Shapeshifter powers -- ACTIVATE!

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So, my buddy Unpleasant Edgar insists that I can't use my Giant Harbinger to search through my deck for, say, a Firebelly Changeling, or any other Changeling. Further, he insists that if I draw a Changeling card the hard way and want to put it out, my Stinkdrinker Daredevil won't take 2 colorless off the casting cost, and neither will any of my Bannerets drop the cost by 1 colorless.

He insists that not only is this true, but I can't use a Harbinger card to search for a Shapeshifter spell, either, like Wings of Velis Vel. He says this is all because the card type 'shapeshifter' means nothing; it is the creature power 'changeling' that causes Shapeshifter cards to have every creature type on them, and that powers are not in effect until cards enter play. Therefore, a Shapeshifter spell is not every creature type while it is in the library, in the graveyard, or removed from the game.

This makes sense to me as I understand the rules, but seems to largely eviscerate Shapeshifters as either a stand alone tribe or as adequate fill ins for other creature types in, say, a Merfolk or Giants deck. I mean, if I can't use a Harbinger to go searching for a Shapeshifter in, say, a Treefolk deck, or if my Bosk Banneret doesn't let me get a Shapeshifter card out for 1 less colorless, it's hardly worth sticking Shapeshifters in any tribal deck, and it just seems silly to make a tribal deck of all Shapeshifters, as they get pretty much exactly none of the advantages of any of the other Lorwyn tribes.

I'm hoping, therefore, that WOTC has made some special exception or individual ruling as regards Shapeshifters that allows them to actually BE what they are supposed to be (all creatures at all times) in all functional ways, not just after they come into play.

So that's one question -- can I use a Harbinger or a Banneret card in combination with a Shapeshifter/Changeling? Or do those things not effect the Changeling power?

Also, on a related subject, if I get out an Evil Eye of Urborg, can my Shapeshifters with Changeling powers still attack? They would, after all, be Eye creatures, as well as every other sort, right?

Thanks, as always, for any and all help as regards these inquiries.
502.73. Changeling

502.73a Changeling is a characteristic-defining ability. "Changeling" means "This object is every creature type." This ability works in all zones. See rule 405.2.

502.73b Multiple instances of changeling on the same object are redundant.

There ya go, show him that!
I'm just a Pigment of your imagination.
So, my buddy Unpleasant Edgar insists that I can't use my Giant Harbinger to search through my deck for, say, a Firebelly Changeling, or any other Changeling. Further, he insists that if I draw a Changeling card the hard way and want to put it out, my Stinkdrinker Daredevil won't take 2 colorless off the casting cost, and neither will any of my Bannerets drop the cost by 1 colorless.

He insists that not only is this true, but I can't use a Harbinger card to search for a Shapeshifter spell, either, like Wings of Velis Vel. He says this is all because the card type 'shapeshifter' means nothing; it is the creature power 'changeling' that causes Shapeshifter cards to have every creature type on them, and that powers are not in effect until cards enter play. Therefore, a Shapeshifter spell is not every creature type while it is in the library, in the graveyard, or removed from the game.

This makes sense to me as I understand the rules, but seems to largely eviscerate Shapeshifters as either a stand alone tribe or as adequate fill ins for other creature types in, say, a Merfolk or Giants deck. I mean, if I can't use a Harbinger to go searching for a Shapeshifter in, say, a Treefolk deck, or if my Bosk Banneret doesn't let me get a Shapeshifter card out for 1 less colorless, it's hardly worth sticking Shapeshifters in any tribal deck, and it just seems silly to make a tribal deck of all Shapeshifters, as they get pretty much exactly none of the advantages of any of the other Lorwyn tribes.

I'm hoping, therefore, that WOTC has made some special exception or individual ruling as regards Shapeshifters that allows them to actually BE what they are supposed to be (all creatures at all times) in all functional ways, not just after they come into play.

So that's one question -- can I use a Harbinger or a Banneret card in combination with a Shapeshifter/Changeling? Or do those things not effect the Changeling power?

Also, on a related subject, if I get out an Evil Eye of Urborg, can my Shapeshifters with Changeling powers still attack? They would, after all, be Eye creatures, as well as every other sort, right?

Thanks, as always, for any and all help as regards these inquiries.

You're right and your friend is wrong. When Changeling says "this is all creature types at all times" it means "this is all creature types at all times". It's a changeling in your library, in your hand, in your graveyard, in play, in the process of being played, in the removed from game zone, all times and all places. The situations you describe, with harbingers and bannerets, are exactly the reason Changelings are designed the way they are. Treat a creature with Changeling (or a Tribal card like Nameless Inversion or Crib Swap, for that matter) exactly as if it had all 200+ creature types written on its type line.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
Hurray! And the Evil Eye question?
"Eye" is a creature type, which means your Changelings are also Eyes. Therefore they aren't affected by the Evil Eye's "non-Eye creatures" effect. (The same thing happens with Eyeblight's Ending because changelings aren't non-Elves)
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
Thanks, Fallingman and Ahlyis. You're, like, deities, or something.

Something cool. ;)