Ranar the Ever-Watchful creates a 1/1 flying token whenever "a spell or ability you control exiles one or more permanents from the battlefield" and Rest in Peace says "If a card or token would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead."

So I'm trying to figure out what "a spell or ability I control" means here for the sake of triggering Ranar's ability. I'm gathering that it doesn't trigger every time something is exiled by Rest in Peace because Rest in Peace's effect is a replacement effect; so it would need to be an effect or ability of a card I control that would cause something to get exiled by Rest in Peace's effect for Ranar to get triggered. But I'm also seeing some people say that cards like Blasting Station who's cost would cause a card to be exiled by Rest in Peace's effect also wouldn't work because it is a cost and not an effect.

I'm curious if anyone might understand if or why that is; and also how killing my own creature with Skullclamp might work with this interaction?


The original ability or event that would have caused the card to go to the graveyard is what matters; Rest in Peace is not seen as the "cause" of anything.

The official rulings on Firesong and Sunspeaker say this:

A spell causes you to gain life if its cost or effect instructs you to gain life or if an instruction in its cost or effect is modified by a replacement effect and the modified event includes you gaining life. If a spell’s cost or effect instructs a source with lifelink you control to deal damage, that spell causes that life gain as well.

So if you control the original ability that caused the effect which Rest in Peace is replacing, then an ability you controlled "caused" a card to go to exile, so Ranar will trigger.

In the case of Blasting Station, this works, because even though it is the payment and not the effect of the ability that caused the creature to die (and thus be exiled because of Rest in Peace), the ruling above states that if paying an ability's cost causes something to happen; the ability is said to have caused that thing to happen.

In the case of Skullclamp, it would not work, because it was simply the state-based action that kills creatures with 0 toughness that caused the creature to die / be exiled. By the time the game is checking state-based actions, it doesn't care how or why the creature is at 0 toughness.

Similarly, using Prodigal Sorcerer to damage a 1/1 creature would not trigger Ranar, but using Royal Assassin would, because in the former case, the state-based actions are what "killed" the creature, while in the latter case, it was Royal Assassin's ability.

This was a difficult question, and it's taken me 3 separate versions of the answer to come to this conclusion! The rules never define the word "cause" even though it is used on a lot of different cards. Some rules such as 614.10 imply that replacement effects do "cause" things to happen. But I believe that the ruling on Firesong and Sunspeaker is pretty definitive; and I can't see any reason that the same ruling wouldn't apply to any card that uses the word "causes".

  • Similar to Skullclamp, I'd say that damage spells would also not cause Ranar to trigger here.
    – JonTheMon
    Jul 29 '21 at 15:04
  • @JonTheMon Added, thanks.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 29 '21 at 15:32
  • I've found a tweet from @Dunkatog (Game Rules Manager at Wizards.) That claims this wouldn't work with Blasting Station. I'm still relatively new to magic, but seems like he'd be an authority on this? Any input? twitter.com/Dunkatog/status/1415918192250085376?s=20
    – Space
    Jul 29 '21 at 15:37
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    @Space I'd love to know how Dunkatog would reconcile his statement with the ruling on Firesong and Sunspeaker. I've replied to the tweet to ask.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 29 '21 at 16:08
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    Cards don't have effects directly, they only have abilities. Rest in Peace has a static ability that creates a continuous effect that is a replacement effect. See rules 207.1 and 604.2.
    – murgatroid99
    Jul 29 '21 at 17:01

I say that Ranar ability doesn't trigger due to Rest in Peace static ability, hence Blasting Station and Skullclamp doesn't interact at all with Ranar and here is my new argument.

First I want to point out that, given the actual Oracle text of Ranar ability, anything related to the word "cause" such those rulings of Firesong and Sunspeaker don't apply.

Because "for a spell or ability to cause a permanent to be exiled" it's different from "for a spell or ability to exile a permanent". The former should take into account costs of spell, new effects of the spell due to replacement effects, and naturally the original effect of the spell. The latter should take into account only the original effect of the spell.

Now why Rest in Peace static ability doesn't make Ranar ability to trigger? Because Rest in Peace static ability doesn't exile a permanent but it replaces events. Events are something concrete in the game that are affected by effects, just like permanents. Hence everything I said early holds from my perspective except for static ability that generate replacement effects.

  • 1
    So, what's your stance on the original question? It's not clear what your actual conclusion is here. For example, how would Blasting Station or Skullclamp interact? Sep 9 '21 at 12:02
  • i edited my answer
    – No Signals
    Sep 9 '21 at 12:33
  • The other answer shows that there are at least some cases in which effects modified by replacement effects, and not the replacement effects themselves, are credited with causing events. Do you have a reason that would be true of Firesong and Sunspeaker, but not of Ranar?
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 9 '21 at 15:29
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    You say "'for a spell or ability to cause e permanent to be exiled' it's different from 'for a spell or ability to exile a permanent'". Why is it different? Do you have a rules reference, ruling, or wording precedent to demonstrate why that difference in wording would result in different outcomes?
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 9 '21 at 18:23
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    For reference, no existing cards use the wording "causes a permanent to be exiled" or any similar wording. The conclusion I draw from the information available is that "causes you to gain life" is just the simplest way to describe the condition on Firesong and Sunspeaker, and "exiles one or more permanents on the battlefield" is just the simplest way to describe the condition on Ranar, and that there is no deeper significance or behavioral difference to the specific wording. I think there would need to be a specific justification to draw a different conclusion.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 9 '21 at 18:30

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