul 1, 2019 at 13:09
  • This answer could be improved, if you helped teach us the difference between a triggered and a second-one shot event. By my wording of those two cards, they should behave identically, and you're implying they should not. Sorry to be so dense.
    – John
    Jul 1, 2019 at 13:28

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