Desertion countering a Kicker Creature

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If a creature spell is played and its kicker cost is paid, and then that spell is countered with Desertion, does the kicker effect happen?

Does it depend on whether the effect is a triggered ability [Ana Battlemage] or a replacement effect [Arctic Merfolk]?
If a creature spell is played and its kicker cost is paid, and then that spell is countered with Desertion, does the kicker effect happen?

No. When a spell is countered none of its effects happen.

Does it depend on whether the effect is a triggered ability [Ana Battlemage] or a replacement effect [Arctic Merfolk]?

No. Also - note that a countered creature will never come into play.


EDIT: I didn't read the card - I answered the question "what if a spell with kicker is countered", not the question re: Desertion. Apologies.
You... are reading the card in question, right?
And I'd assume no kicker effects would happen, since you did not play them and get to pay for the kicker, you just put them into play.
A useful ruling from the Desertion window.
10/4/2004 The card is put into play, but any effects that check if the original card was "played from your hand" will not trigger or otherwise consider the card to have been played from your hand. The card was put into play by the effect of Desertion instead.

Kicker only applies to spells which have been played. Because the creature is being put into play not having been played, kicker has not been paid.
No. Also - note that a countered creature will never come into play.

Rudolf, did you read the card?
If a creature spell is played and its kicker cost is paid, and then that spell is countered with Desertion, does the kicker effect happen?

I'm actually not sure on this one, but my take on it is: yes, the kicker does happen.
414.1. To counter a spell is to move the spell from the stack to its owner’s graveyard. Countering an ability removes it from the stack. Spells and abilities that are countered don’t resolve and none of their effects occur.

Desertion replaces "move the spell from the stack to its owner’s graveyard" to "If it is an artifact or a creature, put it into play under your control. (otherwise move it to the graveyard)." I don't believe that doing so is any different from what would have happened if the spell resolved:
212.2b When an artifact spell resolves, its controller puts it into play under his or her control.
212.3b When a creature spell resolves, its controller puts it into play under his or her control.

So i believe that just as though it had resolved normally, it will "remember" that its kicker was paid, and respond appropriately.
Kicker only applies to spells which have been played.

But guardian, it was played. Its just that instead of being put into play by the spell resolving, it was put into play by desertion.
Rudolf, did you read the card?

Clearly not - apologies.
Don't mind me here, I was wrong :P
I think people are taking an overcomplicated route to a wrong answer here, rather than a simple route to a correct one. The card being put into play was, as far as the game is concerned, not played. The spell that actually got played was countered. Says so right in the first sentence of Desertion. Kicker would not apply, since neither the kicker cost nor anything else was paid for the card that is being put into play.

@Benoni: Desertion has nothing to do with copying anything.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
@Benoni: Desertion has nothing to do with copying anything.

Haha, yeah I realized that after I rechecked the post. I was so focused on trying to find a few things I misremembered the card after looking at it. The countered card never gets played, so the kicker cost never actually applies to the card.
The card being put into play was, as far as the game is concerned, not played.

I recind what i said earlier, and agree that the kicker should not apply.
I recind what i said earlier, and agree that the kicker should not apply.

It's admittedly confusing because the usual condition for this sort of thing being true (a zone change) has not occurred. My answer is based instead on the "Counter target spell" aspect. I would say I'm about 95% sure it's right.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
In the normal case, Ana Battlemage resolves and moves from the stack to in play, which triggers an ability that gets information from the object it used to be before it changed zones. (It uses LKI since that object no longer exists.) I can't see anything about this result that would be different if you replace the word "resolves" with "is countered by Desertion."

Take a look at the definition of countered: "414.1. To counter a spell is to move the spell from the stack to its owner's graveyard. [...] Spells and abilities that are countered don't resolve and none of their effects occur."

The first sentence is replaced by Desertion, so doesn't apply. The triggered ability of Ana Battlemage makes no reference to resolving, and a creature spell already has no effects, so the last sentence doesn't seem to have any bearing either. Is there something else special about being "countered" that would break the connection that this triggered ability uses when figuring out what spell object to refer to? I agree with the intuition that there should be, but I can't find it.


A related question: if you counter your own Phage with Desertion, do you lose the game? (This could come up if someone else targeted it with a [c]Last Word[c] first.) Again, the card's triggered ability makes no mention of resolving, just about whether it was played from your hand, which it was.


