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.  Eldritch Moon introduced a twist with meld, a keyword action that changes the card with meld and a specific other card into one oversized card. That single card only exists on the backs of the two other cards. Whenever the melded card leaves the battlefield, both cards go, and they each turn front face up again. For gameplay purposes, these are NOT considered to be DFCs (see rule 711.1d below), though they occupy the DFC slot in a Shadows over Innistrad booster pack. There are 3 pairs of cards that can meld together. There are also 15 regular DFCs in Eldritch Moon.
Thematically, double-faced cards represent something 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.
Most double-faced cards (68 out of 86, not counting meld cards) are creatures that transform into other creatures, although there are exceptions:
- All five of the double-faced cards from Magic Origins are creatures that transform into planeswalkers.
- Garruk Relentless (Innistrad) and Arlinn Kord (Shadows over Innistrad) are planeswalkers that transform into other planeswalkers.
- Chalice of Life (Dark Ascension) and Neglected Heirloom (Shadows over Innistrad) are artifacts that transform into other artifacts.
- Elbrus, the Binding Blade (Dark Ascension) and Cryptolith Fragment (Eldritch Moon) are artifacts that transform into creatures.
- Thraben Gargoyle (Shadows over Innistrad) is an artifact creature that transforms into another artifact creature.
- Harvest Hand (Shadows over Innistrad) is an artifact creature that transforms into a non-creature artifact.
- Soul Seizer (Dark Ascension) and Accursed Witch (Shadows over Innistrad) are creatures that transform into enchantments.
- Autumnal Gloom and Skin Invasion (Shadows over Innistrad) are enchantments that transform into creatures.
- Startled Awake (Shadows over Innistrad) is a sorcery that transforms into a creature.
- Westvale Abbey (Shadows over Innistrad) is a land that transforms into a creature.
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. The set also introduced two new symbols for the five double-faced cards in its set: The rising run for the front side and the planeswalker symbol for the back side.
Creatures from Eldritch Moon that transform in colorless Eldrazi have a for the front side and an for the back side, showing this creature has joined Emrakul's brood.  This is symbolizing one transformation step further from that shown in Innistrad, Dark Ascension, and Shadows over Innistrad
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.
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.
- With the exception of Professional REL events, During booster drafts, double-faced cards are revealed to all players all times until the end of the pick that card was picked by any player.
- Starting from Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, all drafts that involved sets having Double-faced cards will be pre-sleeved during Professional REL events.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (August 29, 2011.) “Every Two Sides Has a Story”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley. (September 21, 2011.) “The Two Sides”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) “Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast. (August 28, 2011.) “Double-Faced Card Rules”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- 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.
- Mark Rosewater. (June 27, 2016.) “Over the Moon, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (June 29, 2016.) "Do meld cards count as DFCs?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Ken Nagle. (June 28, 2016.) “A Summary of Two Fears”, 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.