Description[edit | edit source]
Double-faced cards were introduced with the set Innistrad and represented a radical change for the card back.     Until their release, no legal card could have a different print on the back than the regular Magic card back.
In Innistrad there are 2 white, 3 blue, 2 black, 6 red and 7 green double-faced cards. In Dark Ascension there are 1 white, 1 blue, 2 black, 3 red, 3 green, 1 multicolored and 2 artifact double-faced cards.
Double-faced cards returned in Magic Origins where one side features a legendary creature, and the other side features its planeswalker incarnation. These are first exiled and then return transformed from the exile zone.  In Magic Origins, there is only one double-faced card for each color.
Of course, double-faced cards returned again in Shadows over Innistrad. There are 5 white, 5 blue, 4 black, 7 red, 7 green, 1 multicolored, 3 artifact and 1 land double-faced cards. New rules stipulated that the converted mana cost of the back face of a double-faced is based on the mana cost of the front face. 
Thematically, double-faced cards represent a creature (or, in the case of Garruk Relentless, planeswalker) that undergoes a major transformation, hence the keyword action. Many are werewolves or fledgling vampires. In Magic Origins, they are planeswalkers whose spark is igniting.
Rules[edit | edit source]
Playing with double-faced cards[edit | edit source]
The Innistrad block double-faced cards have an icon next to the name representing a sun or a moon. The front of the card is called the day side and has a regular card frame, a mana cost, and the sun symbol. The back or "night" side has the moon symbol and a slightly altered frame similar to planeshifted cards with a darker text box and white text for the card type, name, and (for creatures) power/toughness. With the Magic Origins rules update, the sun and moon symbols lost their meaning; the front of the card is now defined by the appearance of the mana cost.
Double-sided cards enter the battlefield with their front ("day") side up. To switch between the two card faces, the keyword action transform is used. When a permanent transforms, all counters, Auras, and Equipment stay on the card, and the card neither enters nor leaves the battlefield. The Magic Orgins double-faced cards are creatures on one face and planeswalkers on the other; rather than simply transform, they are instead exiled and then returned to the battlefield transformed, so that they enter the battlefield as planeswalkers and receive the appropriate number of loyalty counters.
To be allowed to play with double-sided cards, the player must either have opaque sleeves for all his cards through which no detail of the cards is visible, or use a checklist card to substitute for each double-faced card in the deck. Each set with double-faced cards has a checklist card in some of its booster packs. Checklist cards have the regular Magic card back and list the name and mana cost of all double-faced cards from the set. The player must mark which double-faced card the checklist card is meant to represent on the checklist card, in a manner not visible from the the back of the card. The checklist card is shuffled into the deck while the actual double-faced card is kept outside the game.
Double-faced card rulings[edit | edit source]
- Double-faced cards can not be turned face down with cards such as Ixidron. When a double-faced card is instructed to be turned face-down, nothing happens. Similarly, if a non-double-faced card is instructed to transform, nothing happens.
- If a double-faced card is manifested, it will be put onto the battlefield face down. While face down, it can't transform. If the front face of the card is a creature card, you can turn it face up by paying its mana cost. If you do, its front face will be up.
- When a double-sided card is copied, e.g. with a card like Clone, only the characteristics of the face that is currently visible upon copying are copied. Such copies cannot transform, either.
- If a card is not in play, the only information relevant and viewable for other cards is the front side of the card.
- The color identity of the card includes either face.
- During booster drafts, double-faced cards are revealed to all players all times until the end of the round that card was picked by any player. Unless floor rule stated otherwise (e.g. booster drafts during Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad).
Checklist card rulings[edit | edit source]
- It's important that the cards in your deck be indistinguishable from one another. To accomplish this with double-faced cards, you can use either sleeves, or the checklist cards that is included in some booster packs of sets featured double faced cards. These checklist cards have a list of all double-faced cards (common-uncommon/rare-mythic in Shadows over Innistrad) in the respective set on one side and the typical Magic card back on the other side.
- You must have a actual copy of double-faced card that the checklist card is representing with you for each checklist card used. For example, if you use four checklist cards to represent Jace, Vryn's Prodigy , you must have four actual copies of Jace, Vryn's Prodigy too.
- The double-faced card should be kept apart from the rest of your deck. In tournaments, the double-faced card should also be kept separate from your sideboard.
- A checklist card can't be included in a deck except when it's being used to represent a double-faced card. If you opt to use checklist card to represent a certain double-faced card, all that double-faced card in the deck must use checklist card instead of actual copy too. (You may use checklist card to represent a double-faced card, but not using them for another double-faced card that has a different name)
- You must mark exactly one fill-in circle on the checklist card to indicate which double-faced card it represents.
- You can still use card sleeves, even if you also choose to use checklist cards.
- During the game, a checklist card is considered to be the double-faced card it represents. For example, say you have a checklist card in your hand representing Tormented Pariah and an opponent casts Despise. The checklist card is a creature card, so your opponent may choose the checklist card and you would discard it.
- As soon as a checklist card enters a public zone (stack, battlefield, graveyard, or exile unless it's exiled face down/manifested), use the double-faced card and set the checklist card aside. If the double-faced card is put into a hidden zone (hand or library), use the checklist card again.
- If a double-faced card is exiled face down or being manifested, keep its identity hidden by using the face-down checklist card.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (August 29, 2011.) "Every Two Sides Has a Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Monty Ashley. (September 21, 2011.) "The Two Sides", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) "Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Wizards of the Coast. (August 28, 2011.) "Double-Faced Card Rules", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Matt Tabak. (June 22, 2015.) "Magic Origins Mechanics Article", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak. (March 7, 2016.) "Shadows over Innistrad Mechanics", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]
- Sam Stoddard. (May 6, 2016.) "Developing Double-Faced Cards", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast. (May 25, 2016.) "Double-Faced Cards Procedure for Professional REL Drafts", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.