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Morph

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Morph
Type: Static
Introduced: Onslaught
Last Used: Khans of Tarkir
Reminder Text: You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for Mana3.gif. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.
Statistics: 120 cards
Manau.gif32% Manaw.gif16% Manab.gif15% Manag.gif15% Manar.gif15%
Artifacts 1%, Land 1%
Gatherer search for "Morph"

Morph is a keyword ability on permanents that allows the player to pay Mana3.gif to play a card with the ability face down as a 2/2 colorless, typeless creature. The player can then turn that creature face-up at any time they could play an instant by paying a variable Morph cost printed on each card. Many permanents with morph have additional triggered abilities that trigger when they are turned face-up (see Bane of the Living), and some other permanents trigger when a different card is turned face up.

History[edit]

Morph first appeared in Onslaught block [1] [2] [3] [4][5] and was revisited in the Time Spiral block. At the Wizards of the Coast Comic-Con panel in July 2014, Mark Rosewater announced that Morph would be returning in Khans of Tarkir.[6]

Rules[edit]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 702.36. Morph
    • 702.36a Morph is a static ability that functions in any zone from which you could play the card it‘s on, and the morph effect works any time the card is face down. "Morph [cost]" means "You may cast this card as a 2/2 face-down creature, with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost by paying {3} rather than paying its mana cost." (See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents.")
    • 702.36b To cast a card using its morph ability, turn it face down. It becomes a 2/2 face-down creature card, with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting a card with these characteristics (and not the face-up card‘s characteristics) are applied to casting this card. These values are the copiable values of that object‘s characteristics. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects," and rule 706, "Copying Objects.") Put it onto the stack (as a face-down spell with the same characteristics), and pay {3} rather than pay its mana cost. This follows the rules for paying alternative costs. You can use morph to cast a card from any zone from which you could normally play it. When the spell resolves, it enters the battlefield with the same characteristics the spell had. The morph effect applies to the face-down object wherever it is, and it ends when the permanent is turned face up.
    • 702.36c You can‘t cast a card face down if it doesn‘t have morph.
    • 702.36d If you have priority, you may turn a face-down permanent you control face up. This is a special action; it doesn‘t use the stack (see rule 115). To do this, 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. (If the permanent wouldn‘t have a morph cost if it were face up, it can‘t be turned face up this way.) The morph effect on it ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don‘t trigger when it‘s turned face up and don‘t have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.
    • 702.36e See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents," for more information on how to cast cards with morph.

Rulings[edit]

  • An important change in Future Sight is that playing a spell face down works as though the card were already face down in your hand when you start to play it. It's treated as though it's a creature card with no name, color, abilities, mana cost, or subtypes while it's in your hand, and you can play that creature spell by paying Mana3.gif rather than its mana cost. You can also play it face up as normal, of course.
  • If you have Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir in play, creature cards in your hand have flash. If you play a noncreature card with morph face down, you can do so as though it had flash. If you play a noncreature card with morph face up, you can do so only at the time you could normally play that type of card.
  • If a card such as Voidstone Gargoyle prohibits you from playing a certain card that has morph, you can still play that card face down.
  • Morph triggers occur when you use the Morph ability to turn the card face up, or when an effect turns it face up. It will not trigger on being revealed or on leaving play.

Notes related to noncreature cards with morph[edit]

  • The first (and only) noncreature cards with morph are Lumithread Field (an enchantment), Whetwheel (an artifact) and Zoetic Cavern (a land).
  • As soon as a noncreature card with morph is turned face up, it stops being a creature. Any Equipment attached to it fall off. Any Auras that can't be attached to it fall off. Any counters that are on it will remain, though they may not have any effect.
  • If such a permanent is in combat when it's turned face up, it's removed from combat. Combat damage that it assigned will still be dealt. Combat damage assigned to it will not be dealt because it's no longer a creature.
  • Three Onslaught block cards (Aphetto Runecaster, Aven Farseer, and Bonethorn Valesk) are printed with abilities that trigger whenever a creature is turned face up. These are erratad so they trigger whenever a permanent is turned face up.

