## cytoshaping a token

37 posts / 0 new
suppose i have a 1/1 red Goblin creature token and a Grizzly Bears. i then cast Cytoshape to turn my Grizzly Bears into the token. does my Grizzly Bears-now-Goblin have a mana cost whose value is ?

i'm thinking this because the Goblin token has no mana cost, and so there is no mana cost value to copy over..?
Joined Dec 1969
The lack of mana cost gets copied over. Your Bears will have no mana cost (and a CMC of 0).
rezzahan
Joined Dec 1969
Your Bears become an exact copy of your goblin token. Which means, it also has no mana cost, since the Bears now only have the copiable values of the token and no other characteristics.
how can you get to your conclusion from the comp rules?

===
706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object's characteristics [....]. 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, expansion symbol, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), [....]
===

if i take a look at this rule, it sounds like my conclusion is what happens? this rule only talks about the copy acquiring the copiable values of the original object's characteristics... not acquiring the original's lack of having particular characteristics?
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
this rule only talks about the copy acquiring the copiable values of the original object's characteristics...

Yes, and it specifically list mana cost as one of those copyable characteristics. The token's mana cost (none) gets copied.

but the token has no mana cost, so how can the value of a non-existent mana cost get copied?
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
The value must be aquired, so what value do you suggest should be aquired?

There's only one possible interpretation: That no mana cost is its mana cost.
wh...

are you saying my token has no mana cost characteristic, but the value of its mana cost is "none"??

this totally does not make sense to me.

it's like if there are three cups in a row on the table (the last of which is empty), and some asks "what's in the cups?" and i answer "in the first cup is milk, the second cup is tea, the third cup is nothing, and the fourth cup is nothing". there is no fourth cup, so how can you talk of what's in it?

do you see where my confusion is? it doesn't seem to make sense with how we understand things in English, and the comp rules don't make it clear that there is some weird logic where you say that a non-existant characteristic still has a value..?
The value must be aquired, so what value do you suggest should be aquired?

There's only one possible interpretation: That no mana cost is its mana cost.

i think this is where i'm disagreeing with you -- to me, the value does not have to be aquired: you simply don't copy values that don't exist.

edit:

now, if an effect specifically asks for what the value of a token's mana cost is, it make sense to me to say "the token has no mana cost, so it's value is undefined", and if the effect demands a converted mana cost, you would say "the CMC of a mana cost whose value is undefined is zero, because that's how we're defining CMC".

but when copying an object:
==
When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object's characteristics
==
i'm reading this rule as saying "okay, look at all the copiable values of the original object's characteristics", and so it looks at all the characteristics that actually exist. the rule DOESN'T say "we have to acquire a value for /all/ characteristics".
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
wh...are you saying my token has no mana cost characteristic, but the value of its mana cost is "none"??

No, the value of its mana cost is "unpayable", actually.

did you edit something out? i thought /you/ wrote something like "the value of its mana cost is none. in Magic, "none" is a perfectly acceptable value"?

i oughta use the quote feature more often

edit:

you wrote
The token's mana cost (none) gets copied.

isn't sayinig "the token's mana cost (none)" the same as saying "The value of the token's mana cost is none"?
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
Perhaps, but I don't think anyone would use those words.
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
i'm reading this rule as saying "okay, look at all the copiable values of the original object's characteristics", and so it looks at all the characteristics that actually exist. the rule DOESN'T say "we have to acquire a value for /all/ characteristics".

More importantly, it doesn't say /some/.

the reasons i'm using such weird language ("The value of the token's mana cost is none") is because i want to use language used in the same way that it's used in the comp rules (or at least how i /think/ it's being used).

that is, i want to make explicit my understanding of what the comp rules is saying. perhaps it's appropriate for me to make it clear what i think the comp rules is saying:

- that an object can have various characteristics. "mana cost" is one of these characteristics. "type" is another". "name" is another.
- not all objects have to have all the various possible characteristics.
- the Goblin token has the characterstic "type", for example, and "colour", and "name", but not "mana cost".

