How Inkmoth Nexus and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas interact.

One area of player confusion is how multiple abilities that ‘animate’ a permanent interact. A very common interaction that has come up a lot lately deals with Inkmoth Nexus‘ animation ability and the planeswalker Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas second activated ability.

In order to get this ball rolling, you must first use Inkmoth Nexus’ ability to turn the Nexus into a 1/1 artifact creature land with both flying and infect. This Nexus will still have the normal abilities of an Inkmoth Nexus, the mana ability and the ‘animation’ activated ability, as well as nothing has removed these abilities. It is still a land as this animation ability specifically states that the permanent keeps the land type. (It’s creature type is Blinkmoth, but that is not really relevant to this interaction.)

Because this permanent is now an artifact, it can be targeted by Tezzeret’s second activated ability. Doing so makes this Inkmoth into a 5/5 artifact creature land with both flying, infect, and the Inkmoth’s normal abilities. This permanent keeps all of these abilities (for now) because type changing effects do not cause a permanent to lose abilities unless they either specifically say so or the type changing ability changes something into a basic land. As Tezzeret’s ability does neither, this permanent will have flying and infect until the end of the turn. It will be a 5/5 as the power and toughness setting aspect of this effect is applied in timestamp order and will ‘overwrite’ the effect stating that this creature is a 1/1. This permanent is also still a land, as effects that cause something to become an artifact creature do not remove any other existing permanent types.

When the turn ends, the animation effect from the Inkmoth Nexus will end. When this happens, the Nexus will be become a 5/5 artifact creature land. This Nexus will still have the normal abilities of an Inkmoth Nexus, the mana ability and the ‘animation’ activated ability, as well. But this permanent will not have flying or infect at this point. This is because Inkmoth Nexus’ animation ability has a duration that lasts until the end of turn, while the animation effect from Tezzeret’s ability does not. The animation effect from Tezzeret’s ability will last as long as that permanent remains in play. If no other effects are applied, then this Nexus will look like this (a 5/5 artifact creature land with Nexus abilities) for the rest of the game or as long as this Nexus remains in play.

However, you may just want to use additional animation effects on this Nexus for strategic reasons. If the Inkmoth Nexus’ animation activated ability resolves again, then this permanent will become an 1/1 artifact creature land with both flying and infect. It is a 1/1 creature again for the same reason as why it became a 5/5 earlier, the power and toughness setting portion of the Nexus’ effect is applied in timestamp order and overrides Tezzeret’s effect that makes it a 5/5. And, just as earlier, you can use Tezzeret’s ability again as well. Doing so will make this permanent into a 5/5 creature with both flying and infect. Then, as before, at the end of turn when the Inkmoth animation effect wears off it will become a 5/5 artifact creature land.

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