Thanks for all the discussion so far. This came up in my casual group and I was disappointed to realize I didn't know what to rule. It's some comfort that other experts here aren't positive either . Benoni, that was pretty good research for someone who only just found the CompRules... aside from a few pieces of terminology (and part of the answer being based on a faulty assumption) it looked like a veteran rules answer. I encourage you to keep reading the CompRules and helping people out by answering questions with that much detail!
Oracle rulings on Desertion:

10/4/2004 The card is put into play, but any effects that check if the original card was "played from your hand" will not trigger or otherwise consider the card to have been played from your hand. The card was put into play by the effect of Desertion instead.

Oracle rulings on Desertion:

Already mentioned in post #4. It doesn't settle the question by itself, because it doesn't directly address the situation on the table. However, I would have to say my answer looks to be much more in line with this reasoning than the alternative.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
It answers the question. Desertion != played from your hand.

No kicker. And Phage makes you lose.
Yes, I saw the ruling, but I've learned not to trust 8-year old rulings* without looking for the rules support. The CompRules have changed quite a bit since then, and in this case I can't find any reason why that ruling would be true today. Plus, I hate taking rulings at face value. Even if it is still true, why? What logic can I apply to similar situations so I don't have to seek out a new ruling each time?

* Note that despite the 2004 date in Gatherer, that ruling actually dates to 1999: http://www.crystalkeep.com/cgi-bin/magicsearch.cgi?cardName=desertion
Normally, I would have said it's a different object. You played the card as a Creature spell(with Kicker), but Desertion removed that object from the stack, then put that card into play as a "different" object.

I suspect that's going to be what the final ruling is. But I don't really see any support for that assertion either. From an aesthetics or flavor standpoint, it looks right. It's just that after reading through all of this, I don't think the actual rules clearly support that interpretation.

Otoh, as many of us know, the CR isn't really the last word on these things. What the Rules team decides is the correct interpretation is what becomes law, regardless of whether we all think the CR actually says something different.

This is a really interesting situation and I'm looking forward to hearing not just what the [O]fficial ruling is, but why it is too.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
The rulings on Desertion seem to be contradictory and dated the same.
It says does not go to the gy, so it would be the same item as the one played from your hand. Though the ruling says it is not? Unless just the act of countering it changes it's zone. An interesting conundrum indeed
The rulings on Desertion seem to be contradictory and dated the same.

How so?
It says does not go to the gy, so it would be the same item as the one played from your hand. Though the ruling says it is not? Unless just the act of countering it changes it's zone. An interesting conundrum indeed

[indent]Counter target spell. If an artifact or creature spell is countered this way, put that card into play under your control instead of into its owner's graveyard.

Put into Play
If an effect instructs a player to put an object into play, that object is not considered "played."[/indent]
Also, [indent]217.1c An object that moves from one zone to another is treated as a new object. Effects connected with its previous location will no longer affect it. There are four exceptions to this rule: (1) Effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that change the characteristics of an artifact, creature, enchantment, or planeswalker spell on the stack will continue to apply to the permanent that spell creates. (2) Abilities that trigger when an object moves from one zone to another (for example, "When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play") can find the object in the zone it moved to when the ability triggered. (3) Prevention effects that apply to damage from an artifact, creature, enchantment, or planeswalker spell on the stack will continue to apply to damage from the permanent that spell becomes. (4) Permanents that phase out or in "remember" their earlier states. See rule 217.8c.[/indent]
The rulings on Desertion seem to be contradictory and dated the same.
It says does not go to the gy, so it would be the same item as the one played from your hand. Though the ruling says it is not? Unless just the act of countering it changes it's zone. An interesting conundrum indeed

The spell does not resolve. It is put directly into play under Desertion's controller's control. It is not the same card as was played.
One has to wonder what resolving has to do with being played, though. Why does it matter that it moved from the stack to play because of Desertion rather than because it resolved? In either case it becomes a new object upon entering play, and it had been played while it was on the stack.

How is the ability able to distinguish between resolving and being put into play from the stack? If the ability of Phage is able to look back to the spell-object to see if it had been played, what aspect of Desertion specifically overrides this aspect?

Or in the case of kicker, why is the triggered ability of the permanent-object Ana Battlemage able to check what was paid for the spell-object in the case where it resolved, but not in the case where it was put into play from the stack?
In either case it becomes a new object upon entering play,

Wrong.
[indent]217.1c [...] There are four exceptions to this rule: (1) Effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that change the characteristics of an artifact, creature, enchantment, or planeswalker spell on the stack will continue to apply to the permanent that spell creates.[/indent]
If a Creature Spell has Moonlace'd and the Spell resolves, then it's not a 'new' Object for the effect of Moonlace because it IS the Permanent the Creature spell created. The Creature Permanent is still colorless.