- each characteristic an object has has a value. for example, Grizzly Bear's has a "type" characteristic, whose value is "Creature".

so this is my understanding of what the comp rule is saying. it follows from this that it only make sense to find values of characteristics that actually exist. therefore, i can't see how the value of a token's (non-existent) mana cost characteristic could be copied to my Grizzly Bears.
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
How can it aquire a mana cost of 1G from a token with no mana cost?
How can it aquire a mana cost of 1G from a token with no mana cost?

i'm saying that my Grizzly Bears acquires /no/ mana cost value from a token with no mana cost, so its present mana cost value stays unchanged.

ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
Let's go back to the question. The answer is: The copy will have no mana cost.

The wording of the rules could be clearer, sure, but the copy will have no mana cost nonetheless.
out of curiousity, do you come to the same understanding as i am (ie that an object can have various characteristics, each of which has a value if that characteristic exist)? or do you understand the words "characteristic" and "value" to mean differently?

i'm reading this rule as saying "okay, look at all the copiable values of the original object's characteristics", and so it looks at all the characteristics that actually exist. the rule DOESN'T say "we have to acquire a value for /all/ characteristics".

More importantly, it doesn't say /some/.

hm, let me look at the rule again..
===
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, expansion symbol, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty),
===

the way i'm reading this, what's in the brackets ("that text being name, mana cost, ....") is just clarifying what it means when it says "text printed", so you know what you're supposed to look at to find the "values derived" from that "text". i'm reading this to mean that when you derive values from that text, that if that text has no mana cost is included in it, then the resulting values you derive from that text won't include a mana cost value; not that you're expected to derive a mana cost value from the text.

Let's go back to the question. The answer is: The copy will have no mana cost.

The wording of the rules could be clearer, sure, but the copy will have no mana cost nonetheless.

okay, i will believe you all that this is the correct answer to the question.
what i'm arguing about now is how you could arrive to this correct answer from the comp rules; i'm saying that from what i understand the comp rules to be saying, that the comp rules lead us to believe something /other/ than the correct answer happens.

should i make a thread in the RT&T forum to discuss this, or is it okay to discuss this here?
ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
out of curiousity, do you come to the same understanding as i am (ie that an object can have various characteristics, each of which has a value if that characteristic exist)? or do you understand the words "characteristic" and "value" to mean differently?

I work with lack-of-value-as-a-value all the time when I program. I have no problems saying "It has no value. It's value is undef."

ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
RT&T's better, I think.
out of curiousity, do you come to the same understanding as i am (ie that an object can have various characteristics, each of which has a value if that characteristic exist)? or do you understand the words "characteristic" and "value" to mean differently?

I work with undefined value all the time when I program. I have no problems saying "It has no value. It's value is undefined."

cool, i'm comfortable with programming analogies :-)

so suppose (in a programming language) if i'm copying the values of object A to object B. object A has no "name" field, but object B does. suppose this programming language allows to do this copy (ie where the objects have different fields).

the behaviour i'd expect, then, is that doing this copy would not erase B from having a "name" field at all, nor would it set the name field of B to "no value" or "undefined", but that it would just leave the value of B's name field alone.
Joined Dec 1969
Let's go back to the question. The answer is: The copy will have no mana cost.

The wording of the rules could be clearer, sure, but the copy will have no mana cost nonetheless.

This. There's no doubt that the Bears will have no mana cost. The rules question has been answered. If you want to discuss whether the rules make the sufficiently clear, that's a RT&T topic.

Note that this "problem" isn't limited to mana cost. If it failed to copy the lack of mana cost, it would also fail to copy the lack of any other characteristics. So using Cytoshape to turn an Eager Cadet into a face-down creature would only change the P/T to 2/2. That's clearly not how it actually works.
RT&T's better, I think.

'k

for now i'm cramming Macbeth so i can understand the play i'm going to watch later today :-)

thanks for the discussion up to this point, though.
cool, i'm comfortable with programming analogies :-)

so suppose (in a programming language) if i'm copying the values of object A to object B. object A has no "name" field, but object B does. suppose this programming language allows to do this copy (ie where the objects have different fields).

the behaviour i'd expect, then, is that doing this copy would not erase B from having a "name" field at all, nor would it set the name field of B to "no value" or "undefined", but that it would just leave the value of B's name field alone.

object.card.grizzlyBears={
name:'Grizzly Bears',
mana cost:'1G',
color indicator:'',
card type:'Creature',
subtype:'Bear',
supertype:'',
expansion symbol:'Tenth Edition',
rules text:'We cannot forget that among all of Dominaria\'s wonders, a system of life exists, with prey and predators that will never fight wars nor vie for ancient power."\n—Jolrael, empress of beasts',
power:'2',
toughness:'2',
loyalty:''
}

object.token.goblin={
name:'Goblin',
mana cost:'',
color indicator:'',
card type:'Creature',
subtype:'Goblin',
supertype:'',
expansion symbol:'',
rules text:'',
power:'1',
toughness:'1',
loyalty:''
}

Just because the fields are empty doesn't mean they don't exist.

