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Last changes:
06.12.2016

Judge School
MTG cards

Each new set features new mechanics. The most curious mechanics in “Fate Reforged” is undoubtedly Manifest.


Translated by Witas Spasovski


Whisperwood Elemental

Whisperwood ElementalWe have here a green 4/4 creature with just one creature type and no supertypes whatsoever. It has two abilities which are of particular interest to us.

The first ability of Whisperwood Elemental

At the beginning of your end step, manifest the top card of your library. (Put it onto the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature. Turn it face up any time for its mana cost if it’s a creature card.)”.

  • At the beginning of — indicates that this is a triggered ability which triggers at the beginning of
  • your end step — the beginning of this step of your turn is the moment when this ability triggers. As soon as this step begins, all such abilities trigger first, then SBA are checked, then the triggers are put onto the stack in APNAP order, and only after all that the active player (the controller of Whisperwood Elemental) gets priority.
  • manifest the top card of your library. — that is the trigger effect, we get to perform it only as the trigger resolves. Triggers do not do anything right away (with the exception of mana triggers), they need to be put onto the stack, then resolve.
    The effect of Whisperwood Elemental’s trigger isn’t optional. You must manifest that top card of your library (provided there is one, clearly).
  • (Put it onto the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature. Turn it face up any time for its mana cost if it’s a creature card.) — everything written in italics isn’t a rule. Parenthesis include reminder text. For example, this reminder text is critically incomplete: It’s not actually “any time” but rather “any time you have priority”!

When you have grasped the general basis about the ability, let us get a deeper look at how this Manifest happens.

Manifest

701.31a. “To manifest [a card], turn it face down. It becomes a 2/2 face-down creature card with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost. Put that card onto the battlefield face down. That permanent is a manifested permanent as long as it remains face down. The effect defining its characteristics works while the card is face down and ends when it’s turned face up."

Manifested face-down permanent

It’s all quite simple: you move the card from its previous zone onto the battlefield face-down.

This card gains basic charactersitics which are defined for all face-down cards:

  • Name — none;
  • mana cost — none; CMC=0;
  • color — none;
  • type — creature;
  • subtype, supertype, rules text -none;
  • power — 2, toughness — 2.

As long as this card is face down, it will have these characteristics. Effects changing these characteristics will take them as base. (Remember the layers?)

Should it occur that you manifest a double-faced card, it becomes interesting. Considering that it is either represented in the deck as a checklist card, or is inserted in a fully opaque sleeve, you are naturally able to put it onto the battlefield with its sun side face down just like any other card, and it will feature the afore-mentioned characteristics. However, according to the new rules, it may not be transformed. If the sun side of the card is a creature card, you may turn it face-up by paying the mana cost of the card. At that moment it becomes a regular double-faced card without any restriction on transforming. A double-faced card cannot be “turned face-down” by any effect, it can only be “transformed”.

Manifested face-down permanent Ixidron Tarmogoyf

Suppose you have manifested a Tarmogoyf. At some point in the game, you have turned it face-up. From this moment onwards, the game does not remember it had been manifested. If the cunning opponent casts an Ixidron, the face-down Tarmogoyf will be a vanilla 2/2 creature and it may not be turned face-up by paying its mana cost.

The manifested card enters the battlefield as a creature. It is subject to all corresponding effects, and causes all corresponding triggers to trigger.

Grafdigger's Cage Blind Obedience Silverblade Paladin

You cannot manifest any card from your library* or graveyard as long as Grafdigger’s Cage is on the battlefield.

If your opponent currently controls Blind Obedience, all your manifested cards will enter the battlefield tapped.

You may soulbond-Pair the newly manifested card with an unpaired Silverblade Paladin.

701.31b. Any time you have priority, you may turn a manifested permanent you control face up. This is a special action that doesn’t use the stack (see rule 115.2b). To do this, show all players that the card representing that permanent is a creature card and what that card’s mana cost is, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up.

The effect defining its characteristics while it was face down ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. (If the card representing that permanent isn’t a creature card or it doesn’t have a mana cost, it can’t be turned face up this way.)

