Magic Ruling: Turning your Back on Devotion

February 9, 2018

You control Liliana, Heretical Healer. You then transform her into Liliana, Defiant Necromancer.

If you use the second ability of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx—selecting the color black—will Liliana contribute to your devotion?


The answer? No, she will not.

The ruling this week is a pretty simple case—we just need to look at a couple of details to confirm our answer.

First, what is Devotion?

  • 700.5. A player’s devotion to [color] is equal to the number of mana symbols of that color among the mana costs of permanents that player controls. A player’s devotion to [color 1] and [color 2] is equal to the number of mana symbols among the mana costs of permanents that player controls that are [color 1], [color 2], or both colors.

So we need to count the number of black mana symbols in the mana cost of Liliana’s back (planeswalker) face. Does the transformed Liliana even have a mana cost, and if so, what is it?

  • 711.4b While a double-faced permanent’s back face is up, it has only the characteristics of its back face. However, its converted mana cost is calculated using the mana cost of its front face. If a permanent is copying the back face of a double-faced card (even if the card representing that copy is itself a double-faced card), the converted mana cost of that permanent is 0.

So she has a converted mana cost of 3, but no actual mana cost characteristic. So no black mana symbols to count.

Nykthos is getting no help from her once she’s transformed!


Missed last time’s ruling? Find it here!

Andy B

Andy B is our Master of Events and Online Wizardry, and that's why you see his picture at the bottom of most posts and events! You'll see him and his beard at all our locations, often with his nose at a computer, creating pages just like this one. His favorite games include The Grizzled, Guild Ball, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle and Legend of the Five Rings.

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