The first time I saw someone use a blink to get around the Evoke sacrifice, I thought it seemed a little fishy, but I let it pass. When I saw it a second time, it really stunk of regenerating a sacrifice, so I did a little rules review.
The player’s defense of his actions was that it was OK’ed by a judge. Initial review showed an oracle post from a few years ago that sanctioned the deed, but this does not comply with the comprehensive rules, which make it very clear that the sacrifice is PART of the casting cost, not a triggered effect.
702.72a “Evoke [cost]” means “You may cast this card by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost” AND “… SACRIFICES it.” Paying a card’s evoke cost follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e–g.
601.2b ... If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it’s being cast …, the player announces his or her intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2e).
These two references make it clear that the sacrifice is part of the casting cost and NOT a triggered ability. Therefore, the post cast 601.2h and 603.1-10 (triggered ability) rules are not applicable, nor is the 608.2b (if target leaves zone) rule.
Consequently, if for any reason the full alternative casting cost (which includes putting the card into the graveyard from the battlefield,) is not paid, rule 601.2 applies:
601.2. … If, at any point during the casting of a spell, a player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed …, the casting of the spell is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that spell started to be cast (see rule 717, “Handling Illegal Actions.” ) Announcements and payments can’t be altered after they’ve been made.
So here’s my understanding: if a player is unable to pay the announced payment due to an action or triggered effect controlled by another player, rule 717 applies and the evoke goes back to his hand and does not resolve. However if the player that declared the evoke controls any spell or effect that prevents the full evoke cost from being paid, (such as by moving the creature to a zone other than the graveyard as it enters the battlefield,) the spell cannot resolve and it goes to the graveyard.
Am I correct in this?