Kunoros, Hound of Athreos has the following two static abilities.

Creature cards in graveyards can't enter the battlefield.   

Players can't cast spells from graveyards.

Why does he have these two static abilities? Wouldn't it be enough to indicate only the second of the two abilities?

It is clear that it is, in the first place, a card that prevents players from using the Escape ability.     But I think there are other notable implications. 
It is good to clarify the difference that this card implicitly indicates between:   

  1. "Creatures that come into play from the graveyard"
  2. "Spells cast from the graveyard". 

I think it is appropriate that at least one valid example should be included in the answer, that makes it clear why the difference we are talking about is really important.


2 Answers 2


The difference would be that not every card was a spell before it entered the battlefield.

112.1. A spell is a card on the stack. [...]

Spells are objects you put on the stack after casting them - normally from your hand, but occasionally from your graveyard, such as with Abandoned Sarcophagus. The second ability of Kunoros prevents that from happening.

Other cards, such as Emeria, the Sky Ruin, will put creature cards in play without ever putting them on the stack, meaning they will never exist as spells. Kuronos's second ability does not apply to the Sky Ruin, but the first ability does and prevents even this ability from being useful.

Note also that Kuronos's first ability does not prevent the Sky Ruin from casting cards from the graveyard, because it only explicitly defines that cards can't change from the graveyard to the battlefield zone.

  • 1
    In order to phrase an ability that wouldn't need two seperate conditions, you could use "Cards in graveyards can't change zones", although this is probably not done because it requires more rules knowledge from the average player than just putting two rather concise abilities, that only have the downside of sometimes appearing redundant, I would assume. Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 10:09
  • 4
    That wording would also prevent cards being exiled from the graveyard. Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 19:16
  • 1
    ... or shuffled into your library from your graveyard, or returned from your graveyard to your hand (goodbye dredge).
    – Arthur
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 7:32
  • You're right, and I didn't mean to create exactly the same ability, just an example of an ability that would (among other things) prevent both spells from being cast, and zone changes from happening. You could alter the ability to resemble what the original card does easily enough, yet of course not without elevating the level of knowledge required even higher. Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 8:40
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    @ManoFromBerlin I think all comments prior to yours were directed at the first comment, not my answer. Kuronos itself does not prevent any cards from being exiled. As for your second comment, that ruling is about cards like Covetous Urge that first exile cards from the graveyard and then allow a player to cast them. Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 15:34

The are many ways for cards to enter the battlefield from the graveyard that don't involve casting the spell from the graveyard. Here are a few different effects that return creatures from the graveyard:

As you can see, Magic has plenty of effects that bring cards back from the graveyard to the battlefield that don't involve casting a card from the graveyard. These effects are very common in Magic's history, even if casting cards from the graveyard is more common in recent sets.

  • This answer is also very correct. It shows many examples of the issue, as I requested, and therefore makes it very clear why both instructions on the Kunoros card are needed Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 16:16

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