CR 706. Copying Objects

  • 706.1 Some objects become or turn another object into a “copy” of a spell, permanent, or card. Some effects create a token that’s a copy of another object. (Certain older cards were printed with the phrase “search for a copy.” This section doesn’t cover those cards, which have received new text in the Oracle card reference.)
  • 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, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by its face-down status, and by “as . . . enters the battlefield” and “as . . . is turned face up” abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics). Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.
    • 706.2a A copy acquires the color of the object it’s copying because that value is derived from its mana cost or color indicator. A copy acquires the abilities of the object it’s copying because those values are derived from its rules text. A copy doesn’t wind up with two values of each ability (that is, it doesn’t copy the object’s abilities and its rules text, then have that rules text define a new set of abilities).
    • 706.2b Once an object has been copied, changing the copiable values of the original object won’t cause the copy to change,
    • 706.2c If a static ability generates a continuous effect that’s a copy effect, the copiable values that effect grants are determined only at the time that effect first starts to apply.
  • 706.3 The copy’s copiable values become the copied information, as modified by the copy’s status (see rule 110.6). Objects that copy the object will use the new copiable values.
  • 706.4 Some effects cause a permanent that’s copying a permanent to copy a different object while remaining on the battlefield. The change doesn’t trigger enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the-battlefield abilities. This also doesn’t change any noncopy effects presently affecting the permanent.
  • 706.5 An object that enters the battlefield “as a copy” or “that’s a copy” of another object becomes a copy as it enters the battlefield. It doesn’t enter the battlefield, and then become a copy of that permanent. If the text that’s being copied includes any abilities that replace the enters-the-battlefield event (such as “enters the battlefield with” or “as [this] enters the battlefield” abilities), those abilities will take effect. Also, any enters-the-battlefield triggered abilities of the copy will have a chance to trigger.
  • 706.6 When copying a permanent, any choices that have been made for that permanent aren’t copied. Instead, if an object enters the battlefield as a copy of another permanent, the object’s controller will get to make any “as [this] enters the battlefield” choices for it.
  • 706.7 If a pair of linked abilities are copied, those abilities will be similarly linked to one another on the object that copied them. One ability refers only to actions that were taken or objects that were affected by the other. They can’t be linked to any other ability, regardless of what other abilities the copy may currently have or may have had in the past. See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”
    • 706.7a If an ability causes a player to “choose a [value]” and a second, linked ability refers to that choice, the second ability is the only ability that can refer to that choice. An object doesn’t “remember” that choice and use it for other abilities it may copy later. If an object copies an ability that refers to a choice, but either (a) doesn’t copy that ability’s linked ability or (b) does copy the linked ability but no choice is made for it, then the choice is considered to be “undefined.” If an ability refers to an undefined choice, that part of the ability won’t do anything.
  • 706.8 When copying a double-faced permanent, a face-up meld card, or a melded permanent, only the copiable values of the face that’s currently up are copied. (See rule 711, “Double-Faced Cards.” and rule 712, “Meld Cards.”)
  • 706.9 Copy effects may include modifications or exceptions to the copying process.
    • 706.9a Some copy effects cause the copy to gain an ability as part of the copying process. This ability becomes part of the copiable values for the copy, along with any other abilities that were copied.
    • 706.9b Some copy effects specifically state that they don’t copy certain characteristics and instead retain their original values. They may also simply state that certain characteristics are not copied.
    • 706.9c Some copy effects modify a characteristic as part of the copying process. The final value(s) for that characteristic becomes part of the copiable values for the copy.
    • 706.9d When applying a copy effect that doesn’t copy a certain characteristic, retains an original value for a certain characteristic, or modifies the final value of a certain characteristic, any characteristic-defining ability (see rule 604.3) of the object being copied that defines that characteristic is not copied. If that characteristic is color, any color indicator (see rule 204) of that object is also not copied.
  • 706.10 To copy a spell, activated ability, or triggered ability means to put a copy of it onto the stack; a copy of a spell isn’t cast and a copy of an activated ability isn’t activated. A copy of a spell or ability copies both the characteristics of the spell or ability and all decisions made for it, including modes, targets, the value of X, and additional or alternative costs. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”) Choices that are normally made on resolution are not copied. If an effect of the copy refers to objects used to pay its costs, it uses the objects used to pay the costs of the original spell or ability. A copy of a spell is owned by the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A copy of a spell or ability is controlled by the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A copy of a spell is itself a spell, even though it has no spell card associated with it. A copy of an ability is itself an ability.
    • 706.10a If a copy of a spell is in a zone other than the stack, it ceases to exist. If a copy of a card is in any zone other than the stack or the battlefield, it ceases to exist. These are state-based actions. See rule 704.
    • 706.10b A copy of an ability has the same source as the original ability. If the ability refers to its source by name, the copy refers to that same object and not to any other object with the same name. The copy is considered to be the same ability by effects that count how many times that ability has resolved during the turn.
    • 706.10c Some effects copy a spell or ability and state that its controller may choose new targets for the copy. The player may leave any number of the targets unchanged, even if those targets would be illegal. If the player chooses to change some or all of the targets, the new targets must be legal. Once the player has decided what the copy’s targets will be, the copy is put onto the stack with those targets.
    • 706.10d Some effects copy a spell or ability for each player or object it “could target.” The copies are put onto the stack with those targets in the order of their controller’s choice. If the spell or ability has more than one target, each of its targets must be the same player or object. If that player or object isn’t a legal target for each instance of the word “target,” a copy isn’t created for that player or object.
    • 706.10e Some effects copy a spell or ability and specify a new target for the copy. If the spell or ability has more than one target, each of the copy’s targets must be that player or object. If that player or object isn’t a legal target for each instance of the word “target,” the copy isn’t created.
  • 706.11 If an effect refers to a permanent by name, the effect still tracks that permanent even if it changes names or becomes a copy of something else.
  • 706.12 An effect that instructs a player to cast a copy of an object (and not just copy a spell) follows the rules for casting spells, except that the copy is created in the same zone the object is in and then cast while another spell or ability is resolving. Casting a copy of an object follows steps 601.2a–h of rule 601, “Casting Spells,” and then the copy becomes cast. Once cast, the copy is a spell on the stack, and just like any other spell it can resolve or be countered.