Layer 1 effects and 305.7

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Do copy effects constitute a modification of an object's text?

What would you expect the result of this interaction to be?

Evolving Wilds
Wind Zendikon
Mirrorweave
Blood Moon
Leyline of Anticipation

Player A has an Evolving Wilds enchanted with Wind Zendikon.
Player A then casts Mirrorweave at Evolving Wilds and it resolves applying a copy effect to all other creatures on the field, effectively changing them into unanimated Evolving Wilds.

Player B has Leyline of Anticipation and on the same turn after Mirrorweave has resolved, he casts Blood Moon.

Once Blood Moon resolves and drops on the field, do the creatures that became copies of Evolving Wild retain the ability to tap and sac to search up a basic land, why or why not?

Before you answer, consider the following rule.
305.7. If an effect sets a land’s subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text and its old land types, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. Note that this doesn’t remove any abilities that were granted to the land by other effects. Setting a land’s subtype doesn’t add or remove any card types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic, legendary, and snow) the land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types and mana abilities.

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Yes.

706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object's 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, expansion symbol, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by "as . . . enters the battlefield" and "as . . . is turned face up" abilities that set characteristics, and by abilities that caused the object to be face down. Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

Do copy effects constitute a modification of an object's text?

Yes. Copy effects copy all characteristics, including rules text.
706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object's characteristics [...]

109.3. An object's characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn't a characteristic. For example, characteristics don't include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell's target, an object's owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

Once Blood Moon resolves and drops on the field, do the creatures that became copies of Evolving Wild retain the ability to tap and sac to search up a basic land, why or why not?

They do not. As mantioned in 305.7, it loses "all abilities generated from its rules text", and since they now have the rules text that they copied from evolving wilds, they lose the ability to sac and search for a basic land.
So the fact that an effect caused the former creatures to indirectly gain the activated ability is not relevant to the interaction.

Thespian's Stage

Player A activates its copy ability and has it copy itself.

Player B flashes in Blood Moon.

Does Thespian's Stage still have the copy ability, yes or no?

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It does. The "gains this ability" grants an ability (as layer 1 effect), not rules text.
Copy effects change rules text. For example, if you Clone a White Knight, you can use Mind Bend on Clone, so it has protection from green.
Does Thespian's Stage still have the copy ability, yes or no?

I disagree with Adeyke. It loses all abilities in layer 4. It gets to keep only abilities that are added later in layer 6.
I suppose the question is this: if a copy effect does more than just copy, are those modifications part of the card's text? I would say no. Abilities, types, etc. are derived from what's printed on the card, but the process isn't reversible. If you copy something and add an ability, that ability doesn't become part of the rules text, so the process of setting it to a basic land type won't touch it.

There are also other implications to that question. For example, if you have Phantasmal Image enter the battlefield as an Illusion copy of Runeclaw Bear, would it be possible to Artificial Evolution that permanent to make it a Brushwagg instead of an Illusion? Layerwise, this wouldn't be a problem. However, if I'm right in thinking that the text on the type line is still considered to be just "Creature — Bear", this wouldn't be possible.
This is an undecided matter at the moment.

Note that the ability is acquired in layer 1, as part of the copy effect (so that other objects copying this one would also have the ability), not in layer 6.

Logically, then, the ability should be lost in layer 4 when the land's type is changed, however 305.7 says…


305.7 . If an effect sets a land’s subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text and its old land types, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. (…)


where the “from its rules text” would exclude the ability gained in layer 1. This is contrary to the general philosophy of layers, where effects in each layer override effects in previous layers.

So the current answer is “it has the ability” but the answer should probably be “it doesn't have it.”

Daniel Kitachewsky
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Rules NetRep

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DJ Vortex

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What would be the issue with just changing 305.7 to say "It loses all abilities"? Since abilities granted by other effects don't show up until layer 6, they wouldn't be affected.
Rules Advisor
I think the wording is just imprecise, and it should be changed so it specifically states what it is trying to do.

305.7. If an effect sets a land's subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. These parts of the effect are applied at the same time in layer 4. Note that this doesn't remove any abilities granted to the land by other effects in layer 6.
I think this is the problem:


305.7. If an effect sets a land’s subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text and its old land types, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. Note that this doesn’t remove any abilities that were granted to the land by other effects. Setting a land’s subtype doesn’t add or remove any card types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic, legendary, and snow) the land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types and mana abilities.




The juxtaposition of those two sentences is very, very confusing. What if part of its rules text was granted by another effect, such as a copy effect? The sentences almost sound contradictory - either the land that has a new subtype set loses abilities, or it doesn't - there shouldn't be an in-between or "grey area" of any kind.

At the very least, this rule should have some examples attached to it, one with a very simple situation (e.g. a nonbasic being affected by Blood Moon), and another where an ability is not removed because it was granted by another effect.
The rule reads fine to me.  The way its worded it removes all abilities in layer 4 when it changes a land to a basic land type;however, any modifications to abilities that occur will happen in later 6, which means those will remain.

Example: Evolving Wild + Blood Moon + Joiner Adept.

Evolving Wilds loses all its abilities (the fetch ability) and becomes a mountain in Layer 4
But subsequently in later 6 it is granted an ability by Joiner Adept.
I think the wording is just imprecise, and it should be changed so it specifically states what it is trying to do.

305.7. If an effect sets a land's subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. These parts of the effect are applied at the same time in layer 4. Note that this doesn't remove any abilities granted to the land by other effects in layer 6.


As the layer system is one of the least understood parts of the rules, it's possible that WotC wants to avoid having to many other rules that require you to know how the layer system works.  Maybe something like:

305.7. If an effect sets a land's subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type and loses all abilities generated from its rules text, as well as all abilities generated by copy effects or text changing effects.
Is it possible at this point to do what was done with the Wall and Legend subtypes? Could the basic land types be separated from their inherent mana abilities? After all, Sea's Claim says the enchanted land is an Island, when what it really means is that the enchanted land is an Island.
Rules Advisor
I don't think we need to remove the association with the mana ability, but it would be nice to remove the fact that turning something into an Island magically removes all its other abilities.
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Is it possible at this point to do what was done with the Wall and Legend subtypes? Could the basic land types be separated from their inherent mana abilities? After all, Sea's Claim says the enchanted land is an Island, when what it really means is that the enchanted land is an Island.

I do not think it is possible to remove the ability from the land type. Lots of cards like Realmwright depend on the ability being inherent to the type, and there is not another reasonable wording for those effects.

I do think that rule 305.7 should be removed and that cards like Sea's Claim should spell out the effect. I wrote about it here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29395531/Setting_a_basic_land_type.