The Immortal Sun is a powerful item hidden in Orazca, an ancient metropolis hidden in the uncharted jungles of Ixalan.
The Immortal Sun is rumored to be more valuable and powerful than any other artifact in existence, promising boundless wealth, the strength of the empire, command over nature, and eternal life. The history of the Immortal Sun is a history of its misuse by mortals.
The massive stone slab was created ages ago by the ancient sphinxplaneswalkerAzor. Azor was in league with the Spirit Dragon with whom he had created a plan to trap the nefarious Nicol Bolas on Ixalan. Though the artifact has powerful magical properties (intended for its guardians to keep it safe), its main purpose is to prevent planeswalkers from leaving Ixalan. Azor created the Immortal Sun by imbuing it with his planeswalker's spark, thus trapping himself as well.
When it is activated, the Immortal Sun generates immense heat. When stood upon, the active Sun provided god-like powers.
The Immortal Sun once belonged to the kingdom that would one day form the vampiricLegion of Dusk on the continent of Torrezon, where it was kept in a hidden monastery. The power of the artifact inspired the envy of its neighbors and soon, hostile forces under the leadership of Pedron the Wicked attacked the monastery. The Sun was taken by Azor and he brought it across the sea to the continent of Ixalan.
When the Sun Empire was in possession of the Immortal Sun, they built the incredible city of Orazca and ushered in a new age of prosperity and growth for their people. The Immortal Sun was embedded in the floor of the highest chamber of Metzali, Tower of Triumph. Eventually, one of their emperors used it for evil purposes. As a consequence, Azor caused the Empire to leave the city. The city itself was hidden, overgrown by the jungle.
The merfolkRiver Heralds were then tasked by Azor to defend the Golden City and the Immortal Sun. They believed that no one should control its power. To protect its secrets, they only knew the city's general area, but not the exact location. They had been making sure no one would get there for centuries.
Much later, the vampires of the Legion of Dusk came to the continent of Ixalan to retrieve their possession. They prayed its power would allow the hopes of the church to be fulfilled and eternal life would be available to all without the need to subsist on the blood of the wicked. Meanwhile, the Brazen Coalition also sought this ancient prize. They thought it might be the key to returning to Torrezon and driving out the Legion of Dusk to reclaim their ancestral lands. One of the merfolk's own, Kumena, had gone against the wishes of the rest of his people and went in search of the artifact himself, hoping to use it to kill the outsiders. Simultaneously, the warrior-poet Planeswalker Huatli was tasked by the Emperor to reclaim the Golden City for the Sun Empire. Huatli temporarily joined up with the merfolk Tishana, to prevent Kumena from gaining control over the Immortal Sun. In the race for Orazca, the planeswalker Angrath joined the fray, as well. Finally, another planeswalker, Vraska, was tasked by Nicol Bolas to retrieve the artifact for his nefarious purposes off the plane of Ixalan. She travelled together with Jace Beleren, who had lost his memory because of the battle he and the Gatewatch had with Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet before arriving on Ixalan.
The Fight for Control
Kumena was the first to reach the Sanctum of the Sun. He awoke the city and the creatures within but was bested shortly after by the combined efforts of the vampires Vona and Mavren Fein. They threw him out of the window of the Tower of Triumph, but he was saved in time by his former teacher, Tishana. Tishana and Huatli started fighting with the vampires but were interrupted by the Siren pirate Malcom, who drew them out of the room they were fighting in. The song ended and Breeches (a goblin pirate) started slashing at Vona's face and eyes. Then, Angrath interrupted them all by barreling through the room they were just in. He had killed the dinosaur that Huatli had used to push him into the dirt. He swung his chains at Breeches, who was pulled towards Angrath. Then, everyone scrambled to touch the Immortal Sun. Tishana put her hand on it, Huatli put her foot on its side, Angrath stomped on the object's center, while Vona, who had just been touching it, put both hands on it once again. A current of energy rushed through them all and Huatli laughed at how good it felt.