It is very important to account that a special action may only be performed when you have priority. You may not turn a manifested permanent face-up when:

  • a spell is being cast or an ability is being activated;
  • spells or abilities are resolving;
  • attackers/blockers are being declared (though it will be possible just after, when you receive priority!);
  • combat damage is being dealt etc.

I.e. it’s not really as the reminder text states.

Another condition to turn a card face-up is for it to be a creature card. Here we have differences from the Morphs which we already happen to know well. The rule for Morph says “ show all players what the permanent’s morph cost would be if it were face up, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up”, while the rule for Manifest says “show all players that the card representing that permanent is a creature card and what that card’s mana cost is, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up”. The main difference is that with Manifest, the game doesn’t peep into the future, it just looks at what’s printed on the card!

Phyrexian Metamorph Genesis Hydra Thassa, God of the Sea

If the mana cost includes phyrexian symbols, you may pay it with either mana or life.

Since Genesis Hydra is not in the stack, {X} is treated as 0, accoding rule 107.3f. You have to pay {GG} in order to turn it face-up.

It doesn’t matter what your devotion to certain color(s) is. You may turn a manifested god card from Theros block face-up in any case.

Lastly, the third condition to turn a card face-up is that card having a mana cost. If the manifested card does not have a mana cost, it cannot be paid, so it may not be turned face-up.

Dryad Arbor

If you have manifested a Dryad Arbor, it will be quite difficult to turn it face-up despite it being a creature. According to the rules, it is impossible to pay a cost that doesn’t exist, and Dryad Arbor being a land doesn’t let it have a mana cost. Thus, the effect granted by Manifest may not be used.

You may not pay alternative or additional costs while turning a card face-up. It is not the process of casting the creature, but a special action allowing to pay a cost equal to the card’s mana cost.

Angel of Salvation Mulldrifter Silvergill Adept

You may not pay the cost to turn a manifested Angel of Salvation by using convoke.

You cannot turn a manifested Mulldrifter face-up by paying the evoke cost.

To turn a Silvergill Adept face-up, you need to pay {1U} and nothing else.

Effects that modify the casting cost of a spell or the cost of activating an ability do not apply to the cost which you pay for turning a manifested creature face-up:

Centaur Omenreader Avatar of Woe Suppression Field

Regardless of whether Centaur Omenreader is tapped, its ability does not influence the Manifest effect.

To turn an Avatar of Woe face-up, you would have to pay {6BB}, regardless of the number of creature cards in graveyards.

Turning a manifested card face-up is not an activated ability. Suppression Field will not change its cost.

701.31c.If a card with morph is manifested, its controller may turn that card face up using either the procedure described in rule 702.36d to turn a face-down permanent with morph face up or the procedure described above to turn a manifested permanent face up.

Voidmage Apprentice

If you have manifested a Voidmage Apprentice, then:

  • first, it is under effect of Manifest which allows it to be turned face-up for its mana cost — {1U},
  • second, it has the Morph ability which allows it to be turned face-up for its morph cost — {2UU}.

It is up to you which effect to apply. The outcome will be the same: Voidmage Apprentice will be turned face-up, and its triggered ability will trigger.

Unlike Morphs, a manifested card has no abilities that allow to turn it face-up. This effect is created by Manifest itself. This means that if a manifested creature loses all abilities, it may still be turned face-up (as long as it has a mana cost).

Rattleclaw Mystic Humility Rattleclaw Mystic with Humility

Suppose you have manifested a Rattleclaw Mystic. If Humility is on the battlefield, you may not turn it face-up as a Morph because (ref. the rightmost picture) it does not have the Morph ability.

However, the presence of Humility in no way influences the effect of Manifest, and if a face-down card is a creature card and has a mana cost (which has to be printed on the card, not granted to it by any effect), you may turn it face up by paying its mana cost.

Rattleclaw Mystic after Humility has no activated abilities but does have a mana cost.

By copying a manifested card you will get a face-down card without the Manifest effect. It may not be turned face-up by paying its mana cost.

Manifested face-down permanent Phyrexian Metamorph

If Phyrexian Metamorph enters the battlefield as a copy of a manifested card, it will get its basic characteristics plus the artifact type, but it will not be a manifested card and it may not be turned face-up.

