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Undying

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Undying
Type: Triggered
Introduced: Dark Ascension
Last Used: Avacyn Restored
Reminder Text: 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.
Statistics: 20 cards
Manab.gif45% Manar.gif20% Manag.gif20% Manau.gif15%
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Undying is a keyword triggered ability introduced in Dark Ascension [1] [2] and also featured in Avacyn Restored. Its function is similar to persist, a keyword ability from the Shadowmoor block; if a permanent with undying is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, it returns to the battlefield under its owner's control. However, unlike persist, a creature with undying returns to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it (rather than a -1/-1 counter) unless it already had one or more of those counters on it when it died.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 702.92. Undying
    • 702.92a Undying is a triggered ability. "Undying" means "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, 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."

Rulings[edit]

  • All cards printed with undying are creatures. If a creature with undying stops being a creature (for example, an artifact creature with undying becomes a noncreature artifact due to Neurok Transmuter's second ability), undying will still trigger.
  • Likewise, if a noncreature permanent becomes a creature, gains undying, and is put into a graveyard, the undying ability will still trigger even though that permanent won't be a creature when it returns to the battlefield.
  • Multiple instances of undying trigger separately, but are effectively redundant as only the first instance to resolve will have any effect.
  • An object returned to the battlefield with the undying ability is a new object with no memory of its previous existence. It has "summoning sickness".
  • Tokens can gain undying, and the ability will trigger if a token is put into a graveyard. However, like all tokens, it can't return to the battlefield and will cease to exist as a state-based action before the ability would go on the stack.
  • Undying relies on the last known information about the permanent just before it was put into a graveyard. If that permanent had a +1/+1 counter on it, then receives enough -1/-1 counters for it to be put into a graveyard due to having 0 toughness or lethal damage marked on it, it won't return to the battlefield despite the state-based action of +1/+1 counters and -1/-1 counters "cancelling each other out". As the permanent last existed on the battlefield, it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.

Example[edit]

  • Sightless Ghoul - Mana3.gifManab.gif
    Creature — Zombie Soldier
    2/2
    Sightless Ghoul can't block.
    Undying (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.)

Spell that grants Undying[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (January 16, 2012.) "Dancing in the Dark Ascension, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Zac Hill. (February 24, 2012.) "(Un)Die Another Day", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External link[edit]