After Vraska found the Immortal Sun, she summoned Bolas' henchman Tezzeret. Tezzeret used the Planar Bridge to spirit the Immortal Sun off the plane. It was revealed that Bolas planned to use the Immortal Sun in his ploy to invade Ravnica.
War of the Spark
Bolas used the Immortal Sun to trap many planeswalkers on Ravnica after they had been lured there by the Interplanar Beacon, to harvest their sparks. Chandra, Nissa, Saheeli, and Lavinia (plus Lazav) were tasked with shutting off the Immortal Sun. At New Prahv, they managed to do so after defeating Dovin Baan, which resulted in a lot of planeswalkers fleeing the plane. Jace had taught Chandra Azor's nine words that would shut off the Sun, that he had dug up from the sphinx's mind. Chandra managed to shut it off with the spell after briefly being kind of possessed by its power.
Afterward, before the final battle with Bolas, they decided to reactivate the Immortal Sun to prevent Bolas from escaping. The Immortal Sun was returned to an inactive state at the very end after Bolas was defeated, but it was not destroyed in the event that it's needed again.
The artifact was still intact after the War. The planeswalkers discussed antagonists that it could help defeat.Vivien specifically brought up Liliana.
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- Depicted in:
- Quoted or referred to:
- ↑ abBlake Rasmussen and Alison Luhrs (August 30, 2017). "Magic Story Podcast: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Explore the Planes: Ixalan
- ↑ abR&D Narrative Team (September 27, 2017). "The Shapers". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan
- ↑ abcR&D Narrative Team (January 24, 2018). "The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ abcGreg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
- ↑ abR&D Narrative Team (October 4, 2017). "Something Else Entirely". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ abChas Andres (October 25, 2017). "Ten Burning Questions from the Ixalan Story". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑R&D Narrative Team (September 13, 2017). "A Question of Confidence". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑R&D Narrative Team (October 11, 2017). "The Race, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑R&D Narrative Team (October 18, 2017). "The Race, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑R&D Narrative Team (January 10, 2018). "The Flood". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑R&D Narrative Team (January 31, 2018). "Sabotage". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ abGreg Weisman (June 12, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Ashes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
When the creature dies, both abilities will trigger. As the controller of both abilities, you can choose to stack them in whatever order you choose, so you can essentially have whichever you like resolve first.
- If Gift of Immortality’s trigger resolves first: It will return the creature to the battlefield. When the undying trigger resolves, nothing will happen, because the creature is no longer in the graveyard where undying is looking for it. At the beginning of the next end step, Gift of Immortality will look to see if the creature is still on the battlefield, and if it is, Gift will put itself onto the battlefield attached to it. (If the creature isn’t still around at that time, Gift will remain in the graveyard.)
- If the undying trigger resolves first: It will return the creature to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. When Gift of Immortality’s trigger resolves, nothing will happen, because the creature is no longer in the graveyard where undying is looking for it. No delayed trigger will be created, and nothing in particular will happen at the beginning of the next end step.
As for your last question, I’m not sure what you mean. Neither Gift of Immortality nor undying cause the creature to be exiled.
Gift of Immortality returns a dead creature to the battlefield and comes back itself, but later. Major questions about this card sound like: why it happens and how to prevent it from happening.
For starters, I’d like to say a few general words about this card. Gift of Immortality is a white Aura with a static ability “Enchant creature”. We know almost everything about Auras, if you don’t or have forgotten, go check out the link, read and come back.
Gift of Immortality’s second ability is a triggered one. That’s where the interesting part begins.
“Whenenchanted creature dies, return that card to the battlefield under it’s owner’s control. Return Gift of Immortality to the battlefield attached to that creature at the beginning of the next end step.”
- When indicates that we have a triggered ability here;
- enchanted creature dies is the triggering event.
- The term “dies” replaces “this creature is put into graveyard from the battlefield”.
Why the creature dies is irrelevant. You may sacrifice it, it may be destroyed or it may simply be put into the graveyard as a result of the state-based actions (SBA).
