The new Manifest mechanic brings a host of questions about how it interacts with older cards. It may not see much tournament play outside of limited events, but there will certainly be some games somewhere that involve Manifest and, for example, Huntmaster of the Fells.
Let’s say my opponent casts Reality Shift on my Tarmogoyf during a Modern event. I manifest Huntmaster of the Fells from the top of my library. You may recall that double-faced cards can’t be turned face down. That used to be an absolute rule, but that’s because nothing could put one onto the battlefield face-down directly before manifest was created. The actual rule, which still stands, is that a double-faced card on the battlefield can’t be turned face down. Ixidron still can’t turn Huntmaster over.
So how does it work, then? Well, when manifested, your double-faced card is treated like a 2/2 nameless colorless creature with no abilities, exactly like a morphed creature. Since you’re using opaque sleeves or checklist cards to represent the card in your library, your opponent won’t know that it’s a double-faced card.
The big difference from morph is that a manifested creature card can be turned face up for its mana cost. The mana cost we care about is the one from the front face (“day” side), which is the only side that actually has a printed mana cost. When you pay that cost (e.g., 2RG), you turn Huntmaster face-up, showing the day side. Note that this is not the same as the Huntmaster entering the battlefield, and it’s not transforming. You won’t get the trigger to gain 2 life/get a wolf. From that moment forward, however, the Huntmaster is a normal double-faced card, and can transform normally.
One other note is that if only the night side is a creature, like with Elbrus, the Binding Blade, that doesn’t count as a creature card for Manifest, as it only cares about the day side. You can’t turn it face up.
Today’s Rules Tip written by Josh Stansfield