However, IF the Creature Spell was countered and put into play via Desertion, then it's not a Permanent created by the Creature spell.
It's a Permanent put into play by Desertion.
"If the kicker cost was paid" or "if you didn't play ~this~ from your hand" are not characteristics, so that exception is not applicable in this case.
201.1. An object's characteristics are name, mana cost, color, card type, subtype, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, and loyalty. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn't a characteristic. For example, characteristics don't include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell's target, an object's owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

Wrong.
[indent]217.1c [...] There are four exceptions to this rule: (1) Effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that change the characteristics of an artifact, creature, enchantment, or planeswalker spell on the stack will continue to apply to the permanent that spell creates.[/indent]
If a Creature Spell has Moonlace'd and the Spell resolves, then it's not a 'new' Permanent for the effect of Moonlace because it IS the Permanent the Creature spell created.

It is a new object; the fact that effects which modify it's characteristics are allowed to track it doesn't change this. Note that the exception is not "artifact, creature, enchantment, and planeswalker spells are considered the same object as the permanent they become."

Regardless, that still doesn't answer why a triggered ability of a permanent is able to look back in time to see whether the spell object was played only if that spell resolved. Last we checked, "played from your hand" wasn't a characteristic, nor was the color or amount of mana spent to play a spell.
1. To counter a spell or ability is to cancel it, removing it from the stack. It doesn’t resolve and none of its effects occur. A countered spell is put into its owner’s graveyard. See rule 414, “Countering Spells and Abilities.”

This answers it for me. The spell is countered by desertion. so it is canceled, removed from stack and does not resolve, no effects, then Desertion replaces put in graveyard with put in play, so not from hand, not with kicker, desert your own phage and you would die, strange scenario, tis why i like this place
Benoni, that was pretty good research for someone who only just found the CompRules... aside from a few pieces of terminology (and part of the answer being based on a faulty assumption) it looked like a veteran rules answer. I encourage you to keep reading the CompRules and helping people out by answering questions with that much detail!

Thank you very much. I have to become a Judge and TO for the store that I work at, and they are giving me a limited period of time(month to a month and a half) to learn everything. Then I take the first Judge test. I used to play back in the Alpha and Beta days up to Fourth Edition, so a lot of things are new. To be honest, I just learned about the Stack two days ago. :D The Comp Rules will definitely help me out.

So to learn as much as I can, I'm just constantly scanning the Rules Q&A to learn as much as I can. Having to look everything up helps a lot!

Also, after pondering this all afternoon, I am going to have to agree with the general consensus that the kicker does not carry over. The creature spell was unable to resolve due to the counter effect of Desertion and Desertion simply replaced "put into graveyard" with "put into play". Since the creature spell was unable to resolve, the kicker cost could not have effected it in any way, so the creature spell is put into play without the kicker.
[O] ruling, since it was asked for: No kicker for you. You're putting the card into play. You're no longer resolving the spell, so kicker no longer applies and you get no kicker bonus (and Phage's ability will trigger if you counter her with Desertion).

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Questions don't have to make sense, but answers do.

This is a really interesting situation and I'm looking forward to hearing not just what the [O]fficial ruling is, but why it is too.

Well, at least we got the [O] ruling. I'd still be interested in hearing a detailed explanation of why it is.

I suspect Feigel pretty well nailed it when he pointed out the definition for "put into play". Specifically:
Put into Play
If an effect instructs a player to put an object into play, that object is not considered "played."

The fact that the definition specifically states that the object is NOT considered played would mean that even coming from the stack, the spell/permanent loses the "played" aspect and Kicker no longer applies.
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
Well, at least we got the [O] ruling. I'd still be interested in hearing a detailed explanation of why it is.
...
I suspect Feigel pretty well nailed it when he pointed out the definition for "put into play".

Well, as usual, there was lots of emphasis in the wrong places. While that definition might be useful in helping to explain the "played from you hand ruling," it really isn't necessary for that and totally inapprorpiate for the kicker question. And probably why people didn't trust that answer.

History does not follow cards, it follows objects. The Deserted creature is a new object. Rule 217.1c says this, quite clearly. So ask yourself, "Is this creature the object that I choose to pay kicker for back when I played the card as a spell?" Then you can answer, "No, it quite clearly is a new - which means different - object." Does this new object know of the history the card had? No - so no kicker or you.

