Skullbriar

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
I have a couple of questions about Skullbriar, the Walking Grave.

1) I control Skullbriar with a +1/+1 counter on it. My opponent casts Black Sun's Zenith with X = 2. When Skullbriar dies, will it be in the graveyard with both a +1/+1 counter and two -1/-1 counters?

2) This one's not really a question I guess. Skullbriar has a ruling that says that the counters it maintains as it changes zones don't count as being placed on it. However, this seems to contradict rule 121.6.

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).

If Skullbriar is in my graveyard with a +1/+1 counter on it and I cast Rise from the Grave, Skullbriar enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it as a result of the effect of its ability preventing that counter from being removed. Is this interpretation not accurate?
Rules Advisor
1) 704.5r only talks about permanents
so it should keep both in the graveyard

2) Skullbriar keeping the counters is not an effect, but a static ability
so there is no contradiction there
proud member of the 2011 community team

1) I control Skullbriar with a +1/+1 counter on it. My opponent casts Black Sun's Zenith with X = 2. When Skullbriar dies, will it be in the graveyard with both a +1/+1 counter and two -1/-1 counters?

It will not. The two state-based actions (removing the counters, and sending skullbriar to the graveyard) are both applicable to the skullbriar-on-the-battlefield and they are both executed simultaneously. At the first moment skullbriar is in the graveyard, it has just the one -1/-1 counter.
2) This one's not really a question I guess. Skullbriar has a ruling that says that the counters it maintains as it changes zones don't count as being placed on it. However, this seems to contradict rule 121.6.

I think it comes down to the fact that the counters were already there. Instead of it being a case where "skullbriar enters the battlefield with counters due to an effect", it's a case of "the game doesn't fully treat skullbriar as a new object... due to an effect". Admittedly though, there is no rule i can point to to support this.
I have a couple of questions about Skullbriar, the Walking Grave.

1) I control Skullbriar with a +1/+1 counter on it. My opponent casts Black Sun's Zenith with X = 2. When Skullbriar dies, will it be in the graveyard with both a +1/+1 counter and two -1/-1 counters?

No. The counter annihilation state-based action is taken at the same time as the go-the-graveyard state-based action. Skullbriar will only have one -1/-1 counter.

2) This one's not really a question I guess. Skullbriar has a ruling that says that the counters it maintains as it changes zones don't count as being placed on it. However, this seems to contradict rule 121.6.

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).

If Skullbriar is in my graveyard with a +1/+1 counter on it and I cast Rise from the Grave, Skullbriar enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it as a result of the effect of its ability preventing that counter from being removed. Is this interpretation not accurate?

I don't think it is, at least not as far as the intent of what "placed" should mean. The counter clearly isn't placed, it was already on the Skullbriar card and it just stays on the Skullbriar card. But "that permanent entering the battlefield with a counter on it as the result of an effect" is indeed kind of ambiguous there if you to try to apply it to the letter.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
It will not. The two state-based actions (removing the counters, and sending it to the graveyard) are both applicable to the skullbriar-on-the-battlefield and they are both executed simultaneously. At the first moment skullbriar is in the graveyard, it has just the one -1/-1 counter.

then why does Undying still not work if you kill an undying creature with a +1/+1 counter with Black Sun's Zenith?

proud member of the 2011 community team
I think because Undying is a leaves-the-battlefield effect, no?
It will not. The two state-based actions (removing the counters, and sending it to the graveyard) are both applicable to the skullbriar-on-the-battlefield and they are both executed simultaneously. At the first moment skullbriar is in the graveyard, it has just the one -1/-1 counter.

then why does Undying still not work if you kill an undying creature with a +1/+1 counter with Black Sun's Zenith?


Because it uses LKI.
1) No, the +1/+1 counter was annihilated with one of the -1/-1 counters as a state based action at the exact same time, Sullbriar was put into the graveyard as a state based action. All SBAs in a round of checks happen simultaneously as a single event. Then the next round of checks begins. Skullbriar will have a single -1/-1 counter in the graveyard.

2) No, Skullbriar just takes the counter with it. It's not placed on it as a result of an effect, the creature's static ability merely directly contradicts the rule, that counters vanish when an object changes zones. Thus the golden rule comes into effect and the card takes precedent, negating the rule.
2) Skullbriar keeping the counters is not an effect, but a static ability
so there is no contradiction there

Static abilities have effects.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
then why does Undying still not work if you kill an undying creature with a +1/+1 counter with Black Sun's Zenith?

To determine whether the ability should trigger, the game checks last known information to see whether the creature had a +1/+1 counter. The moment that the game is checking is the moment immediately before all the state-based action were executed, which means that the creature is on the battlefield, and has both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it.

This is highlighted by the following rule, though the rule is merely a clarification. It worked the same before the rule was added:
704.7. If a state-based action results in a permanent leaving the battlefield at the same time other state-based actions were performed, that permanent's last known information is derived from the game state before any of those state-based actions were performed.
Example: You control Young Wolf, a 1/1 creature with undying, and it has a +1/+1 counter on it. A spell puts three -1/-1 counters on Young Wolf. Before state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf has one +1/+1 counter and three -1/-1 counters on it. After state-based actions are performed, Young Wolf is in the graveyard. When it was last on the battlefield, it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.

ahh
so I remembered it wrong

I just assumed that SBA didn't have enough time to apply
but with LKI before SBA are checked makes more sense
proud member of the 2011 community team
2) Skullbriar keeping the counters is not an effect, but a static ability
so there is no contradiction there

Static abilities have effects.


Yes, but this is about effects placing counters, which isn't happening here.
2) Skullbriar keeping the counters is not an effect, but a static ability
so there is no contradiction there

Static abilities have effects.


Yes, but this is about effects placing counters, which isn't happening here.

I was responding to Enigma, who opposed static abilities and effects in his explanation.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
Skullbriar doesn't use the word "placed" anyway. It just says that the counters "remain." 121.6 doesn't apply in any case. In order to reconcile this with an interpretation that objects become new objects when changing zones, we must assume that the new Skullbriar comes into existence with the counters already on it.
In order to reconcile this with an interpretation that objects become new objects when changing zones, we must assume that the new Skullbriar comes into existence with the counters already on it.

This is the same way that the game sees a Triskelion entering the battlefield, which is considered "placing counters." Even though the counters remain on Skullbriar, the game sees a new Skullbriar permanent that came into existence with counters on it.

Rules Advisor
Ah, I see what you're saying.



  • 121.6 tells us that entering the battlefield with counters is considered being "placed." Notably, it makes no mention of objects at all, just permanents changing zones -- whether Skullbriar "fully" becomes a new object should be irrelevant.

  • Doubling Season tells us to double the amount of counters that would be placed.

  • Skullbriar, the Walking Grave enters the battlefield with counters. Should they be doubled?


We have a ruling that says the counters aren't doubled. I'll give it some thought and figure out a model that explains why not, but for now I'm stumped. My current best idea hinges on the use of the word "remain" in Skullbriar's text. Somehow, this overrides 121.6 and the object is not considered to have entered the battlefield with counters.
I have a couple of questions about Skullbriar, the Walking Grave.

Once again, FezzHead, thank you for the brain puzzles!

It's not Logic, it's Magic!

I have a couple of questions about Skullbriar, the Walking Grave.

Once again, FezzHead, thank you for the brain puzzles!



Haha, no problem. I'm always looking for gaps in my rules knowledge (or the rules, as the case may be!).
Rules Advisor