I have Yarok, the Desecrated on the battlefield:

If a permanent entering the battlefield causes a triggered ability of a permanent you control to trigger, that ability triggers an additional time.

I play Thought Sponge, after my opponent drew three cards this turn:

Thought Sponge enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the greatest number of cards an opponent has drawn this turn.

Does this creature's triggered ability trigger an additional time? Is it entering as a 4/4, or as a 7/7?


I'm not sure whether this effect counts as replacement effect, as mentioned in the rulings of Yarok:

7/12/2019. Replacement effects are unaffected by Yarok’s ability. For example, a creature that enters the battlefield with one +1/+1 counter on it won’t receive an additional +1/+1 counter.

  • 1
    That is not a triggered ability. 113.3c Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and include (and usually begin with) the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” [...]
    – ikegami
    Jan 4 '20 at 19:06

Unfortunately for you, Thought Sponge won't trigger again. In fact, it doesn't even trigger at all, since it is indeed a replacement effect:

614.1c Effects that read “[This permanent] enters the battlefield with . . . ,” “As [this permanent] enters the battlefield . . . ,” or “[This permanent] enters the battlefield as . . . “ are replacement effects.

and as you noted, replacement effects are unaffected by Yarok's ability.

A similar card which is affected by Yarok is Propeller Pioneer which has the Fabricate 1 ability:

When this creature enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on it or create a 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creature token.

This is a triggered ability:

603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger condition or event], [effect]. [Instructions (if any).]”

  • 2
    Might be worth stating that if Thought Sponge's wording was "When Thought Sponge Enters the Battlefield, put a number of +1/+1 counters on it...", that would be a triggered ability and would be doubled. Additionally, if there was a card like Doubling Season or Corpsejack Menace on your board, the number of counters would be doubled.
    – Soulus101
    Jan 7 '20 at 15:16
  • @Soulus101 any examples of those cards? (When ... enters the battlefield, put X +1/+1 counters on it...") My gut feeling says Wizards wouldn't print them, because they would be so similar yet different.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 7 '20 at 15:18
  • 2
    It's more to a point of "this is what a triggered ability would look like", rather than "and this exists". However, as it happens, the "Fabricate" mechanic from Aether Revolt does this (sort of), and similar effects exist.
    – Soulus101
    Jan 7 '20 at 15:21
  • 1
    @Soulus101 thanks! I've updated the answer.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 7 '20 at 15:25
  • @Glorfindel cards like that are rare for another reason, most of the cards that enter with +1/+1 counters based on something in the game state are base 0/0, and would die before the counters were added as SBA if it was a triggered ability rather than a replacement effect.
    – Andrew
    Oct 27 '20 at 12:37

While Glorfindel has already answered this question, the rulings on Gatherer reinforce that Thought Sponge's effect is a replacement effect:

Thought Sponge gets its +1/+1 counters at the moment it enters the battlefield. There’s not a time that it’s on the battlefield before its replacement effect has applied.

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