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Bishop of Binding says:

When Bishop of Binding enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Bishop of Binding leaves the battlefield.

Whenever Bishop of Binding attacks, target Vampire gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the power of the exiled card.

The card has a ruling that explains:

If there is no exiled card as Bishop of Binding's last ability resolves, most likely because Bishop of Binding left the battlefield while that ability was on the stack, X is 0.

The situation I'm confused about is why that would be the case if a valid card did go to exile and then left exile. For example, let's say you exiled a creature with it and then used Processor Assault to put it from exile into their graveyard.

My confusion comes from the rule stating when you should use last known information:

608.2h If an effect requires information from the game (such as the number of creatures on the battlefield), the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied. If the effect requires information from a specific object, including the source of the ability itself, the effect uses the current information of that object if it’s in the public zone it was expected to be in; if it’s no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public zone to a hidden zone, the effect uses the object’s last known information. See rule 113.7a. If an ability states that an object does something, it’s the object as it exists—or as it most recently existed—that does it, not the ability.

I've highlighted the bits that are relevant. As far as I can tell, from this rule, it should mean that the ability continues to work with the same value of X even once the exiled card has gone, as long as the Bishop sticks around. Why isn't this the case? Am I missing some other rule?

Another example would be Isochron Scepter.

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    "This makes sense in the stated example, because the card was never exiled." No, the Bishop exiles a card until it leaves the battlefield. So suppose you have a Bishop EtB, and you exile a Storm Crow, then attack with it. "target Vampire gets +X/+X" triggers and goes on the stack. Now suppose that your opponent responds to the trigger by casting Lightning Bolt target Bishop. The bolt goes on the top of the stack and resolves first. Once it resolves, the continuous effect of Storm Crow being exiled ends and it returns to the battlefield. Then "target Vampire gets +X/+X" resolves. Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 5:41
  • @Acccumulation Oh right, I was reading the example as Bishop leaving the battlefield while the ETB was on the stack, not the attack trigger. Wasn't sure how it could have happened though! :D
    – Samthere
    Commented Jan 9, 2023 at 10:54

1 Answer 1

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The reason this doesn't work as you suggest is that there is no "the exiled card" that you need to find the last known information about.

It's not an issue of needing information about the card, it's an issue of what "the exiled card" mentioned in the ability even is. Bishop of Binding has linked abilities, so we need to look at the rules for those:

  1. Linked Abilities

607.2a If an object has an activated or triggered ability printed on it that instructs a player to exile one or more cards and an ability printed on it that refers either to “the exiled cards” or to cards “exiled with [this object],” these abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to cards in the exile zone that were put there as a result of an instruction to exile them in the first ability.

So when there is no card currently in the exile zone, "the exiled card" referred to by the second ability simply isn't a thing that exists. It's not that we need information from it so we can look at its last known information. It's that we can't even say that "the exiled card" is the card that used to be in exile and no longer is. "the exiled card" is simply a thing that doesn't exist at all.

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  • "if it’s no longer in that zone, OR if the effect has moved it from a public zone to a hidden zone" — I think that "or" makes your point 2 kinda moot
    – Alex P
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 16:16
  • @AlexP You're right; I misread the sentence structure and thought that the "if it's no longer in the zone" was part of the previous clause, rather than part of the second clause. Removed the incorrect part.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 16:20
  • Yep, I thought there'd be some other rule somewhere else that I was missing; there it is!
    – Samthere
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 16:21
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    "It knew about the object when it was put on the stack" I think this is wrong. Or at the least, nothing ever checked to see if it knew about the object or not. The only requirement for it to go on the stack was that the ability triggered, and "Target vampire" was defined. What the ability would eventually do when it resolves, has no bearing on it going on the Stack. Not quite sure what you mean by "bishop got +x/+x from the card"; Bishop never got anything.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 21:48
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    It shouldn't matter how the card gets removed from exile. All that matters is that the rules define "the exiled card" in such a way as to only refer to a card that's still in exile. Any time you read "the exiled card", if there isn't a card in exile (that was put there by the first ability), then it might as well read "NULL".
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 21:51

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