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01.11.2015

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Boon SatyrBestow is among Theros' most curious mechanics. It deals with changing card types, where the type changes even as the spell is being cast.


Translated by Witas Spasovski

Boon Satyr

Boon Satyr, much like Thassa, God of the Sea, has two card types - Creature and Enchantment. This means that such card has the properties of both types. Pretty much like a candidate for the "driver chef" position is supposed to have knowledge and skills in two professional fields.

It's nothing unusual. Let us remember cards that exist from the very first release of Magic cards — Artifact Creature. Artifact and Creature are two entirely independent card types, just as Enchantment Creature which we encounter a lot in Theros block. You don't experience cognitive dissonance when you see Bronze Sable being destroyed with either Naturalize or Hero's Downfall, do you?

Thus, a card with Bestow is both an Enchantment and a Creature in any zone except the stack and the battlefield. This means that:

Signal the Clans Academy Rector Tallowisp

You may find Boon Satyr with Signal the Clans as a creature card.

You may find Boon Satyr with Academy Rector as an enchantment card.

You may not find Boon Satyr with Tallowisp's trigger, since it isn't an aura in the library.

Auramancer Exhume Duress

When Auromancer's trigger resolves, you may return Boon Satyr from your graveyard to your hand.

Boon Satyr may also be chosen as Exhume resolves.

You may not choose Boon Satyr as Duress resolves, because it is a creature card while being in the hand.

It's different on the stack and on the battlefield. A card with Bestow can change its type and subtype. But before we set to analyze Bestow as such, Capt'n Obvious sends word here:

From:

Your Cap

Subject:

Dear friend, NOT EACH ENCHANTMENT IS AN AURA

Message:

There are just Enchantments (a card type), like, for example, Leylines of all sorts. There are Enchantment — Auras such as Rancor. Aura is a subtype of Enchantment. Enchantments that have such a subtype feature notorious behavior. If you happen to not know what it is notorious for, or you have forgotten some details, I recommend switching to the article on auras immediately and reading it carefully. When you get back, we will continue with Bestow.

Bestow

702.102a. Bestow represents two static abilities, one that functions while the card with bestow is on the stack and another that functions both while it’s on the stack and while it’s on the battlefield. “Bestow [cost]” means “You may cast this card by paying [cost] rather than its mana cost.” and “If you chose to pay this spell’s bestow cost, it becomes an Aura enchantment and gains enchant creature. These effects last until one of two things happens: this spell has an illegal target as it resolves or the permanent this spell becomes, becomes unattached.” Paying a card’s bestow cost follows the rules for paying alternative cost in rules 601.2b and 601.2e–h.

702.102b. If a spell’s controller chooses to pay its bestow cost, that player chooses a legal target for that Aura spell as defined by its enchant creature ability and rule 601.2c. See also rule 303.4.

702.102c. The check for whether a spell can legally be cast happens after its controller has chosen whether to pay its bestow cost; see rule 601.2e.

Example: AEther Storm is an enchantment with the ability "Creature spells can't be cast." This effect doesn't stop a creature card with bestow from being cast for its bestow cost because the spell is an Aura enchantment spell, not an enchantment creature spell, when the game checks whether the spell is illegal.

702.102d. As an Aura spell with bestow begins resolving, if its target is illegal, the effect making it an Aura spell ends. It continues resolving as a creature spell and will be put onto the battlefield under the control of the spell’s controller. This is an exception to rule 608.3a.

What does all that mean?

One of Bestow's abilities allows paying an alternative cost. We announce our wish to pay the alternative cost of a spell right after placing it on the stack. This unavoidably means that:

  • If there are effects that currently influence playing cards with Creture or Enchantment types, they will affect this spell. Usually they are permitting or forbidding effects.
    Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir Steel Golem

    If you control Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, you may cast a card with Bestow any time you have priority only as a creature. A card cast at Bestow cost will not have the creature type, and therefore will not have Flash.

    If you control a Steel Golem, you can cast a card with Bestow for its bestow cost because by the moment of the legality check this spell will be a non-creature spell, therefore, cast legally.

  • Two alternative costs may not be used at any one time.
    Bloodbraid Elf Delay

    As Boon Satyr is exiled upon resolution of Cascade, you may not play it for its bestow cost.

    When the trigger of Suspend resolves, you may not use Bestow.

