## [GTC spoiler] countering a spell and CMC for X

13 posts / 0 new
a card spoiled on wizard's site is as follows:
===
Mystic Genesis 2GUU
Instant
Counter target spell. Put an X/X green Ooze creature token onto the battlefield, where X is that spell's converted mana cost.
===

suppose i play an spell with X in it, such as Blaze, and my opponent counters it with Mystic Genesis. does how much mana i paid for X count towards the converted mana cost, or does it not?

i'm confused becuase i remember reading that X on a card is always zero, unless that card is a spell on the stack. but in this case, the Blaze i had cast is first countered, and so is no longer on the stack.
Although X is considered 0 once the card is removed from the stack, the card also technically isn't a spell when it isn't on the stack.  Much like Draining Whelk, Mystic Genesis will take X as its value on the stack, since that is how the CMC of a spell is determined.

I believe that if Mystic Genesis said "that card's converted mana cost," then it would track the CMC as it changes zones (compare to the power/toughness reference on Duplicant; if you imprint a big Primordial Hydra, your Duplicant will still be 0/0).  Of course, that wording would not make much sense, since a spell on the stack is not necessarily a card (i.e., it could be a copy).

You clearly already know this rule, but just for the benefit of any others who find this:
202.3b When calculating the converted mana cost of an object with an {X} in its mana cost, X is
treated as 0 while the object is not on the stack, and X is treated as the number chosen for it
while the object is on the stack.

Mystic Genesis used LKI to find the converted mana cost, since, as mentioned above, it only looks for the CMC of a spell, not of the card that spell became in the graveyard.

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ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
I believe that if Mystic Genesis said "that card's converted mana cost," then it would track the CMC as it changes zones

No, the answer would be the same. No matter what you call it, the targetted object on the stack ceased to exist, and a new unrelated object is created in the graveyard. Since the targetted object doesn't exist anymore, Last Known Information is used. The object was a spell on the stack, and its X was defined.
ignore what's in the spoiler tag -- ikegami typed a response while i was typing this one!

Show

i was wondering if Last Known Information is used, but i had only heard rules mentioning Last Known Information relating to permanents on the battlefield. are there rules explicitly stating that if an effect asks for characteristics of a spell on the stack that is no longer there, then it uses last known information?

but it DOES seem clear that last known information IS being used, and i want to have this confirmed. i'm thinking that it IS being used, otherwise the sentence "Put an X/X green Ooze creature token onto the battlefield, where X is that spell's converted mana cost." doesn't make sense, because there IS no longer any spell once you get to this instruction! so is it correct to say that last known information definitely is being used here?

so this is the first time i've seen Last Known Information talked about in relation to anything other than permanents on the battlefield.
so is it true that when the game wants to know characteristics of something that no longer exists, it always uses Last Known Information? is there a comp rule that could clarify this to me?
The closest rule I can find is this.
608.2g If an effect requires information from the game (such as the number of creatures on the
battlefield), the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied. If the effect requires
information from a specific object, including the source of the ability itself or a target that’s
become illegal, the effect uses the current information of that object if it’s in the public zone it
was expected to be in; if it’s no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public
zone to a hidden zone, the effect uses the object’s last known information. See rule 112.7a. If an
ability states that an object does something, it’s the object as it exists—or as it most recently
existed—that does it, not the ability.

I also looked for a ruling on Draining Whelk's gatherer page, but there was nothing.  The application of the rule above to spells that get countered is not completely explicit, but I'd say it's implicit.
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
but I'd say it's implicit.

The effect requires information from a specific object, and the object is no longer in that zone it's expected to be in, so LKI is used. The case being discussed is covered explicitly.

thanks for searching Connectionist.

at the risk of drifting this thread a bit, Connectionist's quote, compared to something ikegami said, makes me confused.

the quote talks of objects /moving/ zones:
==
if [the object is] no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public
zone to a hidden zone,
==

but ikegami seemed to imply that when a spell is countered, then the following two objects:
- the spell (and the card representing that spell?),
- and the card that ends up in the graveyard
are two unrelated objects. ie the card is not an object that "moved zones" from the stack to the graveyard.

can someone clarify for me what ikegami was talking about earlier? when is it the case that a card is an object that moves zones, and when is it the case that a card is considered to be a brand new object (as in the case of when a card on the stack gets countered)?
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
Yes, it's self-contradictory, but objects changing zones become new objects.

At times, the rules treat the object before the move and the object after the move as one object that moved.

At times, the rules treat the object before the move and the object after the move as two different objects.

It's usually based on point-of-view. Something that's able to track the object across zones sees it as a move. Something that isn't sees two objects. So the same move could be considered a move or a cease to exist depending on what's checking.

400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:

Mystic Genesis does not "track the object", so as far as Mystic Genesis cares, the object ceased to exist.

lol, that sounds so confusing! "an object changing zones" sounds like the object is the same object that stays intact as it changes zones, but you're saying really sometimes the rules treats it like that, and sometimes the rules treat it as two different objects.

i will look at rule 400.7 (and its surrounding rules) when i am more awake and am in the mood for some investigative sleuthing :-)

thanks for all your answers, everyone. it's fun to dig into the inner-workings of the MtG rules machine like this :-)

---

edit: oh, your own edit, ikegami, gives me more of a clue of which perspective (of the two) the rules will use :-)

i am going to sleep now, but i am curious if anyone wants to suggest:

what examples can you give of cards that "track the object"? (the skullbriar, the walking grave is the only obvious one i can think of (and i only am reminded of that because of what ikegami wrote but then editted out ) )
I believe cards like Sylvan Library and spells with Miracle could be said to track cards that move from your library to your hand.  Also, cards with linked abilities like Imprint or the ones on Moonring Mirror track cards that get exiled.  I'm sure there are many other examples, but those are the ones that come to me immediately.
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
what examples can you give of cards that "track the object"?

See the exceptions of 400.7. For example, 400.7d allows Undying to track a creature that dies in order to bring it back to the battlefield.

2goth4U
Joined Dec 1969
does how much mana i paid for X count towards the converted mana cost, or does it not?

it does not

it depends wholly on the value you chose for X

so if you chose X equal 6, then the Blaze spell has a CMC of 7 and the ooze token will be a 7/7

it has absolutely nothing to do with how much mana you paid for the spell

If you cast the Blaze with X=8 and had four Semblance Anvils with sorceries linked, you'd only pay , but X would still be 8 and the Blaze spell's CMC would still be 9 on the stack

likewise if you cast Blaze with X=1 and an untapped Trinisphere is on the field, you'd have paid , but X is still 1 and the CMC is still 2

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