Magic: the Gathering
( Comprehensive rules )


Contents Glossary

7.  Additional Rules

706.  Copying Objects


706.1  Some objects become or turn another object into a "copy" of a spell, permanent, or card. Some effects create a token thats a copy of another object. (Certain older cards were printed with the phrase "search for a copy." This section doesnt cover those cards, which have received new text in the Oracle card reference.)

706.2  When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original objects characteristics and, for an object on the stack, choices made when casting or activating it (mode, targets, the value of X, whether it was kicked, how it will affect multiple targets, and so on). The "copiable values" are the values derived from the text printed on the object (that text being name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by its face-down status, and by "as . . . enters the battlefield" and "as . . . is turned face up" abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics). Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

Example: Chimeric Staff is an artifact that reads "X: Chimeric Staff becomes an X/X artifact creature until end of turn." Clone is a creature that reads, "You may have Clone enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield." After a Staff has become a 5/5 artifact creature, a Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of it. The Clone is an artifact, not a 5/5 artifact creature. (The copy has the Staffs ability, however, and will become a creature if that ability is activated.)

Example: Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of a face-down Grinning Demon (a creature with morph 2BB). The Clone is a colorless 2/2 creature with no name, no types, no abilities, and no mana cost. It will still be face up. Its controller cant pay 2BB to turn it face up.

706.2a  A copy acquires the color of the object its copying because that value is derived from its mana cost or color indicator. A copy acquires the abilities of the object its copying because those values are derived from its rules text. A copy doesnt wind up with two values of each ability (that is, it doesnt copy the objects abilities and its rules text, then have that rules text define a new set of abilities).

706.3  The copys copiable values become the copied information, as modified by the copys status (see rule 110.6). Objects that copy the object will use the new copiable values.

Example: Vesuvan Doppelganger reads, "You may have Vesuvan Doppelganger enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield except it doesnt copy that creatures color and it gains At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have this creature become a copy of target creature except it doesnt copy that creatures color. If you do, this creature gains this ability." A Vesuvan Doppelganger enters the battlefield as a copy of Runeclaw Bear (a 2/2 green Bear creature with no abilities). Then a Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of the Doppelganger. The Clone is a 2/2 blue Bear named Runeclaw Bear that has the Doppelgangers upkeep-triggered ability.

Example: Tomoya the Revealer (a flipped flip card) becomes a copy of Nezumi Shortfang (an unflipped flip card). Tomoyas characteristics become the characteristics of Stabwhisker the Odious, which is the flipped version of Nezumi Shortfang.

Example: A face-down Grinning Demon (a creature with morph) becomes a copy of a face-up Branchsnap Lorian (a 4/1 green creature with trample and morph G). The Demons characteristics become the characteristics of Branchsnap Lorian. However, since the creature is face down, it remains a 2/2 colorless creature with no name, types, or abilities, and no mana cost. It can be turned face up for G. If its turned face up, it will have the characteristics of Branchsnap Lorian.

Example: A face-down Grinning Demon (a creature with morph) becomes a copy of Wandering Ones (a 1/1 blue Spirit creature that doesnt have morph). It will be a face-down Wandering Ones. It remains a 2/2 colorless creature with no name, types, or abilities, and no mana cost. Its controller cant turn it face up as a special action. If an effect turns it face up, it will have the characteristics of Wandering Ones.

706.4  Some effects cause a permanent thats copying a permanent to copy a different object while remaining on the battlefield. The change doesnt trigger enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the-battlefield abilities. This also doesnt change any noncopy effects presently affecting the permanent.

Example: Unstable Shapeshifter reads, "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, Unstable Shapeshifter becomes a copy of that creature and gains this ability." Its affected by Giant Growth, which reads "Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn." If a creature enters the battlefield later this turn, Unstable Shapeshifter will become a copy of that creature, but it will still get +3/+3 from the Giant Growth.

706.5  An object that enters the battlefield "as a copy" or "thats a copy" of another object becomes a copy as it enters the battlefield. It doesnt enter the battlefield, and then become a copy of that permanent. If the text thats being copied includes any abilities that replace the enters-the-battlefield event (such as "enters the battlefield with" or "as [this] enters the battlefield" abilities), those abilities will take effect. Also, any enters-the-battlefield triggered abilities of the copy will have a chance to trigger.