  • It doesn't matter from which zone you are casting a card with Bestow:
    Yawgmoth's Will Future Sight

    The effect of Yawgmoth's Will allows playing cards from your graveyard. You may cast Boon Satyr for its Bestow cost.

    The effect of Future Sight allows playing cards from your library, which makes it possible to play Boon Satyr from there for its Bestow cost.

Boon Satyr has the Flash static ability which allows casting it any time you have priority.

After you place the card on the stack, you have the opportunity to announce your wish to pay an alternative cost. The moment you do that, fun things happen: the spell turns into Enchantment - Aura, it forgets about having been a creature. This is a type- and subtype-changing effect, and the most important thing to remember here is that such effects override all existing types:

205.1a. Some effects set an object's card type. In such cases, the new card type(s) replaces any existing card types. Counters, effects, and damage marked on the object remain with it, even if they are meaningless to the new card type. Similarly, when an effect sets one or more of an object's subtypes, the new subtype(s) replaces any existing subtypes from the appropriate set (creature types, land types, artifact types, enchantment types, planeswalker types, or spell types). If an object's card type is removed, the subtypes correlated with that card type will remain if they are also the subtypes of a card type the object currently has; otherwise, they are also removed for the entire time the object's card type is removed. Removing an object's subtype doesn't affect its card types at all.

As soon as your enchantment spell gains the Aura subtype, it becomes targeted. It requires you to choose a legal target.

702.102b. If a spell’s controller chooses to pay its bestow cost, that player chooses a legal target for that Aura spell as defined by its enchant creature ability and rule 601.2c. See also rule 303.4.

If there is no such target, we find ourselves in a situation where it is necessary to rewind the casting process to the very beginning. We put the card on the stack, choose the alternative cost again, there is no target again... See the loop? Not good. For that reason, there is a separate rule 702.102c which forbids players to choose the alternative cost of Bestow cards when there is no legal target:

702.102c. A spell’s controller can’t choose to pay its bestow cost unless that player can choose a legal target for that spell after it becomes an Aura spell.

What an aura can enchant is defined by its Enchant static ability, as you already know. Our newly-fledged aura gains "Enchant creature". Thus, a creature (one that can be targeted by your spell) must be chosen as a target. In this case it is irrelevant who controls that creature.

Now we need to define the total cost of the spell. For this purpose we take the Bestow cost (in case of Boon Satyr, it is {3GG}), then apply all effects increasing the cost, then those decreasing it, and finally, the effect of Trinisphere, should it be present.

Cloud Key Blood Funnel Heartless Summoning

If you have chosen Enchantment for Cloud Key, its effect will impact the spell with announced Bestow.

Since we are casting an enchantment spell, it will cost {2} less with Blood Funnel.

Our card ceased being a creature as soon as we chose to pay Bestow and before the total cost of the spell was determined.

Aura of Silence Feroz's Ban >Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

If the cunning opponent controls Aura of Silence, you will have to pay {2} more mana.

As we pay the Bestow cost, Feroz's Ban's effect doesn't apply.

The spell for which Bestow cost is chosen isn't a creature spell. Record plus one mana.

Finally, when the total cost is paid, the spell is considered cast.

Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Despite the fact that the card has two card types, Enchantment and Creature, it was cast as an Enchantment spell. Therefore, some triggers will ignore such a spell being cast.

For instance, the trigger of Garruk, Caller of Beasts' emblem: "Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may search your library for a creature card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library" will not trigger.

For change, if the creature you chose as a target has Heroic, it will trigger.

After the spell has been cast, the cunning opponent may attempt to counter it. A countered spell goes to its owner's graveyard.

Annul Negate Remove Soul

Annul is the meanest counterspell for Bestow cards: it can counter both the normal spell and the spell cast with Bestow.

Negate is great to counter Bestow spells.

Remove Soul won't work. The spell played for its Bestow cost isn't a creature spell.

If the cunning opponent manages to make the target of your Bestow spell illegal, or to remove it completely, the spell will not fizzle on resolution*, because there is a special rule for this case:

702.102d. As an Aura spell with bestow begins resolving, if its target is illegal, the effect making it an Aura spell ends. It continues resolving as a creature spell and will be put onto the battlefield under the control of the spell’s controller. This is an exception to rule 608.3a.

The type- and subtype-changing effect ends. The spell goes back to its original state, an Enchantment Creature (without the Aura subtype). Such a spell doesn't target, thus, it resolves safely and enters the battlefield just as it would normally do, had you chosen to cast it for its regular mana cost. If that happens, the fact that you have played it for its Bestow cost doesn't matter anymore.

