asked 2013-01-29 08:17:45 -0500Mockingbird
A question about the new Cipher ability
When the encoded ability triggers due to the creature causing damage, it casts a free copy of the card - can this copy of the card then be encoded onto another (or the same) creature, so that I now have two creatures with [[[Stolen Identity]]] encoded on them?
Example: I have an [[[Invisible Stalker]]] on the battlefield. During my first sorcery phase I cast Stolen Identity and create a copy of the invisible stalker. The spell is not countered, so I am then able to exile stolen identity and encode it on the original invisible stalker.
During my combat phase the original invisible stalker attacks and damages my opponent. Which of the following is correct (if any)? Any justification/explanation would be hugely appreciated.
Stolen Identity is cast, allowing me to create a new copy of (for example) my invisible stalker, and that's all.
Stolen Identity is cast, allowing me to create a new copy of (for example) my invisible stalker, and then I may encode Stolen Identity onto the first copy of the stalker (the one created during my first sorcery phase).
Stolen Identity is cast, allowing me to create a new copy of (for example) my invisible stalker, and then I may encode Stolen Identity onto the first copy of the stalker (the one created during my first sorcery phase) or onto my original invisible stalker, meaning it will now have two copies encoded and will cast both if it subsequently damages an opponent.
My suspicion is that 1 is correct, but I can't explain that beyond "if it seems really good you're reading it wrong". Cipher says to cast a copy of the card, so that would suggest the 'cipher' part of the card is duplicated too.
[[Stolen Identity]] [[Invisible Stalker]]
702.97a Cipher appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents a spell ability that functions while the spell is on the stack and a static ability that functions while the card with cipher is in the exile zone. "Cipher" means "If this spell is represented by a card, you may exile this card encoded on a creature you control" and "As long as this card is encoded on that creature, that creature has 'Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, you may copy this card and you may cast the copy without paying its mana cost.'"
The "if this spell is represented by a card" clause is the relevant one here. The copy is not a card, so executing the "cipher" spell ability has no effect for it. It will not go into exile and it will not be encoded on anything.
Even if it was, though, encoding a copy of a spell would do absolutely nothing, because of another rule:
704.5e. 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.
In each case, no snowballing ciphers for you.
Asked: 2013-01-29 08:17:45 -0500
Seen: 660 times
Last updated: Jan 30