Whip of Erebos + Aetherling & Obzedat

One of the more popular combos that’s been going around the internet since the release of Theros has been the interactions between Whip of Erebos and cards like Aetherling and Obzedat, Ghost Council. I figured we’d spend this Friday talking about the combo and why it ends up working like it does.

Whip of Erebos works similar to the old ability unearth. You return the creature from the graveyard to the battlefield. If the creature would leave the battlefield, the creature is exiled instead of going anywhere else. However, if the card is already going to exile, then the Whip won’t replace it going to exile by that spell or ability with the Whip exiling it.

That means that if you reanimate Aetherling with the Whip, then activate Aetherling’s “exile until end of turn” ability, the Aetherling will be exiled, and the Whip won’t do anything about it. Since Aetherling was exiled by its own ability, it will return during the next end step. And since it’s considered a different permanent when it returns, it’s no longer affected by the Whip and will remain on the battlefield like normal.

Obzedat works the same way. At the beginning of your end step, we have two triggers waiting to go on the stack: Obzedat’s trigger to exile itself and return it during your next upkeep, and the Whip trigger telling you to exile Obezdat. Since you control both triggers, you get to choose the order they’re put on the stack. Put Obzedat’s trigger on the stack last, and it will resolve first, and you will exile it to its own ability, not to the Whip, and it will be able to return during your next upkeep.

Hopefully, this clarifies an interaction that I expect to see a lot of in the coming year. Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you next week with more rules tips!

Today’s Rules Tip written by Nathan Long

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