Traveling Philosopher Boon Satyr Doom Blade

You play Boon Satyr by paying the Bestow cost. You choose Traveling Philosopher as a target for the resulting aura. In response, the cunning opponent kills the Philosopher with Doom Blade. Upon resolving Boon Satyr it appears that the target is not on the battlefield. Boon Satyr then stops being an aura and enters the battlefield as an Enchantment Creature.

The moment when the target of an aura is removed (or becomes illegal), nothing happens to the spell yet*. It is still an aura spell. It is not a creature spell. It may still not be countered with Essence Scatter!

The type-changing effect ends at Boon Satyr's resolution when it's already kind of late to counter it.

If everything is alright on resolution, the card enters the battlefield attached to target creature just as any other aura.

As an Aura, Boon Satyr gives the enchanted creature +4/+2.

If, for any reason, our aura stops being attached to an object it used to enchant (the creature left the battlefield; the creature stopped being a creature; the creature gained protection from a characteristic that aura has etc.), unlike regular auras, the card with Bestow remains on the battlefield as a creature. This is provided by the Bestow ability itself which ends the type- and subtype-changing effect upon the object getting unattached. It is impossible to revert it to being an aura again past this event.

The resulting creature, as all creatures without Haste, may not attack and use activated abilities with tap/untap symbol in its cost unless you have controlled it continuously since the beginning of your most recent turn. The so called "summoning sickness" does not question how long the object was or was not a creature, only controlling the object matters.

If a permanent with Bestow enters the battlefield in any way other than in process of being cast, it will be an Enchantment creature. There is no way to pay the Bestow cost and make it an Aura.

Sun Titan Copy Enchantment

Upon resolving Sun Titan's trigger you return Boon Satyr to the battlefield. It is not the process of casting it. You cannot use the alternative cost, that means that Boon Satyr will enter the battlefield as an Enchantment creature.

The type-changing effect does not affect the object's copiable values. If you copy Boon Satyr as an Aura with Copy Enchantment, you will get an Enchantment Creature without the Aura subtype and without the "Enchant creature" ability.

Regardless of how you have cast the Boon Satyr, it is an enchantment on the battlefield. It is a creature only if: a) it was cast without using Bestow; b) the type-changing effect of Bestow ability has ended.

Naturalize Unsummmon Birthing Pod

Boon Satyr may be destroyed by Naturalize in either of its states. Upon being destroyed, the enchantment goes to the graveyard.

Boon Satyr is a legal target for Unsummmon only if it is a creature at that moment.

You may not sacrifice Boon Satyr to Birthing Pod when it is an Aura (since it isn't a creature).

Roughly speaking: a card with Bestow is always an Enchantment. But it is always either an Aura, or a Creature, not both.

How does it work?

Mistcutter Hydra Traveling Philosopher Boon Satyr

The cunning opponent attacks with Mistcutter Hydra with six +1/+1 counters on it, you block it with Traveling Philosopher. The enemy rubs his hands with excitement, but upon getting priority in decklare blockers step you cast Boon Satyr by paying Bestow cost and target your Traveling Philosopher. Boon Satyr enters the battlefield as an aura attached to Traveling Philosopher, turning him into a 6/4 killing machine. Upon dealing damage to each other in the combat damage step, the Hydra and the Philosopher kill each other and go to their owners' graveyards. You get a 4/2 Enchantment Creature, Boon Satyr, under your control.

Traveling Philosopher Boon Satyr Wrath of God

You control a creature enchanted with Boon Satyr. The cunning opponent plays Wrath of God. The creature is destroyed, Boon Satyr falls off and becomes a creature. It isn't affected by Wrath of God as it is not a creature while being an Aura.

One more thing about changing zones:

Traveling Philosopher Boon Satyr Flickerform

You control a creature enchanted by Boon Satyr. If you enchant it with Flickerform and activate its ability, when Traveling Philosopher returns from Exile at the end of turn, it grabs Boon Satyr along, but the latter enters the battlefield as a standalone creature. (ref. CR 303.4h).


* Every well-mannered planeswalker has to know that a spell checks the legality of its target twice: upon casting and upon resolving. Between these two moments, the target may undergo all sorts of things, but that doesn't influence the spell on the stack in any way.



Irina Samonova © 1999-2017

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