whenever ~ enters the battlefield?

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i'm a little bit confused on how permanents with "When this permanent enters the battlefield" abilities can trigger. i thought an ability on a permanent is only "on" once that permanent is on the battlefield, unless that ability explicitly says something about that ability having to do with that card being in the hand, graveyard, etc. could someone clarify this for me?


also, as a related question, Gruul Ragebeast says:
===
Whenver Gruul Ragebeast or another creature enters the battlefield under your control, that creature fights target creature an opponent controls.
===

could this be reworded as "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, [....]", to have the exact same functionality?
i'm a little bit confused on how permanents with "When this permanent enters the battlefield" abilities can trigger. i thought an ability on a permanent is only "on" once that permanent is on the battlefield, unless that ability explicitly says something about that ability having to do with that card being in the hand, graveyard, etc. could someone clarify this for me?

You are correct in saying that abilities of permanent cards only work while the permanent is on the battlefield (with the exceptions outlined in 112.6). However, the ETB triggers still work.

I strongly suspect that you are thinking that the permanent with the ETB ability must be on the batllefield both before and after the event in order for the game to work out that the ability should fire, and that is simply false.

The game checks the gamestate after the event for the presence of abilities that trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. The game does not care about whether the object with the ability was in the same zone before the event. See 603.6d.

also, as a related question, Gruul Ragebeast says:
===
Whenver Gruul Ragebeast or another creature enters the battlefield under your control, that creature fights target creature an opponent controls.
===

could this be reworded as "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, [....]", to have the exact same functionality?

Yes. R&D ord it this way to reduce confusion.
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I strongly suspect that you are thinking that the permanent with the ETB ability must be on the batllefield both before and after the event in order for the game to work out that the ability should fire, and that is simply false.

The game checks the gamestate after the event for the presence of abilities that trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. The game does not care about whether the object with the ability was in the same zone before the event. See 603.6d.



your suspicion was exactly on. woww, this is a neat bit of rules information that i had forgotten about. thank you!

as a small off-topic request, what is the easiest/best place to search for a comprehensive rule? downloading a TXT (or worse, PDF) off wizard's site and then opening it is very cumbersome. is there a faster way?
cool, thanks adeyke
could this be reworded as "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, [....]", to have the exact same functionality?

Yes, but it's not equivalent. As worded, the ability would trigger even if Gruul Ragebeast somehow entered as something other than a creature (although the ability will ultimately do nothing).

i'm a little bit confused on how permanents with "When this permanent enters the battlefield" abilities can trigger. i thought an ability on a permanent is only "on" once that permanent is on the battlefield, unless that ability explicitly says something about that ability having to do with that card being in the hand, graveyard, etc. could someone clarify this for me?

When you resolve casting a creature, the card instantly moves from the stack to the battlefield. So it never actually moves, yet ETB and LTB abilities trigger on movemement. To resolve that issue, Wizards punted by creating these rules:


  • ETB abilities will trigger based on their existence and the appearance of objects after the event.

  • LTB abilities will trigger based on their existence and the appearance of objects prior to the event.


603.6d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to “look back in time” to determine if these abilities trigger.

could this be reworded as "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, [....]", to have the exact same functionality?

Yes, but it's not equivalent. As worded, the ability would trigger even if Gruul Ragebeast somehow entered as something other than a creature (although the ability will ultimately do nothing).



ve~ry interesting! i love cool little quirks like this.



as for the "looks back in time" -type triggers, i know i used to understand these at one time, but clearly i had forgotten. i can't seem to wrap my head around it now, but i think i just have to sit down and draw out some examples to try to clear it up to myself.


however, in the meantime, could you clarify something you said:
===
When you resolve casting a creature, the card instantly moves from the stack to the battlefield. So it never actually moves,
===
it sounds like you just contradicted yourself here, so obviously i'm missing what you're trying to tell me. could you clear this up?
LTB triggers are "look back in time" triggers
for example Blood Artist looks back in time from the graveyard to see if he has to trigger for himself or other creatures (if they died at the same time)
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what is the easiest/best place to search for a comprehensive rule?

I open the pdf straight in my browser and it's cached for quick reuse
www.wizards.com/magic/comprules/MagicCompRules_20121001.pdf

and CTRL+F for quick look-up

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it sounds like you just contradicted yourself here, so obviously i'm missing what you're trying to tell me.

No, you got it right...

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If I wish to steal even more and still go unnoticed, I need to make the loot bigger.

 

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