Example: Skyshroud Behemoth reads, "Fading 2 (This creature enters the battlefield with two fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you cant, sacrifice it.)" and "Skyshroud Behemoth enters the battlefield tapped." A Clone that enters the battlefield as a copy of a Skyshroud Behemoth will also enter the battlefield tapped with two fade counters on it.

Example: Wall of Omens reads, "When Wall of Omens enters the battlefield, draw a card." A Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of Wall of Omens. The Clone has the Walls enters-the-battlefield triggered ability, so the Clones controller draws a card.

706.6  When copying a permanent, any choices that have been made for that permanent arent copied. Instead, if an object enters the battlefield as a copy of another permanent, the objects controller will get to make any "as [this] enters the battlefield" choices for it.

Example: A Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of Adaptive Automaton. Adaptive Automaton reads, in part, "As Adaptive Automaton enters the battlefield, choose a creature type." The Clone wont copy the creature type choice of the Automaton; rather, the controller of the Clone will get to make a new choice.

706.7  If a pair of linked abilities are copied, those abilities will be similarly linked to one another on the object that copied them. One ability refers only to actions that were taken or objects that were affected by the other. They cant be linked to any other ability, regardless of what other abilities the copy may currently have or may have had in the past. See rule 607, "Linked Abilities."

706.7a  If an ability causes a player to "choose a [value]" and a second, linked ability refers to that choice, the second ability is the only ability that can refer to that choice. An object doesnt "remember" that choice and use it for other abilities it may copy later. If an object copies an ability that refers to a choice, but either (a) doesnt copy that abilitys linked ability or (b) does copy the linked ability but no choice is made for it, then the choice is considered to be "undefined." If an ability refers to an undefined choice, that part of the ability wont do anything.

Example: Voice of All enters the battlefield and Unstable Shapeshifter copies it. Voice of All reads, in part, "As Voice of All enters the battlefield, choose a color." and "Voice of All has protection from the chosen color." Unstable Shapeshifter never had a chance for a color to be chosen for it, because it didnt enter the battlefield as a Voice of All card, so the protection ability doesnt protect it from anything at all.

Example: A Vesuvan Doppelganger enters the battlefield as a copy of Voice of All, and the Doppelgangers controller chooses blue. Later, the Doppelganger copies Quirion Elves, which has the ability, "Tap: Add one mana of the chosen color to your mana pool." Even though a color was chosen for the Doppelganger, it wasnt chosen for the ability linked to the mana ability copied from the Elves. If that mana ability of the Doppelganger is activated, it will not produce mana.

706.8  When copying a double-faced permanent, a face-up meld card, or a melded permanent, only the copiable values of the face thats currently up are copied. (See rule 711, "Double-Faced Cards," and rule 712, "Meld Cards.")

706.9  Copy effects may include modifications or exceptions to the copying process.

706.9a  Some copy effects cause the copy to gain an ability as part of the copying process. This ability becomes part of the copiable values for the copy, along with any other abilities that were copied.

Example: Quirion Elves enters the battlefield and an Unstable Shapeshifter copies it. The copiable values of the Shapeshifter now match those of the Elves, except that the Shapeshifter also has the ability "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, Unstable Shapeshifter becomes a copy of that creature and gains this ability." Then a Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of the Unstable Shapeshifter. The Clone copies the new copiable values of the Shapeshifter, including the ability that the Shapeshifter gave itself when it copied the Elves.

706.9b  Some copy effects specifically state that they dont copy certain characteristics and instead retain their original values. These effects use the phrase "except its [characteristic] is still [value]" or "except its still [value(s)]." They may also simply state that certain characteristics are not copied.

706.9c  Some copy effects modify a characteristic as part of the copying process. The final value(s) for that characteristic becomes part of the copiable values for the copy.

Example: Copy Artifact is an enchantment that reads, "You may have Copy Artifact enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact on the battlefield, except its an enchantment in addition to its other types." It enters the battlefield as a copy of Juggernaut. The copiable values of the Copy Artifact now match those of Juggernaut with one modification: its types are now artifact, creature, and enchantment.

706.9d  When applying a copy effect that doesnt copy a certain characteristic, retains an original value for a certain characteristic, or modifies the final value of a certain characteristic, any characteristic-defining ability (see rule 604.3) of the object being copied that defines that characteristic is not copied. If that characteristic is color, any color indicator (see rule 204) of that object is also not copied.

Example: Quicksilver Gargantuan is a creature that reads, "You may have Quicksilver Gargantuan enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except its still 7/7." Quicksilver Gargantuan enters the battlefield as a copy of Tarmogoyf, which has a characteristic-defining ability that defines its power and toughness. Quicksilver Gargantuan does not have that ability. It will be 7/7.

706.10  To copy a spell, activated ability, or triggered ability means to put a copy of it onto the stack; a copy of a spell isnt cast and a copy of an activated ability isnt activated. A copy of a spell or ability copies both the characteristics of the spell or ability and all decisions made for it, including modes, targets, the value of X, and additional or alternative costs. (See rule 601, "Casting Spells.") Choices that are normally made on resolution are not copied. If an effect of the copy refers to objects used to pay its costs, it uses the objects used to pay the costs of the original spell or ability. A copy of a spell is owned by the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A copy of a spell or ability is controlled by the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A copy of a spell is itself a spell, even though it has no spell card associated with it. A copy of an ability is itself an ability.

Example: A player casts Fork, targeting an Emerald Charm. Fork reads, "Copy target instant or sorcery spell, except that the copy is red. You may choose new targets for the copy." Emerald Charm is a green instant that reads, "Choose one Untap target permanent; or destroy target non-Aura enchantment; or target creature loses flying until end of turn." When the Fork resolves, it puts a copy of the Emerald Charm on the stack except the copy is red, not green. The copy has the same mode that was chosen for the original Emerald Charm. It does not necessarily have the same target, but only because Fork allows choosing of new targets.

Example: Fling is an instant that reads, "As an additional cost to cast Fling, sacrifice a creature" and "Fling deals damage equal to the sacrificed creatures power to target creature or player." When determining how much damage a copy of Fling deals, it checks the power of the creature sacrificed to pay for the original Fling.

706.10a  If a copy of a spell is in a zone other than the stack, it ceases to exist. If a copy of a card is in any zone other than the stack or the battlefield, it ceases to exist. These are state-based actions. See rule 704.

706.10b  A copy of an ability has the same source as the original ability. If the ability refers to its source by name, the copy refers to that same object and not to any other object with the same name. The copy is considered to be the same ability by effects that count how many times that ability has resolved during the turn.

706.10c  Some effects copy a spell or ability and state that its controller may choose new targets for the copy. The player may leave any number of the targets unchanged, even if those targets would be illegal. If the player chooses to change some or all of the targets, the new targets must be legal. Once the player has decided what the copys targets will be, the copy is put onto the stack with those targets.

706.10d  Some effects copy a spell or ability for each player or object it "could target." The copies are put onto the stack with those targets in the order of their controllers choice. If the spell or ability has more than one target, each of its targets must be the same player or object. If that player or object isnt a legal target for each instance of the word "target," a copy isnt created for that player or object.

706.11  If an effect refers to a permanent by name, the effect still tracks that permanent even if it changes names or becomes a copy of something else.

Example: An Unstable Shapeshifter copies a Crazed Armodon. Crazed Armodon reads, "G: Crazed Armodon gets +3/+0 and gains trample until end of turn. Destroy Crazed Armodon at the beginning of the next end step. Activate this ability only once each turn." If this ability of the Shapeshifter is activated, the Shapeshifter will be destroyed at the beginning of the next end step, even if its no longer a copy of Crazed Armodon at that time.

706.12  An effect that instructs a player to cast a copy of an object (and not just copy a spell) follows the rules for casting spells, except that the copy is created in the same zone the object is in and then cast while another spell or ability is resolving. Casting a copy of an object follows steps 601.2ah of rule 601, "Casting Spells," and then the copy becomes cast. Once cast, the copy is a spell on the stack, and just like any other spell it can resolve or be countered.



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