Note that the creature doesn’t die if it has been regenerated.
This ability won’t trigger if the creature was exiled, returned to the owner’s hand or shuffled into the library.
- return that card to the battlefield under it’s owner’s control. Return Gift of Immortality to the battlefield attached to that creature at the beginning of the next end step is the ability effect. If the ability didn’t trigger (enchanted creature was “bounced”), it was countered (Disallow) or it was removed from the stack ( Time Stop), nothing of the stated above would happen. Gift of Immortality would be put into the graveyard and stay there.
When the ability resolves you get to return the card that used to be an enchanted creature on the battlefield. After that a delayed triggered ability is created.
The card returns under its owner’s control, not under the control of the player who controlled it when it was enchanted, nor under the control of the Aura’s former controller.
- at the beginning of the next end step marks the delayed triggered ability. This ability will trigger only once: at the beginning of the next end step.
Whose next end step it will be is irrelevant. What is important is that it is the closest end step since the Gift of Immortality ability has resolved.
If the next end step is skipped entirely (Sundial of the Infinite), the delayed ability will trigger at the beginning of the next end step that actually takes place.
- Return Gift of Immortality to the battlefield attached to that creatureis the effect of the delayed ability. To get this effect the ability must trigger, it must be put on the stack and resolve. And that’s not all! There are many situations when the ability may resolve without effect.
Let’s assume that the creature you enchanted with Gift of Immortality isn’t exactly a creature. It is an animated land, artifact or a planeswalker. Anything “animated” immediately stops being a creature if put into the graveyard. Why will Gift of Immortality find this card and bring it back on the battlefield? The ability tracks the card. But the card has changed the zones, it’s a brand new object! Exactly, it’s new, but here we have an exception to the rules.
400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:
400.7d Abilities that trigger when an object moves from one zone to another (for example, “When Rancor is put into a graveyard from the battlefield”) can find the new object that it became in the zone it moved to when the ability triggered, if that zone is a public zone.
As graveyard is a public zone Gift of Immortality’s ability can track the object that used to be enchanted when Gift of Immortality was on the battlefield.
What can prevent the card from coming back if the triggered ability lived to resolve?
- Grafdigger’s Cage
- By the time the ability resolves the card is not in the graveyard.
- By the time the ability resolves the card has managed to change the zones multiple times and the ability has lost the track of it.
When an enchanted creature dies, the ability triggers. Then, when the SBA are performed Gift of Immortality follows the creature itself as it is an unattached Aura on the battlefield. Only after that the triggers are put on the stack.
At the beginning of the next end step the delayed ability triggers. When it successfully resolves you return Gift of Immortality from the graveyard to the battlefield and attach it to the card that used to be its enchanted creature. This will only happen if we have the very same object that was returned to the battlefield by Gift of Immortality’s triggered ability. Remember the card with Undying that changed the zone? The same is important here. Even if it’s the same physical card that has visited another zone, it’s a brand new object that the delayed trigger is unaware of.
If an object has changed the characteristics or status, it will still remain the same object and the delayed ability will successfully find it.
If the object tracked by the delayed ability is no longer a creature or has a sort of Protection from White or from Auras, we can’t attach Gift of Immortality to it. In this sad case Gift of Immortality will stay in the graveyard. It never enters the battlefield, so the ability of Ajani’s Chosen doesn’t trigger.
Hexproof and shroud abilities can’t prevent Gift of Immortality from being attached to a creature, because
(114.1b) ...An Aura permanent doesn’t target anything; only the spell is targeted.
Lastly, a message from the Captain Obvious: Gift of Immortality cannot be attached to another object!
Here’s a funny example and a puzzle for the dessert.
- ⇑ You know that creatures do not exist in the graveyard. There are only creature cards there.
- ⇑ Gift of Immortality that enters the battlefield from the graveyard can enchant Emrakul, because it is not a spell.
Translated by Lev Kotlyar
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