Good morning and welcome to Kalitas Week here at the Rules Tip Blog. We’ve been noticing an awful lot of questions about the new Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet popping up, so we thought we’d take a whole week to address just questions about Kalitas. Kalitas’ has an ability that sets up a replacement effect: it replaces one event (in this case, “a nontoken creature your opponent controls dies”) with a different event (“exile it, make a Zombie”). Because of this replacement effect, the ‘dies’ event flat out does not happen, at all. This will prevent your opponent from getting value off of their Zulaport Cutthroats and Catacomb Sifters, as well as keeping them from reanimating their creatures later. Kalitas goes the extra mile though, and spits out a 2/2 Zombie token as part of the “exile instead” replacement effect.
Where that seems to trip people up is the wording: “If a nontoken creature an opponent controls would die, instead exile that card and put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield.”. Some players have been parsing that to mean that the token is sort of a ‘replacement’ for the creature, meaning your opponent gets it. However, that is not the case! If an effect YOU control says to put a token onto the battlefield, it’ll be under your control unless it says otherwise (like the Hunted cycle from Ravnica block). Kalitas doesn’t say otherwise, so YOU get the token, AND your opponent loses their chance to reanimate their own creature! Mono-value indeed.
Tune in tomorrow for another Kalitas Question!
Today’s Kalitas Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez