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 Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards

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Acalia
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PostSubject: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:00 pm

Since transformation cards are about to be released. I figured we should have a small talk about all of these types of cards right here, right now! Let us begin.

Please take note, the second post will contain all of the comprehensive rules to do with these three cards. I'll try to update this once in a while as the rules may change!

Morph, flip, and transform are all abilities on cards. Chances are, they're all on creature cards.



Morph Cards:
-Morph as an ability is read/written as "Morph {mana cost}".
-Morph is an ability in which you may cast a card face-down on the battlefield by paying {3} (3 colourless mana).
-The face-down card is a 2/2 creature, it has no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion sysbol, and no mana cost.
-The mana cost after the morph ability on the card may be spent to flip the card face up. This may ONLY be used if the card is face-down.
-Morphing a creature (turning it face-up) is considered a special action in magic. It does NOT use the stack in any way, shape, or form!

Exalted Angel is a very popular morph creature, this example is going to show you a little bit of the reason why (there is more to why beyond just this though). As you can see, Exalted Angel costs 4WW to cast normally. But we could cast Exalted Angel face down for 3 instead. After Exalted Angel is on the battlefield face-down, we may spend 2WW to flip her face-up, thus getting an Exalted Angel out a bit earlier than normal, and possibly surprising your enemies!

There are other uses for morph creatures than just beating the crap out of people, Voidmage Apprentice will show you a more strategic use for morph. As you can see, he is quite a bit more expensive for his morph than he is for his normal cost. The reason is because he counters a spell upon being turned face-up, otherwise when he's face-up he might as well be a 1/1 body. Since morph doesn't use the stack, Voidmage Apprentice can counter great spells such as
Extirpate, Trickbind, and Krosan Grip to name three great spells which you normally would have an insanely difficult time countering due to their Split Second nature.



Flip cards:
-Are always cast in their "normal" state.
-Their "normal" state has its mana cost in the top right corner. Please look here for an example.
-A flip card's color, mana cost, expansion symbol, illustration credit, and legal text do NOT change if the permanent is flipped.
-The flip cards are ALWAYS considered to be in their "normal" state in EVERY zone other than the battlefield.
-If an effect that lasts indefinitely is effecting a flip card in its "normal" state, once it's flip it will continue to be under the same effect.
-If an effect instructs a player to name a card and the player wants to name a flip card's alternative name, the player may do so.
-Flipping a card causes the card to perform a 180 degree rotation on the battlefield.
-Remember that you must always tap towards the right (and flip cards are why).

For some examples on flip cards, I'll be using Akki Lavarunner, and it's flipped form Tok-Tok, Volcano Born. While the card is in the players library, graveyard, exile zone, or hand. It is always considered Akki Lavarunner. You may cast him for 3R, and he will come into play as a 1/1 red Goblin Warrior. Should Akki Lavarunner deal damage to a player however, his flip trigger will now go on the stack (by the way, this means you can either Stifle, Trickbind, or Voidslime the trigger. Should this resolve, Akki Lavarunner now becomes Tok-Tok, Volcano Born, a 2/2 red Goblin Shaman with a converted mana cost of 4 (3R is 4), he has Protection from red and If a red source would deal damage to a player, it deals that much damage plus 1 to that player instead! Deadly!



Transform cards:
-Transform cards can never be turned face-down, both Ixidron and Backslide simply have no effect to cards with Transform.

That's the only rule for transform cards that I can find so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:18 pm

702.35. Morph
Quote :
702.35a Morph is a static ability that functions in any zone from which you could play the card it's on, and the morph effect works any time the card is face down. "Morph [cost]" means "You may cast this card as a 2/2 face-down creature, with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost by paying {3} rather than paying its mana cost." (See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents.")

702.35b To cast a card using its morph ability, turn it face down. It becomes a 2/2 face-down creature card, with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting a card with these characteristics (and not the face-up card's characteristics) are applied to casting this card. These values are the copiable values of that object's characteristics. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects," and rule 706, "Copying Objects.") Put it onto the stack (as a face-down spell with the same characteristics), and pay {3} rather than pay its mana cost. This follows the rules for paying alternative costs. You can use morph to cast a card from any zone from which you could normally play it. When the spell resolves, it enters the battlefield with the same characteristics the spell had. The morph effect applies to the face-down object wherever it is, and it ends when the permanent is turned face up.

702.35c You can't cast a card face down if it doesn't have morph.

702.35d If you have priority, you may turn a face-down permanent you control face up. This is a special action; it doesn't use the stack (see rule 115). To do this, show all players what the permanent's morph cost would be if it were face up, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up. (If the permanent wouldn't have a morph cost if it were face up, it can't be turned face up this way.) The morph effect on it ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don't trigger when it's turned face up and don't have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.

702.35e See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents," for more information on how to cast cards with morph.



707. Face-Down Spells and Permanents
Quote :
707.1. Two cards (Illusionary Mask and Ixidron) and the morph ability (see rule 702.35) allow spells and permanents to be face down.

