Melira and Persist

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I need some help on the details. If I have Melira, sylvok outcast in play, and my kitchen finks dies....  As I understand it, the Finks will come back, but without the -1/-1 counter.

The timing is what confuses me.   If the -1/-1 counter was put on as an ETB effect,it would make perfect sense to me, but the wording on Persist says
"When this creature dies, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a -1/-1 counter on it."

So it sounds like the -1/-1 counter is 'put on' before it enters the battlefield; does Melira have any effect of a card not on the battlefield?


This combo works because of the following rule:

121.6. If a spell or ability refers to a counter being “placed” on a permanent, it means putting a counter
on that permanent while it’s on the battlefield, or that permanent entering the battlefield with a
counter on it as the result of an effect (see rule 614.1c).

Since entering with a -1/-1 counter is considered to be placing a -1/-1 counter on a permanent, Melira stops it.
Rules Advisor
Perfect, thanks
Add Altar of Dementia for the win!

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Got'em,  along with some blasting stations and viscera seers.

Add Altar of Dementia for the win!


Or Pandemonium!

STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
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