Fiend Hunter has 2 abilities (similar to his friend Leonin Relic-Warder): one that triggers when he enters the battlefield, and another that triggers when he leaves the battlefield. These abilities are known as linked abilities, because the second ability refers to the permanent exiled by the first.
There’s a trick to exile a creature permanently using Fiend Hunter. All you need is a way to make Fiend Hunter’s leaves-the-battlefield ability trigger and resolve before the enters-the-battlefield ability exiles anything.
Let’s break down the process to get our trick to work:
- First, Fiend Hunter enters the battlefield and its first ability triggers. This is when you need to choose a legal target, if any.
- Now, we need the second ability to trigger before the first one resolves. For this to happen, we need to make Fiend Hunter leave the battlefield somehow. We have plenty of options, such as using Helvault to exile him, bouncing him with Vapor Snag or sacrificing him to Falkenrath Torturer.
- When the leaves-the-battlefield ability resolves, there is no exiled card to return (the first ability is still on the stack), so this ability will do nothing.
- Now when the enters-the-battlefield ability resolves (because abilities on the stack exist independently from their source), it will exile the targeted creature indefinitely.
It is important to keep in mind that Fiend Hunter will not remember what he exiled after he leaves the battlefield. For example, if you bounced Fiend Hunter to your hand to accomplish this trick, then you cast him again, he will not remember the creatures he exiled earlier, so that creature will not come back if the new Fiend Hunter dies.
Today’s Rules Tip written by
Jorge Pinto, Level 1 judge from Santiago, Chile