If a manifested card becomes a copy of some other card through, say, Mirrorweave, it remains manifested.

Tarmogoyf Mirrorweave Angelic Overseer

Suppose you have manifested a Tarmogoyf. Then you cast Mirrorweave targeting Angelic Overseer. You have a face-down Angelic Overseer. You may turn it face-up for the mana cost of Tarmogoyf, but you will get an Angelic Overseer.

If you target a face-down Morph this way, you have two options to turn the manifested card face up: by paying the original card’s mana cost or the cost of the Morph.

701.31d. If an effect instructs a player to manifest multiple cards from his or her library, those cards are manifested one at a time.

We need this rule in case we need to determine values based on the number of permanents on the battlefield. Cards are moved from the library onto the battlefield one by one, not all at once. If an effect would instruct us to keep the top card of the library revealed (such as Courser of Kruphix), each of those cards would have to be revealed.

701.31e. If a manifested permanent that’s represented by an instant or sorcery card would turn face up, its controller reveals it and leaves it face down. Abilities that trigger whenever a permanent is turned face up won’t trigger.

Ixidor, Reality Sculptor

Obviously, permanent cards may exist on the battlefield, while instant and sorcery cards may not. If we have a manifested non-Aura enchantment on the battlefield and Ixidor, Reality Sculptor’s ability is activated, the enchantment will be turned face-up and remain in that state on the battlefield. If a sorcery is manifested, you just need to reveal it, you do not turn it face-up.

The triggers triggering upon turning a card face-up will not notice this because the card has not been turned face-up. You just revealed its face.

If an aura card is turned face-up, it appears that it was not attached to anything, and thus, upon the nearest check of SBA it will go to its owner’s graveyard.

701.31f. See rule 707, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents,” for more information.

All this information is already described in the article about Morphs. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with it yet, please proceed there.

In short:

  • You may look at the face of a face-down card under your control at any time.
  • When a game ends or a face-down card is moved to another zone (including hidden zones), you must reveal its face to other players.
  • You may not change the visual order of face-down permanents in order to confuse an opponent. The easiest way to track all face-down permanents is to use specifically designated markers and to number them (e.g. Morph 1, Morph 2, Manifest 1, Manifest 2 etc.).
  • When a permanent is turned face-up it remains the same permanent: it doesn’t have summoning sickness; it doesn’t lose counters, auras and equipments (exceptions do occur); a spell or ability targeting a face-down permanent will continue targeting it after it is turned face-up.
  • When a creature is turned face-up, it doesn’t enter the battlefield, it has already been there for some time, it simply had different characteristics.
  • If you have manifested your Commander, this fact has to be marked somehow. Combat damage dealt by it will be Commander damage, regardless of whether it is face-up or down.

Whisperwood Elemental’s second ability

"Sacrifice Whisperwood Elemental : Until end of turn, face-up nontoken creatures you control gain “When this creature dies, manifest the top card of your library."

  • : — unambiguosly indicates that this is an activated ability.
  • The part in front of the colon is the ability’s cost: Sacrifice Whisperwood Elemental.
    If you sacrifice the Elemental as instructed by an effect (Cruel Edict) or as payment for another ability (Birthing Pod), this does not automatically mean activating Whisperwood Elemental’s second ability, so you won’t get its effect.
  • The part after the colon is the effect, i.e. what kind of things happen upon resolution: until end of turn, face-up nontoken creatures you control gain “When this creature dies, manifest the top card of your library."
    As this ability resolves, each of your non-token creatures gets a trigger. These creatures will keep those triggers until end of turn. All creature cards that will enter the battlefield under your control, or permanents that will become creatures, after the said ability resolves, will not have this trigger.
    When this creature dies, manifest the top card of your library"
    • When — indicates that it’s a trigger
    • with a triggering condition — this creature dies — dies meaning, being put into the graveyard from the battlefield.
    • manifest the top card of your library — is the effect, we will get it upon the trigger’s resolution.

* Even if an effect reveals the top card of the library, and the topdeck definitely isn’t a creature card.



Irina Samonova © 1999-2017

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