707.2. Face-down spells and face-down permanents have no characteristics other than those listed by the ability or rules that allowed the spell or permanent to be face down. Any listed characteristics are the copiable values of that object's characteristics. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects," and rule 706, "Copying Objects.")

707.2a If a face-up permanent is turned face down by a spell or ability, it becomes a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. These values are the copiable values of that object's characteristics.

707.3. Objects that are put onto the battlefield face down are turned face down before they enter the battlefield, so the permanent's enters-the-battlefield abilities won't trigger (if triggered) or have any effect (if static).

707.4. Objects that are cast face down are turned face down before they are put onto the stack, so effects that care about the characteristics of a spell will see only the face-down spell's characteristics. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting an object with these characteristics (and not the face-up object's characteristics) are applied to casting this object.

707.5. At any time, you may look at a face-down spell you control on the stack or a face-down permanent you control (even if it's phased out). You can't look at face-down cards in any other zone or face-down spells or permanents controlled by another player.

707.6. If you control multiple face-down spells or face-down permanents, you must ensure at all times that your face-down spells and permanents can be easily differentiated from each other. This includes, but is not limited to, knowing the order spells were cast, the order that face-down permanents entered the battlefield, which creature attacked last turn, and any other differences between face-down spells or permanents. Common methods for distinguishing between face-down objects include using counters or dice to mark the different objects, or clearly placing those objects in order on the table.

707.7. The ability or rules that allow a permanent to be face down may also allow the permanent's controller to turn it face up. Spells normally can't be turned face up.

707.8. As a face-down permanent is turned face up, its copiable values revert to its normal copiable values. Any effects that have been applied to the face-down permanent still apply to the face-up permanent. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don't trigger and don't have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.

707.9. If a face-down permanent moves from the battlefield to any other zone, its owner must reveal it to all players as he or she moves it. If a face-down spell moves from the stack to any zone other than the battlefield, its owner must reveal it to all players as he or she moves it. At the end of each game, all face-down permanents and spells must be revealed to all players.

707.10. If a face-down permanent becomes a copy of another permanent, its copiable values become the copiable values of that permanent, as modified by its face-down status. Its characteristics therefore remain the same: the characteristics listed by the ability or rules that allowed it to be turned face down. However, if it is turned face up, its copiable values become the values it copied from the other permanent. See rule 706.3.

707.11. If a face-down permanent would have an "As [this permanent] is turned face up . . ." ability after it's turned face up, that ability is applied while that permanent is being turned face up, not afterward.



709. Flip Cards
Quote :
709.1. Flip cards have a two-part card frame on a single card. The text that appears right side up on the card defines the card's normal characteristics. Additional alternative characteristics appear upside down on the card. The back of a flip card is the normal _Magic_ card back.

709.1a The top half of a flip card contains the card's normal name, text box, type line, power, and toughness. The text box usually contains an ability that causes the permanent to "flip" if certain conditions are met.

709.1b The bottom half of a flip card contains an alternative name, text box, type line, power, and toughness. These characteristics are used only if the permanent is on the battlefield and only if the permanent is flipped.

709.1c A flip card's color, mana cost, expansion symbol, illustration credit, and legal text don't change if the permanent is flipped. Also, any changes to it by external effects will still apply.

709.2. In every zone other than the battlefield, and also on the battlefield before the permanent flips, a flip card has only the normal characteristics of the card. Once a permanent is flipped, its normal name, text box, type line, power, and toughness don't apply and the alternative versions of those characteristics apply instead.
Example: Akki Lavarunner is a nonlegendary creature that flips into a legendary creature named Tok-Tok, Volcano Born. An effect that says "search your library for a legendary card" can't find this flip card. An effect that says "legendary creatures get +2/+2" doesn't affect Akki Lavarunner, but it does affect Tok-Tok.

709.3. You must ensure that it's clear at all times whether a permanent you control is flipped or not, both when it's untapped and when it's tapped. Common methods for distinguishing between flipped and unflipped permanents include using coins or dice to mark flipped objects.

709.4. Flipping a permanent is a one-way process. Once a permanent is flipped, it's impossible for it to become unflipped. However, if a flipped permanent leaves the battlefield, it retains no memory of its status. See rule 110.6.

709.5. If an effect instructs a player to name a card and the player wants to name a flip card's alternative name, the player may do so.

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PostSubject: Re: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:08 am

So much text...good for quick reference though.

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PostSubject: Re: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:56 pm

Indeed. When I first thought about writing it I thought there'd be more examples, but the examples pretty much covered the jist of things.

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PostSubject: Re: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:03 pm

If you take a look at the Wizards of the Coast articles on the Magicthegathering.com website you can find additional Transform examples and rules information.

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PostSubject: Re: Morph cards, Flip cards, and Transform cards   Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:07 pm

Ooo, I'll be sure to go and check that out a little bit later.

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