This is the exact same reason a Reanimated creature won't rememeber the kicker the same card had when it was in play before. It's a new object. There is no difference, except in how long it took for the card to get there.

And also for the exact same reason a Deserted sorcery you re-play with Guile won't get its kicker, either. The definition of "put into play" - which is really a reminder rule, summarizing the results of being a new object - will not apply. But the path the object takes to needing to know if its kicker was paid is pretty much the same.
A creature that resolves is also a new object, is it not? I don't see it in the list of exceptions in 217.1c either. How does it know the history of the spell that happened to be represented with the same card?

In other words, where in the rules is there any distinction between "moving from the stack to play due to resolving" and "moving from the stack to play due to an effect"? I agree that there should be a difference, but I can't find it. (As you say, the glossary entry for "put into play" doesn't apply as literally as it might seem. It's just trying to draw a distinction between Elvish Piper type effects and playing a spell.)
One of the things that seems to be forgotten here is that this is a replacement ability. Normaly the phrase "counter target spell" reads "cancel target spell, removing it from the stack. It doesn’t resolve and none of its effects occur. Put it into its owner’s graveyard."

Desertion changes this to (assuming it's countering a creature):

"cancel target spell, removing it from the stack. It doesn’t resolve and none of its effects occur. Put it into play".

Thus it is removed from the stack prior to being put into play and as a result of that, it forgets that it's kicker cost was played.
I too have not yet seen a satisfactory answer to the question. I could start by asking what makes Ana Battlemage's kicker trigger "work" in the first place if it is played and resolves normally? What exactly makes it able to trace its (i.e the card's) existence on the stack?
The second exception in 217.1c does not cover this.
Thus it is removed from the stack prior to being put into play and as a result of that, it forgets that it's kicker cost was played.

No. It is put into play from the stack; compare to Guile.
Guile's replacement ability covers the whole countering, while Desertion only replaces a part of the rule text. The part it replaces is the part that comes after "Remove from the stack". Unless you could argue that I'm using the wrong definition of counter?
Normaly the phrase "counter target spell" reads "cancel target spell, removing it from the stack. It doesn’t resolve and none of its effects occur. Put it into its owner’s graveyard."

The part it replaces is the part that comes after "Remove from the stack". Unless you could argue that I'm using the wrong definition of counter?

The definition of countering a spell at no point mentions removing the spell from the stack.
414.1. To counter a spell is to move the spell from the stack to its owner’s graveyard. Countering an ability removes it from the stack. Spells and abilities that are countered don’t resolve and none of their effects occur.

Clearly, the fact that it is moving to the graveyard will cause it to not be on the stack any more, but desertion's replacement effect is just changing where it goes. The creature or artifact moves directly from the stack to in-play.
Holy long read batman!
The definition of countering a spell at no point mentions removing the spell from the stack.

Clearly, the fact that it is moving to the graveyard will cause it to not be on the stack any more, but desertion's replacement effect is just changing where it goes. The creature or artifact moves directly from the stack to in-play.

It's not explicitly stated. But I've been gathering up and down and cannot find an instance of a counterspell of any sort leaving the spell on the stack. And when it is moved from one zone to "In Play" without resolving, the kicker never resolved and is not recognized.
The definition of countering a spell at no point mentions removing the spell from the stack.

Clearly, the fact that it is moving to the graveyard will cause it to not be on the stack any more, but desertion's replacement effect is just changing where it goes. The creature or artifact moves directly from the stack to in-play.

! That's what you get when you blindly quote a ruling posted by someone else. The text i was looking at was in the wrong order, with "move it to the graveyard" at the end.
So uh...

We figured out how Desertion works, but we proved that Kicker doesn't work?

If it's a new object, even when it resolves, and "whether its kicker cost was paid" is not one of the exceptions to 217.1c, then Kicker can't "work" on permanents?

EDIT: Heck, why not make a spell resolving an exception to the "new object" rule? I have to confess that's always how I thought it worked. It would let you remove exceptions 1 & 3 as well.


Gerdef
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Anyone try this on MoDo to see what it says?

Also, Gerdef, I'm saying the kicker won't work not because its a new object, but because the spell with the kicker paid never resolved.
Anyone try this on MoDo to see what it says?

That would serve only to give us an inkling of the logic the programers used, not to explain how the rules works and why they works that way.