Haunt

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Haunt
Keyword Ability
Type Triggered
Introduced Guildpact
Last Used Guildpact
Reminder Text Haunt (When this creature dies, exile it haunting target creature.)
Storm Scale 9[1]
Statistics 10 cards
{W} 40% {B} 40% {W/B} 20%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Haunt"

Haunt is a keyword ability associated with the Orzhov guild from the Guildpact set.[2][3]

Description[edit | edit source]

Haunt works by allowing a permanent's "enters the battlefield"-ability (ETB) or a spell to go off twice. More precisely, it allows a card to be exiled from a graveyard "haunting" another permanent, and when that permanent is put into a graveyard a triggered ability of the haunting card is put on the stack and allows a second usage of the card. Haunt appears only on black and/or white cards.

Head designer Mark Rosewater considers haunt a mistake and has no plans to bring it back.[4][5][6][7] However, it made a reappearance on the Mystery Booster test card Kaya, Ghost Haunter.[8]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

Haunt
A keyword ability that exiles cards. A card exiled this way “haunts” a creature targeted by the haunt ability. See rule 702.54, “Haunt.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

  • 702.54. Haunt
    • 702.54a Haunt is a triggered ability. “Haunt” on a permanent means “When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile it haunting target creature.” “Haunt” on an instant or sorcery spell means “When this spell is put into a graveyard during its resolution, exile it haunting target creature.”
    • 702.54b Cards that are in the exile zone as the result of a haunt ability “haunt” the creature targeted by that ability. The phrase “creature it haunts” refers to the object targeted by the haunt ability, regardless of whether or not that object is still a creature.
    • 702.54c Triggered abilities of cards with haunt that refer to the haunted creature can trigger in the exile zone.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • If an instant or sorcery spell with haunt is countered, its haunt ability doesn't trigger.
  • Instants and sorceries with haunt have the same effect when they're casted as when the haunted creature dies. Creatures with haunt have the same effect when they enter the battlefield as when the haunted creature dies.
  • You may haunt any creature on the battlefield, regardless of who controls it.
  • The same creature may be haunted by multiple cards.
  • The cards that are haunting a creature don't return from the exile when that creature leaves the battlefield.
  • If there are no legal targets for the haunt ability, the card with haunt stays in the graveyard rather than being exiled.
  • If a card with haunt is removed from the graveyard in response to its haunt ability triggering, the haunt ability will resolve. But since the card can't be exiled, it won't haunt the target creature.
  • The same applies for a token creature with haunt or a copy of an instant or sorcery spell with haunt. The haunt ability will trigger and target a creature on the battlefield, but the token or spell copy will have vanished from the graveyard by the time the ability resolves. It can't be exiled and won't haunt the targeted creature.
  • If a card that's haunting a creature leaves the exile, due to Pull from Eternity, for example, the haunt effect ends.
  • The source of an ability that triggers when a haunted creature dies is the card with haunt in the exile. The ability is controlled by the owner of that card.
  • If a creature with haunt controlled by Player A but owned by Player B dies, Player A controls the haunt triggered ability. That player chooses the target for the haunt ability and must exile the card. However, when the haunted creature dies, Player B will control the triggered ability of the card in the exile and will make any choices it requires.

Examples[edit | edit source]

Example 1

Blind Hunter {2}{W}{B}
Creature — Bat
2/2
Flying
Haunt (When this creature dies, exile it haunting target creature.)
When Blind Hunter enters the battlefield or the creature it haunts dies, target player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

Example 2

Seize the Soul {2}{B}{B}
Instant
Destroy target nonwhite, nonblack creature. Create a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying.
Haunt (When this spell card is put into a graveyard after resolving, exile it haunting target creature.)
When the creature Seize the Soul haunts dies, destroy target nonwhite, nonblack creature. Create a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying.

Example 3

Benediction of Moons {W}
Sorcery
You gain 1 life for each player.
Haunt (When this spell card is put into a graveyard after resolving, exile it haunting target creature.)
When the creature Benediction of Moons haunts dies, you gain 1 life for each player.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (May 2, 2016). "Storm Scale: Ravnica and Return to Ravnica". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Aaron Forsythe (January 13, 2006). "Haunting Your Dreams". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Aaron Forsythe (March 31, 2006). "Losing My Religion". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (December 03, 2014). "What is your opinion on a set themed around haunt?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater (May 18, 2015). "Modern Mailbag". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (August 27, 2017). "I don't understand why Haunt is a 9 on the storm scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (August 27, 2017). "What if you tried haunt again?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Eli Shiffrin (November 11, 2019). "Mystery Booster Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.