Hi everyone, I’m back to talk about another card that’s been generating some rules questions: Anafenza, the Foremost. The focus of this article is not Anafenza’s triggered ability, but her replacement effect that affects opponent’s creatures that would go to the graveyard.
Anafenza in General
The most important thing to note is that Anafenza’s second ability is a replacement effect, not a triggered ability. Anafenza replaces the creature card going to the graveyard with being exiled instead. It doesn’t go to the graveyard at all, so anything that would trigger from the creature going to the graveyard will not trigger. For instance, if a Kitchen Finks would go to the graveyard when the opponent controls Anafenza, the Finks will be exiled instead of going to the graveyard. Since it never goes to the graveyard (dies), persist won’t even trigger for the Finks. Likewise, a Blood Artist would not trigger, since the creature never dies: it goes from the battlefield to exile.
In addition, Anafenza will replace the creature card going to the graveyard from anywhere with being exiled instead, not just the battlefield. That means if I have an Anafenza on the battlefield and you would mill some cards from your library into your graveyard, any creature cards that would be put into the graveyard will end up exiled instead.
Finally, Anafenza only cares about creature cards. She doesn’t care about token creatures, since tokens are not cards. A token creature would go to the graveyard (triggering any dies abilities) before it ceases to exist.
Anafenza and Day of Judgment
Let’s say you have an Anafenza on the battlefield and I cast a Day of Judgment. All of my creatures will be exiled due to Anafenza’s ability. Anafenza is going to the graveyard at the same time as my creatures, but just before they leave the battlefield, we check to see if there are any replacement effects that need to apply. Anafenza is still on the battlefield at that point, so her ability will get to apply and my creatures will still be exiled, even though they would be going to the graveyard at the same time as Anafenza.
Anafenza and Manlands
If a manland (like Mutavault) is a creature and would go to the graveyard, Anafenza will exile it. We check to see what the permanent looks like just before it goes to the graveyard to see if Anafenza should apply to it. Since Mutavault is a creature just before it would leave the battlefield, Anafenza will apply to it and will exile the animated Mutavault, It does not matter that it’s a land card once it leaves the battlefield, what’s important is that it was a creature just before it would go to the graveyard. This works the same way with anything else that can make a noncreature into a creature, like Starfield of Nyx, Ensoul Artifact, or March of the Machines.
Anafenza and Manifest
With a manifested card, if it would go to the graveyard, Anafenza will end up exiling it. It doesn’t matter if it would be a noncreature while it’s face up. While the card is face down, it’s a creature card, and Anafenza will apply to it and will exile it if it would go to the graveyard.
Anafenza and Bestow
If have an Anafenza on the battlefield and you have a Boon Satyr currently in aura form, then destroy your Boon Satyr with a Naturalize, it ends up in the graveyard. When the Satyr left the battlefield it was an aura, so Anafenza doesn’t apply to it. Once the Satyr is in the graveyard it’s a creature card, but Anafenza’s replacement effect only applies to nontoken creature cards as they change zones. My opponent Satyr will end up in the graveyard. If the Satyr had become a creature then tried to go to the graveyard, then Anafenza’s effect applies and will end up exiling the Satyr instead of having it go to the graveyard.
Anafenza and Doubled-Faced Planeswalkers
Anafenza cares if it was a permanent when it was about to leave the battlefield. If something like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy would go to the graveyard, since Jace is a creature at that point, Anafenza will apply and will exile Jace. However, if Jace, Telepath Unbound (the transformed side of Jace) would go to the graveyard, Jace is a planeswalker (not a creature), so Anafenza’s ability would not apply and Jace would end up in the graveyard (back in his creature form).
Did the last few questions get a little redundant? Well, those questions are popping up quite a bit, and while they may seem like different questions, they all derive from the same point. The important thing to remember in general is: just before the card would go to the graveyard, was it a creature? If the answer is “yes”, then Anafenza applies and exiles it. If the answer is “no”, then Anafenza doesn’t apply and the card goes to the graveyard.
That’s all I have this time. We’ll see you next time!
DCI Level 2 Judge