Evoke

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Evoke
Type: Static (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced: Lorwyn
Last Used: Morningtide
Reminder Text: Evoke (cost) (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)
Statistics: 19 cards
{R}26% {U}21% {W}21% {B}16% {G}16%
Gatherer search for "Evoke"

Evoke is a keyword ability that allows a player to play an alternate cost for a creature spell that possesses this ability; however, if the evoke cost is paid, the creature is sacrificed when it comes into play.

Description[edit | edit source]

Evoke was introduced in Lorwyn [1][2] and expanded upon in Morningtide.[3] All creatures in Lorwyn with evoke have a "comes-into-play" ability.[4] The creatures with evoke in Morningtide all have "leaves play" effects.

Evoke is similar, but not identical, in concept to channel. Both are associated with powerful immortal creatures (elementals and spirits, respectively), but where channeling a spirit merely allows a planeswalker to tap into that spirit's power without actually summoning it, evoking an elemental actually brings the elemental into existence for a very brief time, whereupon its power is expended in a single moment.

Frank Karsten wrote of evoke:

Evoke is a new Lorwyn mechanic that represents an alternative cost. In short, it allows you to play the spell for its evoke cost rather than paying its mana cost, but if you do that, you have to sacrifice it when it comes into play. Now why would you do that? Each Lorwyn creature with evoke has a come-in-play ability. So evoke lets you pay a cheaper cost to just get the creature's comes-into-play ability. You can read the more detailed and more boring rules notes in the box.[4]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ixalan (September 29, 2017))

  • 702.73. Evoke
    • 702.73a Evoke represents two abilities: a static ability that functions in any zone from which the card with evoke can be cast and a triggered ability that functions on the battlefield. “Evoke [cost]” means “You may cast this card by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost” and “When this permanent enters the battlefield, if its evoke cost was paid, its controller sacrifices it.” Paying a card’s evoke cost follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Ixalan (September 29, 2017))

Evoke
A keyword ability that causes a permanent to be sacrificed when it enters the battlefield. See rule 702.73, “Evoke.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Playing a creature by paying its evoke cost will result in two comes-into-play abilities: The sacrifice ability from evoke, and whatever other ability the creature has. The creature's controller chooses in what order to put them on the stack. Both abilities can be responded to as normal.
  • Evoke doesn't change the timing of when you can play the creature that has it. If you could play that creature spell only when you could play a sorcery, the same is true for playing it with evoke.
  • If a creature spell played with evoke changes controllers before it comes into play, it will still be sacrificed when it comes into play. Similarly, if a creature played with evoke changes controllers after it comes into play but before its sacrifice ability resolves, it will still be sacrificed.
  • When you play a spell by paying its evoke cost, its mana cost doesn't change. You just pay the evoke cost instead.
  • Effects that cause you to pay more or less for a spell will cause you to pay that much more or less while playing it for its evoke cost, too. That's because they affect the total cost of the spell, not its mana cost.
  • Whether evoke's sacrifice ability triggers when the creature comes into play depends on whether the spell's controller chose to pay the evoke cost, not whether he or she actually paid it (if it was reduced or otherwise altered by another ability, for example).
  • If you're playing a spell "without paying its mana cost," you can't use its evoke ability.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Wispmare - {2}{W}
    Creature — Elemental
    1/3
    Flying
    When Wispmare enters the battlefield, destroy target enchantment.
    Evoke {W} (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (October 1, 2007.) “And the Rest”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (October 08, 2007.) “Before and After”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (January 14, 2008.) “But Wait, There's More”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Frank Karsten. (September 19, 2007.) “Threshers and Blades”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.