Strange, though, that color is absent from 706.2.
It's implied that color should be copied, since color is usually defined by mana cost or color indicator.
But in the case of tokens, color is defined by the effect that creates the token; which means that if you take 706.2 literally, you cannot copy a token's color.

That might be worth taking up in RT&T.
===
110.5b [....] A token doesn't have any characteristics not defined by the spell or ability that created it.

Example: Jade Mage has the ability "{2}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield." The resulting token has no mana cost, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, or abilities.
===

if my understanding of "characterstic", and "value of characterstic" is correct, then a token without a mana cost /doesn't have that characteristic/, not just that its value is empty or undefined.

the goblin token doesn't have a mana cost, so the the object.token.goblin object in the analogy doesn't have a mana cost field. (at least, if my understanding is correct)

(on a minor tangent: is flavour text actually considered to be within rules text?? i thought it was like the illustration -- ie it has no representation within the actual rules of the game?)

on another note, interesting point you bring up about a token's colour.
flavor text, like all text in italic, has no rules meaning outside of Unland
proud member of the 2011 community team
Astarael7
Joined Oct 2009
1772 Posts
if my understanding of "characterstic", and "value of characterstic" is correct, then a token without a mana cost /doesn't have that characteristic/, not just that its value is empty or undefined.

the goblin token doesn't have a mana cost, so the the object.token.goblin object in the analogy doesn't have a mana cost field. (at least, if my understanding is correct)

I think the source of your misunderstanding is that you're abstracting it too much. Cytoshape doesn't care about why the original object doesn't have a mana cost. All it cares about is whether the object has a mana cost (and if it does, what that cost is).

An object with a blank mana cost obviously just doesn't have a mana cost.

An object which lacks a mana cost (which is my understanding of what you mean by "doesn't have a mana cost field") still doesn't have a mana cost.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

rezzahan
Joined Dec 1969
A question to ponder:

Why would Sakashima the Impostor need to specify, that he keeps his legendary supertype when copying an object, if he wouldn't lose it anyway?
Zoidberg
Joined Dec 1969
A question to ponder:

Why would Sakashima the Impostor need to specify, that he keeps his legendary supertype when copying an object, if he wouldn't lose it anyway?

Because he WOULD lose it.

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

rezzahan
Joined Dec 1969
A question to ponder:

Why would Sakashima the Impostor need to specify, that he keeps his legendary supertype when copying an object, if he wouldn't lose it anyway?

Because he WOULD lose it.

Exactly
Zoidberg
Joined Dec 1969
A question to ponder:

Why would Sakashima the Impostor need to specify, that he keeps his legendary supertype when copying an object, if he wouldn't lose it anyway?

Because he WOULD lose it.

Exactly

I'm sorry, I must have missed something. It was a sarcastic question directed to some quote I did not read? :P

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

rezzahan
Joined Dec 1969
No, nothing sarcastic. It was directed at the OP, who was rather adamant, that characteristics that the copied object doesn't have, cannot overwrite that characteristic of the copy if it had it before.
Zoidberg
Joined Dec 1969
No, nothing sarcastic. It was directed at the OP, who was rather adamant, that characteristics that the copied object doesn't have, cannot overwrite that characteristic of the copy if it had it before.

Well, I meant ironic answer (towards the part you quoted) and I was right.

All is fine.

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

ikegami
Joined Dec 1969
His question was rhetorical (not sarcastic or ironic).
Zoidberg
Joined Dec 1969
His question was rhetorical (not sarcastic or ironic).

Mmh, it seems to suit it more, yes. :D

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

His question was rhetorical (not sarcastic or ironic).

Mmh, it seems to suit it more, yes. :D

They aren't mutually exclusive...
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011