Examples[edit]

Khans of Tarkir morph overlay card.
  • Aphetto Alchemist - Mana1.gifManau.gif
    Creature — Wizard
    1/2
    Tap.gif: Untap target artifact or creature.
    Morph Manau.gif (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for Mana3.gif. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
  • Gathan Raiders - Mana3.gifManar.gifManar.gif
    Creature — Human Warrior
    3/3
    Hellbent — Gathan Raiders gets +2/+2 if you have no cards in your hand.
    Morph — Discard a card. (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for Mana3.gif. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

Comprehensive Rules references[edit]

Comprehensive Rules
Game Concepts
Parts of a Card
Card Types
Zones
Turn Structure
Spells, Abilities, and Effects
Additional Rules
700. General
701. Keyword Actions
702. Keyword Abilities
703. Turn-Based Actions
704. State-Based Actions
705. Flipping a Coin
706. Copying Objects
707. Face-Down Spells and Permanents
708. Split Cards
709. Flip Cards
710. Leveler Cards
711. Double-Faced Cards
712. Controlling Another Player
713. Ending the Turn
714. Restarting the Game
715. Subgames
716. Taking Shortcuts
717. Handling Illegal Actions
Multiplayer Rules
Casual Variants

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 707. Face-Down Spells and Permanents
    • 707.1. Two cards (Illusionary Mask and Ixidron) and the morph ability (see rule 702.35) allow spells and permanents to be face down.
    • 707.2. Face-down spells and face-down permanents have no characteristics other than those listed by the ability or rules that allowed the spell or permanent to be face down. Any listed characteristics are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects," and rule 706, "Copying Objects.")
      • 707.2a If a face-up permanent is turned face down by a spell or ability, it becomes a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. A permanent that enters the battlefield face down that wasn't cast as a face-down spell also has these characteristics. These values are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics.
    • 707.3. Objects that are put onto the battlefield face down are turned face down before they enter the battlefield, so the permanent’s enters-the-battlefield abilities won’t trigger (if triggered) or have any effect (if static).
    • 707.4. Objects that are cast face down are turned face down before they are put onto the stack, so effects that care about the characteristics of a spell will see only the face-down spell’s characteristics. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting an object with these characteristics (and not the face-up object’s characteristics) are applied to casting this object. The permanent the spell becomes will be a face-down permanent.
    • 707.5. At any time, you may look at a face-down spell you control on the stack or a face-down permanent you control (even if it’s phased out). You can’t look at face-down cards in any other zone or face-down spells or permanents controlled by another player.
    • 707.6. If you control multiple face-down spells or face-down permanents, you must ensure at all times that your face-down spells and permanents can be easily differentiated from each other. This includes, but is not limited to, knowing the order spells were cast, the order that face-down permanents entered the battlefield, which creature attacked last turn, and any other differences between face-down spells or permanents. Common methods for distinguishing between face-down objects include using counters or dice to mark the different objects, or clearly placing those objects in order on the table.
    • 707.7. The ability or rules that allow a permanent to be face down may also allow the permanent’s controller to turn it face up. Spells normally can’t be turned face up.
    • 707.8. As a face-down permanent is turned face up, its copiable values revert to its normal copiable values. Any effects that have been applied to the face-down permanent still apply to the face-up permanent. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don’t trigger and don’t have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.
    • 707.9. If a face-down permanent moves from the battlefield to any other zone, its owner must reveal it to all players as he or she moves it. If a face-down spell moves from the stack to any zone other than the battlefield, its owner must reveal it to all players as he or she moves it. At the end of each game, all face-down permanents and spells must be revealed to all players.
    • 707.10. If a face-down permanent becomes a copy of another permanent, its copiable values become the copiable values of that permanent, as modified by its face-down status. Its characteristics therefore remain the same: the characteristics listed by the ability or rules that allowed it to be turned face down. However, if it is turned face up, its copiable values become the values it copied from the other permanent. See rule 706.3.
    • 707.11. If a face-down permanent would have an "As [this permanent] is turned face up . . ." ability after it’s turned face up, that ability is applied while that permanent is being turned face up, not afterward.

Overlay card[edit]

Khans of Tarkir introduced the overlay card which was available in booster packs an extra card with an advertisement on the back side. The overlay card may be used on face-down Morph cards to remind players of their power and toughness and that it can be turned face-up for its Morph cost. [7] [8]

Cards that affect morph costs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (September 09, 2002.) "Wait, There's Morph", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Paul Barclay. (September 6, 2002.) "Morph: Onslaught’s New Ability", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (January 6, 2003.) "Trigger Happy", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe. (January 8, 2003.) "Morph Trigger Rules Primer", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar. (February 13, 2003.) "Decks That Morph", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "All The Goods From The Panel, Part 1", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  7. Matt Tabak. (August 31, 2014.) "Mechanics of Khans of Tarkir", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Blake Rasmussen. (September 10, 2014.) "Tokens of Tarkir", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.