- 611.2a A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability lasts as long as stated by the spell or ability creating it (such as “until end of turn”). If no duration is stated, it lasts until the end of the game.
- 611.2b Some continuous effects generated by the resolution of a spell or ability have durations worded “for as long as . . . .” If the “for as long as” duration never starts, or it ends before the moment the effect would first be applied, the effect does nothing. It doesn’t start and immediately stop again, and it doesn’t last forever.
Example: Master Thief has the ability “When Master Thief enters the battlefield, gain control of target artifact for as long as you control Master Thief.” If you lose control of Master Thief before the ability resolves, it does nothing, because its duration—as long as you control Master Thief—was over before the effect began.
- 611.2c If a continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability modifies the characteristics or changes the controller of any objects, the set of objects it affects is determined when that continuous effect begins. After that point, the set won’t change. (Note that this works differently than a continuous effect from a static ability.) A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability that doesn’t modify the characteristics or change the controller of any objects modifies the rules of the game, so it can affect objects that weren’t affected when that continuous effect began. If a single continuous effect has parts that modify the characteristics or changes the controller of any objects and other parts that don’t, the set of objects each part applies to is determined independently.
Example: An effect that reads “All white creatures get +1/+1 until end of turn” gives the bonus to all permanents that are white creatures when the spell or ability resolves—even if they change color later—and doesn’t affect those that enter the battlefield or turn white afterward.
Example: An effect that reads “Prevent all damage creatures would deal this turn” doesn’t modify any object’s characteristics, so it’s modifying the rules of the game. That means the effect will apply even to damage from creatures that weren’t on the battlefield when the continuous effect began. It also affects damage from permanents that become creatures later in the turn.
- 611.2d If a resolving spell or ability that creates a continuous effect contains a variable such as X, the value of that variable is determined only once, on resolution. See rule 608.2g.
- 611.2e If a resolving spell or ability both puts a nontoken permanent onto the battlefield and creates a continuous effect stating that the permanent “is [characteristic],” that continuous effect applies simultaneously with the permanent entering the battlefield. This characteristic is usually a color or a creature type. If the continuous effect says the permanent “becomes [characteristic]” or “gains [an ability],” that effect applies after the permanent is on the battlefield.
Example: Arbiter of the Ideal puts an artifact, creature, or land card onto the battlefield and says, in part, “That permanent is an enchantment in addition to its other types.” An ability that triggers whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield would trigger. The permanent doesn’t enter the battlefield and then become an enchantment.